Imaging Resource Confirms Lumix G85 Huge Bang for the Buck

Posted Apr. 14th, 2017 by Daniel J. Cox

Imaging Resource Confirms Lumix G85 Huge Bang for the Buck

I wrote a post a few weeks back about how impressed I was with the Lumix G85. You can read it here at Panasonic LUMIX G85 Shooting Experience Huge Bang For The Buck. There were a fair number of naysayers, which were part of five pages of responses, over on the DPReview MFT forum which is unfortunately typical. But Imaging Resource just posted their review of the G85, and they seem to agree with my thoughts about this camera giving you a lot of value and technology for the money.

The Lumix G85 with 12mm-60mm kit lens has been under the radar since its release. That’s starting to change.

For those looking for a great camera in an affordable, lightweight, weather-sealed, and easy to use package, this may be the camera for you. I know I love the two I have.

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There are 19 comments on this post…
  1. István SimonOn Mar. 14th, 2018 (2 months ago)

    Hi, Daniel,

    I’m planning to buy a G80 camera, but can’t decide which lens, 12-60 or 14-140. It will be first real camera. I have a bridge camera (Fujifilm S9500) now, and like it’s zoom. 14-140 lens gives me same zoom, and I think it would be enough initially. Perhaps I will buy a 100-300 lens later. I would use my camera on our trip in town (buildings) and nature (landscapes, waterfalls and animals). Which lens offer you for me? If I buy camera with the 12-60 lens I’ll have to buy a 100-300 lens soon. Are there substantial difference in quality between the 12-60 and 14-140 lenses?

    Best regards

    Istvan Simon
    from Hungary

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Mar. 15th, 2018 (2 months ago)

      Istvan, thanks for joining the conversation. You don’t mention which 12-60mm you’re thinking about. Is it the Leica version or the Lumix version? I’ve only shot the Leica and will say it’s fabulously sharp. I’ve also shot the 14-140mm and it too is very sharp, or I should say the second generation version is very sharp. Is it sharper than the Leica 12-60mm, no. But for its focal length, it’s very, very good. The other thing you have to take into consideration is the slower speed of the 14-140mm at F/3.5-5.6 compared to the Leica 12-60mm F/2.8-4. That’s probably the biggest and most noticeable difference. That said, if it’s going to be awhile before you can buy other lenses, the 14-140mm is a great value that gives you a lot of range in one convenient optic. If I could only have one lens the second generation 14-140mm would probably be the one I would buy.

  2. Frank LeeOn May. 31st, 2017 (12 months ago)

    Thank you Daniel for your very informative review! The G85 is indeed a very attractive camera, and there are a few times that I almost bought it when I passed by my local camera store. Problem is that I already owned the GX85…

    I’m using my GX85 paired with the 100-400mm lens for bird photography and I’m quite happy with the results. However, I find that CAF is quite unreliable for shooting birds in flight; only about 1 in 10 photos are in-focus. This combination is also a bit weak when the light is low; in cloudy days I often have to push ISO to 1600-3200, but the noise is quite severe especially when I have to crop my photos.

    I wonder if I should buy the G85 for better bird photography? The G85 and GX85 have a lot of similarities, they have the same sensor and the AF system seems to be the same. I know G85 have better viewfinder and ergonomics, but upgrading to G85 probably won’t solve the problems of unreliable CAF and noise at ISO3200. Image quality probably won’t any improvement too.

    Or… should I save up for GH5 / EM1MK2 instead?

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jun. 2nd, 2017 (12 months ago)

      Frank, thanks for stopping by and adding your voice to the conversation.

      Although the GX85 is a very capable camera, it’s not made for the kind of work you say you like to do. Particularly Birds in Flight (BIF). I’ve had very good luck with the G85 shooting BIF though it’s not accurate as often as I would like it to be. Currently, the best BIF camera in the Lumix line is the GH5 which I base on the recent Predictive AF tests I did. One caveat here is my tests were on much larger subjects, cars on the highway, but it gives a good indication of how all the cameras will perform with fast-moving subjects coming almost straight at the camera. I do believe the G85 will give you more consistently accurate results over the GX85 with Birds in Flight. Even better is the GH5. For action photography, based on the Predictive AF tests I mention above, The GH5 is the camera to beat.

    • Frank LeeOn Jun. 5th, 2017 (12 months ago)

      Thank you very much Daniel. I guess I’ll buy the G85 and see how much better than GX85 it is. In Hong Kong (where I live) I can buy three G85 for the price of one GH5. It’s hard for me to justify the price of GH5. As you said, the G85 is huge bang for the buck!

  3. John RentonOn Apr. 24th, 2017

    As the icing sugar on the cake, DXO have just added their raw conversion module for this body to OpticsPro 11.
    As Daniel will verify, its noise reduction algorithm is about the best currently available, although I’m finding the the noise at ISO 3200 from the G80/85 is fine grained and manageable.
    Also, the jpegs can be pushed around quite a bit before they begin to break.
    I’ve spent far too much on m43 bodies over the years but I think Panasonic have finally nailed it with this one, my only criticism being that the shutter button is too sensitive (cured by back button focus) and the rear buttons aren’t that easy to find and operate with your eye to the EVF.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Apr. 27th, 2017

      Could not of said all of the above any better John. Thaks for input.

    • Louis BerjOn May. 5th, 2017

      I’m using the smaller brother, the GX80 for macro photography along with a 45/2.8 Elmarit and I have noticed improved sharpness and lower noise at iso1000-1250. It makes a great combination and I’d expect the G80 to produce the same results.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn May. 5th, 2017

      Thanks, Louis. Appreciate your comments.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Apr. 18th, 2017

      Thaks for dropping by Joel. See you soon in Namibia.

  4. Bill ShanneyOn Apr. 18th, 2017

    I brought the G85 with the new 12-60mm f/2.8-4 lens on an 18 day Australia and New Zealand trip in March. I was more than pleased with the results. It did everything I asked well, including my favorite 4K stills modes and movies. I was never much of a movie shooter until I recently got more serious about shooting Panasonic M4/3.
    I still pick up my GX85 whenever I’m traveling light and always have a GX7 IR conversion in my bag. Thanks for your G85 review.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Apr. 18th, 2017

      Thaks for stopping by to add your comments Bill.

  5. Marko KoskenojaOn Apr. 16th, 2017

    I bought the G85 with the 12-60 kit lens based on your review and David Thorpe’s. I love the camera so much that I bring it along on my daily hikes, snowshoes or ski trips with my dog.

    I use to bring my Sony RX100 mk3 but I find the G85 much more usable with it clipped on my backpack strap with Peak Designs Capture.

    Now I need to buy the new Panasonic 100-300mm II lens to bring the wildlife closer.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Apr. 16th, 2017

      Thanks for your input Marko. I’m not surprised by your comment that the G85 is “much more useable”. Panasonic is the leader in ease of use among all cameras I’ve tried. Not sure why, but seem to have a great team designing user interface and ergonomics. They aren’t always perfect but they’re most often better than the competition.

      Regarding the new 100-300mm lens. I predict you will be very, very pleased. I’ve been shooting one the past three weeks, doing lots of tests and the new 100-300mm version ll is a major improvement over the old design. Especially for fast auto focus and much smoother zoom. You won’t be disappointed.

    • Ann BaldwinOn May. 1st, 2017

      I am a bird photographer. My favorite camera is the G85. I use it with the Panasonic new 100-300mm lens or, if I don’t have to hike too far, the 100-400mm lens. I get some wonderful shots of birds in flight. If I am shooting beside pros with huge cameras and lenses, they dismiss me as a little old lady with a mediocre set-up. Not so!! I also have a Sony RX10iii, which is great for JPEGS straight out of the camera, but noise levels are high above ISO800. I have been using Panasonic mirrorless cameras for stills and video for the past decade. Love them, though why I sold my GH4 I’ll never know, and I’m trying not to lust after the GH5.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn May. 1st, 2017

      Ann, those of us on the cutting edge are always dismissed as not knowing what we’re doing. I’ve been 3-5 years ahead all my competitors my entire career. You have to know your needs and few of those shooting the monster lenses and full frame bodies have ever asked themselves why they need such expensive, heavy, archaic equipment. You’re on the right track young lady and don’t let anyone suggest otherwise. Keep up the good work and the faith.

  6. Dennis LindenOn Apr. 14th, 2017

    It’s hard to be the middle child between the GH5 and the GX85, but this camera is actually an astonishing prospect. Far more rugged than my GX, it would give me some confidence in bad weather, and I can buy 2 for the price of a single GH5. There is another fellow i follow that also likes the G85 over the GH5 or OMD1ii, https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/16344167/posts/1415044281

    Have a wonderful Easter weekend, wherever you are.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Apr. 14th, 2017

      I’m actually an equal fan of both cameras Dennis. The GH5 just has a bit more fire power and a bit better AF. Both are in my camera bag. Thanks for join gin the conversation.

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