Panasonic G85 Review – Is it the best camera under $1000?

Hey all – just getting started on YouTube. Here’s my first real video (other than the video of my fish tank from 7 years ago that I just made private 😂 ). It’s a review on what’s quickly becoming perhaps my favorite camera. I will be posting a few more videos of the G85 soon, so if you’re interested please like and subscribe.

Here’s a few pros and cons that go unmentioned in the review:

Pros:

  • For Micro Four Thirds, Olympus has seemed like the better option for photographers, and Panasonic for video… but that’s changing. The EM5 II was a decent option for video… a major upgrade over the original EM5. It still wasn’t quite there with Panasonic at 1080, much less 4k. And I think the focus tends to hunt. But, the IBIS is unparalleled, still a nudge better than Panasonic’s Dual IS even with just body only. And it had a lot of things filmmakers love, an articulating screen, a mic input (and headphone input with the battery grip), a flat profile. And Panasonic is becoming a lot better with stills, Olympus is known to handle color really well – but I’ve seen a lot of instances where my G85 looks better than my EM5 II.
  • 4k with Dual IS – The GX85 was the first to have this, but it didn’t have a mic input or the Cine profiles among other things.
  • Timelapse Feature – I didn’t mention it in the review, but I absolutely love the built-in timelapse feature. You’ll see an example in the “stills samples” section of the video review.

Cons:

  • There’s a big pretty big difference between IBIS and Dual IS for the G85. So you have to pair Dual IS compatible lenses to take full advantage of it… the problem? Some of the best lenses for Panasonic (and zero Olympus lenses) aren’t Dual IS compatible.
  • 2.2x crop factor – a tad bit annoying for Vlog style videos, because a lens like the Panasonic 14mm f2.5 will become about a ~31mm equivalent… which is a bit tight for that vlogging style shot. BTW, I can’t wait for the Panasonic-Leica 8-18mm f2.8-4, that will be the perfect lens to pair with the G85.
  • 1/160 flash shutter sync speed – This makes my EM5 II and Sony A7 (both are 1/250) a slightly better option for studio portraits as it gives me a little bit more flexibility. Not a huge deal, but it does come in handy when you want to control the amount of light that falls onto the background.

Here are a few samples of the G85 that I recently posted on Instagram, for more checkout the video review above:

Wanted this shot for the crib, walked a mile and froze my ass off but it was worth it.

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Another shot from Portland, this of the White Stag sign, with the Rudolph treatment for the holidays.

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When you have New Year's Resolutions but your bed is so warm and cozy #pug🐶

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The last one from Red Rock, this of the always beautiful, yet freezing her ass off, @brendayahm

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AUDIO TRANSCIPTION:

Panasonic G85 is it the best camera under a $1000?

First of all, I just want to say that this is pretty much my first video. So if it sucks. I think you know why. Anyway I just want to say thanks because I just put up one other little teaser video out there and I got like seven hundred views and 25 subscribers. Pretty pumped up about that, because I don’t even have 25 friends. Anyway let me start off by saying that DPreview called it the best around a thousand bucks. I know a lot of people be taking it personally if someone says the camera other than theirs isn’t the best. Me personally, I think the best is subjective and there’s a lot of other cameras in that thousand dollar price range that are pretty good. Some examples. Sony A7, its full frame, right about a thousand bucks, used, I love it. The Olympus OM-D E-M5, mark-2, one of my favorite cameras. And you know what, there’s a lot of other cameras in this price range that people can consider. Sony A6300, obviously great camera. A lot of people love it. Mr. Fuji x t1 and the xt-2. Which is a little bit more, but those cameras are sexy as I love the jpeg processing. And you know of course there’s a lot of things by canon and nikon in that price range too that are obviously good options For me personally I think it’s silly to call one camera vastly better than another because there’s a lot of pros and cons a lot of trade-offs.

So what do you value. I mean olympus right now the king of stabilization. I don’t think anyone’s arguing that I think panasonic is close with the dual IS but if you value stabilization I think olympus right now reigns King. If you want to go full frame I like the sony a7 lite. But if you want to go full frame you gotta spend full frame money that means investing in full frame lenses. So while you can get the sony A7 for a thousand buck and A7-2 for about 1,500. You still got to spend a lot more on lenses. I might do feel comfortable and saying this so if you’re doing any sort of video I think the panasonic GT-5 is a way to go.

There are a couple other options out there there’s the sony RX-100 marks 4 or 5. I think it’s marks 4. No, I think we’re on mark 5. That’s a good option it’s but you can’t switch lenses so you kind of limited into the types of shots you can get but there are other things you can do with it.

I think the 4k quality is really good. The obviously the ability to do slow-motion I think upto 240 frames per second on that. Now another option is Sony A6300 and to be honest you can go wrong either way. The A6300 is about a thousand bucks. The panasonic G85 is about 900 and for another hundred bucks round and enough to a 1000 may comes the 12 to 16 millimeter kit lens.

Speaking of which it’s pretty good. Let me find.

The panasonic 12 to 16 millimeter kit lens for another hundred bucks you can get this with the panasonic G85. I tested it side-by-side with the panasonic 12 to 35 have 2.8 and that 12 millimeters. This lens is sharper and at first I sound like bandits that’s BS there’s no way a kit lens is sharper than a premium ones that I paid about 700 bucks new for.

I was thinking maybe I add a bad copy of it or maybe this is a really good copy I don’t know but I cross-reference my results with the results on lenstip.com and they agreed at 12 millimeters is this lens is sharper up until about 5.6 word even down and that’s kind of the same results I got. So you get a really good lens for a hundred bucks. Granted you don’t get the constant aperture that the 12 to 35 have 2.8 has. But that’s 700 bucks new and this is just another bucks add on. At the end of the day if you don’t want it you can resell it for about 300 bucks and that’s what it’s going for on Ebay.

That’s probably what we all end up doing. Alright back to the Sony A6300 because if you are thinking about the panasonic G85 chances are you have heard of the Sony A6300. They’re both mirrorless, they’re both 4k, they’re both good cameras and again it can go wrong either way. So what I like about the sony a6300 is that at 4k it out resolves almost everything I’ve seen. Ok. It even out resolve the sony a7r and A7S2 and those are about 3 grand a piece. And I’ll resolve the night gone d5 the canon 5ds mark4. The fuji xt-2 pretty much everything. So 4k quality is almost unparalleled. With the panasonic G85 it comes second place. Right behind them. And the panasonic G85 actually out result the A6300 at 1080. That’s useful if you want to go you know 60 frames per second or if you just want to do longer-form video because 4k takes up a lot of space. We’re talking a Gig a minute. So if you’re doing long-form video it’s kind of useful to do a lot of it in 1080p.

And I don’t have a sony A6300. So I am only going to speak in general terms. But I will say this though, the reason why I opted for the full frame sony a7 over that a 6000 series is that, a lot of the lenses a lot of the best ones anyway they’re designed to cover this sensor. A full-frame sensor and you know that sort of my be full with canon and nikon too, is that is that if you want to get a PSE camera, most of the lenses that you’re looking at there are designed for the full frame sensor. So unless you upgrade in the future you’re not really making full use of. Micro four thirds, on the other hand the mount shared by Panasonic and Olympus the lenses can be made smaller and more affordable because it covers a smaller sensor. On another thing about the A7 vs. A6300. I think this camera just looks a lot better you know I think it’s it’s it’s like women in a way and beauty can hide a few character flaws and this is one sexy piece of.

And by the way a lot of people disagree with me a lot of people think it’s ugly and you know what I think that’s fine at the end of the day I think it just boils down a personal preference. By the way I don’t think the panasonic G85 is the best looking at a bunch as a matter of fact I think the Olympus OM-D E-M5 mark 2 is the best-looking and as the best build quality of the bunch. If I’m going even further I think, the xt-1 and xt2 line are by far to me probably the best-looking mirrorless camera on the market. And again a lot of people might disagree.

Back to the olympus and why I think it’s the best-looking but that the G85 is nice. It’s a good-looking camera but it’s more of that DSLR style which I kind of don’t like. I don’t really like the big hand grips on cameras like the G85 or this sony a7. With these hand grips that are square.

I like what, I like what olympus does where it’s kind of more smooth and more simple and then if you want to add the handgrip you can.So if you want to add the hand grip and I hundred percent agree that it’s better for economics. I got me personally I just don’t like the way it looks but if you want to add it, you can. And the thing with this too is that it actually makes it a little bit more functional because it adds a headphone port so if you’re doing video and one of monitor audio you can do that.Another thing with the EM-5 anyways that you can also attach the battery grip which I like not just for additional battery life but I like holding it vertically for portraits to me that’s a much more natural feel. The G85 has an optional battery grip too. You don’t get any additional features like the ability to monitor audio like the EM-5 does. But you know you do get extra battery life and you can hold it vertically if you want. 300 bucks right now little bit more on the expensive side for me so I’m probably going to hold off on that but it’s an option for other people out there. Where was I? I guess I drank a lot. Yeah i’m moving if you’re looking for like a formal video that’s probably a lot of a better videos out there so if you’re looking for someone to talk out of your ass I’m here. You can be my 26th subscriber. Oh yeah the panasonic G85 and sony a6300. Again they’re pretty close yet can go wrong either way but I think the one place for panasonic stands out is stabilization.

Lens stabilization is nowhere near IBIS in body image stabilization. And canon, nikon or foods you don’t offer that so what you saw in that video with similar to what you would see with any of those cameras with an optically image optical image stabilized lens. Now that a 6500 does have in body image stabilization but that’s about 1,500 bucks. So do the a7r and a7s too but those are about 3 grand a piece. And the stabilization still isn’t as good or at least compared to Olympus or panasonic dual IS. It probably has something to do with moving a larger sensor. And by the way I still think olympus reigns King with stabilization even if it just is body only and another thing with panasonic you have to pair it with a dual IS compatible lens and some of the best lenses aren’t dual IS compatible some of their primes like the panasonic like a 25 millimeter 1.4. The panasonic 14 millimeter has 2.5 the 20-millimeter f1.7 and and the list really goes on.

So now I’m going to cut to a video that I posted last month and I think it’s really interesting for a lot of people who are considering this camera because all of the shots for a handout, no tripods no gorillapod no nothing like that and and seventy-five percent of the shots were in low light and that’s ISO 2000 and above. I shot most of the [11:35 inaudible] like d with no noise reduction in camera and no noise reduction in post and some of the actually most of the shots were dual IS. But not out all of them because not all of my lenses has stabilization of them. Anyway check it out.

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