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Panasonic’s Lumix lets you feel like a pro…even if you’re a photography novice

It has been touted as the field photographer’s camera, and promises to make capturing professional shots easier than ever, but how does Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-G85 really stack up?

The Lumix puts its best foot forward, with a weatherproof exterior, 5-Axis Dual IS, post focus and focus stacking. Techly put the camera to the test in a few different conditions – the Aussie summer sun, a boat party, and a rainy night in the city.

Overall, the quality of images and the usability of this camera was really impressive. In particular, the placement of the main shutter and aperture cogs made manual adjustments simple. The adjustable touchscreen also adds to the ease of use when making manual adjustments or trying to place focus on a specific spot in your frame that can be awkward and time consuming on other cameras – especially when you only have a limited timeframe to take a snap.

The question you might be asking yourself if you are thinking about purchasing this camera is whether to go mirrorless or not. Coming from someone who chooses to use traditional mirrored DSLRs, the adjustment to the digital viewfinder was slightly offputting, however, the quality of the images can’t be denied.

Lumix camera, bird's eye view

As an advocate of mirrored DSLRs I was looking for a reason to pass off the images from this camera as sub-par, but came up short when I looked at the results. Rather than feeling like a bulky addition, it felt comfortable and premium.

Size and weight also come in as a real pro for the Lumix over bulkier mirrored DSLRs. If saving space is important to you, it’s a no-brainer, really. The Canon 7D comes in at just over double the Lumix’s physical weight.

High-quality video is something that more and more people are looking for from their DSLRs. Here the Lumix gives you as much as you’d need with 4K at 30fps and full HD at 60fps, but perhaps not as much as you’d like – an fps option above 60 would have been a real treat!

The 4K pre-burst mode is a particularly good feature for anyone wanting to capture motion – it allows you to retrospectively capture 30 frames in the second before you made it to the shutter. Bundle this with a lightning autofocus and you’re well placed to not end up with any more pesky half in-focus shots of moving subjects. Now, as much as it can be a Kodak moment-saver if you use it wisely, keep in mind you’ll end up with a stack of photos to sort through if you use it too liberally.

Further, in a world where smartphones are sophisticated enough to be (reliably) weatherproof, the weather-proof features of this camera were fantastic, and taking photos in the rain with an expensive piece of equipment gave a strange feeling of invincibility.

Photo of rainy city night

If you’re keen to get your hands on this, be it for travel or work, the camera retails at $1399 in Australia.

Boat Party - Zoom and detail

Boat party - zoom and detail

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