The Lumix GX8 is one of the oldest mirrorless cameras in Panasonic’s current line, and its replacement, the Lumix GX9, was just released. The GX9 is Panasonic’s latest premium rangefinder-style mirrorless camera, and it sits above the cheaper but very similar-looking Lumix GX85 (GX80 outside the US) in the Lumix range. It is designed for the enthusiast photographer who wants a camera that is both compact and high-performance, and it is called the GX9 in other markets.
The GX9 differs from Panasonic’s new Lumix G9 in that it is a more miniature, compact camera meant for mobility; this is where the term “street camera” comes from.
Because of its compact size, it is also one of the most convenient cameras for traveling. The G9 is a larger camera designed to seem like a DSLR. It is better suited for shooting sports and action, as well as more ambitious forms of photography that require larger lenses.
Panasonic Lumix GX9 Features
The 20.3-megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor that was found in the Lumix GX8 is also located in the GX9, however, the low-pass filter that was previously present on the sensor has been removed in the GX9 by Panasonic.
This is done to improve the representation of small details; nevertheless, as a trade-off, it also raises the possibility of moiré effects, also known as interference patterns, appearing in fine textures and details.
Panasonic has updated the sensor mechanism of the GX9 in another effort to increase the ultimate detail recorded by the camera. The company claims that this redesign achieves a decrease in shutter shock of 90%. (vibration caused by the shutter that can cause blurring of fine detail).
The in-body image stabilization system built into the GX9 has been upgraded with 5-axis compensation. This feature, in conjunction with the optical stabilizers that are built directly into Panasonic’s lenses, enables the user to shoot at shutter speeds that are four stops slower than would usually be possible while still capturing sharp images.
Panasonic Lumix GX9 Build Quality
It is a tad more compact than its predecessor, and the hefty handgrip has been replaced with an item that is somewhat more streamlined. Although the size of the grip has been reduced, it is still rather pleasant to use; however, there is an alternative grip that can be attached if you like something that is somewhat more substantial.
The GX9 is a sleek small camera with a professional feel, thanks largely to the reduction in grip size, but Panasonic decided to do away with the weather-sealing that was present on the GX8.
On the top plate is a mode dial, and stacked below it is an exposure compensation dial. Below those two dials are twin command dials, which are used to manage the most critical parameters. The dial on the front of the camera can be turned easily with your fingertip. However, the dial on the back of the camera is cramped and placed just above the thumb rest, making it more challenging to operate.
Panasonic Lumix GX9 Autofocus
In contrast to the Lumix G9 and GH5, which are equipped with Panasonic’s 225-area autofocus technology, the Lumix GX9 is equipped with a 49-area layout that is more conservative and is analogous to the one used by the Lumix G80 and G85.
Even though it is not nearly as well adapted to action photography as the G9 and the GH5, the focusing speeds are incredibly rapid. The AF system uses Panasonic’s Depth From Defocus (DFD) technology, which analyses two pictures with varying sharpness levels to determine the optimum subject distance. Panasonic claims that the AF system has a speed of 0.07 seconds, and it’s difficult to argue with that claim.
There are various focusing options available for the camera, including 1-Area, Custom Multi, Pinpoint, Face- and Eye-detection, and 49-area focusing. If you want to keep things straightforward, you can set the camera to the 49-area focusing option, which allows the camera to choose the primary component to focus on.
Panasonic Lumix GX9 Performance
The Lumix GX9 is not intended to be used as an action camera; however, it is capable of shooting at up to 9 frames per second. However, this number drops to 6 fps if you want to focus continuously while you shoot. Additionally, you can use the GX9’s 4K Photo mode, which can shoot a sequence of images at 30 frames per second and then allow you to extract a single 8-megapixel frame from the footage.
The metering mechanism of the Panasonic Lumix GX9 is identical to the one found in the company’s other mirrorless cameras that are currently available. Because of everything we’ve learned in the past, we know that this is a very reliable system that, for the most part, can be trusted to handle things on its own.
It does have a tendency, similar to that of other systems, to underexpose scenes with high contrast. Still, if needed, this may be addressed using the exposure adjustment dial designed explicitly.
The built-in image stabilization system of the GX9 may not offer quite the impressive 6.5-stop compensation of the system in the G9, but the 4-stop, 5-axis system works very well. We discovered that we could shoot at 1/8 second (and, in some instances, even slower) and still achieve pleasingly sharp shots with either the 12-32mm or the 8-18mm lenses we used.
Panasonic Lumix GX9 Image Quality
Because it does not have an optical low-pass filter, the 20.3-megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor included in the Lumix GX9 can capture wonderful details. The smaller sensor may be considered a disadvantage in comparison to the bigger ones found in competing for APS-C cameras; nonetheless, while shooting at lower sensitivities, you will have a difficult time distinguishing between the two sets of photographs.
As was the case with the G9, Panasonic has made significant advancements in the area of color rendering, and the Lumix GX9 is capable of producing JPEG files that have a natural appearance and colors that are accurate. The new L.Monochrome picture style is a beautiful addition to Lightroom if you want to take monochrome photographs without having to spend an excessive amount of time processing them.
Image noise is handled quite well by the Panasonic Lumix GX9, which is a strong suit for this camera. Images are lovely and clear when the sensitivity is set to a low level, and there is just a trace of luminance noise (which looks like grain) apparent at mid-range sensitivities if you analyze the files very carefully.
Panasonic Lumix GX9 Specs
|Body type||Rangefinder-style mirrorless|
|Body material||Magnesium alloy|
|Max resolution||5184 x 3888|
|Image ratio w:h||1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9|
|Effective pixels||20 megapixels|
|Sensor photo detectors||22 megapixels|
|Sensor size||Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm)|
|Color space||sRGB, Adobe RGB|
|Color filter array||Primary color filter|
|ISO||Auto, 200-25600 (expands down to 100)|
|Boosted ISO (minimum)||100|
|White balance presets||5|
|Custom white balance||Yes (4 slots)|
|Image stabilization notes||Dual IS uses sensor and lens-shift (when available)|
|CIPA image stabilization rating||4 stop(s)|
|JPEG quality levels||Fine, standard|
|File format||JPEG (Exif v2.31)Raw (Panasonic RW2)|
|Optics & Focus|
|Autofocus||Contrast Detect (sensor)Multi-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View|
|Autofocus assist lamp||Yes|
|Digital zoom||Yes (2x-4x)|
|Number of focus points||49|
|Lens mount||Micro Four Thirds|
|Focal length multiplier||2×|
|Screen / viewfinder|
|Screen type||TFT LCD|
|Viewfinder magnification||1.39× (0.7× 35mm equiv.)|
|Minimum shutter speed||60 sec|
|Maximum shutter speed||1/4000 sec|
|Maximum shutter speed (electronic)||1/16000 sec|
|Exposure modes||ProgramShutter priorityAperture priorityManual|
|Flash range||6.00 m (at ISO 200)|
|External flash||Yes (via hot shoe)|
|Flash modes||Auto, auto w/redeye reduction, forced on, forced on w/redeye reduction, slow sync, slow sync w/redeye reduction, forced off|
|Flash X sync speed||1/200 sec|
|Drive modes||SingleBurst4K PhotoPost FocusSelf-timer|
|Continuous drive||9.0 fps|
|Self-timer||Yes (2 or 10 secs, 3 photos over 10 secs)|
|Exposure compensation||±5 (at 1/3 EV steps)|
|AE Bracketing||±3 (3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)|
|Format||MPEG-4, AVCHD, H.264|
|Modes||3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 100 Mbps, MOV, H.264, AAC3840 x 2160 @ 24p / 100 Mbps, MOV, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 28 Mbps, MOV, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 28 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital1920 x 1080 @ 60i / 17 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 20 Mbps, MOV, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 24 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital1920 x 1080 @ 24p / 24 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital1280 x 720 @ 30p / 10 Mbps, MOV, H.264, AAC|
|Storage types||SD/SDHC/SDXC card (UHS-I supported)|
|USB||USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)|
|Wireless notes||802.11b/g/n with Bluetooth 4.2 LE|
|Remote control||Yes (via smartphone)|
|Battery description||Lithium-ion battery & charger|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||260|
|Weight (inc. batteries)||450 g (0.99 lb / 15.87 oz)|
|Dimensions||124 x 72 x 47 mm (4.88 x 2.83 x 1.85″)|
Panasonic Lumix GX9 Verdict
In many respects, the Lumix GX9 is an improvement over its predecessor, the GX8, but it also moves one step (or even half a stride) backward.
As a result of the absence of an optical low-pass filter, the Lumix GX9 can produce images with excellent detail that are noticeably sharper than those produced by the GX8. Despite having a more compact body than its predecessor, the quality of the camera’s feel has not been compromised in any way.
In light of this, it is disheartening to discover that the viewfinder and screen of the GX9 are not entirely on par with those of the previous model. It is also regrettable that the weather sealing has been removed from the camera.
Panasonic Lumix GX9 Pros & Cons
- Quick speeds of focusing in Single AF mode
- Compact design
- In-built lighting system
- Touchscreen that is sensitive to input
- A hybrid method for regulating the stability
- 4K modes for both video and photography
- a viewfinder with a 16:9 aspect ratio
- The AF selection is a pain.
- An awkward dial for the control at the back
- The body does not have proper weatherproofing