The combined optical and sensor based image stabilisation of the new GX80 has to find its way in to the forthcoming Panasonic Lumix GH5

One of the standout features of Panasonic’s new GX80 gives us a very strong indication as to a new feature we could see on the Panasonic Lumix GH5, which is expected to arrive later this year, most likely around the time of Photokina. There is already speculation, including that the Lumix GH5 could shoot at a 6K resolution, but obviously, currently everything is just speculation and gossip.Panasonic GX80 angleHowever, the new Dual IS of the Panasonic Lumix GX80 is one that we should expect to see in the GH5, and indeed, given the price of the GX80, we could see it in many of Panasonic’s MFT system cameras in the future.

The Dual IS system combines a 5-axis sensor based image stabilisation system, with Panasonic’s existing lens based stabilisation. Having 5-axis stabilisation in-camera now puts Panasonic alongside Sony, who has 5-axis stabilisation in the second generation of its A7 series of full frame cameras. It also puts them head to head with Olympus, who use 5-axis stabilisation in some of its own Micro Four Thirds cameras, however, in theory, Panasonic could have the edge with the additional benefit of combining the lens and sensor stabilisation.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnYmPcUXREI&feature=youtu.be

When shooting 4K with the GX80 we found that the footage was incredibly steady, and we were able to use a 3  00mm (equivalent) lens handheld and get surprisingly steady footage. There is also a second, electronic, image stabilisation mode that uses a slightly cropped image area. This further enhances the stabilisation effect by shifting the are the sensor is recording from. In this mode the stabilisation feel like it is almost locked on to the subject and there is only the merest hint of breathing up and down as you handhold the camera in a set position.Panasonic GX80 top
To test out just how good the Dual IS of the GX80 is, we placed it on a twin camera bar, side-by-side with an Olympus E-M5 II. The Olympus cameras also uses 5-axis sensor based stabilisation, and it is regarded as about the best stabilisation of any camera manufacturer. We then walked along, smoothly and slowly, quickly, and at one point even a light jog, with the two camera, plus we did a few panning shots for good measure.

Both cameras were fitted with the Panasonic 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS (the GX80’s kit zoom). The E-M5 II was set to use in-body stabilisation rather than lens stabilisation.

Overall there is very little difference between the stabilisation shown in the Panasonic Lumix GX80 and the Olympus E-M5. In some regards the Panasonic looks better, in others, the Olympus camera, and it is hard to tell them apart and say that one is definitely better. Both produce quite smooth footage when care is taken to walk slowly and steadily, but when walking naturally, and quickly, they still produce the odd sharp bump and shake. As for jogging, this is obviously far too much for either system to go with.

So whilst the Panasonic GX80 and its Dual IS may not have a hugely noticeable advantage over the 5-axis stabilisation of the Olympus EM5 II, lets remember that the E-M5 II is about as good as image stabilisation gets on what is primarily a still image camera, so the GX80 can compete with the best out there.

With just a good stabilisation system, and one that Panasonic are targeting at videographers, it is a no brainer that Dual IS should be in the GH5, in fact, if anything it is a surprise to see Panasonic put its first use in a camera that is aimed more at the consumer end of the market.

With 4K video and Dual IS, the GX80 looks like a great camera for videographers, it’s just a shame it doesn’t have a microphone socket.

See how good the image stabilisation of the Lumix GX80 is when paired with Leica 100-400mm lens
Panasonic GX80, Dual IS and 100-400mm lens

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  • No microphone input is sad.

  • Vintersorg

    Exactly. That would be interesting to see.. Since they’re using a pana lens on the E-M5ii, it would be interesting to see if the GX80 fares as well with an Olympus lens.

  • stretchsje

    How does the GX80 do with a non-stabilized Olympus lens mounted? I’d hate to sell my Olympus 12-40mm, though maybe the lack of DFD focusing data would already be reason enough to do that.

  • Andy Westlake

    I’ll try to do this at some point. Until then, I’ll say that the GX80 is noticeably louder than the super-quiet E-M5 II, but it’s still pretty quiet in the grand scheme of things.

  • Boston C

    Andy, since you have both EM5II and GX80, can you pls do a side by side shutter sound test and post it? EM5 II has been the gold standard in terms of shutter quietness. I have seen 2 videos of GX85’s, they give very different impressions one is super quiet while the other is kind loud b/c it’s done sitting on a big glass table. A nothing yet on the face-off of these two.

    TIA.

  • Andy Westlake

    There’s a slight crop for 4K recording, around 1.1x across the horizontal field of view. (Obviously a larger vertical crop for the 16:9 aspect ratio.)

  • Boston C

    Thx for the reply. Do you know whether the camera in 4k mode has full sensor readout or crops? If it’s the latter, what’s the ratio?

  • Andy Westlake

    Yes, the in-body IS can be used while recording 4K on the GX80. It’s a new feature on this model.

  • Jackson01

    The in-body IS can be used with 1080p, but can it be used with 4K? I don’t think any Panasonic models have that feature yet…

  • Andy Westlake

    Yes this is true, the GX80’s in-body IS can be used with video – that’s what the side-by-side comparison is showing. There’s also the possibility of applying additional electronic stabilisation during video recording, which results in a field of view crop.

  • Andy Westlake

    Both Olympus and unstabilised Panasonic lenses get the benefit of in-body IS in video mode. It’s still 5-axis, but in practice translatonal (up/down, left right) movements are only important for extreme close-ups. We haven’t tried the 35-100mm f/2.8.

  • Jackson01

    Your post implies that the dual IS system, or possibly just the internal stabilization, can be used with 4K video. I haven’t seen this anywhere. Is this true? Or are you talking about the “electronic” stabilization? Clarification of this would be helpful.

  • Jackson01

    Your

  • Stephen Greszczyszyn

    Did you test the GX80 with the P35-100/2.8? My copy jitters on the Gx7/G7 with OIS, and is much worse than the LX100 (at 70mm eq) and the same lens (OIS off) on my E-M5II is rock solid.

    Do Olympus lenses or Panasonic lenses without OIS still get some decent image stabilisation in video mode – even if it is just 3-axis?

  • I can view the promo video but not the comparo video, as the latter requires that infamous malware vector Flash. Why?

  • Andy Westlake

    Both cameras were fitted with the Panasonic 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS (the GX80’s kit zoom). The E-M5 II was set to use in-body stabilisation rather than lens stabilisation.

  • Andy Westlake

    Both cameras were fitted with the Panasonic 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS (the GX80’s kit zoom). The E-M5 II was set to use in-body stabilisation rather than lens stabilisation.

  • Dustin

    Loved the test of both stabilization systems at once. Very informative.

  • Dustin

    Loved the test of both stabilization systems at once. Very informative.

  • Panasonic doesn’t do as well as Olympus on the “roll” axis of stabilization but it seems smoother taking away the pitch and shift while walking. This is Panasonic’s first try, as they learn more, they should improve as well.

  • Panasonic doesn’t do as well as Olympus on the “roll” axis of stabilization but it seems smoother taking away the pitch and shift while walking. This is Panasonic’s first try, as they learn more, they should improve as well.

  • Boston C

    Great work. Thx for sharing the test. What lenses are used here for the side-by-side test?