Buzz.ie’s road-test review of the Panasonic Lumix GX9 mirrorless compact camera
The Panasonic Lumix GX9 is a compact system camera (CSC) camera that is positioned in the top-end of the Japanese company’s stable with the GX8 and GX7 and the mid-range GX80.
I was so impressed by the GX80 that I bought one, and the GX9 is like a cross between that machine and the more expensive GX8.
All of these shooters use the micro-four-thirds system and are compatible with a large range of top quality interchangeable lenses.
The lightweight and compact GX9 has a sturdy build, ergonomically spot-on form factor, and controls that make it a joy to use and carry around wherever you go.
The 20MP resolution GX9 delivers improved image quality compared to both predecessors. Colour reproduction is excellent (as it is with all of Pansonic’s recent cameras that I have tested).
It’s got an array of great features, such as continuous shooting speed up to to 9 frames per second (fps), 4K video capture and a built-in flash.
There is 5-axis image stabilisation that can be used in combination with lens-based image stabilisation if you are using Panasonic lenses.
The 3in tilting touchscreen is bright, sharp and responsive. The EVF can also be tilted. This is especially useful for street photography and daytime shooting.
Autofocus (AF) is fast and accurate. The camera acquires focus rapidly and keeps up with moving subjects as long they are covered by an AF area.
In burst shooting mode, autofocus is good but not excellent. I found the Touchpad AF with tracking worked superbly when using the EVF.
Focus stacking and post-focus features are built in too.
Two standout fun features that are new to this model are the monochrome shooting mode and the Sequence Composition feature.
In the former, the L. Monochrome D mode with Grain Effect gives your black and white shots a film-style grain. It’s most effective.
Sequence Composition enables you to you grab various frames captured in a 4K Photo burst and combine them into a single photo, a bit like a multiple exposure.
You’ll get best results if you use a tripod when shooting but it’s fun to use even without a tripod.
The GX9 has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth built-in. The latter is low-energy so you can have a constant connection to a smartphone or tablet.
On the downside, battery life is not great, with only 260 shots possible on normal settings, so you will need to buy a spare.
And there is no microphone or headphone socket for recording decent audio with your 4K video.
But if video is your primary focus then you are probably not going to be considering the GX9 anyway.
That said, the quality of the 4K and full HD footage is impressive, but the former comes with a crop.
The external controls all have decent customisation options.
There are hidden HDMI and micro-USB ports — the latter is used for charging. You’ll need to buy an external charger for additional batteries.
On the whole, the GX9 is a relatively inexpensive machine with a nice blend of capability, size, control and fun-factor.
Images from the bundled 12mm-32mm kit lens with surprise you with its sharpness and quality too.
But it’s worth pointing out that if you are happy with a 16MP sensor then the GX80 costs €300 less but includes many of the same features.
So what are the Panasonic Lumix GX9 specs?
20.3MP Micro Four Thirds sensor
5-axis in-camera sensor stabilisation, Dual IS system
3in tilting touch-screen, 1240K dots
Tilting electronic viewfinder, 2760K dots, 0.7x magnification
4K photo / 4K video in 3840×2160 30p, 25p (PAL), 24p in MP4
FullHD video at 60fps
Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Focus bracketing / aperture bracketing
260 shot battery life using the LCD and 250 images using the LVF
AFS 9fps / AFC 6fps continuous shooting
ISO100 (Low) to ISO25600