For a while, it appeared as if Panasonic's beloved 'GM' series of ultra-compact Micro Four Thirds cameras were gone forever. Thankfully, that's not true, as the GM and GF lines have merged, with the Lumix DMC-GX850 (GX800 and GF9 in some markets) being the result.
The GX850 sports a 16MP Four Thirds sensor with no low-pass filter – likely the same one as in the DMC-GF7. It adds Panasonic's latest Venus Engine and Depth from Defocus autofocus system along with UHD 4K video and all of the things that come with it, such as 4K Photo mode. Stalwart Panasonic features such as Post Focus and Focus Stacking are also present.
Its 3" touchscreen LCD can flip upward by 180 degrees and the camera's face and 'buddy' shutter features make selfies easy. The GX850 has more in common with the original GM1 in that it has a built-in flash but no electronic viewfinder. There's no room for a hot shoe, either. Something that some folks may not like is the GX850's use of microSD cards, which tend to get lost about five minutes after you unbox them.
The DMC-GX850 is capable of bursts at 5.8 fps with single AF and 5 fps with continuous. Battery life is rated at a lowly 210 shots per charge. As with most Panasonic cameras these days, the GX850 has Wi-Fi but no NFC.
The GX850 will be available this February with the collapsable 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 lens for a price of $549. Buyers can choose from black or silver bodies.