Well-engineered camera with a superbly smooth shutter

Started 6 months ago | User reviews
47872Mike Regular Member • Posts: 210
Well-engineered camera with a superbly smooth shutter
1

I bought this in 2018 and hoped it would be the best camera I'd ever owned (and I've owned a lot of cameras; no, a LOT of cameras).

It is well-designed and very well-engineered, with that incredible quiet shutter which finally banishes shutter shock completely. I don't like the stiff feel of the control dials very much, and though I can use the EVF and don't see the smearing it's sequential read-out can cause, it's small and looks terrible after using the one in the E-M10ii, or most modern cameras. But in general it's a success, except that:
I just don't quite like the results as much as I do from Canon or Olympus. Out of the box the files I got seemed just a little disappointing compared with what I can get with the standard settings of Canon and Olympus. Tweaking the JPEG profiles or RAW files helps, and the output is a little better than what I used to get from Panasonic in the early days of M4/3 - just not by as much as I hoped. 
There is a lot to like about this camera, particularly for scenic photography in decent light. I am still using it, for some stuff at least, after 2 1/2 years. But if it had somehow had Olympus's quality of output, control dials, and EVF, I think it really would have overall been the best camera I've ever owned.

 47872Mike's gear list:47872Mike's gear list
Canon EOS 10D Canon EOS 20D Canon EOS 50D Sony SLT-A37 Canon EOS 6D +13 more
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 (Lumix DMC-GX80 / Lumix DMC-GX7 Mark II)
16 megapixels • 3 screen • Four Thirds sensor
Announced: Apr 5, 2016
47872Mike's score
4.0
Average community score
4.5
bad for good for
Kids / pets
acceptable
Action / sports
mediocre
Landscapes / scenery
good
Portraits
mediocre
Low light (without flash)
mediocre
Flash photography (social)
unrated
Studio / still life
acceptable
= community average
Olympus OM-D E-M10 II Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85
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alcelc
alcelc Forum Pro • Posts: 15,909
Re: Well-engineered camera with a superbly smooth shutter
2

Evf is very personal matter. I had added a G85, which has a much bigger evf in native M43 format and uses a better quality OLED display, larger and better than that of EM10-II. TBH except for the friendly OLED evf, I feel no wow factor when shooting with the evf of GX7/GX85/G85 alternatively. YMMV.

If you shoot RAW, the color science should not be a matter unless we do the conversion with a non compatible RAW converter, or we do not have the skill to do it.

On SOOC JPG, if you will set aperture according to 0ev metering, and use a more flat profile like Standard or Natural, you might likely end up with a flat and nosier output.

I did my home testing on GX85. Upon zebra @105%, its first appearing means -2/3ev from ETTR rather than the usual understanding of white saturation at 105% (overblown). Therefore if you take zebra as the ETTR guideline, you will likely shoot with -2/3ev from ETTR. If following 0ev metering exposure, more under exposure would be expected (high contrast scene excluded). It appears to me that Pany is likely following the logic of Nikon on using a conservation approach on highlight to leave more room for shooter to operate in PP.

So, if we shall add that 2/3ev headroom for an optimal exposure, the SOOC output could be very difference. And if a more vibrant/pop output with least PP be wished, might also try Vivid Photo Style. Of course the JPG setting could make output even closer to your desired taste.

Not every Panny will be the same, e.g. G85 has a smaller headroom of 1/3ev. The following was a home testing on G85 on 0ev metering (#1 from the left), just before zebra set at 105% appears (#2 from the left) and two further shots with +1/3ev from pervious shot F.Y.I.:

In this test, +1/3ev after zebra first time appears will achieve ETTR (more headroom for RAW). In case of GX85, it will be +2/3ev... From the above, 0ev metering exposure will be on the underexpose side for noisier and more flat output.

Wishing the above might help to improve your GX85 SOOC output.

-- hide signature --

Albert
** Please forgive my typo error.
** Please feel free to download the original image I posted here and edit it as you like **

 alcelc's gear list:alcelc's gear list
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OP 47872Mike Regular Member • Posts: 210
Re: Well-engineered camera with a superbly smooth shutter

Thanks for your thoughts on the JPEG output. They make sense. In truth after 2 1/2 years, I'm still tweaking those profiles from time to time, or switching between them. I recently started using the Vivid one with the colour dialled down a little for most scenic shots. Skin tones are often a problem, whichever one I settle on. 
I certainly don't claim to be any kind of master with RAW processing, but if there was a button in Silkypix (or anywhere else) which enabled files to be processed using an Olympus or Canon profile, that would be my starting point. If you have any general or specific suggestions that would help me create a RAW profile that would emulate either of those makers' looks, they'd be gratefully received!

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Felice62 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,037
Re: Well-engineered camera with a superbly smooth shutter

Jpeg output is very personal.

I have various olympus and Panasonic bodies and  i confess unlike the latest Panasonic ooc jpeg better.

When comparing m10.2 and gx80 standard jpeg profiles  I prefer the m10.2 color but i can easily replicate it with the gx80.

On the olympus i usually dial -2 sharpening as i don't like the oversharpened jpeg output of olympus jpeg engine..

The evf of the gx80 has never bothered means frankly I don't rate it bad. For me the sequential field technology embodied by Panasonic on their panel does not generate frustration.

I generally rate very good the AF performance of the gx80 and its feature set.

-- hide signature --

If only closed minds came with closed mouths..

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alcelc
alcelc Forum Pro • Posts: 15,909
Re: Well-engineered camera with a superbly smooth shutter

47872Mike wrote:

Thanks for your thoughts on the JPEG output. They make sense. In truth after 2 1/2 years, I'm still tweaking those profiles from time to time, or switching between them. I recently started using the Vivid one with the colour dialled down a little for most scenic shots. Skin tones are often a problem,

Vivid is not for my portrait shots.

whichever one I settle on.
I certainly don't claim to be any kind of master with RAW processing, but if there was a button in Silkypix (or anywhere else) which enabled files to be processed using an Olympus or Canon profile, that would be my starting point. If you have any general or specific suggestions that would help me create a RAW profile that would emulate either of those makers' looks, they'd be gratefully received!

Since I am happy with the Panny color, never try to mimic other brand's output. After GX7, basically Panny can keep me happy and RAW is no longer a must unless for very difficult lighting condition. Sorry can't help.

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Albert
** Please forgive my typo error.
** Please feel free to download the original image I posted here and edit it as you like **

 alcelc's gear list:alcelc's gear list
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OP 47872Mike Regular Member • Posts: 210
Re: Well-engineered camera with a superbly smooth shutter

alcelc wrote:

47872Mike wrote:

Thanks for your thoughts on the JPEG output. They make sense. In truth after 2 1/2 years, I'm still tweaking those profiles from time to time, or switching between them. I recently started using the Vivid one with the colour dialled down a little for most scenic shots. Skin tones are often a problem,

Vivid is not for my portrait shots.

whichever one I settle on.
I certainly don't claim to be any kind of master with RAW processing, but if there was a button in Silkypix (or anywhere else) which enabled files to be processed using an Olympus or Canon profile, that would be my starting point. If you have any general or specific suggestions that would help me create a RAW profile that would emulate either of those makers' looks, they'd be gratefully received!

Since I am happy with the Panny color, never try to mimic other brand's output. After GX7, basically Panny can keep me happy and RAW is no longer a must unless for very difficult lighting condition. Sorry can't help.

Interestingly you selectively quoted me to make it seem as though I am trying to use Vivid mode to shoot portraits I am not!

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alcelc
alcelc Forum Pro • Posts: 15,909
Re: Well-engineered camera with a superbly smooth shutter

Pls do not misunderstand me, I just said I wouldn't use Vivid for portrait shot, we are on the same page 🙂.

-- hide signature --

Albert
** Please forgive my typo error.
** Please feel free to download the original image I posted here and edit it as you like **

 alcelc's gear list:alcelc's gear list
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Isola Verde
Isola Verde Veteran Member • Posts: 9,968
Funny how some models just run and run..
2

We were in a "John Lewis" store recently, and I was surprised to see them still selling the GX80 (as it's called, here in Britain) - which led me to check the serial number of the used one I'd bought a few weeks previously.

It decoded to a manufacturing date of 25 Feb 2020.

For a model in the shops since May 2016, that's a production run of almost four years by then - with mine unlikely to have been the last?

Peter

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OP 47872Mike Regular Member • Posts: 210
Re: Funny how some models just run and run..

I think they decided to keep making them alongside the GX9 which had seemed to be its replacement. I believe that many UK retailers still stock them (don't know about the rest of the world).

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OP 47872Mike Regular Member • Posts: 210
Re: Funny how some models just run and run..

Isola Verde wrote:

We were in a "John Lewis" store recently, and I was surprised to see them still selling the GX80 (as it's called, here in Britain) - which led me to check the serial number of the used one I'd bought a few weeks previously.

It decoded to a manufacturing date of 25 Feb 2020.

For a model in the shops since May 2016, that's a production run of almost four years by then - with mine unlikely to have been the last?

Peter

Actually, I might as well try the same look-up for my own camera. Can you tell me how you did it? Do I need the internal serial number, or just the one on the base of the camera?

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OP 47872Mike Regular Member • Posts: 210
Re: Funny how some models just run and run..

47872Mike wrote:

Isola Verde wrote:

We were in a "John Lewis" store recently, and I was surprised to see them still selling the GX80 (as it's called, here in Britain) - which led me to check the serial number of the used one I'd bought a few weeks previously.

It decoded to a manufacturing date of 25 Feb 2020.

For a model in the shops since May 2016, that's a production run of almost four years by then - with mine unlikely to have been the last?

Peter

Actually, I might as well try the same look-up for my own camera. Can you tell me how you did it? Do I need the internal serial number, or just the one on the base of the camera?

It's OK - I think I was able to get a date of July 2016 from the third and fourth characters of the serial number on the base of my camera.

The third character gives the last numeral of the date; the fourth gives an alphabetic code for the month.

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Isola Verde
Isola Verde Veteran Member • Posts: 9,968
Re: Funny how some models just run and run..
2

47872Mike wrote:

Isola Verde wrote:

We were in a "John Lewis" store recently, and I was surprised to see them still selling the GX80 (as it's called, here in Britain) - which led me to check the serial number of the used one I'd bought a few weeks previously.

It decoded to a manufacturing date of 25 Feb 2020.

For a model in the shops since May 2016, that's a production run of almost four years by then - with mine unlikely to have been the last?

Peter

Actually, I might as well try the same look-up for my own camera. Can you tell me how you did it? Do I need the internal serial number, or just the one on the base of the camera?

It's the internal serial number, I use a little program called PhotoMe

https://www.photome.de/

But, essentially, an internal serial number of XFR200225nnnn translates to

Mfrer's code XFR

Date 2020-02-25

No of camera made that day nnnn

Peter

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OP 47872Mike Regular Member • Posts: 210
Re: Funny how some models just run and run..
1

Thanks. Out of interest does that correspond with the result you get when examining the third character (a numeral giving the last year of the date) and fourth character (A letter giving the month where A is January) of the serial number on the camera's base?

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Isola Verde
Isola Verde Veteran Member • Posts: 9,968
Re: Funny how some models just run and run..

47872Mike wrote:

Thanks. Out of interest does that correspond with the result you get when examining the third character (a numeral giving the last year of the date) and fourth character (A letter giving the month where A is January) of the serial number on the camera's base?

Now there's a thing... it does seem to agree!

Third character "0" - so 2020

Fourth character "B" - so February

Didn't realise they did that!

Peter

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OP 47872Mike Regular Member • Posts: 210
Re: Funny how some models just run and run..

A-ha. Took me a few minutes myself

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Marko_Finland
Marko_Finland Contributing Member • Posts: 830
Re: Funny how some models just run and run..

47872Mike wrote:

I think they decided to keep making them alongside the GX9 which had seemed to be its replacement. I believe that many UK retailers still stock them (don't know about the rest of the world).

What I find surprising that GX9 has not been available in any shops in Finland for at least a year, whereas GX80 is still sold just about everywhere. Even the biggest electronics retailers here seem to stock them.

Marko

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Simon97
Simon97 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,247
Re: Great camera, great bargain

I think it is a wonderful camera. The two lens kit is a great deal. One time it dipped to $450 for that kit. I came from a Nikon S1 and Canon G9X (1" sensors) and the GX85 is better in DR, noise and color. You really get the best from this camera using raw.

I've not had issues with the colors, though I can't claim people would like the way I process my images. I also like to process halo free small radius sharpening. This image is of my friend standing on a bench to get a better shot...

GX85 raw processed

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peppermonkey Veteran Member • Posts: 5,196
Colours in RAW between M43...

In general, I find to be, for all practical purposes, insignificantly differentiated. You may need to learn postprocessing better perhaps or the raw processor you are using may causes differences...(I use Lightroom mostly).

Ooc JPEG is a personal matter and generally not as significantly different compared to years past. I.e. can be, for the most part, be replicated.

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Hubert
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