Summary

The Panasonic Lumix GX800 / GX850 is an entry-level mirrorless camera that's aimed at anyone upgrading from a phone or compact camera. It features a 16 Megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor, the ability to record Full HD or 4k video, has built-in Wifi and a touchscreen that flips up by 180 degrees for selfie shooting - and like all recent Lumix cameras, the GX800 / GX850 boasts Panasonic's array of cunning 4k Photo modes which let you shoot 8 Megapixel stills at 30fps and refocus images after the event. There may be no viewfinder and the use of smaller Micro SD cards a little unusual, but otherwise the GX800 / GX850 is a powerful budget option.

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Panasonic Lumix GX800 / GX850 preview

The Panasonic Lumix GX800, or GX850 as it’s known in North America, is an entry-level mirrorless camera with interchangeable lenses. Announced in January 2017, it replaces the GF7 and is aimed at anyone upgrading from a phone or compact camera for better quality, control and flexibility. Like all of Panasonic’s mirrorless cameras to date, it’s based on the Micro Four Thirds system which means it works with any lens designed for that format, including a wealth of options from Panasonic and Olympus. Panasonic typically sells the GX800 / GX850 in a kit with a 12-32mm / 2.7x kit zoom that’s equivalent to 24-64mm in coverage, giving you slightly wider angle capabilities than most kit lenses.

The Lumix GX800 / GX850 features a 16 Megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor, the ability to record Full HD or 4k video, built-in Wifi and a touchscreen that flips up by 180 degrees for selfie shooting or filming pieces to camera. Like the Lumix GX80 / GX85 before it, the GX800 / GX850’s sensor has the low-pass filter removed for slightly crisper results – confirmed in my tests with its more sophisticated sibling. And like all recent Lumix cameras, 4k video isn’t just there for people with 4k TVs – the GX800 / GX850 boasts Panasonic’s array of cunning 4k Photo modes which effectively let you shoot 8 Megapixel stills at 30fps and refocus images after the event. Meanwhile autofocus duties are performed with Panasonic’s Depth-by-Defocus, DFD, technology which better predicts how and where to focus based on knowing how the lens performs when in and out of focus.

The Lumix GX800 / GX850 offers an impressive specification for an entry-level mirrorless camera. You’re getting an interchangeable lens camera with a decent sized sensor, a kit zoom with wider coverage than most, a tilting touchscreen that’s ideal for selfies, Wifi that makes it easy to share images, and USB charging, with 4k video and 4k Photo as the icing on the cake, differentiating it from most rivals at this price point. The only downsides are a lack of viewfinder (albeit typical at this level), the lack of body-based stabilisation (but to be fair most owners will use optically-stabilised zooms) and the use of small Micro SD memory cards (apparently due to the new 4k circuitry taking up the space of the previous full-size SD slot on the earlier GF series). Expect the GX800 / GX850 by the end of January 2017 for less than 500 GBP.

 

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