Micro 4/3 Initial impressions of the GX85

mnhoj

gee aahrr
Jan 27, 2012
Los Angeles
John
I've read about how many were underwhelmed thinking the GX9 was more of an upgrade to the GX85 instead of the GX8. I'm hoping that this will drive lower used prices faster than normal. My GX85 will make a great second body to it.
 

agentlossing

Veteran
Mar 23, 2015
Andrew Lossing
I've read about how many were underwhelmed thinking the GX9 was more of an upgrade to the GX85 instead of the GX8. I'm hoping that this will drive lower used prices faster than normal. My GX85 will make a great second body to it.
Thing is, the GX85 was a winner, and an upgrade to a winner is a good idea. The GX8 didn't review as well and still has a lot of the older Panasonic hurdles it couldn't quite overcome. It's nicer hardware, but ultimately less well rounded.
 

MoonMind

Hall of Famer
Dec 29, 2013
Switzerland
Matt
Thing is, the GX85 was a winner, and an upgrade to a winner is a good idea. The GX8 didn't review as well and still has a lot of the older Panasonic hurdles it couldn't quite overcome. It's nicer hardware, but ultimately less well rounded.
It's actually funny you should type "GX8" instead of "GX9" - or was that intentional? ;) I really was impressed with what the GX8 brought to the table when it came out - but it felt off in my hands, chunky *and* clunky. Not so the GX9 - it's a "step back" in some regards, but only when comparing it directly to the GX8. But really, apart from a few cost saving measures (no weather sealing, no microphone and headphone sockets, smaller and cheaper EVF), the GX9 more than matches the GX8, it takes better images, has better I.B.I.S. - and feels much better in my hands. And what's most important to me, it still stays true to the :mu43: motto: small, yet capable. And as a package, the GX9 is hard to beat - and while it's not a huge upgrade to the GX80, it is a significant one in use and even considering the results.

M.
 

john m flores

All-Pro
Aug 13, 2012
I’ve been shooting with the GX85 since 2016. It replaced Pentax as my motorcycle travel camera. Image quality was a step behind my Pentax K-3/K-5 but smaller kit size and 4k video were important to me. I’d say that the GX85 is around K-x level in Pentax land, which is good enough for my publication needs.

I now have a G9, with the same 20 megapickle sensor as the GX9. It’s a half step forward in image quality, falling somewhere between the GX85 and Pentax K-3/K-5. I’ll probably add a GX9 somewhere down the road, but for right now the GX85 is just so heavily discounted that I wholeheartedly recommend it as a performance bargain.
 
Jan 31, 2011
Newcastle, Australia
Sue
Sadly, I missed the boat, again. Last time it was on 2nds World as a refurb, I waited too long. Same again. I was contemplating a G9 in the future (or whatever follows it) as a good replacement for my K5 but you think its not quite as good, John?
 

Mike G

All-Pro
Oct 7, 2016
West London
Mike Gorman
Sue, can’t comment on digital Pentaxes as my last Pentax was a Spotmatic, 1967ish.
But I can say the G9 is a superb machine, very quick in operation and IMHO deserves the title as a flagship camera, I really like the form factor and even though I have small hands for a geezer, and so prefer it from the X-H1, again IMHO the Panasonic Leica glass is equally as good if not better than the Fuji glass I used to own, can’t talk about Olympus glass as I don’t have any. I also have a GX8 as a backup which although very good is blown away by the G9.
 

wt21

Hall of Famer
Aug 15, 2010
I keep coming back to this thread (thanks for kicking off my GAS, Jock :)) I can get that GX85 as a refurb for $499AU (but no lens) or a GX7 with a kit lens. Any recommendations for the GX7 over the GX85? Same price for either.
I MUCH preferred the GX85 for a couple of reasons --

  1. The output of the GX85 sensor was better. No AA filter. Everything was sharper/clearer
  2. The shutter shock issue w/the GX7, though intermittent, drove me crazy, so I used eShutter, which created some eShutter effects (for instance, if I shot burst mode, I could flip through the bursts and see that image was mildly tilting left and right, due to rolling shutter). That also drove me crazy.

GX85 had sharper output always, and a far better shutter. That alone made the GX85 a winner. I mostly shoot RAW, but found the jpg colors on the GX85 were better, so that was a bonus.

The EVF on both, however, is weak. I moved to the G85 for a better EVF and more direct controls for some sports shooting that I do. If I had the money, I would still have the GX85 for travel (I might buy one before our European trip this spring).
 

wt21

Hall of Famer
Aug 15, 2010
Just a heads-up, Sue: good as the GX85 is, the GX9 is even better. I'm not sure how they compare price-wise in your area, but since you have working gear, I'd consider saving up for the GX9; it adds a newer 20MP sensor, better controls, a tilting EVF and a better JPEG engine to the GX85's goodness.

That said, the GX85 would still be my second choice - even over the E-M5 II and the PEN-F. It's a great camera, especially for the price. So, if your mind's made up, go for it - you won't be dissappointed.

M.
I agree with this. If you have the money, the GX9 is a step-up still. I don't care about the tilting EVF personally and found it got in the way on the GX7. I liked dropping that on the GX85, but the 20MP sensor is nice, as is the return of the AF/MF toggle and a dedicated EV dial, but the GX85 is a fine camera, honestly, if you are fine with the best 16MP image you can find.
 

john m flores

All-Pro
Aug 13, 2012
Sadly, I missed the boat, again. Last time it was on 2nds World as a refurb, I waited too long. Same again. I was contemplating a G9 in the future (or whatever follows it) as a good replacement for my K5 but you think its not quite as good, John?
The K5 is a bit better for image quality, I think, Sue, but not by a large margin, slightly more “organic” look to the files, a touch better in low light. But in nearly every other aspect - AF, speed, video, etc - the G9 is a step forward, as you would expect a newer camera to be.

Oh, there’s one more place where the K5 still shines - the grip...still one of the best.
 
Jan 31, 2011
Newcastle, Australia
Sue
The K5 is a bit better for image quality, I think, Sue, but not by a large margin, slightly more “organic” look to the files, a touch better in low light. But in nearly every other aspect - AF, speed, video, etc - the G9 is a step forward, as you would expect a newer camera to be.

Oh, there’s one more place where the K5 still shines - the grip...still one of the best.
All of that is probably why I just cant seem to let it go.
 

davidzvi

Top Veteran
Apr 18, 2014
Boston Burbs
David
Too many messages in here to quote so.... These are my thoughts on comparing most of the cameras in the thread so far, I've own 3 and seriously considered buy the other 3.

The P12-32 is a wonderful little kit lens, I always get the auto cap for the Oly 14-42EZ for it. JJC has a version of the cap but I haven't used it personally. I really wish Panasonic would release an LX100 with a small collapsible manual zoom lens, it would eliminate most of the things that bother me about it (slow start up/shut down and power zoom itself). The others being tendency for dust, lack of tilt screen, and just general things I dislike about Panasonic's interface/touch screen button setup. That said the LX100 II almost made it into my collection. The direct shooting controls, size, image quality, and versatility are still (sadly) unique. I'm not sure anyone could fault someone for getting one and refusing to give it up.

The GX7 / GX85 / GX9
The GX7 had the best grip (the original LX100's grip was great as well). It had good dedicated controls. But IBIS was basic compare to the others and there were some shutter shock issues. And yes I also found the tilt EVF useful. but it stuck out too far and often got stuck in the bag or turned a jacket pocket inside out.

The GX85 improved on many things while loosing the good grip and a few dedicated controls. Besides all the tech stuff (I often used the stills from 4k) it has better IBIS, better sensor, and redesigned shutter. Right now I would say it's a real bargain for anyone looking for a nice rangefinder camera. It also has a benefit the GX9 doesn't, in the US at least, you can't seem to get the GX9 with the P12-32. The GX85 also shares another thing with the LX100 I/II, it has the extra pin in the hot shoe to power the little Panasonic and (more importantly to me) the Oly FL-LM3 flash that works great with a little modification. I could see the issue many describe with the EVF when I try to induce it, in regular use it was never a problem.

The GX9 adds back the controls from the GX7 and them some (wish they added the grip back as well). It also adds back the tilt EVF for better or worse; but it also removed the extra pin in the hot shoe. The main things that had me consider it were the dedicated exposure comp dial AND you can use EX Comp with auto ISO in manual mode. This is something I always used with my event bodies. The reviews that complain about this being a boring update are the same ones that yawn about the LX100 I to LX100 II. There are updates, some very good updates, but I get the same feeling that they could have done more.

There are of course other difference in video, features based on video abilities, connectivity, etc.

The G9 is a different camera and I considered it before I got me E-M1 mkII. The GX8? For some reason I never really liked it in my hand. Not something I can specifically put my finger on.

Sorry if this rambles a bit.
 

demiro

Serious Compacts For Life
Dec 15, 2011
I think the GX85 is a very good camera that becomes great because of the value proposition. I think the GX8 to GX9 was a mis-step for Panny, highlighted by the GX85 as a low-cost option. Next version needs to be a "best of" mash-up of those cameras.
 

davidzvi

Top Veteran
Apr 18, 2014
Boston Burbs
David
I think the GX85 is a very good camera that becomes great because of the value proposition. I think the GX8 to GX9 was a mis-step for Panny, highlighted by the GX85 as a low-cost option. Next version needs to be a "best of" mash-up of those cameras.
If they had said "The G9 is the GX8 successor". Called the GX9 the GX95 instead. And said the GX95 is "built on the GX85 with select advanced features from the GX8", I think it would have been better.
 

agentlossing

Veteran
Mar 23, 2015
Andrew Lossing
I think the GX85 is a very good camera that becomes great because of the value proposition. I think the GX8 to GX9 was a mis-step for Panny, highlighted by the GX85 as a low-cost option. Next version needs to be a "best of" mash-up of those cameras.
The GX9 isn't really that much more expensive when you break it down, though. Panny sells the 12-60mm lens for more than the 12-32mm kit lens that came with the GX85, and the 20MP sensor (for good or bad reasons) costs more than the 16MP one this late in its life cycle. I think the GX9 is reasonable for what it is, though like everyone else I wish they'd gone for a slightly more premium build and EVF. Not that I'd want it to have gotten into the price territory of the Pen-F however, which started at $1199 body only if I remember correctly.
 

davidzvi

Top Veteran
Apr 18, 2014
Boston Burbs
David
The GX9 isn't really that much more expensive when you break it down, though. Panny sells the 12-60mm lens for more than the 12-32mm kit lens that came with the GX85, and the 20MP sensor (for good or bad reasons) costs more than the 16MP one this late in its life cycle. I think the GX9 is reasonable for what it is, though like everyone else I wish they'd gone for a slightly more premium build and EVF. Not that I'd want it to have gotten into the price territory of the Pen-F however, which started at $1199 body only if I remember correctly.
Yes the Pen F, like the E-P5, are and were priced a bit high. The F was $1,199 and the 5 was $999, body only.
 

Uplifting

New Member
Feb 11, 2019
As a Gx80 owner I must say I love this camera.
Last 4 years I was shooting with My canon camera, but the size of the camera was to much for me when I was traveling.
In last 5 months since I got the Gx80, I can’t stop using it, I love the features of this camera, 4K photo, 4K video, IBIS, the size and the output of the Raw files.
I’ve also got Minolta Lens adapter and I’m shooting in manual mode with vintage lenses, it’s amazing.
You can’t go wrong with this.
 

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