Panasonic steady at the helm, says firmware fix incoming for G85 image stabilization issue
posted Monday, November 14, 2016 at 10:40 AM EDT
Update on November 16: Panasonic has issued firmware version 1.1 for the Panasonic DMC-G80/G81/G85 camera. You can download it here. Per Panasonic, firmware 1.1 has achieved the following: "Improved image stabilizer performance during the motion picture recording."
The Panasonic G85 is a very exciting new camera from Panasonic. One of its big new features is the addition of Dual I.S. 2 image stabilization technology. However, when recording video using Dual I.S. 2, there are potential issues which may arise that reduce the smoothness of video recording, particularly during panning movements. We caught wind of the issue and were able to replicate it during testing, which you can see in the videos below. We promptly reached out to Panasonic and we have heard back from their factory. Good news, the issue will be fixed shortly!
The official statement from Panasonic is: "Less than a week ago, Panasonic became aware of some reports that the G85's image stabilization wasn't delivering the same level of smooth performance that the GX85 does while slow panning in video mode. Panasonic is working to solve the issue with a firmware update as soon as we can. Panasonic appreciates all the valuable feedback and always focuses on meeting or exceeding our customers' expectations."
Further, our Panasonic contact has told us that the firmware upgrade designed to eliminate the panning issue can be expected to arrive next week.
Dual I.S. 2 proved to work very well during still image capture, so it was notable when it created issues during video recording. However, Panasonic is handling the issue and we look forward to seeing if the imminent firmware update solves the problem. Additionally, based on our testing, the issue doesn't seem to affect non Dual I.S. 2-compatible lenses. While you wait for the fix, using a non-Dual I.S. 2 lens is one possible workaround, as is turning image stabilization off (although that is not ideal when working at longer focal lengths).
In the 4K videos below, take note of the difference in smoothness when panning between the "IS OFF" and "IS ON" video samples.