- Page 1 Panasonic G80
- Page 2 Performance, image quality and conclusion
Panasonic G80 – Performance and AF
We’ve never had any gripes with Panasonic’s autofocus speed, and once again, it’s another solid performance here. When faced with subjects under bright light, the lens quickly snaps into focus. You may find some hesitation with certain lenses – for example, a 30mm macro lens may take a little while to get there. It’s incredibly rare for a false confirmation of focus to be displayed, however.
In lower light focusing slows a little, but it’s assisted by a focus-assist lamp that helps to get it right 99.9% of the time.
That said, continuous autofocusing can sometimes struggle to keep up with the subject if it’s particularly fast-moving; slower subjects fare a little better.
The camera’s general operation speeds are very good: moving through menu systems is a breeze, and there’s plenty to like about viewing your images in playback. Here you can use the touchscreen to pinch to zoom and flick through images, all very quickly and admirably.
There seems to be no noticeable lag between shots, while the buffer clears quickly when shooting at fast frame rates. You’ll notice it takes a little time to process some of the more advanced 4K and Post Focus features – but we’re talking a couple of seconds or so, nothing too dramatic, and perfectly understandable considering what the camera is undertaking.
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Panasonic G80 – Image Quality
Image quality is very similar to what we’ve seen with the GX80, and by that we mean it’s excellent.
Detail is fantastic, thanks to the removal of the optical low-pass filter, and the 5-axis image stabilisation is effective at helping to keep blur out of your images – especially if shooting handheld at longer focal lengths.
Colours are well represented, being vibrant and realistic, without straying too far into the oversaturated territory. General-purpose metering does a decent job of getting exposures right in the majority of conditions, while automatic white balance copes well with different kinds of lighting conditions, producing ever so slightly warmer tones under artificial lights.
When it comes noise and detail, shots between ISO 200 and ISO 3200 are excellent – at ISO 3200, you can look at images at normal printing or viewing sizes and struggle to see any issues at all. If you examine at 100%, it’s possible to see some image smoothing at ISO 3200, but it isn’t obvious at normal sizes.
At ISO 6400 and above you’ll see some more severe degradation in image quality. If possible, it’s best to avoid these speeds if you can. But for a mid-range camera, performance is very good.
You can see sample images below.
Panasonic G80 – Video
A camera such as the G80 offers an affordable route into 4K videography. If you’re a serious videographer then the GH4 (or the GH5, when it becomes available next year) will be more suitable, but this is a good camera to get you started.
You can shoot in Full HD, if you prefer. Either way, video footage is smooth and detailed, with focusing quick and easy.
You can also take advantage of 4K to use 4K Photo, which yields some excellent results and is particularly useful for sports, action and fast-moving subjects.
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Should you buy the Panasonic G80?
Panasonic has impressed with its compact system cameras for some time now, and the G80 is no different.
This camera sits in the middle of the range, as does the flatter-styled GX80. Which one you go for will depend on the style you prefer. The G80 is a more traditional, DSLR-type shape, with a chunkier grip and a fully articulating screen; the GX80 is flatter, which also makes it arguably more compact and easier to carry around.
In terms of image quality, the G80 is fantastic. You can get some really lovely shots with the camera, just using the kit lens. Once you start to think about other optics in the range – of which there are many – you’ll be able to take your photography to the next level.
The G80 offers plenty for a mid-range camera, including an affordable route to 4K video and photo, along with a host of other features. Image quality is excellent, with only its high ISO speeds a concern – something that cameras with larger sensors are able to tackle better.
If you’re somebody that’s not regularly shooting in very dark conditions, it’s unlikely to be an issue though, and you should be very pleased with what it can offer.
Score in detail
Image Quality 8
Build Quality 8