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Panasonic G85 Camera Review For Filmmakers

This winter Tom and I travelled to Ecuador. Due to the limited luggage space, we took with us only small cameras. Along with our trusted GH4, we decided to take the recently released Panasonic G85, and we put it to a test.

Just to clarify, the G85 was not our primary camera. While in Ecuador, we actually shot a couple of projects on the Sony a6300 (we’ll have a review of this camera soon). But we used the G85 as a behind-the-scenes camera for the bigger projects, as well as for video content for our YouTube channel.

So, having used the G85 for a few months, here is our review of this camera

The unit that we tested was a loaner, but we ended up buying this camera. So, yeah, we really like the G85.

By the way, this camera is named G80 in U.K. and G81 in Germany.

Here is where you can purchase the G85 / G80 / G81:

Panasonic Lumix G85 / G80 / G81 on BH Photo Video, eBay, Adorama, Amazon, Amazon U.K., Amazon Canada, Amazon Germany

We strongly recommend that you buy the G85 with the stock lens (i.e. as a kit). It is a bit slower than the lens we used in the review video, but it offers better image stabilization (Dual I.S. 2 vs the first generation of Panasonic’s Dual I.S.) and it has a longer zoom.

Below are the the two Panasonic lenses that we own. They are expensive – although Panasonic has been discounting them by $300 to $400 – but they are fast and offer very good optics. So, if they fit in your budgets, these two lenses are a great option for MFT cameras.

Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 Asph. lens on BH Photo Video, eBay, Adorama, Amazon, Amazon U.K., Amazon Canada, Amazon Germany

Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm f/2.8 Asph. lens on BH Photo Video, eBay, Adorama, Amazon, Amazon U.K., Amazon Canada, Amazon Germany

The reason why Panasonic has these two lenses on sale is because they are releasing new versions of these lenses. As they are brand new, they will support Dual I.S. 2. Here is where you can buy them (or pre-order them):

Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 II lens on BH Photo Video, Adorama

Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm f/2.8 II lens on BH Photo Video, Adorama

Here are three other lenses that support the Dual I.S. 2:

Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm f/2.8-4 lens on BH Photo Video, eBay, Adorama, Amazon, Amazon U.K., Amazon Germany

Panasonic Lumix G Vario 45-200mm f/4-5.6 II lens on BH Photo Video, Adorama, Amazon U.K., Amazon Germany

Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm f/4-5.6 II lens on BH Photo Video, Adorama, Amazon

As of today, here is the most up-to-date list of lenses that are compatible with Dual I.S. 2.

Here are the extra batteries we purchased for the G85: Amazon, eBay, Amazon U.K., Amazon Canada

Many other brands offer replacement batteries for the Panasonic DMW-BLC12. Here is what you can find on Amazon.

Lastly, be careful what SD cards you use with 4K cameras. At first, we used a UHS U1 memory card. On specs, such a memory card should be sufficient. Unfortunately, after a while our card could not keep up with the recording speeds. So, here is a card that we ended up getting for the G85 (and we’ve been using the same SD cards for the GH4, without any problems).

Transcend UHS U3 SD card – 64 GB on eBay, Adorama, Amazon, Amazon U.K., Amazon Canada, Amazon Germany

You’d best stay away from cards above 64 GB because many cameras do not support such cards, including the G85.

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