Panasonic G85 Performance


Timing and Performance

Excellent performance for a mirrorless ILC.

Startup/Play to Record

Power on
to first shot

~0.8 second

Time it takes to turn on and capture a shot.

Play to Record,
first shot

~0.8 second

Time until first shot is captured.

Startup time was faster-than-average for a mirrorless camera, and switching from Play to Record and taking a shot was also fast.


Shutter Response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus,
Single-area AF mode

0.197 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

0.416 second

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

Manual Focus

0.046 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

0.046 second

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

The Panasonic G85's autofocus speed was very good our tests, especially for a camera that uses contrast-detect AF only. The G85 produced full-autofocus shutter lag (with the subject at a fixed distance) of 0.197 second using 1-area (center) AF. That's quite good for a mirrorless camera and competitive with most prosumer DSLRs. Enabling the flash increased lag to 0.416 second to account for pre-flash metering, though that's still pretty fast.

When manually focused, the G85's lag time dropped to 0.046 second, which is very good. The G85's prefocused shutter lag time was also 0.046 second, which is pretty fast though not as fast as some mirrorless cameras.

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

< 0.3 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

< 0.3 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

0.11 second
(9.35 fps);
Unlimited (?) frames;
1 second to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of over 200 frames with no signs of slowing.

Continuous H
RAW

0.14 second
(7.33 fps);
62 frames total;
13 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 62 frames, then slows to an average of 0.38s or 2.65 fps with a lot of variation.

Continuous H
RAW + L/F JPEG

0.14 seconds
(7.32 fps);
46 frames total;
23 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 46 frames, then slows to an average of about 0.55s or 1.83 fps with a lot of variation.

Continuous H
Electronic Shutter
Large Fine JPEG

0.11 second
(9.39 fps);
Unlimited (?) frames;
1 second to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of over 200 frames with no signs of slowing.

Continuous H
Electronic Shutter RAW

0.10 second
(9.63 fps);
50 frames total;
13 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 50 frames, then slows to an average of 0.47s or 2.12 fps with a lot of variation.

Continuous H
Electronic Shutter
RAW + L/F JPEG

0.11 second
(9.39 fps);
41 frames total;
22 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 41 frames, then slows to an average of about 0.46s or 2.16 fps with a lot of variation.

Super HS mode
4-megapixel JPEG

0.03 second
(40.0 fps);
120 frames total;
6 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over max buffer size of 120 shots.

Flash Recycling

2.5 seconds

Built-in flash.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a 64GB Lexar Pro 2000x UHS-II SDXC 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 under 0.3 seconds for JPEG or RAW+JPEG, which is very fast. (Note that we no longer test single-shot mode with just RAW files, as the results are usually somewhere in between JPEG and RAW+JPEG.)

Continuous High Speed "H" mode burst speed with the mechanical shutter was quite good for its class, measured at 9.4 frames per second for best quality JPEGs, slightly exceeding Panasonic's 9 fps spec. When shooting RAW or RAW+JPEG files, the frame rate did drop to 7.3 fps, but that's still not bad. Note that these burst rates are with single-shot AF mode (AFS). Panasonic claims up to 6 fps with continuous autofocus (AFC). The G85 also offers Middle Speed (rated at about 6 fps) and Low Speed (rated at 2 fps) modes, however we did not test those modes in the lab.

The G85 has an all-electronic shutter mode which Panasonic says boosts the full-resolution frame rate to 10 fps with AFS, and in the lab the camera managed just under that, between 9.4 and 9.6 frames per second depending on the file type. Interestingly, there was no drop in speed when shooting RAW or RAW+JPEG like we saw with the mechanical shutter.

A Super High Speed mode which uses the all-electronic shutter captures Small JPEGs (4 megapixels at 4:3) at 40 frames per second for up to 120 frames.

Full-resolution buffer depth was essentially limited only by card capacity when shooting Large/Fine JPEGs (we tested just past 200 frames with no signs of slowing). When shooting RAW files with the mechanical shutter, buffer depth was 62 frames, and 46 frames when shooting RAW+JPEG files, which is quite generous. Buffer depths dropped slightly to 50 and 41 frames respectively with the faster electronic shutter mode, though that still quite generous.

Buffer clearing was very quick when shooting best quality JPEGs with a very fast Lexar Pro 2000x UHS-II card, taking only one second after about 200 frames, but clearing times were longer when shooting RAW files, ranging from 13 seconds after a max-length burst of RAW frames to 22 or 23 seconds after a burst of RAW+JPEG frames. You can however take additional photos and adjust settings while the buffer is clearing, however you can't review just-shot pictures until after they've been written to the card.

Flash recycling after full-power discharges took an average of 2.5 seconds.

Bottom line, the Panasonic G85's performance is excellent for its class. Startup and mode switching are both fast, while autofocus speed and shutter lag are very good. Burst performance is very good, buffer depths are excellent, and buffer clearing is reasonably fast considering the deep buffers when using a fast UHS-II SD card.

Battery Life

Below average battery life.

Operating Mode Battery Life
Still Capture, CIPA standard
(Monitor with H-FS12060 kit lens)
330 shots
Still Capture, CIPA standard
(EVF with H-FS12060 kit lens)
320 shots

The Panasonic G85 uses a custom rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack for power, and comes with a single battery and a dedicated battery charger (in-camera charging is not supported). The CIPA-rated 330 shots per charge when using the monitor and 320 shots with the EVF are a bit below average for a mirrorless ILC, and much lower than a typical DSLR when using an optical viewfinder. We strongly recommend getting a second battery for your G85 if you plan any extended outings.

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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