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2017.01.04

At CES 2017 today, everyone expected Panasonic to unveil the Lumix GH5 and announce a new Leica DC 12-60mm F/2.8-4 lens. They also updated 4 more lenses with a new weatherproof construction and improved stabilization.

The surprise this morning though is the introduction of a new and very tiny Micro Four-Thirds mirrorless, the Panasonic Lumix GX850. This consolidates the naming of most Panasonic mirrorless under the GX branding with, presumably, a 3-digit series starting at the GX850, sitting below the larger GX85 added last year.

Panasonic Lumix GX850

The new Panasonic Lumix GX850 is positively tiny, measuring only 34mm (1.3″) thick and being barely taller than the lens mount. It is reminiscent of the GM-series which impressed with its performance-to-size ratio, competing with premium compacts while providing the versatility of interchangeable lenses. The GX850 offers the same proposition, only with an upgraded imaging sensor and processor.

A 16 megapixels Four-Thirds sensor without anti-alias filter promises to deliver extremely detailed images from a mirrorless camera which is barely larger than an ultra-compact. A fast processor in the GX850 allows it to capture 4K Ultra-HD video at 30 FPS and shoot continuously at 10 FPS when using an electronic shutter and 5.8 FPS with the mechanical one. Its shutter-speed range is an impressive 1/16000s-60s but there is no Bulb mode in this digital camera.

Ergonomics are at a premium in a form-factor this small, so the GX850 only has a single thin control-dial low on the back of the body, no grip and no viewfinder, nor any provision to add one.

The Panasonic Lumix GX850 is expected to be available within one month for a suggested retail price of $549 USD. Adorama and B&H Photo are already accepting pre-orders.

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