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Panasonic DMC-GX85 Digital Camera Review

Panasonic gives its Lumix GX85 high-end features without the high-end price tag

April 05, 2016
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By the Numbers

Though it doesn't have the highest-res sensor, or top-of-the-line hardware, the GX85 is a perfect example of how to squeeze blood from a stone. It does a lot with what it has, and consequently, is one of the better cameras on the market from a performance standpoint.

Nota bene: These tests were performed with a near-final version of the camera's firmware. We will be re-testing in the days to come to make sure the performance metrics reported here are accurate, but we've been led to believe that this is roughly what you can expect from the Panasonic Lumix GX85.

Color and White Balance

Despite being the weakest performance point of the GX85, color is fairly decent. With a ∆C 00 (saturation corrected) error of 2.53 and an overall saturation of 110.5%, you can reliably expect your shots to turn out the way you expect them to.

Color error
Credit: Reviewed.com
Blues and Reds are a little oversaturated, but color is mostly accurate with the Standard color profile. View Larger

You may notice that reds and blues are a touch oversaturated, but most people bump these a little bit in post to begin with. Should you want to change this, you can always shoot in RAW as well.

White balance is a mixed bag, as always, because the camera struggles greatly with incandescent light—sometimes reaching errors of 1700 kelvin. In fluorescent lighting and daylight, the color errors will be kept under 300 kelvin, which is super good for a system camera.

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Sharpness

Like I mentioned before, the albatross across the neck of the GX85 is the kit lens. But it's really not that bad. The tandem routinely tops 2200 line widths per picture height at most settings, and errors like chromatic aberration and distortion are kept to a relative minimum (once you zoom out a little bit, anyway).

Sharpness
Credit: Reviewed.com / Chris Thomas
The kit lens is nothing special, but at maximum aperture most shots you take will be decently sharp.

The camera body itself does oversharpen images a little bit when exporting JPEGs, but you can avoid the minor haloing altogether if you shoot in RAW.

I will point out that at the absolute extremes, there is a bit of coma at the shortest focal length. But that's really about as minor a problem as you can possibly have, so we're willing to give it a pass. Just be sure to keep the NR at 0 to avoid some fine detail getting lost in the shuffle and you'll be fine.

Video

Boy howdy this is a great option for consumer 4K.

In bright light, we recorded just over 1500 line pairs per picture height, which fell to about 1200 in low light (60 lux). I found this to be a little farfetched, but then I tested the low light sensitivity. Able to reproduce a 50 IRE 4K image at 7 lux, this is one sensitive piece of electronics.

If you're more interested in HD content, the GX85 is a rockstar here, too. You can easily record 1080/60p video clips if you want to avoid any motion blur, and you can switch between file formats and framerates quite easily.

Noise

The noise reduction on the GX85 is a little aggressive, but it results in relatively noise-free shots. You won't notice much grain unless you really crank the ISO past 3200.

If you want to leave your camera on an easier setting than straight-up "manual," you can set the automatic ISO limit by opening the menu and futzing around. It's a fairly simple process, and a good idea if the camera is going to get passed around a lot.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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