Lumix Firmware Updates

Posted Nov. 20th, 2019 by Daniel J. Cox

Panasonic keeps upping their game. And when they do Lumix users win. Today Lumix announced major firmware updates to several cameras but most importantly the G9 and GH5, the two cameras I use the most.

Lumix Firmware Updates

Equally important is an improved firmware updating experience. I downloaded and then installed firmware updates to three Lumix cameras, and it worked on the first try for each camera. Not a typical experience based on the past. Today it was drop-dead simple.

The main improvement I’m looking forward to is the update to the AF system in the G9. Many of you may know that my severe critique of the G9’s AF did not go down well with my friends at Lumix. But as I’ve always said in one way or the other, transparency is better than smokescreens. I’m looking forward to seeing if this new firmware update will make the difference Lumix users desperately need.

Follow this link to get directly to the Lumix G9 firmware update.
Follow this link to get directly to the Lumix GH5 firmware update

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There are 17 comments on this post…
  1. Peter VluttersOn Jan. 7th, 2020 (5 months ago)

    Hello Daniel

    Sorry for not being completely on Topic but I received my G9 with Xmas

    What on Earth is highlights weighted Spot mode how can one Use this

    On Animal detect…

    Seems to work nicely when the animal is clear to see( big enough to be recognised). This means having to zoom in sometimes.

    Difficult it gets with small Birds in trees since the Focus seems to grab back to 225 field modus while the Branches aüof the tree confuse the sensor….

    Well looking forward to your findings

    All the Best for 2020

    Best wishes Peter Vlutters

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jan. 22nd, 2020 (5 months ago)

      Peter, sorry for the delay. Highlights Weighted Metering is an option that tells the camera you want it to pay particularly close attention to the highlights in the scene. Describe in the manual as “The method used to perform measuring which focuses on the highlighted parts of the screen to prevent overexposure. This is suitable for theatre photography, etc.”. OK, not a great description in my opinion. My take on it would be this.

      I almost always use the Multi-Meter setting on my Lumix G9. What Multi Meter does is look at the entire scene and make an exposure based on all the dark, light and in-between tones/colors in that scene. Along with Multi Meter, I ALWAYS have the Histogram showing in the EVF and back LCD. This allows me to see where the different tones are falling in the scene and I can make adjustments, via the +/- EV correction, accordingly. Most often, if the meter makes a mistake it’s with the highlights. And that’s where Highlight Weighted Metering comes in. Highlight Weighted Metering concentrates on the highlights and does it’s best to protect the highlights at all costs. That’s a good thing since highlights are always the tomes that seem to go off the histogram first.

      In regards to the Animal Detect AF, I’ve found it to work fairly well as far as finding the animal. However, an entire animal is not necessarily what you want in critical focus. It’s the eyes we want in focus. Without that capability, I don’t see a great deal of use for animal detection. Animal Eye Detection would be a much different story. Let us hope that’s the next step.

      Thanks for stopping by to join the conversation and please accept my apology for the delay in answering your questions.

  2. Bob HamiltonOn Dec. 19th, 2019 (6 months ago)

    You might be interested in watching this video, per the link below, which gives a quite interesting “semi-review” of the new G9 firmware version 2.0.
    Kind regards,
    Bob

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Dec. 20th, 2019 (6 months ago)

      Thanks for sharing this link Bob. Will take a look.

  3. Juraj DolanjskiOn Dec. 12th, 2019 (6 months ago)

    I update firmware in my Lumix G9. Now my Leica 50-200 f2.8 no longer focuses reliably at the infinity, when fully zoomed in. Manual focusing does not work either. Not a happy camper!

  4. Luis MesaOn Dec. 5th, 2019 (6 months ago)

    I have tested the new firmware update and the improvement is remarkable for birds in flight and moving animals like dogs. The hit rate is about 75% depending on the subject and circumstances. For running dogs towards me it is about 95%, for small flying birds is about 70%, but for larger birds is about 85%. Another very good feature is the Highlight Weighted metering mode for night photography. It is a fantastic improvement and now I can shoot with at least two ISO sensitivity ratings less than before which reduces noise. I tested the BIF and night photography against the Sony a7 iii, and the Sony a7R iii, which I rented, as I was considering moving to Sony, and the differences in both categories were not enough to make me change. I printed at 22×17, and people could not tell the difference at those sizes.
    Conclusion: I am staying with Lumix. I love the cameras, the handling, the menus, the weight, and the marginal increase in performance in BIF does not justify the change to Sony. Well done Panasonic.

  5. Jerry HallOn Nov. 28th, 2019 (6 months ago)

    Daniel,

    I very much value your site and comments. Thanks.

    Are you going to test out 2.0 with BIF, or are you done? Would really like to get your take on it.

    I still have to work more with 2.0. Early conclusion: Snap shots of fixed but quickly departing critters much better. BIF not much different (still few keepers.). Will try in better light to see how much that is a factor. Fingers crossed on 2.0.

    Your stark and accurate (in my experience) critique of DFD for BIF was appreciated. Hope G10 deals first with this issue, everything else is great, maybe a few more pixels for cropping. I love the G9 ergonomics, user interface, lens choices and other modes of operation. BIF may not that big a part of my photography, but often the most intriguing Kind of puts me up there with them in my imagination.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Nov. 28th, 2019 (6 months ago)

      Hi Jerry. Thanks for joining the conversation. I’ve not been able to test the Lumix G9 with the newest firmware on birds in flight yet. Not sure when that will be possible but hoping to ASAP. That said, I’m not overly hopeful we’ll see much of a difference. Lumix has been promising great improvements to AF with every firmware update and each time I’m disappointed. I can’t wait to be surprised. Maybe this time that will happen. But… based on what others are seeing I’m not holding out much hope.

      I also agree with you that just about EVERYTHING else about the G9 is better than any other camera on the market. They have the best touch screen technology, the best ergonomics, acceptable battery life, phenomenal video capabilities, unique features like 6K Photo Mode, Pre High-Speed Burst, fantastic DualIS andothers. Lumix simply doesn’t have any idea what kind of camera they have on their hands if they would just FIX the darn AF issues. They would have easily taken over as category leader by now if they would sort out their AF issues. I hope you have a great Thanksgiving.

  6. Bernard Brandon ScottOn Nov. 28th, 2019 (6 months ago)

    I have been using Pany’s since 2012 when I got a G3. I have been using the G9 since it came out and it is one of my favorite cameras of all time (I bought my first nikon in 1966). The Pany’s are wonderful for travelling. I have used the G9 for bird and wildlife photography and the results have been excellent when the animals are STATIC. But BIF or animals moving is another issue altogether. I found it useless for birds in flight. Two days ago I downloaded the firmware update for the G9 and went out to test it on gulls, pelicans and cormorants flying. Notice, small fast flyer (gulls), big bird (pelican), black bird (cormorant). I had the focus set on animal detect. I was amazed. It was very sure in grabbing focus and staying on the bird. In focus rate with bird against sky was 95%, against woods background about 75%; against water background about 85%. I made about 2,800 images in three hours of testing. Light was good, bright sun, high light clouds. I did not get a chance to use the far focus/close focus feature because it is only (apparently) enabled by the AE Lock button, which I use for back button focus. This new feature needs to be able to be assigned to any function button.
    How does it compared with the Nikon D500, one of the best focusing cameras for BIF? Very well, not as sure and quick as the Nikon, but close. Before it wasn’t even in the race. I will still continue to use my D500 and 500mm f4 and 500 f5.8 for BIF, but when I need a zoom lens, the G9 with 100-400 will be my choice. I’m headed to the Bosque del Apache in a week and will be putting the rig to the test.
    I don’t know how the G9 firmware upgrade compares to the Sony 9A because I have never used one.
    I know there are a lot of other features in the firmware upgrade, but I haven’t had time to explore them. But so far, I am really encouraged

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Nov. 28th, 2019 (6 months ago)

      Bernard, wow, I’m excited about what you’ve reported. Please stop by and let us know how things go in Bosque. I can’t get there this year but would love to hear how the new firmware handles birds in flight. Thanks for sharing your experience with the new firmware so far.

  7. Portrait of Joel Kleiner

    Joel H. KleinerOn Nov. 23rd, 2019 (7 months ago)

    I insallled the new firware in my G9 and GH5. Doing it myself for the 1st time was a little difficult. But once I go the hang of it and followed the instructions, it all went easy. Now I have to see what imorovements the firmware upgrades bring to these terrific cameras. Stay tuned.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Nov. 23rd, 2019 (7 months ago)

      Thanks for your input Joel. This firmware update has been the easiest I’ve done on any of my Panasonic cameras. They’ve change something that seems to work much better and that’s a good thing. Let us know what you find I’m getting ready to do some test myself with the auto focus

  8. Portrait of Joel Kleiner

    Joel KleinerOn Nov. 21st, 2019 (7 months ago)

    I’m waiting to install and check this out for my upcoming travels. I’ll definitely report and comment back.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Nov. 21st, 2019 (7 months ago)

      Love to hear how it goes Joel.

  9. Peter BattyOn Nov. 21st, 2019 (7 months ago)

    Thanks Daniel, will do, and look forward to seeing your thoughts too.

  10. Peter BattyOn Nov. 21st, 2019 (7 months ago)

    I have done some initial testing of the new animal focus mode and have been very impressed so far. Still haven’t had much chance to try birds in flight. I’ve shared some shots and initial impressions at http://smallworldlivelarge.com/2019/11/20/animal-detect-autofocus-on-lumix-g9-first-impressions/

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Nov. 21st, 2019 (7 months ago)

      Thanks for your input, Peter. Keep us up to speed on what you find.

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