Panasonic Lumix G9 47,000 Pictures Over 10 Months

Posted Nov. 12th, 2018 by Daniel J. Cox

Panasonic’s Lumix G9

It’s been a little less than ten months since I first had the opportunity to shoot a pre-production model of the Lumix G9. Six months have passed since receiving a regular production model. Along the way, I’ve shot just shy of 47,000 pictures including geese and ducks, cranes and dogs, swans and elk, bald eagles, coyotes, red fox, lemurs, chameleons, and bison. I’ve shot these two cameras in pouring rain, desert sands, frigid cold, and under the glorious blue skies of a warm Montana summer. They’ve been banged, dropped, splashed and rolled, accumulating blemishes that make them look old. You get the idea. As I tell our Natural Exposures Explorers, if your camera looks brand new, you’re not having enough fun. And so far, I’m enjoying the G9 like no other Lumix I’ve used to date. For a quick introduction on how durable Panasonic gear is, take a look at the video below discussing how one of my Lumix cameras rolled 100 yards down a mountainside and survived with no issues.

If you’re reading this blog post, you’ve most likely been to other websites highlighting the Lumix G9. There’s no shortage of technically advanced, in-depth reviews—my guess would be dozens, many with the backing of a sophisticated lab that can spew results only serious pixel peepers look for. With that bit of reality in mind, this review, like my others, will not reinvent the wheel when it comes to the analyzing this newish camera. This is going to be more like a list of Pros and Cons with some added commentary thrown in for interest. Here’s a list of a few of the most in-depth reviews on this camera to date.

Other Reviews


Camera Labs

Imaging Resource

Tech Radar

Digital Trends

Photo District News

The list above will give you ample opportunities to examine the G9 based on a more scientific approach. My take will be personal, from in the field on authentic shoots. So let’s get started.

The Basics

Lens Mount Micro Four Thirds
Camera Format Micro Four Thirds (2x Crop Factor)
Pixels Actual: 21.77 Megapixel
Effective: 20.3 Megapixel
Max Resolution 20 MP: 5184 x 3888
Aspect Ratio 1:1, 3:2, 4:3, 16:9
Sensor Type / Size MOS, 17.3 x 13 mm
File Formats Still Images: JPEG, RAW
Movies: AVCHD 2.0,
Audio: AAC, Dolby Digital 2ch, Linear PCM
Dust Reduction System Yes
Memory Card Type SD
Image Stabilization Sensor-Shift, 5-Way

Size Matters

I’m a huge fan of the Lumix system, much of it due to Panasonic’s understanding that cameras can be too small. My feeling is that Panasonic builds them just right, and the G9 is the most advanced example. I have relatively large hands and having something moderately sized is a big advantage. 

Dan compares the Nikon 400mm F/2.8 and the new Leica 200mm F/2.8 at Bozeman Camera. The Nikkor weighs 8.3 pounds and costs just short of $12,000 new. The Leica weighs 2.75 pounds and costs just short of $3,000.

Many of you know I’m constantly talking about how small the Lumix cameras are, but what I’m really referring to is the system overall. When it comes to downsizing, I accomplished that by replacing my monster traditional DSLR and the even more ginormous lenses. Smaller lenses are the most positive aspect of the MFT system, even though the camera bodies may be similar in size to other systems. For example, the Lumix G9 body is slightly larger than the newest Sony A7 body. But the well thought out ergonomics make the G9 much easier to navigate.

The new Sony 400mm F/2.8 on the Sony A9 body.

Though the body is moderate in size, I repeat, it’s the lenses that make all the difference. Keep this in mind if you’re like many who’ve recently decided to finally try mirrorless. Sony’s hot on the mirrorless list, but Sony is full-frame, and a full-frame system requires full-frame lenses. Therefore, downsizing won’t be as effective if you decide to go full-frame. Same goes for the two new kids on the full-frame mirrorless block, Nikon and Canon. You can buy their cameras, and they will be smaller than their traditional DSLR’s, but the lenses are going to be the same size and weight. That’s what so many people just don’t understand, for whatever reason.

Freddy is just way too confident with his baby Lumix system, and Peter’s most interested in the bird he just saw. Oh, by the way, Freddy is shooting 840mm and Peter 600mm. Cuiaba River, Pantanal, Brazil

I’m going to say it again, the lenses for mirrorless cameras from Sony, Nikon, and Canon ARE GOING TO BE JUST AS BIG AS THE LENSES ON THE FULL-FRAME DSLR’S THAT YOU MAY BE MOVING AWAY FROM. If it’s a full-frame DSLR from Nikon, Canon, or Sony, your system will not get much lighter due to the fact full-frame cameras require the big, heavy, full-frame lenses.

Micro Four Thirds lenses are much, much smaller, and less expensive. Sorry to beat this dead horse, but I’m regularly dumbfounded how many people come up to me and say, “Well Dan you convinced me, I’ve finally bit the bullet and downsized to mirrorless and bought a Sony.” What? You’ve not downsized your system if you bought a Sony. It’s that simple.

Lumix G9 with Leica 200mm F/2.8 which is equal to a 400mm F/2.8 on a full-frame camera.

Case in point is the new Sony G series 400mm F/2.8 that weighs just a tad over six pounds and costs $12,000. Compare that to the new Lumix/Leica 200mm F/2.8 (400mm equivalent) that weighs 2.7 pounds and costs $3000—just about 1/3 the price, size, and weight of the new Sony lens. An even more common comparison might be the Lumix 12-35mm compared to the Sony G-Series 24-70mm F/2.8. The Sony weighs in at 1.95 pounds (886 grams) and costs $2200. The Lumix is a feathery 10.76 oz (305 grams) and costs $999. Weight and size issues aside, I just can’t see paying the prices for full-frame lenses anymore. Forgive my digression, let’s get back to the Lumix.

Top Side Dedicated Buttons 

Ever since the GH3, I’ve been extremely impressed with the layout of the dedicated top side buttons. Specifically the WB, +/- EV, and ISO. Some manufacturers are very proud of the fact they mark almost no buttons. The theory is you can customize these buttons any which way you want, so why label them? That’s great in theory, but in practice, it can be a nightmare. Especially for anyone not shooting their cameras on a daily basis. The G9 has the ability to customize buttons every which way to Sunday, but having these three buttons labeled helps eliminate confusion for people who use their cameras less often than they would like.

I know the issue of forgetting all too well from lots of experience during our Invitational Photo Tours. Most people, including our Explorers, don’t shoot every day, and most of them are very lucky to take 1-3 trips per year. Even if they did three trips each year, that’s still four months on average between trips. A lot can be forgotten in a four-month time frame. And believe me, I hear about it when we get back together. So dedicated, marked buttons are a very good thing.

Electronic Viewfinder

Viewfinder Type Electronic
Viewfinder Pixel Count 3,680,000
Viewfinder Eye Point 21.00 mm
Viewfinder Coverage 100%
Viewfinder Magnification Approx. 0.83x
Diopter Adjustment -4 to +3 m
Display Screen 3″ Rear Touchscreen Swivel Touchscreen LCD (1,040,000)
Screen Coverage 100%

It’s big, bright, and very easy to look through. It has three options for making the field of view narrow to extra wide. I’ve not seen this on any other Lumix camera or any other camera for that matter. Is it as good as glass? In bright light, no. In dark light, it’s much better than glass.

Change your ability to see more or less of the EVF by using this little button.

An additional feature that only this EVF can offer is the G9’s complete settings info with the camera to your eye, the exact same information you see on the rear LCD. That means the histogram is always right where you want it, in the viewfinder or on the rear LCD, alerting you to necessary adjustments needed BEFORE you take the picture. When shooting traditional DSLR’s you have to shoot the picture first and then check the histogram, adjust, and continue shooting.

Lots of information on the back LCD. All of it, except the far right tabs, you will also see in your EVF. Notice the histogram. It’s in the EVF and constantly on, if you choose, to help you nail your exposures. No need for bracketing anymore unless you’re doing an intentional HDR.

There is no feature on Lumix cameras, or any other cameras for that matter, that I feel is more important than the histogram. It’s completely changed the way I shoot; I never wonder if the exposure is perfectly set or slightly off.  The histogram along with the front dial for adjusting the +/- Exposure Compensation has made my exposures incredibly consistent.

I almost never have to adjust my exposure using software, saving lots of time in post-processing, all because I can make my exposure changes in the camera based on an accurate visual of the histogram, before the image is captured. This is just one of the many benefits that mirrorless cameras have over traditional DSLRs. Once you experience the ability to adjust your exposure via the histogram BEFORE you push the button, you will wonder how you ever lived without it.

Back of Camera Button Layout and Eyepiece

For a perfect eyepiece, we have to look at the Lumix G85 in the picture below. Unfortunately, the G9’s eyepiece is very disappointing. Why? Because like the GH5, GH4, and GH3, the G9’s outer rubber eyepiece falls off way too easily. It doesn’t fall off as easily as the GH5, but it falls off easy enough that I’ve lost two in nine months and finally quit buying new ones. Like my GH4 and GH5’s, I’ve started using black gaffers tape to hold the diopter wheel while leaving the eyepiece off. You’ll notice this technique in the picture showing my GH5 below. Hey, it works.

The G85’s eyepiece is so solid you can’t knock it off with a hammer. I really wish we had something similar on the G9. I’ve never once lost a rubber eye piece on a G85. I have no idea why it’s so dificlut to design something similar for the GH models.

Panasonic changed things up considerably with the layout of the buttons on the back of the G9. Gone are all buttons to the extreme right of the back of the camera body, most notably the Display button which has been an ongoing issue with all the GH series cameras since the GH3. I shoot with many folks who are now using GH4’s and GH5’s, and both cameras have the Display button on the far right side where the palm of your hand can easily change it.

Note the missing eyepiece on my GH5. I’ve replaced five eyepieces between two GH5’s and two GH4’s. I use gaffers tape is to lock diopter ring and keep it from moving.

Confusion reigns when you accidentally hit that button and have no idea why the back LCD has changed, and worse yet, how to change it back. If you know your camera inside out it’s not a big deal.

The Display button has been nicely repositioned. Now if we could get the eyepiece to stay on. Admittedly, it took several months to lose my G9’s eyepiece where it only took days with the GH5. So that’s an improvement, but eyepieces going rogue is still a problem I wished Lumix engineers would solve.

But for those who shoot a few times a year, moving the Display button much further in and down, as we see on the above image of the G9, is a big improvement. 

AFS/AFC Switch with AEL/AFL Lock and Back Button AF

Panasonic’s AFS/AFC switch on the top-right backside of the camera is the best placement of this kind of switch on ANY camera being produced. Nikon puts this same lever on the front of the camera, lower left side, and to the left of the lens mount. Describing Nikon’s version is every bit as difficult as it is to quickly make a change with that same switch. The G9, like the GH3, GH4, GH5, and even their second tier cameras like the G85 and others, have this switch front and center, comfortably close to where your right thumb will normally rest. Access to it is easy, fast, and simple.

In the middle of the AFS/AFC switch is the AEL/AFL button that I program to activate AF on all my Lumix cameras. If you’ve never used Back Button AF, you don’t know what you’re missing. It’s a powerhouse tool for photographers who understand and thrive on perfect composition. If you don’t typically feel composition is an important element of your work, you won’t connect the dots on why Back Button AF is so important. If  composition is important to you, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without Back Button AF.

Front Right Hand Grip

The Lumix G9 is easy to hold with a larger, more robust hand grip. The other cameras in the Lumix line are not bad, but there is just something more reassuring about the larger grip of the G9. It protrudes further forward, has a nice rubbery texture, and fits the hand nicely. I can easily reach down and pick it up using just my right four fingers due to the sticky nature of the rubber.

Dual SD Cards

For many photographers, a camera with the option of two SD card slots is an absolute must. It’s one of the biggest complaints of the new Nikon Z and Canon R mirrorless cameras. For those who need two cards, you’ll be happy to know the Lumix G9 has them. Frankly, I’ve never used more than one card on any of my Lumix cameras, so having two is nice but not a need for me. But for others, based on the hand-wringing I’ve seen regarding the new Nikon and Canon cameras, two high-speed SDXC card slots are extremely important.

Extra Battery Grip

For the times I’m shooting a long telephoto lens, I’ll often use the extra battery grip. It really gives more support for the heavier zooms and teles. Yes, it does make the camera bigger and bulkier, but when you’re holding a lens that is a full-frame equivalent to a 400mm F/2.8, it’s nice to have a little extra purchase. 

Equally beneficial is the ability to easily hold the camera in a vertical position with all buttons, WB, +/- EV, and ISO, seen on the top deck of the camera, replicated on the top of the vertical grip. The one downside is the Back Button AF is far to the right side of the vertical grip. It would be very helpful for that button to be an inch or so in from the edge of current placement.

Dual IS (In-camera/In-lens Combined Image Stabilization)

This is one of the most amazing features I’ve ever experienced. There are others doing something similar, but only Olympus is matching the Dual IS Panasonic is perfecting. Being able to handhold an 800mm lens down to 1/15 of a second is nothing short of magic. 

Yacare caiman resting along the bank of the Cuiaba River, Pantanal, Brazil. This image was shot from a small boat using the Lumix G9, Leica 200mm F/2.8, and 2.0X teleconverter. That’s the equivalent of 800mm. Exposure was 1/50th of a second at 2000 ISO. Handheld, no tripod. Anybody think there’s too much depth of field?

At 16 years old, when I first started taking pictures of nature, I was completely opposed to using a tripod. I tried for months to get a sharp image of a whitetail deer, sneaking around the Minnesota woodlands with a 300mm lens shooting Kodachrome 64 film. I never succeeded. Finally, I broke down and bought a tripod and only then did I see quality results. At that time my mindset was, “How can a wildlife photographer drag a tripod through the woods and not scare the animals?”

The cover of my first book Whitetail Country that sold just short of 200,000 copies. The cover image was shot on a tripod.

Well, I figured it out, and though it’s possible I much prefer leaving the sticks behind. Having the ability to ditch the tripod is now like stepping back in time, turning into a naive, dreamy-eyed kid once again. Only today the physique is gone, there’s less hair, and what I do have is much more gray. In short, I’m getting old. Being able to leave the heavy tripods behind is a HUGE bonus that’s now possible with this diminutive camera system that produces great big results. 

Frame Rates Off The Chart

Can you imagine 60 Frames Per Second in AFS? It’s possible with the Lumix G9. How about 20 Frames Per Second in AFC? Once again, it’s doable with the G9. In all fairness, Olympus first proved they could obtain a frame rate of 60 FPS in AFS and 18 FPS in AFC. Panasonic brought us one better by giving us 60 FPS in AFS and 20 FPS in AFC. The numbers from both companies are hard to believe. 

In reality, these frame rates are only for special situations. Can you imagine a photographer at the Olympics shooting a gymnast on the balance beam? Basically, a subject that does not move from front to back stays in a relatively static position in relation to the plane of the camera. There on the beam, she performs moves difficult to comprehend but easy to discern with a series of pictures shot at 60 Frame Per Second. 

The Lumix Diaries pulls out a win at the IIHA World Hockey Championships in Paris where I used the small, pocketable Lumix ZS100 in 4K Photo Mode to catch the winning goal by the Swiss, beating the Canadians 3-2 in overtime. Amazingly, I was sitting halfway up in the stands, middle part of the Colosseum, where I shot much of the game with this tiny little camera. Tanya and I were just passing through Paris on our way to Croatia and Slovenia when we realized her distant family member Nate MacKinnon was in town playing for the Canadians. Would have rather had the Canadians win than to get this shot, but hey, that’s the way the puck rolls. This is an 8-megapixel jpeg pulled from the 4K Photo Mode file.

I first saw the benefits of mega frames rates, 30 FPS, when shooting the early version of 4K Photo Mode with the Lumix ZS100. It was the winning goal of the 2107 IIHA International Hockey Championship in Paris. I wasn’t allowed to bring in my so-called “professional camera” which at the time was the GH5. But they had no problem with me shooting the Lumix ZS100. Working with 4K Photo Mode I captured the winning goal. Astonishingly only one frame out of the 30+ the camera fired showed the puck turned broadside to the camera. It’s the image above, and it proves there really are times where massive frame rates, beyond the traditional 12-14 current DSLR’s shoot, can be a tremendous advantage. It allowed me to capture that once in a lifetime image. 

Whisper-quiet Shutter (as well as completely silent)

For me I like the sounds of a clicking camera. There’s something satisfying about the push of a button and the snap of the shutter. The G9’s version of this is even more interesting. Why? Because it’s super quiet yet loud enough to give the pleasurable feedback. That’s when it’s in normal mode. Set the shutter to Silent and nobody has any idea the camera is even working. A great feature for times where noise can be an issue.

Even Jane Goodall likes quiet cameras, as witnessed on 60 Minutes where she and Tom Mangelsen are sitting on the banks of the Platte River photographing cranes. Mangelsen picks up his big old clackity Nikon D5 and points it to the sky firing off several pictures. Ms. Goodall looks over at him as Mangelsen brings his camera down. Dr. Goodall looks straight at him and says, “Next year do you think you can invest in a silent camera?” I about fell off the couch laughing. Seems the good Dr. would appreciate the silent mode in all the Lumix cameras. Below is an image I shot of Dr. Goodall enjoying a much more peaceful moment than she experienced on the banks of the Platte River.

Dr. Jane Goodall waits patiently at a private reception during the Youth 4 Action conference in Ottawa, Canada in 2009.

High-Resolution Mode

Some photographers think one of the downsides to the smaller MFT sensors is their lack of megapixels. The G9 has 20.3 megapixels, but when you switch it to High-Resolution Mode you get a whopping 80 megapixels, a file size of 10,368 x 6912 pixels. For a quality comparison test of the G9’s High-Resolution file, I borrowed a Nikon D850 and a Sony A7Rlll from my friends at Bozeman Camera. I know the quality of the Nikon and the Sony are superb, so they were great cameras to do this comparison with.

Below are the three images. I feel the details in the G9 file are impressive, but the river’s water is less than pleasing. Something very strange and unnatural about it. The Nikon and Sony rendered it beautifully, but then again they weren’t combining frames as the High-Resolution mode does. I plan to shoot further tests of the same river to try and see if maybe a longer exposure would smooth the river out. If not I will have to be disappointed in the High-Resolution mode for the kind of work I do.

For architecture, the High-Resolution mode could be fabulous. Make sure you look at the small yellow flowers in the right upper part of the frame. They are exceptional in all three pictures. Everything in the Lumix frame looks very good other than the strange looking water. I’m not sure what’s going on—maybe a much longer shutter speed would have smoothed out this disappointing effect.

Lumix G9 with Leica 12mm F/1.4 High-Resolution Mode

Sony A7Rlll with 24-70mm F/2.8 G Master Lens

Nikon D850 with 24-70mm F/2.8

Star Light AF

A popular photography genre these days is night skies. The G9, GH5, and GH5s, as well as a few other Lumix cameras, have a special feature called Star Light AF. What this feature does is give you the ability to focus on the stars without having to do it manually using the infinity mark on a lens. This is very helpful if you don’t have a manual lens with a specific infinity mark. Without infinity marker, it’s often difficult to impossible to get proper focus when setting up after dark. Many photographers solve this by purchasing a special manual focus lens with the infinity mark.

The Milky Way shot in New Zealand with the Lumix G9 and Leica 12mm F/1.4 lens. I used Starlight AF to focus on the sky and processed a group of images with Starry Landscape Stacker.

Or… they have to get to their shooting location before the sun sets to get focused on infinity, then tape the lens or shut AF off so as not to change focus when the skies go black. Having Star Light AF alleviates the need to buy a special lens and makes shooting night skies a breeze. Keep in mind, however, the directions mentioned in the manual that you must use the middle part of the screen as the AF area. Don’t try to use AF on the outer edges of the viewfinder. Star Light AF doesn’t work on the edges. I tried before going back to the manual and getting set straight.

Nighttime Lighting

Nighttime Lighting changes the color and intensity of the G9’s upper and rear LCD. This is a nice option to keep your eyes from having issues adjusting when shooting those night skies with Starlight AF. 

6K & 4K Photo Mode

We covered this a bit when I discussed frame rates. Some might feel the power of 6K & 4K Photo Mode is weakened with the G9’s actual 60 Frames Per Second stills capabilities. But shooting video stills can be advantageous in some situations like the hockey goal example shown earlier. The only problem with 6K Photo Mode is that there are few programs that make it easy to extract the frames you want once the card leaves the camera. If you do the extraction process from the camera it’s much easier.  My fellow Lumix Ambassador Photo Joseph has produced a nicely done video on how to extract 6K Photos from a 6K Video file which I’ve included below.

Yes, it’s true that while shooting 6K or 4K photo Mode you’ll only get JPEGs to work with. But the advantage is the ability to turn the camera’s video function on and just let it go. No need to predict that decisive moment during capture.

A chameleon launches his sticky tongue to reel in a grasshopper. This is an 18-megapixel jpeg pulled from 6K Photo Mode that was shot at 30 FPS.

Start the camera, let it go, and pick your 18-megapixel frame when the action is over. 6K Photo Mode gives you an impressive 30 FPS capturing 18-megapixel jpegs. 4K Photo Mode gives a whopping 60 FPS, with 8-megapixel jpegs. The manual says you can even shoot AFC and the camera will adjust even at these massive frame rates. I haven’t tried this yet and to be completely frank, I would need to see the results to believe it. We’ll talk more about Predictive AF a bit later. 

There’s even a feature for correcting Rolling Shutter which is an issue with virtually all digital cameras. 6K & 4K Photo Mode will show signs of Rolling Shutter. Once you take the picture you can review your 6K video, select a still image, and when you save it, the G9 automatically fixes Rolling Shutter issues.

I’ve also found a much simpler way to extract your photos from the 6K Photo Mode, but unfortunately it’s only for Mac users via Apple’s Photos. I created the video tutorial above for extracting stills from your 6K video files in Photos.

Post Focus / Focus Stacking

This is another inspiring tool based on Panasonic’s revolutionary 4K video capabilities. In a nutshell, the camera shoots a video series, changing the focus from front to back of the frame as it records the video. When finished it stacks all the different focused frames into one frame giving you much better depth of field than what you could get from a lens alone. Once again the final output is a JPEG. 


Many reading this blog may not even think that a guy specializing in wildlife and nature would even know what a flash is. If that’s what you thought, you would be wrong. Flash is actually a very important tool for documenting conservation efforts and natural history. When used correctly as fill flash on subjects in normal daylight where the flash doesn’t affect the animal’s eyes, flash is very helpful. I stress “fill flash” here since using a flash in bright daylight to fill in the shadows is much different than using a flash in unlit conditions where the animal’s eyes are adjusted for the dark. I don’t shoot flash with animals in unlit situations. Remember, the safety of your subject is the most important rule we have in the world of wildlife and nature photography.

Flash Modes Auto
Auto/Red-Eye Reduction
Forced On
Forced On/Red-Eye Reduction
Slow Sync
Slow Sync/Red-Eye Reduction
Built-in Flash No
Max Sync Speed 1 / 250 Second
Flash Compensation -3 EV to +3 EV (in 1/3 EV steps)
Dedicated Flash System TTL
External Flash Connection Hot Shoe, PC Terminal

But fill flash is a different story. As long as the day is bright and the animal’s eyes are adjusted to the daylight, fill flash is never going to be more powerful than the sun. But it can help in brightening shadows and stopping the action of a moving subject. The image below of a leaping black and white ruffed lemur is a perfect example of when I like to use flash.

Panasonic has three great flashes that work with the G9. They are the FL360, the FL580, and the much smaller FL200. All of them work wirelessly to give you extensive options for firing your strobes off camera. Unfortunately, as good as the Lumix strobes are, and they are very good for most situations, they do have a few issues for the kind of work I do.

Lumix flashes FL360 and the FL200. I didn’t include a photo of the FL580 since it looks exactly like the FL360. It just has more power and is considerably larger.

On the plus side is the fact the FL360 is a serious powerhouse, yet still very small. It shoots in TTL and can be controlled via the camera—I don’t have to adjust the flash itself for +/- Exposure compensation. It has a High-Speed Sync setting, works wirelessly, and has a fabulous video light built in the front. Overall it’s an impressive unit.

The biggest issue with all my Lumix strobes is a substantial delay in how quickly the flash fires after the shutter button is pushed. It’s not something you’ll notice shooting events, family gatherings, etc., but break out a leaping lemur or two and you’ve got problems. Below is a photo of a leaping black and white ruffed lemur.

Black-and-white ruffed lemur leaping through the forest. Lumix G9 with Leica 12-60mm zoom and FL360 flash set to manual.

My desire for this picture was to use a shutter speed slow enough to blur the background, panning with the animal to keep the subject sharp. Along with panning the flash was used to help freeze the action. This is a technique I’ve used for decades with my Nikon gear, but last year when I tried this approach on the lemurs I found the animal was always out of the frame by the time the camera and flash fired. I could not figure out why I kept missing them. This year when I returned, rather than using TTL, I switched the flash to manual and that did the trick. Apparently, when the flash is in TTL it fires a series of pre-flashes that affect the speed of capturing the real exposure. By the time the pre-flash is done, the subject is out of the frame.

Flash for Macro Subjects

Unfortunately, one of my few disappointments in the G9 is the lack of in-camera flash. The photo below is of my GH4 and FL360 setup where the built-in flash of the GH4 can wirelessly fire my FL360. It’s a phenomenal macro setup but one that’s not possible with the G9 unless you hang a comparatively bulky FL200 or FL360 on top of the G9 as a commander flash.

Me with Lumix macro setup using the FL360 with the Lumix GH4. The same flash works beautifully with the new Lumix G9. Costa Rica

Very disappointing since the GH4 and the wireless FL360 is the best macro setup I’ve ever used across all camera lines. Oh well, maybe a future Lumix camera. Lumix isn’t the only one that thinks Pros don’t want a built-in flash. When I was deep into the Nikon system I only ever had one of their high-end flagship pro bodies, such as the D3 or D4.

Closeup of orchid. Shot with a Lumix GH4 with flash on camera triggering FL360 placed behind the orchid. This is an example of having a flash built into the camera to trigger a remote flash for macro.

The main reason was a lack of a built-in flash. Like we’re seeing with Lumix, Nikon required you to purchase their second-tier cameras like the D700, D300, and others to get the built-in flash. The same is now happening with Lumix where you have to buy the second tier G85 to get the built-in flash. And I do have a G85 for this exact reason. I would rather have a built-in flash on the G9, but that’s not how it was built. Unfortunately, nobody asked my opinion before the G9 came to be. Such is life.

Treefrog, Costa Rica. Shot with Lumix GH4 and Leica 42.5mm macro lens. Off camera, FL360 triggered by GH4’s built-in flash

My Nikon contacts loved to tell me their pro bodies didn’t have built-in flashes because “Pros don’t want a built-in flash.” Wrong! I absolutely love a built-in flash, and I’m very disappointed my new G9 body doesn’t have it. I was certain that since the G9 was targeted at still photographers, it was most assuredly going to have a built-in flash. I’m hopeful that Lumix will change that in future cameras. It’s definitely not a deal breaker, but macro and quick portraits in harsh midday sun would be much more efficient with a built-in flash. I use it all the time when I have a camera that has it.

Predictive Auto Focus AKA AF-C

One of the ongoing issues with all MFT cameras has been less than stellar Predictive Autofocus capabilities. I’ve said for years that it’s a real testament to the hard work and engineering Nikon and Canon have employed to achieve the best Predictive AF in the world. It’ obviously not an easy thing to do. 

The below gallery is an in-sequence series of images shot in AF-C, Custom AF Set 1 (Default settings). 

Panasonic is trying hard with their DFD (Depth From Defocus) technology which uses Contrast Detection for acquiring proper focus. Many YouTube pundits have harshly criticized the DFD/Contrast Detection for not being able to match the results of Phase Detection AF other manufacturers employ, and that criticism has been warranted. However, Panasonic is making great strides with DFD, and I’m confident DFD will eventually catch up and surpass Phase Detection AF. Panasonic engineers are on to something here. Their way of doing Predictive AF is different than the rest and that will eventually be an advantage. I can hear some screaming now, but I’ll put money on it that I’m right.

Verreaux’s sifaka mother in typical “dancing” posture as she moves across a dirt road with her baby clutching to hear back, Madagascar. Lumix G9 and Leica 50-200mm

Last summer I did a Predictive AF comparison blog post titled: Predictive AF Comparison Tests Lumix GH5, G85, Oly EM-1 Mark ll, and Nikon D500 using the new Lumix GH5. For that test, I used very consistently fast-moving subjects–cars coming towards the camera at 50-80 mph. The GH5 did extremely well, and in fact better than the Nikon D500. However, in real world shooting situations, where the subject was less predictable—like birds flying against a busy background—the GH5 didn’t do so well. Unfortunately when the G9 came out it used the same AF system as the GH5, so it wasn’t’ much better. But things are changing fast with ongoing firmware updates.

Verreaux’s sifaka leaping as it crosses a field. Shot with the Lumix G9 and the Leica 50-200mm zoom

Fast forward to today, and I’m seeing the G9’s Predictive AF showing substantial improvements. With the firmware update Version 1.1, I’m getting much better results when shooting flying birds against busy or bright backgrounds. This latest trip to Madagascar I was finally able to get a large number of sharp pictures of the dancing sifakas as well.

With the G9 and the GH5 before it, Panasonic created a series of four Custom AF sets that are intended to help fine tune AF for several different situations. Unfortunately, those four Menu Sets are complicated. Yes, they give us many options, but it’s almost impossible to figure out which ones are best.

A screenshot of the four different AF Set options that allow you to fine tune autofocus. Click here to download the Lumix AF Handbook.

Keeping track of the Set’s changes is the most problematic, especially in the heat of action where you’re just trying to capture exciting flight pictures. Making it even more difficult is a lack of metadata to document the Custom Set you used with all its specific details. If this information was available in Metadata, nailing down the best AF settings would be much easier. But, unfortunately, we don’t have that option.

An example of the Custom AF Set menu. There are four Sets and each has three options that can be fine-tuned. Above is Set 1 Moving Object Prediction. Having this menu is better than not having it, but it’s not easy to figure out just what to change. I would be more impressed if AF just worked without having to make changes. Hopefully, this can be made less confusing in the future.

For whatever reason Panasonic does not record Custom AF settings in the RAW file’s Metadata. Nailing down Custom AF settings would be so much easier if we had this information available AFTER the shoot.

Birds In Flight

One of the hottest topics across the Internet and on any of the forums is Birds in Flight, AKA BIF. I understand why. Photographing flying birds is a lot of fun and it’s not easy for a camera or photographer. Fortunately, the G9 is the best Lumix camera to date for flying birds. Below is a screenshot of a series of a jabiru stork I recently photographed in Brazil. You have to take my word for it, but out of the 26 frames, 24 are razor sharp. The other two are sharp enough to keep. Almost a perfect score.

Jabiru stork photographed with the G9 and Leica 50-200mm with the 1.4X teleconverter. Custom AF Set 2, AF-C

This was a particularly difficult situation since the bird was flying against a seriously contrasty background in the first half of the frames. That’s always been very problematic for the Lumix cameras. One advantage this scene offered was a very bright, white subject.

Jabiru stork in flight brings a stick for its nest. The bright twigs in the background did not affect the G9’s AF sensor. It’s possible the bright white bird was helpful as well. Lumix G9 with Leica 50-200mm

I can’t say whether a darker bird against the same background would have come out as well. However, I have found that since the latest firmware update to Version 1.1, the G9 does a better job with all subjects against a brighter/distracting background.

Black skimmer flying over a bright sandy beach. Shot with the Lumix G9 and Leica 50-200mm with a 1.4X teleconverter

The above group of pictures is of a black skimmer against a very bright whitish, sandy beach. I was using a Custom AF mid-sized Diamond shape for the AF pattern. It most certainly covered the bird and would have most certainly seen a part of the background as well. Thankfully it stuck with the bird. Again, this is not how the G9 reacted when it was first released.

Another New Firmware Update for Lumix G9 Version 1.2

Much of this review was written over about a month-long time frame. When I first started this report my G9 pictures stood at about 35,000 images. Today my Lumix G9 files stand at 47,000 pictures. During that time Panasonic announced new firmware updates for several cameras including the G9 This firmware update includes the following improvements.

  1. Improved AF performance
    –There were cases where the focus point was shifted to the background while tracking the subject in AFC mode. The new firmware minimizes this problem.
    – There were cases where the focus point was shifted to the background while tracking the subject in video recording. The new firmware minimizes this problem.
  2. Improvement of operation under specific lighting conditions (fluorescent lights, etc.)
    – There were cases where the camera did not catch up to the brightness change smoothly under specific lighting conditions such as fluorescent lights. The new firmware minimizes this problem.

I’ve been hearing very good things about the new firmware update. Peter Gregg and his little buddy Jingles gives it a try which you can watch in the video below. I love Jingles, and the Christmas room just makes me warm and fuzzy.

I’ll be trying the G9 update with fast dogs in the Speeding Pooch Test, hopefully later this month. If not, for sure in early December.

Smaller Sensor Equals More Noise

Let’s face it, it seems the number one criteria people base a quality camera on is its ability to shoot at very high ISOs. Unfortunately, noise at higher ISOs is the biggest issue we face with all Micro Four Thirds cameras. The G9 is no exception, but it is the best so far aside from the GH5s. That said, I personally feel we’ve all been brainwashed to think lack of noise is the only thing to care about.

With software, you can fix a huge amount of the noise issues we sometimes see with the smaller MFT cameras. In general, the G9 is about 1.5 to 2 stops less capable than a full-frame camera. That means if you start seeing noise with full-frame at ISO 6400, you’re going to see the same at about 1600 ISO on the G9. I typically don’t shoot the G9 above 2000 ISO but I have shot it as high as ISO 6400.

A flock of great-tailed grackle make their way home to roost late evening at Bosque del Apache NWR. Lumix G9 with Leica 200mm F/2.8. 1/50th of a second at F/7.1

With software, specifically DxO PhotoLab 2, I clean it up. And my goodness DxO PhotoLab does a fabulous job cleaning up noise and retaining sharp details in feathers, stars, and other things. I can agree that if you absolutely need the most ultimate quality possible, a larger sensor will make that happen, but I’m doing prints as large as 30×40 inches and they are extremely sharp and detailed with outstanding colors.

Raven Spirit, a fine art print 24×36 inches in size (without the frame) hanging in our home in Bozeman, Montana.

The number of times I do prints that size is maybe four times per year, and then it’s mostly for testing purposes to prove to people these cameras can handle it. It’s truly just plain crazy that we’ve all been hoodwinked into thinking we ALL need a full-frame sensor camera by the phenomenal marketing machines from Nikon, Canon, and now Sony.

Wine cellar in New Zealand. Lumix G9 with Leica 8-18mm, shot at 0.25 seconds at F/11, ISO 3200, handheld

What’s in the Pipeline

I’ve been waiting for a breakthrough sensor, one that will equal or better full-frame sensors, since I embraced my original MFT camera the Lumix GF1. Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened yet in the Micro Four Thirds realm, but I predict it’s not far away. We all know that electronics are always getting faster, cheaper, and better. Sensors are nothing but electronics and therefore are no exception. The time is coming where we will have at least as much resolution, dynamic range, and low noise characteristics in Micro Four Thirds sensors as the full-frame sensors.

This is a sample image taken with the new Panasonic 8K sensor showing the phenomenal Dynamic Range between the guy sitting in the shadows and the light blue sky, all taken from the same frame.

Panasonic recently announced a new 8K video camera, the AK-SHB 810 with their equally brand new Organic Sensor. This sensor sounds like it may be the one I’ve been hoping for, but it’s not made it to our smaller cameras yet. There’s not been any word on when that may happen, so this little dream is all just speculation but it’s coming, just a matter of when.


This review is a bit lengthy, and yet there are lots and lots of features on the G9 I’ve not covered. Unfortunately, there’s just not enough time to sort it all out. Even I’m still learning new things about this camera. Not to mention, what fun would you have if I gave you every single feature and how it worked? There would be no surprises left. The things I’ve covered in this Blog post are tools and features I use regularly. There are some I’ll never use, but overall this is the most well thought out/designed camera I’ve ever had the privilege to shoot.

So there you have it, ten months and 47,000 pictures later. Some might think this review is a bit late, but I’ve never been one to be the first. I only strive to do my best, and being the first certainly wouldn’t have let me get to the know this camera as I have with 47,000 frames under my belt.

As mentioned at the head of this post, there are lots and lots of other reviews on the details of this camera that came out within weeks of its release. Those reviews are a dime a dozen. My goal was to shoot this camera long enough to make sure I figured out the pros and cons so others can be prepared for the good, the bad, and the ugly. Thankfully,  I didn’t find anything ugly. The Lumix G9 is a fabulously fun, capable, and easy to carry photographic powerhouse. Combine it with the best lenses available and you get a tool that allows you to compete handily with full-frame cameras. Which leads me to what I call the Micro Four Thirds Triad which I’ll discuss in more detail in a coming video. In short, the Micro Four Thirds Triad states that if you:

  1. Use the most current Micro Four Thirds camera being made, currently the Lumix G9, Lumix GH5, or Olympus OM-D EM-1 Mark ll
  2. Buy the highest quality lenses such as Lumix Leica or Olympus Pro lenses
  3. Use the best RAW conversion software, in my opinion, DxO PhotoLab 2

Do the above three things and you can compete very well with full-frame sensor cameras. You can try it for yourself at a great price. Lumix just announced a promotional discount of $400. I paid $1799 for my first G9, but the stores listed below have it for $1299. Smokin deal! I’ve listed two of my favorite smaller stores, Bozeman Camera and Hunt’s Photo. I also listed B&H since they so kindly helped me with some of the technical details in this post. I prefer to use smaller dealers, but obviously, it’s up to you. Both Bozeman Camera and Hunt’s are great dealers to work with.

Thanks for stopping by. Please do me a favor and share this post across Facebook, Twitter, or other forums you feel would be interested. I used to post my reviews on DPReview, but they’re not very friendly over there so I’ve stopped. If you visit other forums and want to give them a heads up, I would be grateful. This is truly a labor of love and without feedback, I’m not sure how long I will continue to do these things. This review alone I’ve logged well over 80 hours.

Bozeman Camera

Hunt’s Photo & Video

B&H Photo & Video

Lumix Ambassador Disclaimer

In the spirit of complete transparency, I want all my readers to know that I am a Lumix Ambassador. That means I get paid a small stipend for writing about a system I absolutely love. That said, I want you all to know there is no amount of money more important than my integrity. Much to the chagrin of some of my Lumix colleagues, I often point out the bad with the good regarding Lumix technology and camera gear. My belief is honesty and truthfulness will not just help others, but it also helps a company I truly admire and enjoy working with.

Editorial Note:

Just for those who might wonder, none of my images are manipulated in any way. All are virtually exactly as they were straight from the camera. I don’t use Photoshop or any other software that allows for manipulation of an image. I do allow for minor color correction, cropping, and retrieval of highlights if needed. The software I use for keeping track of my entire 1 million+ image library is Mylio. I sometimes use DxO PhotoLab for noise reduction and highlight recovery when needed. You can see more of my work on my Instagram account labeled with the hastags #nophotoshop and #realphoto.

Add Your Voice!
There are 106 comments on this post…
  1. EmmaOn Jul. 27th, 2020

    Hi Great review

    Don’t you think the G9 is underexposing the pictures ? I set the zebra to 105% but i found it is not high enough when you shoot raw. How to expose properly for high lights in raw format not to have irretrievable shadows, with magenta cast ?

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Aug. 10th, 2020

      Emma, I don’t use the Zebra tool. But I do constantly refer to my histogram. I’ve found that it’s always re important to make sure your highlights are retained and letting the shadows fall where they may. I’ve not noticed your magenta cast you refer to but maybe that’s because of the software I use to increase the shadows which is DXO PhotoLab.

  2. Colin RyanOn Mar. 11th, 2020

    (update to my question about a noisy shutter)
    I seem to have “fixed” it. I simply did a factory reset. I don’t know what settings the previous user had, but they made the shutter make one heck of a noise. Back to Jane Goodall-approved whisper-quietness now.
    Sorry for wasting your time! And thanks for the review – excellent work and I especially appreciate the honesty. I love Lumix, warts and all…

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Mar. 11th, 2020

      Glad you got it figured out Colin. I was at a loss for a response since I’ve never felt the G9 was anything close to noisy. I’m curious what setting would have made it that way. I will try and figure that out and let you know if I find it.

  3. Colin RyanOn Mar. 10th, 2020

    Hi Daniel, I hope I’m asking this question in the right place.
    I’ve used a G85 (here in Europe it’s known as the G80) for a while and I’ve just traded it in for a G9 (used). I am asking you this question because I see from your review that you have both: It seems to me that the mechanical shutter on the G9 is quite loud. The shutter on the G85 was so quiet you could barely hear it, but I can hear the G9 from across the room. Have you noticed this? I’m wondering if I should take it back to the shop to have it looked at. Everything else is fine though.

    The shutter noise is important for me as I do a lot of theater photography, and things can get really quiet in a theater. This is why I had to ditch the DSLR for mirrorless; the mirror bounce was distracting the audience and even the actors. (I can’t quite bring myself to rely on the electronic shutter… Though I may have to, now…)

    Many thanks in advance for your time.

  4. Alberto VidaurreOn Jan. 26th, 2020

    Muy interesante los comentarios generales que he leído aquí.
    Soy absolutamente nuevo en la fotografía y me he comprado la Lumix G9 para aprender ahora que estoy jubilado.
    Además compre los lentes lumix H-X012 y 100-400.
    Por ahora solo he sacado fotografías en modo IA.
    Que opina señor Cox de mi compra.
    Me interesa mucho seguir contactado con un profesional como se ve que es usted.
    Cordiales saludos
    Alberto Vidaurre E.
    Santiago- Chile

    Translated Below

    Very interesting general comments that I have read here.
    I am absolutely new to photography and I bought the Lumix G9 to learn now that I am retired.
    Also buy the lumix H-X012 and 100-400 lenses.
    For now I have only taken pictures in AI mode.
    What does Mr. Cox think of my purchase
    I am very interested in keeping in touch with a professional as you see yourself.
    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jan. 26th, 2020

      The G9 is a fantastic camera, Alberto. You also did well purchasing the 100-400mm. I’m not sure about the other lens mentioned, the H-X012. I’m wondering if there are typos in this number. iA is a good place to start but you’ll eventually want to explore other options. My favorite is Program Mode. You can read more on how I use Program in this blog post:

  5. Robert StricklandOn Jan. 12th, 2020

    Awesome review, I was a long time user of Canon Products, however as age can up I sold all canon equipment and went to the Nikon Coolpix P1000. It is Ok but the image quality is not what I want. some photos are ok and are passible but not sharp as I want. a friend said I should look into the Olympus Om products which are kind of pricey. Then I saw video where the photographer used an Olympus with a Lumix Leica lens. So I started research Lumix camera and found G9 with is almost identical to the equivalent Olympus. I found the Lumix prices more reasonable than the Olympus. So I have decided to concentrate on the Lumix line of products.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jan. 12th, 2020

      Thanks for your input, Robert. I always love hearing from my readers. As far as I’m concerned the Lumix cameras are THE BEST built as far as durability and usability of any camera being made today. Additionally, the bang for the buck is equally impressive. The only downside of my Lumix G9 is its inability to follow really, really fast-moving subjects. This is due to the DFD AF Lumix has chosen to pioneer. If you don’t shoot much action you’ll be very happy with the G9. I absolutely love this camera but have had to add other tools to my kit for capturing action. If Panasonic would ever decide to go with a Phase Detection AF system that EVERY OTHER MANUFACTURER is using due to better Preidve AF accuracy, Lumix wouldn’t’ be able to make enough G9’s to satisfy demand. Here’s a great video that describes the differences between Contrast AF and Phase Detection AF.

  6. edOn Dec. 26th, 2019

    I forgot to mention, the Canon lens is half the price…

  7. edOn Dec. 26th, 2019

    FYI: the Canon 400mm f5.6 lens is 10 inches long and weighs 2.75lbs. The Panasonic 200mm f2.8 is 7 inches long and weighs the same. Not much difference really.

  8. edOn Dec. 26th, 2019

    It is an unfair comparison of a FF 400 f2.8 lens with an MFT 200mm f2.8 lens. A fair one would be the Canon 400mm f5.6 lens.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Dec. 26th, 2019

      I disagree Ed. You lose two stops of light with the Canon 400mm F/5.6. But thanks for your input. I always love to hear from my readers.

  9. Cobus SteynOn Dec. 16th, 2019

    Thank you for your honest, in-the-field review. These type of reviews are much more informative than the technical lab shots. All the best with your photography.

  10. Jenni tanOn Dec. 2nd, 2019

    I love your review and admire your work.
    I have never felt so emotional with a review as much as this one and my eyes welled up towards the end.
    I have just rekindled my passion for photography and bought my G9 which I will pick up today.
    I had been using my G85 for about 8 months and throughly enjoying it.
    Thank you again Dan for the review, I shall be following you and subscribing to your channel.
    All the best, and keep doing it! ?

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Dec. 2nd, 2019

      Thanks for the kind words. Always love hearing from my readers.

  11. Jason G.On Nov. 15th, 2019

    Hi Daniel, brilliant review. I’m very torn. Right now I shoot the (in my opinion way underrated) EOS R with both the brilliant but slightly heavy 100-400 mkii, and the very good, very heavy, but discontinued 500 F4.5L (non-is). The tracking autofocus in the R, while supposedly not as good as Sony, is good enough for my needs (some birds, some wildlife and some of my 10 month old,) I just wish it was faster than 5fps when shooting in AF-C.

    Anyway to the heart of my dilemma. I’ve recently (about a year or so) been suffering with debilitating back spasms that come and go. Sometimes triggered by carrying too much weight (see above,) add to that the weight of a gimbal head and large tripod – and as you probably know – things get HEAVY.

    My question is – seeing that I’m satisfied with the EOS R’s continuous autofocus, do you think I would be deeply dissatisfied with the G9s autofocus… either with the 200 f2.8 or 100-400. Before I just sell off my EOS system (and glass) I want to “look before I leap” so to speak.

    On paper, the G9 seems to check every box, and in some ways outright smokes the more expensive and newer R. I am not so worried about the m43 image quality as I can overcome much of those issues with the (from what I hear) fantastic sync-is and a less shaky hand from carrying less weight. I just worry about it keeping up with my autofocus demands.

    As an additional point of reference, I used to shoot the Olympus EM5ii, which frustrated the heck out of me with the autofocus, but otherwise was brilliant. Any advice, direction, or otherwise would be deeply appreciated. Keep up the good work, it’s appreciated.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Nov. 17th, 2019


      I literally feel your pain from your back to the indecision’s you’re faced with regarding the G9. I’ve been dealing with serious back issues since I was 27 years old. Within months a I’ll turn 60. So I get the pain in the back part. I’m also very aware of the concerns you’re expressing regarding the LUMIX G9. Before I give the disappointing details, regarding AF with all LUMIX cameras, please understand that I’m a huge fan of MOST all things LUMIX. Unfortunately juts not AF.

      As far as comparing the AF of The LUMIX G9 to the Canon R I’m totally in the dark. I’ve never shot an R camera. But… I’ve heard very positive things about the newest firmware updates to the R specifically relating to AF. And… I’m confident this info is likely true since Canon uses a combination of Phase and Contrast Detection AF. Lumix uses Contrast exclusively. That’s the rub.

      When it comes to AF in the LUMIX cameras the technology Panasonic has pioneered is Contrast AF with their own proprietary DFD (Depth From Defocus). It’s a nice idea in theory but in practice just does not compete with a combination of Contrast AF and Phase Detection AF which EVERY other manufacture is using. I’m predicting Panasonic is going to get it but today it’s not there. So if you shoot lots of action the G9 is not the camera for you. For almost of all other things it’s exceptional! Mainly due to the nw technology options you alluded to. Things like 60FPS Raw capabilities, 6K Photo Mode, Dual IS (which is unbelievable) High Speed PreBurst (another revolutionary feature), G9’s perfect size, THE BEST ergonomics in the industry, relatively easy to use menu compared to others, exceptional lenses that include Olympus. The positive things are almost too numerous to list. But none of these positive attributes make a difference if the image is out of focus due to poor AF. The good news is most people don’t shoot Birds Flight or any other action. But if you do, the G9 is not the camera for you. If you don’t it’s a phenomenal tool.

      One final thought. I know you mention you were disappointed with the Olympus EM5. I’ve not shot that camera but I’m now using the Olympus EM-1X and have been very impressed with its AF capabilities. It’s not the absolute best, the Sony A9 takes that honor, but Olympus is way ahead of my Lumix cameras. More to come on this subject as we go forward. Stay tuned.

  12. TimOn Oct. 13th, 2019

    I have stepped into MFT’s as a long time Canon FF and crop sensor user. I hike with a Canon P&S PowerShot Gx5 1″ sensor, use the crop sensor body with on board flash for travel and for long lens photography (surfing, airshows) and lastly the FF body for landscape and nocturnal photography (my passion).

    As I mention, I have recently explored MFTs for the 4K stills composition and post focusing, IBIS and OIS and small form factor which is huge for me.

    Reading a quite a bit of pros and cons on the format and read here about it’s limitations. What surprises me is how some folks get in and out of the system after abandoning their DSLR’s and returning to them again. I am finding some of the limitations of MFTs that I have read about and yet not all.

    I just had to see and learn for myself how the system could work for me as it obviously works so well for you all at NE.

    So, its Fleet Week here in San Francisco and I used my Panasonic Gx8 with a Pana/Leica 50-200mm lens attached along side my Canon 80D and 70-300mm L lens. I have to say the ease of use with the Gx8 photographing the Parade of Ships, UAL 777 and Parachutist worked out well. However, when it came to keeping up the F35 and Blue Angels, the Canon system took first place.

    Another example was just this evening. My wife and I went downtown to attend live dance, music and play performances outside around the block near Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. MFTs not know to handle low-light well, tonight’s outing provided me the opportunity/challenge. I brought the Gx8, Pana/Leica 12-60mm f/2.8-4 until night fall, Oly 25mm f1.8 and Pana 42.5mm f1.7 OIS.

    This would be the travel/street scenario for the MFT system I have in mind. Stages are set in public spaces along promenades. It would be crowded and I want to be light and nimble taking pictures especially with my wife at your side. Much to my amazement, my results are spot on considering my image stabilization is not the current technology. Shooting at ISO 500 down to 640, shutter speeds 1/250-1/20 and f stops 2.5-1.7 with the 25mm and 42.5mm lenses.

    The dynamic range may be less than my FF Canon; however I am looking an image of a mature female flamenco dancer as I write. She is fair with detachable brown eyes, wearing a black top with long sleeves. Flying around her neck and down her sides is a long stranded black scarf. She wears a dark purple velvet dress with a black ruffled skirt attached that each fold catches the light as she rumbles the dance floor. Her look is serious like any woman from Spain, my mom and yes the image is sharp. This is using the Lumix 42.5 f/1.7 OIS image stabilized with the Gx8 IBIS.


    I shot with 4K Burst rate Medium. EVF was unable to keep up the exposures registering and tracking for some of the faster performances needs improvement.

    But I’m not the guy with the monopod, big camera and lens walking the streets of San Francisco tonight.

    My camera bag are pockets.

    So, for me, MFTs has a place in my quiver.


  13. MikeOn Oct. 8th, 2019

    Thanks for pointing out that the real world photography isn’t so much about gear, but getting out and doing something with the gear you have. I too was offended by one certain comment made by a Pixel Peeper Knowitall above. My images are nearly always just for consumption on screens that are seldom in excess of 1920 pixels. I throw out 95% of the data by the time I’m done editing so more than 20ish megapixels means little to me. Super duper extra ISO means little as well because I shoot in good light and with flash most of the time it’s not. Also a big fan of wireless Godox Flash units. I currently shoot a 3 year old Lumix G7. I have cash to buy something better… but I’m waiting. Why? Because I so very much love the Ergonomics and Touch Screen functionality of Panasonic. But I like to shoot people… and my vision is not all that great. I have missed focus on the eye more times than I care to recount. Not so much that the images are not usable but enough to have a little bit of frustration that the image could have been better. I just wish so much that Panasonic would get closer to the amazing tracking eye auto focus of Sony. I think it will be something other than PDAF or Contrast detect available now… some better Technology before this happens for Panasonic. Everything -excepting autofocus tracking – to me is so much better in the Lumix World. I cringe every time when I think about actually buying Sony… because to me they are Ergo Bricks and I know I would hate all the constant fussing I would have to do to navigate their system menus. No perfect camera I know. Really enjoyed your review of the G9 from a perspective of someone who has some real mileage on the system. Also most of the time I could care less about Depth of Fieldb but for certain Portrait Shots I really like blowing out the background with compression and shallow DOF. But I’m not willing to lug around a full frame 70-200 to get the occasional Cinematic Magical Headshot outdoors. My favorite Paring for Portraits is the 12-35mm which I usually just leave at 2.8. Thanks again for a great read on the G9. I may part with my Dollars after a furture firmware upgrade convinces me to do so.

  14. Larry MathewsonOn Sep. 28th, 2019

    Daniel. I just returned from a 10 day trip around Iceland using my trusty Canon 7D mark ii with a Tamron 18-400mm lens and as my backup for quick shots the Lumix G9 with both Panasonic 12-60mm and the 40-200mm. It turned out that I liked the features so much (including slow shutter shooting with an ND filter and incamera Focus stacking) that I used the Lumix G9 for 90% of the trip.
    I am currently reviewing the 5000+ images taken. I purposely purchased this camera and lens combo for their weather sealing. I placed the camera and lens into a plastic rain sleeve during the heaviest, 2 day down pour and experienced internal fogging of the EVF. Was this a mistake to use the Rain sleeve. I later just used the camera directly in the rain with no further issues of fogging. Should I have the camera reviewed for proper seal? I am also hoping that the new 100-400mm lens panasonic is developing will come out soon and replace my 150-600mm Tamron lens. Loved your review !

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Sep. 28th, 2019

      Larry, I have no idea if eliminating the rein sleeve would have helped but I doubt it. If it were me I would probably send it in and ask them why this happened and have it checked. It doesn’t make sense based on the claims of weather sealing. I’m curious where you heard a new 100-400mm is coming? I may have mentioned my hopes for such a lens but I’ve not heard anything for certain. Thanks for your input.

  15. S LimOn Sep. 25th, 2019

    Have u ever taken a shot and not have it recorded in ur sd card? I have the fastest speed card in the market now, and the camera wasnt writinh any video files to the card prior to the shot.

    It has happened a few times, not on the same day tho. Usually when i am out birding. Main settings are Raw, jpeg large Sh2 burst mode. Any input would be great!

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Sep. 25th, 2019

      Unfortunately, I’ve never had an issue with any of my images not writing to the card. If it keeps happening I would have your camera checked.

  16. BrandonOn Sep. 20th, 2019

    I’ve been shooting the G9 now for 2 years, and while I love the size of lenses (100-300 v2 for example) I am always annoyed with the poor AF tracking. I shoot athletics, mostly soccer and I know how to get the shot, but I wish DFD / contrast detect could perform better with regards to tracking. If I use for example option 3, which is supposed to be for soccer, the tracked object easily fools the camera and gets away. I resort to back button area AF and use the joystick to get the athlete to left or right of frame as needed. I like to leave space in the direction they are moving, which I think is pretty basic and common sports composition. So, depending on which direction the athlete is moving I move the zone. For a camera of this cost I would expect better. In fact, the process is exactly the same as I used in my Canon 60,70 and 80d. Yes there are other amazing features like 6k photo, stacking in camera etc, but come on Panasonic. Fix DFD or go to PDAF.
    I’m also a bit of a pixel peeper, and sometimes like to crop birds and athletes, and 20mp is just not enough. I’m selling the whole kit and going to the A7riii. I will REALLY miss the cheap and awesome lenses I have acquired…Sony lenses are not cheap. Still, this is my beloved hobby, and I don’t want to be old and retired and saying, man I wish I had shot with a more future proof and better printing sensor. You only live once.

  17. Jim McDanielOn Sep. 5th, 2019

    Hi Daniel,

    You mentioned shooting with your Leica 50-200 and a 1.4 teleconverter. Is that the built-in teleconverter? If so, is it true that you have to reduce the picture size in order to make the teleconverter work?

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Sep. 5th, 2019

      Jim, I’m unsure of what you’re referring to regarding your comment “built-in teleconverter”. There is no built-in teleconverter in the Lumix 50-200mm lens. It’s a separate option that is sold on its own. Your other comment, “do you have to reduce the picture size to make the teleconverter work”? I’m thinking you’re referring to concern about image quality degradation? If so that concern is extremely minimal. I’ve been very impressed with the 1.4X teleconverter on the 50-200mm. It is there but it’s still decent quality. Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any further questions and thanks for joining the conversation.

  18. Mark KushigianOn Sep. 3rd, 2019

    Hi Dan, I’ve spent a few hours reading your site today and looking at your lovely photos. Thank you.

    I’ve got both Nikon (SLR and mirrorless) and Canon (mirrorless) gear but an really considering a MFT system due to overall weight. My main interests are wildlife and landscapes. I’m trying to decide between the GH5 and G9. The prices are currently similar.

    I see you saying the G9 is best for BIF but still nowhere near as good as an A9 (or D5/500?). I’m not sure how much BIF I’ll be able to do anyway. So let’s discount that.

    What else makes the G9 a better choice than a GH5? The GH5 offers some video features I’d like (such as unlimited recording length), so, if there are not many advantages other than BIF to the G9, I may just get a GH5. So that’s really what I’m trying to figure out: aside from better BIF, what else would I be missing if I got a GH5? Thanks so much!

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Sep. 5th, 2019

      Hi Mark, thanks for stopping by to be a part of the community. Deciding between the two the different Lumix cameras really comes down to what you plan to use it for. If it’s more for video than the GH5 is the right pick. If it’s still photography, the G9 would be a much better choice. Panasonic released these two cameras specifically for their respected strengths, video for GH5 and Stills for G9. Here’s a great web page highlighting and pro cons of each.

      Things the web page above doesn’t mention is the High-Speed Burst mode of the G9. An amazing tool for wildlife photography. It does mention the difference in normal frames per second for each and the G9 is a clear winner there. But again that all relate to still photography. If you start comparing video capabilities, the GH5 wins hands down although the G9 video is plenty good enough for the video projects I work on.

      Finally, I’m a much bigger fan of the G9 due to it’s a bit smaller size, weight and better overall handling. This obviously may just be a personal preference but quite frankly both are awesome cameras. The one caveat you mention is birds in flight or other fast-moving action. Unfortunately, Lumix just has not even come close to perfecting accurate predictive AF at this point.

  19. AllenOn Aug. 30th, 2019

    Know I’m very late to the party but I so enjoyed the entire post, including all comments. Thanks so much for your extensive work. What do you think likelihood is there’s a successor to G9 in near future?

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Aug. 31st, 2019

      Unfortunately Allen I have no idea. I would guess it’s on the horizon but one can never be sure. Late to the party or not, I always appreciate comments from my readers. Thanks for adding your voice.

  20. Lucas GuitinkOn Aug. 20th, 2019

    A very nice review, and also a joy to watch your work! Thanks, Daniel!

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Aug. 20th, 2019

      Thanks for you kind comments Lucas.

  21. Pierre-LoupOn Jul. 30th, 2019

    Hi Daniel,

    I’ve been using the G9 for a few months now, and I’m slightly disappointed/worried by the results I’m getting in term of sharpness.
    When shooting at base ISO (200) and in broad daylight (with sufficient shutter speed to completely eliminate hand shake), I constantly find my pictures to lack sharpness, as if taken with way higher ISO or slightly out-of-focus.
    When comparing my images with a friend’s, the same subject taken in the same conditions will look grainy and soft.

    Have you experienced such problems with your camera ? Would you have any recommandations ?

    Best regards,


    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jul. 31st, 2019

      It would help to know which lens you’re using AND which lens your friend is using. Lets start with that. Let me know and I’ll try to help you sort this out.

  22. alan mckenzieOn Jun. 4th, 2019

    Hi Daniel;
    I found your review while surfing the G9. I added to my reading list for additional consumption. The lack of flash is a bit of negative. Could I use my Nikon Sb8oo on G9 safely ?


    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jun. 7th, 2019

      An SB800 would work or I should say “Fire” on a G9 in a non TTL fashion and also in manual. But you will lose all the benefits of TTL like you would get with a dedicated strobe. I’m a firm believer in getting a flash that is dedicated to the camera. The Lumix flashes are very expensive for what you get. I’ve recently replaced all my Lumix strobes with the dedicated Panasonic/Olympus versions of the GODOX V860II-O. This link shows a single strobe with the commander for triggering additional speed lights. You can also find the single Speedlight if you have no interest in the entire setup. Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any further questions. For more detailed info check out a fellow Lumix Ambassador Photo Joseph where he reviews this the Godox flash for Lumix camera in the video below.

  23. William BibbOn May. 6th, 2019

    Still using the G7 with 14-140 and Panasonic 100-300 II lenses. BiF are difficult at times.

    Thanks for exploring some of the issues. I don’t feel like spending many thousands of dollars on heavy equipment because I’m over 70 and carrying more than a few pounds is all I want to do for a hobby.

  24. Andrzej MakiejewskiOn May. 2nd, 2019

    Hi Daniel.

    Thanks for the reply. That is disappointing as I was hoping that it improved, oh well. I got to feel the G9 and the Olympus E-M1 Mk II and the G9 feels nicer in the hand. The larger grip area fit the hand very nicely and the EVF is much nicer and brighter then the Olympus. I guess I will wait and see. Lastly, the top LCD on the G9 is something that I really like.

    Thanks again Daniel.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn May. 2nd, 2019

      Andrzej, sorry for the less than positive news. But I do believe it’s going to improve. The version 1.2 firmware is much better than what it was. But we could still use some improvement. I’m guessing we’re going to see another firmware update that will solve most of the issues but I have no idea when that will be available.

  25. NicolasOn May. 2nd, 2019

    Thank you for this review. I just got the G9 last week and, thanks to my two years of ZS100 heavy use, was instantly familiar with a lot of the features and user interface. I had read countless reviews prior to my purchase and knew this was the camera for me, but your particular review, which I read yesterday for the first time, really taught me a lot.
    One quick note: I’ve read lots of negative reviews regarding the shutter button sensitivity and as others I do indeed seem to fully press inadvertently instead of half-pressing (button is incredibly sensitive compared to ZS100). I realized that most often I mis-fire right after I bring my eye to the EVF and half-press to get initial focus (I often do this in a hurry as I shoot birds in flight). I pretty much remedied to this by selecting Eye Sensor Autofocus, voila 🙂 thought I’d share.
    Again thanks for the great review.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn May. 2nd, 2019

      Thanks for the heads up on the Eye Sensor Autofocus trick Nicolas. I have to agree that the shutter button on the G9 is a “Hair Trigger”. That said, I’ve gotten used to it and I don’t see many issues since I always use Back Button AF. The one problem I do still have is carrying the camera over one should with the G9 top deck close to my hip. Doing so constantly shoots unwanted frames of the ground I’m walking across. If I had my druthers I would have a shutter button same as the GH5. It’s not a deal breaker but it is a bit strange in the Lumix family of cameras.

  26. Andrzej MakiejewskiOn May. 1st, 2019

    Hi. I am thinking of getting a u43 camera and really the layout and how the Panasonic G9 feels. I use to shoot with the Canon 7D Mk II with the Canon 100-400mm Mk I and Sigma 15-600mm C lens and got great results. Lost interest in photography about 3 years back. Think I might be getting the interest back. The top LCD on the G9 is great for quick checks of your setting.

    I really enjoyed doing BIF and my old gear did a great job. The G9 foes fairly well with BIF against the sky, but with other backgrounds, does rather poorly. Wondering with the 1.2 firmware upgrade, has this improved? This is the only thing holding be back from getting the G9.


    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn May. 2nd, 2019

      Great to hear from you, Andrzej. As much as I love most everything about the G9 the one area Panasonic has not perfected is really fast, erratic moving subjects. In other words Birds in flight. The G9’s new firmware version 1.2 is a big improvement but and I’m not sure it will perform as well as the Canon 7D Markll. What I can say is that if you mainly shoot Birds in Flight, I think you will be disappointed. It’s just not there yet for that subject matter. On the other hand, if you like the many other high-tech features for just about any other type of photography, which is how I judge it, then you could be very happy. I’m not willing to try and convince you of how great this camera is if you really have your heart on Birds in flight. I wished I could tell you otherwise but it wouldn’t be truthful.

  27. Ryan KOn Apr. 26th, 2019

    Thank you for the exceptional review. I am torn on what my next camera should be. Right now, I have an Olympus OM-D EM-10 II that I enjoy, but I’ve found a few things lacking:

    1. C-AF isn’t the greatest on it.
    2. It struggles to focus in dark conditions.
    3. It’s not weather proof.

    Right now, I have the Pana-Leica 12-60, Pana-Leica 8-18, Panasonic 100-300, Olympus 25/1.8, Olympus 45/1.7 and the Panasonic 42.5 mm macro. I was looking at the G9 as a logical upgrade. I would benefit from the DFD, the upgraded sensor and faster operating time.

    Having said that, I’ve always wanted a weather proof camera and the G9 looks like it might do the trick. My only concern is that the G9 weighs close to double my current camera body and is almost twice as deep (due to the grip). Would you say the G9’s size is enough to dissuade someone from buying it?

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Apr. 28th, 2019

      Thanks for your input Ryan. Yes, the G9 is a bit larger and bulkier than earlier MFT cameras. Especially when compared to the Olympus line. That said, I think Panasonic has come to realize that cameras can actually be too small. To get the buttons and dials in places that are easy to access but not too easy to accidentally hit/activate, there has to be some room to place them all. The G9 I feel is a perfect compromise in size, weight, and bulk with exceptional ergonomics that make it easy and very fast to use. Keep in mind that the camera body itself is only about 1/4 of the weight of the entire MFT system. Lenses are where we really save size, weight and cost of owning these cameras and lenses. It’s also imperative to have a bit larger body for a reasonably sized battery. With the really small MFT cameras, you have issues with battery life. The G9 does very well in regards to the number of images per battery. At some point battery technology will improve and that issue will be mute. But until then, a useable camera is going to be larger than some will like. I think Panasonic has done a near perfect job of making a good compromise between size, weight, and usability.

  28. James GatesOn Apr. 3rd, 2019

    The f-stop is the only thing that is not truly the same from m4/3 to full frame. If you double the focal length equivalent, you MUST also double the f-stop. It physically cannot gather as much light as the full frame lens/sensor combo, and the relative depth of field of the m4/3 lens at f2.8 is comparable to the full frame lens at f5.6 due to the same crop factor. There is no getting around this. I think it’s fine to say “this lens is a micro four-thirds 200mm f2.8. it’s awesome and lighter and provides a lighter alternative to the heavy, bulky lenses from full frame!” But when telling others what it is comparable to on a full frame system, you need to say “it’s like a 400mm f5.6 lens. The 400mm f2.8 will be bigger, yes, but it also gathers more light and can achieve shallower depth of field. If that matters, then they have to make that decision.

    I just want to say, I own a G85, and I love it, and I’m looking at getting a G9 potentially. I just wish the recording limit wasn’t there. With better stabilization than the GH5 it would be a better video camera (which is of course why they limited it, so they could still sell the GH5) but they had to go and cripple it. I want the video capabilities of the GH5, but I want the picture capabilities of the G9. Why do they keep forcing the end user to compromise? It’s endlessly frustrating.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Apr. 3rd, 2019

      The camera companies are in the business to make a profit thus some features are added some not. As far as the equivalency thing, you are technically correct but quite frankly I personally feel the vast majority of people don’t care. Of the hundreds of people I shoot with per year via our Invitational Photo Tours, not one has ever mentioned that this is a concern. If I explain it to them, they get it, but every single one remarks they like the idea that the MFT system gives them MORE depth of field, not less.  Quite simply the majority of people who just want to have fun with their cameras and still get professional results, just don’t give a hoot about the equivalency thing. Except when it comes to the weifght and cost. Then they care a lot.  They, love the extra Depth of field of MFT, the smaller form factor and so-called “equivalent” lens being 1/3 the price. The wide open, full frame lens bokeh thing is a complete and utter sales scam brought on by a very vocal minority in the full frame world. None of the folks I cater to give even a slight damn. They actually want more depth of field. Just an observation from shooting the past ten years with dozens of photographers per trip and last year that was 17 trips. I’m fortunate to get a lot of first hand in the field feedback.

      I do appreciate your well worded and easy to understand description of why a MFT 200mm F/2.8 is not truly the same as a 40mm F/2.8. But just like what’s happened in the world of the iPhone, a similar thing can happen with MFT if photographers just get over the fact full frame is serious overkill.

  29. Shiv NaimpallyOn Mar. 22nd, 2019

    Thanks for the in-depth review. I just ordered a G9. You should check out, which is a great community for micro four thirds (unlike DPR).

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Mar. 24th, 2019

      Thanks Shiv, I recently signed up with the folks at I appreciate the head up.

  30. Mr Andrew WrightOn Mar. 16th, 2019

    I am an enthusiastic amateur photographer, who has been trying to pluck up the courage to swap my Nikon FF for a lighter setup. The G9 has been of interest for a few months now. I do a fair bit of street photo and macro as well as record type images from holidays.
    Reading you review has really pushed me to up my game and start selling off my equipment to fund a G9 and a couple of lenses, I like the way you have written this review and do feel that it is a true down to earth explanation of the G9 rather than a sales pitch composition.
    Thankyou for your time and trouble, I found it very liberating.
    As a matter of interest you may find ’gardenersassistant’ posts on flikr very interesting with many stacked macro images using Panasonic equipment including the G9.

  31. Jim McNittOn Mar. 8th, 2019

    Love your real world review. I’m sure you’ve discovered this by now, but Panasonic emphasizes that the High Resolution feature can ONLY be used with absolutely still subjects. Although the rapids in your HR test certainly are ghosted, they look much bettter than Panasonic would have you believe. Thanks again for the terrific review.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Mar. 8th, 2019

      Thanks, Jim. On an interesting side note, the new S Series full frame cameras have this same feature and from what I’ve seen, the water is very natural looking in the High-Resolution mode. Hopefully, it may come to our G9’s via a firmware update. Can only hope.

  32. WaiOn Feb. 27th, 2019

    Hi Daniel
    Thanks for this and another review on long lenses for MFT cameras. I started shooting birds about a year ago, using bridge cameras. The results were not consistent on one camera and the range on another was insufficient.

    Recently I rented the Leica 100-400mm to test out the lense before deciding if I should get one. I felt it was much better and easier to handle than the bridge cameras. I am now looking for a body to go with the lense. It was in researching all that that I chanced upon your reviews.

    I do not need the most recent Lumix body; I need one that is not too heavy and is good with long lenses. I do not mind a smaller camera body as I have small hands. I was wondering if you could recommend me one. The G9 seems rather heavy.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Feb. 28th, 2019

      Wai, if your goal is Birds in Flight buy nothing other than the G9. No other Lumix comes close to the G9 for stills and BIF. It’s worked extremely well with the Leica 200mm along with the 1.4X teleconverter.

  33. John ChapmanOn Feb. 23rd, 2019

    Great Review, I found it as I was looking for how to use some G9 modes that I have not tried out yet
    As background, I shot with FF Nikon film cameras for several decades then went into digital. I decided it was too heavy as I do a lot of backpacking and the FF got heavier with digital, not lighter!. When the GH2 arrived I changed over and never looked back. The GH2 was not a perfect camera but I was able to get consistently good results and as you said before no editor buying images or readers of any of my books has ever been able to tell what camera I used. Some images have even been taken on a mobile phone and nobody has noticed! in my experience pixel peepers have never actually sold images in the competitive photographic world.

    By the way, for those who say M4/3 cant compete with FF size or quality. When I want a large wall-sized image, I take a wide-angle image first (insurance shot) then with a longer lens make a multi-level panorama. No need for a tripod, the specialized software these days is fantastic. I get better than a 95% success rate with these and end up with 200M plus files sizes that make great 15 feet plus wide prints for background shop displays. Nobody has ever looked at them and said – aha, I can see you used less than FF! To get the same with FF you also need to make panoramas so they are no better for really large prints!

    A year ago I obtained a G9 and can verify that your comments are spot on. The images are very crisp and really can’t be faulted. If I destroy this camera I will get another as a replacement. Landscape is a primary activity for me although sometimes we do wildlife. The results with the G9 are simply outstanding. I now carry a small camera bag under 3kg (6 lb) with a wider lens range when compared the old Nikon system of 8kg (16 lb). I also found the smaller m4/3 system meant I could carry the bag on my shoulder which meant I got a lot more grab shots when traveling than the older FF which was cumbersome to pull out – either the moment had passed or spontaneity was gone by the time the FF appeared.

    Summing up, for car-based and studio work, the FF is a good system as you can be a bit sloppier in technique as it is more forgiving compared to m4/3. However, for backpacking and general travel, the m4/3 system and the G9 has hit the sweet spot, yes exposure and focusing can sometimes be more critical but that’s just technique. The G9 itself is a professional camera with full control (it can even take star photos which the GH2 did not do well) yet is reasonably sized and light enough to have read all the time to take great images. In my opinion, the strengths of m4/3 make it a superior system for general use.
    By the way, I sold all my FF gear a few months back, I realized I had not used any of it for 5 years – it was time to get rid of it.

  34. Dave HallsOn Feb. 16th, 2019

    Daniel, thanks so much for your prompt response and advice, much appreciated. I’m going to go ahead and get the G9. My 100-300 lens is the second generation, but I will definitely consider the 50-200mm Leica once funds allow (or rent in the mean time). And I will keep my GX85, which I think will still be great as a walk around camera in cities, but as you say has its limitations for wildlife. Should be a fun learning experience!

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Feb. 17th, 2019

      The GX85 is a great street camera. You won’t be disappointed with the G9 and the 50-200mm Leica.

  35. Dave HallsOn Feb. 15th, 2019

    Thanks Daniel for such a comprehensive review and all the time you spent on it. I’m currently a GX85 user and primarily use the Leica 12-60mm lens and the Panasonic 100-300 ii lens. I’ve had some reasonably good results with the GX85 but have just got back from a trip to Costa Rica and am incredibly disappointed as half of my photos are either completely out of focus or not very sharp, particularly the ones of wildlife. They certainly are no match to the wonderful photos you’ve provided above.

    I’ve tried different focusing techniques, including pinpoint and back focusing but neither have yielded good results. I’m almost wondering if I’m just lacking the basic coordination to get good photos, or perhaps even if my GX85 is faulty. I’m quite new to MFT, especially taking wildlife photos, so I wonder if I just need to practice more.

    I am fortunate that if necessary I could make the leap and move up to a G9, but I’m wondering how much of an improvement the G9’s focusing capabailities be over the GX85, given that it sounds like focusing can still be a challenge with the G9.

    Thanks in advance for any insights you can offer.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Feb. 16th, 2019

      Dave, sorry to hear of your disspaointing results from Coats Rica. Some of the issues you’re experiencing with the GX85 are no unusual when trying to use this camera for wildlife and using long lenses. The rangefinder type camera is just not conducive to getting better than acceptable results with a 100-300. I’m not saying you can’t, but I am saying the design and handling of a G9, along with it’s superior AF and other technology, will give you vastly superior images with the long to lenses.

      Your second challenge you have is the 100-300mm. You don’t mention if you’re using version 1 or version 2. Version one is not a horrible lens but version two was has drastically improved during AF capabilities over the first one. For getting the most out of MFT you have to step up to either the Leica or Olympus professional lenses. On the G9 you get the added benefit of the DUAL IS a over the Olympus lenses. If it were me I would have my sights on the Leica 50-20omm lens combined with the 1.4x teleconverter. I’m now shooting that same combo and it’s spectacular. That’s the cheapest way to get a relatively long lens for a reasonable expenditure. The combination on the G9 is equivalent to 560mm f/5.6. Not quite as long as your 100-300mm but drastically faster and more accurate AF, and exceptionally sharp.

      It’s not fun to have to hear y9u May have to buy new or additional gear but I’m being honest in my assessment of helping you try to understand your disappointing resutlts. Let me know how your journey goes. Thanks for stopping by and adding your voice to the conversation,

  36. David ReesOn Jan. 27th, 2019

    With regards to extracting 6K photos from G9 video. I have found that Cyberlink Photodirector (currently using Version 8) does it very easily when running on a good PC. So much so I do it mostly with this rather than in camera now.

  37. Connor DohertyOn Jan. 16th, 2019

    Hello Daniel, thank you for all the work you put into the blog, I listened to one of your talks at the Kenmore Camera convention a few months ago and I just remembered you had a blog. I love it, especially since there’s mostly discussion of not just the MFT system (such as on the m43 subreddit, etc), but specifically the Panasonic system, and I have since fallen in love with wildlife photography. Currently I have a g7 and the 100-300mm (first version). I’m trying to figure out whether to buy the Leica 100-400, 50-200 or just get the 100-300 mark ii. Obviously a G9 or other camera upgrade would be nice in the future, but I think for wildlife I should upgrade my lens for now. Am I correct in that thinking? Obviously the auto focus would be better on the g9 along with fps, etc but I should upgrade my lens first in this situation, right?

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jan. 16th, 2019

      Thanks for the kind words Conner. I’m very happy you connected here on the Corkboard/Blog.

      In regards to your dilemma of new lens or new camera, I would lean towards a new lens first. I can’t say for certain the most ideal setup for you but I can offer what I’m currently shooting as one example.

      I’ve been a big fan of the 100-400mm since it was first released. However… the sharpness and light gathering capabilities of the new Leica 200mm F/2.8 have won me over and I’m now shooting this lens with teleconverters more than the Leica 100-400mm. I’ve combined that with the new Leica 50-200mm, again with the 1.4x teleconverter, to give myself the flexibility of a zoom with substantial range. On the long end I have 560mm. The 50-200mm, even with the 1.4x teleconverter is extremely sharp.

      That said, if you can afford only one lens I would recommend the 100-400mm. It’s a great option for wildlife and nature enthusiasts.

  38. CoolWriterOn Jan. 14th, 2019

    The camera is great! Looked at a lot of reviews before buying. Very satisfied. The only thing is, tell me, is it possible to connect the power bank to the camera and what would the camera be fed from it. If there is such an opportunity, tell me an approximate power bank or its characteristics.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jan. 14th, 2019

      Not sure exactly what you’re referring to. Do you want to plug the camera into some sort of power pack that allows it to be run from an AC current? Or is it a battery pack different than the one it already has. Very confused about your question.

  39. David MantrippOn Dec. 4th, 2018

    Thank you for the review Daniel, it is both well written and informative, a sadly rare combination. I have one question about the G9: you don’t mention the pincushion distortion in the EVF. I assume this is because either it doesn’t bother you, or it has been wildly exaggerated by others. Do you have any comment on that? Thanks.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Dec. 5th, 2018

      Hello David, I have to say I’ve never noticed any pincushion distortion in the EVF. That’s not to say it’s not there. I’m not sure but it’s definitely not been noticeable enough to bother me. The thing is, there will always be some issues with any camera whether it be an electronic EVF or optical. I decided long ago that the new mirrorless technology, though not perfect, offers so many advantages that I don’t sweat the small stuff. I appreciate you coming by to join the conversation here on the Blog.

  40. Chris WilliamsOn Dec. 3rd, 2018

    I’ve just bought the G9. It’s a fabulous camera – ergonomically one of the best I’ve ever used and I’ve used most marques.

    So I am talking about this as someone who is experienced and reinvested in the MFT system.

    Your lens comparisons are either misguided or disingenuous. Comparing a Lumix 200mm f2.8 to a Nikkor 400mm makes no sense whatsoever. Equivalence is a thing, but it isn’t just a ‘thing’ for AoV – it works for DoF and total light gathered too.

    This is very easily practically demonstrated. Take a 200mm f2.8 designed for full frame [35mm format], add a 2x teleconvertor and you’ve got a relatively compact 400mm f5.6 for FF. Same AoV as the PanaLeica 200mm, Same DoF character, and importantly the same overall light gathered – so give or take the same performance in terms of noise. Alternatively you could take an adapter, stick a FF 200mm f2.8 on your G9 and again, in terms of IQ and character you’ve got something similar to the native glass. Except it’s not as expensive.

    Even Panasonic themselves [at least now they’re also developing a larger format camera series] admit this. A recent interview from one of their technical guys explicitly stating their forthcoming 10-25 f1.7 for mft will be equivalent to a 20-50 f3.7 on a FF camera.

    I’m actually using quite a few adapted lenses with a speedbooster. It’s heavy kit, but it does give me similar performance in many ways to larger format kit [the Sigma 18-35 f.8 after all the arithmetic comes in equivalents as roughly 25-50 f2.3]. But there’s no size benefit – or not much to using FF kit. But I do get the benefits of the features [including amazing ibis] of the G9 and fit lightweight lenses when I don’t need those extremes of performance.

    I just don’t kid myself I’m getting a free lunch because I don’t like lying. Even to myself.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Dec. 3rd, 2018

      Listen Mr. Williams. You best understand that ANYBODY who suggests I’m “misguided” (stupid) and or “disingenuous”, a term only a coward uses for lying, you’re damn lucky I even allow this comment through let alone answer it. You may think you know it all but as far as I’m concerned I don’t split hairs as you’re obviously doing when you suggest the Leica 200mm F2.8 is so different optically than a Nikon 400mm F/2.8. Technically you’re right but I don’t give a flipping hoot. I still earn a substantial part of my living from the sale of pictures and that’s what I base success or failure on. No editor I’ve ever worked with has suggested any images shot with the Leica 400mm F/2.8 were not purchased due to it being inferior to a Nikon, Canon or Sony 400mm F/2.8. The technical details you are so enamored with make no difference in today’s world of photography. The only people that care about such anal retentiveness are pixel peepers and those that are more impressed with the status of a lens rather than what that lens can actually do. If you ever revisit this site I suggest you come back with your manners front and center or you’ll never take part in any conversation I have control over again. Consider this a favor.

  41. james wilsonOn Dec. 2nd, 2018

    Hello Dan,

    At Bosque last week I set my G9 up at the flats at temps below freezing and the preview lit up but it would not fire. There was one frame grabbed out of multiple shutter pressings. Later it worked fine. Tried the 2nd day, same story, later worked fine. Any suggestions on a remedy? I am off to Iceland in a week.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Dec. 2nd, 2018

      James, Unfortunately, I can’t make any recommendations. I’ve not used the G9 in extremely low temps but I have shot it at 5 degrees above with no issues. I’ve always had very good luck with my Lumix cameras in cold temperatures. My suggestion would be to send it in to have it checked out. Not sure what else to tell you. You could do tests by placing it in the freezer and seeing how it behaves. When I do freezer tests I make sure I place a small foldable cooler in the freezer as well. I do this to give me a cold case to put the camera in before I take it out of the freezer. If you bring a cold camera out into the warm room temperature air, you will get sever condensation which can actually harm your camera. So don’t do this test unless you have the cooler to place the camera in and let it warm up slowly

  42. Chris WitzgallOn Dec. 2nd, 2018


    One or the other. I have two bodies on me most of the time, and switch quickly between the two.

  43. Chris WitzgallOn Nov. 29th, 2018

    Daniel, that you so much for looking into this. With regard to using the fl360, maybe the slower fps has to do with having to move the shutter twice? Would efcs make a difference? I think that Panasonic is disabling continuous flash on non-panasonic (or olympus)flashes. I use Godox, for three reasons, not fulfilled by Panny or Oly. 1. Radio control. 2. Lithium battery, 3. Price. The first two are the show stoppers for me. I used to use manual pocket wizards, having a shoe mounted flash that can control remote flashes is a revolution. I can also control the same remote flash using my Sony and Panasonic, each with their own flash on camera, seamlessly. This means that I can have one camera that has the remote at a given power level, and the other camera has that same remote flash at a different level, or off, or ttl, or whatever. It makes getting different looks with different cameras very fast and easy.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Nov. 29th, 2018

      Are you shooting two different cameras at the same time?

  44. Denise NeuendorfOn Nov. 27th, 2018

    Daniel, what a fantastic review! Can’t believe I got so lucky as to find this.
    I had been happily shooting sports, birds, and general wildlife with the GX8 and Leica 100-400 for several months when the camera was dropped rendering both the lens mount and camera sensor unusable. I have replaced the 100-400, but have been agonizing for two weeks about whether to replace the GX8 or go for the G9. I really had no beefs with the GX8, but the G9 is just newer and I’m thinking without the anti-aliasing filter maybe images would be sharper and maybe with the updated image stabilization perhaps noise levels would be improved since I can go lower with shutter speed. But the G9 is so much heavier and I hike a lot! UGH, help!

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Nov. 27th, 2018

      Yes, the G9 almost double the weight but it’s more than triple the camera in my opinion. If you are really committed to the MFT system I would seriously consider getting a G9 and eventually purchase a used GX8 for your backcountry adventures. Thanks for the very kind comments. I appreciate your enthusiasm about finding this review. Please do me a favor and share this blog with others when you can. T

  45. Rob ShawOn Nov. 27th, 2018


    I thought you’d like to know that you’ve created another Lumix/M43 convert. After months of researching various systems it was down to Oly vs Panasonic (with an occasional glance at Fuji), and it is largely due to your comments on the G9 that today I ordered 2 bodies, two grips, the 12-60 and 50-200 from B&H to replace my 5DIII/7DII and all my Canon L glass. I am at the age where lugging around tons of full-frame/APS-C gear is becoming a non-starter, plus I’ve been wanting the advantages of mirrorless for some time, and your views on the Lumix line and the M43 format pushed me over the edge.

    Thanks very much for your great coverage and cheerleading for the M43 system, and as a fellow nature/wildlife photographer (although only as a serious hobby) and aviation/transportation photography enthusiast, I will continue to follow your blogs and videos with great interest. Love your insights and the practical knowledge/wisdom you share that cuts through the technobabble and fanboy noise. Once my piggybank recovers I am strongly considering joining you on one of your photo tours – but that might take a while! 🙂

    Best Regards,

    Rob Shaw
    Kent, WA, USA

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Nov. 27th, 2018

      Thanks Rob. Your kind comments are great.y appreciated.

  46. Chris WitzgallOn Nov. 26th, 2018


    Have you had a chance to look into the flash issue I raised?

    Hope you had a nice holiday!


    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Nov. 26th, 2018

      Chris, I did check this situation out. Interestingly, my FL360 does fire at a rapid speed when the flash and camera are in manual mode. However, it’s not the full 12FPS I had the camera set to. It sounds more like 4-5 FPS. For whatever reason, it’s not shooting at maximum frame rate even though the flash is a fraction of full power and in Manual. I tried the same test with a Nikon D500 and the new Nikon SB5000 strobe and it fires at the full High-Speed frame rate the camera shoots at without the flash. No noticeable difference that I can tell. So the good news is it does work but not at the highest frame rate the cameras can shoot at.

  47. VladimirOn Nov. 23rd, 2018

    Hi Daniel,
    Great review… as usual !

    You are one that made me buy a G80.
    I m a landscape photographer using the g80 with pana leica 8 18mm .

    As you said, 16m pixels are enough.

    My question is what would i gain changing my g80 for the g9 ?
    Thanks and congrat for your awesome work.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Nov. 23rd, 2018

      Thanks for the kind comments Vladimir. For landscapes, you would get the amazing ability of High-Resolution mode on the G9. It’s great for landscapes that don’t have any moving parts such as a flowing river, blowing grass etc. You would also get a bit larger sensor but as you said, 16 megapixels is typically enough. They’re both great cameras but there is no doubt that the G9 is considerably newer and with all electronics, newer is most often at least some better as far as the sensor goes. Hard call. I do love the G9 and it’s now my main camera.

  48. Paul FramptonOn Nov. 20th, 2018

    Hi Daniel,
    Thanks for your informative (as always) post. I’ve followed you quietly for a couple of years now and your posts on the G85 and the 100-400 played a large part in me buying both last year, a pairing that has left me very happy.
    I’ve been hankering for the G9 for a while now, the only thing that holds me back is how much of a step up from the G85 it is for BIF? I’ve read that the EM1.2 is the better option for birds in flight, but I really like the Panny and would prefer to stay in their camp.
    I also like aviation and motorsport photography. I struggled at first but feel a lot happier after this years more recent outings after becoming more used to the lens and camera. Sadly, birds in flight still seem to be a struggle. I’ve read that the G85 finds it hard to keep a lock if the background is busy and I can confirm that the focus sometimes seems to ‘jump away’ to something else if I’m tracking a duck coming in to land in a lake, for example, despite keeping the focus point on the bird.
    Would I get a noticeable improvement with the G9 and latest firmware over the G85 in this situation?
    Thanks again.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Nov. 20th, 2018

      Thanks for the kind comments Paul. It’s always gratifying to hear from my readers that appreciate the long hours that go into producing blog post like this. I’m very grateful.

      I’m predicting the new G9 with the newest firmware should be a major improvement for birds in flight and predictive autofocus. Unfortunately I can’t tell you I’ve tried The G9 with the newest version firmware but I will be testing it during the month of January with lots of birds in flight. I realize this is still a bit of ways off but I should have a great opportunity to really check the new firmware out and let you know how it goes. Thanks for joining the discussion.

  49. jordanOn Nov. 19th, 2018


    the “Reply” button doesn’t seem to be working so i hope this is the right way to ‘reply’.
    i have the 100-300 version II. my aim is to get faster AF fo rBIF. so you’re saying i would be better served with a G9?
    okay. G9 it is.
    thanks for your input!

  50. jordan pawOn Nov. 17th, 2018

    great review! i have a question for you regarding replacing my camera body or lens. i’m currently using a G85 + 100-300. while it’s a good combo, for BIF it sort of falls short.

    Should i get a G9 or a 50-200 pl? put it in another way, would i benefit more with a G85 + 50-200 combo vs G9 + 100-300? can’t buy both!


    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Nov. 18th, 2018

      Jordan, it depends on which 100-300mm you have. If you have the first generation, replacing the lens would be a big advantage. If it’s the second generation I would go for the G9.

  51. bishopOn Nov. 17th, 2018

    Dan, thank you so much for your advice. Just to answer your question, I’m using the G7 with the 14-42 kit lens, the Lumix 25 1.7, the Lumix 42.5 1.7 and I also have a vintage Minolta 50mm f2 just for fun. In the Nikon world, I use the D750. My goal this year is to really develop my portraiture skills and I shoot street photography for fun–I realize these are the exact opposite of what you shoot! I’m ready to go with DxO, but just waiting to see if there are any Black Friday deals. Philosophically I totally support the M4/3 system. Yes the top of the line gear and systems are expensive, but still cheaper compared to equivalent Nikon/Canon offerings.
    (also, my apologies, I couldn’t figure out how to respond to your response to my message, so entered this as a new message)

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Nov. 17th, 2018

      Bishop, thanks for the added info. By the way, you responded correctly by adding your input to the Blog thread. This way others can partake in our conversation which may help them as well.

      The equipment you mention is definitely adequate but unfortunately not what I consider in the superior league of the MFT Triad requirements. However, for getting started you will be fine as long as you ad the benefits of the MFT Triad-Software, DXO PhotoLab. You mentioned in your earlier comment you had heard good things about Capture One and I agree, it’s very close and possibly equal to DXO. But… it’s more expensive and a bit more difficult to operate. At least I feel it is. Either one would be a good choice. I have a preference for DXO but they are both very, very good. Another reason I went With DXO it’s superior ability to play nice with Mylio which is what I use for organizing my pictures and some processing.

      Thanks for joining the conversation and please come like on Facebook if you do Facebook and welcome to the NE Corkboard Family

  52. Trent G. AndersonOn Nov. 15th, 2018

    Tell us what you really feel Dan. Wonderful, comprehensive review mate. I’ve sent it out to friends hoping it gets them to step up to the plate and upgrade. Right out of the box, I knew this is where I was hoping Panasonic would land. As you know, I’ve had issues with the eyecup since I started out with the GH-4. However, Panasonic, in my opinion, upped their game with the addition of the G9 Extended Comfort Eyecup. A few weeks ago I used it down in the Everglades for the first time and I was finally taking/attempting shots of flying birds without muttering under my breath about the dam eyepiece. I did, out of habit, tape the eyecup because…you still have to. Thanks again for your thoughtful review.

  53. bishopOn Nov. 15th, 2018

    Thank you for this exhaustive review–btw I love this site, I have spent way too much time here during the work day! I’m a Nikon refugee (a hobbyist) and relatively new to Lumix. I really want micro four thirds to work for me–because philosophically I’m completely on board with this system. But so far I’ve been struggling with IQ. I realize that much of this is probably due to my own limitations… I’m working with an outdated body (G7), so in terms of your triad, what do you think is the most important element to address first? Body, lens, raw conversion? And forgive my ignorance, but is DxO able to be used in conjunction with Lightroom/PS? I’ve heard that switching to Capture One from LR/PS also does wonders for the micro four thirds photos.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Nov. 15th, 2018


      The quickest, least expensive way to upgrade the quality of your images would be to spend the money on DXO PhotoLab. I can tell you that I’ve shot the G7 quite a bit and found it to produce very good quality images. But admittedly it’s a bit behind the times. Also, It would be helpful to know which lenses you’re using, are you comparing the quality of your G7 images to your Nikon and if so which Nikon were you using? Let me know and I’ll try to get more specific to help.

      Regarding DXO and Lightroom. Yes, DXO works relatively well with Lightroom. I use it with Mylio but you can follow the same procedure I do which is, I save the file from DXO to the Orignal Image Folder. You then may have to go to that folder and Import to LR. With Mylio, it just automatically sees the new corr to file and Imports to my Mylio Catalog. Not sure if LR can be setup to do that or not.

      Let me know if I can be of further help. Thanks for stopping by to join the conversation.

  54. Dean SwartzOn Nov. 14th, 2018

    Your lengthy post can be summed up with a single word: BRILLIANT! Well done, my friend! (But, I’m still not giving up my Sony A7RIII and Zeiss Batis lenses!)

  55. Bill BurkholderOn Nov. 14th, 2018

    @Dan Cox — I love your patience and real-world analysis. I certainly believe you spent 80+ hours on this. THANK-YOU. This will help a lot of folks make major decisions about their camera choices.

    @Helen Hooker — I read your linked review. Excellent work! It nicely complements Dan’s excellent piece here. Your photos are good examples of a broad range of applications.

    One thing Panasonic has done over the last decade of Micro 4/3 development is to LISTEN to their customers. Some other camera companies are so fraught with hubris that they cannot take constructive criticism. The Lumix folks listen, then till that fertilizer into the soil that grows the next generation cameras. The fact that we get regular firmware updates that add features, improve other features, and fix bugs, is remarkable, too. Some other companies fix bugs, period.

  56. Louis BerkOn Nov. 14th, 2018

    Great review, Daniel. I often point people at your site for more information on Panasonic cameras and wildlife photography.
    One of the great things about a review like this, is that for a relative novice like myself, I discover that in fact I am doing things right.
    I’m in agreement that the AF on the G9 frustrating at times. But I have also pulled off some fantastic bif shots with the camera. I know I would find it hard (at 63 years old) to tote anything larger than m43rds so I keep the faith.
    Obviously, I’d love to see a ‘G10’ with a BSI sensor to improve the signal to noise characteristics of the sensor. I think one thing worth emphasising is that the competition, e.g. D500 and 7DMkII (I discount Sony due to lack of lenses) still only deliver the same number of pixels (21.3 and 20.2 respectively). So for cropping – which is part and parcel of wildlife photography (for me, at least) – you are not going to get more ‘cropability’. I fully accept you get less noise and that is one thing I am envious about with respect to Nikon and Canon.
    I’d say the XT3 and 100-400 might be serious competition for Panasonic in the wildlife space but the thing which is a drawback is button placement (and I speak as an owner of the fantastic GFX system, so I am familiar with Fujifilm ergonomics). As you rightly point out – the ergonomics of the G9 (and the GH5, GX8 and GH2 I owned before it) are literally second to none, e.g. the leader of the pack, imho.
    For a long time now I have exclaimed that the OVF is dead. It is a quaint artefact from photographic history. I was immediately converted when I got my GH2 and realised I could actually see the impact of EV compensation – and as you rightly point out now, the histogram in the viewfinder. I reckon in a few years time you’ll have kids exclaiming, “I got this cool camera, it has an optical viewfinder. It is so old school it is fantastic!”, the way we see people loving film photography for its organic feeling – but not necessarily its IQ.
    Finally, I believe the standard which is most likely to disappear in future years is the arbitrary FF sensor. You can say all you like about Sony A&Rs and D850 but my GFX50s beats FF hands down and some. And it is an equivalent price. I believe that crop sensor will remain for the multiplication factor and the ability to make small portable lenses with high comparable high quality image capture and that the future for larger sensor sizes is in MF. I was kind of disappointed that Panasonic did not go the way of Fujifilm. I’ll be they do at some point in the future.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Nov. 14th, 2018

      Thanks, Louis, I always appreciate your input.

  57. Chris WitzgallOn Nov. 13th, 2018


    Thanks for responding. I am using Godox strobes, under the Flashpoint label. In talking with other photographers online, they have confirmed the following on other stobe units as well. I have not tried with a Panasonic or Olympus flash. but others have and report it not working. Maybe you can test?

    Set camera for mechanical shutter, and then any continuous drive mode. Note that the drive mode shows in the viewfinder, for example on the G9 it can show a stack of rectangles with Live view and an L next to it. Hold down shutter button, and camera fires of sequentially until released. Now, mount a flash and turn it on. The drive mode icon turns red, with a line through it. When the shutter is pressed, it only shoots one frame per press. Turn off flash, and you can again shoot continuously. I have tried this six ways to Sunday, using TTL and manual flash.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Nov. 13th, 2018

      Chris, I’ll give this a try with my Lumix strobes but I won’t be able to do so for a few days since I’m away from my studio and for the first time, I can ever remember, don’t have my camera gear with me. I’m also going to ping one of the Lumix engineers and see if he is aware of this issue. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

  58. Chris WitzgallOn Nov. 13th, 2018


    You did a good job of reporting the pluses and minuses of the G9. I have had one for about 6 months now, and it is great all-arounder. I love the image stabilization, and the colors are improved over even the GX8.

    I still shoot some weddings each year, and one issue I have with all Panasonic cameras is their inability to shoot in continuous mode when using flash (and mechanical shutter – of course.) There are times when I need this, a bride tossing her bouquet, for example. My Sony A99ii does this just fine. Nikons before as well. A typical scenario might be iso 1600, manual flash on camera set at 1/64th power, another radio controlled flash set at same or a bit +- depending on situation. The A99ii will usually fire off four shots at the 8 frames a second rate before a dark one shows up, and then some more correctly lit. None of my Panasonics, the G9, GX8 Wife’s) Gx7 or my old GH3 will shoot in continuous. Strangely, I have a few Rotolight LED lights that have a flash feature. Using the matched Elinchrom radio transmitter, it will allow continuous shooting, but only at about 1-2 fps. Do you know if this has ever come up in talking to Panasonic???

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Nov. 13th, 2018

      Chris, I’ve never heard of this. Let me try to understand. Are you saying that the G9 won’t fire consecutively even if the flash has plenty of power by way of only being at 1/64th. power? Is this a Lumix strobe and if so which one?

  59. Helen HookerOn Nov. 13th, 2018

    Great review Daniel, which mirrors many of my experiences of the wonderful G9. If you’re interested, I wrote a review of the G9 a few months back and I’m planning to do a follow up when time allows. You can find it here:

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