Panasonic releases weather-sealed LUMIX DMC-G85 camera designed for the field photographer

Suite of features includes rock-steady shooting with 5-Axis Dual IS 2, weatherproof design, latest 4K Photo and Video functions, and Post Focus with Focus Stacking

The LUMIX DMC-G85 is the latest member of the LUMIX G Series mirrorless family. Designed for field photography, the camera’s weather-sealed splash and dustproof design protects all joints, dials and buttons against extreme conditions.

A high-quality magnesium-alloy full diecast front frame ensures the compact body is both rugged and lightweight, while the optional rugged battery grip supports extended shooting, doubling battery life, and has an improved ergonomic design with easy access to main controls in portrait orientation.

Panasonic has further strengthened the camera with 5-Axis Dual IS 2 for excellent stability in a range of situations. A new high-precision gyrosensor joins the Dual IS system of 5-axis in-body stabilisation and 2-axis optical stabilisation in the lens. This makes it possible to use up to five stops slower shutter speed at a focal length of up to 280 mm, an amazing feat that is available in both photo and video. Zoom in on landmarks and achieve sharp shots of distant subjects at low ISO; and experience Steadicam-like performance when capturing video, even at telephoto focal length.

The new electromagnetically-driven shutter is quiet and reduces shutter-induced vibration for excellent sharpness – delivering speeds from 60 sec to 1/4000 sec – backed by the camera’s solid magnesium frame. An electronic first-curtain shutter can be used for shooting at up to 1/2000 sec, ideal for use in situations when a slight, pixel level of vibration matters – such as serious landscape photography.

Ensuring precise focus, the OLED Live View Finder (2360K-dot) has an increased magnification of 0.74x (35mm camera equivalent). The high-speed OLED technology delivers a time lag of less than 0.01 sec and exceptional 10,000:1 contrast ratio. An eyepoint distance of 20mm improves visibility for glasses wearers. Conveniently, a new LVF power saving mode dramatically increases battery life from around 320 to up to 800 images per charge by detecting when the eye moves away from the viewfinder and powering down, with a selectable delay time of 3, 5 or 10 seconds.

For enhanced resolution and detail, the camera’s 16 Megapixel Digital Live MOS sensor has the Low Pass Filter removed, and the Venus Engine Processor minimises moiré. The Venus Engine also has enhanced capabilities for tracking fast-moving subjects, which prevents out-of-focus shots in these situations. The new AF Sensitivity mode lets the user set tracking sensitivity according to the shooting requirement.

Panasonic has upgraded its Post Focus feature to include Focus Stacking, which allows the user to refocus their shot after they’ve taken it, or combine focus points to achieve complete foreground to background focus.


Focus Stacking

4K Video has four times the resolution of Full HD at 3840 x 2160. New versatile frame rate options include 30p, 25p, 24p in 4K and 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p in Full HD. The camera also provides real-time image output to an external monitor in 4:2:2/8-bit via an optional micro HDMI cable while simultaneously recording video to the SD Card. Easy to use 4K Live Cropping offers stable panning and zooming during recording.

4K Photo with 4K Pre-Burst mode shoots 30 frames per second before and after the shutter is released to capture the defining shot even in the most challenging situations. New ‘Batch Save’ stores an entire Burst sequence of up to 150 frames at just one press of a button. The latest ‘Light Composition’ mode saves the brightest pixels from a series of shots in-camera, to produce more dramatic images of night scenes such as fireworks.

Advanced bracketing modes include focus, aperture, exposure and white balance bracketing. Focus bracketing allows the user to capture up to 999 shots at different focus points with just one shutter press – ideal for shooters who want maximum image quality and the ability to stack focus in post-production. With aperture bracketing, at a single press, photographers can quickly capture multiple shots at varying depth of field with the option of 3 shots, 5 shots or all apertures. When shooting with shallow focus it can be challenging to quickly decide on the optimum amount of focus that’s best for a shot, so this feature provides the security of alternative choices.

Doug Campbell, Senior Product Manager, Imaging, Panasonic, said: “The camera’s rugged design lets photographers get on with the job with confidence, while ultra-stable shooting is vital for zoom or long exposure situations. Photographers who have experienced 4K have told us it is an invaluable tool, and we’ve improved on it in this model with new options. When creating the G85, LUMIX considered that photographers in the field need a camera that meets their particular challenges. With the advances in mirrorless technology, growing consumer demand in the category, expansion of the lens range and the compact form factor, it’s an ideal time to introduce a model like this.”

Other key features:

  • Contrast AF with Depth from Defocus technology offering high speed AF of approx. 0.07 sec
  • High-speed burst shooting now at up to 9 fps (AFS) / 6 fps (AFC) / ( with a buffer of up to 300 (JPEG) / 45 (RAW) images
  • Low-light AF with autofocus in -4EV lighting
  • Starlight AF for capturing subjects such as stars in the sky at night using autofocus
  • Other useful AF features include 49-point focus detect, Custom Multi AF, Face/Eye Detection AF and Pinpoint AF
  • Creative control with 22 filter options that can be applied in P/A/S/M mode
  • Wi-fi connectivity using the Panasonic Image App
  • 3-inch 1040K-dot rear monitor with versatile tilting design
  • ‘L Monochrome’ profile with rich gradation reminiscent of classic black and white film
  • Convenient front/rear dual dial system and two custom modes to assign frequently-used settings
  • 3.5mm microphone jack provides high quality audio recording with an optional external microphone
  • Stable, thick camera grip that is easy to hold.

The DMC-G85 will be available in Australia in late October from photographic specialists and consumer electronics retailers. The body is available in black.

DMC-G85 pricing and availability:

  • Body only (DMC-G85GN-K) RRP $1399
  • Standard zoom kit with 14-42mm lens (DMC-G85KGN-K) RRP $1499
  • Weather sealed kit with 12-60mm lens (DMC-G85MGN-K) RRP $1699
  • 10x zoom kit with 14-140mm lens (DMC-G85ZOOM-K) RRP $1999
  • Accessory Battery Grip with battery included (DMW-BGG1) RRP $399

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i. 5-Axis Dual I.S. 2 works when attaching the lens that complies with it. The compliant lenses are H-FS14140 and H-FS12060 as of 19 September, 2016. Firmware update of the lens is also required.
ii. Based on the CIPA standard [Yaw/Pitch direction: focusing distance f=50-140mm (35mm film camera equivalent f=100-280mm), when H-FS14140 is used.
iii. Under the test conditions specified by Panasonic based on CIPA standard. When the time to get in the sleep mode is set to 3 sec.
iv. For [4K] video output, use an HDMI cable that has the HDMI logo on it, and that is described as”4K compatible”.
v. In AFS, at wide-end with H-FS14140 (CIPA).