Top positive review
4K IBIS! No 29 min limit! Hooray!
Reviewed in the United States on June 1, 2016
Let's start by talking about 4K. The GX85 shoots 4K at 100 Mb/s, the as GH4. The GX85 will shoot 4K as long as your battery and storage allow. For me, my 64GB filled up after 1 hr 29 min, but hey, the camera filled that card up, no questions asked (battery held up, almost). If you want to shoot video in 1080P or lower, shoot in AVCHD and you will have unlimited recording time. You can officially retire that camcorder for good.
In my opinion, this camera is better than the GH4 for video. Even though the GH4 has more bitrates for 720P/1080P and some flat profiles, the fact is that the GX85 and GH4 have identical best image quality, but your handheld footage on the GX85 will look much better than on the GH4 because of its excellent IBIS. After repeated claims that IBIS is impossible in 4K because of overheating, two years later, Panasonic somehow combine IBIS and 4K in a tiny body that can continuously shoot an hour and a half without any signs of overheating. Heh. Good one, Panasonic.
If you want to bypass internal codecs, you're in luck because this camera also has clean HDMI out for external recorders. In short, while the GH4 still has some "pro" features some "pros" might want, in practice, the GX85 is every bit the video shooter that the GH4 is, at basically half the price and with IBIS! Chew on that!
Anyway, many of the other reviews cover what I would have covered anyway, which is that this is a beautiful camera that is a superb stills shooter, but I just wanted to address the video issue, too, since a lot of these points were not made in the press releases (probably to protect the GH4's reputation as a high end video shooter).
Despite all this talk of video, I'm mainly a still shooter. Ever since receiving my GX85, I find that I simply cannot put it down. This is a gorgeous little camera. I initially started using MFT because of its balance of size and quality, but over time, I had been trending toward bigger cameras because they had the best features. However, a weird thing happened. I took my camera out less and less. When I got the GH4 to be the camera to end it all, I pretty much stopped taking my camera to social events completely because the GH4 just felt too formal. But ever since I received my GX85, I want this camera around me all the time! I love shooting pictures again.
The image quality on this camera is easily the best I've ever seen in any Panasonic camera I've tried yet. There is no shutter shock. Thanks to the lack of an AA filter, improve shutter, and IBIS, I find that pictures are sharp to the last pixel! There is no softness whatsoever.
Are there downsides? Yeah, small ones, but it seems like almost every downside has an upside. For instance, I prefer charging in an external charger so I can be charging a battery while using another one, but in-camera USB charging has a huge upside for keeping my camera bag light! I must say, though, the port cover for the HDMI/USB is kind of annoying to open, but hey, I'll get used to it. The tilt screen is a bit stiff and doesn't have huge freedom of movement, but on the other hand, it's super low profile and functional enough.
Blah blah, I could go on and on, but a lot of people consider the GF1 to be the best MFT camera that Panasonic has ever made. To me, this camera, the GX85, is their best camera since the GF1. It's a camera that combines usability, stylish looks, superb stills performance, and 4K prowess. And it even comes with a pretty good kit zoom lens. It is excellent bang for the buck.
As an aside, I feel bad for GX8 buyers. I wonder how many of them feel a bit bitter about the improved shutter and IBIS on the GX85, which is considerably cheaper than the GX8 ever was.