Panasonic Lumix G80 (G85): Review
9/19/2016, Milan Šurkala
Panasonic has just released the new mirrorless camera Lumix DMC-G80 (DMC-G85, DMC-G81). It has 4K video mode, second generation of Dual IS system, 3.5mm jack for stereo microphone and it is also dust and water resistant. How did it perform in our test?
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Today, we have tested the completely new camera Panasonic Lumix G80 (G81 or G85 on some markets). It is very difficult to find any serious flaws and we can say that this is one of the best mirrorless (CSC) camera in the market. The camera is very quick and responsive, there is plenty of control buttons that are mostly configurable by a user. I really liked the tilting touch screen and very large electronic viewfinder. The grip is much better in a comparison with GX80 (GX85). The camera is also weather sealed as well as the kit lens. Nice.
The camera is not only easy to operate, it also provides above average functions. It is able to shoot high quality 4K video with rich manual controls and external stereo microphone or HDMI external recording are supported too. The stabilization and autofocus systems are very good too. Dual IS is perfect for stills and video if you do not move (walk). Autofocus is sensitive, extremely fast and completely quiet (depends on the lens used), it can be touch controlled.
Possibilities of setting the exposure are almost endless. Battery life is fine. Nothing special but it is slightly above average. Wi-Fi is supported in order to send data between the camera and a smartphone. I appreciate 12-60mm kit lens that is much more versatile than ordinary 14-42mm one. It provides wider angle of view and also better zoom. Its optical quality is mostly impressive with an above average corner-to-corner sharpness. It is also weather sealed and only problems are lens flares and chromatic aberration sometimes.
The image quality is surprisingly good for the 4/3-inch type sensor. Noise levels are relatively low with very good image quality up to ISO 800 sensitivity. Even ISO 1600 is fine and you can still accept the image quality when ISO 3200 is used. Though, I would not recommend to go higher. Dynamic range is quite good in shadows but do not expect so much in highlights.
Overall, Panasonic Lumix G80 / G81 / G85 is the camera I would highly recommend. Without any serious flaws and many interesting advantages you can hardly find a better balanced camera in this category.
+ Very quick, responsive camera
+ Excellent electronic viewfinder
+ Almost endless possibilities to adjust focus and exposure modes
+ Weather sealing
+ High-quality 4K video
+ Impressive Dual Image Stabilization
+ Very good image quality (if noise reduction is set to absolute minimum)
+ Extremely silent shutter
- Unnecessarily high noise reduction in standard level
- Small buttons on the rear side
- No slow-motion video