Panasonic Lumix DMC-G85 (G80)

16MP Four Thirds CMOS sensor | 5-axis image stabilization | 4K video capture

What we like:

  • Good Raw image quality
  • 5-axis image stabilization, even when recording video
  • Excellent autofocus
  • Weather-sealing

What we don't:

  • Out-of-camera JPEGs could be better
  • No headphone jack
  • Articulating screen can block microphone socket
The Panasonic G85/G80 is, in most respects, an improved version of the enthusiast-oriented Panasonic G7. It uses nearly an identical body design, but gains in-body 5-axis image stabilization, weather-sealing, a redesigned shutter mechanism, a magnesium font panel and an in-camera focus stacking mode.
Comfortable to hold and operate — even with a single hand — the camera has dual control dials, plenty of custom buttons and an outstanding touch interface. With a moderate-sized lens attached, the G85 remains lightweight and well-balanced. Some of the buttons are a tad small and the number of control points might seem overwhelming to novices.
And while it might not currently be on your list, the G85 likely should be. Here's why: it is extremely well-rounded in nearly every regard.
The G85 uses a contrast-detect autofocus system, but don't let that concern you — its autofocus is fast and generally very accurate. Subject tracking, for instance, can be used when shooting a burst of still images (at up to 6 fps) or while shooting video. Battery life is rated at 330 shots per charge — average for a mirrorless camera.
The camera uses 16MP Live MOS sensor with no anti-aliasing filter. By removing the AA filter, the G85 sees slight improvements in resolution compared to the G7. JPEGs from the G85 still leave us wanting more; noise reduction is often sloppy and too aggressive and colors occasionally look washed out. Shooting the camera in Raw mode is the ticket to getting images from the G85 that shine.
The G85 is an extremely capable video capture device. It offers Dual I.S. 2 when shooting video (and stills), which is Panasonic's latest and greatest image stabilization system. This means the 5-axis sensor-shift works in tandem with in-lens IS for even smoother handheld clips (though this only works with certain lenses.) Moreover, 4K video quality is very good. And ample tools are included to help you get the shot, like zebra warnings and focus peaking. It also has a built-in mic jack, but not a headphone jack.
An appealing choice for beginners and enthusiast, we wouldn't be surprised if the G85 also found its way into the hands of serious video shooters as well. And while it might not currently be on your list, it likely should be. Here's why: it is extremely well-rounded in nearly every regard. In fact its 5-axis stabilized 4K video, weather-sealed body and fully-articulating touchscreen alone make it a more feature-rich option than many of its peers.

Studio Test Scene | Specifications Compared


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