Panasonic Lumix DC-GX800 Review
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If you’re looking for something to act as a step up from your mobile phone camera, something like the Panasonic Lumix DC-GX800 would make an excellent choice. It’s nicely small so you won’t feel like you’re having to lug around a huge camera with you all the time, but the improvement to your images will still be very noticeable - even if you just stick with the kit lens at first.
The GX800 is very user friendly, with just the right mix of dials and buttons so as to be easy to operate without overwhelming those new to the system. Being able to use the screen to set the AF point, flick through images and make changes to settings also makes the transition from a mobile phone to a “proper” camera all the easier.
Panasonic has said that the GF and GM lines will no longer continue in a bid to simplify the line-up and make it easier for consumers to understand. That makes a lot of sense, and you can now join the GX range, picking one from the three currently available (GX800, GX80 and GX8) to suit your needs and preference.
On the other hand, if you were a fan of the tiny GM series, which still managed to fit in a small viewfinder, you may lament the lack of one for the GX800 - as well as the lack of option to add one externally. That said, if you are moving up from a mobile phone, or possibly compact camera, the likelihood is that you won’t particularly miss this way of composing. And if you do, take a look at the excellent GX80 - Panasonic’s idea to provide different cameras at different levels is exactly for reasons such as this.
The GX800 is also currently the cheapest of the three GX line models available. While that makes it the cheapest of Panasonic’s “current” compact system cameras, it’s still a reasonably hefty investment, especially for a first-time option. It’s likely that pricing will drop over the next few weeks though. If you’re on a stricter budget, you are likely to still be able to pick up some of Panasonic’s older cameras, especially in the GF line - which are still worth a look - at a lower price.
Image quality is great in a variety of different situations - just stay away from the very top end of the ISO settings if you can help it. The kit lens is a good lens to get you started, but the flexibility to buy others if you want to is something you don’t get with premium compact cameras, and is appealing for those who think they might get a bit more serious down the line. The rating for image quality is based on using the Panasonic GX800 with the kit lens - you can get even more from the camera’s excellent sensor if you invest in additional, higher quality optics.
Overall, the GX800 is a great little offering from Panasonic. It comes at the same time as the full specifications for the GH5 have been announced - completely at the other end of the scale in terms of intended consumers, so it’s pleasing to see the company giving attention to a wide spectrum of intended users.
|Ratings (out of 5)|
|Value for money||4|