Panasonic GX850 Performance


Timing and Performance

Generally good to excellent speed for a compact mirrorless.

Startup/Play to Record

Power on
to first shot

~2.0 seconds

Time it takes to turn on and capture a shot.

Play to Record,
first shot

~0.6 second

Time until first shot is captured.

Startup time was slower-than-average for a mirrorless camera but switching from Play to Record and taking a shot was quite fast.


Shutter Response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus,
Single-area AF mode

0.232 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting.

Full Autofocus
Single-area AF mode
Flash enabled

0.454 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture. Auto Flash enabled.

Manual Focus

0.086 second

For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused".

Prefocused

0.085 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

The Panasonic GX850's autofocus was pretty fast in our tests, especially for a camera that uses contrast detection only. The GX850 produced full-autofocus shutter lag (with the subject at a fixed distance) of 0.232 second using 1-area (center) AF. That's a bit faster than most mirrorless cameras and faster than many consumer DSLRs as well, though oddly slightly slower than the GM5 which managed 0.220 second. When manually focused, the GX850's lag time dropped to 0.086 second, which is much faster than the GM5's 0.134 second. The GX850's prefocused shutter lag time of 0.085 second, again much faster than the 0.123 second result we got from the GM5.

To minimize the effect of different lens' focusing speed, we test AF-active shutter lag with the lens already set to the correct focal distance.


Cycle Time (shot to shot)

Single Shot mode
Large/Fine JPEG

0.35 second

Time per shot, averaged over a few frames (we no longer test for buffer depths in single-shot mode).

Single Shot mode
RAW + L/F JPEG

0.34 second

Time per shot, averaged over a few frames (we no longer test for buffer depths in single-shot mode).

Early shutter
penalty?

Yes

Some cameras refuse to snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous H
Large Fine JPEG

0.18 second
(5.68 fps);
Unlimited frames
1 second to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 340 shots with no signs of slowing.

Continuous H
RAW

0.21 second
(4.85 fps);
23 frames total;
10 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 23 frames, then slows to an average of 0.61s or 1.65 fps.

Continuous H
RAW + L/F JPEG

0.21 second
(4.84 fps);
18 frames total;
15 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 18 frames, then slows to an average of about 1.23s or 0.81 fps.

Continuous H
Large Fine JPEG
Electronic Shutter

0.11 second
(9.35 fps);
114 frames total;
8 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 114 frames, then slows to an average of 0.19s or 5.22 fps.

Continuous H
RAW
Electronic Shutter

0.11 second
(9.47 fps);
17 frames total;
10 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 17 frames, then slows to an average of 0.60s or 1.68 fps with a lot of variation.

Continuous H
RAW + L/F JPEG
Electronic Shutter

0.10 second
(9.55 fps);
16 frames total;
15 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 16 frames, then slows to an average of 1.1s or 0.91 fps with a lot of variation.

Flash Recycling

1.6 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/sec 8GB UHS-I microSDHC card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Single-shot cycle times were very fast. We measured 0.35 second for large/fine JPEGs and 0.34 second for RAW+L/F JPEGs. (We no longer test single-shot mode with just RAW files, as the result is usually somewhere in between.)

Continuous High Speed "H" mode burst rate was good at 5.7 frames per second for best quality JPEGs using the hybrid shutter, unchanged from the GM5. When shooting RAW or RAW+JPEG files, the frame rate dropped to 4.8-4.9 fps, also virtually unchanged from the GM5. Please note that Live View is not available during a burst in H mode.

The GX850 also has an all-electronic shutter mode which boosted full-resolution frame rates to 9-4-9.6 fps which is close to Panasonic's 10 fps spec.

Full-resolution buffer depths were unlimited for Large/Fine JPEGs at 5.7 fps, and 114 frames at 9.4 fps. When shooting RAW files buffer depths dropped to 23 frames at 4.9 fps and 17 frames at 9.5 fps. When shooting RAW+JPEG files, buffer depths dropped further to 18 and 16 frames respectively. This is much improved over the GM5, which had only a 7 frame RAW buffer in all modes.

Buffer clearing was reasonably quick considering the buffer depths, ranging from 1 to 15 seconds depending on the file type and mode with a fast UHS-I microSDHC card.

The built-in flash recycled in only 1.6 seconds on average, which is very fast.


Bottom line, apart from sluggish power-on times, the Panasonic GX850's performance is pretty good for a compact mirrorless. Mode switching, autofocus, shutter lag and cycle times are all fast. Full resolution burst speeds are good and practically unchanged from the GM5, however buffer depths are much improved.

Battery Life

Below average battery life for a mirrorless camera.

Operating Mode Battery Life
Still Capture, CIPA standard
(H-FS12032 lens, LCD)
210 shots

The Panasonic GX850 uses a custom rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack for power, and comes an AC-adapter for in-camera charging via the USB port. The CIPA-rated 210 shots per charge when using the 12-32mm kit lens is well below average for a mirrorless camera, thanks to its small size. We strongly recommend getting a second battery for your GX850.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on a fully-charged rechargeable battery), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

 



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