Grey Ratsnake climbing an aged Swamp Cypress at the wonderful Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge, near Delhi, Louisiana. These constrictors are famed for their climbing ability in pursuit of  arboreal prey, such as birds and squirrels. Panasonic Lumix GX8 and 100-300mm lens. C.Paxton photo and copyright.

Grey Ratsnake, Elaphe obsoleta spiloides, climbing an aged and claw-scarred Swamp Cypress at the wonderful Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge, near Delhi, Louisiana. These constrictors are famed for their climbing ability in pursuit of arboreal prey, such as birds and squirrels. Panasonic Lumix GX8 and Lumix G Vario 100-300mm lens. C.Paxton photo and copyright.

I’m loving my new Panasonic Lumix DMC GX8, it really is a photography enthusiast’s camera. Shaped like one of the old range finders, it has a very solid feel and grips well with all the useful controls at my finger tips via some very accessible buttons and dials that have very tactile, sharply-milled edges. It is such a tidy little thing with such power potential, 20 megapixel images and ultra high definition video at 60fps! Remarkable.

American Alligator in Rainey Lake, Tensas NWR Louisiana. GX8 and 100-300mm zoom. C.Paxton photo and copyright.

American Alligator in Rainey Lake, Tensas NWR Louisiana. GX8 and 100-300mm zoom. C.Paxton photo and copyright.

It has a very clear and bright electronic viewfinder with the nifty facility of swiveling from the horizontal to the vertical. This is a real boon when photographing creatures on the ground at their height.

A non-venomous Bluestripe Ribbon, Thamnophis sauritus nitae Snake in Tensas River NWR, pictured at eye-level. Panasonic Lumix DMC GX8 with 100-300 mm zoom. C. Paxton photo and copyright.

A non-venomous Bluestripe Ribbon, Thamnophis sauritus nitae Snake in Tensas River NWR, pictured at eye-level. Panasonic Lumix DMC GX8 with 100-300 mm zoom. C. Paxton photo and copyright.

It has the most accessible exposure compensation dial of any camera that I’ve used and this is one of the features that can make all the difference between a great shot and a wasted opportunity.

The turn on time and auto-focus is pretty fast, it actually starts focusing while you’re raising the camera to your eye!

It has a dual image stabilisation system with a stabilizer in the body and also in some of the Lumix lenses. This is very useful in the low light conditions that many creatures favour.

Another plus, is that you can shoot with an all manual third party lens like Opteka’s mighty 650-1300 mm zoom with the ‘No Lens’ setting selected.

Blue Bunting in the rain at Crawfish Springs, pictured at eye-level. Panasonic Lumix DMC GX8 with Opteka 650-1300 mm zoom. C. Paxton photo and copyright.

Blue Bunting in the rain at Crawfish Springs, pictured at eye-level. Panasonic Lumix DMC GX8 with Opteka 650-1300 mm zoom. C. Paxton photo and copyright.

Beavers' lodge in Corney Lake, in Kisatchie National Forest, northern Louisiana. Taken on Lumix GX8 with 7-14mm wideangle zoomImage and copyright C.Paxton.

Black and white image of a Beavers’ lodge in Corney Lake, in Kisatchie National Forest, northern Louisiana. Taken on Lumix GX8 with 7-14mm wideangle zoom. Image and copyright C.Paxton.

Watch your step and wear boots in the woods. A Western Cottonmouth viper, Akgistrodon piscivorous leucostoma, peacefully basking in a pool of sunlight by Rainey Lake, Tensas River NWR, Louisiana.  Lumix GX8  with 100-300 mm zoom. C.Paxton image and copyright.

Watch your step and wear boots in the woods. A Western Cottonmouth viper, Akgistrodon piscivorous leucostoma, peacefully basking in a pool of sunlight by Rainey Lake, Tensas River NWR, Louisiana. Lumix GX8 with G Vario 100-300 mm zoom. C.Paxton image and copyright. This snake mostly eats amphibians and fish, but has a reputation for being aggressive, though actively defensive might be a fairer description. Staying still and allowing it to make its escape in its own time is probably the best policy. This one was concerned only with escape.

Great Egret family photographed from the blind at Tensas River NWR.

Great Egret family,  Casmerodius albus, photographed from the blind at Tensas River NWR, on manual focus with 650-1300 Opteka zoom.

American Alligator, Alligator mississippiensis, in Rainey Lake, Tensas NWR, Louisiana. GX8 with Opteka 650-1300mm zoom. C. Paxton image and copyright.

American Alligator, Alligator mississippiensis, in Rainey Lake, Tensas NWR, Louisiana. GX8 with Opteka 650-1300mm zoom. C. Paxton image and copyright.

A nice sighting of White Ibis, Eudocimus alba at Tensas. Lumix GX8 with 100-300mm zoom, Kimmie Paxton photo and copyright.

A nice sighting of White Ibis, Eudocimus alba at Tensas. Lumix GX8 with 100-300mm zoom, Kimmie Paxton photo and copyright.

A cropped view of Green Anole taken on Lumix GX8 with 100-300mm zoom at 300mm

A cropped view of Green Anole lizard, Anolis carolinensis taken on Lumix GX8 with 100-300mm zoom at 300mm

One of the fabulously useful features is peak focus zooming when you manually focus on a subject such as the Anole above, you get an enlarged view in the viewfinder to assist you with fine focus adjustments. This really helps you select the bits that you want sharpest.

I still haven’t used many of the great functions of this camera, so far I’d rate this camera 10 out of 10.P1030004web

 

 

C.Paxton received no remuneration for this article and has no connection with Matsushita Panasonic.