The Travel Trail - Part two - Micro 4/3 In The Hand

on October 18, 2016

The first of our Panasonic Travel Trail cameras was small but capable - our next candidate gains a little in size, but introduces you to a whole system of photography - it is a photo trail you can follow for years...This one is the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85.

Panasonic Micro 4/3 system cameras have lenses that clip on and off - you can choose from a wide variety of different ones for specialised or general tasks. And you can use lenses from other micro 4/3 manufacturers - they have all come to agreement on that.

The other great advantage for this camera is the increased size and capability of the sensor 4/3 " Live MOS with 16.84 megapixels. Together with increased processor power this gives increased detail and resolution and you can blow your pictures up larger.

As with the smaller Panasonic camera, it has the 4K video recording and can also benefit from the post-focus selection system when you take a fast photo burst in 4K.

You'd like Wifi? It's in there. You'd like to control it remotely with your smartphone or tablet? There's an app for that. Want the convenience of a touch screen? Touch away - the GX85 screen responds instantly.

If you would like to work close to the ground with a macro lens - and Panasonic make some beautiful close-up lenses - you can flip the screen out flat like an old-fashioned waist-level finder and look down without getting down. I use a camera with this feature all the time at car shows to get a natural angle on the vehicles while standing. You are not inconvenienced and are much less conspicuous in a crowd.

The lens that you see on this camera is the Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-140mm f:3.5-5.6 Aspherical lens with a powered image stabilising system. It has nearly the same angles of view as the lens attached to the DMC-TZ110 but a greater heft - well, it needs this as the sensor is larger. It is also a perfect overseas travel lens and tourists with this attached never need to undo it throughout the trip - no letting dust and bugs into the camera.

Of course once you are home, the sky is the limit with Panasonic lenses -from fisheye to extreme telephone and some of the fixed prime lenses have a very advanced performance in low light.

Note that this camera has an extendable flash tube that pops up from the top housing of the camera when you press a button. Good for macro and for adding highlights to faces that are close to the camera. You can plug into speed lights or any sort of studio flash you fancy with the top hot shoe.

Okay - more space needed to carry this camera, and more weight to haul. This is balanced by later detailed pictures and the chance to use different lenses. The hand grip is also larger and easier to use. You choose which side of the compromise you feel best on.

See the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 on the Camera Electronic website here