Panasonic Lumix DMC-G85 / G80 Review
The Panasonic G85 offers the following video recording options (The G80 will include 25 and 50p options):
Like most Panasonics, the G85 has a lot of useful video tools like focus peaking, zebra highlight warnings and microphone level adjustments (with a wind filter option). As mentioned earlier, Auto ISO still can not be used in Manual exposure mode during video capture. And while there is a microphone jack, it's inconveniently located in relation to the articulating screen. There is also no headphone jack to monitor levels.
For serious videographers interested in color grading in post, the camera has Cinelike Gamma D (a fairly flat profile, though not a Log response). Alternatively there's the Cinelike V profile that tries to give an end result but with less post-processing flexibility. The G85 also lets you adjust contrast, sharpness, noise reduction, saturation, color tone, hue and filter effect (monochrome only) for those and all of the Photo Styles.
The G85's touchscreen makes selecting a focus point or racking focus incredibly simple, though being contrast-detection based, there's some risk of hunting. There's also '4K live cropping' mode which allows users to pan or zoom in on a selected area of a 4K video. The resulting clip is 1080p. You can see an example of it, from the our ZS100 review below:
As we expected, 4K video footage from the Panasonic G85 is excellent. The removal of the AA filter gives the camera ain sharpness over the Panasonic G7. Video quality also looks than that of its cousin the GX85 (which also uses a 16MP sensor and skips the AA filter) and nearly as good as the . Despite the lack of an AA filter, the G85 does a good job keeping to a minimum.
HD footage looks nearly identical to that of theand significantly sharper than that out of the . In fact 1080/30p video almost as good as that out of the and significantly better than that offered by the . And while the APS-C Sony a6300 unsurprisingly has the G85 beat in terms of , the G85 offers far superior .
Real World Samples
Excellent video quality aside, another extremely compelling reason to consider the G85 for movie making is the 5-axis in-body stabilization -- it can easily be used hand-held, even when shooting at telephoto focal lengths, without having to worry about shaky footage.
The above video was shot in 4K/24p at the highest quality setting (ISO 200, 1/50 sec F5.6). Using the kit lens racked out to a 120mm equiv., I tapped the screen mid-way through the clip to change the point of focus. Here's the catch, it was shot hand-held, meaning Dual I.S. is useful enough during video capture that you can shoot single-handed at a 120mm equiv. and still get a usable-stable shot. Pretty impressive.
This clip should give you an idea of real world video quality. It was also shot in 4K/24p at the highest quality setting, with an exposure of ISO 200, 1/50 sec, F5.6 and at a 120mm equiv. focal length, hand-held.
Unfortunately, while the G85’s image stabilization is excellent at stabilizing static shots, it seems to struggle differentiating shake from intentional movement. For instance, when panning hand-held with mechanical stabilization engaged, footage can appear jerky. This is especially noticeable when panning in a diagonal direction. We observed this issue when using both a Dual I.S. 2 capable lens (the 12-60 F3.5-5.6 kit) as well as a third-party lens (Olympus 17mm F1.8), but not when using E-stabilization.
You can see an example of this in the video above. And for more examples of this issue, Marcin Rucinski has a detailed video looking into it (skip to 3:00 mark). At this time, we’ve contacted Panasonic about the problem and we hope it’s something that can be rectified via future firmware.
4K Photo mode
Like its other ILC's, the G85 has quite a few features that make use of its 4K video capture capabilities. 4K Photo mode is one of them, and it works by capturing a short 4K clip (in a choice of aspect ratios) and allowing users to extract ~8MP stills. This mode is cool because it gives photographers the ability to capture very specific moments in time, at the equivalent of an insanely high frame-rate. It's also very easy to use.
Another cool feature which we also saw on the GX8, is Post Focus. It works by racking focus while capturing 4K video, allowing the users to grab a JPEG from the clip using a cleverly designed interface.
|Post Focus lets you tap the area that you'd like to focus, the camera then selects the relevant frame. Focus Stacking lets you 'draw-in' multiple boxes, which will then be in focus.
Image courtesy of Panasonic.
We've seen Post Focus available in existing Panasonic models. The G85 takes the concept further by including a 'Focus Stacking' mode. The first image below is a standard photo, with focus set to the foreground, the second is the same image shot using the focusing stacking mode. Both were shot at the same focal length, but take note of the crop factor on the second (since it's grabbed from the camera's 4K video). Extraction from 4K footage also means the result is JPEG only.
|Normal JPEG||Focus Stacking mode|
|The G85 has the same updated bracketing options as the GX85, including aperture and focus bracketing (in addition to exposure and white balance). When bracketing aperture, users can select to bracket 3, 5 or all available apertures.|
When bracketing focus, users select the number of focus 'steps' between shots, as well as the number of shots, which can range from 2 to 999.
The G85 offers the same, very functional Wi-Fi implementation as recent Panasonic ILC's. Once paired with the Panasonic Image app, users can view and download images, view videos, and control the vast majority of the camera's core functions for remote shooting.
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