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Searching for a camera for filmmaking on a budget means finding a camera that’s robust in features and performs well; trading one for the other and quality suffers. The Panasonic G85 doesn’t hold its punches. Playing back your videos in 4K will change the way you view a film, and at a reasonable price. Read our reviews, especially if you’re looking for more of the best video cameras.
The Panasonic G85—also known as Lumix G80—is a fine example of a high-end camera that performs well in the hands of experienced and novices alike; 4K video capture and 16 megapixels is icing on the cake. If you really want to upgrade your photography game, take a look at the finest Panasonic digital cameras.
Video recording is what the Panasonic Lumix DMC G85 does best; 4K UHD at 24/25 fps. And since movies tend to roll in 24fps, the Panasonic Lumix G85 is in good company. With such a high resolution and fantastic color recreation (in low light, too), the G85 offers image stabilization so your images and video are clear and focused. This is done with its Dual I.S. Mark II system, combining its 5-axis body and a dual-axis from the kit lens.
Image quality had a tough time matching video. Not to say that it’s bad, 16 megapixels still makes for a good camera, and even gets a boost in finer detail without a low pass filter, whereas APS C-style cameras might use a bit of anti-aliasing. The Sony Alpha A6300, however, is much better in the image department.
Alternatively, you might also like our reviews of the Akaso EK7000, Nikon D850, and the Panasonic Lumix ZS50.
There’s so much performance packed into such a compact camera which, thankfully, extends to the build quality. For starters, its front plate makes use of magnesium alloy for strength, with the entire body being weather sealed. The Panasonic G85 can take a beating, that’s for sure. For waterproofing, however, turn to the GoPro Hero 7 Black. For a lightweight camera that’s easy to tote around, you need to read our Zoom Q3HD camcorder review.
The G85 features two batteries, one in the camera and the other in the comfortable battery grip, which is easier to handle than the grip on the Fujifilm X-T30. Battery life on both will net you 320 shots a piece. It uses an electronic viewfinder, accompanied by a great 3-inch LCD screen. Using the menu system is a breeze and very new-user friendly; otherwise, altering post focus, picking shutter speed, shutter button, photo mode, and other shooting modes are all adequately spaced apart. For more great digital cameras for filmmaking, check out our camera roundup.
Panasonic cameras are always a joy to use, and always built with care and quality in mind. The Panasonic G85—with its 4K video resolution, 16 megapixels, and excellent autofocus system—we can say, for sure, it has superb value. This is especially true among other mid-range mirrorless cameras. And to sweeten the deal, there’s a microphone port for a dedicated audio device.
The Panasonic G85 costs a pretty penny. So what if you’re on a very tight budget? We’d suggest the DJI Osmo Pocket. It’s 4K at 60fps and is great as a pinch hitter.
While image quality was average, 4K UHD was what we wanted out of the Panasonic G85—and it delivered, then some. The MVP here has to be its image stability and autofocus system, handling any noticeable shakes of the camera. And it’s a tough camera with weather sealing and magnesium alloy.
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