The Panasonic GX850 is a tiny yet powerful entry-level Micro Four Thirds camera that delivers exceptional image quality, fantastic features, and good performance, all of which are available at a reasonable price to most consumers. The GX850 is an excellent choice for people searching for a compact mirrorless camera that does not blow a hole in their budget, even though it does have a few drawbacks.
In Panasonic’s series of mirrorless cameras, the Lumix DC-GX850 ($549.99 with a 12-32mm lens) is the model that sits in the entry-level position. It achieves the same results as other entry-level cameras, omitting the electronic viewfinder (EVF) and a hot shoe that more experienced photographers adore but managing to keep the size down and including a tilting touch screen, which is a significant benefit for novice photographers who are accustomed to shooting with a smartphone.
We appreciate the size, and even if the 16-megapixel sensor isn’t state-of-the-art, it still delivers a solid performance. However, the Canon EOS M100 is more suited for those just starting, while the Sony a6000 contains capabilities more likely to appeal to more experienced photographers.
Panasonic Lumix GX850 Design
Without a lens attached, the GX850 is 2.5 inches tall by 4.2 inches wide by 1.3 inches deep (HWD), and it weighs 9.5 ounces. Panasonic incorporates a tiny, retractable 12-32mm zoom. When it is deflated, it contributes an additional 2.5 ounces of weight and protrudes from the body by nearly an inch. You may have the camera in either black or silver, and each color comes with a lens that complements it.
The camera is not as astonishingly small as the GM series produced by Panasonic, but it is small enough to slide into specific pockets. Both the GM1 and the GM5, which have since been discontinued, were sized similarly to point-and-shoot cameras. The GX850 is nevertheless easily transportable; it may be carried in a jacket pocket, a handbag, or even a purse without any difficulty.
Panasonic Lumix GX850 Connectivity
The GX850 features a micro USB connector that can be used to charge the camera itself, and it also has a micro HDMI port that can be used to connect the camera to a television. The camera has a micro USB connection and an adaptor that converts USB signals to AC; however, it does not include an external battery charger.
It is recommended that you invest in an auxiliary charger if you are the sort of person who prefers to maintain a charged backup battery close at hand. After a long day of shooting, you can set both simultaneously (one while it is still in the camera and one outside of it). CIPA gives the GX850 a rating of around 210 shots per charge, which is on the lower end of the spectrum.
The memory card slot and the battery are located in the same compartment, which may be accessed through a door at the bottom of the device. The camera uses a MicroSD memory card instead of the more conventional full-size SD card, which is a feature that I do not prefer in cameras. Because microSD cards are so few, it is far too easy to lose or forget them. Furthermore, while most PCs come equipped with SD card ports, you won’t find any provided with microSD card slots.
Panasonic Lumix GX850 Performance
A mirrorless camera like the GX850 can start, focus, and take a picture in as low as 1.6 seconds, which is a good time for this type of camera.
Its autofocus technology is relatively rapid, able to lock onto targets in 0.1 seconds when there is a lot of light and 0.3 seconds when there is very little light. The focusing mechanism is solely dependent on the contrast between the subject and the background, which is typical of all of the most recent Panasonic cameras, but it is brisk and precise.
Panasonic Lumix GX850 Image & Video Quality
The resolution of the GX850’s 16-megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor appears a little bit old-fashioned, especially when compared to comparable models like the Canon EOS M100 and the Sony a6000, which both have physically bigger APS-C sensors with a more excellent resolution of 24 megapixels. However, it is still leagues ahead of a smartphone camera or a point-and-shoot camera.
When photographing in low light, larger sensors have a considerable edge over their smaller counterparts. I used Imatest to evaluate the image quality of the GX850 at each of its ISO (light sensitivity) settings, ranging from the lowest stage of ISO 200 up to the highest level of ISO 25600.
The camera had a good result on the noise test, maintaining a noise level of less than 1.5 percent up to ISO 6400. When shooting in JPG format, every camera applies noise reduction to get rid of the grain that results from the exposure process.
Panasonic Lumix GX850 Specs
|4592 x 3448
|Image ratio w:h
|1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
|Sensor photo detectors
|Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm)
|sRGB, Adobe RGB
|Color filter array
|Primary color filter
|Auto, 200-25600 (extends down to 100)
|Boosted ISO (minimum)
|White balance presets
|Custom white balance
|Yes (4 slots)
|JPEG quality levels
|JPEG (Exif v2.3)Raw (Panasonic RW2)MPO
|Optics & Focus
|Contrast Detect (sensor)Multi-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View
|Autofocus assist lamp
|Yes (2x, 4x)
|Number of focus points
|Micro Four Thirds
|Focal length multiplier
|Screen / viewfinder
|Minimum shutter speed
|Maximum shutter speed
|Maximum shutter speed (electronic)
|ProgramShutter priorityAperture priorityManual
|PortraitChildSilky SkinBacklit SoftnessRelaxing ToneDistinct SceneryBright Blue SkyRomantic Sunset GlowVivid Sunset GlowGlistening WaterClear NightscapeCool Night SkyWarm Glowing NightscapeArtistic NightscapeGlittering IlluminationsHandheld Night ShotClear Night PortraitSoft Image of a FlowerAppetizing FoodCute DessertFreeze Animal MotionClear Sports ShotMonochrome
|4.00 m (at ISO 100)
|Auto, auto w/redeye reduction, on, on w/redeye reduction, slow sync, slow sync w/redeye reduction
|Yes (2, 10 sec, 3 images/10 sec)
|±5 (at 1/3 EV steps)
|±3 (3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 1 EV steps)
|3840 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 @ 60p / 28 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital1920 x 1080 @ 60i / 17 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 20 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 24 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital1920 x 1080 @ 24p / 24 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital1280 x 720 @ 30p / 10 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC
|USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
|Yes (via smartphone)
|Battery Life (CIPA)
|Weight (inc. batteries)
|269 g (0.59 lb / 9.49 oz)
|107 x 65 x 33 mm (4.21 x 2.56 x 1.3″)
Panasonic Lumix GX850 Conclusions
The Panasonic Lumix DC-GX850 is an attractive camera, particularly for family photographers who want nothing more than to take high-quality photographs using a device that is compact and easy to transport. It features a touch screen that can be flipped front for selfies and high image quality. However, it is not the best in its class; Wi-Fi connectivity so that you can transmit photographs to your smartphone for social sharing, and it does not lead its class in image quality.
More importantly, it does not skimp on autofocus speed, which means that you won’t have to deal with the frustration of missing a shot because your camera wasn’t quick enough. Additionally, it offers burst shooting as well as a mode for taking 4K photos, which will allow you to capture those moments that are truly fleeting.