Newly Announced Lumix G85 Attracting Lots of Attention

Posted Sep. 30th, 2016 by Daniel J. Cox

Lumix G85 Attracting Lots of Attention

Photokina for 2016 is now history and with its passing, more information about the new Lumix G85 is finally starting to emerge. To be completely frank, Panasonic’s new Lumix was definitely overshadowed by the announcement of the updated Olympus flagship, the OM-D EM-1-ll. Without a doubt, the phenomenal specs given for the Olympus were hard to ignore, but for many it’s going to be way more camera—in terms of price and features—than many enthusiasts are going to want or need.

The recently announced Lumix G85 with 12mm-60mm kit lens.

The recently announced Lumix G85 with 12mm-60mm kit lens.

For the vast majority of photographers who have decided to shed the weight and cost of traditional DSLR’s from Nikon, Canon, and Sony, the G85 is a dream come true.  In short, the G85 might easily be likened to a baby GH4 with some of the newer technologies developed since the GH4 was announced almost three years ago. Chris from the Camera Store does a great job putting the new camera through its paces in the video below.

As you’ll see, the Camera Store guys love the new G85 but do point out that low light is still one of the challenges Micro Four Thirds cameras have yet to overcome. And I agree with him in theory. That said, as I regularly ask my students, “What are you doing with the images you shoot?” If you’re producing coffee table books, sharing on Facebook, or printing as large as 24×36 inches, even the smaller sensors of the G85 and other Lumix cameras will give you more than enough quality. To get the absolute most premium quality out of all my Lumix files, I combine them with Mylio for Digital Asset Management and DXO Optics Pro 11  for RAW conversion. From what I’ve found, DXO Optics Pro 11 produces the best noise reduction and general RAW conversion available. Combine Micro Four Thirds Lumix cameras with the right processing software and you now have the ability to travel with a lightweight system—costing a fraction of what we’re used to—that will give you the quality you need nine out of ten times.

Technical Details

Below are some of the details Chris from The Camera Store share in the video above.

  • Magnesium alloy front plate, no longer all plastic
  • No AA Bayer filter covering the image sensor—this improves image sharpness and details.
  • 5-Axis Dual IS version 2. Lumix is now claiming to give us a full 5 stops of IS power with the in-body and lens image stabilization working in tandem.
  • 9FPS frame rate in AF-S
  • Electronic First Curtain Shutter to help remove vibration that blurs pictures at slower shutter speeds
  • Approximate 45 RAW image buffer
  • SD Card capabilities that that now offers UHS-ll speed improvements. Faster write times
  • Water, dust, and weather resistant. Fully weather sealed
  • Improved battery life when using new Power Saving Mode that shuts off rear LCD. Improves images per battery from 320+ to 800-900 photos per battery
  • Focus stacking capabilities with RAW captured files. You need to merge these outside of camera with software.
  • Same battery as GX8, FZ1000
  • New external battery grip for option to have two batteries. With Power Saving Mode the possibility of 1500-1800 photos per set of batteries
  • Mic jack for video
  •  4:2:2 8bit HDMI Output video recording

I’ll wrap this short preview up of the Lumix G85 with the video below from B&H Photo where Sean Robinson from Panasonic discusses some of the updated features.

Many of our Explorers have been waiting for the coming GH5 which was announced at Photokina but no date was given for delivery. The G85 is here and now and with its many improvements, for still photographers in particular, this may well be the camera to get. With a price of only $900US for the body and under $1000US for the body with the 12-60mm kit lens, this is really the camera that’s hard to ignore. One last video below that compares the G85 to the GH4. Nice “in a nutshell” of what the differences are.

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There are 13 comments on this post…
  1. Dan OhOn Nov. 6th, 2016

    Dear Dan,
    Early reviews shows that G85 has video panning problem. Hope that they can fix it quick with firmware though I am not a big video guy. If it is having a problem then not a good thing as they start new product launch.

    Did you receive your 2 G85 yet and tried them on the field? For me the key questions are 1) is 16mp enough mp (may be this is a marketing issue)?, 2) how new dual IS 2 is working out, and 3) Focus tracking

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Nov. 7th, 2016

      Hi Dan, I’ve spoken to my contacts at Panasonic and they’re aware of the video problem. They’ve assured me they’re working on it even as I type this and have been since last week. I was told there will be a fix and no need to be concerned long term. It’s coming. Not sure if my two G85’s have arrived yet. I’m still in Madagascar and wont be back home until November 15th. Will hope to see them waiting for me then. I’m not concerned about the 16 megapixel sensor. It will be plenty large enough for the even the 24×36 inch fine art prints I sell. Smaller sensors are also advantageous for being able to use higher ISO’s and one of the reasons Nikon pro cameras don’t go crazy with huge megapixel sensors. As far as Focus Tracking, I have a friend who has lined up 4 high powered hunting dogs for a serious “Speeding Pooch Test” that I’ve got planned to test both the G85 and the new Olympus OM-D EM-1-ll. Hope to do those tests in mid to late November. Stay tuned.

  2. GordonOn Oct. 6th, 2016

    When you use DxO Optics Pro, what file format are the shots converted to, and then to you export that into some other program (LR, PS, CO)?

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Oct. 7th, 2016

      Gordon, when exporting from DXO Optics Pro 11 it’s saved as a Tiff which is automatically placed in the same folder as the original RAW. Mylio then automatically sees it and imports it with no effort on my part. It just sees it and places it in my Mylio catalog. With Lightroom I actually have to go in and Import that one image to get it next to the original.

  3. DanOn Oct. 3rd, 2016

    Dear Dan, I have GX8 with 100-400mm and my main interest is in bird photography. Though GX8 was a great improvement from my GX7 I am not fully satisfied with 4 axis and shutter shock. I would like 5 axis (version 2 to be released) and less shutter shock as in G80/85. I would also like better point focusing and flight tracking capability. I also like the battery grip for batter balance and extra battery. I have heard that 20mp sensor does not give much sharpness than 16mp sensor. From your perspective would you “upgrade” to G80/85 or wait till GH5?

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Oct. 4th, 2016

      Dan, I understand your concerns about the GX8 and the issues you’re experiencing with bird photography. I’ve never been a fan of the GX8 for wildlife although I shot it extensively helping Lumix create materials for the Leica 100-400mm lens. I much prefer a traditional DSLR, like viewfinder that is directly over the lens so the G85 would fit that requirement nicely. However, I’ve not had a chance to shoot the G85 and I’m unsure if it’s predictive AF capabilities have improved over what we already have. The GX8 actually does quite well for birds in flight as does my GH4. Even so, I’m confident the GH5 will be a substantial step forward in the realm of Predictive AF. That’s my only concern about the G85, otherwise I feel the specs are impressive and at less than $900.00 for the body, it’s inexpensive enough to give it a try and not feel like you broke the bank to see if it fits your needs. So in short, I have two G85’s on order and I’m excited to see what advancements Lumix brings to the game here and now. I don’t expect to see a GH5 until mid part of 2017. Thanks for the question. Hope this helps.

    • DanOn Oct. 4th, 2016

      Looking forward to your review of G 85 specially no Low pass filter and five axis capability

  4. Dennis LindenOn Oct. 3rd, 2016

    Some websites are spouting on about the price for the EM1ii and GH5 and “thinking out loud” that they will be $2k. Maybe so, maybe no. Regardless, this G85 looks like quite the bargain considering the few things it doesn’t have, or will have different compared to a “top of the line” version. Weather resistant, extra battery and grip, the power saving mode, Dual IS2. Hmmm, what are we waiting for?

    • Glenn AsakawaOn Oct. 4th, 2016

      Just my own speculations here, but I think the GH5 will have same new 20mp chip as the OMD-EM1 Mark II. New from ground up, not just advanced from the GX8. Headphone out jack (missing on G85). Probably updated DFD technology and more focus points. 6K Photo mode–providing 18mp stills at roughly 30 fps. Super rugged build that surpasses anything in the Lumix line. And more upgrades for video producers which I am not so can’t speak to that.

      I immediately put in an order for a G85 and think it’s the camera that I will use as my daily driver. It’s very close to specs and line-up position as Olympus’s OMD-EM5 Mark II, which is also weather resistant, 16mp and has battery grip accessory too and priced at similar point. The GX85 has great image quality and same low-pass filter-less sensor as the G85. I find the smaller LCD EVF on the GX85 its biggest shortcoming. It’s also not as comfortable for use with longer lenses.

  5. Rick FOn Oct. 2nd, 2016

    Yes, would be very interested in workflow, esp. with DXO. Looking for Lightroom replacement, not finding Capture One trial very intuitive.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Oct. 2nd, 2016

      I tried Capture One as well and found it difficult to wrap my head around. DXO is very similar to Lightroom and maybe even closer to aperture but pretty simple to get started right away with.

  6. Mike GOn Oct. 1st, 2016

    Great post, really looking forward to getting my hands on a couple.
    You talked a little about your workflow, it would be great if at some stage you could do a post on your typical workflow.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Oct. 2nd, 2016

      Mike, thanks for adding your voice. I’ve been thinking about a post on workflow. Thanks for your suggestion. Gives me encouragement to make it happen.

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