Panasonic Lumix G85 Review

In recent years, Panasonic has demonstrated an exceptional ability to design and manufacture high-quality cameras, ranging from pocketable compacts like the LX10 and LX15 to more sophisticated models that support interchangeable lenses.

It aims to continue its successful streak with the Panasonic Lumix G80, which in the United States is known as the Panasonic Lumix G85. It combines features intended for enthusiasts with a design that should not scare even more inexperienced users.

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The model succeeds the G7 introduced the previous year, even though the double-digit model designation goes against convention (almost all of the G models that came before a single number only designated this one).

The majority of what was in that camera has been carried over, and the changes are primarily predictable when you consider which areas Panasonic has chosen to focus on over the past few years; however, the camera that has been produced as a result still has very impressive specifications in comparison to other cameras in its category.

However, the G80 does not lack competition, and those it has are capable. The audience you are hoping to attract is likely to be interested in purchasing cameras such as the Fujifilm X-T10, the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II, and maybe even the more expensive Sony A6300. All of these cameras have received praise for their performance.

Panasonic Lumix G85 Features

A 16-megapixel Live MOS sensor is at the heart of the G80, just as it was with the model it replaces. However, even though it appears to be the same as those featured in many earlier Micro Four-Thirds models, this one does not include an optical low-pass filter. This allows the camera to record finer details with greater clarity; however, the trade-off is that it may be more susceptible to the effects of aliasing.

The sensor is paired with an updated version of the Venus processing engine, and recording in 4K resolution is available. In addition to recording up to 50 frames per second in Full HD, this supports recording in 4K Ultra High Definition with a resolution of 3840 by 2160 pixels at either 25p or 24p frames per second.

Those looking to take their video recording more seriously will be pleased to find a microphone port and the option to output footage in real time through the HDMI port next to it. Additionally, you can pull 8MP frames from the captured footage and use the Live Cropping feature to pan around and zoom into the scene as you are recording.

Panasonic Lumix G85 Build Quality

The Panasonic G80 has an appearance that is strikingly similar to its predecessor, the G7. As a result, it’s relatively simple to confuse the two until you put them next to one another when the subtle distinctions between them become clear.

The latest model features a grip that is a bit more prominent, and the memory card compartment has been repositioned so that it is now accessible through the side of the camera rather than through the battery compartment at the base of the device. Other changes include these.

Because that implies the card may be removed and replaced even with the camera mounted on a tripod, this information will be especially appreciated by photographers specializing in still life, macro, and landscape photography.

The most substantial adjustments have been made to the area surrounding the camera’s rear; nevertheless, even these changes are restricted to a few cosmetic changes and some repositioning of controls. The changes that have been made around the front of the camera have been minor.

The switch that allows the user to move between different focusing settings and the button that allows the user to release the flash from the top plate have both been relocated to the side of the viewfinder in the updated versions of these options.

Panasonic Lumix G85 Autofocus

Panasonic’s Light Speed AF system boasts as fast as 0.07 seconds of focusing rates. In addition, it uses a technique called Depth From Defocus (DFD), which analyzes two photos with varying degrees of clarity to identify the proper subject distance quickly.

When automated subject detection is needed, the camera may be programmed to use the 49-area focusing option. However, if 1-Area, Pinpoint, Face-detection, and Eye-detection choices are wanted instead, they can be called up with equal ease.

In addition to the choices above, there is another one called Tracking, which, in conjunction with continuous focus, may be used to attempt to maintain a lock on moving subjects. The tracking sensitivity can now be customized on more modern cameras. This is one of the new features.

Focus Stacking is an additional feature that was not available on the G7. This feature allows you to take many pictures of the same subject, each with a different focus point, and then combine all of those pictures into a single composite image.

Panasonic Lumix G85 Performance

Compared to DSLR cameras that do not rely on electronic viewfinders, mirrorless cameras can be a little slower to start up than DSLRs, one of the criticisms that can be leveled against these types of cameras. The G80, on the other hand, has none of these issues and starts with only a minute or so of lag time.

You can concentrate on subjects before the viewfinder even comes to life, so even if the image in the viewfinder appears a fraction of a second later than it does on the LCD, the latency is tiny.

The overall reaction of the camera, as well as the speed at which photographs may be written to the memory card, are both aspects that are pretty satisfying (this is card-dependent, of course). When shooting continually, adding raw photos to the mix does make the process significantly more time-consuming, but this is to be anticipated.

If you have several videos taken consecutively, you will notice that navigating through them is significantly slower than flying through stills. One case in which the camera will substantially slow down is if it encounters movies when you are analyzing photographs.

Panasonic Lumix G85 Image Quality

When viewed at their full resolution, photos taken with the Panasonic G80 provide highly satisfying results right out of the camera. However, the absence of a low-pass filter is evident when analyzing the images in further detail.

Certain sceneries, such as those with fine architectural elements like railings or roof tiles, do display some aliasing artifacts due to this, but these artifacts are not particularly noticeable. The photograph’s detail is exquisite, which is the most crucial thing to remember, especially while working at lower sensitivities.

Even though some of Panasonic’s earlier models have been criticized for having overly aggressive noise reduction, and even though this is true to some extent here, the additional detail that is being recorded does somewhat offset this, which results in images that are reasonably clean and detailed overall. In addition, although the benefits of noise reduction become more apparent when the ISO setting is increased, the degree of detail in the image is still relatively high.

Panasonic Lumix G85 Specs

Body typeSLR-style mirrorless
Body materialMagnesium alloy
Max resolution4592 x 3448
Image ratio w h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels16 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors17 megapixels
Sensor sizeFour Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
Color spacePrimary color space
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
ISOAuto, 200-25600 (expands down to ISO 100)
Boosted ISO (minimum)100
White balance presets5
Custom white balanceYes (4 slots)
Image stabilizationSensor-shift
Image stabilization notesIS system works together with stabilized lenses to improve shake reduction
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsFine, normal
File formatJPEG (Exif 2.3)Raw (Panasonic RW2)
Optics & Focus
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Multi-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View
Autofocus assist lampYes
Number of focus points49
Lens mountMicro Four Thirds
Focal length multiplier
Articulated LCDFully articulated
Screen size3″
Screen dots1,040,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification1.48× (0.74× 35mm equiv.)
Viewfinder resolution2,360,000
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed60 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/4000 sec
Maximum shutter speed (electronic)1/16000 sec
Exposure modesProgramShutter PriorityAperture PriorityManual
Built-in flashYes
Flash Range6.20 m (at ISO 100)
External flashYes (via hot shoe)
Flash modesAuto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Forced On/Red-eye Reduction, Slow Sync., Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced Off
Flash X sync speed1/160 sec
Continuous drive9.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 secs, 10 secs x 3 shots)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weighted spot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±3 (3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes
Videography features
Modes3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 100 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC3840 x 2160 @ 24p / 100 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 28 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 60i / 17 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 24 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 20 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 24p / 24 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC card
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (micro-HDMI)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portNo
Wireless notes802.11b/g/n
Remote controlYes (via wired remote or smartphone)
Environmentally sealedYes
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLithium-ion battery & charger; optional grip
Battery Life (CIPA)330
Weight (inc. batteries)505 g (1.11 lb / 17.81 oz)
Dimensions128 x 89 x 74 mm (5.04 x 3.5 x 2.91″)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes

Panasonic Lumix G85 Verdict

Even if the Panasonic Lumix G80 isn’t the most revolutionary improvement we’ve seen in recent memory, there’s still a lot to enjoy.

The foundation of what the camera provides is solid, which may be the most crucial aspect. The processing rates are rapid, and the image stabilization technology is highly effective whether you are recording still images or videos. In addition, the autofocus is quite good, regardless of whether you use it for moving or stationary subjects.

The fact that you can utilize sensor-based stabilization on its own, albeit to a minor advantage than you would have with a lens with its stabilization system, is an additional benefit for lenses that do not have their stabilization systems.

Panasonic Lumix G85 Pros & Cons

Good For
  • Superb output with a 4K video camera
  • High-quality electronic viewfinder and touchscreen
  • An impressive showing by the AF
  • Effective raw conversion is done in-camera
Need Improvements
  • A few overly complicated controls
  • The resolution is just 16 megapixels
  • Noise reduction could be a little more gentle
  • There is room for improvement in the interface

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