The Panasonic GX9 can be an interesting small camera. It’s small, light-weight, and does lots of things well, including image quality, autofocus, and efficiency. But does it replace the GX8 or the GX85? Regardless of which camera it replaces, alone, the GX9 is an extremely nice camera. It’s small, it feels wonderful in the hands, and it requires great photos, best up there with among the better Micro Four Thirds digital cameras. And it shoots satisfying 4K video along with offers a bunch of nifty 4K Photo shooting settings. It packs a whole lot right into a small package — just what many of us anticipate from a “Micro” Four Thirds camera — and for an excellent price.
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Panasonic Lumix GX9: Price
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A smaller, lighter body
Micro Four Thirds supporters: Do you like shooting stealthily, and getting your subjects at their most candid? If so, the 20.3-megapixel Panasonic GX9 can be targeted at you! A followup to 2015’s well-known GX8 that, first and foremost, looks to be centered on reducing size and price, the GX9 nevertheless carries a fair few new top features of its… but admittedly, also provides a few areas where features needed to be dialed back a touch too.
The Panasonic GX9 debuts a brand-new body that’s significantly smaller sized than that of its predecessor, the GX8. Interestingly, the entire body design and design is more strongly similar to the newer (and much more inexpensive) GX85, suggesting a common style ethos (and group) behind the pair.
In comparison to that of its immediate predecessor, the GX9’s body is a lot smaller, especially with regards to depth, thanks to a very much shallower handgrip. A complete 0.6″ (13mm) has been trimmed off the depth of the camera, in addition to 0.4″ (9.2mm) of the depth, and 0.2″ (5.8mm) of the height. Dimensions are 4.9 x 2.8 x 1.8 inches (124 x 72.1 x 46.8mm). Fat has also fallen by some 1.3 oz. (37g), enough to be noticed with the lightest of lenses installed. Loaded and prepared to shoot (but without a zoom lens), the GX9 weighs around 0.99 pounds (450g).
A fresh flash, but less flexible screen articulation
Continuing the control differences, the video record button now sits in the on / off switch, and there’s a new flash button merely to the still left of the AF/AE lock switch on the trunk deck. And as though that wasn’t lots, there’s a fresh popup flash. (Albeit, a fairly weak one with helpful information number of just 6 meters at ISO 200, equal to 4.2 meters at ISO 100.) On the rear panel, the side-mounted, tilt-swivel screen (without doubt, well-known articulation type!) offers been dropped and only a vertically-tilting mechanism that allows tilting upwards some 80 degrees, or downwards by up to 45 degrees. (Still much better than a set screen, but certainly a downgrade from the sooner tilt/swivel unit.)
And you may still find some more changes. The tilting electronic viewfinder design of the GX8 remains, however, the GX9’s AF support lamp moves down and nearer to the zoom lens mount, its loudspeaker jumps from the very best deck to the trunk thumb grip, and its own access panel jumps over the camera from left to right. This last includes a new sliding cover style that slips back to the camera body for safekeeping when opening up. It addresses Micro USB and Micro HDMI connectors, however, not a remote/external mic jack, as the GX9 no more supports them.
Although the 20.3-megapixel Digital Live MOS picture sensor used in the GX9 looks quite similar to that used in the last GX8, image quality is improved. It has been accomplished because of newer algorithms in the current-generation Venus engine utilized by the GX9, in conjunction with the actual fact that Panasonic has made a decision to take away the resolution-sapping optical low-pass filtration system from atop the picture sensor. Removal of the OLPF specifically enables better micro-contrast and catch of finer information, albeit with an elevated threat of false color or other moiré-induced artifacts.
Little transformation on the sensitivity or functionality fronts
Considering that the sensor itself appears to become unchanged, it’s not surprising to find that the sensitivity range and burst capture performance can be similar. Panasonic rates the GX9 as with the capacity of shooting with single autofocus at rates as high as nine fps using either the mechanical or digital shutter. By the method of comparison, the GX8 was reported to be one frame per second slower with the mechanical shutter, but one framework per second quicker with the electronic shutter.
With continuous autofocus energetic, capture slows to no more than six frames per second, and burst depths are unchanged at up to 30 raw or 100 JPEG frames. ISO sensitivity continues to be 200 to 25,600 by default, having the ability to expand the low end to ISO 100, and with a lower life expectancy maximum of ISO 6400 for video capture.
A field-sequential LCD viewfinder replaces the high-res OLED one
Instead of the 2360k-dot organic LED viewfinder of the GX8, the GX9 uses to an LCD-based, 2760k-dot-equivalent digital viewfinder. As before, it’s installed in a 90-level vertically tilting articulation mechanism, handy for capturing from low angles. You’ll note we stated “equivalent” the next time at the moment in mention of the dot count. How come that? Well, the GX9’s EVF is certainly what’s typically called a field-sequential type, just as was found in the earlier GX7, and therefore it only shows one color — reddish colored, green or blue — at any given moment, for every pixel on the screen. To achieve a color screen, it cycles through all three colors at high acceleration, one after another and repeatedly.
The advantage of that is that you see full color at every pixel location. The disadvantages are that there surely is the prospect of rainbow-colored artifacts on fast motion, and that spatial quality is much less than the “equivalent” figure would suggest on a typical display. Don’t misunderstand, quality continues to be pretty high, at 1,280 x 720 pixels. But it isn’t as high since it would seem to end up being from the dot count figures, once when compared to 1,024 x 768 pixels of the GX8’s 4:3-aspect OLED viewfinder. Of course, the newer camera can display color at every pixel area where the GX8’s viewfinder relied on adjacent crimson, green and blue subpixels, so that it will make better usage of each pixel location… but not three times better!
A new shutter system that’s gentler, quieter, but also slower
The GX9 sports activities a brand-new shutter drive mechanism which is generally in most respects a substantial upgrade, but which has a few potential drawbacks. Based around an electromagnetic drive, it’s thought to have just one-tenth the shutter shock of the previous system, helping photographers to increase per-pixel sharpness. It is also noticeably quieter compared to the old system. But one drawback is that it now tops out at the fastest shutter swiftness of 1/4,000 second, where in fact the GX8 could shoot at 1/8,000 second. Yes, you can shoot with an electric shutter completely up to 1/16,000 second, but you will likely find the outcomes influenced by rolling shutter influence on certain topics. And as we stated previously, X-sync, in addition, has fallen from 1/250 to 1/200 second.
4K and Complete HD video are unchanged, but 4K Picture gets an overhaul
Just like the GX8 before it, the Panasonic GX9 can catch Total HD or 4K video, the latter at up to 30 fps with a 100Mbps bitrate. But while video catch is actually unchanged, the features of the related 4K Photo mode attended set for a big overhaul.
4K Photo setting does record video, however, not with the purpose of you truly watching it. Rather, each video frame is captured with configurations more comparable to what you’d wish for still photography — a high shutter quickness, first and foremost — and then you extract person still frames at a higher 8.3-megapixel quality in-camera.
4K Image in the GX9 right now includes an auto-marking function that identifies the body from a sequence that is normally most different to the others, presuming it much more likely to be always a keeper. Additionally, it may account for movement and faces in 4K Photo sequences, and uses these, too, to mark essential frames you might want to check on manually. The effect is lighter work manufactured from the procedure of sorting through a huge selection of 4K frames for the keepers.
A smaller battery means a big decrease in battery life
With a smaller body and a smaller sized battery to match, it’s probably not astonishing that the GX9’s battery life has used a plunge. Doubly therefore when one considers the usage of a field-sequential LCD rather than the traditionally better Organic LED screen in the viewfinder, in addition to the presence of a more powerful processor and an integral flash.
The result is that you could expect almost a 25% reduction in battery existence versus the GX8. With just a little math, the brand new 7.2V, 1025mAh, 7.4Wh battery indicate around a 15% decrease in battery life from the prior 7.2V, 1,200mAh, 8.7Wh pack, therefore the rest presumably originates from a far more power-hungry camera.
Using the bundled Lumix 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6 (H-FS12060) kit lens, Panasonic prices the GX9’s battery as capable of simply 260 frames with the LCD panel or 250 frames with the EVF, straight down from 340 or 320 frames with the GX8. This can be hugely improved to a claimed 900-frame battery lifestyle if you are willing to take full advantage of an aggressive power-keeping function that can place the camera to rest one, two, three, five or 10 seconds once you take your eyesight from the viewfinder, and power it right back up only one time you half-press the shutter key.
Panasonic Lumix GX9: Conclusion
The GX9 ticks all of the right boxes in terms of specifications, size and cost, but despite its traditional-looking exterior and exterior dials, it relies intensely on its menus and touch-screen interface and can feel fiddly to create. Its image quality, nevertheless, can barely be criticized.