The update brings quieter image stabilization which should be particularly welcome to video shooters.
Panasonic released minor firmware updates for its Lumix G85 and GX85 mirrorless cameras (also known as the G80/81 and GX80, respectively, in other markets). The new firmware — version 1.2 on both cameras — promises quieter image stabilization in both still and video modes, while also adding support for Dual I.S. 2 stabilization when using the Leica-branded 100-400mm f/4-6.3 telephoto zoom lens on the G85.
Previously, the sensor-shift stabilization in both the G85 and GX85 produced an audible hum when in standby mode or during video recording. While not an indication of anything being wrong, the sound nonetheless ranged from being an annoyance to photographers to a real problem for video shooters working in quiet places, where the noise would be picked up by the camera’s microphone. We have not tested either camera post-update, but the new firmware should at least lessen the impact of operational noise caused by the stabilization system.
Dual I.S. 2 is the latest version of Panasonic’s combined image stabilization technology that uses both in-body (sensor shift) stabilization as well as lens-based optical stabilization. The feature was already included in the G85 (and GX85) but previously was not active when the camera was paired with the 100-400mm lens. (Users of the 100-400mm should note that lens firmware version 1.1 is also required to enable Dual I.S. functionality). Dual I.S. offers up to five stops of shake reduction working across seven axes.
Both the GX85 and G85 are built around the same 16MP Micro Four-Thirds sensor. Both cameras include 4K video and Panasonic’s signature 4K Photo mode with Post Focus and Focus Stacking. In 2016, Panasonic issued an earlier firmware update for the G85 that also addressed an issue with image stabilization. That update fixed a problem particular to that camera when shooting video. All Panasonic camera and lens firmware updates can be found on the company’s support site.