GX8 Firmware Update and Jag Caimans Zapa Question

Posted Dec. 9th, 2015 by Daniel J. Cox

GX8 Firmware Update and Jag Caimans Zapa Question

Dan, first of all, what an AMAZING site you have! I’m reading it for hours! I’m a naturalist guide from Brazil (do a lot of trips in the Pantanal and probably we had crossed boats there). I use canon cameras and lenses, but the weight of it is already too much for me. As a guide i need to carry first aid kit, sattelite phone, scope, binoculars plus the camera and lenses…I’m reading about MFT for a long time and I think that’s the time to start the change. I currently have Canon 6D and several lenses for landscapes, macro etc and a 7D mkII with a 100-400mm mkII for wildlife. Well, I’m in Patagonia right now and i’m going to start leading a 15 days photo trip tomorrow. One of the guests did a trip with me 5 years ago and he is bringing me my first MFT camera: a GX8 with a 12-35mm 2.8 that i’m gonna use instead of the 6D. First i’m gonna use for a while to see how it goes, but my real intention is to sell ALL my Canon gear and in the future get the new leica 100-400mm and maybe the GH5. So I have two questions:
First: Do you think It would be hard for me to change from the lightning fast focus of my 7D mkII + 100-400mm mkII ? (don’t want to miss those Jaguars when they decide to get a Caiman). HOw is the focus speed on the GX8 in you opinion.
Second: How do I update the firmware of the 12-35mm lens to get the Dual IS to work with the GX8?
Thank you very much for taking you time to make such a helpful website. Cheers.

Zapa

Zapa,

Thank you so much for the kind words. I’m grateful you enjoy the Blog and our website. It’s great to hear you’re giving the smaller format cameras a try. I’ve been very happy with them and I can tell you from first hand experience that the GX8 will have no problem keeping up with your jaguar encounters even when a caiman is pursued. I’ve included photos as proof.

Jaguar at the start of an attack on a Caiman. Pantanal, Brazil.

Jaguar at the start of an attack on a caiman, Pantanal, Brazil. Lumix GX8 with Olympus 40-150mm F/2.8 and 1.4X teleconverter

The autofocus on the GX8 is rocket fast, and though I’ve never shot the 7D Mark ll, the GX8 does come close to matching my fastest professional Nikon D4 in AF. One key to speedy AF is the right lens and currently I am waiting for the recently announced 100-400mm Leica zoom.

This massive cat grabs its prey and begins to haul it out of the river. Lumix GX8 with Olympus 40-150mm F/2.8 and 1.4X teleconverter.

This massive cat grabs its prey and begins to haul it out of the river. Lumix GX8 with Olympus 40-150mm F/2.8 and 1.4X teleconverter

I’m also currently using the Olympus 40-150mm F2.8 and the 1.4 teleconverter. The Olympus and 1.4X teleconverter is a very fast lens combination and the images I’ve incudled in this post were all shot with the GX8 and the Olympus 40-150mm with the teleconverter attached.

Unfortunately for the caiman it's his last day on the banks of the river. Pantanal, Brazil. Lumix GX8 with Olympus 40-150mm F/2.8 and 1.4X teleconverter.

Unfortunately for the caiman it’s his last day on the banks of the river, Pantanal, Brazil. Lumix GX8 with Olympus 40-150mm F/2.8 and 1.4X teleconverter

The firmware for Dual IS is fairly simple if you just make sure you read the Panasonic instructions very carefully and follow them exactly. There are two pages. The first page explains the process and you have to select the AGREE button at the bottom of that page. Once you AGREE you are taken to the second page that lists the specific camera body and lens downloads. First, you must make certain your GX8 has the most current firmware version which is Version 2.0. These pages give you details on how to check your camera firmware version. Screen shot below of steps to check firmware versions of camera and lens.

This screen shots shows the details for checking your firmware versions of camera and lens. Click on this image to be take to this specific page.

This screen shots shows the details for checking your firmware versions of camera and lens. Click on this image to be take to this specific page.

The second page lists all the different lenses and cameras and to the very right is a blue text link that when you click on it, the file begins downloading to your computer. You will have to know what computer system you are using to understand where it is putting that downloaded file. On my Mac it comes into my browser’s (Safari) download folder.

When it comes through it’s in a zipped format; just double click on that zipped file and it will open. When it opens you select the BIN file which you then drag to your SD card. You must have your SD card, the one you use in your camera, formatted for your camera. Once the file is copied to the SD card you can now remove the SD card from your computer and insert it in your GX8. Next you press the PLAY button as if you wanted to review a photo. With the BIN file on the card, pressing the PLAY button starts the process of updating your firmware. DO NOT press any other buttons while this process, a bright RED line is in progress. Let this finish, and by the way, you need a fully charged battery or the camera will not begin the process. This procedure is necessary for every camera and every lens you want to update. Click on this link to download the 12-35mm F/2.8 lens that you want to update.

What makes all of this a bit confusing is that Panasonic has a rather cryptic way of labeling their lenses. For instance, the 12-35mm F/2.8 is labeled H-HS12035. The key here is the HS12035. 12 separated by a 0 followed by the other end of the lens which is 35. If you understand how they label their lenses the others begin to make sense. Like the H-HS35100 (35-100mm F/2.8) or the H-PS14042 (14-42mm). Hopefully you get the drift?

Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any further questions by adding your comments here on this blog post. Good luck with your new camera. I think you will find it a great new photographic tool.

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There are 5 comments on this post…
  1. Zachary LiangOn Jan. 9th, 2017

    Hi Daniel :

    I just got my Lumix GX80, and I wanted to get my pancake 14-42 lens (H-PS14042) updated to the latest firmware which can utilize the Dual Image Stabilization afforded by the GX80. The latest I could find is version 1.3, but upon reading the notes, I could not see anything that will achieve my objective. Would greatly appreciate if you could let me know if there is a later version that does the Dual Stabilization compatibility. Thank you.

    Zachary Liang

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jan. 19th, 2017

      Zachary, not sure but will check with my contacts at Panasonic. Will get back to you.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jan. 19th, 2017

      Zachary, Here is what I got from my Panasonic contacts.

      “The latest version is v1.2 which is from 2013.
      It will probably be updated some time in 2017, but no date available.
      I think the confusion comes from the mentions that there “would be “ an update – but not yet.”

  2. ZapaOn Dec. 22nd, 2015

    Dan, just got back from Patagonia. Thank you very much for taking your time to help me with the firmware updates. It worked very well. For some reason I couldn’t update the firmware using my Panasonic SD U3 card formated in-camera. The camera would not start the firmware update and would give me the message like “no valid picture” or something like that. I had to use another SD card that I had as a back-up. Just erased the content of the card in the computer upload the firmware to it and then it worked great, just like you discribed. I had a lot of fun shooting with the GX8, still don’t know If can replace my Canon DSLR and 400 lens for wildlife for this little cameras, but can’t wait for the new Olympus 300mm and Leica 100-400mm to come out to read the reviews. One think is for sure: having the light GX8 as my main all purpose camera instead of my heavy 6D + 24-105mm was just great. Well, thank you again and enjoy your holidays! Cheers.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Dec. 22nd, 2015

      Zappa, great to hear you got your firmware updated. Disappointing to hear your issue with the Panasonic card. I have also had a few issues with my Panasonic cards and I’ve recently moved back over to Lexar. I’m not sure I would have thought about trying a different card with the firmware issue update you were having.. Thanks for sharing that info.

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