Thursday 19 January 2017

Panasonic Lumix GX80: Tech review

GX80 gives pro cameras a run for their money

Published 12/11/2016 | 02:30

Lumix GXS
Lumix GXS

Our Technology Editor reviews the Panasonic Lumix GX80

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Price: €599 (plus lens) Compare prices

Rating: 5 Stars

There's so much competition for premium mirrorless cameras these days that it's difficult to know which one to choose. The short answer (and I'm not just saying this) is that they're all good. Their main advantage is that they give the same type of quality as big non-professional DSLR ­cameras in a much smaller body, meaning you can bring them about and use them without looking and feeling awkward.

If you want the latest model on the market, Panasonic's Lumix 16-megapixel GX80 ticks all the boxes. It's fast, compact, smart and takes very good photos. I used it for two weeks with two lenses, a 45-175mm (90-350mm equivalent) telephoto and a 12-32mm (24-64mm equivalent). This period included work assignments abroad at the Web Summit in Lisbon (for which, see my Twitter or Instagram feeds).

It barely let me down at all on any score. It can handle very low-light situations (its ISO now goes up to 25,600, a huge jump from the GX7) and its built-in stabilisation is about the best I've ever tested. Indeed, Panasonic now has stabilisation both in the camera body and in its newer lenses, meaning you really do have far less chance of blurry, hazy photos.

Like its predecessor, the GX80 has a flip-out screen, which is great when snapping something from down low or, in portrait orientation, at arm's length to your side (such as in a church aisle to get the bride's walk, unobstructed). It's nice and silent, too, meaning you don't make a racket when taking photos in hushed situations.

The GX80 has Panasonic's 4K Photo mode, which essentially lets you take stills from the camera's 4K video-shooting capabilities.

It goes without saying that the camera has Wi-Fi, too, which lets you send images to your phone or tablet automatically while shooting or transfer them afterwards.

There's even a new 'post focus' feature that lets you decide after taking the photo where you want the sharp bit to be. It's very smart, but takes a bit of setting up and is too slow (for me) to be very useful.

All of this comes at a price, of course: the GX80 isn't cheap. But it's a pleasure to use.

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