Panasonic GX8 Image Quality Comparison

Below are crops from our laboratory Still Life target comparing Panasonic GX8 image quality to its predecessor, the GX7, as well as against several premium mirrorless models at similar price points or in similar categories: the Fuji X-T1, Olympus E-M5 II, Samsung NX1 and Sony A6000. (Okay we admit the A6000 isn't at a similar price point being significantly less expensive than the rest, but it's currently Sony's top-of-the-line sub-frame mirrorless, and their least expensive current full-frame mirrorless costs significantly more than the GX8.)

NOTE: These images are from best quality JPEGs straight out of the camera, at default settings including noise reduction and using the camera's actual base ISO (not extended ISO settings). All cameras in this comparison were shot with our very sharp reference lenses. Clicking any crop will take you to a carrier page where you can click once again to access the full resolution image as delivered straight from the camera. For those interested in working with the RAW files involved, click these links to visit each camera's respective sample image thumbnail page: Panasonic GX8, Panasonic GX7, Fuji X-T1, Olympus E-M5 II, Samsung NX1 and Sony A6000 -- links to the RAW files appear beneath those for the JPEG images, wherever we have them. And remember, you can always go to our world-renowned Comparometer to compare the Panasonic GX8 to any camera we've ever tested!

Panasonic GX8 vs Panasonic GX7 at Base ISO

Panasonic GX8 at ISO 200
Panasonic GX7 at ISO 200

Very good image quality from both the 20-megapixel GX8 and 16-megapixel GX7 here at base ISO, though the added resolution does allow the GX8 to resolve a little more detail than the GX7 while also producing slightly lower noise levels.

Panasonic GX8 vs Fujifilm X-T1 at Base ISO

Panasonic GX8 at ISO 200
Fujifilm X-T1 at ISO 200

The 16-megapixel APS-C Fuji X-T1 produces cleaner results here at base ISO with brighter colors as well. But the GX8 is able to resolve significantly more detail in most areas of our target including in the mosaic and pink fabric, though the X-T1 actually does better with fine detail in our tricky red-leaf swatch.

Panasonic GX8 vs Olympus E-M5 II at Base ISO

Panasonic GX8 at ISO 200
Olympus E-M5 II at ISO 200

The 16-megapixel Olympus E-M5 II produces a brighter, crisper, more contrasty image than the GX8, however sharpening artifacts are much more obvious. Again, the 20-megapixel GX8 is able to resolve a little more detail than the E-M5 II, but its more conservative default processing means its images don't look quite as punchy and vibrant straight out of the camera.

Panasonic GX8 vs Samsung NX1 at Base ISO

Panasonic GX8 at ISO 200
Samsung NX1 at ISO 100

At base ISO, the 28-megapixel APS-C Samsung NX1 clearly has an edge in resolving power and sharpness, and it also produced an image with higher contrast and lower noise levels, though keep in mind the Samsung's base ISO is lower. The Samsung did better in the pink fabric and in our tricky red-leaf swatch, but it produced some unsightly moiré patterns which the GX8 did not.

Panasonic GX8 vs Sony A6000 at Base ISO

Panasonic GX8 at ISO 200
Sony A6000 at ISO 100

The 24-megapixel APS-C Sony A6000 has a slight resolution advantage, but it isn't resolving significantly more detail in most areas here (the majority of the resolution advantage is in the width of the image because of its wider 3:2 aspect ratio). The A6000's image is however more vibrant, contrasty and crisper without obvious sharpening artifacts, giving its image more "pop".

Panasonic GX8 vs Panasonic GX7 at ISO 1600

Panasonic GX8 at ISO 1600
Panasonic GX7 at ISO 1600

Here at ISO 1600, we see the GX8 resolves slightly more detail in most areas than its predecessor, yet it manages to produce similar noise levels despite its smaller pixels. Impressive! Both struggle with fine detail in our tricky red-leaf fabric, though, and Panasonic's area-specific noise reduction does start to introduce artifacts at boundaries where detail changes.

Panasonic GX8 vs Fujifilm X-T1 at ISO 1600

Panasonic GX8 at ISO 1600
Fujifilm X-T1 at ISO 1600

The Fuji X-T1's high-ISO performance is amazing for a sub-frame camera, producing a crisper, brighter and cleaner looking image than the GX8 at ISO 1600. Chroma noise levels are much lower from the Fuji yet it does much better with our difficult red-leaf fabric, however luminance noise is higher than the GX8 in the shadows.

Panasonic GX8 vs Olympus E-M5 II at ISO 1600

Panasonic GX8 at ISO 1600
Olympus E-M5 II at ISO 1600

This comparison is a tougher call, because the GX8's image looks more natural and less processed in most areas, but doesn't have the vibrancy, crispness and more pleasing colors of the E-M5 II's image. Noise levels from the E-M5 II are lower, but there are more obvious noise reduction artifacts while the GX8's noise is more grainy and film-like, but contains artifacts from area-specific noise reduction at boundaries where detail changes.

Panasonic GX8 vs Samsung NX1 at ISO 1600

Panasonic GX8 at ISO 1600
Samsung NX1 at ISO 1600

The Samsung NX1 continues to resolve more detail and produce a crisper image than the GX8 at ISO 1600, but this time noise levels are higher from the NX1, and there are more obvious noise reduction artifacts from the Samsung as well.

Panasonic GX8 vs Sony A6000 at ISO 1600

Panasonic GX8 at ISO 1600
Sony A6000 at ISO 1600

The A6000 also continues to produce a crisper, more vibrant image at ISO 1600, but the noise in flatter areas looks a little artificial compared to the more film-like "grain" from the GX8. The Sony appears to produce more detail in the red-leaf swatch, but some of it is false and distorted, though it does do better than the GX8 in the pink fabric.

Panasonic GX8 vs Panasonic GX7 at ISO 3200

Panasonic GX8 at ISO 3200
Panasonic GX7 at ISO 3200

At ISO 3200, the GX8 manages to resolve a bit more detail in the mosaic crop while producing noise levels that are lower or comparable to its predecessor, but the GX7 does just a bit better with fine detail in our tricky red-leaf swatch.

Panasonic GX8 vs Fujifilm X-T1 at ISO 3200

Panasonic GX8 at ISO 3200
Fujifilm X-T1 at ISO 3200

The Fuji X-T1 continues to impress with its high-ISO performance at ISO 3200, producing a more refined, brighter image that has better detail in most areas, and is almost devoid of chroma noise. The GX8 does better in some high-contrast areas, but the Fuji does better overall, and especially in our red-leaf fabric where the GX8 has blurred away almost all fine detail.

Panasonic GX8 vs Olympus E-M5 II at ISO 3200

Panasonic GX8 at ISO 3200
Olympus E-M5 II at ISO 3200

Once again the Olympus produces a crisper, brighter image with better color, though strong noise reduction and more aggressive sharpening leads to more artifacts and a more processed look than the GX8 produces, however the Panasonic's area-specific noise reduction makes some subject boundaries look noisier and rougher.

Panasonic GX8 vs Samsung NX1 at ISO 3200

Panasonic GX8 at ISO 3200
Samsung NX1 at ISO 3200

The Samsung NX1 still manages to produce better detail and contrast at ISO 3200, but noise levels are noticeably higher, particularly in the shadows.

Panasonic GX8 vs Sony A6000 at ISO 3200

Panasonic GX8 at ISO 3200
Sony A6000 at ISO 3200

At ISO 3200, the Sony produces a cleaner, brighter image overall, but you can tell it's working hard to reduce noise. The GX8's image arguably looks a little more natural, but overall, the Sony produces the more pleasant image even if it does look a little over-processed. Again, much of the apparent detail in the red-leaf swatch from the Sony is highly distorted and false.

Panasonic GX8 vs. Panasonic GX7, Fujifilm X-T1, Olympus E-M5 II, Samsung NX1, Sony A6000

Panasonic
GX8
ISO 200
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Panasonic
GX7
ISO 200
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Fujifilm
X-T1
ISO 200
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Olympus
E-M5 II
ISO 200
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Samsung
NX1
ISO 100
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Sony
A6000
ISO 100
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Detail comparison. High-contrast detail is also important, pushing the camera in different ways, so we like to look at it, too. The Panasonic GX8, GX7 and the Fuji X-T1 lag behind the Olympus E-M5 II, Samsung NX1 and Sony A6000 when in comes to clarity and contrast here. Fine detail reproduction from the GX8 is however better than its predecessor, the X-T1 and the E-M5 II, however contrast is among the lowest in this group, especially as ISO climbs.

 

Panasonic GX8 Print Quality Analysis

Very good 30 x 40 inch prints at ISO 100/200; a nice 16 x 20 at ISO 1600; a good 4 x 6 at ISO 12,800.

ISO 100 and 200 prints are very good at 30 x 40 inches, with rich colors and nice detail. The 20-megapixel sensor allows for one larger print size here at extended low and base ISO than the GX7 and other Micro Four Thirds cameras with 16-megapixel sensors.

ISO 400 yields a nice 24 x 36 inch print, and an excellent 20 x 30. While the 24 x 36 inch print does pass our official "good" rating and delivers a nice print at that size, for most critical applications the 20 x 30" is superb here.

ISO 800 delivers a very solid 16 x 20 inch print, with good detail for this sensitivity and very low noise. 20 x 30's can definitely be used for all but the most critical applications.

ISO 1600 also yields a quality 16 x 20 inch print (!) which is quite good for this sensor size at this sensitivity. There is the typical mild softening of detail in our target red-leaf swatch, and a negligible amount of noise present in a few flatter areas of our target, but still a very respectable print with otherwise good color and detail throughout.

ISO 3200 produces a good 11 x 14 inch print. All contrast detail is now lost in our tricky red-leaf fabric swatch, but good detail and color reproduction is evident throughout the rest of the print.

ISO 6400 shows a dramatic decrease in print quality, which is common for this sensor size and indeed all but the best digital cameras at this ISO sensitivity. 8 x 10's here can be used in a pinch for less critical applications, but we'll pin our "good" seal of approval on 5 x 7 inch prints here.

ISO 12,800 delivers a good 4 x 6 inch print, which is not bad for such a high ISO at this sensor size.

ISO 25,600 images are a bit too muted and "burned" looking to call good printed at our smallest size, and we recommend avoiding this setting for most applications other than very low-resolution web usage.

The Panasonic GX8 with its new 20-megapixel sensor delivers a solid performance in the print quality department. For starters, the increased resolution over its predecessor (and all other Micro Four Thirds models as of this writing) allows for a larger print size of 30 x 40 inches at base and extended low ISOs. Furthermore, the Venus Engine processor ups the IQ game and delivers larger available print sizes at ISOs 400, 1600 and 3200. Therefore, users can expect high quality prints from the Panasonic GX8, and if they remain at ISO 3200 and below they will not be disappointed.

 



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