Andy Westlake examines the Panasonic Lumix GX80 mid-range compact system camera
In use the GX80 is generally well behaved and produces attractive images.
Its colour rendition is typically Panasonic, being accurate and attractive, if a little subdued compared to some its rivals. Auto white balance tends to give neutral results, occasionally erring to the cool side.
Overall though the camera’s JPEGs are perfectly useable, and there’s always the option of taking advantage of the in-camera raw development to tweak the results.
Metering is generally accurate, giving well-judged exposures much of time. Unfortunately though it does have a certain tendency towards underexposure in dull conditions, requiring positive exposure compensation to give good results. However, the camera’s live histogram helps with judging when this is necessary.
Image quality is very good at low ISOs, with easily sufficient detail for a nice A3 (16” x 12”) print. But it gradually deteriorates as you increase the ISO, and by ISO 1600 there’s a noticeable loss of detail.
I’d still use up to ISO 6400 for non-critical purposes – online sharing and small prints – but would steer clear of the highest settings. Don’t forget though that the effective image stabilisation means these are relatively rarely needed anyway.
The GX80’s kit lens is a plastic mount version of Panasonic’s tiny 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS zoom. It offers impressive image quality for its tiny size, although it’s somewhat somewhat weak at the 24mm-equivalent wideangle setting. The 64mm-equivalent tele end is also a little limiting. But the key advantage is that it makes the overall package very portable indeed.