Panasonic's mirrorless cameras sport the Micro Four Thirds mount system. This system is the only major mount that is shared among some of the top manufacturers, and allows lenses to be used by all. Olympus also uses the Micro Four Thirds mount as well as the newcomer YI.
Behind the mount you will find a 16-Megapixel Digital Live MOS imaging sensor, Venus Engine (processor) and a new Gyro sensor and 5-axis image stabilization system that all work in harmony to capture fantastic images. The sensor itself does not use a low-pass filter; providing you with sharper, more vivid images. The Venus Engine is then used to reduce moiré and image noise while providing the camera's burst performance and video capabilities. Finally we have the new 5-axis image stabilization, which when combined with a Panasonic Lumix lens with optical image stabilization, can provide up to 5 f-stops of correction.
Shown here is the Lumix G85 with the kit, 12-60mm lens. This lens features its own Optical Image Stabilization, giving this camera the full benefit of the new built-in IS system. Panasonic currently offers 27 lenses for the Micro Four Thirds system, with the promise of more to come. There are also several third-party lenses, not to mention Olympus's entire collection to choose from as well.
For low-light shooting situations; Panasonic has included a compact, pop-up flash unit. It has a range of up to 9 metes (29.5ft) at ISO 200, which is fairly powerful for a compact unit. It features full TTL functionality as well as 1st and 2nd curtain and slow-sync capabilities.
Your first option for composing your images is the 2.36-Million dot OLED viewfinder, providing a brilliant 100% replication of the image area. Exposure changes can be seen in real time while making your adjustments, as well as showing you all of the shooting information that you could ever ask for. Above the EVF is the eye-level sensor that turns on the EVF and turns the LCD off when put up to your eye. It also works with power-saving mode to greatly increase the battery life of the camera.
Your second option for composing and viewing your images is the 3.0-inch, 1.04-Million dot free-angle touch LCD screen. While not featuring the same resolution as the EVF, it still provides a sharp, accurately colored representation of the image area. The free-angle option makes it easy to shoot in all situations, even when you do not have an easy or direct line to your subjects. Touch AF also adds some versatility and ease to G85.
On the left side of the top of the camera you will find a dial to control the drive mode as well as the Fn5 button. This button is pre-programmed to control the Viewfinder settings, but can be set to something else of your choosing. To the far right you will see the flash release lever.
The top of the camera is very simple, yet still offers full control over your shooting settings. You will find the mode dial, dedicated video recording button, Fn1 button and two command dials coupled around another Fn button and shutter release. Finally you have the power switch on the right side of the mode dial. This simple layout is easy to learn and allows you to shoot and adjust quickly once you learn it.
The back of the camera offers plenty of other control options including the 4-way controller with shortcuts to some of the more popular shooting settings. At the top you have a switch for the focus mode coupled around the AF/AE Lock, Fn2 (Q. Menu), Display, Playback and Fn4 buttons at the bottom. All of the Fn buttons on the camera are programmable, including the 5 that are found as soft buttons of the LCD screen.
On the left side of the camera you will find the Input/Output ports. On the left side are the MIC and Remote inputs. To the right you will find the high speed USB port and HDMI output.
Panasonic uses SD/SDHC/SDXC type memory cards for the G85. They may have missed the ball by only giving us one card slot for the 4K video capture and burst shooting modes, but that can be overcome with a larger capacity card. To keep up with the high data rates needed by the camera, we recommend using a UHS-3 card. The Panasonic UHS-3 16GB SDHC card that was used to test the camera is shown here to the right.
Powering the G85 is a 7.2V, 1200mAh rechargeable Li-Ion battery. This battery provides enough power to capture up to 320 images with the Live ViewFinder. Using power saving mode can increase this to approx. 800 images. Panasonic offers a battery grip that doubles the battery life by adding an additional battery. With the included portable charging unit, it is easy to keep your battery and a spare charged and ready to go at all times. With more than 2 batteries you will want to add additional chargers.