Comparing the New Panasonic GX85 with the G7 and GX7

Panasonic GX85, GX80, GX7 Mk II

Wait. Is it the Panasonic Lumix GX85 that just got announced?

But Panasonic sent me a press release calling it the GX80.

No wait, I’m pretty sure it’s the GX7 Mk II.

Truth is, I’m just as confused as you are. But from what I understand it will be known as the GX85 in the United States, the GX80 in Europe and the GX7 Mk II in Japan.

Personally, I like GX7 Mk II, because I feel it’s more of an immediate successor to the GX7.

Though Panasonic releases cameras in a weird order, I got nothing but love for them. They released the Panasonic G7, essentially a striped down version of the GH4 (nothing wrong with that). Though it shared the same sensor as the older GX7 they removed the IBIS.

And today we’re seeing a lot of the same, as the GX85 is essentially a striped down version of the GX8. Again, absolutely nothing wrong with that. I love it. Priced at $799 with the 12-32mm pancake I feel like it can attract a lot of enthusiasts. And seeing as how we’ve seen the GX8 for around $900 new, I wouldn’t doubt that the GX85 cruises down to around $600 pretty soon.

GX85 vs G7 vs GX7 vx GX8

But we are seeing some new things. One in particular thing that I’ve urned for in many past articles… 4k video with Dual IS. The first Micro Four Thirds camera to offer 4k video with IBIS.

But no flat profiles, the GH4 is still the only camera with V-Log… and Cinelike D won’t even make it’s way to the GX85.

There’s also no mic input and no articulating screen, both important for video enthusiasts.

It doesn’t have the 20mp sensor featured on the GX8. Disappointingly, it still shares the same sensor as the GX7 and G7, but at least they removed the AA filter removed. Which I prefer because of the increased sharpness, and the side effect of moiré can be easily treated in post (and Panasonic’s JPEG engine automatically corrects this).

In-Body Image Stabilization has improved to 5-axis on the GX85 versus 4-axis on the GX8. Both have Dual IS with compatible O.I.S. (2-axis) lenses. The GX7 has 2-axis, and the G7 had nothing. Only the GX85 is capable of using stabilization with video.

It doesn’t have weather sealing, like the GX8 and GH4.

One thing I loved about the GX series was the somewhat hidden bounce flash trick. It’s very useful and I was bummed when they announced that the GX8 removed it. But the bounce flash is back in the GX85!

Final Thoughts

People always ask for my opinion on what camera they should buy and of course it always depends, but I think this makes the list.

One thing that bums me out is that Panasonic has a tendency to nerf some of their product lines to keep a clear distinction between them.

The G7 had the same sensor has the GX7, but they removed the IBIS. That, V-Log and a few other things kept the GH4 the king of video for Panasonic. Probably the same reason why Dual IS wasn’t made available with video for the GX8.

And now with the GX85 or the GX7 Mk II… whatever you want to call it… they include 4k and Dual IS for video… but it doesn’t have flat profiles, a mic input or an articulating screen.

Don’t get me wrong, this is the perfect camera for a lot of people.

For those looking for a little more, all things are pointing to a beast of a GH5 later this year.

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  • BG Davis

    Nice summary; thanks.
    Other issues with the GX85/80/whatever include:
    1. Only 1 Custom setting on the mode dial. The GX7 has 3 and I use them all.
    2. Fewer fn buttons. Again, I use them all, to avoid menu diving.
    3. No lever for CAF/SAF. Gotta use the menu. Slow.
    Like you say, seems like they can’t give you one feature without taking another one away. But that’s why this camera only costs what it does (and in 6 months it could be below $500 or so, which is the cost of an FZ300 right now).

    • Jay Soriano

      Appreciate the input! It does suck that they take away features, but I do like the direction they’re going in.

  • Caladius Cat

    I don’t have much experience with cameras apart from using old slrs, compacts, smartphones and ocasionally my father’s nikon d51000. Right now I am using an SLR but this tiliting feature seems to be very useful to me when I think about buying digital. Gx8 has it but the camera itself is too big. Gx7 has it. too but the camera is old. Then gx80 is almost perfect for me but it has no tilting evf. Maybe I am wrong in craving that feature? Is that feature useful for photography from your experience? Or is it totaly useless?

    • Jay Soriano

      It depends. Since I work mostly indoors, I almost exclusively use the LCD viewfinders. For bright days outdoors, the non-tilting EVF works fine in my opinion.

      • Caladius Cat

        I don’t need a camera for work in a studio, since I am just an amateur. I do love catching the moments and I carry my slr with me wherever I go indoors, outdoors. I don’t mind to get on the ground to get a shot from an intersting angle or bend myself like a yogin. So from my point of view it might be useful since I am slowly discovering the limitations of VF. Also, looking at an LCD doesn’t give me that much pleasure and i don’t need it for professional practicality like you do. Also it VF helps me to focus and disconnect from the world for moment. However I am still undecided as to how much Tilting EVF could help me with not breaking my spine or neck. I wish there was some device you could put on your on your eyes that would connect it to the camera wirelessly. Like goggles or glasses.

  • Hassan Al-Lawati

    Hey, what do you think G7 or GX85?
    I am looking for a budget camera and the price of G7 suits me
    but I liked that feature of IBIS-In-Video but still don’t know if it
    deserves to pay that much as a beginner in videography!!!

    • Jay Soriano

      That’s tough. Do you have Panasonic’s O.I.S. lenses? If not, that could make your decision easier as you’ll need that to take advantage of Dual IS.

      Other than that, you’ll just have to weigh the features between the GX85 and G7 listed above. If you are getting into videography, I’d probably go G7 because of the articulating screen and mic input. There are other tools to stabilize your camera.

  • why

    I got this camera and made a photography trip. Well, the IBIS is tremendous. I was able to shoot water flowing at a SS of 1/4s with no issues and sharp image. The screen is amazing and quite bright even if you are shooting on a bright sunny day.
    The most awesome feature is to my opinion how fast is this camera: on to off, to focus can be real fast. That’s really impressive and unless you try it, I can’t express the feeling.
    Few downs: no mic, no weather seal, the rear dial is not very practical and can be clicked but so hard to do so. Other than this, a great camera. I love it after one trip and 3000+ pics.