Lumix Luminary Summit Glancing Back Looking Forward with Lumix GX8

Posted Jul. 31st, 2015 by Daniel J. Cox

Lumix Luminary Summit Glancing Back Looking Forward with Lumix GX8

June 28, 2015

How does one truly appreciate what you are given? I’m certain most of us have all been there. Going about your everyday life when a vision from the past stops you cold. For me, this early morning on a flight to Florida, literally staring out into space, cobalt blue above and white puffy clouds below, 35,000 feet above it all, and my brain snaps into appreciation mode.

Somewhere over the midwest, 35,000 feet in the air. Lumix LX100

Somewhere over the midwest, 35,000 feet in the air. Lumix LX100

I’ve been doing what I absolutely love for nearly 40 years and though it’s not been easy, I can’t imagine any other life. That I am so completely thankful for and I’m utterly aware that nothing in life is ever accomplished on your own. With any success there are always others who are important elements of the journey.

I’m headed south to meet with friends from Panasonic. There are 15 of us all together, so called Lumix Luminaries, photographers, and filmmakers that have been recruited by one of the industry’s true leaders, Mr. Tom Curley. Tom has been around the photo industry for many years and his vision and expertise in finding just the right people is a talent few others possess. For the next two days Tom will be leading our group of photographic underdogs through educational materials, workshops, and team bonding for our goal of helping document the world with the newest inventions to tell great stories. Stories for me, I hope make a difference.

I’ll be sharing with you much of what we’ll be discussing and showing any new tools we may see for creating our future narratives. Stories from shooters that specialize in fiction, journalism, life moments, and commercial creativity. For me, my work with Panasonic is truly a dream come true. The cameras and lenses they’re bringing to our industry are world-class. Equally important is their interest and desire to do things right. Panasonic’s Sustainability Initiatives and leadership are an important attraction for me as a conservationist and staunch believer in taking care of our wonderful planet.

Many of you know I was a died-in-the-wool Nikon guy from as early as my days as a high school photographer in 1976. Moving forward to work with Panasonic was not an easy decision. But the technology is moving at breakneck speed as are my life and the changes taking place on mother Earth. Time is of the essence for all of us wanting to be a part of the solution rather than just adding to the problems. I’m confident with my ongoing relationship with Panasonic I will have the tools and the backing of a great organization that also wants to make a difference. For that I’m eternally grateful.

So that’s the glancing back part.  Looking forward I will share with you what I can from this inspirational and educational meeting. I’m hopeful it will be as interesting for all of you as it was for me and it begins with Tanya and me arriving in the late afternoon on July 28th.

That evening was our first gathering with all of us meeting in the hotel lobby. As Tanya and I lounged the Luminaries began to appear. Faces I had seen on the Luminary website as well as promotional materials for Lumix. The Luminaries are a unique and eclectic collection of still-shooters and cinematographers from all over the country. One by one I began shaking hands, a short how do you do and some small talk. Rick Gerrity, a down-to-earth chap who specializes in commercial work and documentary photography stands among the circle. I make my way around the group introducing myself to the seven or so folks convened. I get to Rick and announce, “Hi, I’m Daniel Cox,” to which he responds, “So what?” “So what?” I retort. “What kind of parents would give you a name like that?” Ok, I’ve got this guy’s number, he’s a funny man, I think to myself. Fortunately I was right. The next day during our first meeting Rick pulled up a chair next to mine in the conference room and we shared a few laughs throughout the next two days.

As we waited for others to arrive, Tanya, myself, and my good friend Kevin Gilbert sit down to have a beer and a glass of wine. The parade of 15 luminaries starts gaining steam.

The merry band of underdogs. All of these guys and gals are looking towards the future, betting on the Lumix technology to do a much better job overall than the other two brands we all used in the past.

The merry band of underdogs. All of these guys and gals are looking towards the future, betting on the Lumix technology to do a much better job overall than the other two brands we all used in the past.

Kristen Jensen walks through the door. Now this lady you cannot miss. She’s just short of six feet tall and is striking to say the least. Kristen’s first career was in front of the camera, working for the Ford Modeling Agency in New York. She’s a lifestyle, portrait, and wedding shooter now. William Innes is in the crowd, a wedding and travel photographer from Los Angeles. Two likable young guys, Ben Grunow and Rob Knight, make their entrance. Rob specializes in travel and nature. Ben, he’s an action and sports guy who also shoots landscapes. Next we see Charles and Jennifer Maring, storytellers and content creators, along with Dave Stock who’s worked for Sports Illustrated and is an expert in shooting the games we all love to watch. Others in the group include Giulio Sciorio and Joseph Linaschke, Bob Coates, Dave Surber, Jon Yoshinaga, and finally Mr. Hollywood Michael Grecco, director and photographer to the celebrity crowd in LA. Quite a group to say the least.

A brown pelican sits atop a piling seemingly enjoying the beautiful sunset as much as we were at the Old Salty Dog restaurant in Sarasota, Florida. Lumix LX100 1600 ISO

A brown pelican sits atop a piling, seemingly enjoying the beautiful sunset as much as we were at the Old Salty Dog restaurant in Sarasota, Florida. Lumix LX100 ISO 1600

Finally, last but not least, is my good friend and newest member of the Lumix Luminary team, Kevin Gilbert. Kevin’s career includes photojournalism and a stint as president of the White House News Photographers Association where he photographed the Clintons, Ronald Reagan, and other worldly dignitaries. Everybody’s here, so off to the Old Salty Dog for our first evening to get to know each other.

Lesson to Learn: Fill Flash

Two near identical images. The top one I used fill flash and the bottom I did not. The camera handled the entire settings for this shot which I wanted it to do by using iA or what is called Intelligent Auto. The camera was the Lumix LX100 and as you can see the iA settings which is full auto balanced the ambient light and the flash beautifully on the lower image. Two thing to remember. Don't worry about using an Auto setting and Do pop your flash up in outdoor settings. Lumix LX100

Two near identical images. The top one I used fill flash and the bottom I did not. The camera handled the entire settings for this shot which I requested by setting it to iA or what Lumix calls Intelligent Auto. The camera was the Lumix LX100 and as you can see the iA setting, which is full auto, balanced the ambient light and the flash beautifully on the upper image filling faces in a very pleasing way. Two things to remember. Don’t worry about using an Auto setting and Do pop your flash up in outdoor settings. Lumix LX100

June 29, 2015

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Our fearless leader Mr. Tom Curley

This morning starts at 7:30am for breakfast; 8:30 is the time we all get started. It begins with our fearless leader Mr. Tom Curley taking charge and announcing the agenda for the next 36 hours. We don’t have long but it’s longer than last year where the entire event was only one day.

The meeting begins with Tom announcing the start of our show and each of us were encouraged to give a five minute presentation on anything involving our photography or video. It was a great way to see what others were up to.

Joseph Linaschke presented his current book project about breast cancer survivors. It was an amazing collection of images.

David Stock shows us how he’s turned his sports photography in the big leagues into a lucrative business doing massive numbers of kids playing soccer, baseball, and other sports. It’s a market that is thriving and he’s implemented a fabulous system for cranking out sports portraits using the Lumix FZ1000.

Passion's Matt Frazier shows Lumix Luminary Joseph Linaschke how to use the new Atamos LCD

Panasonic’s Matt Frazer shows Lumix Luminary Joseph Linaschke how to use the new Atomos Shogun field recorder. Lumix G7 with 12-23mm F/2.8

David Stock shares some of his work he's done with Nike and Sports Illustrated. Lumix G7 ISO 1600

David Stock shares some of his work he’s done with Nike and Sports Illustrated. Lumix G7 ISO 1600

Charles and Jennifer Maring showcase their work producing a reality like YouTube show highlighting what it’s like creating stills and video memories for their clients. These two are savvy about the use of multimedia like few I’ve ever met. They do a fabulous job.

Bob Coates shares an old western-like video he produced for his workshops in Sedona, Arizona. Another great presentation highlighting multimedia skills.

After the morning of show-and-tell Tom explains the concept of the one-and-a-half day workshop. The goal of our time together is to encourage creativity using numerous cameras, lenses, video sliders, an underwater housing, tripods, and even a drone.

Luminary Dave Surber tempts Tanya with the CM1 camera that runs on the Android platform and doubles as a phone. The camera has a 1 inch chip which is huge for phones. Lumix LX100

Luminary Dave Surber tempts Tanya with the CM1 camera that runs on the Android platform and doubles as a phone. The camera has a 1-inch chip which is huge for phones. Lumix LX100

We break up into three different teams and each group can do any multimedia project they want with the only requirement being it had to be creative and make good use of the Panasonic Lumix gear and other tools we had on hand.

Not only would this allow each of us to use equipment we may have never used before but it also encouraged the idea of working together as a team.  After we get the assignment we have lunch and then spend the rest of the afternoon creating content.

July 30th.

Our final day begins as it did the first. Breakfast as a group and and while everybody took nourishment Joseph Linaschke, Michael Grecco and Jennifer Maring setup a small studio for a session of head shots of each Luminary team member.

William Innes is a little suspicious of my directing abilities as I call out to Joseph and Michael to turn the chair around and have him sit backwards.

William Innes is a little suspicious of my directing abilities as I call out to Joseph and Michael to turn the chair around and have him sit backwards. Just a joke you crazy Canuck:)

I’ve never been powdered before and Jennifer mentioned I needed more than most, or was that Kevin that she told that to?

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Yep, that’s Kevin, and Jennifer is doing her absolute best. Lumix GH4 with12-35mm F/2.8 ISO 800

I think she got me confused with Kevin. Either way they all did a great job with guys who are typically on the other side of the camera. Talk about the photography and prep teams having their work cut out for them.

One of the most important questions I hoped to have answered by attending the summit was whether the new GX8’s in-camera 4 Axis image stabilization would work with lenses other than Panasonic’s Lumix line. For those who haven’t heard, Panasonic has one-upped the Olympus 5 Axis, in-body, image stabilization with the GX8’s 6 Axis image stabilization.

How do you get 6 Axis image stabilization you ask? By taking the IS in the lens that performs 2 Axis IS and combine that with the GX8’s 4 Axis IS and you get image stabilization that is hard to believe.

Panasonic's newly announced Lumix GX8 with my Olympus 40-1500mm F/2.8 and 1.4X teleconverter attached. I now have excellent IS with this Olympus lens. This will hold me until I can finally replace it all with the under development 100-400mm Leica/Lumix recently announced.

Panasonic’s newly announced Lumix GX8 with my Olympus 40-1500mm F/2.8 and 1.4X teleconverter attached. I now have excellent IS with this Olympus lens. This will hold me until I can finally replace it all with the under development 100-400mm Leica/Lumix recently announced.

When I heard about the new 4 Axis in body IS my first reponce was, “Oh my goodness, is this going to work with other lenses?” I’m happy to report, it ABSOLUTELY does! And it works incredibly well. In other words, my Olympus 40-150mm F/2.8 with the 1.4X teleconverter, which is 420mm all together, now has 4 Axis image stabilization when attached to a GX8. Absolutely incredible.

Thankfully Tom brought two GX8’s for us to try and I did a test inside our conference room where I shot a very boring sign on the wall to see how well the IS would work. Below is a sample with details of how it was shot in the caption.

This is a 100% crop from the enlarged frame out of Lightroom. The shutter speed was !/50th of a second at F/4. The details regarding lens length in the upper left corner you need to multiply X2 since the camera doesn't recognize the MFT crop factor.

This is a 100% crop from the enlarged frame out of Lightroom. The shutter speed was 1/50th of a second at F/4. The details regarding lens length in the upper left corner you need to multiply by two since the camera doesn’t recognize the MFT crop factor. In other words this was shot handheld at 420mm equivalent focal length when compared to a traditional full frame DSLR. Lumix GX8 with Olympus 40-150mm F/2.8 with 1.4X teleconverter. ISO 800

Neither of the images were sharpened or worked on in any way other than a direct export out of Lightroom. As good as this is it may even get better since the camera we were testing was not a finalized version. They’re still tweaking it.

This is a 100% crop from the enlarged frame out of Lightroom. The shutter speed was 1/50th of a second at F/4. The details regarding lens length in the upper left corner you need to multiply X2 since the camera doesn't recognize the MFT crop factor. In other words this was shot hand held at 420mm equivalent focal length when compared to a traditional full frame DSLR

This is a 100% crop from the enlarged frame out of Lightroom. The shutter speed was 1/160th of a second at F/4. The details regarding lens length in the upper left corner you need to multiply by two since the camera doesn’t recognize the MFT crop factor. In other words this was shot handheld at 420mm equivalent focal length when compared to a traditional full frame DSLR. This image is a tad sharper than the one above. Lumix GX8 with Olympus 40-150mm F/2.8 with 1.4X teleconverter.

Below is another shot I took of a computer screen in the room that was also shot at 1/50th of a second. Really, really impressive to say the least.

Another sample image taken of  Dave Suber's laptop with one of his photos showing. Like the other shots above I was hand holding the lens with a shutter speed of 1/50th of a second with the lens at 210mm X2=420mm. Hand held! Simply amazing.

Another sample image taken of Dave Suber’s laptop with one of his photos showing. Once again image is at 100% as shown in Lightroom.  Like the other sample shots above I was handholding the lens with a shutter speed of 1/50th of a second with the lens at 210mm X2=420mm. Handheld! Simply amazing. Lumix GX8 with Olympus 40-150mm F/2.8 and 1.4X teleconverter. ISO 640

Can you imagine how using two systems together might work? This could be a game changer for image stabilization. Nice job Panasonic. Your engineers are really pushing the envelope and this is going to make others scramble. Keep in mind the GX8 may eventually be even better in all ways since I was shooting a sample that did not have the final firmware in it.

Finally, to end this with a belly roll laugh I want to share with you a great video that was created by one of our Lumix Luminary teams from our time at the summit. These guys really did a bang-up job. Here’s their video shot with GH4’s and many other Lumix and related lenses and product.

Add Your Voice!
There are 21 comments on this post…
  1. AbrahamOn Oct. 29th, 2015

    Daniel J. Cox
    Hola Daniel.
    Gracias de antemano por tu respuesta.
    1- Me gusta la filmación, por cuestión económica, voy a hacerlo con la GX8, ¿será suficiente?
    2- Se puede a la GX8 ponerle un monitor externo de video, para controlar la filmación.
    3- Qué otro tipo de lentes de otras marcas se puede insertar a la GX8

    Gracias Daniel J. Cox

  2. Portrait of Christine Crosby

    Christine CrosbyOn Aug. 5th, 2015

    thanks Dan! Love all the info on Panasonic as I know I need to move to lighter gear and am excited about the possibilities Panasonic is offering those of us whose passion is wildlife (therefore needing/wanting more reach/longer lenses). My next question for you is whether I should go ahead with the Gx8 for use with my Olympus 40-150mm. Obviously I’m waiting with baited breath for the Panasonic 100-400 and the GH5 but until then I’m headed to Alaska and South Africa (and possibly Kenya too before those are released.) I have the GH4 and GX7 but like the idea of IS in the GX8. Would love your thoughts for me. Thanks!

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Aug. 5th, 2015

      Christine, not sure what to tell you. The GX8 is not super cheap but when you compare it to what we’ve always paid for our Nikons it actually is about half the price of what we would typically spend. That being the case, you could definitely benefit from having this body for the three trips you plan to take with us. I’m hoping to have one for South Africa for sure. Not sure if you can get one before Alaska. As much as I like the GX8 I must say I prefer the form factor of the GH4 so when this IS technology gets in to the GH5 I have my doubts I’ll be carrying a GX8. But the GH5 is most likely a ways off so I’m planning to bite the bullet and order a GX8. Did that help? Maybe just made you more confused. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  3. Charles MaringOn Aug. 2nd, 2015

    Thanks for this fantastic post Dan, and for sharing it. So great to meet you, along with all of the other talented Lumix Luminaries. Look forward to connecting again in the near future. If you are ever planning to be in Connecticut, or NYC connect with us.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Aug. 2nd, 2015

      It’s my pleasure Charles. I love what you and Jennifer do. First class. top notch multimedia. Very inspirational.

  4. Bob CoatesOn Aug. 2nd, 2015

    HI Dan,

    It was indeed a pleasure mixing with you and the Luminary team in Sarasota. This is quite a group with some incredible tools to work/play with as things change in the photo industry. I learned a number of cool things with the new cameras coming out. Can’t wait to push the limits of panos with the new G7. (Cue the song… Give a pic mister pano man give us a pic tonight…) Cheers, Bob

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Aug. 2nd, 2015

      Here’s one of the G7 panos to wet your whistle so to speak Bob. The G7’s pano mode is a huge step forward for Lumix cameras. Not a single stitch mark and it did perfect on the water as well. A panoramic shot with the G7 in panoramic mode. This is a huge step forward for Lumix panos

  5. Dave StockOn Aug. 1st, 2015

    You did a great job of capturing this event, both with your words and with your cameras! I too can’t wait for the new 100-400mm Leica LUMIX lens. I’ve been carrying around huge, heavy lenses like the Nikon 300mm f2.0 and the Canon 400 f2.8 and 600 f4 for decades, never dreaming that we would some day have better lenses weighing less than two pounds that fit in the same bag with our cameras. I watched the demos of the stabilization system, shocked at the effectiveness of the new system coordinating body and lens IS, making it possible to hand-hold an 800mm lens (DSLR equivalent focal length) and get incredibly sharp images. Thanks for working with the Panasonic lens design team to produce this incredible optic, we all owe you big time for your role in getting this to market.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Aug. 2nd, 2015

      Thanks for the nice comments Dave regarding my involvement with helping to bring this lens to reality. Although the engineers from Japan did visit me in Montana to discuss this lens it was actually my continual poking via my Blog and other forums that I feel really convinced them. Either way I think they are going to sell more of these lenses than they ever imagined. I hope I’m right. Lets get the word out.

  6. Suzette AllenOn Aug. 1st, 2015

    Thanks for this great post, Dan! I was so disappointed to miss the summit but as I’m sure you heard, I was at the Adobe Educators Summit in Denver. It was great to hear about the meeting from your perspective… Sounds like it was fun– as always! Such a unique and varied group of photographers & personalities– I agree! Tom has done a remarkable job and we are thankful too, to be a part of the “merry band of underdogs”! 😀

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Aug. 1st, 2015

      I did hear about your honor of presenting at the Adobe Educators Summit. Congratulations. It’s well deserved. Hope to see you at the next summit, in the field or maybe a trade show.

  7. RobertOn Aug. 1st, 2015

    ….’ my Olympus 40-1500mm F/2.8 and 1.4X teleconverter attached. I now have excellent IS with this Olympus lens.’
    That is huge news! And I’ve been lurking waiting for your report on this. Like you I salivate on the possibility of the Leica 100-400 G but even if it were in hand there will still be plenty of times (F2.8) where I’d grab the 40-150 pro. Lot’s of us using the 40-150 with either a GX7 or GH4 (maybe you as well) have been relying on shutter speed for ‘stability’ and I don’t think that will change esp. with the 100-400 G, what will change are our low light handheld opportunities.
    Regardless it is awesome news and thanks for sharing.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Aug. 1st, 2015

      I agree it will still be very nice to have something in the 2.8 range which so I will most likely be keeping mine as well. Thanks for stopping by. We love lurkers:)

    • RobertOn Aug. 1st, 2015

      One more insight from you please as I hover over the order link on the GX8. One thing I really appreciate about mFT bodies, either Pana or Oly, is there weather sealing. I believe it is real and I trust it-over my Canon and Sony bodies.
      Your opinion of the cojoined sealing when the GX8 and Oly 40-140 Pro are used together would be of great benefit.
      I’ll go back to lurking now 🙂

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Aug. 1st, 2015

      Good question Robert. I’m not sure of how weather sealing on the LUMIX is compared to Olympus. It will take some mishap in the field I’m guessing for me to find out. Will try to find out more and post when and if I do.

  8. Portrait of Fred Kurtz

    Fred KurtzOn Aug. 1st, 2015

    Very nice blog post Dan. Exciting times for sure. Now they need to put this IS in the GH5 and I will buy two! Should I order a GX8 for South Africa for my Olympus?

    John Doyle I am on the first trip.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Aug. 1st, 2015

      Freddy, I’m hoping to have one for SA and I think it will be helpful. John Doyle has already ordered one as well. It won’t be a determent for sure.

  9. Portrait of Christine Crosby

    Christine CrosbyOn Aug. 1st, 2015

    hi Dan, love the report and glad it sounds like a fun as well as educational experience! Any idea when the 100-400mm is expected to debut? Thanks!

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Aug. 1st, 2015

      Hi Christine, unfortunately there is no official release date yet. I do know they are anxious to get this out there so you can be assured they are working hard to get it ready togo but we’ll have to be patient for now. Put it this way, I’m getting the feeling early next year will be big for new Lumix gear.

  10. John DoyleOn Jul. 31st, 2015

    Hi Dan
    A very nice article. Appears a good time was had by all. I appreciate the detail regarding the GX8 IS capabilities.
    I ordered my GX8 at B&H. They expect to start delivering about August 16th. I should have it in plenty of time for the South Africa
    trip at the end of October. I will be interested in how it works with my Olympus 12-40 2.8 lens as well as the 40-150.
    Thanks again for the timely article.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jul. 31st, 2015

      John, all your Lumix lenses will need a firmware upgrade which is easy to do. There will be three lenses that won’t be supported for the Dual IS upgrade and they are the old version 14-140mm, the 45-200mm and the 100-300mm. Not sure why but those lenses won’t be able to be upgraded.

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