Lumix Camera Firmware​ Updates

Posted Jul. 9th, 2019 by Daniel J. Cox

Panasonic just released new firmware updates to several of their cameras. Those cameras are the Lumix GH5s-GH5-G9-G90-G80-GX9. Unfortunately, the main reason for this update seems to be mostly for making these cameras work seamlessly with the new Leica 10-25mm F/1.7 zoom. That’s a good thing but I was hoping for more updates to predictive AF. No luck on that desire it seems. You can download the firmware updates here on the Panasonic Lumix web page.

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There are 23 comments on this post…
  1. Bob HamiltonOn Aug. 22nd, 2019 (4 weeks ago)

    Like you and many of your readers, I invested in the G9 and the Leica badged lenses, including the superb 200mm f2.8 and both teleconverters, to pursue my love of wildlife photography, especially involving birds, and to do so with a more easily manageable system in terms of bulk and weight.
    In single focus point, one shot, static subject photography, the camera performs superbly over 90% of the time but, for moving subjects, such as birds in flight, it is, despite trying every possible setting and combination of settings, next to useless and I’d hate to say how many frames I’ve wasted and opportunities I’ve missed as a result. To put it mildly, the continuous autofocus largely sucks and the tracking is not much better.
    I’ve since invested in a Sony A9, the Sony G Master 100-400mm zoom and the 2x teleconverter and consigned the G9 and lenses to the cupboard and more than likely, in the not too distant future, to my camera dealer for sale, which is a pity as the camera and lenses are beautifully engineered and made and largely a complete pleasure to use and produces lovely images when it all comes together.
    The A9 is like chalk and cheese to the G9 for moving subjects, despite the G Master zoom lens having a widest aperture of f11 with the teleconverter fitted and I find that I am able to nail over 90% of my images of birds in flight, compared to not much more than 10% with the G9.
    Panasonic need to either do something radical to improve the contrast detect autofocus of the G9 or scrap it completely and join the rest of the industry in recognising that PDAF is the only real option for moving subjects.

  2. Himanshu SharmaOn Aug. 10th, 2019 (1 month ago)

    Dan, I am facing a typical issue with my Panasonic G85. Ever so frequently, when I switch on the camera- or even when it is on- when I press the shutter button for taking a pic it starts giving a message “memory card full”, and shutter button refuses to fire the shutter. Then I switch off the camera and switch on immediately again and the camera function normally. What is this strange quirk? Can you throw some light on this?
    Himanshu Sharma

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      Daniel J. CoxOn Aug. 11th, 2019 (1 month ago)

      Himanshu, this is not anything I’ve ever experienced. Have you tried a different card? What make of card are you using? My first suspicion would be the card. If other cards are doing the same I’m afraid you’ll need to have it looked at. Are you in the US? If so I can help you get it looked at quickly.

  3. Paul FramptonOn Aug. 1st, 2019 (2 months ago)

    I’ll add my voice to the AF issues. I bought a G9 earlier this year and it really is a great camera, I enjoy using it a lot. I took it to my local motor racing circuit and found getting good shots much easier than with the G80. However, my number one interest is wildlife. This has been good on the whole, but as others have found, it seems to miss focus a lot with BIF. Luckily for me, I’ve never used the likes of a D500 or a Sony A9, so I’ve not been spoiled by better systems. I was hoping for more though, causing me to occasionally cast an eye towards Olympus.
    I have my first airshow with this camera coming up in a couple of weeks. I’m going in to it confident the G9 will perform well, as it did with the motor racing. Overall, I’m really happy with the G9, hopefully they can just improve the AF a little more and make it the perfect companion for my wildlife trips.

  4. Reinhard MaagOn Jul. 27th, 2019 (2 months ago)

    Not only did my G80 (81 to be precise) disappoint DFD expectations for BiF, the PL100-400 was mechanically subpar (not optically). Very stiff, jerky zoom, never before experienced the like. Eventually I gave up, sold the big zoom (dealer listed it as ‘very dusty’) and moved to as light as possible APS-C (I still have an oldie D200, some lenses). A D7500 with a Sigma 100-400 is manageable to me at 2kg (not tho’ the Nikkor 200-500). The G81+PL100-400 weighed almost 1.5kg. It offered more reach but often forced very high ISO when fast shutter was needed. Nonetheless, I did keep the G81 and other lenses and recently picked up a tiny GM5 because there’s lots to like about m43. For BiF I grab the other gear for reasons of focussing and dynamic range.

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      Daniel J. CoxOn Jul. 27th, 2019 (2 months ago)

      Thanks for your input Reinhard. How long ago did you purchase the Leica 100-400mm you mentioned? I have one of the first that was produced. I’ve been seeing and handling many of the new ones via our my many students that show up with this lens. It seems to have gotten much smoother as far as the zoom mechanism. I’m also seeing better sharpness than the one I’ve had. I recently ordered a new one and plan to compare the two.

      Secondly, the G85 is just not capable of BIF. The G9 is much, much better. That said it’s still not as good as it needs to be. Not sure if it’s equal to the second tire Nikons you mention but it’s certainly not equal to their first-tier cameras such as the D5 or D500. Lumix desperately needs to fix their AF problems for fast-moving subjects and video. The fact that Lumix is still in the game says volumes about how amazing their cameras are EXCEPT for AF in fast-moving situations or video. If they don’t get this fixed I’m concerned people will eventually start giving up on them. Let’s hope they get their act together sooner rather than later.

  5. Varun SharmaOn Jul. 25th, 2019 (2 months ago)

    Panasonic has always been known for continuous support and care for their customers by releasing frequent firmware updates to cameras that are already in the market. The new firmware further enhances autofocus and image stabilization and unlocks some new features for selected cameras.

  6. William BunnOn Jul. 16th, 2019 (2 months ago)

    I am certain the new 10-25 F1.7 will be an excellent lens. That being said I use my G9 with 100-400 for wildlife. I chose this system because it is smaller, lighter and better stabilized. This is the micro 4/3 advantage, especially with longer lenses. In my opinion they should be developing longer, faster and better stabilized lenses for the 4/3 system (much like the Oly 150-400 just announced). I am not interested in their full frame offerings.

  7. AaronOn Jul. 14th, 2019 (2 months ago)

    hey dan enjoyed reading the comments on this blog. totally agree with the predictive af on the lumix, glad im not the only one, i recently went shooting birds in flight on the coastline in northern nsw Australia and did not nail any decent shorebirds in flight, another photographer i met on the shore had the sony a9 and he let me have a shoot with it, wow what a beast of a set up and got a great keeper rate with it, shot after shot locked on with ease. i have used lumix for about 5 years now and am looking at changing to olympus as the price is abit better in my range. do you think a Olympus setup would be more reliable for BIF? i love lumix, the menu layout the features and price but for my birds in flight i am missing loads of shots and birds are my main aim . keep up the great work, cheers mate.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jul. 16th, 2019 (2 months ago)

      Thanks for our input, Aaron. I’ve been trying the new Olympus E-M1X and though it seems better for BIF than my Lumix G9, it’s still nowhere close to what I experienced with the Sony A9 last summer. I’m coming to grips with the idea that for 80% of what I shoot my Lumix system is superior. But… for the other 20% (action) I may be moving to something different. The Sony A9 most likely but I want to wait and see what Sony plans to announce later this summer. I have my doubts I would buy a newer version of the A9 since the current A9 is so good for what I want it for. The upside is the current A9 should come down in price with the release of a newer version. Time will tell. I’ll continue to shoot my Lumix system for the majority of my work but for BIF I’ve not seen anything come close to the Sony A9.

  8. Dave M.On Jul. 11th, 2019 (2 months ago)

    Hi Dan,

    We spoke about this last year in AK, but just to reiterate I was shocked with the performance of the G9 while attempting to photograph Puffins in flight. While this overall is a small percentage of the shots normally taken, I love the challenge of trying to get that nice sharp image of birds in flight and appreciate any advantage in the attempt. The G9 firmware release in October 2018 seemed to offer an improvement when shooting eagles recently but I found myself still reaching for my Canon gear when that opportunity popped up. All that said I still like the G9 and many of the excellent features it has to offer.

    Also had an opportunity to work with the Sony A9 recently. If I were starting out ( might still change) this is the direction I would take despite the size, weight and expense of that system.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jul. 11th, 2019 (2 months ago)

      Thanks for your input, Dave. I still have hopes for Lumix to get this but they need to figure it out sooner rather than later. For my travel work, I absolutely love the G9. It’s just this one issue for a small percentage of my work that’s disappointing.

  9. Karsten JaekelOn Jul. 11th, 2019 (2 months ago)

    Dear Dan,
    I fully agree, predictive autofocus with Panasonic cameras needs improvement. Shooting birds in flight with my GH5 and PanaLeica 100-400 against noisy background is not reliable and a gambling. If Panasonic could solve the issue it would be a killer feature for the m43 System (for sports and wildlife) but maybe the DFD contrast autofocus has it`s limitations and needs a combination with a phase autofocus system. If Panasonic develops a special camera for wildlife/sports shooters like the Oly E-M1X eliminating the issue that would be great.
    On the other hand I am completely happy with the m43 System, I would never change to Nikon/Canon with heavy and expensive lenses/cams. Wildlife photography is my hobby and BIF only a part of it, pros may think different…..

    kind regards
    Karsten

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jul. 13th, 2019 (2 months ago)

      Thanks for your input Karsten

  10. AlexOn Jul. 11th, 2019 (2 months ago)

    Dear Dan,

    thank you for taking your time for this detailed response!

    “I absolutely love the Lumix system with the exception of the Predictive AF. Thankfully, even though I enjoy my birds in flight photography, that’s only a very small portion of what I do.”

    Like you and probably the very most of your readers, I’m completely into wildlife and nature photography. Birds in flight isn’t my core competence neither but I practice it regularly so that I’m ready and well-practised when it comes to such an opportunity like the bearded vulture that I’ve mentioned. It was therefore all the more disappointing to get such poor results.

    The Lumix system is an excellent choice for the biggest part of my photography and for the most parts I really enjoy the system. When I started with MFT four years ago, this system was unique concerning image stabilization and with a lot of other points that really helped me out. And not to forget it was a forerunner in terms of mirrorless photography. But meanwhile the competition caught up and the advantages of the system are shrinking with every year when compared to the other manufacturers. The main advantage of the system remains the compact design of the lenses, which are without alternative for what I do. My equipment for a several days hike already weights up to 65-75 pounds (with two bodies and 4-5 lenses). So even if I would consider to switch to a Sony A9, the size of the lenses wouldn’t work for me.

    The only MFT cam that seams more competent regarding the Predictive AF ist the EM1x and I know some people getting really good results from it and with a very high keeper rate, even with “BIF”. But to be honest, it took me four years to understand in detail how the Lumix works and meanwhile I’m able to handle the GX8 and the G9 asleep. Switching to Olympus would definitely throw me back for a while, that’s probably the main reason why I haven’t already bought the EM1x.

    kr
    Alex

  11. Tim McCulloughOn Jul. 10th, 2019 (2 months ago)

    Thanks Dan for the heads-up, version 1.3 is now loaded.

  12. Deborah AlbertOn Jul. 10th, 2019 (2 months ago)

    I so agree too. I had such high hopes for the G9, but even with the 200 2.8 falls way behind my Nikons.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jul. 10th, 2019 (2 months ago)

      Agreed Deborah. People want a camera that gives them the ability to get that once in a lifetime image that is moving fast. It doesn’t happen all that often which is why it’s even more important to be able to trust your gear to give you a fighting chance if and when it does happen. Until the Lumix cameras have this capability we’ll be nothing more than player, not a contender. Thanks for adding your voice. If I could get many more comments about this I would make sure the Lumix team sees this post, they may already be watching. If enough of us complain we might make some progress. Maybe.

  13. Bruce BeanOn Jul. 10th, 2019 (2 months ago)

    I fault Panasonic for thinking a full frame model, or 2, would solve their problems. That took engineering time away from the G9, and it shows.
    How about a firmware update to equal Oly’s night time composite viewing???

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jul. 10th, 2019 (2 months ago)

      Could not agree more Bruce! I for one wished they had just “Kept their eye on the ball”.

  14. AlexOn Jul. 10th, 2019 (2 months ago)

    “That’s a good thing but I was hoping for more updates to predictive AF.”

    Hi Dan!

    Any chance to see some development in this matter? I really have an eye on the new EM1x because the G9 really struggles with birds in flight and busy backgrounds. Had some really good opportunities to capture bearded vultures and missed nearly every shot with the G9. Only have some sharp results against blue sky, but of course this are the most boring shots compared to the rest that haven’t been in focus. It’s really a shame.

    I’ve been in contact with the european product management for a while and I’ve sent them a documentation of the problems that need to be fixed, and indeed the last AF update brought a bit of an improvement, but I still don’t see the G9 nearly on par with other models like the Olympus EM1x, Fuji XT-3 or the Sony A9. It’s just frustrating at times …

    kr
    Alex

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jul. 10th, 2019 (2 months ago)

      I feel your pain Alex. I’ve been pushing this issue for the past two years with Lumix engineers. I’m not sure there is any hope for much improvements with the current Lumix cameras. I suppose there could be but why it’s taken Lumix so long to improve Predictive AF I have no idea. I just finished a shoot with the new Olympus E-M1X and though it seems better than the G9, it comes nowhere close to the Sony A9. And that was BEFORE the newest firmware update on the Sony A9. I absolutely love the Lumix system with the exception of the Predictive AF. Thankfully, even though I enjoy my birds in flight photography, that’s only a very small portion of what I do. Even so, Lumix has no idea how important this one capability is or they would have fixed this by now. There’s just no longer any good excuse.

      Back in 1989 Canon released the EOS 1. Up to that point, 9 out of 10 cameras in the hands of professional photographers was a Nikon. Canon changed that with the EOS1 due to one technology and that was precise, accurate autofocus of fast moving objects. Even though Nikon eventually caught up, they’ve never recovered. They owned virtually 100% of the pro market. Today Canon owns the pro market with Nikon a fairly distant second. If Lumix doesn’t fix this ONE issue they will never be taken seriously by amateurs and pros alike.

  15. Jorge MiguelOn Jul. 9th, 2019 (2 months ago)

    Una lastima no hayan agregado nuevas funciones ,como el live composite o el filtro ND.

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