Are you ready for Windows 8? Panasonic helps you find out


posted Wednesday, October 31, 2012 at 12:38 PM EDT

Late last week, Microsoft's released the latest version of its Windows operating system to the public. Windows 8 brings many changes to the user interface and the underlying architecture, many of them aimed at promoting use on mobile devices such as tablets.

As is often the case with major OS updates, Windows 8's new features are accompanied by the breaking of support for many older products, though. That means that if you're planning on becoming an early adopter, you'll want to invest some time in making sure your favorite software and hardware will play nicely with the new OS.

The new Start screen in Microsoft's Windows 8.

To help out, Panasonic has issued a support document detailing the state of play for its digital imaging products. The document is a work in progress, with many of the company's camcorder products listed as still being evaluated, but it does provide a clear answer for Panasonic digital camera owners. According to the company, all of its digital camera models with the exception of the long-discontinued Lumix DMC-F7 and DMC-LC5 will work with Windows 8. Those two cameras, both launched more than a decade ago, will apparently not be able to connect via USB to a Windows 8 machine.

Panasonic's LUMIX RAW Codec utility will mostly continue to work with Windows 8, but doesn't support 64-bit operation, and the rotation function isn't usable. The PHOTOfunSTUDIO app long bundled with Panasonic's cameras will also work with Windows 8, for versions from 2.1 onwards. Anybody still using version 4.0 HD or earlier will need to download an updated installer, however. Versions of PHOTOfunSTUDIO from 5.0 to 8.4 SE will show a message claiming that "This OS is not supported," but this can apparently be safely ignored. (As can a warning in version 8.2 AE that ngen.exe was unable to start correctly.)

Long-ago discontinued, the DMC-LC5 is one of only two still cameras Panasonic lists as incompatible with Windows 8.

The Panasonic Map Tool and GPS Assist Tool apps will also warn that the OS isn't supported, but are said to work correctly. Also compatible is the Lumix Uploader app, from versions 1.0 to 2.3.

For more details on the compatibility of these applications with Windows 8, as well as updated installers for PHOTOfunSTUDIO, and info on applications bundled with Panasonic camcorders, visit the Panasonic support website.