Lumix Firmware Updates

Posted Nov. 20th, 2019 (3 weeks ago) 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 12 comments on this post…
  1. Luis MesaOn Dec. 5th, 2019 (1 week 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.

  2. Jerry HallOn Nov. 28th, 2019 (2 weeks 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 (2 weeks 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.

  3. Bernard Brandon ScottOn Nov. 28th, 2019 (2 weeks 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 (2 weeks 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.

  4. Portrait of Joel Kleiner

    Joel H. KleinerOn Nov. 23rd, 2019 (3 weeks 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 (3 weeks 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

  5. Portrait of Joel Kleiner

    Joel KleinerOn Nov. 21st, 2019 (3 weeks 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 (3 weeks ago)

      Love to hear how it goes Joel.

  6. Peter BattyOn Nov. 21st, 2019 (3 weeks ago)

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

  7. Peter BattyOn Nov. 21st, 2019 (3 weeks 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 (3 weeks ago)

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

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