Did you know that it’s possible to take a photograph of something that’s already happened? I know that sounds really strange and it’s a little difficult to get your head around at first, but it’s exactly what the Panasonic LUMIX GX8, which I’ve been trialling for a few months now on behalf of Lumix UK, is capable of.
Allow me to explain. As you may know by now, the Panasonic LUMIX GX8 is capable of 4K photography. (If that concept is alien to you, see my posts here, here and here.) In short, it means you can extract 8 million pixel, photographic-quality images from a 4K video which is created at 30 frames per second. And with the GX8, there are three ways – or modes – in which you can do this.
You can choose from 4K Burst, 4K Burst (Start / Stop) and 4K Pre-Burst. In 4K Burst, your camera is recording so long as you have the shutter pressee down. With 4K Burst (Start / Stop), your camera starts recording when you press the shutter and stops when you press it a second time. Finally, with the 4K Pre-Burst, you camera is continually scanning and, when you come to press the shutter, it records the footage from one second before as well as what happens one second after.
So, when you know a short event is going to happen, but don’t necessarily know precisely when – such as a bird taking off, a horse jumping over a fence, or whatever it might be – the 4K Pre-Burst is ideal. Because you’re not continually shooting video, it doesn’t take up too much space on your card, but it is a mode that’s a little thirsty on the battery, so it’s a good idea to make sure you have a spare to hand.
So, when our younger son had his 10th birthday party recently, it was a good opportunity to put this mode to the test. I obviously knew he would be blowing out the candles on his birthday cake but couldn’t be sure of capturing the precise moment. So long as I was ready, all I needed to do was press the shutter when he blew out the candles and the camera would record the moment just before and just after, and I could then just select the shots I liked best from the 60 resulting images (30 shots from the one second before the camera shutter was pressed, and 30 from the one second after). Here is a selection of the resulting shots:
Admiring his cake…
Taking a deep breath…
Blowing out the candles…
…and catching the last one that nearly got away!
If you’re curious to see the very short 4K video that these shots were extracted from, you can see it here:
And if you’re simply intrigued by the cake, then here’s a close-up!
Our sons are keen sailors and this is the kind of boat – the RS Tera Sport with its distinctive orange and white sail – that they currently sail.
Of course, the opportunities that the 4K Pre-Burst mode presents you with when you travel are endless, whether it be capturing a lazy lion yawning in the Serengeti sunshine, or filming friends or family jumping into a swimming pool.
What do you think of the technology, and what would you use it for? I would love to hear your ideas and maybe I could even try to implement some of them!
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Panasonic Lumix UK.