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.
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