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Panasonic GX7 vs GX85

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 (labelled Panasonic GX80 in some countries) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2013 and April 2016. Both the GX7 and the GX85 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 15.8 megapixels.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Panasonic GX7
versus
Panasonic GX85
Panasonic GX7   Panasonic GX85
Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
Micro Four Thirds lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
15.8 MP – Four Thirds sensor 15.8 MP – Four Thirds sensor
1080/60p Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 125-25,600 ISO 200-25,600
Electronic viewfinder (2760k dots) Electronic viewfinder (2765k dots)
3.0" LCD – 1040k dots 3.0" LCD – 1040k dots
Tilting touchscreen Tilting touchscreen
5 shutter flaps per second 8 shutter flaps per second
In-body stabilizationIn-body stabilization
350 shots per battery charge290 shots per battery charge
123 x 71 x 55 mm, 402 g 122 x 71 x 44 mm, 426 g
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Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

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Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Panasonic GX7 and the Panasonic GX85. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Both cameras are available in two different colors (black, silver).

Size Panasonic GX7 vs Panasonic GX85
Compare GX7 versus GX85 top
Comparison GX7 or GX85 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic GX7 and the Panasonic GX85 are of equal size. However, the GX85 is markedly heavier (6 percent) than the GX7. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the GX7 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. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog. Mirrorless cameras, such as the two under consideration, have the additional advantage of having a short flange to focal plane distance, which makes it possible to mount many lenses from other systems onto the camera via adapters.

The power pack in the GX85 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.

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Body Specifications
  empty Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Panasonic GX7 123 mm 71 mm 55 mm 402 g 350 n Aug 2013 999ebay.com
2.
 
Panasonic GX85 122 mm 71 mm 44 mm 426 g 290 n Apr 2016 799 amazon.com
3.
 
Olympus E-M10 119 mm 82 mm 46 mm 396 g 320 n Jan 2014 699ebay.com
4.
 
Olympus E-M10 II 120 mm 83 mm 47 mm 390 g 320 n Aug 2015 649ebay.com
5.
 
Olympus E-P5 122 mm 69 mm 37 mm 420 g 330 n May 2013 999ebay.com
6.
 
Olympus E-PL7 115 mm 67 mm 38 mm 357 g 350 n Aug 2014 599ebay.com
7.
 
Panasonic G5 120 mm 83 mm 71 mm 396 g 320 n Jul 2012 599ebay.com
8.
 
Panasonic G6 122 mm 85 mm 71 mm 390 g 340 n Apr 2013 599ebay.com
9.
 
Panasonic G85 128 mm 89 mm 74 mm 505 g 330 Y Sep 2016 899ebay.com
10.
 
Panasonic GH2 124 mm 90 mm 76 mm 442 g 330 n Sep 2010 899ebay.com
11.
 
Panasonic GM5 99 mm 60 mm 36 mm 211 g 220 n Sep 2014 749ebay.com
12.
 
Panasonic GX8 133 mm 78 mm 63 mm 487 g 330 Y Jul 2015 1,199ebay.com
13.
 
Panasonic GX9 124 mm 72 mm 47 mm 407 g 260 n Feb 2018 849ebay.com
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The GX85 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 20 percent) than the GX7, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature a Four Thirds sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Panasonic GX7 and Panasonic GX85 sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 15.8 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the GX7 and the GX85 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the GX85 is much more recent (by 2 years and 8 months) than the GX7, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time. 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.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 125 to ISO 25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 are ISO 200 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600.

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.

GX7 versus GX85 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
  empty Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Panasonic GX7 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p22.612.271870
2.
 
Panasonic GX85 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p22.912.666271
3.
 
Olympus E-M10 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.388472
4.
 
Olympus E-M10 II Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p23.112.584273
5.
 
Olympus E-P5 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.489572
6.
 
Olympus E-PL7 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.712.487372
7.
 
Panasonic G5 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.411.661861
8.
 
Panasonic G6 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.563961
9.
 
Panasonic G85 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p22.812.565671
10.
 
Panasonic GH2 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60i21.211.365560
11.
 
Panasonic GM5 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p22.111.772166
12.
 
Panasonic GX8 Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p23.512.680675
13.
 
Panasonic GX9 Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p23.112.8116374
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the GX85 provides a better video resolution than the GX7. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the GX7 is limited to 1080/60p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The two cameras under review are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the GX85 offers a slightly higher resolution than the one in the GX7 (2765k vs 2760k dots). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Panasonic GX7 and Panasonic GX85 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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Core Features
  empty Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Panasonic GX72760 n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/8000s 5.0/s Y Y
2.
 
Panasonic GX852765 n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0/s Y Y
3.
 
Olympus E-M101440 n3.0 / 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0/s Y Y
4.
 
Olympus E-M10 II2360 n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0/s Y Y
5.
 
Olympus E-P5optional n3.0 / 1037 tilting Y 1/8000s 9.0/s Y Y
6.
 
Olympus E-PL7optional n3.0 / 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0/s n Y
7.
 
Panasonic G51440 n3.0 / 920 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0/s Y n
8.
 
Panasonic G61440 n3.0 / 1036 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.0/s Y n
9.
 
Panasonic G852360 n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 9.0/s Y Y
10.
 
Panasonic GH21534 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
11.
 
Panasonic GM51166 n3.0 / 921 fixed Y 1/500s 5.8/s n n
12.
 
Panasonic GX82360 n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0/s n Y
13.
 
Panasonic GX92760 n3.0 / 1240 tilting Y 1/4000s 9.0/s Y Y
Note: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, both cameras under consideration feature an electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).

The Panasonic GX7 and the Panasonic GX85 both have an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the GX7 and the GX85 write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.

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Connectivity comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
  empty Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Panasonic GX7Ystereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
2.
 
Panasonic GX85Ystereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
3.
 
Olympus E-M10Ystereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
4.
 
Olympus E-M10 IIYstereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
5.
 
Olympus E-P5Ystereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
6.
 
Olympus E-PL7Ystereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
7.
 
Panasonic G5Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Panasonic G6Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
9.
 
Panasonic G85Ystereo / monoY-micro2.0Y--
10.
 
Panasonic GH2Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0---
11.
 
Panasonic GM5Ystereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
12.
 
Panasonic GX8Ystereo / monoY-micro2.0YY-
13.
 
Panasonic GX9Ystereo / mono--micro2.0Y-Y

The GX85 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Panasonic. In contrast, the GX7 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on ebay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the GX7 was succeeded by the Panasonic GX85. Further information on the features and operation of the GX7 and GX85 can be found, respectively, in the Panasonic GX7 Manual (free pdf) or the online Panasonic GX85 Manual.

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Review summary

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Panasonic GX7 or the Panasonic GX85 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (350 versus 290) on a single battery charge.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2013).


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).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (20 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 8 months of technical progress since the GX7 launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the GX85 comes out slightly ahead of the GX7 (6 : 5 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

GX7 05:06 GX85

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Panasonic GX7 and the Panasonic GX85 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the GX7 or the GX85. 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.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

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Expert Camera Reviews
  empty  Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Panasonic GX74/5+..79/1005/55/5 Aug 2013 999ebay.com
2.
 
Panasonic GX854.5/5+ +..82/1005/55/5 Apr 2016 799 amazon.com
3.
 
Olympus E-M104/5....80/1005/55/5 Jan 2014 699ebay.com
4.
 
Olympus E-M10 II4.5/5+ +..80/1005/55/5 Aug 2015 649ebay.com
5.
 
Olympus E-P55/5+ +..78/1004.5/55/5 May 2013 999ebay.com
6.
 
Olympus E-PL74/5+....5/54/5 Aug 2014 599ebay.com
7.
 
Panasonic G53/5+ +....4.5/54.5/5 Jul 2012 599ebay.com
8.
 
Panasonic G64/5+ +....5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 599ebay.com
9.
 
Panasonic G85..+ +..84/1005/54.5/5 Sep 2016 899ebay.com
10.
 
Panasonic GH25/5+ +..79/1004.5/55/5 Sep 2010 899ebay.com
11.
 
Panasonic GM53.5/5+..77/1005/54.5/5 Sep 2014 749ebay.com
12.
 
Panasonic GX85/5+..82/1004.5/54.5/5 Jul 2015 1,199ebay.com
13.
 
Panasonic GX94/5+4/584/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2018 849ebay.com
Note: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

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Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Panasonic GX7 vs Panasonic GX85

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Panasonic GX7 Panasonic GX85
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Micro Four Thirds lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date August 2013 April 2016
    Launch Price USD 999 USD 799
    Sensor Specs Panasonic GX7 Panasonic GX85
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Four Thirds Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 17.3 x 13.0 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 224.9 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 21.6 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 2.0x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 15.8 Megapixels 15.8 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4592 x 3448 pixels 4592 x 3448 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.77 μm 3.77 μm
    Pixel Density 7.04 MP/cm2 7.04 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 125 - 25,600 ISO 200 - 25,600 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 100 - 25,600 ISO
    Image Processor Venus Venus
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 70 71
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.6 22.9
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.2 12.6
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 718 662
    Screen Specs Panasonic GX7 Panasonic GX85
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.70x 0.70x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2760k dots 2765k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 1040k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Panasonic GX7 Panasonic GX85
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/8000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s 8 shutter flaps/s
    Electronic Shutterup to 1/8000sup to 1/16000s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inIntervalometer built-in
    Image StabilizationIn-body stabilizationIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Single or Dual Card Slots Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Panasonic GX7 Panasonic GX85
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in no NFC
    Body Specs Panasonic GX7 Panasonic GX85
    Battery Type Panasonic DMW-BLG10 Panasonic DMW-BLG10
    Battery Life (CIPA)350 shots per charge290 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 123 x 71 x 55 mm
    (4.8 x 2.8 x 2.2 in)
    122 x 71 x 44 mm
    (4.8 x 2.8 x 1.7 in)
    Camera Weight 402 g (14.2 oz) 426 g (15.0 oz)
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