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Panasonic GX85 Comparison Review

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 (called Panasonic GX80 in some regions) is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that was announced in April 2016 and is equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. It offers a resolution of 15.8 megapixel.

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The Panasonic GX85 has a Camera Elo of 2343. This rating puts the GX85 among the top 50 percent of all mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (Four Thirds cameras), the GX85 ranks among the top 30 percent. Based on its within category standings, the camera earns a 3.5-star performance rating.

Headline Specifications
Panasonic GX85
Mirrorless system camera
Micro Four Thirds lenses
15.8 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
4K/30p Video
ISO 200-25600
Electronic viewfinder (2765k dots)
3.0" LCD, 1040k dots
Tilting touchscreen
8 shutter flaps per second
In-body stabilization
290 shots per battery charge
122 x 71 x 44 mm, 426 g


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Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.

Body comparison with a credit card

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size of the Panasonic GX85 vis-à-vis a credit card. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Panasonic GX85 vs credit card front
GX85 versus credit card top view
GX85 and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Panasonic GX85 alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side 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 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)
Camera
Model
 
Panasonic GX85 4.8 in 2.8 in 1.7 in 15.0 oz 290 n Apr 2016 799 i i Panasonic GX85
 
Olympus E-PL8« » 4.5 in 2.6 in 1.5 in 12.6 oz 350 n Sep 2016 549- i Olympus E-PL8
 
Olympus E-M10 II« » 4.7 in 3.3 in 1.9 in 13.8 oz 320 n Aug 2015 649- i Olympus E-M10 II
 
Olympus E-M10« » 4.7 in 3.2 in 1.8 in 14.0 oz 320 n Jan 2014 699- i Olympus E-M10
 
Panasonic GX9« » 4.9 in 2.8 in 1.9 in 14.4 oz 260 n Feb 2018 849 i i Panasonic GX9
 
Panasonic G85« » 5.0 in 3.5 in 2.9 in 17.8 oz 330 Y Sep 2016 899- i Panasonic G85
 
Panasonic G7« » 4.9 in 3.4 in 3.0 in 14.5 oz 350 n May 2015 649- i Panasonic G7
 
Panasonic GX8« » 5.2 in 3.1 in 2.5 in 17.2 oz 330 Y Jul 2015 1,199- i Panasonic GX8
 
Panasonic GM5« » 3.9 in 2.4 in 1.4 in 7.4 oz 220 n Sep 2014 749- i Panasonic GM5
 
Panasonic GX7« » 4.8 in 2.8 in 2.2 in 14.2 oz 350 n Aug 2013 999- i Panasonic GX7
 
Panasonic GH2« » 4.9 in 3.5 in 3.0 in 15.6 oz 330 n Sep 2010 899- i Panasonic GH2
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Panasonic GX85 was launched in the US market at a price of $799. 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.

Panasonic GX85:
Check Amazon price

Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

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 tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

The Panasonic GX85 features a Four Thirds sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Panasonic GX85 among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.

Panasonic GX85 sensor measures

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Panasonic GX85 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p22.912.666271Panasonic GX85
 
Olympus E-PL8« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p----Olympus E-PL8
 
Olympus E-M10 II« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p23.112.584273Olympus E-M10 II
 
Olympus E-M10« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.388472Olympus E-M10
 
Panasonic GX9« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p----Panasonic GX9
 
Panasonic G85« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p22.812.565671Panasonic G85
 
Panasonic G7« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p----Panasonic G7
 
Panasonic GX8« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p23.512.680675Panasonic GX8
 
Panasonic GM5« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p22.111.772166Panasonic GM5
 
Panasonic GX7« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p22.612.271870Panasonic GX7
 
Panasonic GH2« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60i21.211.365560Panasonic GH2

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The GX85 indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the GX85 can use is 4K/30p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the GX85 has an electronic viewfinder with a resolution of 2765k dots. The viewfinder offers a field of view of 100% and a magnification of 0.70x. The following tables report on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Panasonic GX85 and comparable cameras.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Panasonic GX852765 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y Panasonic GX85
 
Olympus E-PL8« »- n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 n Y Olympus E-PL8
 
Olympus E-M10 II« »2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y Olympus E-M10 II
 
Olympus E-M10« »1440 n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y Olympus E-M10
 
Panasonic GX9« »2760 n 3.0 1240 tilting Y 1/4000s 9.0 Y Y Panasonic GX9
 
Panasonic G85« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 9.0 Y Y Panasonic G85
 
Panasonic G7« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y n Panasonic G7
 
Panasonic GX8« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y Panasonic GX8
 
Panasonic GM5« »1166 n 3.0 921 fixed Y 1/500s 5.8 n n Panasonic GM5
 
Panasonic GX7« »2760 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/8000s 5.0 Y Y Panasonic GX7
 
Panasonic GH2« »1534 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Panasonic GH2

One convenient feature of the GX85 is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.

 

Connection 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-GX85 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Panasonic GX85Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic GX85
 
Olympus E-PL8« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Olympus E-PL8
 
Olympus E-M10 II« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Olympus E-M10 II
 
Olympus E-M10« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Olympus E-M10
 
Panasonic GX9« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y-YPanasonic GX9
 
Panasonic G85« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Panasonic G85
 
Panasonic G7« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Panasonic G7
 
Panasonic GX8« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-Panasonic GX8
 
Panasonic GM5« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic GM5
 
Panasonic GX7« »Ystereomono--mini2.0YY-Panasonic GX7
 
Panasonic GH2« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Panasonic GH2

It is notable that the GX85 offers wifi support. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

 

Expert reviews

While the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way 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).

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Panasonic GX85+ +82/1005/54.5/55/5 Apr 2016 799 i i Panasonic GX85
 
Olympus E-PL8« »--4.5/5-4/5 Sep 2016 549- i Olympus E-PL8
 
Olympus E-M10 II« »+ +80/1005/55/55/5 Aug 2015 649- i Olympus E-M10 II
 
Olympus E-M10« »-80/1005/54.5/55/5 Jan 2014 699- i Olympus E-M10
 
Panasonic GX9« »+84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2018 849 i i Panasonic GX9
 
Panasonic G85« »+ +84/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 899- i Panasonic G85
 
Panasonic G7« »+ +80/1005/54.5/54.5/5 May 2015 649- i Panasonic G7
 
Panasonic GX8« »+82/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jul 2015 1,199- i Panasonic GX8
 
Panasonic GM5« »+77/1005/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 749- i Panasonic GM5
 
Panasonic GX7« »+79/1005/54.5/55/5 Aug 2013 999- i Panasonic GX7
 
Panasonic GH2« »+ +79/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Sep 2010 899- i Panasonic GH2
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Panasonic GX85 FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the GX85.

What technology is the imaging sensor in the GX85 based on?

The camera is build around a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor.

Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?

Panasonic equipped the GX85 with the Venus image processor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the GX85?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600.

What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85?

Panasonic does not publish a shutter rating for the GX85. Yet, shutters in comparable cameras from other manufacturers are said to be good for at least 100 000 actuations. It should be noted, though, that this number represents a Mean Time before Failure. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust an expected shutter life of 100 000 shots over, say, three years, one would have to take about 100 pictures each and every day.

Is completely silent shooting possible with the Panasonic GX85?

The camera has an electronic shutter option, so that it is indeed feasible to capture images without any shutter noise.

Do I need to purchase an external camera trigger to shoot time-lapse sequences?

No, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 has an intervalometer built-in, so that low frequency shooting (for example, flower blooming, sunset, moon rise) can be undertaken without the need to purchase a separate external intervalometer and related software.

Is it difficult to use manual focus lenses with the Panasonic GX85?

The GX85 offers focus peaking as a manual focus aid. This feature works by placing a colored highlight on in-focus zones within the image.

Does the Panasonic GX85 feature an autofocus assist light?

Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.

What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with flash?

The GX85's flash sync speed is 1/160 sec.

Does the Panasonic GX85 support the Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus interface for SD cards?

Yes, the camera can indeed use UHS-I cards (data transfer speed of up to 104 MB/s).

Which battery does the GX85 use?

The camera gets its power from the DMW-BLG10 (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

Camera to camera comparisons

If you would like to see a side-by-side review of this and another camera, 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 Summary
    Camera Model Panasonic GX85
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date April 2016
    Launch Price USD 799
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS
    Sensor Format Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 15.8 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4592 x 3448 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.77 μm
    Pixel Density 7.04 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter
    Movie Capability 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 200-25600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100-25600 ISO
    Image Processor Venus
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 71
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.9
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.6
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 662
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.70x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2765k dots
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs
    Autofocus System Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peaking
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 8 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations
    Silent ShootingElectronic Shutter
    Time Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer Built-in
    Image StabilizationIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in
    Body Specs
    Battery Type DMW-BLG10 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)290 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 122 x 71 x 44 mm
    (4.8 x 2.8 x 1.7 in)
    Camera Weight 426 g (15.0 oz)

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