Panasonic Lumix GX850 Review

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

Body typeRangefinder-style mirrorless
Sensor
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
ProcessorVenus Engine
Color spacesRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
Image
ISOAuto, 200-25600 (extends down to 100)
Boosted ISO (minimum)100
White balance presets5
Custom white balanceYes (4 slots)
Image stabilizationNo
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsFine, standard
File formatJPEG (Exif v2.3)Raw (Panasonic RW2)MPO
Optics & Focus
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Multi-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View
Autofocus assist lampYes
Digital zoomYes (2x, 4x)
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points49
Lens mountMicro Four Thirds
Focal length multiplier
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDTilting
Screen size3″
Screen dots1,040,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeNone
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed60 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/500 sec
Maximum shutter speed (electronic)1/16000 sec
Exposure modesProgramShutter priorityAperture priorityManual
Scene modesPortraitChildSilky 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
Built-in flashYes
Flash range4.00 m (at ISO 100)
External flashNo
Flash modesAuto, auto w/redeye reduction, on, on w/redeye reduction, slow sync, slow sync w/redeye reduction
Continuous drive10.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2, 10 sec, 3 images/10 sec)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedSpot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±3 (3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 1 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes
Videography features
FormatMPEG-4, AVCHD
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 @ 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
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesmicroSD/SDHC/SDXC
Connectivity
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (micro-HDMI)
Microphone portNo
Headphone portNo
WirelessBuilt-In
Wireless notes802.11b/g/n
Remote controlYes (via smartphone)
Physical
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionDMW-BLH7
Battery Life (CIPA)210
Weight (inc. batteries)269 g (0.59 lb / 9.49 oz)
Dimensions107 x 65 x 33 mm (4.21 x 2.56 x 1.3″)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes
GPSNone

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.

Panasonic Lumix GX850 Pros & Cons

Good For
  • Rapid concentration
  • Very small.
  • LCD that can be tilted.
Need Improvements
  • Memory on microSD cards can easily be lost.
  • A sensor with 16 megapixels is getting old.
  • No electronic viewfinder, microphone input, or hot shoe

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