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Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85

Panasonic GX85 Review — Hands-On Preview

by William Brawley
Preview posted: 04/05/2016

Say hello to a GX8’s tiny brother, a Panasonic GX85 — or a GX7 Mark II if you’re in Japan, or a GX80 in Europe and a rest of a world. Despite being smaller and lighter than a GX8, a Panasonic GX85 is yet still an enthusiast-level mirrorless camera packaged to a margin with a latest and biggest record and high opening features. The Panasonic GX85 includes a lot of a reward facilities of a incomparable GX8 sibling, yet also provides a few twists and singular facilities all a possess that should make it a rather considerable and means camera in an easy-to-carry design.

Not as high-res as a GX8, yet there’s a concentration on glorious detail

While a Panasonic GX8 maintains a tip mark in terms of sensor fortitude during 20 megapixels, a new Lumix GX85 incorporates a some-more informed 16-megapixel Live MOS sensor, identical to a progressing GX7. There is, however, a twist: no visual low-pass filter, that is a initial for Panasonic. Combined with a new Venus Engine picture processor, a GX85’s AA-filter-less sensor should furnish softened per-pixel detail.

The skip of an visual low-pass filter, as we’ve seen on a array of other new cameras, can outcome in some considerable solution power. However, there is an increasing risk of moiré and aliasing artifacts appearing in a images of certain subjects, such as glorious repeating lines and meshes, certain fabrics and other synthetic structures, for example. These are mostly formidable to mislay in post-processing, so being aware of what subjects you’re photographing is important.

It’s utterly engaging to see a skip of an visual low-pass filter creation a approach to some-more and some-more general-use cameras, rather than pricier, higher-resolution professional-level niche models. According to Panasonic, a Venus Engine picture processor inside a GX85 has been privately designed to assistance fight moiré and other fake tone issues, however, we’ll know some-more about how effective it is once we start contrariety a production-level camera. (We’ve posted First Shots from a representation section regulating pre-production firmware that competence not be final picture quality, yet a GX85 does indeed seem to furnish crook images than a GX7 while doing a flattering good pursuit during suppressing aliasing artifacts from a singular exam shots we’ve taken so far. We’ll of march need to haven final settlement to when we get prolongation firmware and are means to do a consummate research with varying theme matter.)

New shiver pattern aims to revoke shiver shock

Say goodbye to shiver shock? Let’s wish so. For improvements to sharpness and altogether picture quality, a Panasonic GX85 also sports a new electromagnetic shiver unit, that helps revoke inner vibrations. Shutter startle has prolonged been a source of issues for mirrorless and DSLR cameras, generally when sharpened around a slower operation of shiver speeds — and amplified serve when sharpened with longer and longer lenses.

The Panasonic GX85’s all new electromagnetic shiver resource utilizes twin solenoids rather than a normal engine and open assembly. A spring-actuated shiver resource can satisfy conspicuous vibrations on firing, that could lead to becloud images when photographing during certain shiver speeds. With a twin solenoid pattern in a Panasonic GX85, a camera is means to control a acceleration and deceleration of a shiver fate thereby shortening vibrations of a shutter’s opening and shutting motion. This should concede for crook images during cryptic shiver speeds. Panasonic claims around a 90 percent rebate in shiver startle vibrations compared to a normal spring-actuated shiver mechanism. And this new shiver pattern has a combined advantage of being most quieter than a normal one, too, that is glorious when sharpened in sound-sensitive environments.

Image customization galore with lots of artistic filters

The camera sports an array of picture customization settings, including detached controls for picture saturation, contrast, sharpness and a turn of sound rebate as we’ve come to pattern from Panasonic. The GX85 also introduces a new “L Monochrome” Photo Style in serve to a customary Monochrome Photo Style, that offers a deeper black coming and adds picturesque gamut identical to black and white film. For serve picture customization, there are a sum of 22 Creative Control filter modes that are now also accessible in PASM sharpened modes. You can afterwards adjust several parameters of these filters, mix mixed filters, as good as record both a “filtered” picture and an unaltered one simultaneously.

As for ISO sensitivity, a Panasonic GX85 is rather straightforward. As with other new Panasonic cameras, a GX85 facilities a local ISO operation of 200 to 25,600, with an extended low ISO of 100. Not surprisingly, a GX85 offers both RAW and JPEG picture capture, and with a new on-board RAW growth feature, we have a coherence to fire all in RAW and afterwards simply routine your shots into JPEGs after a fact, creation use of a GX85’s array of artistic options, all in-camera.

Despite a size, a Panasonic GX85 packs a lot of horsepower

Cameras seem to get smaller and smaller while still handling to have rather considerable opening specs, and a Panasonic GX85 follows this trend. For starters, like many new Panasonic cameras, a GX85 incorporates Depth From Defocus record into a contrast-detect autofocusing complement enabling super-quick and accurate AF speed. According to Panasonic, a GX85 is means to concentration in around 0.07 seconds, and notwithstanding a skip of on-sensor phase-detect, AF tracking opening is pronounced to be utterly softened — approximately a 200% alleviation over a GX7.

Further, a camera’s autofocus complement works in both good lighting and low — and we meant really dim. Like a progressing GX7 and GX8, low-light autofocus attraction is rated down to -4EV, that are impressively dim focusing conditions. The GX85 also includes Panasonic’s Starlight AF mode, that can detect a precise, tiny contrariety differences in stars compared to a night sky for easy focusing.

The Panasonic GX85 offers a identical array of other autofocus facilities found in new Lumix cameras including concentration peaking, Pinpoint AF, and Full Area AF, vouchsafing we concentration on anything within a margin of view. The GX85 also includes a 49-Area/Custom Multi mode, that lets we openly name a tradition organisation of AF areas as we see fit for a sold subject. The camera also has Face/Eye Detection AF that automatically detects a face and left or right eye of your subject.

For capturing discerning action, a GX85 is means of 8 frames per second with concentration sealed during a initial frame. If we wish continual focusing, a detonate rate drops somewhat to a still-respectable 6fps, that is in-line with a progressing Panasonic GX8’s opening specs. As with a GX8, this camera also lets we opt for an all-electronic shiver mode, that bumps a AF-S detonate rate adult to a accessible 10fps. There’s also a Super High-speed detonate mode during a whopping 40 frames per seconds, yet during an vague resolution. Mechanical shiver speed tops out during 1/4000s (compared to 1/8000s for a GX8), yet a GX85 maintains a discerning limit 1/16,000s shiver speed when regulating a all-electronic shutter.

In serve to a preexisting bearing and white change bracketing features, a GX85 offers a new Focus Bracketing option. The Panasonic GX85 can fire adult to a limit of 999 frames, any with a opposite concentration point. You can also name from 5 opposite step sizes (in other words, how large of an increment to automatically adjust a concentration between any frame). For shots where concentration is critical, such as portraiture or macro photography, this could be a really accessible feature. The Lumix GX85 also introduces a new Aperture Bracketing feature, in that a array of images are prisoner with varying inlet of field.

The Panasonic GX85 also borrows other picture estimate improvements from a GX8, including Clear Retouch and stretched in-camera scenery options (the GX7 had usually customary 8176 x 1920 panoramas, yet we now also have an 8176 x 960 fortitude wider angle scenery mode).

Dual I.S. – now with 5-axis stabilization for photos 4K video

Like a bigger brother, a GX85 sports Panasonic’s Dual I.S. complement that combines both sensor-shift picture stabilization and lens-based visual picture stabilization. However, some improvements have been made, as a GX85 now has 5-axis Dual I.S. rather than usually a 4-axis complement of a GX8. With a serve of hurl improvement on a body-based I.S. system, a GX85 is now means to softened recompense for incomparable vibrations and handheld cameras movements — adult to 4-stops of improvement according to Panasonic. For multimedia producers, you’ll be gratified to know that this new 5-axis Dual I.S. complement is concordant with both stills and video modes, including 4K video — a GX8 a some-more singular Hybrid I.S. with video modes, and no stabilization in-camera with 4K.

4K is useful for most some-more than usually video

Speaking of 4K, a new Panasonic GX85 offers loads of sparkling facilities surrounding a 4K capabilities, utterly with courtesy to 4K Photo modes. Starting with a video features, a Panasonic GX85 is means of capturing 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) video during both 30p and 24p, as good as a accumulation of Full HD and HD support rates.

The GX85 captures video in possibly MP4 or AVCHD formats, however 4K is usually accessible in MP4 mode. Though not as strong a preference of formats and bitrates as a video heavy-hitter GH4, a GX85 still offers 4K video during a high peculiarity 100Mbps bitrate. Bitrates for Full HD and HD videos aren’t scarcely as high. For MP4, 1080/60p is prisoner during 28Mbps, 1080/30p during 20Mbps, and 720/30p during usually 10Mbps. For AVCHD videos, 1080/60 is pegged during 28Mbps, and both 30p and 24p options top-out during 24Mbps.

Continuous postulated video recording is sum for a NTSC-region model. The camera will invariably record videos until a record distance reaches 4GB, during that indicate a new record will automatically be created, nonetheless playback will be seamless.

Along with a new artistic filter options accessible now in PASM stills modes, video constraint can also make use of all a special effects and several artistic filters. Some modes, however, like a unnatural tilt-shift Miniature outcome for example, can't be used with 4K, and instead default behind down to 1080/60p.

One new video pretence that a GX85 offers is a new 4K Live Cropping feature. The camera is means to implement a whole sensor area, yet usually constraint a smaller 4K-sized support within that area. What this allows is an all-digital, programmable and programmed panning and zooming underline while recording video — consider in-camera “Ken Burns Effect.” You can set start and finish points for panning, or a finish wizz framing, and a camera will well-spoken and automatically constraint 4K video with these pre-programmed “movements.”

However, 4K is most some-more than usually for video. With 4K’s 8-megapixel support resolution, a accumulation of still print facilities are now possible, as well. One of a vital facilities of a Panasonic GX85 is 4K Photo, that lets we remove stills from a 30fps shave of 4K footage. Offering a accumulation of constraint timing methods, a GX85’s 4K Photo modes are good for discerning action, sports and other hard-to-time moments. Instead of sharpened an 8 or 10fps detonate of still frames, we can constraint 4K video during 30fps and simply lift frail still frames after a fact. If you’re fine with a dump in fortitude (16MP to 8MP 4K), a 4K Photo underline is a good approach a make certain we don’t skip a vicious moment.

Building on a camera’s 4K Photo technology, a GX85 also incorporates Panasonic’s new Post Focus feature, permitting we to name a support with your elite area of concentration after a fact. In essence, during a press of a shiver button, a camera annals a tiny shave of 4K footage while concurrently unconditional a concentration during a clip. You can afterwards daub on a shade to collect a area of a shot to be in pointy concentration and save that sold support as a detached image.

The Panasonic GX85 also offers a 4K-based Light Composition mode, that invariably captures a 4K video stream, yet usually annals new brighter pixels into a singular final combination shots. What this allows is easier capturing of long-duration fireworks images and other night scenes.

While a video-related featureset seems rather strong on a Panasonic GX85, there’s one — or two, rather — large downsides that competence make we consider twice about regulating a GX85 for certain video applications: there’s no outmost microphone jack or headphone jack. Audio constraint usually comes by approach of a tiny stereo microphone ports on tip of a camera in front of a hot-shoe. This could be a deal-breaker for those wanting some-more control over their audio quality.

Hands-On: High peculiarity construction, good distance comfortable

In terms of distance and shape, a new Panasonic GX85 shares a lot in common with a progressing GX7. Right off a bat you’ll notice a most smaller, some-more svelte pattern compared to a rather beefier brother, a Panasonic GX8. The GX8 took a conspicuous step adult in distance after a GX7, and a GX85 shrinks things down a bit while still progressing a really comfortable, easy to work pattern and control scheme.

Build peculiarity is excellent, simply put. The camera feels intensely unbending and durable yet any creaks or groundless buttons. The Panasonic GX85 maintains a sloping LCD back arrangement pattern of a GX7 rather than a articulated flip-out shade of a GX8. At slightest on a code new pre-production representation section we’ve tried, a hinges on a sloping LCD are utterly unbending and feel really sturdy.

Compared to a GX7, a new Panasonic GX85 appears some-more or reduction really similar. The vital differences don’t cocktail out immediately, yet a GX85 does divided with a sloping EVF of a GX8 and GX7 in preference of a bound one. It keeps a same 2.76M-dot effective field-sequential EVF as a GX7, and still provides 100 percent support coverage with a 1.39x / 0.7x (35mm eq.) magnification. And like a GX7, a Panasonic GX85 includes a built-in pop-up peep yet it’s a tiny weaker with a Guide Number of 4.2m (ISO 100) contra 5.0m for a GX7, as good as a peep hot-shoe.

The other conspicuous pattern change on a Panasonic GX85 is a skip of a dedicated rotating concentration mode ride switch. The AF/AE Lock symbol stays in comparatively a same location, yet now you’ll need to entrance a menus or Quick Menu in sequence to change a concentration mode. The rest of a controls cluster on a back of a camera is some-more or reduction a same detached from some tiny changes. The camera still sports a sum of 4 customizable Function buttons to reassign as needed.

As with a progressing GX-series cameras, a Panasonic GX85 facilities twin control dials for discerning environment and/or bearing adjustments. The back thumbrest dial also functions as a pressable button, that by default, is willingly reserved to bearing compensation.

Power, storage connectivity

The Panasonic GX85 derives a energy from a exclusive 7.2v 1025mAh lithium-ion battery pack, that is CIPA-rated for 290 shots on a assign with a LCD, and 270 shots with a EVF, when regulating a 12-32mm pack lens. The GX85 gold includes an AC adapter, for in-camera charging around a USB port. A Micro (Type-D) HDMI port is also provided.

Images and cinema are stored on Secure Digital cards, including SDHC and SDXC types, and UHS-I forms are upheld (UHS Speed Class 3 compulsory for 4K recording).

As with many complicated cameras, a Panasonic GX85 includes built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, however, distinct a GX7 and GX8, this new indication does not embody NFC technology. Once connected around Wi-Fi, users can bond their iOS or Android inclination regulating a Panasonic Image App for easy pity of images and videos, as good as remote control capabilities with primer bearing and several settings adjustments.

Price Availability

Offered in both a two-toned china and black indication as good as an all-black color, a Panasonic GX85 is set to go on sale during a finish of May bundled with a retracting, ultra-compact 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH MEGA OIS LUMIX G VARIO wizz lens for US$799.99.

Comparison Shopping?

Not certain that mirrorless camera is right for you? Try our camera comparison tool to assistance keep all a specs sorted out! Here are a few apparent choices to review to a Panasonic GX85 to get we started:


 
 


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