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Panasonic Lumix G85 targets outdoor photographers

Panasonic combines the G7 and the GX85 into the G85/G80, ruggedizes it and bulks up the video features.

Lori Grunin
Lori Grunin Senior Editor / Advice

I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.

Expertise Photography, PCs and laptops, gaming and gaming accessories
2 min read

Shop for Panasonic Lumix G85 (with 12-60mm lens)

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Panasonic takes its Lumix G7 mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera upstream -- literally -- with the Lumix G85, an updated and more rugged version of a combination of a slightly redesigned G7 body with the internals of the GX85/GX80, intended to appeal to the outdoor photographer. In addition to incorporating the antialiasing-filter-free sensor and image processor and stabilization system from the GX85, the G85 improves on the G7 body with dust-and-splash resistance and the ability to take a battery grip. Plus it adds some more advanced video capabilities and improved image stabilization.

The camera will ship in October with a body-only price of $900 and a $1,000 kit with the 12-60mm f3.5-5.6 lens announced in February 2016. I don't have non-US pricing or availability yet, but those directly convert to roughly £690/£770 and AU$1,200/AU$1,335. In the UK the name will be the G80.

Panasonic ruggedizes the G7 body for the Lumix G85

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What's new

  • Design. In addition to the weather sealing and support for a battery grip (DMW-BGG1), Panasonic tweaked the design for improved usability. The SD card slot is now on the grip, where it belongs, and it adds electronic first-curtain shutter (EFCS) for decreased shutter vibration. It also has a magnesium front panel for increased rigidity which decreases vibration, as well. And the viewfinder has slightly more magnification.
  • Performance. Panasonic incorporated a new gyro in the body to beef up its 5-axis hybrid image-stabilization system, dubbed "Dual IS 2." While the continuous-shooting frame rate with autofocus remains essentially unchanged, it's got a deeper buffer for a decent number of raw shots.
  • Video. While the camera has the usual Panasonic 4K video-enabled features such as focus stacking and Live Crop, it also gains clean HDMI out (4:2:2), monochrome preview and the ability to fiddle with the luma value. In the US, you can shoot a single 4K video clip for up to 45 minutes rather than being forced to cut off at 29:59 (which is an artifact of European regulations). However, it lacks support for V-Log profiles.

My take

I tend to like Panasonic's cameras because of the balance of speed, size, features and photo quality, and the G85/G80 combines the best of both worlds from its latest mirrorless models. Olympus' OM-D models, probably the E-M5 Mark II, are its closest competitors, but the EM5M2 is two years old and needs a general update to bring it into 2016.

Comparative specs

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark IIPanasonic Lumix DMC-G7"Panasonic Lumix DMC-G85 DMC-G80 (UK) ""Pansonic Lumix DMC-GX85 DMC-GX80 (UK)"
Sensor effective resolution 16.1MP Live MOS16MP Live MOS16MP Live MOS16MP Live MOS
Sensor size 17.3 x 13mm17.3 x 13mm17.3mm x 13mm17.3mm x 13mm
Focal-length multiplier 2.0x2.0x2.0x2.0x
Sensitivity range ISO 100 (exp)/ISO 200 - ISO 25600ISO 100 (exp)/ISO 200 - ISO 25600ISO 100 (exp)/ISO 200 - ISO 25600ISO 100 (exp)/ISO 200 - ISO 25600
Burst shooting "5fps unlimited JPEG and raw (10fps with fixed focus and IS off)""6fps 100 JPEG/13 raw (8fps with focus fixed on first frame; 40fps with electronic shutter)""6fps 300 JPEG/45 raw (9fps with focus and exposure fixed on first frame)""6fps at least 100 JPEG/13 raw (10fps with electronic shutter and focus fixed on the first frame)"
"Viewfinder (mag/ effective mag)" "EVF 100% coverage 2.36 million dots 1.3x - 1.48x/ 0.65x - 0.74x""OLED EVF 100% coverage 2.36m dots 1.4x/0.7x""OLED EVF 100% coverage 2.36m dots 1.5x/0.74x""EVF 100% coverage 2.8m dots 1.4x/0.7x"
Hot shoe YesYesYesYes
Autofocus "81-area Contrast AF""49-area DFD Contrast AF""49-area DFD Contrast AF""49-area DFD Contrast AF"
AF sensitivity n/a-4 - 18 EV-4 - 18 EV-4 - 18 EV
Shutter speed 60 - 1/8000 sec; bulb to 30 minutes; 1/250 sec x-sync (Super FP to 1/8000)1/4000 to 60 secs (up to 1/16000 with electronic shutter); bulb to 2 minutes; 1/160 sec x-sync1/4000 to 60 secs (up to 1/16000 with electronic shutter); bulb to 2 minutes; 1/160 sec x-sync60 -1/4000 sec; max 1/16000 sec with electronic shutter; 1/160 sec x-sync; bulb to 2 minutes
Shutter durability n/an/an/an/a
Metering 324 area1,728 zone1,728 zone1,728 zone
Metering sensitivity -2 - 20 EV0 - 18 EV0 - 18 EV0 - 18 EV
Best video "H.264 QuickTime MOV 1080/60p, 50p (52 Mbps); 30p, 25p, 24p (77 Mbps)""H.264 QuickTime MOV UHD/30p, 25p, 24p @ 100Mbps; 1080/60p, 50p, 25p, 24p @ 28Mbps ""H.264 QuickTime MOV 4K UHD/30p, 25p, 24p @ 100Mbps; 1080/60p, 50p, 25p, 24p @ 200Mbps ""H.264 QuickTime MOV 4K UHD/30p, 25p, 24p @ 100Mbps; 1080/60p, 50p, 25p, 24p @ 200Mbps "
Audio Stereo; mic input; headphone jack on HLD-8G gripStereo; mic inputStereo; mic inputStereo
Manual aperture and shutter in video YesYesYesYes
Maximum best-quality recording time per clip 4GB29:59 mins"45 mins (in US only) 29:59 elsewhere"4GB/29:59 minutes
Clean HDMI out Yesn/aYesn/a
IS "Sensor shift 5 axis"Optical"Sensor shift Dual IS 2 5 axis""Sensor shift Dual IS 5 axis"
LCD "3 in/7.5cm Articulated touchscreen 1.04m dots""3 in/7.5cm Articulated touchscreen 1.04m dots""3 in/7.5cm Articulated touchscreen 1.04m dots""3-inch/7.5 cm Tilting touchscreen 1.04 million dots"
Memory slots 1 x SDXC1 x SDXC1 x SDXC1 x SDXC
Wireless connection Wi-FiWi-FiWi-FiWi-Fi
Flash Included add-onYesYesYes
Wireless flash YesNoYesYes
Battery life (CIPA rating) "310 shots (1,220 mAh)""360 shots (1,200mAh)""330 shots (LCD); 320 shots (VF) (1,200 mAh)""290 shots (LCD); 270 shots (EVF) (1,025 mAh)"
Size (WHD) "4.9 x 3.3 x 1.8 in 124 x 85 x 45 mm""4.9 x 3.4 x 3.1 in 124.9 x 86.2 x 77.4 mm""5.1 x 3.5 x 2.9 in 128 x 89 x 74 mm""4.8 x 2.8 x 1.7 in 122 x 71 x 44 mm"
Body operating weight "15.7 oz 446 g""14.7 oz 418 g""17.1 oz (est.) 505 g (est.)""15.3 oz 434 g"
Primary kit "$1,100 (body only) £950 (with 14-42mm PZ lens) AU$1,400 (est.) (with 14-42mm lens)""£550 (with 12-60mm lens) $700 AU$900 (with 14-42mm lens)""$1,000 (with 12-60mm lens)""$800 £600 AU$1,200 (with 12-32mm lens)"
Release date February 2015June 2015October 2016May 2016
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