Panasonic Lumix G80 G85 Review - We review the Panasonic Lumix G80 / G85, which has just been announced, and is Panasonic's weather-sealed DSLR-styled mirrorless camera with 4K video and 5-axis image stabilisation.
Panasonic's new Lumix G80 / G85 is a new weather-sealed mirrorless camera, with a 16 megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor, Dual IS Mark II, 4K video recording, 4K photos, and 9fps continuous shooting. Dual IS Mark II uses a combination of 5-axis sensor-shift image stabilisation, and lens based optical image stabilisation to give 5-stops of image stabilisation. The G80 will be available from £699 body only.
Panasonic Lumix G80 Features
The Panasonic Lumix G80 features the same 16 megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor as the GX80 and does not feature an optical low-pass filter. This means the camera should deliver better detail and resolution, as well as better noise performance. To avoid false colour (moire) which can occur when the low-pass filter has been removed, the camera has built-in moire suppression, so that there is both the benefit of improved resolution, as well as reduced false colour. The Panasonic Lumix G80 is also known as the G85, and G81 in some parts of the world.
Panasonic Lumix G80 / G85 Features at a glance
16-megapixel sensor w/o Low Pass Filter
5-axis sensor-based image stabilisation - Dual IS v2
4K Photo / Video with IS
Post Focus and Focus Stacking
Weather sealed body
The Panasonic Lumix G80 has an enhanced version of the GX80 shutter unit, which is smaller, and quieter than previous Lumix G cameras. It has been designed to dramatically reduce shutter vibration (or shock), with a 90% reduction in shutter shock, and there is now a new electronic first curtain shutter option. The camera can shoot at 1/4,000s using the mechanical shutter, or 1/16,000s using an electronic shutter.
The G80 features Dual IS Mark II (Image Stabilisation): Lens image stabilisation (2-axis) and camera image stabilisation (5-axis sensor based) works simultaneously for improved image stabilisation, along with a new gyro-sensor to detect angular velocity. This works for photos, video, 4K video, as well as 4K photo. The use of dual image stabilisation is said to be particularly beneficial when using longer telephoto lenses, and can give up to 5-stops of image stabilisation.
Compared to the Panasonic Lumix GX8, GX80, Olympus OM-D E-M5 II, and PEN-F:
* Can be extended to 800+ with "low power mode". ** Can be extended to 750 shots with "Quick Sleep Mode ON".
The Lumix G80 features an electronic viewfinder (EVF) with 2360K dots, 100% view, a 4:3 aspect ratio, 0.74x magnification (35mm equivalent), and an eye detection sensor. The G80 can shoot at 9fps in continuous shooting drive mode, or 6fps with continuous auto-focus. Here we've recorded a video of the camera shooting at 9fps with the lens off. Shooting with the lens off makes the shutter much louder, so make sure you have a look at the next video showing the camera shooting with the lens on to see how quiet the shutter really sounds.
There are full manual controls, as well as intelligent Auto, and you can use the creative effects in P/A/S/M modes. There is an L Monochrome mode - added to Photo Styles, to give impressive, deep black photos with rich gradation like black and white film. A "Light Composition" mode lets you take low light shots of subjects including fireworks, and light painting, etc, and combines a number of shots to produce one image.
The shutter is designed to be very quiet, slightly quieter than the GX80, and as seen in this video, quieter than the E-M10 II, and GX7:
Wi-Fi connectivity is built in, with a QR-Code for a quick connection to your smartphone or tablet. The Panasonic Image App has a number of options, including remote control, image transfer, geotagging (so you can add GPS location information to your photos), snap movie, photo collage, and more.
The G80 records 4K (UHD: 3840x2160) video at 30, 25, and 24fps, with stereo sound, as well as full HD video at 60p, 50p, 30p, and 25p. There are Cinelike D and Cinelike V options for video recording. Focus can be set with the touch screen, and there are a number of different focus options including: Face/Eye Detection AF, Pinpoint AF, One-shot AF and advanced Low Light AF (-4EV).
An optional battery grip is available, that is also weather sealed, and doubles the camera's battery life.
16 megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor, without Low Pass Filter
5-axis image stabilisation (sensor based), Dual IS 2
Built-in pop-up flash (GN6.2 at ISO100, GN9.0 at ISO200)
Power save LVF shooting, can increase battery life to 8-900 shots
Magnesium and plastic construction
Weather-sealed camera body
Panasonic Lumix G80 Handling
With a magnesium alloy and plastic construction, the Panasonic Lumix G80 / G85 feels very well built, and the weather-sealing will be particularly re-assuring to those that live in countries with less than ideal weather conditions. There is a good sized hand grip that is deep, and has a good rubber textures. This continues to the back of the camera, where there is a raised grip for your thumb.
There is a front and rear control wheel surrounding the shutter release button, so that you can quickly change aperture and shutter speeds, or other settings, and there are numerous function buttons that can be customised. The Q.Menu button can be used to quickly change settings, without having to go into the menu system. You can also customise five function buttons on screen so that you can setup the camera to give you quick access to your favourite settings. The top left dial lets you change the drive mode, as well as access 4K photo, plus 4K Focus stacking.
The electronic viewfinder (EVF) has a good resolution, is clear, bright and quite large. The EVF also matches the colours shown on the rear screen quite closely.
The screen quality is good with a clear display and good viewing angles, and you can view the screen even in bright sunlight. You can also view a dual-axis electronic level. The tilting screen fits very neatly into the camera when in its closed position, and you can face it in to protect the screen from scratches. You can use the touch-screen to set the focus point to anywhere on the screen, however care needs to be taken when using the EVF, as your nose can accidentally set the focus point - luckily this can be switched off. Focus is said to work down to -4EV, with the focus assist lamp helping here.
The tripod socket is quite close to the front of the camera, however, unlike the PEN-F, this does not cause any problems when mounting larger lenses on the camera. The shutter is quieter and much more pleasant sounding than previous Panasonic Lumix cameras, such as the GX7 when a lens is mounted to the camera.
Menus – The Panasonic Lumix G80 menus are clearly and well laid out, with the menus separated over different colour coded sections. There is built-in help that explains each option, which makes it easier to use the camera, without having to refer to the manual. The Q.Menu button gives quick access to some of the most common settings, and you can use the touch-screen to change settings and options as well as scroll through the menus. In playback you can use pinch to zoom, or scroll through different photos, making it easy to use the camera, particularly if you're used to using a smartphone.
Built-in Wi-Fi allows you to remotely control the camera, and you can take photos as well as start and stop video recording. You can transfer images to a smartphone or tablet, or add geotagging (GPS location) information to photos. There are options for Snap Movie as well as Photo Collage. Setting up the connection is easy, as you can simply connect to the camera's Wi-Fi or use the QR code so that the connection is setup for you. The camera doesn't feature NFC.
Battery life - Panasonic say that the G80 is capable of shooting approximately 330 images when using the rear screen or 320 images when using the electronic viewfinder. When using the "Power Save LVF Shooting mode" you should be able to get up to approximately 800 images. We took around 640+ photos, and a around 20 video (both 4K and FullHD), and the camera's battery still showed 1 bar of life left. The G80 / G85 uses the same battery as the Panasonic Lumix GH2, Lumix G5, G6, and G7, which will be of benefit to anyone who wants to upgrade.