Panasonic Reveals New Cameras and Lenses at CES 2017

January 4, 2017

By Greg Scoblete

While the GH5 is headlining Panasonic’s CES 2017 performance, there were a few opening acts to check out including two new cameras and several new lenses.

Lumix GX850

If you harbored hopes that 2017 would spell the death knell of selfies, think again. The new LUMIX GX850 has been optimized for self portraits. But before we dive into that, the basics. The GX850 is a Micro Four Thirds model with a 16-megapixel Live MOS sensor with no low-pass filter and a top ISO of 25,600. It’s capable of recording 4K video (3840 x 2160) at 30p and supports Panasonic’s 4K photo, Post Focus and Focus Stacking features.

It has a 3-inch flip up screen that automatically enters Self Shot mode when the screen is popped up above the top of the camera. When set to Shelf shot, the camera’s exposure is optimized for selfies. There’s a new Background Control mode which lets you choose how blurry you want your background. A Face Shutter function triggers the shutter remotely when you wave a hand over your face. There’s also a Buddy Shutter, which activates the camera’s shutter when it detects a pair of faces close together in the frame.

The Contrast AF System features DFD (Depth From Defocus) can auto focus on a subject in roughly 0.07 sec., Panasonic claims.  Additional features include:

  • Time Lapse Shot
  • Wi-Fi
  • Snap Movie, which records short clips with effects such as rack focusing and fade ins.
  • 22 filter effects

The GX850 will be available for $550 in early February.

Lumix FZ80

The FZ80 boasts a 20-1200mm (35mm equivalent) zoom lens with optical image stabilization and an 18-megapixel MOS sensor. It also employs Panasonic’s DFD tech to achieve AF times as short as 0.09 sec. This speedy compact can hit 10 fps in continuous shooting with focus locked on the first frame or up to 6 fps with continuous AF engaged. The 3-inch touch screen supports both touch focusing and shutter release.

Additional features of the FZ80 include:

  • 4K video recording in 3840×2160 resolution at 30p
  • full HD video recording at up to 60p
  • 4K Photo, Post Focus and Focus Stacking
  • 4K Live Cropping to derive a full HD video from a crop of a 4K file in-camera – a feature that enables effects like panning or zooming in a video without having to physically move the camera.
  • .2-inch EVF
  • high-speed video recording at 120 fps
  • time-lapse and stop-motion modes
  • Wi-Fi
  • a hot-shoe

The camera ships in March for $400.

New Glass

Panasonic also announced a new lens and a refresh of several older lenses. The first new lens is the Leica DG VARIO-ELMARIT 12-60mm / F2.8-4.0 ASPH. It offers a 9-blade aperture, is weather-sealed and features Nano Surface coating to reduce flare and ghosting. The lens will support Dual Image Stabilization on select Lumix cameras that also incorporate that technology. In Dual IS, the lens’ own optical stabilizer combines with an in-camera sensor to improve shake reduction.

The 12-60mm also incorporates a new micro-step motor of aperture control, which Panasonic says will make exposure transitions much smoother.

Pricing and availability of the 12-60mm were not announced.

Panasonic plans to add other lenses to the Leica DG VARIO-ELMARIT F2.8-4.0 series, including an 8-18mm wide zoom lens and a 50-200mm telephoto zoom, though there’s no word yet on when we can expect them.

Older Panasonic lenses are also being released to support Dual IS and the micro-step motor for exposure changes. The refresh will also improve the AF performance of the lenses. Two models, the 45-200mm and 100-300mm will gain the added benefit of weather sealing.

The LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm /F2.8 II ASPH  (model H-HSA12035) ships in March for $1,000.

The LUMIX G X VARIO 35-100mm /F2.8 II (model H-HSA35100) is also due in March for $1,100.

The LUMIX G VARIO 45-200mm/F4.0-5.6 II  (model H-FSA45200) arrives in February for $450.

Finally, the LUMIX G VARIO 100-300mm/ F4.0-5.6 II (model H-FSA100300) also shows up in February for $650.