2016 is a Photokina year. Photokina is the most important photo fair which takes place in Germany in September every other year. Traditionally, during photokina years, a lot of manufacturers wait until the summer to release their main new products. This year has been very different in this regard as each major manufacturer had released some major products over the last 6 months already. Even if one limit the search to the mirrorless camp and high-end compacts we got new products from almost each brand :
Olympus introduced the Pen-F , Fuji got the Xpro-2, Sony got out the third version of its RX10 and the Alpha a6300 to name a few… It is now Panasonic’s turn to bring out a new product the GX85 which is kind of the child of the Gx7 and the GX8. GX85 is the name of the model for North America only as Panasonic has decided to give it no less than THREE different names depending on the market (GX80 in Europe, GX7MII in Asia) ??
This new product seems to compete directly with the Olympus Em5 mark II (as well as the Olympus OMD-EM10 mark II) and being now the owner of both I think it is interesting to dedicate a portion of this rolling review to compare both models.
ERGONOMICS & MENUS
Let’s get out the good news first. The GX 85 built seems pretty good especially when considering its asking price ($699 body only in the USA, €699 in Europe). The body seems generally well put together with the notable exception of the battery door, which is, alas, not specific to Panasonic in the mirrorless world.
As a example of this, I was last week handling a new Olympus pen-F in a store and the battery compartment door came off when handling the camera. Rather shocking especially on a camera priced at nearly $1,200 (body only) [Read more…]