When the rangefinder-esque Lumix GX85 was announced a few months ago, we knew it would only be a matter of time before Panasonic announced the newest model in the SLR-esque range, the G85 (or G80 as it is known in Europe or G81 as it is known in Germany). Indeed, if we were to summarise the G85 in one sentence, it would be that it packs the best features of the GX85 into the form factor of an SLR.
Like the GX85, the G85 houses a 16MP Micro Four Thirds sensor that lacks an anti-aliasing filter, allowing for approximately 10% more resolution. It also employs the same electromagnetic shutter mechanism which is said to reduce shutter shock by around 90% compared to previous models.
The physical characteristics of the G85 remain largely unchanged from the G7, save the addition of a dust and moisture resistant magnesium alloy chassis. It features the same centrally-placed OLED electronic viewfinder with 2.36 million dots of resolution (albeit with a higher magnification of 0.74x), and a free-angle 3-inch 1.04 million dot LCD touchscreen. Around the body you’ll find two control dials, one drive dial, one mode dial, an AFS/AFC/MF switch and 10 different custom buttons, five of which are found inside a virtual menu.
Perhaps the most important update to the G85 is the addition of 5-axis in-body stabilisation with support for Dual IS when used in conjunction with select IS lenses. This feature was first introduced on the GX85 but has been upgraded to Dual IS II on the G85, providing 5 f-stops of compensation. Dual IS on the GX85 already extremely worked well, so we are excited to see the improvements made to this feature on the G85.
Also inherited from previous models is Panasonic’s Depth from Defocus (DFD) contrast detection autofocus system, maximum burst speed of 6 fps with continuous autofocus, silent electronic shutter, built-in WiFi, and of course, UHD 4K recording at 30p and Full HD at 60p. It also benefits from various 4K Photo modes which allow you to extract 8MP stills in-camera from footage taken at 30fps.
One new 4K Photo addition is Post Focus with Focus Stacking which allows you to stack images in camera. Note that this is different from the Focus Bracket mode which is not related to 4K Photo.
To extend shooting time, an optional battery grip (DMW-BGG1), which holds two DMW-BLC12 batteries, will also be made available for the G85. It will feature a second shutter release button, dual control dials, an AF/AE lock button, and an exposure compensation button.
The Lumix G85 is is scheduled to be available in October 2016 for an estimated retail price of $897.