Product Reviews

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G80/G85 Review

Joe Coburn 21-02-2017

The Lumix G80 (or G85 outside of Europe) is Panasonic’s latest mirrorless camera, and one that packs a serious punch in the video department – with HDMI out, 4K recording, and 5-axis image stabilization.


The Body

Despite the confusing name, the G80 is the successor to the popular G7. The inconsistent naming is quirky enough, but that’s not the only issue: the G80 variation is sold in Europe, and is limited to a maximum of 30 minutes continuous recording. This is fairly common for cameras sold inside the EU, and the reason for doing so is complicated. Cameras sold in the US are called the G85, and do not have a limit on the maximum recording time, but are otherwise identical.

Panasonic G80 Body

Measuring 128.4 x 89 x 74.3mm and weighing just under 500g, the G80 is a reasonable size. It’s not as small as the Canon EOS-M Canon EOS M Mirrorless Camera Review and Giveaway The Canon EOS M is a Canon. An obvious point, maybe -- but the most important thing to understand about this $339 camera. Read More or Sony 5000 Sony a5100 Mirrorless Camera Review and Giveaway The $500 Sony a5100 is an entry level mirrorless camera with an ecosystem you can grow into. I reviewed the a5100 with the 16–50mm f/3.5–5.6 kit lens: and we're giving it away! Read More series, but it’s not as big as the Canon Rebel Canon Rebel T4i dSLR Review and Giveaway Canon has just released their new Rebel T4i – their first (of hopefully many) adventures into the touchscreen dSLR world. This camera is a step up from the Canon Rebel T3i (also making it the third... Read More range either.

Priced at $1000 with the kit lens, or $900 for the body only, the G80 is certainly not a budget camera, although it makes up for this by including many features not often found on mirrorless cameras. These include:

  • 16MP Micro Four Thirds Sensor
  • 4K video capture
  • Articulating 3-inch touchscreen
  • Multiple external controls
  • OLED Live Viewfinder
  • Pop up flash


The Micro Four Thirds Sensor and mount is becoming increasingly more common, and it means that lenses from Panasonic or Olympus will fit, along with compatible third party lenses. This sensor is fairly small though, at 21.60 x 17.30mm, it’s smaller than APS-C sensors. If you’re not sure what difference a sensor size makes, then read our guide Here's How Digital SLR Sensor Crop Affects Your Lenses Most of us own cameras with small cropped sensors, which artificially increase focal lengths on full frame lenses. Here's what you need to know. Read More .

Panasonic G80 Sensor

4K video capture is included, but it’s important to note that this is “Ultra High Definition”, with a resolution of 3840 X 2160. True or “cinema” 4K has a resolution of 4096 x 2160. It’s a minor issue, and it’s not something that will impact most people, but it’s something to be aware of.


The articulated 3-inch touchscreen is excellent. It’s clear, and responds well to touch. Many cameras include a rotating screen of some sort, however many higher end models sadly lack it. This works very well on the Panasonic, and is great for vlogging (what’s life like as a vlogger Life as a Vlogger: What's It Like? We Asked 10 YouTubers You probably know about the YouTube giants – PewDiePie, Jenna Marbles, the Vlogbrothers – but what about all of the smaller vloggers who make up a huge amount of the content produced on YouTube? Read More ) or taking selfies Stop Hating On Selfies: 3 Reasons You Should Love Them Selfies are all too often written off as the egotistical masturbation of brainless teenagers, but that's a superficial take on them. Here's why. Read More . It provides many options for changing settings. While some of the menus can be complex to navigate, it does a good job at getting out of the way to let you view your image.

Having so many external controls is a great feature. The top left dial selects shooting mode, and allows you to choose stills, burst, or timed shot. The dial on the top right allows you to choose between several different automatic and manual modes, along with video. These dials combined with the many function keys all over the body allow you to adjust most settings without using the touchscreen.

Panasonic G80 Buttons

The OLED viewfinder is another function not often included on mirrorless cameras. Many cameras that do include one, occasionally use a rangefinder (such as the Fujifilm X-Pro 2). This viewfinder is excellent. As it’s an OLED screen, it mirrors what is shown on the main display. A small sensor on the cup switches the image between the viewfinder and the touchscreen when your eye approaches. Alternatively, you can use a small button appropriately placed to the left.


Panasonic G80 Flash

Finally, the pop up flash is very nice to have. While these can sometimes spoil pictures, it’s nice that once is included rather than left off. This does create a DSLR-esque bulge on the top — it’s not as compact as the flash found on the Sony A6300 Mirrorless to Impress: Sony A6300 16-50mm Kit Review Following on from the massively popular A6000, comes the A6300, a small interchangeable mirrorless camera with an APS-C sensor, 4K video capabilities, and more features than most enthusiasts will ever need. Read More , for example.

The G80 includes a microphone port, and a micro HDMI out. Mini HDMI is more common, so if you wish to use the HDMI you will need yet another adaptor. I’m delighted to tell you that the HDMI out is full resolution 1080p, and carries audio as well! Canon has a lot to learn from Panasonic. You also get a shutter release and a USB port – both fairly common features.

Panasonic G80 Ports



The autofocus on the G80 is nothing to write home about. It performed reasonably well when taking focus (although it did occasionally mis a shot). It struggled terribly during video and live view, and took what seemed like an eternity to refocus when the subject changed.

Panasonic G80 Autofocus

There is an extra focus feature available however. The G80 allows you to re-focus images in camera after they have been taken. This works well, and is extremely useful if your focus is off (and it will be off if you use the autofocus at all).

Image Stabilisation

The image stabilisation in the G80 is wonderful. Most camera manufacturers rely on Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS). This is built into lenses, and electronically moves the lens to counter shakes from your hand or other movement. This traditionally works fairly well, but it does require a lens that supports it. The included kit lens comes with OIS, but there is another trick the G80 performs here. It includes Electronic Image Stabilisation (EIS). This works much like OIS. The camera moves the sensor up, down, left, or right to counter any movement. OIS combined with EIS works very well to reduce shake and blur, and EIS means that even lenses without OIS can benefit.

The Lens

Kit lenses provided with cameras are usually not the best quality. They tend to be cheaply made, and often struggle in low light. The Panasonic 12 – 60mm is slightly different. The focal length provides a good balance between wide angle and zoom. It is well made, and the focus ring is thick and feels tough. A variable aperture of f/3.5 – 5.6 means that images will darken as you zoom, often requiring an exposure adjustment. If you want to use manual focus, be aware that this lens is “focus by wire”. Rather than a mechanical focus ring, it is electronic. Turning the focus ring will send a digital signal to the camera to adjust the focus. This works well, but it takes some getting used to if you have used a mechanical manual focus before.

Panasonic G80 Kit Lens

Image Quality

Let’s look at some sample still images. Unfortunately, it’s slightly disappointing. Images are occasionally washed out, and auto focus misses more than it should. While images are sharp, sometimes they look like a smartphone could have done better! As with many cameras, the images can be improved with a little post processing. A premium lens will make the biggest difference to quality. All of these images are straight out the camera.

Panasonic G80 Sample Picture

Panasonic G80 Sample Picture

Panasonic G80 Sample Picture

Video Quality

Where this camera really comes alive is shooting video. Many helpful features are included, such as focus peaking (something that many other cameras do not have).

There were no skipped frames or signs of overheating when shooting 4K, although I did experience a minor bug: the G80 refused to stop recording. It no longer responded to any buttons, or the power switch. Removing the battery and restarting bought the camera back, but it was unusual. The clip being recorded at the time was lost.

Here’s the sample 4K footage:

And here’s a frame extracted from some of the other 4k footage we took — it’s sharper than the photos!

Panasonic G80 Sample 4K Extracted Image

The G80 is undoubtedly a video powerhouse. While it is not quite at the same level as the GH4 (and nowhere near the GH5), it can still hold its own, producing excellent video quality. It does lack some professional features of it’s bigger brothers (4:2:2 color over HDMI, not true Cinema 4K), but unless you produce video for a living, you’re unlikely to miss these features.

The Sony A6500 does give it some stiff competition, but overheating problems will lead you to Panasonic.


Our verdict of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G80/G85:
If you’re looking to get into enthusiast 4K video production, the G80/G85 is an affordable powerhouse. Average image quality means you may wish to avoid this camera for stills, however.
8 10

Related topics: Digital Camera, MakeUseOf Giveaway, Photography.

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  1. nlach
    December 8, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    i find your stills side of the review a bit silly. If the pictures are washed out its probably a photographer issue and not the equipment itself.

  2. Anais Gimeno
    April 20, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    Hello Sir, Give the camera to me. I want to use this and capture memorable photos. :)

  3. Anais Gimeno
    April 20, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    Hello Sir, Give you camera to me. I want to take memorable photos using this. Thsnk you Choose me

  4. Dinah
    March 5, 2017 at 12:52 am

    I hope I could win this camera. It's my dream to have this one because I really wanted to capture images using this type of camera.

  5. Christian Lambert
    March 4, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    Hello I followed every single rule of the giveaway even if this is not necessary but I just want to share my story. I've been wanting a camera for forever but haven't been able to work it into the budget to buy one yet. Camera is my LIFE and PASSION. It brought a big impact towards my social life. I love taking photos and I've taken this leap of faith because I feel the need for absolute freedom to create without limitations. I really really love to have the opportunity to take photos in life, I never had that one before. Who wouldn't like to capture their wide thoughts and perspectives of life. Especially someone who's interested in photography. A person like that would never say no to Camera. It's been on the top of my wishlist. Thinking, one day it will be in my hands. With that camera, I want to see and experience this wide, beautiful world.If ever luck will catches me this time, my life would probably change and improve. Thank you so much.

  6. Christian Lambert
    March 4, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    Hello I followed every single rule of the giveaway even if this is not necessary but I just want to share my story. I've been wanting a camera for forever but haven't been able to work it into the budget to buy one yet. Camera is my LIFE and PASSION. It brought a big impact towards my social life. I think O'Neill in the process of forging my own path, with you and others as inspirations. I love taking photos and I've taken this leap of faith because I feel the need for absolute freedom to create without limitations. I really really love to have the opportunity to take photos in life, I never had that one before. Who wouldn't like to capture their wide thoughts and perspectives of life. Especially someone who's interested in photography. A person like that would never say no to Camera. It's been on the top of my wishlist. Thinking, one day it will be in my hands. With that camera, I want to see and experience this wide, beautiful world. This is absolutely a life-changing for me. If ever luck will catches me this time, my life would probabyly change and improve. Thank you so much.

  7. Arriane Lucas
    March 4, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    I really love this camera because it has the specification i was looking for . complete package for a vlogger. I really want to start my own youtube channel and i don't have money to buy a camera ? hope i"ll win. thank you so much ?

  8. H.shi
    March 2, 2017 at 9:25 pm

    Yes please!

  9. catherine chua
    March 2, 2017 at 7:11 am

    Never had this before, hope to win

  10. lucky raj
    March 1, 2017 at 3:01 am

    what a great camera .....with perfect featuers..

  11. lucky raj
    March 1, 2017 at 2:51 am

    that's look like a great camera...with perfect features....

  12. jas
    February 28, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    Where is the entry link?

  13. Jeff
    February 28, 2017 at 5:10 am

    Great camera and giveaway.

    One thing, it seems the entry with LinkedIn is broken. Maybe from their recent redesign.

  14. hecate doe
    February 27, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    Have been dying to try a Panasonic Lumix camera, been following posts in my photography forum, pro and con, and this one sounds like a great choice for video. Would love to win one!

  15. Samantha Alden
    February 26, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    What a clear and beautiful image. I've only ever owned a cheap Canon but I think I may look into these rather than Canon again.. It would be perfect for all my HD car pictures on Instagram and Facebook and blogs/forums. Thank you for a chance to win! Fingers crossed! :)

  16. Misha
    February 25, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    Nice camera

  17. Joan Koch
    February 25, 2017 at 4:43 am

    This camera would rock my world. I have been in need of a new camera for a long time.

  18. Joan
    February 25, 2017 at 4:40 am

    This would rock my world! I have been wanting to do videos and my current camera is ancient and limited as to what it can do.

  19. Ian Taylor
    February 24, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    I would love to win such a beautiful camera. Just another reason to be outside loving life :)

  20. Mordechai Szwarcfiter
    February 24, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    I have wanted to buy a decent camera for many years, but I can't afford it... Thank you very very much for giving me a chance to get one!!! I'm really happy and full of hope that I will get it!

  21. Chi
    February 24, 2017 at 8:10 am

    Love the detailed review on the Panasonic cam, quite a boss among those mirrorless cams out there. And would really love to win one to try.

  22. Driq
    February 23, 2017 at 3:56 am

    Seems like the LINKEDIN widget doesnt work!

  23. Luke Pettit
    February 23, 2017 at 2:03 am

    The link to the linkedin doesn't work properly I had to manually enter it but the continue doesnt light up despite following you on linkedin.

  24. Dilshad
    February 23, 2017 at 1:54 am

    Hi sir i want this Camera because I am from India and not able to afford if you are real you tuber than you know how hard to get success in each video but I am not able to afford any.
    I think you had understand me please help me to win this.

  25. Limbu Tej
    February 23, 2017 at 12:16 am

    Gr8 camera... All my frns used Canon and Nikon camera and I'm only the one who used Panasonic... My first camera was GF1 and I fall love with it and my second camera is GH2 ...Luv'g it...?

  26. Masego
    February 22, 2017 at 11:26 pm

    My Panasonic Lumix F270 is my first camera. This is the story of how i fell in love with it. Studying media always demanded me of owning a Camera but then my dad didnt have enough money to buy me one. Instead i saved my monthly allowance for the month of December and January in order to buy and it was the only camera i could afford. this meant that i ddint have money to sustain myself in school for those 2 months so i had to take portraits and passport photos to make money to keep me going.. while still managing the money i got from mini shoots, my friends criticized me and my camera because of its zoom power and the lens not being interchangeable or even detachable. they used Canons and Nikon camera. i have been looking for a great review like this to show them that Panasonic has great cameras too.

    i really need this G80/G85. i do not despise my little beginnings with FZ70. thank you MR COBURN!

  27. Masego
    February 22, 2017 at 11:13 pm

    This is incredible! All of my friends use Canon Cameras and i am the only one using Lumix, been looking for exquisite reviews like this one to prove to them that Panasonic Cameras are good too.. I am so excited! Cant wait to have this Panasonic Lumix DMC-G80/G85. Wow!

  28. Pat
    February 22, 2017 at 10:36 pm

    I own 2 Panasonic Lumix Point and Shoot. The best camera around.

  29. laurie
    February 22, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    aspiring film maker wishes you to make his dreams come true!! (this sounds like an online dating line) great review, keep up the great work. ps what a beautiful pooch

  30. Mark
    February 22, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    I would love to win this, As I'm getting into my video and using a phone is really having limitations.. Who knows - I can hope ;)
    PS great Ch and GL all

  31. Krystal R.
    February 22, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    Fingers crossed!! This would perfect for my new blog!!!

  32. Ariel R. Abella
    February 22, 2017 at 11:40 am

    please let me WIN, thanks for a chance, this is awesome.

  33. Paklap
    February 22, 2017 at 9:08 am

    I Love this Cam, but finding a Panasonic DSLR in my region is quit touch.. People tend to stick with Sony & Canon

  34. Prabhath K
    February 22, 2017 at 5:28 am

    count me in too

    February 21, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    hope to win

  36. Fred
    February 21, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    I love the Lumix line, I owned two, but I am looking for a camera with GPS tagging, orientation sensor and optionally WiFi. Is there such a camera nowadays?