Sony a6500 Vs Panasonic GX85 – Which Is Better For You?

Choosing the right camera that suits your needs can be quite the chore. Because there are so many options available for you to pick from, it gets even more difficult to choose. In this article, we’ve brought together two really good cameras- Sony a6500 Vs Panasonic GX85, and we would be comparing them today.


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If at the end of this article you do not like either of these cameras, click here to find other cameras that might suit your fancy. During the course of this article, we would be looking at the features that these two cameras- Sony a6500 Vs Panasonic GX85, possess.

This is going to be quite a lengthy read. If you do not have the time or patience to read through the whole article, check out the comparison overview below. It’s detailed enough to aid you make an informed decision.

Sony a6500 Vs Panasonic GX85 – Comparison Overview

Both Sony a6500 Vs Panasonic GX85 are good semi-pro cameras. They are quite similar. However, looking at their overall features, the Sony a6500 edges over the Panasonic GX85 in quite a number of ways.

The Sony a6500 has a better bigger and a better sensor in its APS-C 24-megapixel sensor. Also, it comes with a microphone port and has better continuous shooting rates with its 11.0 frames per second. However, when it comes to ease of use, the Panasonic GX85 is better. It’s lighter and it shoots time-lapses without any additional apps.

Now, the big one, price. These cameras are not similarly priced, at all. In fact, the cost of the Sony a6500 might be able to buy the Panasonic GX85, twice! This is where we have to say that the Panasonic does a whole lot better.

Honestly, if you’re looking for value for money, then get the Panasonic GX85. The fact that we can compare these two cameras although their wide price gaps, shows you just how much quality the Panasonic GX85 is.

Sony a6500 Vs Panasonic GX85 – Brand Comparison

Sony is a multinational brand that is involved in a lot of things. They are into electronics, entertainment, gaming, and various financial services. It is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. For many years, Sony has been involved in developing a lot of product, including digital cameras. In the digital camera industry, Sony has carved a niche for itself in mirrorless cameras.

Another Japanese brand, Panasonic is headquartered in Osaka, Japan. They are not involved in as many different industries as Sony, as they major in electronics. Panasonic was one of the first brands to commercial produce mirrorless cameras as far back as 2008.

When you put these two brands side by side, there is no competition, Sony is obviously the bigger brand. However, the beauty of the mirrorless camera industry when compared to DSLR is variety. Unlike with DSLRs that you have just Nikon and Canon, you have a lot more competitors with mirrorless cameras. This is what makes producers keep their cameras at reasonable prices.


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Sony a6500 Vs Panasonic GX85 – Comparison Of Key Features

 

Sony a6500

Panasonic GX85

Announcement Date 6th October 2016 5th April 2016
Maximum Sensor Resolution 24 Megapixels 16 Megapixels
Sensor size APS-C Micro Four Thirds
Continuous Shooting 11.0 frames per second 8.0 frames per second
Weight 453g 426g
Time-lapse Recording Only with additional app Yes
Battery Life 350 shots 290 shots
Environmental Sealing Yes No
Microphone Port Yes No
Bluetooth Yes No
     

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Before we look at the Sony a6500 Vs Panasonic GX85 comparison in details, we have a video for you. This video basically shows you all the features of these two cameras, highlighted which ones are equal, and which ones one has over the other.

Sony a6500 Vs Panasonic GX85 – What Situation Is What Camera Best For?

Sony a6500

Panasonic GX85

Although this camera cannot be considered affordable in most quarters, it definitely still represents value for money.  

The biggest advantage you get with this camera is that you get the wide variety of Sony’s lenses at your perusal.  

Everyone knows that using lenses and cameras produced by the same brand is always better because they are integrated better.
This camera is a really affordable camera. Honestly, the cost of this camera is incredible, considering how much value you get with it.  

This is one of the joys of buying a mirrorless camera. There is a lot of quality, even at the lower price points.
With this camera, you get quality in a small package. What a bigger, equivalent DSLR camera can do, this smaller mirrorless camera can do just that, if not slightly more.  

If you travel a lot, say you’re a travel photographer or a vlogger, then you definitely want a small camera that you can carry everywhere with you.  

That is exactly what you get with this camera, a small, compact package that doesn’t compromise on quality.
This camera is also in a small package. In fact, it is slightly smaller and more lightweight than the Sony a6500.  

Hence, it bears all the advantages that a small camera gives you, even more than the Sony a6500.  

With this camera, you don’t need to worry so much about where to keep it. In fact, portability will be the least of your worries.
One thing people often want to know, especially with the newer cameras, is whether they can shoot 4K video.  

Well, this camera has the ability to shoot 4K video.
This camera also shoots 4K video. However, considering how affordable this is, that feat is even more astonishing.  

There are only a handful of cameras that come in this price range that allow you to shoot 4K video.

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Sony a6500 Vs Panasonic GX85 – Features Common To Both Cameras

Although these two cameras are produced by different brands, they still share quite a number of similarities. In this section of this Sony a6500 Vs Panasonic GX85 comparison article, we would be looking at those features that these two cameras share.

They’re Both Mirrorless Cameras

The first, and probably the biggest similarity between these two cameras is that they’re both mirrorless cameras. The two brands that created these cameras- Sony a6500 Vs Panasonic GX85, Sony and Panasonic, respectively, were highly involved in the commercialization of mirrorless cameras.

The first mirrorless camera was released way back in 2004. However, this type of digital camera did not become popular until Panasonic created its first mirrorless camera in 2008. Even then, these cameras were still quite obscure. That is until Sony entered into the market and starting making a lot of mirrorless cameras, alongside their lenses and accessories.

Because both Sony and Panasonic were instrumental to the success of mirrorless cameras, it is no surprise that these two cameras we’re talking about today, are both mirrorless cameras.

The biggest advantage that the mirrorless camera industry has is that there are a lot of players in it. If you’ve ever been in search for a DSLR, we’re sure that you hardly looked past Nikon and Canon. With mirrorless cameras, this is not the case. You have companies like Sony, Panasonic, Fujifilm, who are do very well.

This increased competition is what makes mirrorless cameras come with more reasonable prices than DSLRs. There is a lot more quality across all price points and budgets with mirrorless cameras, than with DSLRs.

What’s The Difference Between DSLRs And Mirrorless Cameras?

The major difference between these two camera types is in the way they allow the photograph view the frame his camera is capturing. So, to understand that difference, we have to first look at how these two cameras show the photographer the field of view of his camera.

DSLRs use a mirror, a pentaprism, and an optical viewfinder. The light that is seen by the camera enters into the camera through its lens. When the shutter is closed, this light hits a mirror. The light the bounces on the mirror and is split into two.

The first part of the light ascends to the pentaprism. The second part of the light descends to a specific sensor responsible for autofocus. The light that is sent to the pentaprism bounces off of it, so it’s horizontal again. Finally, this horizontal light is sent to the optical viewfinder and is what the photographer sees.

With mirrorless cameras, there is no mirror or pentaprism. There is an electronic sensor, and an electronic viewfinder. The light enters into the camera through the lens and hits the electronic sensor. This sensor is responsible for two things. First, it’s responsible for autofocus. Second, it converts the light to a digital image.

This digital image is then transferred to a miniature display. This can either be seen using the camera’s LCD screen, or its electronic viewfinder.

The fact that mirrorless cameras do not need to fit in a mirror and pentaprism into their frame is the reason why they can be made to be super small and compact. If you bring two equivalent cameras, one DSLR and the other mirrorless, you would find that the mirrorless would always be smaller than the DSLR.

Advantages Of Mirrorless Cameras

Apart from their small size and weight, mirrorless cameras bear some advantages over DSLRs. These are:

1. Continuous Shooting

When the shutter button is clicked on a DSLR, the mirror flips upwards. This is what allows light to hit the camera’s sensor, for the photo to be taken. With mirrorless cameras, light is always on the sensor, so, when the shutter is open, nothing needs to be moved.

The movement of DSLRs is what makes them have slower continuous shooting rates than mirrorless cameras. So, if you take a lot of action photos, consider getting a mirrorless camera. To put this into perspective, the two cameras we’re talking about today- Sony a6500 Vs Panasonic GX85, come with continuous shooting rates of 11.0 frames per second and 8 frames per second, respectively.

If you check out DSLRs that are similarly priced to these two, you will hardly find one with continuous shooting rates as good as these.

2. 4K Video

Yes, we know DSLRs shoot 4K video too. Let us explain. What we mean is that everyone is trying to shoot 4K video, irrespective of their budgets. While DSLRs can shoot 4K video, you only get that feature on the very expensive flagships.

On the other hand, because of the processing power of mirrorless cameras, this feature can be gotten on the most affordable mirrorless camera. Just look at the Panasonic GX85 we’re looking at today. A DSLR that affordable cannot shoot 4K video, but this camera does.

The Disadvantage Of Mirrorless Cameras

It’s sad to say, but mirrorless cameras are not exactly diamonds. Yes, they have a lot of good features, as we’ve already seen. However, they also have one very stinging bad side, battery life.

The battery life of mirrorless cameras is really poor. In fact, it is something that is always complained about on any and every mirrorless camera, especially the smaller ones. The poor battery life of mirrorless cameras is down to two main factors: reduction in size and power draining features

1. Reduction In Size

To make mirrorless cameras as small and compact as they are, the batteries had to also reduce in size. With batteries, the bigger the size, the better the capacity. So, reducing the size of the batteries in mirrorless cameras, reduce the capacity of those batteries tremendously.

This is why we said that the power battery life is worse for the much smaller mirrorless cameras. For the professional mirrorless cameras, they’re quite bigger and so, fit bigger batteries in them. This increases the battery capacity by a lot. However, even that is still not as good as DSLRs because of the second reason, which we would see now.

2. Power Draining Features

Mirrorless cameras depend a lot on electronic features. DSLRs, on the other hand, depend more on mechanical features. These electronic features are quite power draining. This is the main reason why mirrorless cameras have weak batteries, the batteries have too much work to do.

For example, the sensor on a DSLR only needs to come on when the shutter button is clicked. With mirrorless cameras, the sensor is on all the time, because it needs to keep sending digital images to the viewfinder. This viewfinder is another power draining feature.

Electronic viewfinders need power to run, while optical viewfinders do not. In fact, optical viewfinders will work, even when the camera is not turned on.

The combination of these two things will explain to you why the two cameras we’re talking about today- Sony a6500 Vs Panasonic GX85, only have battery lives of 350 shots and 290 shots, respectively.


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Electronic Viewfinder

Another similar feature that these two cameras- Sony a6500 Vs Panasonic GX85 share is an electronic viewfinder. Not all mirrorless cameras come with an electronic viewfinder. Those who do not have this feature, display the camera’s frame to the photographer using the LCD screen.

We advise against buying a camera without an electronic viewfinder because of how convenient and important electronic viewfinders are. The biggest advantage you have with an electronic viewfinder is when you’re shooting under the sunlight. Using the LCD screen outside when the sun is out is pretty difficult.

Another benefit of electronic viewfinders over optical viewfinders is that you have a digital image, which is a preview of what your image will turn out to be. With optical viewfinder, all you see is what your camera sees, just as it is.

Electronic viewfinders allow you to see the changes your settings are making to the image, before capturing the image. Although you need to have a basic idea of how these settings work to use them properly, having the option of seeing it as you’re editing it, is really good. It is especially good for photographers who are not well abreast with the settings.

Wireless Connection

In this day and age, having wireless connectivity on any device has moved from being a want to being a need. Without wireless connection, you’ll need to carry long wires everywhere to get files from your camera into other devices. Although effective, that process is not efficient.

With this wireless connection feature, you can easily communicate with other devices and transfer files to them. You can also transfer files straight to the internet, from your camera. If the people you want to see your photos are on the internet, then it’s pretty convenient if you can send your stuff straight to them, without having to send to another device first.

Also, sending your images to the internet will ensure safe keeping. In a case where your memory card gets corrupted, images you’ve sent to the internet will remain safe and secure.

Although these two cameras come with wireless connection, they don’t come with the same accompanying features. The Sony a6500 comes with NFC and Bluetooth, while the Panasonic does not.

NFC is referred to as Near Field Communication. With this, you can pair this camera with another device that has NFC connection simply by placing them close to each other. Furthermore, once they are paired, these two devices will automatically connect to each other, once in close proximity.

This is the technology that the Sony a6500 uses to enable you use your smartphone as a remote control for your camera.

Image Stabilization

When capturing videos with your camera, it is important that you keep the lens of the camera as still as possible so you don’t get shaky videos. This is why people use tripods and camera stabilization rigs. However, when you’re in a situation where you cannot use these and you have to use your hands, you want something that can guarantee you a still image, even with minimal camera movements.

This is what this feature is for. With image stabilization, there are a number of techniques carried out by the camera. The aim for these techniques is to keep the camera’s lens still, even with subtle camera movements.

This is a really nice feature to have if you’re a vlogger or an event photographer who needs to constantly move while shooting. This does not affect pictures so much. However, if for any reason the shutter speed of the camera is slow, then it definitely will affect images.

Articulating Screen

Both of these cameras come with an articulating, otherwise known as, tilting screen. This basically means that the LCD screen on the camera is joined to the camera using a pivot. This enables the LCD screen to tilt to certain degrees.

Although this LCD screen cannot tilt 360 degrees for a selfie shot, it still helps a lot. With this, you can shoot from awkward positions and angles. When shooting from these angles, it is difficult to use your viewfinder, that’s why they are really helpful.

Built-in Flash

To add to the portability of these cameras, they come with built-in flash. When shooting in low-light, you can increase your ISO setting for greater light sensitivity from your camera. However, that comes at a cost, your images appear very noisy.

To prevent that, people often prefer to use an external light source to make their images bright, and keep the ISO level at minimal. If you’re one of those people, with these two cameras- Sony a6500 Vs Panasonic GX85, you won’t need to carry an external flash wherever you go.

You can see that the manufacturers of these cameras had portability in mind when making these cameras. With this built-in flash, you can keep your external flash at home, keeping your camera kit as small as possible.

External Flash Shoe

In case the built-in flash doesn’t do a good enough lighting job for you, both of these cameras come with an external flash shoe. This is what enables you connect an external flash to your camera.

It’s really commendable that these cameras- Sony a6500 Vs Panasonic GX85, come with these two lighting options, for your perusal.

Touchscreen

The LCD screen that comes with both of these cameras has a touchscreen feature. Touchscreen makes navigation through your camera’s settings a whole lot easier and you can interact with your camera just like you would interact with your smartphone.

An added advantage with this feature is faster manual focusing. You can simply focus on any part of the frame you want by tapping that place on the screen.

RAW Image Storage

All digital cameras save images in their RAW format. This is the unedited and uncompressed version of the image and not all cameras allow you to save images in this format. Cameras that do not allow you save RAW images will first edit the image, compress it, and then convert it into a JPEG image. This process of editing and compressing recues the quality of the image.

On the other hand, with these two cameras- Sony a6500 Vs Panasonic GX85, you can save the image just as it is, RAW. This will leave you with a lot more information on your images that will allow you to edit it as you want, during post-production.

Face Detection Focus

This feature is quite straightforward. Both of these cameras will focus on a face once it is in the camera’s field of view. This isn’t a game-changing feature, yes, but it is really nice and quite helpful when you’re taking portrait photos.

AE Bracketing

Getting the exposure right is one of the keys to getting the perfect image. However, the fact that it is that important, doesn’t mean that it is easy to achieve. This is why people do something called exposure bracketing.

Exposure bracketing refers to a group of photos of the same scene, taken with different exposure settings. This process is quite stressful, hence, why AE bracketing is important. With this feature, you can take insert the different exposure settings you want, hit the shutter buttons once, and get multiple images with these different exposure settings.

These settings usually range from underexposed to overexposed, in equal margin. Apart from the ease that using this feature generates, it also makes it possible to create HDR images. An HDR image is basically a combination of different images with different exposure settings, to form one perfectly exposed image.


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Sony a6500 Vs Panasonic GX85 – Features Unique To Each Camera

It’s time to get into the nitty gritty of this Sony a6500 Vs Panasonic GX85 comparison article. In this section of this article, we would be looking at the features that one of these cameras comes with, that the other does not.

Features Unique To The Sony a6500

1. Microphone Port

This particular feature is one that can easily be considered as “small but mighty”. One thing people really one to do with their cameras, besides photography, is taking videos. When recording videos, most people often want to record high-quality audio alongside the video.

Although cameras come with built-in microphones, if you’ve ever use one before, you’ll know we’re telling the truth when we say they’re not good enough. This is when the importance of this feature comes into full view.

With a microphone port, you can connect a high-quality external microphone of your choice, into your camera. This will then enable you record high-quality audio, together with your videos.

2. Environmental Sealing

When shooting outside, one thing you always have to keep in mind is the weather. When the weather is fine, everything is well. However, once the wind starts or the rains start pouring down, it becomes utmost priority to get the camera to safety.

That’s with other cameras that do not come with an environmental sealing feature. With the Sony a6500 that is equipped with environmental sealing, you need not worry about weather changes. You can keep shooting, no matter the weather condition.

This is made possible because this camera comes with a magnesium alloy frame. This frame is both dust and moisture resistant. This is why the camera is not harmed, come rain or sunshine. One thing you must note, though, is that this camera is not water resistant. You still have to be careful enough to keep this away from dropping into a pool of water.

3. Maximum Sensor Resolution: 24 Megapixels

This camera comes with a maximum sensor resolution of 24 megapixels. The first thing we want you to know is that the camera with the most megapixels might not necessarily take the best photos. However, having high megapixels does help a lot.

The basic use of the sensor resolution is to determine how much information is in the image. The more megapixels, the more pixels in the image, the more information. This in turn creates sharper, clearer images.

The main biggest benefit of a camera with high megapixels appears when you’re printing the image. If you print your images on really large prints, then you’ll definitely want a camera with a high megapixel, just so your image does not come out pixelated.

There is one downside to having these many pixels, though, which is the fact that you get more noise on your images. When you increase the ISO of your camera, the noise levels in your image increases. Because of the increased information in higher pixel cameras, this noise is shown a lot more.

It’s difficult to talk about cameras without actually seeing them in action. We put that into consideration and so we got you the video below. It’s an in-depth hands-on look at the Sony a6500:

Features Unique To The Panasonic GX85

1. Time-lapse Recording

A time-lapse can be described as a combination of multiple pictures taken of the same scene in different times, at set intervals. Once these group of pictures are joined together, they form a really short video. This video describes the passage of time and how time affects that particular scene.

People really love these videos are they are a creative way of shooting, something quite different from the normal. Because it’s quite difficult for photographers to stand in a place, capturing the scene over time, a feature called “time-lapse recording” is added to the cameras.

This allows you to set the number of pictures you want to take and set the interval between each picture. With the Sony a6500, you would have to install an additional application to carry out this function. However, with this camera, you can do it straight out of the box.

2. 4K Photo Mode

This camera has to ability to take 4K photos. It does this by extracting 8MP images from 4K video. This increases the clarity and brightness of these photos, making this a really nice feature to possess.

3. Focus Stacking

When taking some kind of pictures, we want to best depth of field we can possibly get. This is when this feature becomes very important. Focus stacking is an image processing system that joins a number of photos shot of the same scene at different focal lengths.

When these images shot at different lengths are combined together, they form an image with proper depth of field.

Do you want a hands-on look at this camera? Below is a really comprehensive video that covers everything you need to know about this camera:


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Sony a6500 Vs Panasonic GX85 – Unique Pros

Sony a6500

  • The maximum sensor resolution of this camera is 24 megapixels, which is 8 more than the 16-megapixel Panasonic GX85.
  • The Sony a6500 comes with 425 focus points. With this camera, you get 376 more focus points than the Panasonic GX85.
  • Continuous shooting is better with this camera, at the rate of 11 frames per second.
  • This camera comes with a microphone port. With this, you can connect an external microphone to your camera. This will enable you record high-quality audio straight into your camera.
  • This camera comes with Bluetooth connectivity. With this, you can connect the Sony a6500 to other Bluetooth enabled devices to share files easily.

Panasonic GX85

  • With this camera, you can record a time-lapse straight out of the box, you do not need any external applications.
  • This camera is a lot more affordable than the Sony a6500.
  • There is a 4K photo mode that lets you extract 8MP videos from 4K videos that you’ve shot.

Sony a6500 Vs Panasonic GX85 – Unique Cons

Sony a6500

  • You can only time-lapse with this camera after installing the external application.
  • This camera is quite expensive.
  • No 4K photo mode with this camera.

Panasonic GX85

  • The maximum sensor resolution of this camera is only 16 megapixels.
  • This camera comes with only 49 focus points.
  • There is no microphone port on this camera, which means that you would have to make do with the built-in microphone or not record sound at all.
  • There is no environmental sealing feature on this camera.

Sony a6500 Vs Panasonic GX85 – Common Pros

 

Sony a6500

Panasonic GX85

Wireless Connectivity Both of these cameras come with wireless connectivity. With this feature, your camera can easily connect to other devices. This will enable you transfer files from this camera to other devices, easily.  

However, it’s quite different with these two cameras. This camera, the Sony a6500, comes with both Bluetooth and NFC.  

With NFC, the camera would pair and connect to compatible devices once they’re put close together, easy.

With Bluetooth, it would’ve been easier to transfer files to a lot of smartphones that do not have NFC but come with Bluetooth.
Although this camera comes with wireless connectivity, it does not have an NFC feature, neither does it come with built-in Bluetooth.
Stable Images And Videos Both of these cameras come with sensor-shift image stabilization technology.  

With this, your camera’s lens is kept still, even when you move the camera, slightly.  

This is what allows you get really stable images and videos that are void of blurriness and shakiness as a result of mild camera movements.
Same as the Sony a6500.
Lighting Options Both of these cameras come with built-in flash. This comes in handy when you don’t want to carry the extra luggage that an external flash gives you, but you still want to properly light your pictures in the dark.  

And when you don’t mind the extra load, this camera has an external flash shoe that lets you connect your camera to an external flash.  

This is really good for flash photography.
Same as the Sony a6500.
Touchscreen For ease of use, both of these cameras come with a touchscreen function.  

This enables you to navigate through your camera’s settings with ease, just like your smartphone.
Same as the Sony a6500.
Good image framing and control Both of these cameras come with an electronic viewfinder. With this, it’s easy to frame and control the look of your images.  

Also, with this viewfinder, you can frame your pictures well, whether the sun is out or not.
Same as the Sony a6500.
Use your smartphone as a remote control Both of these cameras allow you to use a smartphone as a remote control.  

There is a slight difference, though, the Sony a6500 uses NFC between the smartphone and the camera to use this feature.
On the other hand, the Panasonic GX85 uses the camera’s Wi-fi connection.
     

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Sony a6500 Vs Panasonic GX85 – Common Cons


Sony a6500 Vs Panasonic GX85
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Sony a6500

Panasonic GX85

No Headphone Jack Neither of these cameras comes with a headphone jack. Without this feature, you cannot get a live preview of what your audio recording is going to sound like. Same as the Sony a6500.
Only One Card Slot While many cameras provide you with dual card slots, these two cameras only provide you with one.  

With only once card slot, there is no storage flexibility. In an unforeseen event where that one storage gets damaged, you’ll be stranded.
Same as the Sony a6500.

Sony a6500 Vs Panasonic GX85 – General Feeling Amongst Users

Sony a6500

Panasonic GX85

This camera is one of the most popular Sony mirrorless cameras. People love the camera because of its simplicity and ability to do the job. People really like this camera because it offers incredible value for money. This camera is so affordable, that you can buy one even as an amateur.
A lot of people consider this camera to be one of the best semi-pro mirrorless cameras out there. Their only slight problem with this camera is its APS-C sensor. The only hiccup people had with using this camera was using the micro four third sensor. However, that problem soon faded when these customers used the money saved from buying the camera so affordable, to buy good lenses.

Sony a6500 Vs Panasonic GX85 – What Do We Think?

Sony a6500

Panasonic GX85

The Sony a6500 is a great option if you’re a semi-professional photographer. Say you do your own stuff, or you cover events, this is a really good camera.  

One major advantage this has over the Panasonic GX85 is the microphone port. This is what makes this a slightly better option if you take videos.
This camera does have some downsides. Only 16 megapixels on a micro four-thirds system represents the majority of this downside.  

However, considering how affordable this camera is, it’s hard to not overlook those faults. Honestly, we feel that those things can easily be taken care of with the extra money left behind when you buy this camera, compared to the Sony a6500.
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