Panasonic G85 Image Quality Comparison

Below are crops from our laboratory Still Life target comparing Panasonic G85's image quality to that of its predecessor's, the G7, as well as against several more recent mirrorless models at similar price points or in similar categories: the Panasonic GX85, Canon EOS M5, Olympus E-M5 II and Sony A6300.

NOTE: These images are from best quality JPEGs straight out of the camera, at default settings including noise reduction and using the camera's actual base ISO (not extended ISO settings). All interchangeable lens cameras in this comparison were shot with our very sharp reference lenses. Clicking any crop will take you to a carrier page where you can click once again to access the full resolution image as delivered straight from the camera. For those interested in working with the RAW files involved, click these links to visit each camera's respective sample image thumbnail page: Panasonic G85, Panasonic G7, Panasonic GX85, Canon M5, Olympus E-M5 II and Sony A6300 -- links to the RAW files appear beneath those for the JPEG images, wherever we have them. And remember, you can always go to our world-renowned Comparometer to compare the Panasonic G85 to any camera we've ever tested!

Panasonic G85 vs Panasonic G7 at Base ISO

Panasonic G85 at ISO 200
Panasonic G7 at ISO 200

Here we compare the Panasonic G85 to its predecessor, the G7, at base ISO. While resolution has not changed, it's immediately apparent the G85 delivers a sharper, crisper image with slightly better detail, thanks to the lack of an optical low-pass filter which the G7 has, though it does appear that the G85 is also applying slightly stronger default sharpening. The G7 however shows fewer aliasing artifacts whereas moiré and jaggies can be more easily seen from the G85. Noise levels are quite similar, while colors are perhaps slightly more pleasing from the G85.

Panasonic G85 vs Panasonic GX85 at Base ISO

Panasonic G85 at ISO 200
Panasonic GX85 at ISO 200

Very similar image quality from these two siblings, which is no surprise since they probably use the same or very similar sensors and processors, though we do see some slight differences in color favoring the G85.

Panasonic G85 vs Canon EOS M5 at Base ISO

Panasonic G85 at ISO 200
Canon EOS M5 at ISO 100

The 24-megapixel APS-C Canon M5 captures more detail than the 16-megapixel Panasonic G85, but not by as much as you'd expect from the pixel counts. This is because the Canon has an optical low-pass filter (though a fairly weak one) which slightly blurs the image to reduce aliasing artifacts, as well as the difference in aspect ratios between the two formats (3:2 for the Canon vs 4:3 for the Panasonic.) The Panasonic image appears a little crisper but the Canon image has lower noise levels, however keep in mind the Canon has a lower base ISO. Interestingly, the M5 smears our difficult red-leaf swatch a bit more than the G85 thanks to more aggressive chroma noise reduction, however it's the Canon that ironically shows some subtle moiré patterns in said fabric.

Panasonic G85 vs Olympus E-M5 II at Base ISO

Panasonic G85 at ISO 200
Olympus E-M5 II at ISO 200

Like the G85, the 16-megapixel Olympus E-M5 II also does not have an OLPF to maximize sharpness at the risk of higher aliasing artifacts. Here at base ISO we see both cameras offer very similar resolving power, but the E-M5 II's default processing is a bit more aggressive, with stronger sharpening, higher contrast and brighter, more pleasant colors, giving the Olympus image more "pop". The E-M5 II's noise reduction also appears to be slightly stronger, producing slightly lower noise but at the cost of reduced detail in some areas, such as in our tricky red-leaf swatch.

Panasonic G85 vs Sony A6300 at Base ISO

Panasonic G85 at ISO 200
Sony A6300 at ISO 100

The 24-megapixel Sony A6300 with its APS-C sized sensor out-resolves the 16-megapixel Four Thirds sensor of the G85, while producing a crisper image with few sharpening artifacts thanks to a very weak (or no) optical low-pass filter combined with Sony's more advanced JPEG processing. Moiré patterns are however visible in the red-leaf fabric from the Sony, and colors are actually more pleasing from the Panasonic.

Panasonic G85 vs Panasonic G7 at ISO 1600

Panasonic G85 at ISO 1600
Panasonic G7 at ISO 1600

The Panasonic G85's OLPF-less sensor continues to pay dividends here at ISO 1600, producing a slightly sharper image than its predecessor though again some of the improvement is due to revised processing. Minor aliasing artifacts continue to be more evident from the G85, though, and both begin to show some unwanted artifacts from area-specific noise reduction resulting in some slightly rough, noisy edges.

Panasonic G85 vs Panasonic GX85 at ISO 1600

Panasonic G85 at ISO 1600
Panasonic GX85 at ISO 1600

Again, very little difference in image quality between these two siblings at ISO 1600.

Panasonic G85 vs Canon EOS M5 at ISO 1600

Panasonic G85 at ISO 1600
Canon EOS M5 at ISO 1600

At ISO 1600, the G85 continues to produce a sharper image with almost as much detail as the M5. The Canon's default noise reduction leaves behind quite a bit of luma noise making its image more grainy than the G85's in flatter areas, though the "grain" pattern appears more film-like with less chroma noise than that of the G85, however the G85 hangs on to a bit more detail in the mosaic bottle label. Both cameras struggle with subtle detail in our difficult red-leaf fabric.

Panasonic G85 vs Olympus E-M5 II at ISO 1600

Panasonic G85 at ISO 1600
Olympus E-M5 II at ISO 1600

The E-M5 II's more aggressive anti-noise processing produces a slightly cleaner image than the G85 here at ISO 1600, but that takes a toll on fine detail which is already smudged enough in some parts of the image to take on a slight painterly effect. The G85's image is grainier, but holds on to more fine detail with greater fidelity. Color and contrast are still better from the Olympus, though.

Panasonic G85 vs Sony A6300 at ISO 1600

Panasonic G85 at ISO 1600
Sony A6300 at ISO 1600

The Sony A6300 is still able to resolve more detail and produce better contrast at ISO 1600 than the Panasonic G85, however it shows a stronger and coarser noise "grain" in flatter areas. The A6300 also does a better in the red-leaf swatch, but much of the detail is distorted and false instead of just blurred, and the moiré patterns we saw at base ISO are still visible.

Panasonic G85 vs Panasonic G7 at ISO 3200

Panasonic G85 at ISO 3200
Panasonic G7 at ISO 3200

Here at ISO 3200, the G85 still manages to produce a slightly crisper more contrasty image than the G7, with comparable noise levels. Slight differences in aliasing and color rendition remain.

Panasonic G85 vs Panasonic GX85 at ISO 3200

Panasonic G85 at ISO 3200
Panasonic GX85 at ISO 3200

Once again, very similar image quality from these two stable mates here at ISO 3200, with random noise making one look slightly better than the other in some areas, and vice versa. Both have blurred away almost all fine detail in our tricky red-leaf swatch.

Panasonic G85 vs Canon EOS M5 at ISO 3200

Panasonic G85 at ISO 3200
Canon EOS M5 at ISO 3200

The Panasonic G85 does surprisingly well here against the Canon M5 at ISO 3200. It manages similar levels of detail while producing both a crisper and cleaner looking image. The Canon continues to produce more pleasing colors though, and it does a bit better in our troublesome red-leaf fabric, though it's still heavily blurred.

Panasonic G85 vs Olympus E-M5 II at ISO 3200

Panasonic G85 at ISO 3200
Olympus E-M5 II at ISO 3200

Similar to what we saw at ISO 1600, the Panasonic G85 actually holds on to more detail in the mosaic label with less smudging, while leaving behind only slightly higher noise levels in flatter areas. Panasonic's area-specific noise reduction does however leave more noticeable artifacts along some edges, and it noise "grain" looks a bit less natural than the E-M5 II's, with a somewhat rectilinear look to it. Color and contrast continue to be better from the Olympus, however sharpening halos are also more visible from the E-M5 II.

Panasonic G85 vs Sony A6300 at ISO 3200

Panasonic G85 at ISO 3200
Sony A6300 at ISO 3200

The Sony A6300 continues to out-resolve the G85 here at ISO 3200, while producing a crisper, contrastier image with better detail in most areas, however noise is again more visible and coarser in flatter areas. Again, the Sony does a bit better in the red-leaf fabric, but detail is heavily distorted. The Panasonic continues to produce better, more accurate colors overall.

Panasonic G85 vs. Panasonic G7, Panasonic GX85, Canon EOS M5, Olympus E-M5 II, Sony A6300

Panasonic
G85
ISO 200
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Panasonic
G7
ISO 200
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Panasonic
GX85
ISO 200
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Canon
EOS M5
ISO 100
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Olympus
E-M5 II
ISO 200
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Sony
A6300
ISO 100
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Detail comparison. High-contrast detail is also important, pushing the camera in different ways, so we like to look at it, too. Here, the Panasonic G85 performed slightly better than its predecessor in terms of fine detail and contrast, particularly at higher ISOs. Compared to its less expensive sibling, the GX85, performance here is pretty much identical. The Canon EOS M5 did well at base ISO with better detail and contrast, however its rendering isn't as crisp, becoming softer than all others as ISO rises. The Olympus E-M5 II produced noticeably higher contrast, though detail suffered a bit more than the others at ISO 6400 and sharpening halos were the most visible. The Sony A6300 easily out-performed this group in terms of detail, and contrast was very good as well if not quite as high as the E-M5 II's. The Sony also produced the least visible sharpening halos of the bunch.

 

Panasonic G85 Print Quality Analysis

Terrific 24 x 36 inch prints at ISO 100/200; A good 13 x 19 inch print at ISO 1600 and a good 4 x 6 at ISO 12,800.

ISO 100 and 200 prints are terrific at 24 x 36 inches, with excellent color reproduction and crisp fine detail throughout. Larger prints are certainly possible for wall display purposes, depending on your intended viewing distance.

ISO 400 prints are also very good at 24 x 36 inches. These display virtually no trace of noise from ISO gain, and only the slightest drop in overall sharpness from base ISO prints. For critically sharp prints here, the 20 x 30 inch images are excellent.

ISO 800 yields a 16 x 20 inch print that's really pretty good for this sensitivity, and fairly large at that. There's a mild softening in the red channel and a trace of noise in flatter areas, quite typical for this sensor size at this ISO, but still a very good print overall.

ISO 1600 delivers a 13 x 19 inch print that most definitely passes our good seal of approval, with very good color reproduction and a respectable amount of fine detail remaining. Anything larger shows signs of noise reduction strain, but the 16 x 20 inch prints will likely pass for less critical applications.

ISO 3200 makes a decent attempt to produce a "good" 11 x 14 inch print, but there's just a bit too much noise and a bit too little in the way of contrast and fine detail remaining. The 8 x 10 inch prints here do pass our good seal of approval, with good color reproduction as well.

ISO 6400 prints are good at 5 x 7 inches, with noise well-controlled at that size, but the 8 x 10 inch prints are just a bit too soft and noisy to warrant our good seal.

ISO 12,800 images at 4 x 6 inches just barely pass our good grade. They are a tad on the muted side and there is a bit less contrast detail, but we can still give them a good seal at this small print size.

ISO 25,600 images are not usable for prints and this setting is not recommended.

The Panasonic G85 delivers a solid performance for print quality, and can be counted on to produce quality prints up to ISO 3200. After this the sensor size begins to show its limitations, so we recommend setting the limit at ISO 3200 and below for any printing needs of 8 x 10 or larger. Given its reasonable price point this is an impressive performance in print quality.

 



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