G9 idiosyncrasies coming from a G80...

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photofan1986 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,284
G9 idiosyncrasies coming from a G80...

Hello, first of all I apology for those who can be sensitive about their gear

In this thread, I will share my impressions and some frustrations about the G9...

So, long story short, after owning several OMD cameras (among which the EM1.1), I decided to switch to Panasonic with the GX80 and the G80 a bit later. Generally, I prefer the Panasonic "logic" and ergonomics, as well as jpegs (yes, I know, that's a bit uncommon).

I've been extremely happy with the G80, which I consider an upgrade in several key areas over the EM1.1. I've been using the camera about a year now, but lately, I've become really curious about the new 20 megapixel sensor. And a few days back, I have found a used G9, in mint condition, with a 25 1.7 and a 35-100 2.8 for 1200€. I thought it was a great deal so I took the plunge.

I will first start with the negatives (in this post):

- It's massive. Yes, I should have tried the camera before, but it didn't look so big on the pictures. The E-M1.1 was perfect, so is the G80 in my hand. But the G9 really is on the outer edge of acceptable for me. I've  got medium-sized hands, but the camera feels slightly too big for me. It reminds me of my old Canon 50D I used to own. Not so much "micro"43 any more...On the other hand, it's built like a tank! The G80 buit quality is good, but this thing is on another level.

- The EVF... ok, I confess I was expecting something great, reading all the reviews and raving comments. And I must say that it's a disappointment. While the EVF resolution is great (and colors are nice, as well as DR), the optics in front of it are...meh at best. Typical Panasonic. The only Panasonic camera I tested with a great EVF is the G80. The G9 displays noticeable pincushion distortion, the sides are blurred, and your eye needs to be dead center in order to get a distortion-free view. A bit like the GX80, or GH4...
The G80 EVF is slightly smaller and has lower resolution, but it's tack sharp across the frame, and you can see the whole frame easily. On the G9, to see the whole frame, I have to use the smallest magnification setting, making it actually smaller than the G80. (Yes, I wear glasses). So yes, for me it's a big disappointment, maybe because my expectations were so high with the G80. (Don't expect a G80 EVF but bigger and more detailed. It's not.)

- Talking about the EVF, I noticed that when the camera focuses in low-ish light, the view (also on the screen) gets noisy and grainy for a short moment. Didn't happen on the G80 (or any other Pany IIRC). Why?

- It seems to me that the maximum EVF brightness is lower than the G80. I noticed that shooting in bright light outside.

- Probably the most annoying bit, it looks like nothing but it's important to me:
the touch screen seems much less responsive. Whether you pan in a zoomed picture or you use the touch pad with EVF use, the camera responds with an annoying delay. That is one of my favourite feature in the G80 when shooting through the EVF and changing the focus point. On the G9, not only the touch response feels sluggish, but also less accurate. FW update, Panasonic??

- Which brings me to the next part. I couldn't care less for the joystick! I much prefer the touch screen for selecting the focus point (even in the EVF)...Well, at least if it works well like on the G80. Also, you cannot move diagonally, so it's pretty slow to operate. And you can do exactly the same with the directional pad without interfering with your nose. Really, I don't see the point. A DSLR nostalgia, like the top monochrome LCD...

- Something I didn't expect at all...when shooting in single shot, and half pressing the shutter button (yeah, which is not easy at all on the G9 with its overly sensitive trigger), then shooting a series of picture without releasing the shutter button completely, the cameras shows much more blackout than the G80! With the G80, shooting a series of pictures in a row still allows me to see the subject. The G9 just blacks out completely. WTH?

- Yes, jpeg colors are nice. Still, I already liked the G80 colors. However, the jpeg processing kills fine detail in texture, whereas the G80 was really excellent in that regard. Lower frequency detail are sharpened on the other hand, so the images have more "bite" to them. But skins look "waxy", a bit like Fuji. Yuck. I much preferred the slightly grainy and textured jpegs from the G80. And yes, that is with NR set to -5.

- I compared IQ to my G80 in raw files... Well, there is no noticeable difference, even when pixel-peeping. Noise and detail are really on par. DR might be ever so slightly better. I expected more. 4 megapixel difference is really not noticeable.

So that's it about the bad things. I honestly didn't expect the G9 to perform worse than the G80 in some areas but there you have it.

I will post samples and videos o illustrate those observations later. And of course, the positives are to come too

 photofan1986's gear list:photofan1986's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix F200EXR Sony RX100 III Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 Panasonic G85 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH +12 more
Canon EOS 50D Olympus E-M1 Panasonic G85 Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85
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