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An adventure into the Panasonic GX85/80 begins - and a look at the Leica Nocticron for Micro Four Thirds


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I'm still quite happy with my GX80 and I won't be selling it anytime soon. It's taking great photos and videos. I could mention some negatives, but the fact of the matter is that this camera is good enough. I couple it with the ZOOM H1 positioned close to the subject and I've found it an impressive match for many systems... still state of the art in 2017.

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The camera which Panasonic can't decide what to call (GX80 in Europe, GX85 in the US and GX7 Mark II in Japan!) really excites me. It's the first time that anyone has put 5 axis in-body stabilisa

My first project with the GX80. Since size / weight does matter and securities are kinda picky, i had no choice but to leave my lovely Voigtländer 25 lens at home and put the Panasonic 20mm on it. I h

The GX80 is meeting my expectations for run & gun. I think this shoot exemplifies expectations one can have of this camera for your quick, set-it-up and shoot style videos… family, street, etc.

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48 minutes ago, John Matthews said:

I'm still quite happy with my GX80 and I won't be selling it anytime soon. It's taking great photos and videos. I could mention some negatives, but the fact of the matter is that this camera is good enough. I couple it with the ZOOM H1 positioned close to the subject and I've found it an impressive match for many systems... still state of the art in 2017.

Agreed, no way i will ditch the GX80 any time soon, it delivers incredible quality in such a small package! There is no alternative once one combines ibis, size and picture quality. But maybe a G85 would be a nice addition to my collection :)

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25 minutes ago, jase said:

Agreed, no way i will ditch the GX80 any time soon, it delivers incredible quality in such a small package! There is no alternative once one combines ibis, size and picture quality. But maybe a G85 would be a nice addition to my collection :)

A lot of people think its a Point-and-Shoot. So, it goes to a lot of places where ILCs aren't allowed. I have even shot it at places where one needs permissions (guerilla shooting), by using the Panasonic Lumix App. I am wondering whether the 20mm f/1.7 would be a nice addition (though I am very happy with the 25mm f/1.7, right now, along with the tiny almost pancake kind of zoom, the 12-32mm). 

I doubt anything that even remotely resembles a DSLR would be allowed in most of these places. 

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19 minutes ago, sanveer said:

A lot of people think its a Point-and-Shoot. So, it goes to a lot of places where ILCs aren't allowed. I have even shot it at places where one needs permissions (guerilla shooting), by using the Panasonic Lumix App. I am wondering whether the 20mm f/1.7 would be a nice addition (though I am very happy with the 25mm f/1.7, right now, along with the tiny almost pancake kind of zoom, the 12-32mm). 

I doubt anything that even remotely resembles a DSLR would be allowed in most of these places. 

Exactly! GX80 is very stealthy :) If only this G800(?) or whatever its name is had IBIS..

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41 minutes ago, jase said:

Exactly! GX80 is very stealthy :) If only this G800(?) or whatever its name is had IBIS..

That camera looks good and small, but it has another fault other than no IBIS- no manual video mode. No setting the shutter speed other than the Exposure Lock button... I don't know why they dumbed it down so much, but I'm pretty sure it's due to the existence of the GX80 and the G85.

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Agree about the stealthiness. Tested it on my hip today, pointing to the side and pretending to film something else in front of me with an even less intrusive looking camera. There are times during street protests when it kicks off and looking away from the action whilst filming it is the way to go.

28mm FF equivalent at f11 with that small sensor is a decent angle of view and a huge amount of depth of field. Practically everything was in focus when I got my test home - with tripod quality stability.

I bought the GX80 almost exclusively to be used with the 14-140ii for street scenarios and even at 140mm it looks like a non threatening toy. Bloody love this camera.

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40 minutes ago, Thpriest said:

a quick question: i have stabilisation with the first hand symbol on. Is it better with E stabilisation as well? I'm using a manual lens (voigtlander) hand held

Try both and use what you like best. It's been a point of contention in this thread. Personally, I don't use the electronic stabalisation.

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46 minutes ago, Thpriest said:

So what is the benefit of E stabilisation? 

E stabilization will make it look more stable, it will also crop in a little, which is helpful when you are using some wide c mount lenses, but since it is software based, it could induce some artifacts. 

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1 hour ago, mercer said:

E stabilization will make it look more stable, it will also crop in a little, which is helpful when you are using some wide c mount lenses, but since it is software based, it could induce some artifacts. 

Thanks. I see quite a large crop with E stabilisation although when I used it i considered the shots to be pretty stable. Yesterday I shot without it. I will see if I notice any difference

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6 hours ago, Thpriest said:

So what is the benefit of E stabilisation? 

What I think some people are missing is that there are three main modes of image stabilization.

1. The default "stabilization" is 5-axis IBIS - as in, physical mechanical movement of the sensor to compensate for unintended camera motion.

2. The "dual-IS" modes use the physical stabilization of the lens (usually 2-axis) plus additional stabilization of the sensor (usually the other 3) to accomplish the same thing, but because the lens handles some of those axes optically the correction can appear more natural. 

3. E-stabilization is nothing more than applying something like 'warp stabilizer' to the footage coming off the sensor digitally, just in-camera. As a result, all of the issues with that sort of stabilization (including the crop and focus issues, if you're pulling very tight focus) are going to be present, because you aren't physically moving the sensor.

This is true for all Panasonics with 5-axis IBIS in-body.

Combining e-stabilization with physical stabilization is not usually a good idea, as it can introduce these artifacts. On the other hand, if you absolutely need the centre of your shot to be as steady as possible, combining the two may do that in some cases (but I can guess, though I don't have proof, that in some other cases it might make the problem worse). 

Usually the only time you really want e-stab is when you are turning OFF IBIS, e.g. because your lenses have a very small image circle and the IBIS exceeds that. In that case e-stabilization can be better than nothing, although honestly most of the post solutions are likely to be more effective and allow you the option of choice of stabilization method before baking the image into your file. 

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3 hours ago, studiodc said:

What I think some people are missing is that there are three main modes of image stabilization.

1. The default "stabilization" is 5-axis IBIS - as in, physical mechanical movement of the sensor to compensate for unintended camera motion.

2. The "dual-IS" modes use the physical stabilization of the lens (usually 2-axis) plus additional stabilization of the sensor (usually the other 3) to accomplish the same thing, but because the lens handles some of those axes optically the correction can appear more natural. 

3. E-stabilization is nothing more than applying something like 'warp stabilizer' to the footage coming off the sensor digitally, just in-camera. As a result, all of the issues with that sort of stabilization (including the crop and focus issues, if you're pulling very tight focus) are going to be present, because you aren't physically moving the sensor.

This is true for all Panasonics with 5-axis IBIS in-body.

Combining e-stabilization with physical stabilization is not usually a good idea, as it can introduce these artifacts. On the other hand, if you absolutely need the centre of your shot to be as steady as possible, combining the two may do that in some cases (but I can guess, though I don't have proof, that in some other cases it might make the problem worse). 

Usually the only time you really want e-stab is when you are turning OFF IBIS, e.g. because your lenses have a very small image circle and the IBIS exceeds that. In that case e-stabilization can be better than nothing, although honestly most of the post solutions are likely to be more effective and allow you the option of choice of stabilization method before baking the image into your file. 

Great info. I had been using E stabilisation along with IBIS with my manual lenses. It worked well enough although I didn't like the crop and on a couple of occasions I saw something a bit weird and jerky. Yesterday I only used IBIS with the Voigtlander 25 0.95* and it worked really well, very smooth and with a much reduced crop. I'll be going that way from now on. 

I also have been giving the EosPro Luts a final chance after having been disappointed before. Whilst there are some situations you have to be wary of, like a lot of sky or over exposed shots, I have found that it has given me pretty good results when dialled back to between 60 and 75%. Coming from Canon it gives me a result much closer to Canon colour. I'm going keep experimenting with it for now.

I must say that I really like this lens and I am finding that I prefer it over the Panasonic lenses that I have (25 and 42.5 1.7). It just seems to give the Lumix a different feel, both using the camera and the resulting image.

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Great basis to work from, still Panasonic colorscience seems to emphasize yellow/orange/green tones (as we've also seen in recent examples by Aaron), so personally I'd tone that a tad down and perhaps add back some red 'n blues, but it's already much more natural since the earlier models. And how great is that lens?! You get that magic focal length, moderately sensitive aperture and OIS... and all that very affordable too.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I spent about 3 hours reading through a good portion of this fantastic thread...

John, after reading the many posts and seeing your video clips, I feel like I know you! :) thank you for the awesome contributions.

I wanted to share my settings and thoughts about the camera as I recently purchased it.

I use either Natural or Portrait profile dialed to -3, -5, -5, -5 -- either profile gives me a pretty gradable image in Premiere. I also set -5 on the highlights, but leave shadows at 0. I really wish we had the Cinelike-d profile that the G7 and other Pana cameras get as that profile does show to have more shadow data (there's a good video sample on youtube showing GX85 Natural vs G7 Cine-d where you can clearly see more detail in shadows of a tree/bushes). I feel that Pana really arbitrarily ripped that profile out of this camera without a good reason (other than to perhaps move more people to buy the G85?

I use the Zoom H1 for audio and that is the best solution so I don't even complain about no mic input ... the evf is better than no evf, but is far from good, so i find myself using the screen on the back most of the time.

I currently have the 25mm f1.7 and kit 12-32mm, but am thinking about the 15mm f1.7 as another lens to get. This is my first m43 camera and I chose it over the A6300 (used to have the old NEX-6 at one point and moved away from the NEX/E-mount series due to handling issues). I am not a big fan of the image noise at higher ISOs... Fuji has spoiled me on that front... but it aint that bad.

My biggest gripe with the handling of this camera is the annoying strap mounts, especially the one on right side, which presses against the middle of my finger whenever I am holding the camera. I almost want to cut that thing off entirely (I removed the annoying little strap clips already).

Anyway, great camera overall, I've been very happy with it, especially the video, which is why I purchased it in the first place.

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