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I can’t believe the Panasonic GX80 is still going... but it's still competitive even now

(Image credit: Panasonic)

Called the Panasonic GX85 in the US, the Panasonic Lumix GX80 is a real survivor that suggest that some of the best ideas in camera manufacture have already been had.

The Lumix GX80 is pretty unspectacular in current camera terms. It’s a super-compact Micro Four Thirds mirrorless camera launched way back in 2016 with a pretty modest 16MP sensor, but can capture 4K video, has Panasonic’s clever 8MP 4K photo modes and even packs in an electronic viewfinder.

If you’re fixated on megapixels then you’re unlikely to be impressed, but it’s worth pointing out that the sensor has no anti-aliasing filter, so the images are going to look that little bit sharper. 

It’s also worth pointing out that in our post-print world, most of us share images on social media via digital displays, where 16 megapixels is overkill. And if you do want a wall-sized print, the GX80’s images will give you a 15-inch-wide print at a standard 300dpi and will still look sharp at sizes bigger than that.

The Lumix GX80 is usually sold with a 12-32mm ‘pancake’ kit lens which is as compact and portable as the camera itself. In the US, the camera is called the GX85 and is generally sold as a twin-lens kit with the 12-32mm lens and a 45-150mm telephoto lens, which is equivalent to a 90-300mm telephoto in full frame terms, but a fraction of the size and weight. 

It’s interesting that Panasonic is following Sony’s route and keeping older models on sale to tempt beginners into their camera systems. In fact, many of the best cameras for beginners are discounted older models. In fact, we'd also put the GX80 forward as one of the best cameras for travel.

It’s a bit worrying that no-one seems to be making new beginner cameras any more, but as long as affordable bargains like the GX80 are still around, then maybe we should worry after all.

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Rod is the Group Reviews editor for Digital Camera World and across Future's entire photography portfolio, with decades of experience with cameras of all kinds. Previously he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more.