I have sitting before me the brand new Panasonic Lumix GX85 mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Panasonic was nice enough to drop one off for us to play with, and we are excited that we have been given a chance to get our hands on this camera before it officially arrives in stores in mid May.
First impressions out of the box, is that the camera feels solid. A little heavier than I expected, especially when it supposedly does not have a magnesium alloy body. The compact size fits my hands nicely, and when paired with the Lumix G 12-32mm Vario lens, this camera is in no way a burden to carry.
I had a chance to shoot some photos and play with the camera for a day or so. Out of the box, it is easy to use. I just threw it in Program and starting taking photos. Very simple. I played around a little, shot in Aperture Priority, and Shutter Priority, used the menu, changed scene modes, recorded video, etc.. and I have to admit, that even though I have owned a few Panasonic cameras in my time, I still found myself stumped a few times trying to figure out how to navigate some of the functions and operations of this camera. However, by the end of the day, I had most of it figured out.
Something to think of though. Give yourself sufficient time to use the camera, get the feeling of it, how to navigate the menu, and use the functions, before you make a final decision on what you think. Depending on your experience with Panasonic, or cameras in general, it could take a bit of time to get comfortable with everything.
One thing I really loved was the Viewfinder. It was great being able to shoot and compose my shots while looking through the electronic finder. Now, Sure, I wish it was optical, or a hybrid finder, but just having it at my disposal was fantastic. Bright and easy to look through. The best way to shoot. I did find hard to break my habit of using the LCD screen though, too many years of shooting on my iPhone I guess. All ILC Mirrorless cameras should have viewfinders in my opinion.
Image quality wise, it looks good. There were some tricky lighting situations I shot in that the camera tended to overexpose the highlights, but that is par for the course, and it was nothing that couldn’t be compensated for if you wished. Now, I didn’t get a chance to shoot it with any other lens than the 12-32mm it came with mind you, but the images for the most part were clear and sharp. I was happy with what I saw. I shot all my images hand held, regardless of poor lighting or not, and I shot most of my images without flash. That being said, the image stabilization works pretty good. I didn’t notice much motion blur caused by my lack of a tripod or due to low light shooting inside.
I shot a little 4k video and it was fantastic. The focus kept up for the most part, a little lag here and there, when moving the camera from subject to subject, but crisp and clear, and the sound picked up very well. I wish I had shot more video to be honest, and I never had a chance to test the 4K Photo mode. Oh well, there is always a next time.
Anyway, I hope this helps in some small way. Keep in mind, these are just my quick opinions on a camera I used only for a day or so, and I by no means even scratched the surface of what this camera can do.
If you are looking for one of the Panasonic GX85’s, once they arrive in store, come on down and get your hands on one and see what you think.
For your viewing pleasure, below are some samples of what I shot. All JPEG images. None of these have been tinkered with in Photoshop, or any software, outside of the camera. Enjoy.