GX85 replacement

sprocket87

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So I love my battle-hardened GX85, but it's starting to feel a little dated in a few areas. Problem is, I don't know what m43 camera would be a satisfactory replacement for it.

What I'm looking for in an upgrade:

- Slightly larger body/better ergonomics. I'm not unhappy with the overall form factor, it's just a titch too small and fiddly. In terms of max size, a G85 would be okay, G95 is pushing it, G9 is out of the question, for reference.
- Improved AF, specifically face & eye tracking. Single-point AF is already excellent so no complaints there.
- Better viewfinder. Larger magnification, higher pixel density. I've seen [and fell in love with] the viewfinders in the Nikon Z-series and even the G95/G9 are mouthwatering by comparison.
- Articulating touchscreen. The tilt up/down has proven to be insufficient for my wishes.
- Newer sensor tech (I know not to expect miracles, but any DR & noise benefits from a sensor that is a few years newer would be appreciated)
- USB-C, with in-camera charging (bonus points for powering while in use)

That's pretty much it. Honestly the G85 would be great, but the viewfinder is weak like the GX85 and the sensor is the same. The G95 would be perfect but it's a little bigger & heavier than I'd like. I've been out of Olympus too long to have an opinion on the latest E-M5 and E-M1 series. The E-M5 iii looks like it checks most of the boxes but I previously owned both the E-M5 mk1 and mk2, and sold both due to ergonomic frustrations, so I don't want to go back down that route. Never had an E-M1 though, it's always been kinda intriguing.

Generally, I prefer Panasonic's UI design, menus and overall operation to Olympus, although I wouldn't mind picking up HHHR mode. But I would entertain either brand if the camera fit and felt right.

I'm just not seeing anything on the market that is checking all these boxes. Maybe if the rumored GX10 came to fruition it would be the natural upgrade, but there's slim news on that.
 

Darmok N Jalad

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Curious that the G85 is okay, but the G95 is too big? It’s a little bit bigger, but it’s only 30 grams heavier. It’s roughly 6-7% larger.

https://www.apotelyt.com/compare-camera/panasonic-g85-vs-panasonic-g95

Having owned the GX85, G85, and tried the E-M5.3, I can say the G85/95 are in the ideal comfort range for my hands, and the GX85 and E-M5.3 are too small feeling. I own a G9 now, but the G85/95 would be my choice of backup. Just my opinion, of course. :)
 

agentlossing

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So I love my battle-hardened GX85, but it's starting to feel a little dated in a few areas. Problem is, I don't know what m43 camera would be a satisfactory replacement for it.

What I'm looking for in an upgrade:

- Slightly larger body/better ergonomics. I'm not unhappy with the overall form factor, it's just a titch too small and fiddly. In terms of max size, a G85 would be okay, G95 is pushing it, G9 is out of the question, for reference.
- Improved AF, specifically face & eye tracking. Single-point AF is already excellent so no complaints there.
- Better viewfinder. Larger magnification, higher pixel density. I've seen [and fell in love with] the viewfinders in the Nikon Z-series and even the G95/G9 are mouthwatering by comparison.
- Articulating touchscreen. The tilt up/down has proven to be insufficient for my wishes.
- Newer sensor tech (I know not to expect miracles, but any DR & noise benefits from a sensor that is a few years newer would be appreciated)
- USB-C, with in-camera charging (bonus points for powering while in use)

That's pretty much it. Honestly the G85 would be great, but the viewfinder is weak like the GX85 and the sensor is the same. The G95 would be perfect but it's a little bigger & heavier than I'd like. I've been out of Olympus too long to have an opinion on the latest E-M5 and E-M1 series. The E-M5 iii looks like it checks most of the boxes but I previously owned both the E-M5 mk1 and mk2, and sold both due to ergonomic frustrations, so I don't want to go back down that route. Never had an E-M1 though, it's always been kinda intriguing.

Generally, I prefer Panasonic's UI design, menus and overall operation to Olympus, although I wouldn't mind picking up HHHR mode. But I would entertain either brand if the camera fit and felt right.

I'm just not seeing anything on the market that is checking all these boxes. Maybe if the rumored GX10 came to fruition it would be the natural upgrade, but there's slim news on that.
I was in the same place as you, and ended up with a GX9. It wasn't a perfect upgrade, but it ended up being the simplest for me and the most cost-effective. Here's how I would break down your decision:

- bigger body/better ergonomics? I put an add-on grip on my GX9 and it's pretty good. It's probably as big as a G95 now, though, not much smaller/lighter than a G9. Have you held all these cameras? It's useless judging ergonomics and size unless you have them in hand. But I'm not sure what you're looking for; the G85 really isn't much bigger than the GX85/9, it just has a deeper grip. So you're asking for a fractionally bigger size? I think you might have to compromise somewhere here to what's available.

- improved tracking AF? Not sure you can go very far in that direction in M4/3. Maybe an EM1 series with PDAF or the EM5iii?

- EVF, I think the G9 is calling for you...

- Articulating... G95, G9. Or you know which Olympus bodies have it.

- The 20MP sensor in the GX9 is really nice, a visible upgrade in JPEG quality I have to say over the GX85, in RAW it depends a lot more on your PP style, but at least you have slightly more information to work with. The G9 samples look better than any of the other Panasonics, at least on DPR. The image processing on that camera is just impressive.

- No M4/3 cam I know of has USB-C. My Ricoh GRIII has it, but most cameras are still in backwards micro-USB land.
 

davidzvi

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@agentlossing I was thinking the GX95 as well, I've put a 1/2 case on pretty much all my rangefinder bodies except the GX7 to add a bit more to grab on to. The GX9 is a bit larger than the GX85 even without the grip and does add a few more direct controls.

The E-M1.3 has USB-C.

@Darmok N Jalad The G95 might not seem like it would be that much bigger than the G85, but it did seem notably bigger to me. So I can relate to @sprocket87 comment.

@RichDesmond except the comment about the GX85 being dated, the GX8 is older with an older shutter, I.S., and still has the AA filter that most have done away with.

@sprocket87, if you're willing to look at Olympus, the E-M5.3 hits most of your points.

.....What I'm looking for in an upgrade:

- Slightly larger body/better ergonomics. I'm not unhappy with the overall form factor, it's just a titch too small and fiddly. In terms of max size, a G85 would be okay, G95 is pushing it, G9 is out of the question, for reference.
- Improved AF, specifically face & eye tracking. Single-point AF is already excellent so no complaints there.
- Better viewfinder. Larger magnification, higher pixel density. I've seen [and fell in love with] the viewfinders in the Nikon Z-series and even the G95/G9 are mouthwatering by comparison.
- Articulating touchscreen. The tilt up/down has proven to be insufficient for my wishes.
- Newer sensor tech (I know not to expect miracles, but any DR & noise benefits from a sensor that is a few years newer would be appreciated)
- USB-C, with in-camera charging (bonus points for powering while in use)

Just not USB-C.

The GX10 might have most things on your list as well, but it's all just speculation at this point.
 

sprocket87

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Have you held all these cameras? It's useless judging ergonomics and size unless you have them in hand. But I'm not sure what you're looking for; the G85 really isn't much bigger than the GX85/9, it just has a deeper grip. So you're asking for a fractionally bigger size? I think you might have to compromise somewhere here to what's available.

Yes, I have held the G85, but it has been several months so my memory has faded somewhat. I remember the G85 feeling pretty much like a "glove fit". The G95 is marginally bigger, but hopefully not negatively so.

I have access to a GH5 at work and it's definitely too big and heavy for my daily carry purposes (chasing kids, hiking/backpacking, etc). I know the G95 is not that chunky, even the G9 is lighter than the GH5.

- The 20MP sensor in the GX9 is really nice, a visible upgrade in JPEG quality I have to say over the GX85, in RAW it depends a lot more on your PP style, but at least you have slightly more information to work with. The G9 samples look better than any of the other Panasonics, at least on DPR. The image processing on that camera is just impressive.

This is what is bothering me a little. I feel like I really know the 16MP m43 sensor inside and out, having had a number of bodies from both O&P over the years. And while I'm generally pleased with the output, I often find myself bumping into its limitations, mostly in terms of noise & DR. The files only have so much leeway before they just fall apart. I don't want to start looking at other systems necessarily, so if a newer gen m43 sensor can open up a little more flexibility that would likely satisfy me.


@agentlossing I was thinking the GX95 as well, I've put a 1/2 case on pretty much all my rangefinder bodies except the GX7 to add a bit more to grab on to. The GX9 is a bit larger than the GX85 even without the grip and does add a few more direct controls.

The E-M1.3 has USB-C.

@Darmok N Jalad The G95 might not seem like it would be that much bigger than the G85, but it did seem notably bigger to me. So I can relate to @sprocket87 comment.

@RichDesmond except the comment about the GX85 being dated, the GX8 is older with an older shutter, I.S., and still has the AA filter that most have done away with.

@sprocket87, if you're willing to look at Olympus, the E-M5.3 hits most of your points.

Just not USB-C.

The GX10 might have most things on your list as well, but it's all just speculation at this point.


David nailed it -- you pretty much replied to the previous posts as I would have!

G95 is really the most likely candidate, IF I decide it's not too bulky. But as mentioned, the weight is only trivially more, which is really the bigger concern. I would just have to decide to soldier on without USB-C, which in the end is the least significant item on my wish list.

I guess I just wish there was something that was in between the GX9 and the G95. If you look at something like the Nikon Z50, it slots in beautifully in between those two camps. It has a massive mount, yet the body is perfectly compact -- definitely more svelte than the G95, but much more ergonomic and comfortable than the GX85/9. It's almost as if the small sensor/mount advantages of m43 have been forgotten, unless you want to go to a budget body without all the features.

Admittedly the E-M5 mk3 does check a lot of these boxes, so I guess I'm mostly just complaining about Panasonic :D

Anyway, now I'm just rambling. Thanks for the input. I think the G95 is the most likely candidate, barring any GX10 surprise release.
 

Darmok N Jalad

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The body is just one part of it though. M43 will give you more weight savings in the lens department, especially at the longer end. The P100-300ii is just over 1lb, not bad for up to 600mm of equivalent reach. Really, the bigger bodies are my preference for the bigger lenses, and you generally get more battery life to go with them. If compact is your primary goal, then yes, GX9 or E-M5.3 is probably more appropriate.
 

jimr.pdx

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Yes, I have held the G85, but it has been several months so my memory has faded somewhat. I remember the G85 feeling pretty much like a "glove fit". The G95 is marginally bigger, but hopefully not negatively so.

I definitely agree with the fit of G7 and G85, both of those bodies fit my hand perfectly. Oddly enough they did not fit my brain while shooting despite the hand's comfort. I owned a gx85 and it was almost great and better with GX9 grip.. but I preferred the gx7 (except 4k still/vid, of course - which has not captured me yet). The GX9 has my interest but other parts of life have my wallet, so the GX7 is plenty good enough. That or the em1.ii would be nice steps up for me.
 

agentlossing

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This is what is bothering me a little. I feel like I really know the 16MP m43 sensor inside and out, having had a number of bodies from both O&P over the years. And while I'm generally pleased with the output, I often find myself bumping into its limitations, mostly in terms of noise & DR. The files only have so much leeway before they just fall apart. I don't want to start looking at other systems necessarily, so if a newer gen m43 sensor can open up a little more flexibility that would likely satisfy me.
I think the resolution boost is meaningful - I like to shoot in 3:2, and I quickly switched to it when I got the GX9 and still enjoy a little more resolution than a 4:3 file from the GX85. It isn't night and day - for example, the 14-bit, 24MP RAWs from the Ricoh GRIII were a huge step up from the 16MP GRII, when you need to push them around in post. The M4/3 step up is a lot more subtle, but it's there. And while I would say Panasonic's absolute biggest leap in JPEGs, colors and such was the GX85 over what went before, I do think the GX9 incorporates some nice, subtle improvements as well. Again, the G9 looks better to me than any of the other cameras. But the GX9 is very close. I don't know whether the G95 is closer to the former or the latter. It really is too bad Panasonic didn't put a 20MP sensor in the G85, that would have been the ideal camera!
 

LowriderS10

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I replaced my GX85 with an E-M5 Mark III. Love it! The GX85 was a good camera, but I think the 5.3 is better in every way.
 

Stanga

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The G90/95 is a far more comfortable camera to have around your neck with a wide range of lenses. And the sensor performance is the same as the G9.
 

JamesD

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I was sort of in a similar situation. I wanted something smaller and lighter than my E-M1 II for every day and travel. I was one of those people who couldn't tolerate the VF on the Panasonic GX bodies, so I was looking at the G95 and the E-M5 III. Looking at them side by side it was apparent that there was no real size savings with the G95 over the E-M1 II, and only like 40gm of weight savings.
size comparison
The E-M5iii was definitely smaller, but for me, at a real comfort/enjoyability price. I tried it with the Olympus extension grip and that helped a lot, and here is the "but". The grip has to be removed to access the battery and, with the grip it's only 39 gm lighter than the E-M1 MK II. So much for weight savings. I guess I'll wait for the GX10
 

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