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Panasonic Lumix GX9 Review

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 compact and high-performance camera, 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 travelling. 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.

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Panasonic Lumix GX9 Features

The 20.3-megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor that was found in the GX8 is also located in the Lumix GX9, but the low-pass filter that was previously included on the sensor has been removed in the more recent camera. 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 decreases shutter shock by 90%. (vibration caused by the shutter that can cause blurring of fine detail).

Panasonic Lumix GX9 Build Quality

It is a tad more compact than its predecessor, and the hefty handgrip has been replaced with a more streamlined item. Although the grip size 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 more substantial.

The GX9 is a sleek small camera with a professional feel, thanks mainly to the reduction in grip size, but Panasonic decided to do away with the weather-sealing that was present on the GX8.

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 analyzes two pictures with varying levels of sharpness 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.

Panasonic Lumix GX9 Performance

The Lumix GX9 is not intended to be used as an action camera; however, it can shoot 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 other systems, to underexpose scenes with high contrast. Still, this may be addressed using the exposure adjustment dial designed explicitly.

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. Compared to the bigger sensors in competing for APS-C cameras, the one in this camera has a smaller sensor, which might be considered a negative. However, it will be difficult to see the difference between the two sets of photographs at lower sensitivities.

As was the case with the G9, Panasonic has made significant advancements in colour rendering, and the Lumix GX9 is capable of producing JPEG files with a natural appearance and accurate colours. The new L. Monochrome picture style is a beautiful addition to Lightroom if you want to take monochrome photographs without spending excessive 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 carefully analyze the files.

Panasonic Lumix GX9 Specs

Body typeRangefinder-style mirrorless
Body materialMagnesium alloy
Sensor
Max resolution5184 x 3888
Image ratio w:h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels20 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors22 megapixels
Sensor sizeFour Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorVenus Engine
Color spacesRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
Image
ISOAuto, 200-25600 (expands down to 100)
Boosted ISO (minimum)100
White balance presets5
Custom white balanceYes (4 slots)
Image stabilizationSensor-shift
Image stabilization notesDual IS uses sensor and lens-shift (when available)
CIPA image stabilization rating4 stop(s)
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsFine, standard
File formatJPEG (Exif v2.31)Raw (Panasonic RW2)
Optics & Focus
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Multi-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View
Autofocus assist lampYes
Digital zoomYes (2x-4x)
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points49
Lens mountMicro Four Thirds
Focal length multiplier
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDTilting
Screen size3″
Screen dots1,240,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification1.39× (0.7× 35mm equiv.)
Viewfinder resolution2,760,000
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed60 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/4000 sec
Maximum shutter speed (electronic)1/16000 sec
Exposure modesProgramShutter priorityAperture priorityManual
Built-in flashYes
Flash range6.00 m (at ISO 200)
External flashYes (via hot shoe)
Flash modesAuto, auto w/redeye reduction, forced on, forced on w/redeye reduction, slow sync, slow sync w/redeye reduction, forced off
Flash X sync speed1/200 sec
Drive modesSingleBurst4K PhotoPost FocusSelf-timer
Continuous drive9.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 secs, 3 photos over 10 secs)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedSpot
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)
WB BracketingYes
Videography features
FormatMPEG-4, AVCHD, H.264
Modes3840 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
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC card (UHS-I supported)
Connectivity
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
USB chargingYes
HDMIYes (micro-HDMI)
Microphone portNo
Headphone portNo
WirelessBuilt-In
Wireless notes802.11b/g/n with Bluetooth 4.2 LE
Remote controlYes (via smartphone)
Physical
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)260
Weight (inc. batteries)450 g (0.99 lb / 15.87 oz)
Dimensions124 x 72 x 47 mm (4.88 x 2.83 x 1.85″)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes
GPSNone

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. The GX9 is a friendly camera and an excellent performer, even though there is perhaps a little too much reliance on the touchscreen interface for some, particularly when selecting your desired AF area. Despite this, the GX9 doesn’t quite do enough to stand out from the rest of the pack, though it is an outstanding performer.

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