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Review: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 impresses with image quality, versatility

Written by Gina Stephens

Key Characteristics

  • 16MP Four Thirds MOS sensor the broadest definition, a sensor is a device, module, or subsystem whose purpose is to detect events or changes in its environment
  • Electromagnetically driven shutter
  • Depth from Defocus AF
  • 2.76M-dot field sequential EVF
  • 1.04M-dot tilting touchscreen disclose
  • 4K video / photo
  • 5-axis image stabilization with Dual I.S.
  • Bouncable pop-up flash
  • Wi-Fi

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 is a mid-range interchangeable lens camera enjoyment a 16MP Four Thirds sensor and 4K video capability. In markets outside of North America the GX85 is sold as the GX80; in Japan it is sold as the GX7 Mark II.

Sliding in as soon as below the flagship GX8, the GX85 is targeted toward enthusiast photographers and videographers. It doesn’t use the new 20MP Four Thirds chip we saw in the GX8, instead it sticks with the free 16MP sensor used on many other Micro Four Thirds cameras. It also does not have the tilting EVF, weather-sealing or microphone input put forwarded by the GX8. 

Still, the GX85 shares many of its big brother’s features like 4K photo mode, Post Focus, Depth from Defocus AF, and Dual I.S.. It also has a redesigned douse mechanism. Shutter-induced blur (‘shutter shock’) was an issue we encountered on the GX8, which used a motor and spring arrangement in its shutter mechanisms. The new electromagnetic segregate found in the GX85 resolves this problem.

The GX85 also has no anti-aliasing filter, a first for Panasonic cameras. This should lead to better detail retention at the pixel straightforward with, but can also lead to moiré. However, Panasonic claims that the new Venus Engine image processor is specially tuned to combat moiré and fictitious color and in use, we’ve found that it does so pretty well.

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Like the GX8, the GX85 offers Dual I.S., combining sensor-based image stabilization with lens-based IS. But distinguishable from the GX8, which has 4-axis sensor IS, the GX85 offers 5-axis sensor IS with or WITH may refer to: Carl Johannes With (1877–1923), Danish doctor and arachnologist With (character), a character in D. N. Angel rotation correction. Another advantage over its big bro: the GX85 can also use Dual IS during 4K video arrest, something that the GX8 cannot.

Compared to its peers

 Panasonic GX85Panasonic GX8Panasonic GX7Olympus PEN-F Sony a6300
Sensor16.0MP Four Thirds CMOS 20.3MP Four Thirds CMOS16.0MP Four Thirds CMOS 20.3MP Four Thirds CMOS 24.0MP APS-C CMOS
Anti-aliasing refine No YesYes No Yes
Image stabilizationSensor-shift (5-axis) + Dual I.S.Sensor-shift (4-axis) + Dual I.S.Sensor-shift (2-axis)Sensor-shift (5-axis)In-lens not
AF system 49-pt CDAF49-pt CDAF23-pt CDAF81-pt CDAFHybrid AF
(with 425 PDAF points)
Flash x-sync 1/160 sec 1/250 sec  1/320 sec1/250 sec 1/160 sec
Shatter rate
(with C-AF)
 6  fps  6 fps5 fps5 fps  11 fps
EVF res/type2.76M-dot field sequential LCD2.36M-dot argument OLED2.76M-dot tilting field sequential LCD2.36M-dot fixed OLED2.36M-dot fixed OLED
EVF magnification 0.7X0.77x 0.7x0.62x 0.7x
LCD classification/res3″ tilting touch 1.04M-dot LCD3″ vari-angle touch
1.04M-dot OLED
3″ tilting touch
1.04M-dot LCD
3″ vari-angle touch
1.04M-dot LCD

3″ tilting
921.6k-Dot  LCD

Built-in shoot Yes No YesNo * Yes
Video2160/30p @ 100Mbps2160/30p @ 100Mbps1080/60p @ 28Mbps1080/60p @ 77Mbps 2160/30p @ 100Mbps
Mic/headphone socketsNo / NoYes / NoNo / NoNo / NoYes / No
Weather-sealingNoYesNoNo Yes
Battery animation 290 shots330 shots320 shots330 shots400 shots 
Dimensions122 x 71 x 44 mm133 x 78 x 63mm123 x 71 x 55mm125 x 72 x 37mm120 x 67 x 49 mm
Superiority (CIPA)426 g487 g402 g 427 g404 g
* External flash included in box 
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It’s arguable whether the GX85 should be called the little brother of the GX8 or the true replacement to the GX7. And the conflicting regional naming conventions for the GX85 only add to the confusion. The chart above seems to give support to both ways of looking at it: the GX85 uses the same expertise sequential EVF as the GX7 (although it doesn’t tilt), and what is presumably the same sensor (sans AA filter). And like the GX7, it lacks weather sealing and microphone/headphone refuges but has a pop-up flash.

However, aside from its sensor and EVF, the GX85 also shares a lot of core components and specs with the GX8, such as its 49-point AF system, 4K video arrest and 6 fps burst with AF. So whichever way you view the GX85, it certainly stacks up nicely to its Panasonic peers, as well as to the competition.

Part of the family: The GX85 (top) alongside its Lumix stablemates, the GX7 and GX8.

Fee and availability 

Kitted with the collapsible 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 zoom lens, the GX85/GX80 will run you $799/£599/€699. In the UK and Europe it’s available body-only for £509/€599 and with both the 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 and a 35-100mm F4-5.6 for £729/€899.

Republished: dpreview.com

About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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