The long and short of it....

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jalywol Veteran Member • Posts: 9,168
The long and short of it....

The GX90 (ooops, GX9) has arrived.

I supposed it depends on whether you are looking at it from top down or bottom up in the line as to whether you like it or not.

I see it this way:  Panasonic has a little bit of an internal war going on.  The engineers get to be creative every so often, and release interesting products that may or may not succeed.  We have them to thank, for instance, for the GM5 and GX8, and it looks like also the G9.  All three are unique and fit a specific user niche, in addition to being just plain nice pieces of gear.  All three were not cheap, however, so here's where the problems arise.

The G9 is priced and aimed at a market that has enough cash to support it, so it should do well, and inspire a successor down the road.  The GX8 and GM5, however, were a bit of experimental joy that ended up with them as orphans.  Too expensive for the bread-and-butter crowd, and too quirky for the high end buyers.  That leaves them in marketing limbo and necessitates price cuts and generates lower sales....bad thing for the corporate bean counters to see.  So, since Panasonic has been heavily leaning towards the merge and slim down business model of late, it's not surprising that engineering bravado went out the window with this model.

The GX9 is a corporate bean-counters dream.  No magnesium alloy body, no new shutter, no new EVF, no water resistance, no new IBIS mechanism...all of these things were carried over from their lower level GX85.  R&D on this thing amounted to plopping in the 20MP sensor and tweaking the image processor, and putting on a new top plate with different dials.  They can make serious bucks on this and very quickly, since the development was based on all existing parts and tech.

Think of what they would have had to do if they were going to develop a REAL successor to the GX8.  New body, maybe a bit slimmer, new IBIS, new shutter mechanism; right out of that gate you have major startup costs.  I think they figured that the people buying a GX8 successor would be happy to go to the G9 instead.....and they probably didn't want to cut into G9 sales, either.

So, that leaves Panasonic with only the high and low ends of the camera body scale now.  Nothing in the middle, or at least nothing NEW in the middle....

However, I think that this makes perfect sense for them.  They will get the upgraders from the GX85, who don't care about the things that made the GX8 so wonderful, and they will have a nice, small model at a price that's more competitive with its competition than a true GX8 successor would have been.  And, they will sell more of them and make more profit on them, due to reduced costs, than they would have with a new true GX8 successor.  The only people who will be disappointed are the GX8 fans, who just wanted a slightly better version of that body, and I don't think there are enough of us that Panasonic really cares.

As for me?  Well, I have the 100-400mm stuck on my GX8 most of the time.  I really enjoy that combo, and am very happy to have a really, really, long lens that I can carry around without misery.  I'm not planning to sell either one.  I also have the GM5 which goes with me everywhere, and which I love.  However, I think this might be the end of the line for further M43 purchases for me.  I don't want a DSLR style or size body, and their rangefinder type bodies now are all MEH, so that leaves me right where I am for the foreseeable future.   Not a bad place to be, mind you, but without a lot of room to expand.....

I think I will just keep my eyes open for whatever FF mirrorless ends up coming out whenever CaNikon gets around to releasing their bodies.  It won't be tomorrow, and it probably won't even be for a year or so, but I'm good with what I have now for the duration.  As long as I have my small, long tele system in the GX8 and 100-400mm, I can look for other options in the wide to normal range, and that's where the FF has the most appeal for me...and where it might even be small enough to be competitive.

Eh, they are only cameras after all, not a big deal.....


Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85
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