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Panasonic's GX85 looks functional, but the new flash has character (pictures)

The GX85 is designed to appeal to a more mainstream photographer than its more expensive sibling, the GX8.

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Lori Grunin
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1 of 12 Lori Grunin/CNET

Size

The FX85 is about the same size, but a little heavier than, the Sony A6000.

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Simple

The flash can be triggered wirelessly -- or trigger other flashes -- and uses old-fashioned dials to control light intensity.

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3 of 12 Lori Grunin/CNET

New accessory flash

Along with the GX85, Panasonic announced the FL200L flash. The head tilts to bounce the light, and there's a small LED bank for use with video.

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4 of 12 Lori Grunin/CNET

New sensor

The 16-megapixel sensor does away with the optical low-pass filter (aka an anti-aliasing filter), which slightly blurs edges to compensate for color artifacts native to an image sensor. While other manufacturers have been using AA-free sensors for a while, this is a first for the Four-Thirds size sensor used predominantly by Olympus and Panasonic.

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5 of 12 Lori Grunin/CNET

Grip

The grip is a lot smaller than that of the GX8, and a little too shallow for my taste, at least for using larger, heavier lenses than the tiny kit lens.

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Top

The top layout should be more familiar to less experienced photographers with its single mode dial, and unlike the GX8 it has a popup flash in addition to a hot shoe.

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7 of 12 Lori Grunin/CNET

Connectors

The GX85 keeps it simple with just HDMI and USB connectors.

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Back controls

The GX85 has a typical control layout, plus dedicated buttons for Panasonic's unique Post-Focus and 4K Burst modes.

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Touchscreen

Like most of Panasonic's cameras, the GX85 incorporates a touchscreen.

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10 of 12 Lori Grunin/CNET

Tilting LCD

While the display can tilt down 45 degrees for overhead shots and up 80 degrees for waist-level ones, it doesn't flip up for selfies, probably because the viewfinder's in the way.

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11 of 12 Lori Grunin/CNET

Flash

The popup flash tilts back to bounce the light.

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12 of 12 Lori Grunin/CNET

Profile

It's not small, but you can stick the GX85 into a jacket pocket when it's equipped with the 12-32mm power-zoom kit lens.

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