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Canon M6 versus Panasonic GX85

The Canon EOS M6 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 (labelled Panasonic GX80 in some countries) are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2017 and April 2016. Both the M6 and the GX85 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are based on an APS-C (M6) and a Four Thirds (GX85) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 24 megapixel, whereas the Panasonic provides 15.8 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Canon M6 vs Panasonic GX85

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon M6 and the Panasonic GX85. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the M6 – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Canon M6 vs Panasonic GX85
Compare M6 versus GX85 top
Compare M6 and GX85 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic GX85 is notably larger (14 percent) than the Canon M6. Moreover, the GX85 is markedly heavier (9 percent) than the M6. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the M6 nor the GX85 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Hence, you might want to study the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.

Concerning battery life, the M6 gets 295 shots out of its LP-E17 battery, while the GX85 can take 290 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLG10 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Canon M6» 112 mm 68 mm 45 mm 390 g 295 n Feb 2017 779 i i
Panasonic GX85« 122 mm 71 mm 44 mm 426 g 290 n Apr 2016 799 i i
Canon M50« » 116 mm 88 mm 59 mm 390 g 235 n Feb 2018 779 i i
Canon 200D« » 122 mm 93 mm 70 mm 453 g 650 n Jun 2017 549 i i
Canon 77D« » 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 540 g 600 n Feb 2017 899 i i
Canon M100« » 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 302 g 295 n Aug 2017 499 i i
Canon M5« » 116 mm 89 mm 61 mm 427 g 295 n Sep 2016 979 i i
Canon G7 X Mark II« » 106 mm 61 mm 42 mm 319 g 265 n Feb 2016 699 i i
Canon M3« » 111 mm 68 mm 44 mm 366 g 250 n Feb 2015 679- i
Fujifilm X-E3« » 121 mm 74 mm 43 mm 337 g 350 n Sep 2017 899 i i
Fujifilm X-T20« » 118 mm 83 mm 41 mm 383 g 350 n Jan 2017 899 i i
Nikon D5600« » 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 465 g 970 n Nov 2016 699 i i
Olympus E-M10 II« » 120 mm 83 mm 47 mm 390 g 320 n Aug 2015 799- i
Olympus E-M5 II« » 124 mm 85 mm 45 mm 469 g 310 Y Feb 2015 1,099 i i
Panasonic GX9« » 124 mm 72 mm 47 mm 407 g 260 n Feb 2018 849 i i
Panasonic G85« » 128 mm 89 mm 74 mm 505 g 330 Y Sep 2016 899 i i
Panasonic ZS100« » 111 mm 65 mm 44 mm 312 g 300 n Jan 2016 699- i

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The M6 was somewhat cheaper (by 3 percent) than the GX85 at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon M6 vs Panasonic GX85

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon M6 features an APS-C sensor and the Panasonic GX85 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the GX85 is 32 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 2.0. The sensor in the M6 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the GX85 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Canon M6 and Panasonic GX85 sensor measures

With 24MP, the M6 offers a higher resolution than the GX85 (15.8MP), but the M6 has marginally smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.72μm versus 3.77μm for the GX85). However, the M6 is a somewhat more recent model (by 10 months) than the GX85, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the GX85 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

M6 versus GX85 MP

For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Canon M6» APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----
Panasonic GX85« Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p22.912.666271
Canon M50« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/24p----
Canon 200D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179
Canon 77D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.397178
Canon M100« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.512.9127278
Canon M5« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.412.4126277
Canon G7 X Mark II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----
Canon M3« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.811.8116972
Fujifilm X-E3« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p----
Fujifilm X-T20« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p----
Nikon D5600« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0130684
Olympus E-M10 II« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p23.112.584273
Olympus E-M5 II« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p23.012.584273
Panasonic GX9« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p----
Panasonic G85« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p22.812.565671
Panasonic ZS100« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.555970

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the GX85 provides a better video resolution than the M6. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/60p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon M6 vs Panasonic GX85

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the GX85 has an electronic viewfinder (2765k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the M6 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon M6 and Panasonic GX85 along with similar information for a selection of comparators. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Canon M6»- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 9.0 Y n
Panasonic GX85«2765 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y Y
Canon M50« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 10.0 Y n
Canon 200D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon 77D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 6.0 Y n
Canon M100« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 6.1 Y n
Canon M5« »2360 n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 4000 9.0 Y n
Canon G7 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 8.0 Y Y
Canon M3« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.2 Y n
Fujifilm X-E3« »2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 8.0 n n
Fujifilm X-T20« »2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y n
Nikon D5600« »optical n 3.2 1037 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Olympus E-M10 II« »2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y Y
Olympus E-M5 II« »2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 8000 10.0 n Y
Panasonic GX9« »2760 n 3.0 1240 tilting Y 4000 9.0 Y Y
Panasonic G85« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 9.0 Y Y
Panasonic ZS100« »1166 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 10.0 Y Y

Both the M6 and the GX85 are current models that good online retailers will have in stock. You can check the latest prices, for example, at amazon. The GX85 replaced the earlier Panasonic GX7, while the M6 followed on from the Canon M5.

Review summary: Canon M6 vs Panasonic GX85

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon M6 or the Panasonic GX85 – has the upper hand? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS M6:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (24 vs 15.8MP) with a 26% higher linear resolution.
  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better image quality: Features a larger and more technologically advanced imaging sensor.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (9 vs 8 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (112x68mm vs 122x71mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 10 months after the GX85).

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Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology build-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in April 2016).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the M6 comes out slightly ahead of the GX85 (6 : 5 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera.

M6 06:05 GX85

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the M6 or the GX85 handle or perform in practice. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable. This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Canon M6»-80/1004/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 779 i i
Panasonic GX85«HiRec82/1005/54.5/55/5 Apr 2016 799 i i
Canon M50« »Rec79/100--3.5/5 Feb 2018 779 i i
Canon 200D« »HiRec78/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549 i i
Canon 77D« »-82/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899 i i
Canon M100« »Rec-4/5-3.5/5 Aug 2017 499 i i
Canon M5« »Rec82/1004/54.5/54/5 Sep 2016 979 i i
Canon G7 X Mark II« »HiRec81/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2016 699 i i
Canon M3« »rev75/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679- i
Fujifilm X-E3« »Rec84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2017 899 i i
Fujifilm X-T20« »HiRec82/1005/5-4.5/5 Jan 2017 899 i i
Nikon D5600« »-79/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Nov 2016 699 i i
Olympus E-M10 II« »HiRec80/1005/55/55/5 Aug 2015 799- i
Olympus E-M5 II« »HiRec81/1005/54.5/55/5 Feb 2015 1,099 i i
Panasonic GX9« »Rec-4.5/5-4.5/5 Feb 2018 849 i i
Panasonic G85« »HiRec84/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 899 i i
Panasonic ZS100« »HiRec82/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2016 699- i

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting. If the camera you are interested in is not available, kindly get in touch, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

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