We recently took a closer look at Panasonic’s pricey but stunningly improved GH5 4K hbrid photo/video camera, which is the successor to the best-selling 2014 4K shooter the GH4. However, while the pricey GH5, which costs just under $2000 for the body only, will excite plenty of professional photographers, two other much more affordable cameras were also mentioned in our last post.
These are the company’s GX850 and FZ80 compact mirrorless shooters. They both got unveiled alongside their GH5 cousin and while they lack the former’s prosumer specs in most ways, they’re also much, much cheaper and nothing to scoff at for amateur photographers who’d like to dabble in a bit of ultra HD video recording.
Starting off with the GX850, this extremely compact mirrorless model will come priced to sell t $549 upon its expected early February release date and features a 16 megapixel photo sensor with optical low-pass filter removed (just like in the GH5). It can also pull off 4K video recording like its much more powerful cousin but at a “mere” 30fps or 24mps in MP4 mode. Furthermore, Panasonic has also included their 4K Burst Mode which allows the GH5 to create 6K still shots from rounds of 30fps 4K video but in the GX850, the size of these images is limited to a still decent 8 megapixels instead of 12. However, Panasonic’s Depth From Defocus technology has been included in the GX850.
This extremely compact 4K camera also comes with a flip-up screen for shooting selfies and is capable of switching over to selfie mode as soon as the screen is rotted 180 degrees. To complement this slightly frivolous but nonetheless fun feature, Panasonic has also added several selfie recording features like beauty retouching, panoramic selfies, 4K selfies and a background control mode for changing background softness without manual photo manipulation. The camera can even be made to trigger a selfie if a user waves at it or puts their face close to another person’s. In a way, the GX850 is like a sort of selfie camera on steroids while also being a robust little choice for regular photography.
Then there’s the even more affordable FZ80, which excludes most of the GX850’s quirky selfie-taking features and is designed for more serious work that makes it a particularly good compact outdoors and travel shooter.
Thus, the FZ80 features a slightly more robust 18.1 megapixel sensor and the ability to grab 4K video at 30fps. It also comes with a fixed 60x optical zoom lens and manual exposure control for both photo and video recording. This slightly bulkier mirrorless model can capture the equivalent of 20mm to 1,200mm on a 35mm-equivalent camera and Panasonic is claiming that its fixed zoom lens can lock in on a target in as little as 0.09 seconds, then shoot bursts of 6fps while allowing for continuous focus adjustment or shoot at 10fps with the focused fixed on an object. The FZ80’s 1.04 million dot LCD touchscreen can also be used to set focus points with the touch of a finger –a feature any photographer who wants to adjust focus as quickly as possible could like.
The Panasonic FZ80 compact fixed lens mirrorless
The FZ80 comes with other electronic goodies built-in. These include Pansonic’s Post focus and Focus Stack modes. In addition to them, there is also an optical image stabilization system and the FZ80 comes with useful add-ons like WiFi, electronic viewfinder and the aforementioned 1.04 million dot touchscreen LCD. This model is going to be retailing for just $399 as of March, 2017.
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