Let me start by stating that the camera division of Panasonic are a collection of clear thinking, creative geniuses working with very capable engineers to realize these Micro Four Thirds mirrorless cameras packed with so many features; truly, a creative photographer’s dream come true.
There are so many practical bells and whistles:
Viewfinder resolution and size increased; so, a very pleasant experience through the viewfinder (the first thing I noticed).
- In camera 5 axis stabilization
- AA filter removed for maximum sharpness
- Great range and sharp kit lens (12-60mm/24-120mm)
- Weather sealed (splash proof and dust proof)
- New delicate electronic shutter prevents further-camera shake
- 1/16,000 shutter speed (no, not a typo…crazy)
- 4K 30 fps 8 mp stills for capturing the perfect action frame
- 9 fps drive 45
- 45 frame raw buffer
- Lightning fast 49 point focus
- Face Recognition
Not to mention, there’s a touch screenflip out LCD, defocus control, HDR and panorama features (I like and use these features all the time), focus stacking, monochrome and other choices for your look. 4K video available, external microphone connection (very important), pull focus and built-in WiFi so you can post to your social media.
With all those features above, I must admit it gave me writer’s block. There are just so many incredible features; it simply boggles the mind. I attempted to try many of them; but, I am fatigued for having so many choices. I guarantee that you will not get bored with the G85.
For you art photographers, you will love the “look” of the different color palettes available for their images. The black and white feature is for you hardcore street and old school portrait photographers.
Now I must confess, I used the G85 with the 12-60mm for one of my re-occuring commercial jobs for Red Bull documenting their giant wall art on the side of a building in DownTown Los Angeles. The client and various people associated loved the look and sharpness I achieved with this camera using the “everything” kit lens 24mm to 120mm.
The feel of this camera is so sturdy and so well balanced in my hand with the kit lens, and has a very generous range that can cover it all. The buttons are in the right place, with mode dial on the right side and the other dial on the left side: single shot, multiple shot drive, 4K stills, Post Focus , and 2 and 10-second self-timers.
We had a few days of well-needed rain recently so I took advantage of this to shoot in the rain without an umbrella. To be honest, after 45 years of shooting, since I was a kid I had to put it under my jacket. I have always protected my camera in rain. So, I failed on this test. I have seen videos of this camera getting a major dousing with little to no effects. I’ll take their word on this.
One thing I love to do is to shoot in art museums and we have so many here in the Southern California area. I love testing cameras in these environments.
For this, I chose the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena filled with many treasures of art. A quiet camera is a must and this one is very quiet; so, I used ISO 3200. We used to be limited to ISO 400, sometimes ISO 800 with film in the old days so 3200 and that revolutionary 5 Axis stabilizer allows you to shoot in very low light at lower ISOs without camera shake.
One negative is if you keep your LCD on full time, you will drain the small battery that comes with it in a short period of time. But, I learned if you use a power save feature you can double or triple your battery life. But I say to you, buy 2 more batteries: no big deal.
I have to mention this which makes Panasonic the great thinking and design company they are: they moved the SD card slot to the side so if you have your camera on a tripod, you can access your SD card easily rather than taking it off the tripod to remove the card. I can go on and on, but there are so many videos and reviews out there. Please check my photos to see what I could do with the wondrous Panasonic G85 camera.
Would I like to own this camera? I might consider doing so. It is so small, lightweight and produces very sharp images because of the fact there is no AA filter; not to mention a very pleasing color palette. I could see packing just that one camera with the “everything” 12-60mm Kit Lens. You also have 27 other Panasonic lenses to choose from to meet your style of photography. I can see taking off for a week’s shoot someplace exotic and colorful (let’s say India) and be confident I would come back with enough images for a large exhibition with the GX85 and 12mm – 60mm lens. I am a big fan of Panasonic cameras and lenses, especially this G85!