The Lumix GX850, otherwise known as the GX800 in Europe or the GF9 in Japan, is the latest interchangeable lens model from Panasonic and also one of the smallest 4K capable cameras on the market today.
As with all our most recent reviews, this full review is available in video format. However, we’ve also included a summary of our findings for your convenience.
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- Sensor: 16MP Micro Four Thirds
- Lens system: Micro Four Thirds mount
- Weather-sealing: No
- Internal stabilisation: No
- Autofocus: Depth from Defocus contrast detection
- Continuous shooting: 10fps (electronic shutter), 5.8fps, 4fps and 2fps (S-AF)
- ISO Sensitivity: 200 – 25600 with 100 (Extended)
- Shutter speed: 60s – 1/500 (mechanical), 1s – 1/16000 (electronic)
- Viewfinder: No
- Rear monitor: 3-inch TFT LCD monitor with touch control
- Movie recording: 4K at 25p/24p, Full at 50p/25p
- Built-in flash: Yes
- Silent mode: Yes
- Extra features: 4K Photo, Multiple Exposure, Panorama, Time Lapse, Stop Motion Animation, Bracket, Built-in Wifi
- Dimensions: 106.5 x 64.6 x 33.3 mm
- Weight: 269g (with battery and SD card)
Table of Contents:
- 0:52 – What I like the most: design and features
- 2:24 – What I like: image and video quality
- 4:19 – What I like: 4K Photo
- 5:40 – What could be improved: autofocus performance
- 6:30 – What I don’t like: the price
Summary of our findings
- the GX850, being one of the smallest interchangeable lens cameras on the market, can easily fit inside a small bag or jacket pocket when paired with a small prime or kit zoom
- it isn’t the most robust model from Panasonic due to the plastic construction but it is very light, making it a great everyday walk-around camera or travel companion
- the 180 degree tilting screen is useful not only for selfies but also for taking pictures at low angles
- it features the same 16MP Micro Four Thirds sensor as the mid-range GX85 and G85 and like these two models, lacks an anti-aliasing filter, allowing for 10% more detail in comparison to previous sensors
- it comes packed with most of the latest features including the standard 4K Photo modes, Post Focus with Focus Stacking, Panorama, Multi Exposures, Bracketing, Stop Motion Animation and more
- the quality of the 4K footage is just as good as the mid-range models but keep in mind that the continuous recording time is limited to 5 minutes
- the camera uses the same Depth from Defocus contrast detection autofocus system as its contemporaries, which is excellent in S-AF but can struggle with moving subjects in C-AF, especially if there is a lack of contrast in the scene
- I find the price quite high given that this camera targets entry-level users
There are many reasons I’d happily recommend the Panasonic Lumix GX850 to someone looking for a small yet capable camera. Not only is it one of the lightest and most portable interchangeable lens bodies on the market today, but it also inherits a vast array of characteristics from the mid-range Lumix bodies including a handsome retro design, excellent image quality, 4K video capabilities (including 4K Photo), numerous extra features, and a decent autofocus system. Paired with a few small high-quality primes, I could easily see this camera covering 90% of my needs for a day out with family or even a mini-vacation.
My only problem with the GX850 – and most entry-level mirrorless models to be honest – is the high price. Given that beginners are generally unwilling to spend more than $200 on a new camera, let alone $500, many will immediately write it off as too expensive before even looking at its impressive specifications. And let’s not forget that if you are a beginner in search of a good camera to learn on, there are many cheaper alternatives that are only 1-2 years old, such as the Lumix GF7 (the GX850’s predecessor). Granted, you don’t get the latest 4K capabilities but the image quality is almost identical, which is what counts more than anything else.