Hi-Res Comparison EM1.2 vs G9 & Other Observations

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Chrisd999 Senior Member • Posts: 1,147
Hi-Res Comparison EM1.2 vs G9 & Other Observations

I picked up the G9 last week, and was enjoying the first true spring day here in Toronto, giving it a workout alongside my year old EM1.2.

There are a number of features in the G9 that compelled me to buy it. One of which is the supposedly better Hi-Res mode, which I tested side by side with the EM1.2:

Click Original Size in the samples below:

G9 on the left, EM1.2 on the right. Both shot with hi-res, 8 sec delay on solid tripod, Leica 8-18mm at 8mm (although the G9 was slightly zoomed in at 9mm). I had a polarizer on the EM1.2 which is why the sky is darker. Identical processing applied to both images in LR.

Zoomed in to 2:1 in LR

Zoomed in to 2:1 in LR

Zoomed in to 2:1 in LR

In my view, the results here are consistent with the findings of others including those of Mathew & Heather on MirrorLessons. I repeated this comparison a couple times are the results were very similar each time.

Here are a few other initial observations on my perspective as an EM1.2 shooter, from my day of shooting the G9:

  • The regular resolution images shot under the same conditions produced almost identical results. The differences we are seeing above are related to hi-res only.
  • The G9 felt like it handled nicely in my slightly smaller than average hands. But after using it for several hours, then using my EM1.2, the Oly felt perfect.
  • I already do like the controls and especially the joystick better in the G9.
  • I loved the top plate LCD. It was a super bright sunny day, and I rarely opened the flip-out LCD, just using the top plate LCD for most exposure and drive/mode info.
  • A major annoyance was that the G9 glitched badly on a few occasions. The most concerning glitch was when pressing playback the camera would lock up with a black screen for 20-30 seconds before it would show the image. I tried formatting and moving cards between slots to no avail. I resigned myself to a day of shooting with no chimping. Then mysteriously, the problem went away. I read this may be related to the Sandisk card I am using (although the 2nd is a PNY).
  • The other major concern that I had is that when chimping in playback at 8X or 16X zoom level, the images look horrible in comparison to 7X or 14X on the EM1.2. I feared for a moment that the camera was faulty, but my faith was restored when I loaded up the images in LR, and they look great. The higher zoom levels are so bad, there is no point even using them. Panasonic should consider a firmware upgrade to address both these issues.
  • I also shot a number of hand-held comparisons between my Oly 12-100 on the G9 and the PL 8-18 on the EM1.2, all shot at 12mm. I was surprised to find the 8-18 was consistently sharper than the 12-100, particular in the mid (halfway between centre and edge), edge and corner areas. The 8-18mm is truly a gem. That comparison was unfair as it was at the extreme wide end of the 12-100 and middle of the 8-18, and also because it was handheld, I'm not putting up any of those comparisons, as I don't want to risk a smackdown on this forum.
 Chrisd999's gear list:Chrisd999's gear list
Sony RX1R II Olympus E-M1 II Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12mm 1:2 Samyang 7.5mm F3.5 UMC Fisheye MFT +10 more
Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Lumix DC-G9
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