Panasonic L1 vs GX85
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 (labelled Panasonic GX80 in some countries) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2006 and April 2016. The L1 is a DSLR, while the GX85 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Both cameras are equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. The L1 has a resolution of 7.4 megapixels, whereas the GX85 provides 15.8 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
|Panasonic L1||Panasonic GX85|
|Digital single lens reflex||Mirrorless system camera|
|Four Thirds lenses||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|7.4 MP, Four Thirds Sensor||15.8 MP, Four Thirds Sensor|
|no Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO 100-1600||ISO 200-25600|
|Optical viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder (2765k dots)|
|2.5" LCD, 207k dots||3.0" LCD, 1040k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Tilting touchscreen|
|3 shutter flaps per second||8 shutter flaps per second|
|Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|750 shots per battery charge||290 shots per battery charge|
|146 x 87 x 64 mm, 606 g||122 x 71 x 44 mm, 426 g|
Body comparison: Panasonic L1 vs GX85
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Panasonic L1 and the Panasonic GX85 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also toggle the display to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the L1 – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic GX85 is considerably smaller (32 percent) than the Panasonic L1. Moreover, the GX85 is markedly lighter (30 percent) than the L1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the L1 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. Both cameras have similarly sized sensors, but DSLRs have a larger flange-to-focal plane distance than mirrorless cameras, which imposes contraints on the optical engineering process and generally leads to bigger and heavier lenses. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Four Thirds Lens Catalog (L1) and the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog (GX85). Mirrorless cameras, such as the GX85, have moreover the advantage that they can use many lenses from other systems via adapters, as they have a relatively short flange to focal plane distance.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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.
|Panasonic L1»||5.7 in||3.4 in||2.5 in||21.4 oz||750||n||Feb 2006||999||-||Panasonic L1|
|Panasonic GX85«||4.8 in||2.8 in||1.7 in||15.0 oz||290||n||Apr 2016||799||Panasonic GX85|
|Canon XT« »||5.0 in||3.7 in||2.5 in||19.0 oz||400||n||Feb 2005||899||-||Canon XT|
|Canon Rebel« »||5.6 in||3.9 in||2.8 in||22.9 oz||400||n||Aug 2003||899||-||Canon Rebel|
|Leica Digilux 3« »||5.7 in||3.4 in||3.0 in||21.4 oz||750||n||Sep 2006||1,499||-||Leica Digilux 3|
|Leica V-LUX 1« »||5.6 in||3.4 in||5.6 in||25.9 oz||360||n||Sep 2006||849||-||Leica V-LUX 1|
|Nikon D80« »||5.2 in||4.1 in||3.0 in||23.6 oz||600||n||Aug 2006||999||-||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D70s« »||5.5 in||4.4 in||3.1 in||24.0 oz||500||n||Apr 2005||899||-||Nikon D70s|
|Olympus E-M10 II« »||4.7 in||3.3 in||1.9 in||13.8 oz||320||n||Aug 2015||799||-||Olympus E-M10 II|
|Olympus E-M10« »||4.7 in||3.2 in||1.8 in||14.0 oz||320||n||Jan 2014||699||-||Olympus E-M10|
|Olympus E-330« »||5.5 in||3.4 in||2.8 in||22.5 oz||750||n||Jan 2006||999||-||Olympus E-330|
|Olympus E-500« »||5.1 in||3.7 in||2.6 in||16.9 oz||750||n||Sep 2005||599||-||Olympus E-500|
|Olympus E-300« »||5.8 in||3.3 in||2.5 in||22.0 oz||750||n||Sep 2004||799||-||Olympus E-300|
|Panasonic GX9« »||4.9 in||2.8 in||1.9 in||14.4 oz||260||n||Feb 2018||849||Panasonic GX9|
|Panasonic G85« »||5.0 in||3.5 in||2.9 in||17.8 oz||330||Y||Sep 2016||899||Panasonic G85|
|Panasonic GX7« »||4.8 in||2.8 in||2.2 in||14.2 oz||350||n||Aug 2013||999||-||Panasonic GX7|
|Panasonic L10« »||5.3 in||3.8 in||3.1 in||19.6 oz||450||n||Aug 2007||599||-||Panasonic L10|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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 L1, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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: Panasonic L1 vs 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. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras 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.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the GX85 offers a higher resolution of 15.8 megapixels, compared with 7.4 MP of the L1. This megapixels advantage translates into a 46 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the GX85 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.77μm versus 5.51μm for the L1). However, it should be noted that the GX85 is much more recent (by 10 years and 1 month) than the L1, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that compensate for the smaller pixel size. 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-L1 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600 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..
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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 following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Panasonic L1»||Four Thirds||7.4||3136||2352||-||-||-||-||-||Panasonic L1|
|Panasonic GX85«||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||4K/30p||22.9||12.6||662||71||Panasonic GX85|
|Canon XT« »||APS-C||8.0||3456||2304||-||21.8||10.8||637||60||Canon XT|
|Canon Rebel« »||APS-C||6.3||3072||2048||-||21.0||10.8||544||55||Canon Rebel|
|Leica Digilux 3« »||Four Thirds||7.4||3136||2352||-||-||-||-||-||Leica Digilux 3|
|Leica V-LUX 1« »||1/1.8||10.0||3648||2736||480/30p||-||-||-||-||Leica V-LUX 1|
|Nikon D80« »||APS-C||10.0||3872||2592||-||22.1||11.2||524||61||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D70s« »||APS-C||6.0||3008||2000||-||20.4||10.3||529||50||Nikon D70s|
|Olympus E-M10 II« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||23.1||12.5||842||73||Olympus E-M10 II|
|Olympus E-M10« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.8||12.3||884||72||Olympus E-M10|
|Olympus E-330« »||Four Thirds||7.4||3136||2352||-||-||-||-||-||Olympus E-330|
|Olympus E-500« »||Four Thirds||8.0||3264||2448||-||-||-||-||-||Olympus E-500|
|Olympus E-300« »||Four Thirds||8.0||3264||2448||-||-||-||-||-||Olympus E-300|
|Panasonic GX9« »||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Panasonic GX9|
|Panasonic G85« »||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||4K/30p||22.8||12.5||656||71||Panasonic G85|
|Panasonic GX7« »||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||22.6||12.2||718||70||Panasonic GX7|
|Panasonic L10« »||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||-||21.3||10.8||429||55||Panasonic L10|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The GX85 indeed provides for movie recording, while the L1 does not. The highest resolution format that the GX85 can use is 4K/30p.
Feature comparison: Panasonic L1 vs GX85
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the GX85 has an electronic viewfinder (2765k dots), while the L1 has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Panasonic L1 and Panasonic GX85 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Panasonic L1»||optical||n||2.5||207||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Panasonic L1|
|Panasonic GX85«||2765||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||8.0||Y||Y||Panasonic GX85|
|Canon XT« »||optical||n||1.8||115||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Canon XT|
|Canon Rebel« »||optical||n||1.8||118||fixed||n||4000||2.5||Y||n||Canon Rebel|
|Leica Digilux 3« »||optical||n||2.5||207||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Leica Digilux 3|
|Leica V-LUX 1« »||235||n||2.0||207||swivel||n||2000||2.0||Y||Y||Leica V-LUX 1|
|Nikon D80« »||optical||n||2.5||230||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D70s« »||optical||n||2.0||130||fixed||n||8000||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D70s|
|Olympus E-M10 II« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||8.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-M10 II|
|Olympus E-M10« »||1440||n||3.0||1037||tilting||Y||4000||8.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-M10|
|Olympus E-330« »||optical||n||2.5||215||tilting||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Olympus E-330|
|Olympus E-500« »||optical||n||2.5||215||fixed||n||4000||2.5||Y||n||Olympus E-500|
|Olympus E-300« »||optical||n||1.8||134||fixed||n||4000||2.5||Y||n||Olympus E-300|
|Panasonic GX9« »||2760||n||3.0||1240||tilting||Y||4000||9.0||Y||Y||Panasonic GX9|
|Panasonic G85« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||9.0||Y||Y||Panasonic G85|
|Panasonic GX7« »||2760||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||8000||5.0||Y||Y||Panasonic GX7|
|Panasonic L10« »||optical||n||2.5||207||swivel||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Panasonic L10|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The GX85 has a touchscreen, while the L1 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.
The reported shutter speed and shutter burst refer to the use of the mechanical shutter. In addition, the GX85 features 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 L1 writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the GX85 uses SDXC cards.
Connectivity comparison: Panasonic L1 vs GX85
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-L1 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Panasonic L1»||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic L1|
|Panasonic GX85«||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic GX85|
|Canon XT« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Canon XT|
|Canon Rebel« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-||Canon Rebel|
|Leica Digilux 3« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Leica Digilux 3|
|Leica V-LUX 1« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Leica V-LUX 1|
|Nikon D80« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D70s« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D70s|
|Olympus E-M10 II« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Olympus E-M10 II|
|Olympus E-M10« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Olympus E-M10|
|Olympus E-330« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-330|
|Olympus E-500« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-500|
|Olympus E-300« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-300|
|Panasonic GX9« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Panasonic GX9|
|Panasonic G85« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic G85|
|Panasonic GX7« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Panasonic GX7|
|Panasonic L10« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic L10|
It is notable that the GX85 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the L1 does not offer wifi capability.
The GX85 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Panasonic. In contrast, the L1 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the L1 was succeeded by the Panasonic L10.
Review summary: Panasonic L1 vs GX85
So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Panasonic L1 or the Panasonic GX85 – has the upper hand? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (750 versus 290) on a single battery charge.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2006).
Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (15.8 vs 7.4MP), which boosts linear resolution by 46%.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 4K/30p video.
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 207k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- More compact: Is smaller (122x71mm vs 146x87mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 180g or 30 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (20 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 10 years and 1 month of technical progress since the L1 launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the GX85 is the clear winner of the contest (17 : 4 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.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the L1 and the GX85 in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
Expert reviews: Panasonic L1 vs GX85
This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Panasonic L1»||85/100||Rec||-||rev||3.5/5||Feb 2006||999||-||Panasonic L1|
|Panasonic GX85«||HiRec||82/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Apr 2016||799||Panasonic GX85|
|Canon XT« »||80/100||HiRec||rev||rev||-||Feb 2005||899||-||Canon XT|
|Canon Rebel« »||-||HiRec||-||rev||-||Aug 2003||899||-||Canon Rebel|
|Leica Digilux 3« »||-||-||-||-||-||Sep 2006||1,499||-||Leica Digilux 3|
|Leica V-LUX 1« »||-||-||-||-||-||Sep 2006||849||-||Leica V-LUX 1|
|Nikon D80« »||Rec||HiRec||rev||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2006||999||-||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D70s« »||-||-||-||rev||5/5||Apr 2005||899||-||Nikon D70s|
|Olympus E-M10 II« »||HiRec||80/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Aug 2015||799||-||Olympus E-M10 II|
|Olympus E-M10« »||-||80/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2014||699||-||Olympus E-M10|
|Olympus E-330« »||-||Rec||rev||3.5/5||-||Jan 2006||999||-||Olympus E-330|
|Olympus E-500« »||76/100||HiRec||-||-||-||Sep 2005||599||-||Olympus E-500|
|Olympus E-300« »||-||Rec||rev||rev||4.5/5||Sep 2004||799||-||Olympus E-300|
|Panasonic GX9« »||Rec||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2018||849||Panasonic GX9|
|Panasonic G85« »||HiRec||84/100||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||899||Panasonic G85|
|Panasonic GX7« »||Rec||79/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2013||999||-||Panasonic GX7|
|Panasonic L10« »||85/100||Rec||3.5/5||rev||4/5||Aug 2007||599||-||Panasonic L10|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time 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.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
- Canon 1300D vs Canon 550D
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- Canon M50 vs Canon T5
- Canon T5i vs Fujifilm X-A10
- Canon T7 vs Fujifilm X-E3
- Leica C-LUX vs Panasonic LX100 II
- Nikon D3300 vs Canon T2i
- Nikon D5100 vs Canon 5D
- Panasonic G9 vs Fujifilm X-T3
- Sony A7R vs Nikon D90
- Sony RX100 vs Canon G1 X Mark II
Specifications: Panasonic L1 vs Panasonic GX85
|Camera Model||Panasonic L1||Panasonic GX85|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Four Thirds lenses||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||February 2006||April 2016|
|Launch Price||USD 999||USD 799|
|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|
|Sensor Resolution||7.4 Megapixels||15.8 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3136 x 2352 pixels||4592 x 3448 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||5.51 μm||3.77 μm|
|Pixel Density||3.28 MP/cm2||7.04 MP/cm2|
|Movie Capability||no Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-1600 ISO||200-25600 ISO|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Resolution||n/a||2765k dots|
|Rear LCD Size||2.5 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||207k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||3 shutter flaps/s||8 shutter flaps/s|
|Silent Shooting||no E-Shutter||Electronic Shutter|
|Image Stabilization||Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDHC cards||SDXC cards|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Battery Type||CGR-S602 power pack||DMW-BLG10 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||750 shots per charge||290 shots per charge|
146 x 87 x 64 mm
(5.7 x 3.4 x 2.5 in)
122 x 71 x 44 mm
(4.8 x 2.8 x 1.7 in)
|Camera Weight||606 g (21.4 oz)||426 g (15.0 oz)|
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