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Panasonic GX1 versus Panasonic GX8

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 are two enthusiast cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in November 2011 and July 2015. Both the GX1 and the GX8 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. The GX1 has a resolution of 15.8 megapixel, whereas the GX8 provides 20.2 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Panasonic GX1 vs Panasonic GX8

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Panasonic GX1 and the Panasonic GX8. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also toggle the display to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the GX1 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Panasonic GX1 vs Panasonic GX8
Compare GX1 versus GX8 top
Compare GX1 and GX8 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic GX8 is notably larger (32 percent) than the Panasonic GX1. Moreover, the GX8 is substantially heavier (53 percent) than the GX1. It is noteworthy in this context that the GX8 is splash and dust-proof, while the GX1 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can find an overview of suitable optics in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog. Mirrorless cameras, such as the two under consideration, have the additional advantage of having a short flange to focal plane distance, which makes it possible to mount many lenses from other systems onto the camera via adapters.

Concerning battery life, the GX1 gets 320 shots out of its DMW-BLD10 battery, while the GX8 can take 330 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLC12 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Panasonic GX1» 116 mm 68 mm 39 mm 318 g 320 n Nov 2011 949- i Panasonic GX1
Panasonic GX8« 133 mm 78 mm 63 mm 487 g 330 Y Jul 2015 1,199- i Panasonic GX8
Nikon 1 V2« » 109 mm 82 mm 46 mm 278 g 310 n Oct 2012 799- i Nikon 1 V2
Olympus E-M1 II« » 134 mm 91 mm 67 mm 574 g 440 Y Sep 2016 1,999 i i Olympus E-M1 II
Olympus PEN-F« » 125 mm 72 mm 37 mm 427 g 330 n Jan 2016 1,199 i i Olympus PEN-F
Olympus E-M5 II« » 124 mm 85 mm 45 mm 469 g 310 Y Feb 2015 1,099 i i Olympus E-M5 II
Panasonic G6« » 122 mm 85 mm 71 mm 390 g 340 n Apr 2013 599- i Panasonic G6
Panasonic GF6« » 111 mm 65 mm 38 mm 323 g 340 n Apr 2013 499- i Panasonic GF6
Panasonic GX7« » 123 mm 71 mm 55 mm 402 g 350 n Aug 2013 999- i Panasonic GX7
Panasonic GF5« » 108 mm 67 mm 37 mm 267 g 360 n Apr 2012 499- i Panasonic GF5
Panasonic G3« » 115 mm 84 mm 47 mm 336 g 270 n May 2011 599- i Panasonic G3
Panasonic GF3« » 108 mm 67 mm 32 mm 264 g 300 n Jun 2011 549- i Panasonic GF3
Panasonic G10« » 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 388 g 380 n Mar 2010 499- i Panasonic G10
Panasonic GF2« » 113 mm 68 mm 33 mm 310 g 300 n Nov 2010 549- i Panasonic GF2
Panasonic GH2« » 124 mm 90 mm 76 mm 442 g 330 n Sep 2010 1,499- i Panasonic GH2
Sony A6500« » 120 mm 67 mm 53 mm 453 g 350 Y Oct 2016 1,399 i i Sony A6500

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The GX1 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 21 percent) than the GX8, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison: Panasonic GX1 vs Panasonic GX8

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature a Four Thirds sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Panasonic GX1 and Panasonic GX8 sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the GX8 offers a higher resolution of 20.2 megapixel, compared with 15.8 MP of the GX1. This megapixel advantage translates into a 13 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the GX8 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.34μm versus 3.77μm for the GX1). However, it should be noted that the GX8 is much more recent (by 3 years and 8 months) than the GX1, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that compensate for the smaller pixel size.

GX1 versus GX8 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. Of the two cameras under consideration, the GX8 offers substantially better image quality than the GX1 (overall score 20 points higher). The advantage is based on 2.7 bits higher color depth, 2 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.2 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
Panasonic GX1» Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p20.810.670355Panasonic GX1
Panasonic GX8« Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p23.512.680675Panasonic GX8
Nikon 1 V2« » 1-inch 14.2 4608 30721080/60p20.210.840350Nikon 1 V2
Olympus E-M1 II« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p23.712.8131280Olympus E-M1 II
Olympus PEN-F« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38881080/60p23.112.489474Olympus PEN-F
Olympus E-M5 II« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p23.012.584273Olympus E-M5 II
Panasonic G6« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.563961Panasonic G6
Panasonic GF6« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i20.710.662254Panasonic GF6
Panasonic GX7« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p22.612.271870Panasonic GX7
Panasonic GF5« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i21.411.661861Panasonic GF5
Panasonic G3« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i21.010.666756Panasonic G3
Panasonic GF3« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i20.610.045849Panasonic GF3
Panasonic G10« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.141152Panasonic G10
Panasonic GF2« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i21.210.350654Panasonic GF2
Panasonic GH2« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60i21.211.365560Panasonic GH2
Sony A6500« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.513.7140585Sony A6500

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the GX8 provides a better video resolution than the GX1. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the GX1 is limited to 1080/60p.

 

Feature comparison: Panasonic GX1 vs Panasonic GX8

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the GX8 has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the GX1 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the GX1 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the DMW-LVF2. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Panasonic GX1 and Panasonic GX8 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Panasonic GX1»- n 3.0 460 fixed Y 4000 4.2 Y n Panasonic GX1
Panasonic GX8«2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 8000 10.0 n Y Panasonic GX8
Nikon 1 V2« »1440 n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 15.0 Y n Nikon 1 V2
Olympus E-M1 II« »2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 8000 18.0 n Y Olympus E-M1 II
Olympus PEN-F« »2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 8000 10.0 n Y Olympus PEN-F
Olympus E-M5 II« »2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 8000 10.0 n Y Olympus E-M5 II
Panasonic G6« »1440 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 4000 7.0 Y n Panasonic G6
Panasonic GF6« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.2 Y n Panasonic GF6
Panasonic GX7« »2760 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 8000 5.0 Y Y Panasonic GX7
Panasonic GF5« »- n 3.0 920 fixed Y 4000 4.0 Y n Panasonic GF5
Panasonic G3« »1440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 4000 4.0 Y n Panasonic G3
Panasonic GF3« »- n 3.0 460 fixed Y 4000 3.2 Y n Panasonic GF3
Panasonic G10« »202 n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 2.6 Y n Panasonic G10
Panasonic GF2« »- n 3.0 460 fixed Y 4000 2.6 Y n Panasonic GF2
Panasonic GH2« »1534 n 3.0 460 swivel n 4000 3.0 Y n Panasonic GH2
Sony A6500« »2300 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 4000 11.0 Y Y Sony A6500

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The GX1 has one, while the GX8 does not. While the build-in flash of the GX1 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

The reported shutter speed and shutter burst refer to the use of the mechanical shutter. In addition, the GX8 features an electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (flickering).

Both the GX1 and the GX8 write their imaging data to SDXC cards.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
Panasonic GX1»Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic GX1
Panasonic GX8«YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-Panasonic GX8
Nikon 1 V2« »-stereomono--mini2.0---Nikon 1 V2
Olympus E-M1 II« »YstereomonoYYmicro3.0Y--Olympus E-M1 II
Olympus PEN-F« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Olympus PEN-F
Olympus E-M5 II« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Olympus E-M5 II
Panasonic G6« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Panasonic G6
Panasonic GF6« »-stereomono--mini2.0YY-Panasonic GF6
Panasonic GX7« »Ystereomono--mini2.0YY-Panasonic GX7
Panasonic GF5« »-stereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic GF5
Panasonic G3« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic G3
Panasonic GF3« »-stereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic GF3
Panasonic G10« »Ymono---mini2.0---Panasonic G10
Panasonic GF2« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic GF2
Panasonic GH2« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Panasonic GH2
Sony A6500« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-Sony A6500

Both the GX1 and the GX8 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The GX1 was replaced by the Panasonic GX7, while the GX8 was followed by the Panasonic GX9.

Review summary: Panasonic GX1 vs Panasonic GX8

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Panasonic GX1 or the Panasonic GX8 – has the upper hand? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1:

  • More compact: Is smaller (116x68mm vs 133x78mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 169g or 35 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (21 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in November 2011).


Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (20.2 vs 15.8MP), which boosts linear resolution by 13%.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (20 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (2.7 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (2 EV of extra DR).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 460k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 4.2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology build-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi build in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years and 8 months of technical progress since the GX1 launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the GX8 is the clear winner of the contest (17 : 5 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera.

GX1 05:17 GX8

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the GX1 or the GX8. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Panasonic GX1»Rec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Nov 2011 949- i Panasonic GX1
Panasonic GX8«Rec82/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jul 2015 1,199- i Panasonic GX8
Nikon 1 V2« »--4.5/5-4/5 Oct 2012 799- i Nikon 1 V2
Olympus E-M1 II« »HiRec85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2016 1,999 i i Olympus E-M1 II
Olympus PEN-F« »-82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Jan 2016 1,199 i i Olympus PEN-F
Olympus E-M5 II« »HiRec81/1005/54.5/55/5 Feb 2015 1,099 i i Olympus E-M5 II
Panasonic G6« »HiRec-5/5-4.5/5 Apr 2013 599- i Panasonic G6
Panasonic GF6« »HiRec-4.5/5-4.5/5 Apr 2013 499- i Panasonic GF6
Panasonic GX7« »Rec79/1005/54.5/55/5 Aug 2013 999- i Panasonic GX7
Panasonic GF5« »--4.5/54/54.5/5 Apr 2012 499- i Panasonic GF5
Panasonic G3« »HiRec75/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2011 599- i Panasonic G3
Panasonic GF3« »82/10071/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Jun 2011 549- i Panasonic GF3
Panasonic G10« »-70/1004/5-4/5 Mar 2010 499- i Panasonic G10
Panasonic GF2« »82/10070/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Nov 2010 549- i Panasonic GF2
Panasonic GH2« »HiRec79/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Sep 2010 1,499- i Panasonic GH2
Sony A6500« »HiRec85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Oct 2016 1,399 i i Sony A6500

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, please send me an email, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

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