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Panasonic Lumix GX80 GX85 Review - Verdict

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Panasonic Lumix GX80 Black (2)

Value For Money

The Panasonic Lumix GX80 is available for £509 body only, or £599 with 12-32mm lens which makes it very good value for money as an interchangeable lens camera with 4K video recording and built-in image stabilisation. Some alternative cameras available at a similar price point include the following, although only the Panasonic Lumix G7 offers 4K video recording:

Sony Alpha A6000, lens-based IS, £469 with lens
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II, 5-axis IS, £549 with lens
Fujifilm X-T10, lens-based IS, £549 with lens
Panasonic Lumix G7, lens-based IS, £499 with lens

Have a look at more compact system cameras with an EVF in our Top 12 Best Premium Mirrorless Cameras 2015. You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.


Panasonic Lumix GX80 Verdict

The Panasonic Lumix GX80 offers a compelling set of features and shows that Panasonic are continuing to innovate in the digital camera market, with a new shutter unit designed to reduce shutter vibration as well as reduce shutter sound. They've removed the optical low-pass filter to improve image quality from the 16-megapixel sensor, and combined with the latest image processing from Panasonic, the results are very good. Panasonic has also introduced 5-axis sensor based image stabilisation, which is designed to work in combination with lenses with optical image stabilisation. Image stabilisation also works with 4K video recording, which means you can record high-quality 4K (UHD) video even when using the camera handheld.

The Lumix GX80 not only records 4K video but also offers 4K photo, which has a number of different options for capturing 8-megapixel photos at 30fps, making sure you don't miss the all-important moment. This technology is used for Panasonic's post focus feature, which lets you re-focus your photo after you've taken it, and beyond this there's also a new light composition mode for shots of fireworks, or light painting. Considering the Panasonic Lumix GX80 offers 4K video, combined with 5-axis image stabilisation, the camera offers very good value for money, yet the camera body is well-built and feels good to hold.  

The GX80 delivers images with very good colour and is capable of producing images with excellent detail, although does benefit from the use of high-quality lenses to get the best out of the camera. However, saying that, the 12-32mm kit lens produces good images, and is particularly convenient thanks to the extremely compact size, turning the GX80 into a camera you can easily take with your where-ever you go. For those that want some of the best features available in a mirrorless compact system camera, the Panasonic Lumix GX80 certainly ticks a lot of boxes, and with a wide range of Micro Four Thirds lenses available, it's difficult to resist this camera!  

Panasonic Lumix GX80 Pros

5-axis image stabilisation
2-year warranty
Image stabilisation works for 4K/FullHD video
Excellent image quality possible
4K Photo / Video 
Excellent buffer for continuous shooting
Good value for money
MicroUSB charging
Very good tilting touch-screen
Excellent Wi-Fi connectivity
Noticeably quieter shutter

Panasonic Lumix GX80 Cons

Short battery life
Rubber grip would be nice - texture does okay
Electronic viewfinder (EVF) 16:9 aspect ratio may not be to everyone's liking
Slight hum from the 5-axis IS system

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  

The Panasonic Lumix GX80 brings some of the very best features from all mirrorless cameras and delivers them in an extremely competitively priced camera.

 


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Comments


If only they had made the EVF 4:3 and retained the GX7/8's AF/MF switch, I would have been tempted to upgrade all three of my GX7s to this. The addition of DfD and Dual IS, elimination of shutter shock, and removal of the AA filter are all compelling. Removal of EVF tilt I can live with and accept as a cost-cutting measure. However, any upgrade from my GX7s will HAVE to have a bigger 4:3 EVF. Guess I'll just have to wait for GX8 prices to drop...

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lemmy 12 2.8k United Kingdom
5 Apr 2016 11:51AM
The one thing everyone wants to know is how does the sensor stabilization compare with Olympus's? That's the single biggest change in Panasonic's camera line up since 4K and arguably more important than that to most photographers.
ChrisV Plus
12 2.3k 26 United Kingdom
5 Apr 2016 12:05PM
Looks like a great camera. Already owning a GX8, there isn't that much on offer to tempt me into getting yet another MFT body [perhaps thankfully]. If it were the tiny dimensions of the GMs and perhaps weather-sealed I might be thinking about it [gulp]. It is good - and slightly surprising - they've managed to add in 5 axis IS and that it works with 4k shooting. Oh, and they've addressed shutter shock issues.

All this bodes well for the future and makes my mouth water at the prospect of what might go into a GH5...
joshwa Plus
9 905 United Kingdom
5 Apr 2016 1:11PM
Hi Lemmy, we've added in some image stabilisation (details on the performance page). Compared to the Olympus OM-D E-M5 I'd say it's on a par as to the lower shutter speeds possible, but that the GX80 has a higher success rate. I don't have an E-M5 II at hand to compare it to.
dannyr 10 46 United Kingdom
5 Apr 2016 1:56PM
"GX85 in some parts of the world, or alternatively as the GX7 Mark II in Asia."

Why?

Apart from that looks a great little camera, Loved my GX7, and this does seem like a nice updated version. in fact GX7 Mk2 does seem the most appropriate.

So what does the shutter sound like? Hated the GX7 shutter sound with a passion, but love the GM1's almost silent shutter, if it's in between the two ill be happy.
lemmy 12 2.8k United Kingdom
5 Apr 2016 4:17PM

Quote:Compared to the Olympus OM-D E-M5 I'd say it's on a par as to the lower shutter speeds possible, but that the GX80 has a higher success rate.
Thanks Josh. That essentially does away with Panasonic's disadvantage over Olympus in stills work.
dcash29 14 2.4k England
5 Apr 2016 5:17PM

Quote:Compared to the Olympus OM-D E-M5 I'd say it's on a par as to the lower shutter speeds possible, but that the GX80 has a higher success rate. I don't have an E-M5 II at hand to compare it to.


Hopefully the EM5mk2 vs GX80 colour checker card is nothing to go by then?
joshwa Plus
9 905 United Kingdom
5 Apr 2016 6:32PM

Quote:So what does the shutter sound like? Hated the GX7 shutter sound with a passion, but love the GM1's almost silent shutter, if it's in between the two ill be happy.







From left to right: E-M5, GX80, GX7 shutter sound - although note the table does amplify the sound.
lemmy 12 2.8k United Kingdom
5 Apr 2016 7:06PM
If I was a war photographer I'd be loath to use the GX7. A quick sequence on that and you'd be certain to get a burst from an AK47 in return.
Niknut Plus
9 2.3k 78 United Kingdom
5 Apr 2016 8:09PM
A corking little camera.......but the image quality doesn't quite match that from the GX8 ??.(compare the studio shots enlarged !), which also
has better control layout & a chunkier grip !.......at least it isn't so expensive as the GX8 ?.

If they ever remove the AA filter from the GX8, it'll knock the spots off everything else !!.....except the Olympus OMD M1 maybe ??.WinkGrin
6 Apr 2016 7:47AM
Just as I am contemplating a new lens, this comes along 😟 I like the EVF resolution and the size but its a shame they didn't stick with the GX8 sensor.... onwards and sideways !

Quote:If I was a war photographer I'd be loath to use the GX7. A quick sequence on that and you'd be certain to get a burst from an AK47 in return.


Gosh, I wonder how DSLR PJs have survived all these years? The GX7 shutter sound is nothing next to my 1D3. If it's too much for ya, there's always e-shutter.
6 Apr 2016 11:31AM
Would be good to have some info. about the focus bracketing feature, ie. compared to Olympus EM10 mrk II?

I feel a 3:2 aspect ratio for the EVF would be a better compromise for 16:9 video/4:3 stills.

David.
lemmy 12 2.8k United Kingdom
6 Apr 2016 12:53PM

Quote:Gosh, I wonder how DSLR PJs have survived all these years? The GX7 shutter sound is nothing next to my 1D3. If it's too much for ya, there's always e-shutter
I've actually covered wars so I was joking. My Nikons were, of course much noisier. And the GX7 has a silent shutter, as you say, which I use 95% of the time.

Some of Magnum's people are using GH4s in action these days.
Ah, I see. I guess my irony meter is broken. Glad you survived.
sanveer 3 1
6 Apr 2016 4:38PM
Does anyone know how good the video quality is? How FLAT can the video be pushed, for grading in post? Also, how decent is the on-board mic (since it doesn't have a mic socket)?
6 Apr 2016 7:47PM
I expect it is the same as the G7 except the moire maybe differen't, so to get flat as possible you would use Cine D, perhaps dial down contrast etc. I like Cine D but many complain about skin tones in particular but you can get LUT's to overcome these types of phemomena.
sanveer 3 1
6 Apr 2016 10:35PM
Montymouse, the GX85 doesn't have Cinelike D and Cinelike V. Also, I read in some reports that the colors right out of the camera are very vibrant. That is why I asked. The G7 has the Cinelike D and Cinelike V, and in most profile dialling down everything usually gives a pretty Flat Profile anyways.
Paul Morgan 18 19.4k 6 England
6 Apr 2016 11:01PM
The wb test images are still under exposed I see.
7 Apr 2016 5:38AM
Are you sure Sanveer, I haven't seen any mention of Cine D one way or the other, only of an enhanced Venus Engine and dynamic range. Wrt to your second comment, dialing down can be a double edged sword, it will not have the same affect as adjusting gamma, but will on vibrant image output in my experience.
sanveer 3 1
7 Apr 2016 9:26AM
Yes Montymouse, I read at a few forums, and I saw the same on B&H. But it is a Good Thing. Dialing down the setting to -3 to -5 and setting the profile to Natural is a better way of setting up for grading in post.

I agree, that dialing down in Cinelike V and Cinelike D can be an issue. Especially with Cineline D (and everything set to -5).
7 Apr 2016 3:56PM
I have heard Natural is better from some much viewed YouTube vid Sanveer but this is not my experience. I am in a G7 user group and one of the members has provided a LUT to support Cine D. I am surprised it's not available but perhaps it's aimed at the rich mans p&s segment of the market.
sanveer 3 1
7 Apr 2016 4:38PM
Oh ok, Montymouse. I wish Panasonic would incorporate the Cine D and V too. But, they are trying to protect their GX8 (metal body, weather sealing, tilting OVF, articulating screen, Cinelike D & V, 2.5mm mic jack, Highlight/Shadow adjustment etc) and G7 lineup (articulating screen, Cinelike D & V, 3.5mm mic jack, Highlight/Shadow adjustment etc).

See, since the GX 85 deals with the 2 biggest issues with Lumix Cameras, namely Shutter Shock and 5-Axis in-Body Stabilization, they have tried to disable other functions. From the few pics I saw on Flickr, I thought it handled detail as well as the 20MP GX8 (which has a 4-axis stabilisation, and no stabilization in 4k).

I think Panasonic should just Sell the extra Features (Including a 200mbps Vlog) for another $99-199 and make a killing, while they can.

I am guessing, the HDMI out has been Disabled as well, for the same reasons, mentioned.
7 Apr 2016 4:40PM
Thx for the review. Can you do a shutter sound test GX85 vs. EM5II (that's the quietest shutter among MILC until now). When testing, pls hold it up when press shutter.
8 Apr 2016 9:50AM
The review says:-
>>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.

This is a bit of a concern, and the stated solution is ambiguous, does it mean the touch screen must be switched off completely, or just that the touch screen can be set to switch off temporarily when using the EVF?

joshwa Plus
9 905 United Kingdom
8 Apr 2016 11:02AM

Quote:The review says:-
>>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.

This is a bit of a concern, and the stated solution is ambiguous, does it mean the touch screen must be switched off completely, or just that the touch screen can be set to switch off temporarily when using the EVF?




Hi, you can solve this problem by either:

a) using your right eye with the EVF, so that your nose isn't on the screen, or
b) switching off the touch-AF pad feature

Option b means you can still use the touch-screen for everything else.
8 Apr 2016 11:07AM

Quote:
Quote:The review says:-
>>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.

This is a bit of a concern, and the stated solution is ambiguous, does it mean the touch screen must be switched off completely, or just that the touch screen can be set to switch off temporarily when using the EVF?




Hi, you can solve this problem by either:

a) using your right eye with the EVF, so that your nose isn't on the screen, or
b) switching off the touch-AF pad feature

Option b means you can still use the touch-screen for everything else.



Ah yes thanks, I was forgetting that the viewfinder is offset and so your nose wouldn't normally touch it.
12 Apr 2016 11:00PM
Were you able to test whether the camera crops 4k video beyond the normal 2x m43 crop? If I recall correctly, the GX8 crops 24mm (FF equiv) to 37mm when shooting 4k video (or maybe I am thinking of a different camera than the GX8.)
13 Apr 2016 12:20PM
This doesn't bother me but the GX8 crops to 2.7 If I recall correctly.
13 Apr 2016 9:14PM
Thanks. That large crop factor pretty much kills wide-angle for 4k video, which was why I bought a G7 last year instead of the GX8. I hope the 4k video crop is less severe on the new GX80/85, but I haven't seen any of the early hands-on reviews comment on that yet.
15 Apr 2016 3:21AM
Nice review, as always.

Can you please tell me if the PRESS function is available on the rear dial, like older models?

Thanks and keep up your nice work.
joshwa Plus
9 905 United Kingdom
15 Apr 2016 1:59PM

Quote:The wb test images are still under exposed I see.


Hi Paul,

The WB test images were taken with +0.3 exposure compensation to counter-act what the camera is doing with it's exposure. Images were taken on aperture priority, with fixed ISO speed. The images appear under-exposed, and this is something that some Panasonic cameras tend to do more than other brands.

Thanks
Josh
joshwa Plus
9 905 United Kingdom
15 Apr 2016 2:00PM

Quote:Nice review, as always.

Can you please tell me if the PRESS function is available on the rear dial, like older models?

Thanks and keep up your nice work.



Yes you can, thanks Josh
26 Apr 2016 3:35AM
Hi,
nice review, thanks!

LUMIX GX80-Questions:
1) Why is the flash sync slower than in the GX7 (+/320; 1/250 with external flash) - any other explanation than marketing?
2) Does the internal flash allow triggering remote flash(s) like the GX7?
3) Why did they remove the focus selection switch around the the AF/AE lock button?
Even the tiny GM1 has that physical switch...
4) Finally: Does the GX80 allow AUTO-ISO in M mode?

Thanks for your reply!
bohemia 17 152 United Kingdom
21 Sep 2016 11:13AM
I bought one and quite like it but have noticed that there is shutter lag. I have used it with at 14-140mm to shoot horses. Single frame shots - normally I don't need to machine gun it. I press the shutter when I want the image captured - but the leg has always passed the point at which I wish it to be on the image. (This is not down to lack of knowledge and I can get it every time with the Olympus EM1 or a DSLR)
1 Dec 2016 12:29PM
I have owned the GX80 for about a month and used it intensively. I have taken a lot of macro shots with it using the Olympus M-Zuiko 60mm macro. The combination of lens and camera produces amazing shots. If you want compactness, light weight and great fuhnctionality this is for you.
Especially with macro you must use POST FOCUS - an amazing feature.
There are too many upsides to this camera to mention BUT I have one down side which is important. THE BATTERY LIFE IS RUBBISH If you are out for a day of intensive shooting you must have at least 2 spare batteries especially if you are doing video as well. You will probably use them both. AND you will have to buy a charger as well as Panasonic doesn't supply one but they are readily available as are the batteries.
I love this camera and my wife loves her Panasonic TZ 100 which uses the same batteries and shares most of the functions but it is a fixed mega zoom snapshot camera with a 1 inch sensor and also produces amazing shots in a much smaller body. I strongly recommend both cameras

Quote:The review says:-
>>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.

This is a bit of a concern, and the stated solution is ambiguous, does it mean the touch screen must be switched off completely, or just that the touch screen can be set to switch off temporarily when using the EVF?



This mainly applies to left-eye shooters. Right-eye shooters have their noses positioned to the left of the camera.
1 Dec 2016 5:05PM
You can set the touch screen to automatically swith between eye and screen or you can set it by the press of the evf button. It can be annoying when set to automatic as even your finger crossing the eye piece can cause the evf to switch when on auto. Also it is best to try using the EVF with your right eye anyway.
But use the EVF switch on manual and the problem is solved

Quote:You can set the touch screen to automatically swith between eye and screen or you can set it by the press of the evf button. It can be annoying when set to automatic as even your finger crossing the eye piece can cause the evf to switch when on auto. Also it is best to try using the EVF with your right eye anyway.
But use the EVF switch on manual and the problem is solved



This doesn't prevent the left-eye shooter's nose from moving the AF point while looking through the EVF.
21 Sep 2017 4:48AM
A bit late, but as for how decent the microphone is... it depends. For normal use, I suppose it will do for home videos. But for concerts it's great. I can stand a few meters from a drum set, and there is no distortion. Yes, you will have to use an equalizer to get the best out of it, but it's all there.

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