Panasonic beefed up its 4K Ultra HD mirrorless interchangeable lens camera lineup Tuesday with the addition of the Lumix DMC-GX85, billed as the “most compact camera system” yet designed by the company.

The camera measures 4.8 x 2.78 x 1.73 inches and weighs 1.09 pounds with lens and battery included.

A key feature is the 16-megapixel Micro Four Thirds Live MOS image sensor affording a 10 percent boost in fine detail resolving power through the omission of a low-pass filter and the inclusion of a new and improved Venus image processing engine. The Venus Engine suppresses generation of artifacts like moire, which is normally handled by the low-pass filter. This also improves low-light shooting in the camera.

By omitting the low pass filter the GX85 produces crisper, high resolution images with higher contrast and more accurate color reproduction. Panasonic said the combination of the Digital Live MOS sensor and the Venus Engine achieves clear image rendering with minimum noise even in low-lit situations and at max. ISO 25,600.

The Lumix GX85 will be available at a $799.99 suggested retail at the end May in a choice of silver and black body colors. It will come bundled with a 12-32mm kit lens.

Read more about Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-GX85 after the break:

As mentioned, the GX85 has a sensitivity of up to ISO 25,600 for stills. Maximum ISO sensitivity for video is listed at 6400.

Like many of Panasonic’s new mirrorless camera models, the GX85 captures 4K Ultra HD video, and adds the company’s 4K Photo technology to grab 4K stills from 4K video bursts. To capture high resolution scenes, the camera leverages its advanced high-speed signal readout ability from the sensor and high-speed processing to record high-resolution QFHD 4K video in 3,840 x 2,160 at 24/30p in addition to Full HD 1,920 x 1,080/60p videos with full-time AF.

Panasonic includes its 4K Photo feature, which grabs still shots in 8-megapixel resolution from video recorded at up to 30 fps. Panasonic even provides three modes to help choose the exact best frame including: 4K Burst, 4K Burst (Start/Stop) and 4K Pre-burst.

The 4K Burst (Start/Stop) function records a burst of video when the shutter button is pressed and keeps running until the button is pressed again. The 4K Pre-burst function shoots 60 images including frames from both before pressing the shutter (the recording begins with a half-press of the shutter button) and immediately afterward, to ensure the right moment is captured.

For creative video work, the camera enables 4K Live Cropping in the digital recording process to produce stable pans or zooms. In panning shots, the viewing angle can be set to start and end to get a smooth shot like those taken using special hardware (such as sliders). When zooming, the before- and after-zoom viewing angles are set so that the subject will fit perfectly in the frame. Images are kept smooth by making adjustments digitally in camera instead of having to physically move the lens.

For full resolution still shooting the camera offers up to 8 fps burst shooting from the mechanical shutter.

The camera’s Contrast Auto Focus (AF) system features Depth From Defocus (DFD) technology to improve both speed and accuracy by exchanging the digital signal between the camera and the lens at up to 240 fps speed to produce ultra-fast (0.07 seconds) AF speed.

The camera also provides a range of AF functions including Face/Eye Detection AF, Pinpoint AF, One-shot AF and advanced Low Light AF for optimal performance from a wide range of shooting conditions.

The camera’s 49-point focus detection area enables more flexible composition together with Custom Multi AF mode that can be used to select the best blocks to focus on within the target area.

The GX85 also adds a 5-axis Dual Image Stabilizer (IS) for more effective suppression of camera motion blur. The motion suppression system is said to combine a 2-axis Optical Image Stabilizer and a 5-axis Body Image Stabilizer, which compensates for a larger range of movement. Panasonic said this greatly diminishes image blurring in both still shots and video and allows for hand-held shooting in a wide range of conditions, including wide angle, telephoto and low light work.

The Lumix GX85 adopts a new electromagnetic drive in the shutter unit. The shock caused by the movement of shutter diaphragm is greatly reduced and shutter sound is minimized.

The GX85 also features a new electromagnetic drive in the shutter unit that reduces the shock caused by the movement of the shutter diaphragm while the shutter sound is minimized.

Other features include: a 16:9 2,764K-dot Live View Finder (LVF) with 100 percent color reproduction; a 3-inch large 1,040K-dot high resolution static-type touchscreen monitor with 100 percent field of view that tilts up by 80-degrees and down by 45-degrees to accommodate shooting from a variety of high and low angles.

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A new L.Monochrome mode in Photo Style enhances black-&-white (B/W) digital photography with richer gradation comparable to that of B/W film.

Panasonic has also added Focus Bracket and Aperture Bracket to convention exposure bracket and WB brackets in the GX85.

The GX85 includes built-in Wi-Fi connectivity to quickly link to smartphones or tablets to shoot, store, and share images online.

The Lumix GX85 also adds a Post Focus function that enables selecting in-focus areas of an image after shooting, providing multiple shots with different focus points from a single shutter release. The tool is said to be particularly useful for macro shooting where severe focusing is required.

The feature was developed by combining the DFD auto focus technology that enables measuring the distance to the subject and the 4K technology. To use it, a shooter can engage Post Focus mode before the shot and touch on the point where to set focus in play back.

The GX85 also incorporates a Light Composition function as an option of the 4K Photo mode. Panasonic said the camera synthesizes images by choosing and saving a brighter pixel. This makes it possible to produce more dramatic-looking images easily in the camera from difficult shots like fireworks or night scenery.

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The DMC-GX85 has a range of creative image presets for easily achieved creative control, including a total of 22 filter options. Effect parameters for each mode are also adjustable. The filters can be applied in P/A/S/M modes.

Panasonic recommends using Class 4 SD cards for motion picture work, and SD Speed Class 3 UHS-I cards when recording motion pictures with MP4 in 4K or 4K Photo.

By Greg Tarr


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