CAMERAS Panasonic G85 (G80 - G81) Review

Panasonic G85 (G80 – G81) Review

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Panasonic G85 (G80 – G81) Review

Home CAMERAS Panasonic G85 (G80 - G81) Review

Panasonic G85 (Panasonic G80 – G81) Review: Upper middle class: Weatherproof and with Sensor-Shift image stabiliser

The Panasonic Lumix G85 (G80 in Europe – G81 in Germany) wants to be the new benchmark for the upper middle class. As the big sister model of the G70, it comes with new features: For example, the housing is sealed against dust and spray water. Panasonic’s intention to bring the sensor shift image stabilizer into more camera classes is also underlined by the G85 (G80 – G81). Until now, this was reserved for the GX series. The sensor still has a resolution of 16 megapixels, but without a low-pass filter. The 4K video and photo functions are also on board.

The Panasonic G85 (G80 – G81) promises a rich equipment in a robust, splash-proof case at a good price of under 1,000 euro. It is the new flagship of the G-Series and as such is the first to feature a 5-axis image stabilizer using a movable image sensor that was previously reserved for the GX-Series. With 16 megapixels, the sensor is not the latest fashion in terms of resolution, but still promises “enough” resolution and therefore good performance even in low light. In the test, we put the G85 (G80 – G81) to work hard.

Brief assessment

Pros

  • Robust, splash-proof housing
  • Flexible moving touch screen with AF touchpad function
  • Sensor shift image stabilizer works with any lens
  • Very fast autofocus
  • Good image quality even at high ISO sensitivities

Cons

  • No USB charging function
  • 12-60mm set lens with not too good quality
  • Rattle-proof memory card compartment closure

For the first time in the G series, the Panasonic Lumix G85 (G80 Europe – G81 in Germany) uses a movable image sensor for image stabilisation on five axes. [Photo: Panasonic]

The camera front of the Lumix G85 (G80 Europe – G81 in Germany) is made of a magnesium alloy, and numerous seals, for example on the operating elements, are intended to prevent the entrance of dust and spray water. Thanks to numerous rotating wheels, including one for the thumb and one for the index finger, as well as numerous programmable function keys, four of which are on the housing, five of which are on the touchscreen, the G85 (G80 Europe – G81 in Germany) should be directly operable and individually configurable. For ease of use, the memory card slot has also moved to the side, eliminating the need to open the battery compartment cover on the bottom. Talking about the battery: The regular battery life of 320 pictures according to the CIPA standard can be extended significantly in two ways. For example, the G85 (G80 Europe – G81 in Germany) has a new energy-saving mode. If you take the camera off your eye, it will go into energy-saving mode after 3, 5 or 10 seconds and can be reactivated by pressing the shutter release button. This should extend the runtime to 800 images. There is also a new multifunction handle to match the G85 (G80 Europe – G81 in Germany), which is of course also splash-proof. The handle holds a second battery, which doubles the runtime.

On the back of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G81, in addition to a 7.5 cm moving screen, there is an OLED viewfinder with 2.36 million pixels resolution and 0.74x magnification in 35 mm equivalent. The 7.5 cm touchscreen of the Panasonic Lumix G85 (Panasonic G80 -G81) can be swivelled and rotated sideways, and the OLED viewfinder offers 0.74x magnification at 35 mm level. [Photo: Panasonic]

Inside, a 16 megapixel MOS sensor is still at work, although Panasonic has now omitted the low-pass filter, which should increase the resolution by ten percent. Possible moiré effects should be effectively combated by the image processor. For the first time in the G-Series, the image sensor is mounted on a movable mount to compensate for camera shake with any lens. Thanks to particularly sensitive gyro sensors and new algorithms, this should enable up to five f-stops longer exposure times. In addition, the stabilizer, which operates on five axes, supports cooperation with Panasonic’s two-axis lens image stabilizers to further increase the effectiveness of stabilization. Incidentally, the electromagnetic shutter introduced with the GX80 is used, which not only significantly reduces vibration but also results in quieter release. If desired, the triggering can also be done electronically.

The Panasonic Lumix G85 (Panasonic G80 – G81) has a robust, weatherproof housing. The camera front consists of a magnesium alloy. [Photo: Panasonic]

The Panasonic Lumix G85 (Panasonic G80 – G81) has a 16-megapixel sensor that can be moved for image stabilisation and does not require a low-pass filter. [Photo: Panasonic]

The G81 works with the especially fast DFD autofocus, which is based on contrast, but is supposed to be as fast as a phase autofocus. For this purpose, two differently focused images are used to calculate where the focus point is located, so that it can be approached directly and only requires fine adjustment. Even with little light up to -4 EV, the focusing should still work without auxiliary light. The G85 (Panasonic G80 – G81) records videos in maximum 4K resolution at 30p, an external microphone connection is available. The 4K-Photo function also works at 30 frames per second, so it’s easier to miss the right moment. The post-focus function takes up to 49 images with different focus in 4K and allows subsequent focus selection. A new feature is the Focus Stacking function, which allows you to extend the depth of field from such a stack of images. By the way, if you want to take normal series of pictures with full 16 megapixel resolution, you can do so at up to nine frames per second.

The exposure of the Panasonic Lumix G85 (Panasonic G80 – G81) can be controlled either fully automatically including scene mode and face recognition, by scene mode program or by creative program including semi-automatic and manual mode. Storage in raw data format is of course possible, and the G85 (Panasonic G80 – G81) even allows raw data to be developed directly in playback mode. Thanks to WLAN, the G85 (Panasonic G80 – G81) can be connected to a tablet or smartphone and remotely controlled using an app including live image transmission. Wireless image transmission is also possible. The electronic OLED viewfinder of the G85 (Panasonic G80 – G81) has a fine resolution of 2.36 million pixels and offers a large 0.74x magnification corresponding to 35 mm. The rear touchscreen can be swivelled 180 degrees and rotated 270 degrees to view it from every conceivable perspective. The screen measures 7.5 centimetres and has a resolution of just over a million pixels. If you look through the viewfinder, the touch screen functions as an autofocus pad, and with your finger you can place the autofocus point anywhere you want.

Thanks to numerous rotating wheels and configurable knobs, many functions of the Panasonic Lumix G85 (Panasonic G80 – G81) can be set directly. [Photo: Panasonic]

A multifunction handle – also splash-proof – is optionally available for the Panasonic Lumix G85 (Panasonic G80 – G81) , which doubles the runtime thanks to a second battery insert. [Photo: Panasonic]

The Panasonic Lumix G85 (Panasonic G80 – G81) was launched at the end of 2016. The mirrorless system camera will only be available in black. Without the lens, it is said to cost just under 900 euros, and together with the 12-60 mm F3.5-5.6 it costs only 100 euros more. Panasonic also wants to offer a set with the 14-140 mm, the price is around 1,300 euros.

Ergonomics and Workmanship

The Panasonic Lumix G85 (Panasonic G80 – G81) has the classic look of a DSLR, except that it’s a little more compact in class, but with a good half a kilo it doesn’t necessarily come out much lighter. At 128 x 89 x 74 millimetres, it has the dimensions of a particularly compact entry-level DSLR, but with the features of a mid-range DSLR. The housing is partly made of high-quality plastic, and even a light metal alloy is used for the camera front and base plate. The housing is also sealed against dust and spray water. How practical that the new 12-60 mm set lens, which weighs just over 200 grams, also has such “environmental protection” and, on top of that, with 24 to 120 millimetres corresponding to 35 mm, has a larger zoom range with more wide-angle and more telephoto focal length than the competition.

The housing of the Panasonic Lumix G85 (Panasonic G80 – G81) , made of plastic and light metal, is sealed against the penetration of dust and splash water like the 12-60mm set lens.

The battery compartment on the bottom also has seals. For the first time since the G1, the memory card is no longer stored in this compartment, but has a separate flap on the side. Especially those who like to photograph with a tripod and/or use a removable disk will appreciate this. However, the memory card slot is the Achilles heel of the G85 (Panasonic G80 – G81) . Not only is the rubber seal missing here, when closed the flap rattles when you tap it with your finger. This is definitely not worthy of the otherwise very well processed G85 (Panasonic G80 – G81) .

The Lumix G85 (Panasonic G80 – G81) has a sufficiently large handle to lie comfortably in the hand. The two control wheels, the shutter release button, the program selector wheel, the power lever and most buttons can be operated comfortably with the right hand. Generously proportioned grained rubber leathers provide an additional touch of high quality. On the left side of the case there are two large rubber flaps, behind each of which two interfaces are concealed. Behind the front one you will find the connections for an external stereo microphone (3.5 mm jack) and a cable remote release (2.5 mm jack), behind the rear one you will find the Micro HDMI socket and the Micro USB connection. Unfortunately, the camera battery can’t be recharged while on the move; Panasonic unfortunately doesn’t see the potential in this class yet (the smaller Panasonic cameras have that). Therefore, there is of course a charging cradle included in the scope of delivery with which the lithium-ion battery that is sufficient for approximately 330 images is externally charged.

By the way, the G85 (Panasonic G80 – G81) can be helped to double the battery life and improved ergonomics equally with the help of the optionally available multifunctional handle. With the handle, the little finger also fits on the handle. The multi-function handle also includes the most important controls such as the shutter release button and dials. Like the camera itself, it is also protected against dust and splash water. The handle turns out surprisingly heavy with 290 grams, of which 50 grams can be attributed to the battery. Probably Panasonic uses weights for a better balance. And if it would have been better if two removable batteries had been installed or if Panasonic had even filled the handle with (permanently installed) batteries, this would have resulted in runtimes far beyond the 1,000 shots. By the way, at the latest with the attached handle it becomes clear why the memory card slot is not located in the battery compartment.

On the back, the Panasonic has the obligatory swivel and rotate touchscreen, which can also be used as an AF field touchpad when using the viewfinder. With a diagonal of 7.5 centimetres and a resolution of 1.04 million pixels, it offers the usual technical key data. The screen delivers a bright, colorful and almost instantaneous image, but without standing out from the crowd. The electronic viewfinder has a proximity sensor, which is now located above the eyepiece. This is a good position because it means that the viewfinder does not switch inadvertently when you want to operate the touchscreen as easily as when you position it below the electronic viewfinder. With a resolution of 2.36 million pixels and a magnification of 0.74 times that of a 35 mm image, the OLED viewfinder is convenient. However, spectacle wearers cannot see the edges perfectly. Fortunately, the viewfinder has a generous diopter compensation. In addition to the live preview, the practical thing about such a viewfinder is, for example, that it can also be used for image reproduction. Especially in bright environments, where the rear screen reaches its limits, this is an advantage not to be ignored at all.

For operation the G85 (Panasonic G80 – G81) offers many direct keys, some of which can be freely assigned. Panasonic has even provided individual touch surfaces on the screen. The quick menu is almost superfluous in view of this. However, the Lumix is also packed with many, sometimes very special functions, so that the menus are very long. The five main menu categories have up to nine sub-pages, so it is not always easy to actually find a desired setting. Unfortunately a favorites menu is missing.

The Panasonic Lumix G85 (Panasonic G80 – G81) has four rotating wheels that allow numerous settings.

With 12-60 mm, the set lens offers a larger zoom range than usual set lenses. The photographer thus benefits from more wide-angle as well as more telephoto focal length.

Equipment

The Panasonic Lumix G85 (Panasonic G80 – G81) offers virtually everything you need – and a lot of things you never knew you could use. But there is no need to be afraid of the many functions. You can simply set the program dial to the “dummy mode” iA and the Lumix will take care of all settings automatically. It analyzes the subject, lighting conditions, movements of the subject and photographer, and fine-tunes all shooting parameters. The results are impressive. Those who dare to do so can select a motif program themselves instead of the fully automatic mode. This mode also conceals some creative effects as well as the panorama mode, which is likely to have a higher resolution (only 1,920 pixels vertically). After all, it works with the continuous shooting function and mechanical shutter, and stitching works well even with difficult subjects.

Experts and those who like to experiment are offered all possibilities in the creative programs P, A, S and M for semi-automatic or manual photography. Numerous shooting series functions vary different shooting parameters such as focus, aperture, white balance and, of course, exposure. Up to seven shots with an exposure difference of up to 1 EV each offer sufficient latitude and are also ideally suited for HDR shots. If you want to do this without computer software, you can use the built-in HDR mode, which can take three images with a respective exposure difference of up to three f-stops and automatically compose them. It doesn’t matter if you want to choose the HDR range yourself or leave it to the automatic. The Panasonic G81 also offers an alignment of the shots if you don’t use a tripod.

The Sensor-Shift image stabilizer represents a real added value. The tilting movements of the camera in the horizontal and vertical directions, the displacements in the horizontal and vertical directions, which is especially important at short shooting distances, and the rolling movements, which is especially important at longer exposure times, are measured. The movable sensor compensates for all five types of camera shake. A quiet noise can be perceived, which is known from similar systems of other manufacturers. The fact that the image sensor rattles in the housing when the camera is switched off need not worry you either. Since a sensor shift stabilizer literally reaches its limits at very long telephoto focal lengths, the G85 (Panasonic G80 – G81) can combine the lens and camera image stabilizer (Dual-IS) to achieve even greater effectiveness with stronger camera shake. However, the lens must support this mode. This is the case with 12-60mm set lenses.

The continuous-advance mode is also impressive. Panasonic promises nine continuous frames per second. We could even measure 9.6 frames per second for 180 consecutive shots when JPEG was selected as the file format. With Raw, however, it was only 7.4 frames per second for only 18 consecutive shots. At this speed, however, the G85 (Panasonic G80 – G81) is unable to keep the focus in focus despite the rapid DFD autofocus. Only when you switch down to six frames per second does the autofocus follow its subject. By the way, in single autofocus mode, it takes only 0.15 seconds from pressing the shutter release button to the actual shot. Of this, 0.09 seconds go to the cap of the autofocus and 0.06 seconds are required for the G85 (Panasonic G80 – G81) to release even without focusing. No DSLR can compete at this speed. For manual focusing, aids such as a focus magnifier and focus peaking are available.

If six or nine consecutive images per second are not enough to capture the right moment, you can fall back on the 4K photo mode. Here, with a single image resolution of 8.3 megapixels (with selectable aspect ratio, i.e. not only 16:9), a fast 30 continuous frames per second including autofocus tracking are recorded as video. The photographer can then take his time to extract the correct frame from the video file. Instead of adjusting the focus, the focus can also run through the entire area of the subject, the photographer simply selects the sharpest image after the shot (post-focus). A new feature is the possibility of focus stacking, where a selectable area or the entire image is stored sharply by offsetting the individual images.

The metal tripod thread of the Panasonic Lumix G85 (Panasonic G80 – G81) sits a bit far forward, but instead, in the optical axis.

 

The integrated flash of the Lumix G85 (Panasonic G80 – G81) folds up mechanically and cannot be unlocked automatically by the camera. Once opened it offers all the functions you could wish for. Automatic exposure, long time synchronization, flash at the end of exposure, flash exposure correction, manual flash power setting without measuring pre-flash and a wireless control function for three groups on four channels. With 1/160 second, the Panasonic does not exactly offer the fastest flash sync speed. With a system flash attached or triggered by wireless TTL, the Lumix can also be used for high-speed synchronisation. With a measured flash speed of 6.4 at ISO 100, the internal flash is not too powerful, but with a basic ISO sensitivity of 200, the range is increased by the equivalent guide number of 9.1.

Panasonic isn’t stingy with the video functions of the G85 (Panasonic G80 – G81) either. It records movies in maximum 4K resolution with a choice of 24, 25 or 30 frames per second. Fortunately, the days when the frame rate selection of Panasonic’s PAL and NTSC models differed ex works are over. In Full-HD up to 60 frames per second are possible. The maximum quality is 100 Mbit/s. Storage is either MP4 with H.264 compression or AVCHD, which is only possible in Full HD. The Lumix adjusts the autofocus during video shooting as well as the exposure, and the image stabilizer also remains active. The sound reaches the video via integrated or externally connected stereo microphone. If you wish, you can also make manual settings for video shooting, for which the program dial must be set accordingly. However, thanks to the dedicated video recording button on the top of the camera, video can also be recorded spontaneously in any mode.

In playback mode, videos can be split into two separate parts, but more options are available for photos. In addition to displaying all kinds of information including a histogram and an overexposure indicator, photos and videos can also be played back as a slide show including music and transition effects. Editing functions allow, for example, the cropping or resizing of photos. Those who have taken pictures in Raw, can also develop their photos directly in the camera including many setting options to a JPEG. WLAN is available for wireless communication, and the connection is set manually or by scanning the QR code displayed on the camera screen. With the help of the corresponding app for Android and iOS, photos can be transmitted wirelessly to tablets and smartphones, but remote control of the camera including live image transmission and the setting of many parameters is also possible. Details can be found in our photo tip in the further links.

Image quality

The Panasonic Lumix G85 (Panasonic G80 – G81) therefore has a lot to offer, although you have to look for the flaws with a magnifying glass. But the sophisticated technology is only of any use if the final result, the photo, is of an appealing quality worthy of the price. To find out, we not only took pictures with the G85 (Panasonic G80 – G81) , but also subjected it to a measurement with the software.

The Panasonic Lumix G 12-60 mm F3.5-5.6 OIS costs just under 450 euro when purchased individually, but it is offered for only 100 euro extra together with the G81 for then together just under 1,000 euro. The resolution in the image center is quite respectable with a maximum of nearly 48 line pairs per millimeter (lp/mm), but the edge resolution leaves a lot to be desired, especially in the wide angle, where only 30 lp/mm are reached. A little bit zoomed, the edge of the picture resolves a little better. Fortunately, color fringes are small and the edge darkening is also mostly not worth mentioning. At best in wide angle with open aperture, the edges of the image get a little darker in the corners, which is quite eye-catching due to the steep brightness drop. The distortion (digitally corrected at Micro Four Thirds) is low, it is most noticeable in wide angle, but with less than 1.5 percent barrel shape it is not really disturbing. Although 450 euro is really too much for the given performance, you should definitely take the lens with you for 100 euro, as it offers a good all-round focal length with a good wide angle and a bit of telephoto.

The SD memory card is removed from the side of the Panasonic Lumix G85 (Panasonic G80 – G81). Unattractive: The lid of the compartment rattles when you tap it, and the sealing lip is missing.

The Panasonic Lumix G85 (Panasonic G80 – G81) offers four interfaces on the left side of the housing: Cable remote release, stereo microphone, Micro HDMI and Micro USB.

The image quality of the camera itself depends on the image sensor and its behavior at different ISO sensitivities. The range is from ISO 200 to 25,600, manually adjusted ISO 100 is also possible, but certain compromises have to be made. The basic sensitivity of the 16-megapixel sensor is ISO 200, and in fact, with the exception of the blue channel, the signal-to-noise ratio at ISO 100 is even slightly better than at ISO 200, but easily exceeds 40 dB at both sensitivities. In fact, it only becomes critical from a value below 35 dB. From ISO 800 to ISO 3,200, the Lumix scratches at this value, but only falls below it at ISO 6,400. With even higher sensitivities the value drops even more, so this should not necessarily be expected from the image quality. With a fine grain size, image noise is only slightly visible at ISO 6,400 and above, but increases significantly at higher sensitivities. This is only brightness noise, the more unattractive color noise only appears slightly at ISO 25.600.

It’s interesting, as Panasonic has such a good grip on noise, how much the noise reduction destroys fine details: up to ISO 1.600, none in fact, as the measurement shows. At ISO 3.200, some of the finest details are lost, but this is hardly noticeable. At ISO 6.400 it looks a bit more critical, here a few more image details fall victim to the noise reduction. But the images only really become slushy or soft beyond ISO 6.400. For a (not too large) micro Four-Thirds sensor, this is a really good performance.

It is also exciting to look at the input dynamics, as the dynamic range indicates how well the camera can reproduce the drawing in light and dark areas of the image with strong subject contrasts. It is astonishing that the highest value of eleven aperture stops is reached at ISO 400 and not at ISO 200, because normally the highest dynamic range is achieved at basic ISO sensitivity. It could be due to the noise reduction, which makes the depths appear a bit “darker” by missing the brighter noise pixels. However, at ISO 100, the dynamic range is not quite as good with less than ten f-stops, but is still okay. When the sensitivity is raised, the ten-stop mark is not dropped below ISO 1,600 until it is above it again, but remains just below it and thus in the “green” range.

As expected, the tone curve is somewhat flattened at ISO 100 compared to the other sensitivities due to the signal attenuation; otherwise, it shows crisply distributed contrasts, especially in the mid-tones, in order to achieve a more beautiful but by no means unnatural image reproduction. The output tonal range of the G81 does not perform quite as well. At ISO 100 and 200 it is still very good with over 224 of 256 possible brightness gradations, but then falls off significantly with each ISO level. Only from ISO 1,600 to 6,400 does the value begin to catch in the range of 128 to 160 steps before it drops steeply again above ISO 6,400. The color fidelity of the Lumix is very good, especially in the green and orange range, while the yellow tends slightly towards the green and red and violet shades show a somewhat stronger saturation. The actual color depth, in turn, is good to very good over a wide sensitivity range. At ISO 100 and 200 more than eight million colours are differentiated, up to ISO 1,600 there are still very good over four million colours. Even about the at least two million colours that are distinguished up to and including ISO 6.400, one cannot really complain, which is also still a good value. As always, the two highest sensitivities tear the measured value into the cellar.

All in all, the image quality of the Panasonic Lumix G85 (Panasonic G80 – G81) can be praised. Over a wide sensitivity range, it offers an extremely good image quality and can be increased up to ISO 6,400 without any major compromises.

The separate compartments for the battery and the memory card are very practical in the Panasonic Lumix G85 (Panasonic G80 – G81) , especially if you like to shoot with a tripod and therefore have a removable disk mounted.

The optional DMW-BGG1 multifunction handle not only doubles the battery life, it also makes the Panasonic Lumix G85 (Panasonic G80 – G81) more ergonomic, especially in portrait mode. [Photo: Panasonic]

Conclusion

The Panasonic Lumix G85 (Panasonic G80 – G81) is really a very good camera. For not even 1,000 euros including a zoom-strong set lens, it leaves nothing to be desired. The housing is compact, but also ergonomic and well manufactured. The seals also take the worry out of dusty or humid recording environments. The optional battery handle provides the extra ergonomics needed for large telephoto lenses and longer battery life. The variety of functions practically leaves nothing to be desired, the G81 is almost a bit over-equipped, so that you sometimes have to search for certain functions in the long menus for a long time. The viewfinder is excellent, the screen is flexible and the touch screen makes it easy to use. Even photographers who like to shoot demanding videos will get their money’s worth. The 5-axis image stabilizer is a blessing and you will quickly learn to appreciate it. The G85 (Panasonic G80 – G81) is also convincing across the board in the most important discipline, image quality. Up to quite high ISO sensitivities it offers a good quality. The 12-60mm set lens may not be able to fully exploit its potential, but for the small extra cost it is definitely a recommendation. The Micro-Four-Thirds system offers the widest selection of high-quality lenses among the mirrorless system cameras, so there should be something for everyone.

Profile

Profile
Manufacturer Panasonic
Model Lumix DMC-G81 – G85 (Panasonic G80 in the European Union and Britain – G81 in DACH countries of the European Union)
Sensor CMOS 4/3″ 17.3 x 13.0 mm (crop factor 2.0
)16.8 megapixels (physical)
16.0 megapixels (effective)
Pixelpitch 3.7 µm
Resolution (max.) 4.592 x 3.448 (4:3)
Video (max.) 3.840 x 2,160 30p
Lens Panasonic Lumix G Vario 12-60 mm 3.5-5.6 Asph Power OIS (zoom lens)
Video finder EVF, 100% field coverage, 2,360,000 pixels resolution, 1.48x magnification (sensor-related), 0.74x magnification (KB equivalent), diopter compensation (-4.0 to 4.0 dpt)
Monitor 3.0″ (7.5 cm)
Resolution 1.040,000 pixels
tiltable
rotatable yes
swiveling yes
Touchscreen yes
AV connector HDMI output Micro (Type D)
Fully automatic yes
Scene mode automatic yes
Scene modes 25
Automatic programming yes
Program shift yes
Automatic aperture control yes
Automatic timer yes
Manually yes
Bulb Long Term Exposure yes
HDR function yes
Panorama function yes, panoramic view
Exposure metering Matrix/multi-field measurement (1,728 fields), center-weighted integral measurement, spot measurement
fastest shutter speed 1/4.000 s
Flash built-in flash
Synchronous time 1/160 s
Flash connection Hot shoe: Olympus/Panasonic (also Leica compact camera), standard center contact
WLAN yes
NFC
GPS external, Smartphone as GPS logger
Remote release yes, cable release, remote control via smartphone/tablet
Interval recording yes
Storage medium
SD (SDHC, SDXC, UHS I, UHS II)
Sensitivity
automatically ISO 200-25,600
manually ISO 100-25,600
White balance
automatically yes
manual measuring yes
Kelvin input yes
Fine correction yes
Autofocus yes
Number of measuring fields 49 Contrast sensors
Speed 0.14 s to 0.15 s
AF auxiliary light LED
Dimensions 128 x 89 x 74 mm
Weight (ready for operation) 505 g (body only) 715 g (with lens)
Tripod thread on optical axis
Zoom
Zoom adjustment manually on the lens
Battery life 330 recordings (according to CIPA standard)
– = “not applicable” or “not available

 

Brief assessment

Pros

  • Robust, splash-proof housing
  • Flexible moving touch screen with AF touchpad function
  • Sensor shift image stabilizer works with any lens
  • Very fast autofocus
  • Good image quality even at high ISO sensitivities

Cons

  • No USB charging function
  • 12-60mm set lens with not too good quality
  • Rattle-proof memory card compartment closure

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G81 G85 (Panasonic G80 – G81) data sheet

Electronics

Sensor CMOS sensor 4/3″ 17.3 x 13.0 mm (crop factor 2.0
)16.8 megapixels (physical) and 16.0 megapixels (effective)
Pixelpitch 3.7 µm
Photo resolution
4.592 x 3.448 pixels (4:3)
4.592 x 3.064 pixels (3:2)
4.592 x 2.584 pixels (16:9)
3.840 x 2.160 pixels (16:9)
3.424 x 3.424 pixels (1:1)
3.232 x 2.424 pixels (4:3)
3.232 x 2.160 pixels (3:2)
2.416 x 2.416 pixels (1:1)
2.272 x 1.704 pixels (4:3)
2.272 x 1.520 pixels (3:2)
1.920 x 1.080 pixels (16:9)
1.824 x 1.368 pixels (4:3)
1.824 x 1.216 pixels (3:2)
1.824 x 1.024 pixels (16:9)
1.712 x 1.712 pixels (1:1)
Panorama Sweeping panorama8
,176 x 1,920 pixels (180°)
Image formats JPG, MPO, RAW
Color depth 24 bits (8 bits per color channel), 36 bits (12 bits per color channel)
Metadata Exif (version 2.3), DCF standard
Video resolution
3.840 x 2.160 (16:9) 30 p
3.840 x 2.160 (16:9) 25 p
3.840 x 2.160 (16:9) 24 p
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 60 p
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 60 i
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 50 p
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 50 i
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 30 p
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 25 p
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 24 p
1.280 x 720 (16:9) 30 p
1.280 x 720 (16:9) 25 p
Maximum recording time 29 min 59 sec
Video format
AVCHD (Codec H.264)
MP4 (Codec H.264)

Lens

Lens mount
Micro Four Thirds

Focus

Autofocus mode Autofocus operating range from -4 EV to 18 EV, contrast autofocus with 49 points
Autofocus functions Single AF, Continuous AF, Area AF, Tracking AF, Manual, AFL function, AF Assist Light (LED), Focus Peaking, Focus Magnifier (6x)
Sharpness control Depth-of-field control, depth-of-field button, Live View

Viewfinder and monitor

Monitor 3.0″ (7.5 cm) TFT LCD monitor with 1,040,000 pixels, anti-reflective, brightness adjustable, colour adjustable, swiveling 180°, rotatable 270°, with touch screen
Video finder Video viewfinder (100 % field coverage) with 2,360,000 pixels, 1.48x magnification factor, dioptre compensation (-4.0 to 4.0 dpt)

Exposure

Exposure metering Center-weighted integral measurement, matrix/multi-field measurement over 1,728 fields, spot measurement, AF-AE coupling
Exposure times 1/4,000 to 60 s (automatic
)1/4,000 to 60 s (manual)
1/16,000 to 1 s (electronic shutter)
Bulb with maximum 120 s exposure time
Exposure control Fully automatic, Program automatic (with program shift), Shutter automatic, Aperture automatic, Manual
Exposure bracketing function Exposure bracketing function with a maximum of 7 shots, 1/3 to 1 EV increments, HDR function
Exposure Compensation -5.0 to +5.0 EV with step size of 1/3 EV
Photosensitivity ISO 200 to ISO 25,600 (automatic
)ISO 100 to ISO 25,600 (manual)
Remote access Remote release, cable release, remote control via smartphone/tablet
Scene modes Flowers, backlight, children, landscape, night scene, night portrait, portrait, sunset, food, sports, 15 additional scene modes
Picture effects Cross development, high key, landscape, low key, miniature effect, monochrome, portrait, retro, black and white, sepia, softer, toy camera, star grid, vivid, 8 additional image effects
White balance Auto, Cloudy, Sunny, White balance bracket, Fine tuning, Shadow, Flash, Tungsten light, from 2,500 to 10,000 K, Manual 4 memories
Color space Adobe RGB, sRGB
Continuous shooting Continuous shooting function max. 9.0 fps at highest resolution and max. 300 stored images, min. 45 images in series in raw; 30 fps in 4K pre-burst, 4K continuous
Self-timer Self-timer with interval of 2 s, special features: or 10 seconds, 10 seconds then 3 shots
Timer Timer/interval recording with max. 9,999 recordings, start time adjustable
Recording functions Mirror lock-up, AEL function, AFL function, live histogram

Flashgun

Flash built-in flash (flip up
)Flash shoe: Olympus/Panasonic (also Leica compact camera), standard center contactHighspeed synchronization
with external flashes only, also by wireless control
Flash range Flash sync speed 1/160 s
Flash code Guide number 6 (ISO 100)
Flash functions Auto, fill-flash, flash on, flash off, high-speed sync, slow sync, flash on second shutter curtain, manual flash output (22 levels), red-eye reduction by pre-flash, master function (4 channels and 3 groups), flash exposure correction from -3.0 EV to +3.0 EV

Equipment

Image stabilizer Sensor shift (optical)
Memory
SD (SDHC, SDXC, UHS I, UHS II)
GPS function GPS external (Smartphone as GPS logger)
Microphone Stereo
Power supply unit Power supply connection
Power supply 1 x Panasonic DMW-BLC12E (lithium-ion (Li-ion), 7.2 V, 1,200 mAh
)330 images according to CIPA standard
Playback functions Video editing, cropping, image rotation, image protection, highlight / shadow warning, playback histogram, playback magnifier with 16.0x magnification, image index, slide show function with music and crossfade effects, zoom out
Face recognition Face recognition, face recognition
Image parameters Sharpness, contrast, color saturation, noise reduction
Special functions Electronic spirit level, Grid fade-in, Zebra function, Orientation sensor, Live View, User profiles with 2 user profiles
Connections Data interfaces: USBUSB type
:USB 2.0 High SpeedWLAN
: available (Type: B, G, N)
AV Connections AV output: HDMI output Micro (Type D
)Audio input: yes (3.5 mm stereo microphone jack)
Audio output: no
Supported direct printing methods DPOF, PictBridge
Tripod thread 1/4″ in optical axis
Housing Splash water protection
Special features and miscellaneous Ultrasonic Sensor Cleaning5-Axis Image StabilizerQR Code Scan

for easy wireless setupEye SensorFocus Bracket

(1-999 shots)
Loop Shooting (4K Video)
Time Lapse FunctionStop Motion FunctionFlicker Reduction

(1/50, 1/60, 1/100, 1/120)
Post Focus Function (4K)
Focus Stacking (4K)
Electronic Wind FilterViera Link

Size and weight

Dimensions W x H x D 128 x 89 x 74 mm
Weight 505 g (ready for operation)

Miscellaneous

standard accessory Panasonic DMW-BLC12E Special BatteryHot Shoe Cover
, USB Cable, Strap, Case Cover, CD-ROM with RAW Converter
additional accessories Olympus FL-700WR attachable flash with Panasonic swivel reflector
Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25 mm 1.7 (H-X1025) zoom lens
Peter Dench
Peter Dench
I am Peter Dench. Digital Photographer, born in London 1972, currently living in Deerfield, near Chicago. I have numerous photography expositions and also working in model photography. In this website, PhotoPoint, I usually review cameras provided by local dealers in Illinois and by the manufacturers. Sometimes I, Peter Dench, review lenses too, but only when I have a suitable camera for them. Please let me know in the comments if I can improve any of these articles.

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