Andy Westlake examines the Panasonic Lumix GX80, Panasonic’s latest mid-range compact system camera
Panasonic GX80: Our Verdict
With the GX80, Panasonic has made a camera that feels much more like the GX7’s spiritual successor than the GX8 ever did – impressive as that camera undoubtedly is.
Similar in size, design and layout to the GX7, it’s also attractively priced. Considering its effective dual image stabilization and 4K video recording, it’s a compelling option for enthusiast photographers who also have some interest in exploring the creative opportunities afforded by movie making.
In terms of design and styling the GX80 isn’t as charismatic as many of its direct competitors, but don’t let that put you off. It’s well designed and fits nicely in your hand, while being small enough to slip easily into a small bag.
The control layout works well enough, although personally I think that it’s high time Panasonic revisited its control interface to concentrate on easier viewfinder shooting.
But the GX80 is so customizable that any deficiencies of its default setup can be overcome, if you’re prepared to spend a bit of time setting the camera up to your own preference.
The tiny 12-32mm kit lens completes the package nicely, and of course the camera can accept any lens in the Micro Four Thirds range. This now covers practically every option, from relatively inexpensive primes like the Panasonic 25mm f/1.8 to big-but-pricey long telephoto zooms such as the Panasonic 100-400mm f/4-6.3 OIS.
Overall, I’d have to say the GX80 is probably Panasonic’s best-judged compact system camera for quite some time. The combination of small body, highly effective in-body image stabilization, and 4K video recording is unique. For photographers who are also interested in shooting video it’s a very compelling option.