Panasonic LUMIX GX85 Brief Review



  • 16 megapixel Micro 4/3 Sensor
  • Optical low pass filter removed
  • Shutter speed 60 s. - 1/4000 (1/1600 electronic)
  • Flash sync speed 1/160
  • ISO 100-25600 (Maximum 6400 in video)
  • 5 axis image stabilization
  • 49-point autofocus
  • 8 fps burst speed (buffer over 13 images for RAW, over 100 for JPEG)
  • 4K photo burst 30 fps
  • Time lapse and stop motion modes
  • RAW and JPEG
  • Electronic viewfinder, 3” tilting LCD touchscreen
  • 4K video at 30 fps (up to 40 minutes)
  • 1080p HD video at 50 fps
  • Wi-fi
  • Li-ion battery rated at 290 shots
  • Weighs .94 lbs (426g)
  • Release Date: 2016-05-20
  • Final Grade: 88 4.4 Star Rating: Recommended

Panasonic GX85 offers pocketable, affordable 4K
Panasonic is continuing to make 4K more affordable with the sub-$800 mirrorless camera, the GX85.
By Hillary Grigonis, Last updated on: 6/14/2016

As a manufacturer of both camcorders and cameras, Panasonic is getting serious about making 4K more accessible. Besides adding 4K to a number of compact cameras, Panasonic has now also introduced a 4K capable mirrorless camera. Besides the 4K though, the Panasonic GX85 looks like it can hold its own for enthusiasts or even consumers looking for better image quality.

The sensor resolution hasn't increased, but Panasonic has removed the optical low pass filter. The OLPF is designed to reduce distortion in fine patterns, but reduces an image's overall sharpness. Panasonic has removed the filter and compensated for moire through the camera's processor. While the change is new for Panasonic, the OLPF-free images we've seen from Fujifilm X-Trans cameras and Nikon's newer DSLRs have offered a nice level of detail. That sensor is the 4/3 format, however, in line with Olympus' mirrorless cameras but smaller than from a Fujifilm or a DSLR. 

But the biggest draw, at least compared to other mirrorless cameras in the price range, is the 4K. The 4K is available at longer recording times as well, unlike some DSLRs with a 5 minute limit. 4K is at a 30 fps frame rate, but a 50 fps frame rate is available in 1080p.

Speed looks to be about average for the price point, with a respectable 8 fps burst. There is a 4K video burst mode, however, which essentially pulls still frames directly from the video so you end up with that 30 fps. The downside is that this method uses an electronic shutter, which tends to be more prone to noise and a loss of detail than the mechanical shutter. 

Design-wise, the GX85 looks pretty solid with both a viewfinder and a tilting LCD. The battery life is a disappointing 290 shots though.

The Panasonic GX85 fits nicely into the budget-priced mirrorless market with the addition of 4K and the absence of the OLPF. The comparable Olympus OM-D E-M10 II doesn't offer 4K but has a higher flash sync speed, better battery and more autofocus points. The Fujifilm X-T10 doesn't have that 4K or even the longer recording times either, but offers a larger APS-C sensor. 

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Panasonic Reviews

As a manufacturer known just as well for their camcorders as their cameras, Panasonic was the first on scene to offer 4K video inside a dedicated camera. The Panasonic Lumix GH4 is the first mirrorless camera boasting the higher video resolution, with the FZ1000 as the first compact, bridge-style camera to do so.

Panasonic also produces cameras that provide both a longer zoom range and image stabilization at a price that's relatively cheap. For photographers that need versatility in a small package, Panasonic digital cameras can provide many selections that are suitable. Having something for amateurs and serious enthusiasts at the same time, Panasonic offers a great selection of digital cameras, from ultra compacts to mirrorless cameras. They can be hard to compare because every camera comes with its own unique features and traits.

Panasonic cameras are perfect for consumers that prefer to use automatic modes. Almost all Panasonic cameras currently produced come with a feature called iAuto, which will automatically select the best scene mode for any subject. This feature, in combination with image stabilization will make it very easy for someone just starting out to take excellent photos.

Panasonic cameras are designed to be easy to figure out, giving the user easy access to settings, and users that have reviewed Panasonic digital cameras are quick to confirm this fact. When you opt for a Panasonic camera, you'll discover that it comes with an LCD screen, an optical zoom lens which is very versatile, and is both lightweight and fairly compact.

Panasonic's most popular models are their super zooms and mirrorless, with models ranging from cameras with huge zooms to mirrorless cameras earning the “smallest yet” distinction like the GM-1. They've been more focused on their mirrorless line lately, without introducing budget point-and-shoots in quite some time.

We here at Digital Camera HQ offer unbiased, informative reviews and recommendations to guide you to the right camera. We're not an actual store; we're just here to help you find the perfect camera at the best price possible by using our camera grades. Let us know if you have any problems or questions, we're happy to help.