Panasonic’s G85 (USA) / G80 (Europe) is a step up from the popular, affordable G7. Like the G7, it can shoot full HD with slow motion, and 4K ‘Ultra HD’. It’s slightly larger and heavier, with a more ergonomic, weathersealed magnesium alloy body. You can also add a battery grip for extended shooting.
The most useful feature is five-axis in-body image stabilisation (IBIS). The samples I’ve seen are very impressive. The IBIS works best in conjunction with the optical stabilisation in ‘dual IS compatible’ Panasonic lenses. But it also works with non-stabilised lenses, which is great for those of use who use vintage primes.
It doesn’t have a headphone socket. But it can output an HDMI signal while recording (unlike the G7), so you can use this solution for audio monitoring.
If you don’t need the pro video features of the flagship GH5, the G85/G80 is a great deal: same image stabilisation, smaller, lighter and less than half the price.
You can buy the G85 as body only, or with Panasonic’s well-regarded 12-60 f.3.5-f/5.6 kit zoom lens.
Here’s a comparison between the G80/G85, G7 and the GH5 for filmmaking.
|Pixels for still photography (effective)||16||16||20.3|
|Movie formats||AVCHD, MP4||AVCHD, MP4||AVCHD, MP4, H.264, MOV|
|Image stabilisation||None||5-axis in-body||5-axis in-body|
|Video standard||NTSC (US model), PAL (Europe)||NTSC (G85), PAL (G80)||NTSC and PAL|
|DCI (Cinema) 4K||No||No||Frame rates: 23.98, 24, 25fps
Up to 4:2:2 10 bit, 150mb/s (400 mb/s forthcoming)
|Anamorphic||No||No||6K/24p anamorphic (forthcoming)|
|UHD 4K||24, 30fps (100 Mb), 2.2 sensor crop||24, 30fps (100 Mb), 2.2 sensor crop||23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 50, 59.94 fps
2.0 sensor crop
|Max HD quality||4:2:0, 8 bit, up to 100mbps||4:2:0, 8 bit, up to 100mbps||4:2:2, 10 bit, 100mbps (400mbps forthcoming)
|Slow motion||Full HD, 60fps||Full HD, 60fps||DCI 4K, 60fps (to external recorder)
Full HD up to 180fps
|Max clip length||29 minute 59 seconds||No limit (US)/30 minutes (Europe)||Unlimited|
|Touchscreen||3 inch, 1,040,000 dot||3 inch, 1,040,000 dot||3.2 inch, 1,620,000 dot|
|Battery capacity||1200 mAh||1200 mAh||1860 mAh|
|Size (mm)||4.9 x 3.4 x 3.0" / 124.9 x 86.2 x 77.4 mm||5.1 x 3.5 x 2.9" / 128.4 x 89.0 x 74.3 mm||5.5 x 3.9 x 3.4" / 138.5 x 98.1 x 87.4 mm|
|Weight||14.6 oz/415g||1.11 lb/505g||1.59lb/725g|
|Approx price||$600/£430 with 14-42 kit lens||$1000/$700 with 12-60 kit lens||$2000/£1700 body only|