Best Panasonic Cameras Reviewed & Rated for Quality
The 100-year old Japanese camera company (formerly known as Matsushita Electric) do many things outside of consumer cameras, but unless you’re shopping for avionics, that much be too much to get in to here.
We’re going to show you the ten best Panasonic Cameras on the market right now.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
There may be no other industry or marketplace on earth in which use and use cases are so apparent and important as the camera or imaging hardware is, and there are many reasons why. Although there are tons of different types of cameras, and near endless applications for said cameras, there will come a time where the right gear will make or break your outcome, and that is the most important thing in the world when it comes to be a smart, and educated consumer.
Use, as it pertains to the camera market, is almost always dictated by two factors. The first, is the type of work one will be doing with it. Unfortunately, there’s no beating around the bush when it comes to general industry standards. If you’re not an intricate artist and provocateur when it comes to your photographs, then the industry wants -- no, demands -- perfect and clear high-quality images that look like real life. So, depending on the seriousness of your work, you’re going to have to aim for the best of the best. Things more personal, or more “rough” can dip below the top-tier as far as smoothness, and size of sensor.
Other uses include the type of physical work it takes to get the shots you seek. If you’re a studio photographer, well, then, you’re going to have a fine time getting things that are large in size. While those who focus on the street photography of the world, then you’re going to want to get something of the mirrorless or point-and-shoot variety, for size, weight, and overall long-term comfort.
Then there’s the question of which lens, out of the thousands available across all sorts of disciplines, to get, and there’s not enough time, or space in this guide to get into that conversation here and now. Just keep in mind that know exactly what you want to use your camera for, and how you need it to fit into your life and your work, will matter above all things when it comes down to your satisfaction with your purchase.
We’ve mentioned it many times in all of our camera or lens guides in the past, but one of the most important things in the world whilst shopping for cameras or camera gear is that you do everything in your powers to not make your existing gear void (if you can), and this is a bit more of a study trap, than a real problem, because there are many options out there that will keep you safe, while other options will make your current stuff useless in combination with the new. All you have to do it dig a little bit deeper into the new stuff, and what it is compatible with.
When it comes to picking out the right Panasonic camera, you’re going to want to pay close attention to any and all Panasonic equipment you’ve got right now -- if you have any, that is. Ensuring that your current gear uses the same lens mount, for instance, will save any or all of your lenses from becoming obsolete when you upgrade your body, and as glass can often be the most expensive part of this imaging load-out equation, it’s probably something line-ups to pay close attention to.
Some of the Lumix line-up shares a strong lineage and doesn’t deviate too far from one another in terms of design and parts, so you can tread a little bit more safely, but we suggest you don’t go around and blindly pick things up unless you either don’t care about your old Panasonic (or Lumix) gear, or you don’t have any when you set out on this shopping journey.
Ensuring your soon-to-be camera works with your already-owned equipment (all the way down to mounts, memory cards, and charging equipment) can save a real huge headache somewhere down the line.
The universe of technology is a difficult thing to adapt to. Unless it’s your job (hi, hello, welcome to my nightmare), then you’re probably going to lose the pulse of the industry and market pretty often, because it doesn’t slow down, and it will quickly bowl you over if you’re standing still and trying to play the “grasp-me” game. This makes the industry as a whole one that is quickly chalked up to the quintessential consumer plague of “if it’s not the newest thing, it’s not worth my time or my money” and that can be an often laughable offense.
In most technological industries -- the ones that move very quickly -- the speed of release is large, but the pace of iteration isn’t a grand or majorly dizzying one. Sure, there are moments of time where everything shifts in drastic amounts, and folks have to relearn and adapt to a market that has moved awfully fast. But, this is an edge-case scenario, and the norm is that this year’s version has only really changed one or two things from last year’s, making the previous iteration still very much worthy of your attention. Added to that, the bonus of getting that “outdated tech” discount which seems to be designed to simply drown products into obscurity faster than the consumer markets can snatch them up.
We say all of this because cameras are one of those industries. We purposefully list the newest and older versions of the same camera family often, and this is because the older one is still a great piece of tech, and if you can spare the time to consider the differences, you might (we stress MIGHT) find that you don’t actually need the newest and shiniest versions of things.
This is all up to you, we just want to ensure that the value of a product isn’t placed on the same “best before date” that the industry’s movers and shakers attempt to put on it.
10 Best Panasonic Cameras
1. LUMIX G9
One of the major things that this brand has really made a name for themselves doing is their abundant focus on making high-quality video recording capabilities a real and tangible thing in most of their top-tier digital cameras. With that, they’ve grown a reputation among hand-held cinematographers, and vloggers of all kinds, thanks to this trust, and a bit of a lack of importance placed in this realm by the other major manufacturers. And there aren’t many cameras on the market better at this than the Lumix G9
In the coming guide, for the next … however long it takes you to read this whole list … you’re going to hear the name Lumix a bunch of times, and that’s because the Lumix line-up of cameras is Panasonic’s bread and butter these days. These cameras come with a huge history of quality and have become favorites among those that seek insanely great quality video capture in cameras that cost quite a bit less than mainline brands. Lumix is a name you can trust to bring quality and high-resolution video to the table, and that reputation matters.
4K at 60 FPS
It’s still today, pretty difficult to come across a mainline camera that is capable of producing 4k video capture, at 60 frames-per-second, all while costing less than multiple thousands of dollars. It seems like we live in a world where the big three names are a little slow in offering the video capture necessities that some of the market really demands from their expensive camera equipment.
Cost and Value
At just barely over the four-digit price mark, it’s pretty crazy if you sit back and consider what this camera offers. It’s not the newest Lumix G series, but it sure is a pleasant one and one that has a whole ton of camera. There’s a real good reason why filmmakers of all size hold the Lumix series close to their hearts, and it comes down to just having a huge value proposition.
2. LUMIX GH5 4K
Some of you out there -- especially you Lumix fans -- might write in to us and complain that we put the GH5 into the number two slot, rather than in the throne position, but we assure you we had good reasons. As for total value, we think the G9 is slightly better than the GH5, regardless of the GH5’s popularity.
Yup, that’s right. The Lumix GH5 is (or was?) the world’s first smooth 4K video capturing DSLR with up to 60 frames per second frame rates. It’s the biggest reason as to why there are so many Lumix GH5s out there in homes and in gig bags, because it’s an astounding video capture device and is almost flawless for those looking to make great high-resolution videos on a very small budget (in comparison to full film digital cameras).
6K Photo Mode
Out of the giant mountain of reasons as to why the Lumix line-up is stellar and why they have a huge fanbase, we often single out the video recording capabilities. This doesn’t mean, however, that there is no juice in the stills imaging software though, and Panasonic is looking to prove that with their GH5. With a 6K capture and 30fps burst shot imaging mode, photographers can pick apart the perfect motion for that one flawless shot.
Cost and Value
Slightly more than the previously mentioned G9, the GH5 is the bigger and newer sibling in this family. It can do far more in both video and images in terms of software and modes go, but in essence, it’s a lot of the same camera in the end. It’s a close fight for the throne, but given the near 50% discount you get with the G9 over the GH5, is fell just shy of the top spot.
3. LUMIX FZ80 4K
A whole bunch of people just punched their computer screens after seeing us rate what is essentially a fancy point-and-shoot camera in our number three slot on any camera brands list, but here we are, and we’re going to stand by our choice. It’s shocking, we understand that, but let us tell you why we think that Lumix FZ80 is one of the best cameras they offer. It’s the Amazon Best Seller for a reason.
Two of the best things about this astounding Lumix point-and-shoot camera is that it can record video in 4k at 30 frames-per-second -- which is an absolutely shocking feat for a point-and-shoot camera, even at this stage of the twenty-first century -- and it also has a very long zoom lens built-in to the body. At a staggering 20-1220mm digital zoom, this is one of the craziest, and versatile zoom lenses ever made, especially in a point-and-shoot category.
Indie Movie Budget
There are a dozen cameras -- and that’s just staying within the Panasonic and Lumix line-ups -- that are better in spec at recording video, thanks to their adoration and attention spent on that feature, but almost all of them are “real camera” prices, and that’s where this 4K 30fps powerhouse stands out. At only a few hundred dollars, the Panasonic Lumix FZ80 Digital Camera might be the best budget 4K video machine on earth.
Cost and Value
We can’t stress enough just how fantastic this product is, and it’s ranked amongst the cheapest, but most powerful video capturing digital cameras on this list. Panasonic is doing crazy things with their easy to use Lumix point-and-shoot cameras, and here is the living proof. It’s practically a budget camera in price, yet comes with one of the wildest digital zooms on earth, and the ability to record 4K video at 30 frames-per-second, that’s crazy amounts of value.
4. LUMIX GX85 4K
On the surface, a lot of folks would write off the Lumix GX85 as a small, mirrorless, and overall unimposing camera, but if you consider all of the things it can do, matched with the extremely low price it’s listed as, the GX85 might have the greatest value of any product on the market, let alone in Panasonic’s line-up, and even this very list. It’s quite crazy just how good this little mirrorless camera actually is, and it could be yours for a very small amount of money.
4K at 30FPS
Generally, we wouldn’t look at a mirrorless camera like the Lumix GX85 and think that it’s a good option for recording 4K video, but as products like the camera we just finished talking about has shown us, Panasonic has a habit of making powerful little beasts, and the GX85 doesn’t shy away from that trend. This small, almost pocketable mirrorless camera can record 4K video at 30 frames-per-second which is better than a whole slough of giant big budget DSLRs.
“Big Boy” cameras are great, for so many reasons, but they do have one major disadvantage working against them and that one thing is their size. It takes a lot of strength and effort to carry about a large DSLR for long periods of time, and it has brought upon the world a new wave of powerful mirrorless cameras because they are smaller by design. The Panasonic GX85 is precisely that kind of beautiful frame, giving you tons of power and versatility without the gigantic body.
Cost and Value
Listed at a pretty big current discount, you’re looking at getting one of the best Panasonic cameras, in the Lumix GX85, one of the best 4K cameras, and one of the best mirrorless cameras all in the same box, creating a whole lot of crazed adoration in any house. This is a huge value package, and there are multiple different bundles to option through at that. Ones with extra lenses, or charges, and more.
5. LUMIX G7 4K
You might think that at this point, the entire Lumix line-up is absolutely smothered in amazingly classy, capable, and shockingly powerful mirrorless cameras. For the most part, that would be a bit of an overstatement. But that doesn’t mean that the idea of their mirrorless prowess is technically wrong, which is an amazing thing if you’re looking for something that is equally as capable as it is easy to hold and carry about.
Subject Tracking Auto-Focus
Auto-Focus is always a very important key feature to pay attention to when you’re vetting cameras, but in the twenty-first century, there are so many advancements, that you’re probably going to get a really great Auto-Focus on any camera. The Lumix G7 has the added feature of having an astounding subject tracking auto-focus that almost never lets you down, and this is amazingly handy to have when you’re shooting specific, and moving subjects.
There’s no real reason why you’d be surprised to find out that the Lumix G7 is a 4K video capture god -- what with the continued addition of this mode into almost all of their cameras -- but what is even more delightful is that there is more than one way this camera uses its 4K capabilities. The best of them are in their 4K Photo mode, allowing users to pause 4K clips at any frame and save them as photographs.
Cost and Value
Once again we’re looking at an absolutely astounding Panasonic made camera with so much put into it, it’s capable of doing so many things, and yet we’re only talking about having to pay a handful of hundreds for it? In the world of digital cameras, this is definitely in the “budget” zone for prices, and there is mistaking its sheer prowess in that department.
6. LUMIX S1R
Even though you’d be hard press to find actual customer reviews for the Lumix S1R, you’ve got to realize that such a thing is only a reality because it’s pretty darn expensive, and that means that the majority of folks that purchase one will not take much time to review them. We’re not sure why this is how it always works out, but it’s true. The more expensive the product, the fewer reviews there are out there. The Lumix S1R is probably the most premium camera this brand has ever and will ever make.
We’ve been checking in with all of the things that make Panasonic (and by lineage, Lumix) cameras absolutely stellar products, and the S1R just tops out all of the cakes in their entire line-up. Most of the brand's bloodline is comprised of cropped camera sensors, in both their DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. The S1R is Panasonic’s biggest and best sensor, with a full-frame 47.3 Megapixel MOS sensor with a 25600 light sensitivity.
Lumix S Lens
There is a whole huge line-up of really great cameras in this family, and while we continue to gush over how fantastic this particular one is, one of the best parts about it comes with the ditching of what is often considered Panasonic’s worst trait; their basic line-up of lenses. They’re not bad, but they aren’t competing with the best out there. The Lumix S series of camera lenses for their full-frame cameras are some of the best glass in the business.
Cost and Value
In all of its grand, rugged, and powerful nature, the Lumix S1R is one of the best and more comprehensive of the top-tier full-frame professional-grade cameras on the entire market. It’s going to be one heck of a giant gesture for your bank account, but this is a very rare case where every single penny will be worth it. This is an astounding piece of equipment. It’s performance, capabilities, and durability are beyond almost everything Panasonic has ever released to the world.
7. Lumix DMC-TS30A
It just wouldn’t be a list written by me without throwing a really great, and capable curve-ball into the mix, and we’ve already gotten to number seven, so what a perfect time to bring one of the best Lumix cameras that they’ve ever made, and you’ve probably never even peeped at. The Lumix DMC is a nearly life-proof, and still manages to take up the first chair in the quality department.
Though photography can be a beautiful thing, something that makes us feel artistically satisfied, there is a huge need for a ton of accessories and add-ons in order to do some things. One of the easiest examples is the need for waterproof casings in order to take your very expensive, and very not-waterproof camera underwater. The Lumix DMC-TS30A is waterproof and provides any photographer with a very good ability to take great photographs underwater up to 26 ft deep.
Mega O.I.S. Lens
In almost every single instance where one would want to take a photograph with a camera that is dustproof, waterproof, freezeproof, and shockproof, the photographer isn’t really of stable hand to snap stills of clear and shakeless photos, which is precisely why the Lumix L DMC-TS30A is equipped with a Mega OIS Lens that compensates for blurring caused by hand shakes and movement.
Cost and Value
At just over the three digit price mark, there is a whole lot to love about the Lumix DMC, and least of it has to do with the DMC name. It’s a completely rugged, and majorly kick butt camera that is designed to take a whole lot of everything that life has to throw at it, bringing skill and capabilities to the table where, in most other cases, this marketplace is completely lacking in this regard.
8. LUMIX G85 4K
The amazing and beautiful Lumix G85 is the “x” less version of the exact camera in our number four slot, and it’s honestly not missing a whole lot in comparison. There’s so much to love about this camera, and what the brand is doing with their Lumix line-up in this branch of the heir is just nearly perfect. The G line is extremely likable, and something any photographer would easily fall in love with.
4K Photo Snagging
Well, it’s a Lumix digital camera, so you know what that means. It means that it has a 4K video capture ability, as is almost standard for this manufacturer. But one of the best parts about its 4K video feature is the ability to snag single frames from any 4k video, essentially giving you an amazing 30 frames-per-second burst of extremely high-definition footage to capture images from.
No Shutter Shock
Lenses have come a very long way since we were shooting in 24 frame sets, and sending in our shots to be developed wildly without care, and since then, the technology within lenses, in terms of both quality manufacturing and glass, and actual stabilization have come a long way. Better yet, the Lumix G series comes with a freshly designed electromagnetic lens drive, and near silent shutter that reduces almost every single bit of shutter shock.
Cost and Value
What with the crazy image stabilization built into these new Lumix G series lenses, with a 5-axis correction and compensation, the ability to record 4K, a tilty screen, and so much more, the Lumix G85 is one of their best mirrorless cameras yet, and even going back a single step from the GX version is not a large leap. There’s so much value here, it would be a shame to ignore this as an option.
9. LUMIX 4K ZS60
Even though we’ve provided countless amounts of options for amazing products from this brand in the middle-road to top-tier of the digital imaging hardware worlds, there are more products out there that don’t quite fall under that category, and some of them, like this one, even bare the hallmarks of that Lumix premium quality that we’ve all grown to love over the years. The amazingly capable Lumix 4K ZS60 is one of the most powerful pocket cameras on the market.
Yup! Even though it’s one of the smallest cameras on this list, one of the tiniest cameras the entire market over, and probably one of the sharpest looking point-and-shoots ever made, this Panasonic-born Lumix imaging hardware is capable of shooting in 4K video. It’s become the standard across most of these devices on our list, and they aren’t about to deny us at this stage in their line-up, we’re just continuously shocked that they can all pull it off.
Sometimes professional or intense hobbyist photographers hesitate to step down into something like this point-and-shoot digital camera, is the tactile control. Panasonic seems to have noticed that, and have added a really amazing lens-mounted control ring that brings some very much needed physical control to the exposure levels. It’s not a whole lot, but it’s enough to bring some tactile control back into your world.
Cost and Value
Somewhere, at some point in the release of this micro point-and-shoot camera, Panasonic forgot to check the spec sheet when it came time to price out the products, making this, the Lumix 4K ZS60 an absolute steal, and powerhouse in the point-and-shoot category. It’s beyond so much, and yet, costs barely a single thing. It’s just such a great value.
10. LUMIX LX100 4K
Some might say that this brand has never really been ahead of the game when it comes to the looks of their cameras, and although there are a few options (even on this list) that we’d, here, be willing to fight and argue for, they’ve never been the obvious front-runner for sexy camera designs. But, the Silver version of the Lumix LX100 is probably best observed in a hushed silence, because it’s stunning. And, it’s capable on top of all that.
Micro Four Thirds
Of all the finer things in the life of photography, arguing over sensors, and sensor sizes is just one of the best ones out there. Those that have made photographing a large part of their lives, absolutely adore spending more time debating the intricacies of their camera’s sensor size than they do actually taking photographs. Well, the micro 4/3rds sensor in the Lumix LX100 is one of the most finely-tuned, and largest cropped sensors on the market.
4K Video Capture
Surprise, surprise, we’ve got another stellar Lumix camera that by all common knowledge of the current imaging hardware markets, should not be able to process and capture 4K resolution video, and yet somehow here we are talking about that very thing. It’s been an entire list of cameras that could have not, but do capture 4K, and yet here we are, 10 items in and we’re still in shock every time we find out these tiny powerhouses can product 4K captures.
Cost and Value
An astounding high-resolution digital live viewfinder, 4K image capture from video, a lightning speed autofocus, multiple aspect ratios, and one of the nicest and classically retro body that all culminates into one of the greatest packages in point-and-shoot history. Panasonic and their Lumix line have done it again.