Released in 2016, the Panasonic LUMIX G85 offers up a mirrorless DSLR option at a mid-range price point. As you will learn, this camera offers some improvements over previous models while also providing some new features and options that are sure to please you. Despite the upgrades, this camera has been kept at a price point that most would agree is perfect.
It is the newer version of the G7 from Panasonic. While many think it is a simple upgrade, there are a lot of advancements in function and image quality when it comes to the G85. The upgrades in the G85 do not come at a huge jump in price, which is ideal for someone on a budget or a new photographer who chooses this as his or her first camera. Learn more about the G85 as we take you through a complete review of this camera.
INTRODUCING THE G85
A true masterpiece in its own right, the G85, which is sold as the G80 in Europe, is packed with upgrades and features you would only expect from a higher-end model. It is designed to suit your needs whether that is video or still image with options that help to ensure whatever you capture is framed beautifully and presented in all its glory.
The G85 is built to allow for compatibility with various LUMIX compact lens by using the next-generation interchangeable lens camera standard. It is also lightweight, thanks to the mirrorless design. It strays from traditional design by offering up a compact body and features that include wireless, creative controls, gyro sensor control, exposure technologies and intelligent-focusing.
Despite all the fancy features, the G85 is actually a rugged field camera. It has been improved from the previous GX85 version and the comparable GX8 version through the addition and upgraded construction, image quality, image stabilization, faster burst shooting and longer battery life.
It generally sells for under $1,000, but some kits are available offering the option to add on a lens package for just over $1,000. The package deals are probably the better buy since the lens often retails for at least $500 on its own.
A LOOK AT THE DETAILS…
Looking more closely at just what the Panasonic G85 has to offer, you will see that the touting of all the features is no lie. This camera is designed for those shooting while moving, out in the elements or while in less-than-perfect conditions. The gyro sensor helps stabilize the camera even if your hand is shaking. It works with any lens, even those without optical image stabilization to allow you to get the shot no matter what. This is part of the dual image stabilizer that uses 2-axis lens and 5-axis body stabilization. It also works in video and telephoto or wide photography.
The most noticeable difference between this and the previous model is the body. As mentioned, it is built to be rugged, which in this instance means that it has a metal body with a thick grip that is designed for one-handed use.
When it comes to speed and being able to capture the right moment, the G85 can’t be beat. It has 4K PHOTO, which means you can select single frames from a 4K video to choose that ideal shot. Basically, you won’t miss a moment with shooting at 30fps. In addition, forget about focus issues. This camera lets you focus after you have already shot an image. While you most certainly can focus before the shot, don’t ever miss out on an opportunity again. Point and shoot and use the post focus option to get that perfect image. You can even tune in to the focus stacking feature, which allows for multiple focus points in one image. Going even further to ensure you always get the shot in focus, this camera has depth from defocus technology that auto focuses. The DFD technology also increases the speed and buffer memory. This allows you to shoot up to 300 JPEG or 45 RAW.
Further adding to the quality you get from this camera is the shutter shock reduction. This reduces the shutter shock and sound. When compared to earlier models, the shutter shock is reduced by about 90 percent.
The images the camera produces can’t be ignored either. After all, your main goal is capturing on film some amazing images. This camera has a 16-megapixel digital live MOS sensor. It has a no low pass filter as well. Combined these allow you to get sharper, more detailed images. The color reproduction is nothing to sneeze at either. It boosts true-to-life colors with high contrast and on-point resolution.
Finally, the G85 is built to be used out in the field, so it comes equipped with a power-saving feature sensor that automatically places the camera in sleep mode to conserve the battery. Battery life is greatly extended thanks to this feature, allowing you to about 800 to 900 images on one battery charge.
A FULL UPGRADE…
When comparing the G85 to the G7, it is like two different cameras. You may expect this newer model to be a simple upgrade past the G7, but it goes so much farther. The images quality is light years ahead of the G7. Plus, the overall body design is heads and shoulders above the G7. While the G7 is a good camera in its own right, the G85 just elevates all the things you may have loved about the G7 to a whole new level. The bottom line is it is well worth the upgrade if you already own the G7 and are looking for something with better quality and better overall operation.
Pros and Cons..
Looking over the pros and cons of a camera can help you to identify the things you value most. While the lists may not represent your exact feelings as far as whether something is good or not so good, it does offer up general views on the G85.
- Adjustable shutter and beep volume
- Stunning image quality
- Two custom setting save spots
- Customizable function buttons
- Customizable color profiles
- Full-swivel LCD screen
- Detail video capturing
- Accurate and quick auto focus
- Easy to use and access controls
- Ergonomic design for one-handed shooting and operation
- Built-in flash
- External mic jack
- Noisy image at higher ISO
- Viewfinder has poor performance in low-light conditions
- Continuous autofocus only available in 6fps
- No wireless remote shutter release
- Learning curve to understand full operation
The Panasonic G85 really cleaned up in customer reviews. It almost walks away with a full five stars in every review. One of the top things mentioned is that it is compatible with so many lenses and accessories, which makes it easy to build a whole system for shooting that suits your needs and style.
Even though this camera is packed with features that users love, it is highly recommended to read through the user guide completely. Otherwise, it is easy to miss some of the features or simply not understand all the options available. You do not want to miss out on anything the G85 has to offer because it really is filled with features to make things easier on you and allow you to get the best possible images, whether still or video.
Our recommendation is the G85 is a wonderful buy. It is ideal if you shoot in less-than-perfect conditions or on the go. It is built for one-handed use with the stabilizers and ergonomic design. The comfortable hold can make it simple to shoot for hours. Even walking while you shoot won’t disturb the image quality, thanks to the special stabilizing features. Not to mention it is one the lightest cameras you can find in this range and even higher ranges. It won’t become uncomfortable or heavy after hours of shooting.
The image quality is raved about by those who own this camera. It is second to none in this department, especially for the price range it comes in at. It isn’t every day you find a medium-priced camera that can churn out spectacular image after spectacular image. The crisp colors and on-point focus provides you with images that look exactly like what you saw through the viewfinder.
You can’t beat this price. You get a feature-rich camera designed to withstand even harsh weather and that produces professional-quality images for a price that won’t break the bank. On top of that, you get a wide selection of lenses and accessories where you can really put your money to use to create the package you need.
If you crave high-level images and value, then the Panasonic G85 was made for you. It works for amateurs and professionals. There is a slight learning curve when it comes to figuring out the functions and settings, but that is nothing compared to the outstanding performance. The overall operation is something that pretty much anyone can master to produce quality images.