2020 Panasonic Buyer’s Guide for GX85, G7, and G85

Openfilmmaker.com video comparing the GX85, G7 and G85

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Panasonic Lumix GX85 Panasonic Lumix G7 Panasonic Lumix G85
Panasonic Lumix GX85
Panasonic Lumix GX85

The Panasonic Lumix GX85 was released in May 2016. The GX85 is a range-finder model and has that vintage body style.

It doesn’t have an anti-aliasing filter and according to Panasonic, it results in 10% sharper images. The in-body image stabilization (IBIS) will also help with sharpened images. I love the look and portability of it. I recently used it on a family vacation. The small size made it a nice complement to my gimbal.

Since I shoot a lot of video, I did find the absence of a microphone input a drawback. For anyone that does videos regularly, you will understand the benefits of it. However, I did purchase a lavalier recently and plan on recording onto my phone.

The display screen doesn’t articulate so you have to ask questions to understand it better. Just joking… seeing if you’re actually paying attention to this article 🙂 It’s not an articulating screen and only folds up and down. It’s not a deal-breaker for me as I use it as a secondary camera. My primary camera has an articulating screen and communicates well with me. :p

Another drawback is the lack of a remote shutter port. Alternatively, it has a touch feature where you can tap the screen to start/stop the image capture. With the IBIS, minor movements should be compensated by the sensor.

I was quite stumped that they included HDMI pass-through on this camera. For what reason? I imagine it came down to marketing. It’s a nice feature to have, but I’m stumped why it’s included in this model and not the G7.

The missing focus-type dial (AFS/AFF, AFC, MF) is also a drawback. This is hugely beneficial in video so you can quickly change the focus-type during recording. With this model, that is not possible. The video has to be stopped in order to change the focus-type. I almost always shoot in manual-mode (thanks to the terrible auto-focusing on Panasonic cameras) so it hasn’t been a huge problem for me. But I can see how that would be time-consuming in photography to change it back/forth. However, I believe there’s a menu setting for using both Auto and Manual focus.

Even with the disadvantages, it’s still a fantastic camera. It’s meant for photography and light video. I use it as a travel and secondary camera.

Panasonic Lumix G7
Panasonic Lumix G7

Panasonic Lumix G7 was released in June 2015 and it’s the oldest of these cameras. So it makes sense that some features mentioned in the others would be missing here. Mainly the IBIS and inclusion of an anti-aliasing filter.

This camera includes an articulating screen which is a great feature for vloggers and checking focus. It includes a microphone input, remote shutter port, and an external focus-type dial button. The body style is DSLM (Digital Single Lens Mirrorless) as opposed to the range-finder on the GX85.

The buttons are slightly bigger on the G7 (enough to notice) and the firm grip seats much better in my hand than the GX, range-finder body. The G7 body looks much like the G85 body, only the feel of the G7 is very plastic-y. If you ever hold both a G85 and a G7, you will notice the difference easily.

One drawback to this camera is the HDMI pass-through does not work while recording. For this reason and the lack of IBIS, I would recommend the G85.

Overall, the G7 is an excellent, budget buy for those wanting to get started in photography and videography.


Panasonic Lumix G85

The Panasonic G85 was released in October 2016. Out of these three, it’s the newest model. It has all the features both the GX and G7 are lacking so this section will be short. This camera has IBIS, HDMI pass-through, microphone input, articulating screen, remote shutter port, and a USB-port (for data transfer).

The SD card slot is on the side of the camera and not underneath like both the G7 and GX85. And if anyone is wondering, it uses the same batteries as the G7 so these two cameras would pair well together.

The build-quality of the G85 is superb. It feels great to hold and has a slightly better look than the G7. It’s a fantastic camera and highly recommended out of these three.

GX85 vs. G7 vs. G85

Summary
Table
GX85 G7 G85
Release Date May 2016 June 2015 October 2016
Image Stabilization (IBIS) Yes No Yes
HDMI Pass-thru Yes No
(not while recording)
Yes
Body-style Range-finder DSLM DSLM
Microphone Input No Yes Yes
Remote shutter port No Yes Yes
Articulating screen No Yes Yes
External Focus-type button No Yes Yes
Button size Small Normal Normal
EVF size Small Normal Normal
External mode dial No Yes Yes
Build quality (Good < Better < Best) Better Good Best
Wifi Yes Yes Yes
Battery grip (optional) No No Yes
Ideal for Beginner photographersBeginner photographers
Beginner videographers
Semi-pro or pro photographers
Semi-pro or pro videographers
An upgrade from G7 or GX85
If you can afford it
OpenFilmmaker.com
Recommends
For photography and light video.
It’s a great secondary camera.  
For both photography and videography.
It’s a fantastic secondary camera.
Between these three options, the G85 wins hands-down!

Whether you go with the GX85, G7, or the G85, you can’t go wrong with any of these. Find your passion and go after it!

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