A quick user experience Panasonic G9 review

Started Jan 12, 2018 | User reviews
eno2 Regular Member • Posts: 224
A quick user experience Panasonic G9 review
23

I just received the Panasonic G9 that I've preorderd some time ago.

It's hack of a camera!

The first impression was, WOW this stays so good in the hand that I don't what to let it go. Leaving th jokes aside, I think it has the best ergonomy I've ever laid my hand on, period!

Then I looked through the viewfinder: WOW again! This is huuuge (an cinema like experience). It's sharp from center to the corners, very bright, with very accurate colors and great resolution. I also couldn't spot the dots, so it's life like.

Then I tried to take the first image with my Leica Noctocron: WOW for the third time! It has a blazing fast AF. It's hard to tell how fast it is, course it's that fast.

Image quality it's like expected: to my taste up until ISO 3200 very god and ISO 6400 good. In utter emergency I'd maximum go until ISO 12800.The JPG quality is fantastic and I will definitely use this camera in RAW + JPG mode, for best quality and convenience.

Being able to test the camera myself I've found that Panasonic utilizes NR even in RAW files. Interestingly the best results I've got (in RAW) with -5 setting for NR (so minimum NR in the camera). At -5 NR, the noise structure is the most granular and by going up in the NR values I could spot small blotchiness of the pixels and a magenta cast in the deep shadows, which is not present at -5 NR setting.

My real life measurement found a maximum of 2 and 2/3 DR stops in the highlights and 5 DR stops in the shadows, besides the usual 8 DR stops in the corrected exposed image. Resulting in a 15,6 total DR stops. For my taste I would call a 4 stops of shadows DR very usable and above 2 DR stops in the highlights, a little bit over 14 very usable stops of DR. The measurements where done at ISO 100.

OBS: I did not measure the DR as DXO does. I simply underexposed one stop after another then recovered the shadows in post. The same in highlights but with more precision after 2 full stops of overexpose (in 1/3 to 1/3 increments) + the default 8 stops found in the correct exposed image.

The video quality is beyond expectations. The 4K is very detailed, with great colors and nice DR. Up until ISO 3200 It's hard to spot the noise and at ISO 6400 you see it but it's low. I can definitely use this camera up until ISO 6400 (included) without any worries in the noise department. The maximum ISO I would use is 10.000 cause at maximum 12800 value I see some color shifts which I tend to avoid.

Stabilization seams to work very well with the Leica Noctocron but I was not so interested in finding it's limits, yet.

In short, the Panasonic G9 is a great pleasure to use.

Panasonic Lumix DC-G9
20 megapixels • 3 screen • Four Thirds sensor
Announced: Nov 8, 2017
eno2's score
5.0
Average community score
4.6
bad for good for
Kids / pets
excellent
Action / sports
excellent
Landscapes / scenery
excellent
Portraits
excellent
Low light (without flash)
excellent
Flash photography (social)
excellent
Studio / still life
excellent
= community average
Panasonic Lumix DC-G9
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
Franz Weber
Franz Weber Contributing Member • Posts: 641
Re: A quick user experience Panasonic G9 review
1

Hey Eno, thank you for your review. May I ask you which camera you had before?

-- hide signature --

This column is intended for something inspiring, something meaningful or at least something that makes any sense at all. I‘ll work on it.

 Franz Weber's gear list:Franz Weber's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M10 IV Panasonic Leica Summilux DG 25mm F1.4 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 Olympus 12-45mm F4 Pro Apple iPhone 13 Pro +2 more
Albert Valentino Veteran Member • Posts: 9,445
Re: A quick user experience Panasonic G9 review
4

Sounds like it gets your personal Gold Award 😉

-- hide signature --

If you don't get older and wiser, than you just get older.

 Albert Valentino's gear list:Albert Valentino's gear list
Olympus E-M1 III Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4-5.6 R Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm F2.8 Macro Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 25mm F1.8 +10 more
OP eno2 Regular Member • Posts: 224
Re: A quick user experience Panasonic G9 review

Hi @Franz Weber

I'm glad you enjoined reading it.

I had a Panasonic GH4, Nikon D800 together with Panasonic and Nikon lenses.

Now I sold all my Nikon gear and went completely m4/3.

OP eno2 Regular Member • Posts: 224
Re: A quick user experience Panasonic G9 review
1

Like any camera, it still has some minor quirks (software related) but it's definitely a "Gold Award" for me.

horsth Senior Member • Posts: 1,638
Re: A quick user experience Panasonic G9 review

"I've found that Panasonic utilizes NR even in RAW files"

What's your foundation for that statement? Can't see that in my G9 Raw files...

Horst

 horsth's gear list:horsth's gear list
Fujifilm X20 Olympus E-M1 II Olympus OM-D E-M1X Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Panasonic Leica Summilux DG 25mm F1.4 +9 more
OP eno2 Regular Member • Posts: 224
Re: A quick user experience Panasonic G9 review

Look closer.

jrsforums Senior Member • Posts: 1,818
Re: A quick user experience Panasonic G9 review

horsth wrote:

"I've found that Panasonic utilizes NR even in RAW files"

What's your foundation for that statement? Can't see that in my G9 Raw files...

Horst

It is my understanding that the -5 NR setting ‘eno2’ adjusted is for the jpeg processing, along with sharpening, etc.

usually if any noise reduction is done on RAW, it is done “under the covers”....and most people, such as myself, do not like it.

 jrsforums's gear list:jrsforums's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 Panasonic Lumix DC-GH6 Panasonic Lumix G Fisheye 8mm F3.5 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm F2.8 Macro +17 more
horsth Senior Member • Posts: 1,638
Re: A quick user experience Panasonic G9 review

eno2 wrote:

Look closer.

Where ??

 horsth's gear list:horsth's gear list
Fujifilm X20 Olympus E-M1 II Olympus OM-D E-M1X Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Panasonic Leica Summilux DG 25mm F1.4 +9 more
OP eno2 Regular Member • Posts: 224
Re: A quick user experience Panasonic G9 review

I'll dig some more unto the subject and return with the findings.

Pete Berry Veteran Member • Posts: 4,198
G9 RAW Higher-ISO Stills Detail Comparison
3

jrsforums wrote:

horsth wrote:

"I've found that Panasonic utilizes NR even in RAW files"

What's your foundation for that statement? Can't see that in my G9 Raw files...

Horst

It is my understanding that the -5 NR setting ‘eno2’ adjusted is for the jpeg processing, along with sharpening, etc.

usually if any noise reduction is done on RAW, it is done “under the covers”....and most people, such as myself, do not like it.

Check out this ISO 3200 RAW res. comparison I've up-sampled (bi-cubic, plain) to 200% in PS. The GH9 holds clear linear structure past 3400 L/PH where the E-M1 II breaks down by 3100; GH5 by 3300.

The contrast and clarity of the G9's seems to rule out any baked-in RAW NR, but this has been suspect at higher ISO's in Olys in the past,

Gold star to the G9 in this tough stress test!

Pete

OP eno2 Regular Member • Posts: 224
Re: G9 RAW Higher-ISO Stills Detail Comparison
2

Hi guys,

I did some comparison shots today. Unfortunately it's snowing (only for the test it's not so good, cause I'm very happy it does ).

The test was made at ISO 100, exposure, focus matched and WB matched. The files where underexposed 5 EV stops from what the camera stated it was the correct exposure (a little bit tot dark for my taste), so I dallied 6 EV stops of light in ACR. The images on the left are with -5 NR setting (the minimum possible in the camera) and the images on the right have the NR value at default 0.

I see some minor differences in the noise pattern, nothing severe but the biggest difference can be seen in the read noise: with NR at -5 there is a stronger magenta cast on the image in the deep shadows and on 0 NR it's greatly reduced and colors better preserved.

I also uploaded only the read channel for one of the images to batter evaluate the noise structure between the different NR values.

I don't know what Panasonic does or doesn't do to it's G9 RAW files but I like the results.

horsth Senior Member • Posts: 1,638
Re: G9 RAW Higher-ISO Stills Detail Comparison

Strange, that there is even a small change in the Raw-file because of NR. Normally the NR settings should only affect the jpg images and never the Raws.

 horsth's gear list:horsth's gear list
Fujifilm X20 Olympus E-M1 II Olympus OM-D E-M1X Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Panasonic Leica Summilux DG 25mm F1.4 +9 more
Chris Noble
Chris Noble Veteran Member • Posts: 4,583
G9 applies NR to Raw?

eno2 wrote:

Being able to test the camera myself I've found that Panasonic utilizes NR even in RAW files. Interestingly the best results I've got (in RAW) with -5 setting for NR (so minimum NR in the camera). At -5 NR, the noise structure is the most granular and by going up in the NR values I could spot small blotchiness of the pixels and a magenta cast in the deep shadows, which is not present at -5 NR setting.

Really? Very surprised. Are you sure? That they apply NR in camera and that the user can control how much?

(PS after posting: Just saw the posts above mine. Still not clear).

 Chris Noble's gear list:Chris Noble's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5 Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Panasonic Leica Summilux DG 25mm F1.4 +3 more
OP eno2 Regular Member • Posts: 224
Re: G9 RAW Higher-ISO Stills Detail Comparison

Totally agree that it's strange!

I found this by chance only when I was testing the -5 NR in video mode and those settings also got ported in photo mode I was using later.

OP eno2 Regular Member • Posts: 224
Re: G9 applies NR to Raw?

I tipple checked the settings used to take the last shots. Apparently there is something (very small) going on the RAW files as well, when moving the NR slider in the camera.

The first time I experimented with the G9, I got the best results with minimum NR dialed in camera for the RAW files. :))

Other Panasonic G9 users can also try this and share their findings with us if they desire.

Pete Berry Veteran Member • Posts: 4,198
Re: G9 RAW Higher-ISO Stills Detail Comparison

So this in an equivalent of nomal exposure at 6400, it seems - ISO 100 pushed 6 stops. It sure seems mighty noisy for this, unless these were long exposures, sharpening &/or clarity pushed, or these are 200+% views.

Would be interesting to eliminate the chroma noise, which is generally non-destructive to detail, and see what's left in luminance noise and detail.

Pete

Roger Engelken
Roger Engelken Veteran Member • Posts: 5,558
Re: A quick user experience Panasonic G9 review
3

Thank you for sharing an early review of the camera.  I have ordered a copy of the G9 and look forward to receiving it...whenever it comes.

 Roger Engelken's gear list:Roger Engelken's gear list
Olympus PEN E-P5 Olympus E-M1 Olympus OM-D E-M10 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 Olympus E-M1 II +29 more
OP eno2 Regular Member • Posts: 224
Re: G9 RAW Higher-ISO Stills Detail Comparison
1

Here are the same images with 25 color NR applied in ACR.

The 6 EV stops was a very high push in the shadows, made to illustrate the differences between -5 NR and 0 NR settings.

The G9 image looks very good at ISO 100 if pushed up to 4 stops in the shadows and 2 stops in the highlights.

Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads