ON TRIAL PANA­SONIC LU­MIX G85

Pana­sonic bol­sters its en­thu­si­ast-level Lu­mix G mir­ror­less of­fer­ings with a new SLR-style model which slots in above the G7 and packs a lot into a com­pact pack­age.

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The new Lu­mix G flag­ship GH5 model is just around the cor­ner, but Pana­sonic is do­ing equally ex­cit­ing things with its mid-range mir­ror­less cam­eras… in­clud­ing the fea­ture-packed G85 which is specif­i­cally tar­geted at en­thu­si­astlevel users.

The mes­sage, says Pana­sonic, is start­ing to get through to the tra­di­tional buy­ers of higher-end D-SLRs. That mes­sage, of course, is that mir­ror­less cam­eras can be just as ca­pa­ble, but a lot more com­pact and lighter in weight… which is par­tic­u­larly true of the Mi­cro Four Thirds sen­sor for­mat. It’s the same mes­sage that we’re hear­ing from Fu­ji­film, Olym­pus and Sony as all these brands in­creas­ingly tar­get higher-end users… both photo en­thu­si­asts and pro­fes­sion­als. Mo­bil­ity is the new buzz­word in cam­era de­sign.

Let’s face it, if a mir­ror­less cam­era can do the same job – and there’s now really no doubt that they can – why put up with lug­ging around a bulkier kit? And, as we’ve noted be­fore, there are a num­ber of ex­ter­nal fac­tors that make car­ry­ing a more com­pact cam­era sys­tem more de­sir­able, in­clud­ing more rig­or­ously ap­plied air­line re­stric­tions on carry-on bag­gage weight (usu­ally set at around seven ki­los), and the de­sir­abil­ity of be­ing less con­spic­u­ous when tak­ing pho­tographs in many more places around the world.

Pana­sonic al­ready caters pretty well for the en­thu­si­ast-level shooter, but it’s con­tin­u­ally re­fin­ing its Lu­mix G cam­eras so the new G85 (called the G80 or G81 in other mar­kets) is pri­mar­ily de­signed to com­bine the SLR-type styling of the G7 with higher lev­els of features and spec­i­fi­ca­tions. It’s not quite the SLR-looka­like equiv­a­lent of the RFstyled GX8, but not far off it, and per­haps not sur­pris­ingly, Pana­sonic sees it as hav­ing par­tic­u­lar ap­peal for the se­ri­ous travel pho­tog­ra­pher. For the time be­ing at least, the G7 re­mains avail­able and at a keener price point.

ON THE OUT­SIDE

The G85 shares the same more an­gu­lar styling as the G7, but with a fully weather-proofed bodyshell

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