Panasonic has unveiled another member of its G-series mirrorless cameras, the Lumix GX85, featuring no low pass filter and therefore delivering a nearly 10 percent boost in fine detail resolving power when compared to other 16-megapixel sensors, says the company.
The GX85 incorporates a new 5-axis Dual I.S. (image stabilizer) for more effective suppression of blur. Combining an O.I.S.(Optical Image Stabilizer, 2-axis) and a B.I.S.(Body Image Stabilizer, 5-axis), the 5-axis Dual I.S. compensates for a larger range of movement than ever before, says Panasonic.
The 16.0-megapixel Live MOS sensor without a low pass filter and a new Venus Engine combine to achieve crisp, high resolution images in detail with high contrast, impressive colour reproduction, the company states. The camera adopts a new electromagnetic drive in the shutter unit; the shock caused by the movement of the shutter is said to be reduced by about 90 percent in comparison with a conventional spring-powered shutter unit. Shutter sound is also minimized. The Contrast AF System features DFD (Depth From Defocus) technology and is claimed to excel in both speed and accuracy by exchanging the digital signal between the camera and the lens at up to 240 fps, resulting in ultra-fast auto focusing of approx. 0.07 sec. A variety of AF functions including Face/Eye Detection AF, Pinpoint AF, One-shot AF, and advanced Low Light AF are available.
The GX85 integrates a LVF (Live View Finder) with 2764K-dot equivalent high resolution and approximately 100 percent colour reproduction. This 16:9 Wide Screen LVF boasts 100 percent field of view. The new 3.0-inch high resolution static-type touch monitor with approximately 100 percent of field of view tilts up by 80-degrees and down by 45-degrees for shooting at either high or low angles.
For even more creative photography, the GX85 integrates the new L.Monochrome mode in Photo Style that offers monochrome capture with rich gradation comparable to that of B&W film. Focus Bracket and Aperture Bracket are also new additions to conventional Exposure Bracket and WB Brackets.
Thanks to its Wi-Fi connectivity, users can connect the camera to their smartphone / tablet to expand the flexibility in shooting/storing/sharing images.
The camera is capable of recording 4K video in 3840 x 2160 at 30p or 24p in addition to the full-HD 1920 x 1080 60p videos with full-time AF.
4K PHOTO is on tap, to extract photos from video. Three modes are available: 4K Burst, 4K Burst (Start/Stop) and 4K Pre-burst. All these enable saving pictures in 8-megapixel equivalent high resolution.
The GX85 comes with the Post Focus function that enables users to select an in-focus area even after shooting. You can get multiple shots with different focus points with a single shutter release to choose from. This function has been developed by combining the DFD (Depth From Defocus) autofocus technology that enables measuring the distance to the subject, and 4K technology. Just shoot an image in a Post Focus mode and touch on the point where you want to set focus while playing it back.
In addition, the camera incorporates the Light Composition function as a new option of 4K PHOTO mode. The camera synthesizes the images by choosing and saving a brighter pixel. Panasonic says this makes it possible to produce a more luxurious, dramatic image of situations such as fireworks or night scenery in camera.
The camera also enables 4K Live Cropping in video that yields stable panning or zooming while video recording. In panning shots, you can just set the viewing angle to start and end to get smooth panning imagery without using special equipment such as a slider. When zooming, you can set the after-zoomed viewing angle first, so that the subject can fit perfectly in the frame. Thanks to the digital operation, the imagery of zooming is smooth because it does not physically move the zoom lens.
About that 5-axis Dual I.S.: Panasonic says it makes possible a 4-step slower shutter speed, and works in both photo and motion picture recording, including 4K video. Most of Panasonic’s lenses will comply with this 5-axis stabilization, says the company, even when a lens without O.I.S. is used.
The Venus Engine is said to reproduce vibrant, impressive colour by dividing hue, saturation, and luminosity, and finely adjusts them separately. The GX85 enables users to choose a preset of contrast, sharpness, saturation and noise reduction according to the shooting subject in Photo Style.
Minimum noise is claimed even at ISO 25,600.
The Low Light AF makes it possible to set focus on the subject more precisely even without the AF assist lamp in low-lit situations down to -4EV, which is as dark as moonlight, according to the company. Plus, the GX85 integrates Starlight AF which allows users to shoot a star in the sky at night with autofocus.
There are 49 focus detection areas; with Custom Multi AF mode users can select the focus blocks. In addition to the conventional Face Recognition AF, the GX85 incorporates Face / Eye Detection AF which automatically sets focus on the eye of a human face. With the Pinpoint AF, users can magnify the target area to set precise focus.
The camera’s viewfinder comes with Eye Sensor, and Eye Sensor AF starts auto focusing by just looking into the LVF.
The GX85 has a thick, solid grip. The front/rear dual dial system enables direct setting; for example, users can adjust white balance with a front dial and set ISO with a rear dial while choosing the shutter speed or seeing the noise effect.
Creative Control mode features a total of 22 filter options. The effect parameter of each mode is also adjustable. Now it is possible to apply one of these filters even in P/A/S/M mode. Users can combine a favourable setting and filter to make specific effect. TheGX85 is capable of taking pictures “with” and “without” filter effect simultaneously, so that users can compare them and choose later.
The GX85 integrates Wi-Fi connectivity (IEEE 802.11 b/g/n) for instant image sharing via smartphone/tablet.
The camera also offers RAW data development in camera, silent mode, and Time Lapse Shot / Stop Motion Animation.
Also announced is an accessory flash, the DMW-FL200L with 90-degree vertical bounce lighting. It also can be used as LED light when video recording.
No word yet on Canadian availability and pricing, although it will be available in the U.S. in May, in both silver and black versions with a 12-32 mm kit lens.
UPDATE: Available at the end of May in Canada. Body only $999.99 and with a 12-32 mm kit lens, $1099.99.