GX85 vs. E-M10 II

Started Apr 9, 2016 | Discussions thread
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sderdiarian Veteran Member • Posts: 4,229
GX85 vs. E-M10 II

First a confession: I really like my E-M10 II. Like its features, love its looks (and the looks it gets, black and silver is just sharp), like its ECG-3 grip, love its price (bought mine for $550 body only).

Okay, now with that baggage out of the way, I'm really impressed with what Panasonic's done with the GX85.

First up, they're changed the rules of this brand rivalry by introducing full 5-axis IBIS in a sub-$800 mft camera. No more "if only's", they've done it. Three big cheers, any lens mounted on a GX85 is stabilized, even my much loved 20mm f1.7 for indoors shooting at a low ISO.

Next rule changer, they've managed to combine 5-axis IBIS with 4K video, and in an affordable body no less. Gone are the "can't be done's". And along with it comes 4K 8MP stills and post focus. Being able to snag that perfect shot from a 30fps stream and also adjust your focus point after the fact would have been considered magic just a short time ago.

Then there's dual IS (very curious how this stacks up against the E-M5 II's 5 stop IBIS) and DFD for tracking action. Both require Panasonic lenses, and dual IS does not unfortunately work with their 100-300 zoom, but still a nice leap forward, especially for those already in the Panasonic fold.

It also sounds like they're now controlling SS with a new very quiet shutter, and they've dropped the AA filter to squeeze a bit more resolution out of the 16MP sensor.

On appearance and ergonomics, this, to me, is a very attractive camera refreshingly free of any retro cues other than basic rangefinder styling. Simple, purposeful and right-sized.

Price? I think it's just right at intro, $799 including the great little 12-32mm zoom. Give it 6 months and shed the 12-32 for those of us who already have it, and it may well settle to $650, within striking distance of the E-M10 II, but with the above added significant features and in a differently styled body.

On that last bit, I think Panasonic was very smart to combine these features and price in a rangefinder styled body. Gives us Olympus E-M owners a nice excuse to pick one up.

Compromises? Of course a few, mostly to avoid upstaging (and cutting into sales of) their own GX8 and GH4:

  • the same 16:9 EVF that some complained of rainbow tearing in the GX7 (maybe they've improved on this), and without the tilt feature (I won't miss what I never had)
  • no mic port compromises it as a serious video camera (E-M10 II also doesn't have one)
  • a low flash synch speed (1/160 vs. 1/250 in the E-M10 II and 1/400 in the G7)
  • compromised bulb mode (2 minute max.)
  • a bit heavier than its predecessor and the E-M10 II (426g vs. 390g)
  • no 1/8,000 shutter as in the GX7 (the E-M10II is also 1/4,000)

None of these to me are deal breakers and I think it's price places it well in the market given all the goodness it does provide. If part of Panasonic's mission was to attract some Olympus owners over to their brand, they may well have succeeded.

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Sailin' Steve

 sderdiarian's gear list:sderdiarian's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 Olympus OM-D E-M10 II Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm 1:2.8 Macro Olympus M.Zuiko ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 II +1 more
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