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 traveling cameras. The G9 is a larger camera designed to seem like a DSLR. It is better suited for shooting sports and action and more ambitious forms of photography that require larger lenses.
Panasonic Lumix GX9 Features
The 20.3-megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor found in the GX8 is also located in the Lumix GX9, but the low-pass filter 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, an alternative grip can be attached if you like something 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, equipped with Panasonic’s 225-area autofocus technology, the Lumix GX9 has 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 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.
Panasonic Lumix GX9 Performance
The Lumix GX9 is not intended as an action camera but 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. However, it does tend, 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 in the Lumix GX9 can capture great details. Compared to the bigger sensors 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 with the G9, Panasonic has made significant advancements in color rendering, and the Lumix GX9 can produce JPEG files with a natural appearance and accurate colors—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. If you carefully analyze the files, there is just a trace of luminance noise (which looks like grain) apparent at mid-range sensitivities.
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 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, three photos over 10 secs)|
|Metering modes||MultiCenter-weighted spot|
|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. 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.