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Is the Panasonic G85/G80 the very best funds digicam for filmmakers?

Once I noticed this video pop up on my feed, I immediately recognised the digicam – regardless of its logos being lined up. It’s the Panasonic G85. Or the Panasonic G81 in Germany. Or the Panasonic G80 for just about all people else. And after I learn the title of the video, I instantly concurred. You see, I purchased three of those final yr and in my view, they’re unbelievable little cameras.

The video above comes from Nigel Barros, who’s transitioned by way of a bunch of various equipment and produces some fairly excellent work with it. The G85 was an try for him to deliver his digicam equipment again all the way down to the naked minimal to “do extra with much less”. Initially, he picked an previous GH4 a number of months in the past, however after his group steered the G85, he simply needed to test it out.

The G85 just isn’t good, by any means. There are points that can put some folks off. There’s no headphone jack to observe your audio. Whenever you’re taking pictures 4K video, there’s a 2.2x crop (you get the whole sensor when taking pictures 1080p, although). The HDMI socket can also be of the “micro” selection – which is admittedly fiddly and annoying. And people are simply those that spring to thoughts.

However the IBIS on it’s glorious (precise IBIS, hold the EIS disabled), Eye AF (though not so good as Sony/Canon/and so forth), it has a bunch of various color profile choices together with Panasonic’s widespread Cinelike D & Cinelike V (as additionally discovered on the GH5), a 3.5mm microphone enter (the pre-amps aren’t wonderful, get a powered on-camera mic just like the VideoMic NTG or Sennheiser MKE 400), a flippy out LCD and a small, light-weight type issue. It’s arguably the best vlogging digicam (which was the unique motive I obtained the primary one in every of these) if in case you have a large sufficient lens.

Within the video above, Nigel makes use of the Panasonic Leica 15mm f/1.7 prime, however the G85 comes with the 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6 for those who purchase it within the equipment, which helps you to go vast sufficient with a 2.2x crop to handhold a digicam pointing at your self – it’s a few 27mm discipline of view equal in comparison with full-frame or the quick finish of an 18-55mm equipment lens (forget what “tutors” say) on a 1.5x crop APS-C physique like Nikon or Sony). In the event you’re feeling additional particular, although, you can go for the Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8.

I’ve been utilizing three of those cameras for simply over a yr now, together with a few GX80s (that are essentially the identical digicam, however with a smaller type issue, no flippy out LCD and no mic enter – nice for overhead cameras or taking pictures b-roll on a light-weight gimbal, although), and the outcomes I’ve had from them are good for my wants. I’ve been utilizing them for making movies in addition to dwell streaming. You’ve seen footage from them here on DIYP.

Certain, you don’t get 4K60 (you get 1080p60, although) and the footage is 8-bit (100Mbps), there’s no RAW over HDMI (or internally) or the flamboyant instruments of the larger cameras. So, relying in your wants, you might run into a number of partitions. However for a lot of beginning out, or for individuals who know their work falls inside its limitations, this digicam is often on sale and an absolute cut price within the used market. I managed to select up all three G80s (two of them model new), two GX80s (one in every of them model new) together with a 12-60mm equipment lens and a 12-32mm kit lens (each new) final yr for about the identical value as shopping for a single model new Blackmagic Pocket 4K right here within the UK.

For my wants, they do the job simply completely 99% of the time, and for the opposite 1%, I’ve different choices. However for those who’re simply beginning out or your wants merely aren’t that top finish and also you’re attempting to spend as little cash as potential on one thing that’s not fully horrible, the Panasonic G85 (or G81 or G80) is a good way to go.

For the costs you could find them for, I’d say it’s most likely the very best worth digicam in the marketplace for video proper now. It’s often unavailable on Amazon UK, although, so it seems like it might be near being discontinued (which might make sense as we’ve seen the G95 and the G100 introduced since then – though the G90 has a tighter 4K crop and the G100 seems like a backwards step with out the IBIS.

Have you ever used the Pansonic G85/G81/G80? Do you agree with Nigel’s (and my) evaluation?

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