Panasonic G9 - camera you can't trust Locked

Started 10 months ago | User reviews
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LightCatcherLT Forum Member • Posts: 66
Panasonic G9 - camera you can't trust

Ok, I got hands on release version of Panasonic G9+12-60/2.8-4. I took my SD card and was given camera and all the time I needed to test every usage scenario that is important to me. Here I share my subjective notes, and you don't have to agree with me or have exactly the same expectations. It may be perfect camera for you, but not for me. Here is why.

Body.
It's significantly bigger than Oly M1 mk1, and even bigger and heavier than M1 mk2. Ergonomically feels good in hand but you can't shake of that feeling, that you are holding some DSLR cam, size and weight wise. Long, protruding 12-60/2.8-4 lens adds to size impression and whole kit feels big. If you place E-M1+12-40/2.8 next to it, G9 looks ridiculously oversized. Weight is significant, on the edge of my personal tolerance.

Make is very good, quality assembly, no cracking sounds. However controls have somehow different feeling and creates inconsistent user experience. On/Off switch is good idea, however shutter release button is too light (low resistance), maybe too easy to push.
Viewfinder looks wide at first, however EVF size advantage diminishes once you adjust dioptres (I do not use glasses). I don't know if that's only optical illusion but image on VF feels wider than usual 4:3 width. Therefore it looks like pincushion distortion is present in a picture you are seeing...
Top LCD is just ridiculous. Small gizmo to make camera look... don't know? Professional? We don't check picture on LCD in mirror-less world, we see how picture will appear through EVF, and adjust paramswhile still looking through EVF. That top LCD looks like reminiscent from 90's or smth. Appeal to DSLR crowd that neglects everything with m43 logo on it anyway? Looks silly to me.

Shooting experience
That's where positive impression from body build quality starts to diminish.

Main problem is that you cannot be sure you will take even static picture, let alone some object that is moving. For example sometimes camera struggles to obtain focus in extremely well lit room focusing on black backpack. You just get completely defocused picture. Retry obtains focus. This happened several times in well lit environment and also at street after sunset trying to capture person riding bike, person walking, street pole, etc.

Next - there is that specific wobling/jerk+delay+drop in resolution/noise+return to normal view on EVF once you release shutter button. This is complete horror. It seems like camera is slow to focus lagging/throttling/whatever at those moments. Tested with 12-60, 12-40, 15mm lenses same behavior. You immediately loose trust in camera, and confidence that you can actually get that picture you want if you have only one chance to do that (think street photography).

On the bright side - face detection works well, however if you move cam/recompose, that rectangle around face doesn't just appear, it sluggishly floats onto face with some delay and that adds to impression cam is lagging. Subject tracking seems to be working.

Picture
Good color rendition, skin looks natural. No bias towards yellow/red. No surprises with Auto WB. BTW didn't saw flickers in EVF, but that's may be quality illumination used. Jpegs very good in good lighting, acceptable/average in street lights setting. Seems like iso 3200 is still ok, up to 6400 can be used. Focus speed in low light is fast, however sometimes you get no focus at all. Camera focuses at the same pace through all iso range.

Conclusion
This is not reliable camera you can trust to make that 1 photo if you have only single opportunity. At least yet. Camera body department did their work, software dep - did not. It's a camera that is made to look good on paper and take on Olympus, but in practice it doesn't deliver.

Maybe firmware upgrades will fix focus/wobbling/freeze/noise horror, and inability to focus sometimes, but until then - people looking for "pro" performance and consistency - skip on G9. It is no match for Olympus E-M1 mk2 (and I used it in real-life). For other cases - if you can tolerate things that are not worked out by Panasonic and have GAS - go for it, but do not complain for Silver award. In my opinion even Silver is too much.

P.S. Lenses - 12-60/2.8-4 - you have f2.8 only at ~12-14, then aperture goes down rapidly. Long, but light. Avoid, not worth money.
12-40/2.8 - as fast on Pana body, as 12-60 above. Look at 12-35/2.8 or Oly's 12-40/2.8.
15/1.7 - fast, very sharp, very nice on G9. If 15mm suits you, then consider it (still wobbling/freeze/noise horror present).

 LightCatcherLT's gear list:LightCatcherLT's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm 1:4-5.6 R Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 15mm F1.7 ASPH
Panasonic Lumix DC-G9
20 megapixels • 3 screen • Four Thirds sensor
Announced: Nov 8, 2017
LightCatcherLT's score
3.0
Average community score
4.3
bad for good for
Kids / pets
acceptable
Action / sports
mediocre
Landscapes / scenery
excellent
Portraits
excellent
Low light (without flash)
okay
Flash photography (social)
unrated
Studio / still life
excellent
= community average
Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Lumix DC-G9
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Alan Kett
Alan Kett Regular Member • Posts: 203
Re: Panasonic G9 - camera you can't trust

Ok, I'll bite. Makes you wonder why Panasonic released it if it's so bad at this basic stuff, doesn't it?

p.s. I hope you've got some asbestos underwear......

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northlondon43 Senior Member • Posts: 1,297
Re: Panasonic G9 - camera you can't trust

Wow, did you have a hangover when you wrote this? πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹

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Adrian
An amateur, atheist, alliterationist

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Birdingbilly Regular Member • Posts: 188
Re: Panasonic G9 - camera you can't trust

I've had my G9 for a few days now and I just don't recognise what you are saying about the focus. The G9 focus is faster than anything I have ever used before, Canon 1dx included and it works in very low light. No camera will focus on a solid black object that has no contrast or texture.

As to the evf, yes it has tiny bit of pincushion but for me it really is tiny and adjusting the diopter makes absolutely no difference to the image size ! all the wobble/resolution stuff  again I don't recognise.

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Panasonic Lumix DC-G9
OP LightCatcherLT Forum Member • Posts: 66
Re: Panasonic G9 - camera you can't trust

northlondon43 wrote:

Wow, did you have a hangover when you wrote this? πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹

I probably should have, maybe my impression would be better. Now it seems I upset some people. In any case my review reflects my needs and tolerances. Someone's tolerances may vary.

 LightCatcherLT's gear list:LightCatcherLT's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm 1:4-5.6 R Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 15mm F1.7 ASPH
DLBlack Forum Pro • Posts: 13,462
Re: Panasonic G9 - camera you can't trust

Alan Kett wrote:

Ok, I'll bite. Makes you wonder why Panasonic released it if it's so bad at this basic stuff, doesn't it?

p.s. I hope you've got some asbestos underwear......

At the "flagship" level the small little things become important when one compare with it with other "flagship" cameras it is competing against.  Some people will like some things and hate other things.  It is just great to have choices like the G9, GH5, GH5S and the E-M1.2.

Dave

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OP LightCatcherLT Forum Member • Posts: 66
Re: Panasonic G9 - camera you can't trust

Birdingbilly wrote:

I've had my G9 for a few days now and I just don't recognise what you are saying about the focus.

I think I got Silver awarded camera and you got Gold. That explains why.

 LightCatcherLT's gear list:LightCatcherLT's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm 1:4-5.6 R Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 15mm F1.7 ASPH
Bryan
Bryan Senior Member • Posts: 2,266
Re: Panasonic G9 - camera you can't trust

What a strange chap?

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Bryan
Box-Brownie and other stuff.
Still looking for a digital back for my Box Brownie.

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Denjw
Denjw Veteran Member • Posts: 6,202
Re: Panasonic G9 - camera you can't trust

So how long did you have the camera to play with and have you used Panasonic cameras before?

I suspect a bit of "tit for tat" going on here in response to some of the nonsense being spread about since the Jan 9th.

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paul cool
paul cool Senior Member • Posts: 2,146
Re: Panasonic G9 - camera you can't trust

Funny I do not particularly trust your judgment either it’s only been available a week to early for me to make a competent view.

Ok if you do not like the camera that can happen ,I have yet to experience the af problems you mention and the so highly acclaimed omd em1 mk2 is not perfect in this regards I own both and encountered its short comings ,although the Olympus does af manual clutch to get you out of certain situations.

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horsth Senior Member • Posts: 1,305
Re: Panasonic G9 - camera you can't trust

How many more G9 "reviews" from experts do I have to stand ?

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Fujifilm X20 Olympus E-M1 II Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Panasonic Leica Summilux DG 25mm F1.4 +8 more
Bryan
Bryan Senior Member • Posts: 2,266
Re: Panasonic G9 - camera you can't trust

Could not have said it better

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Bryan
Box-Brownie and other stuff.
Still looking for a digital back for my Box Brownie.

 Bryan's gear list:Bryan's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS40 (TZ60) Canon EOS 7D Mark II Canon Extender EF 1.4x III Canon EF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6L IS II +8 more
samtheman2014
samtheman2014 Senior Member • Posts: 4,571
Re: Panasonic G9 - camera you can't trust

LightCatcherLT wrote:

northlondon43 wrote:

Wow, did you have a hangover when you wrote this? πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹

I probably should have, maybe my impression would be better. Now it seems I upset some people. In any case my review reflects my needs and tolerances. Someone's tolerances may vary.

You seem to strongly favour Olympus , why not just go with what you prefer. In fact looking at your posting history seems to read like an Olympus fan club member

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/60617990

You are complaining about some stuff that is just daft , the size of the camera is well known , there are no shortage of comparisons around the net  showing this. Same with the weight they never kept is a secret . The top LCD you are complaining about was also right there in the photos of the camera . You are complaining about the length of a lens ,did you think they were kidding us on when they announced its specs and it would be shorter in real life ?

Unless there is something horribly wrong with your camera , the static AF on even the cheapest and oldest m43 cameras is more than good enough . When someone with a short history of posting and lots of pro posts for a different brand posts a scathing review of another makes model you have to wonder. If I loved brand A as much as you seem to do I wouldn't even consider brand B. There are a number of pro reviews out and other user experience posts that do not have your problems.

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Jim Stirling

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Danielvr Veteran Member • Posts: 4,672
You've played with it for a few hours and post a review??

fwiw, a sensitive shutter button helps you avoid camera shake. A top LCD lets you adjust settings before raising the camera to your eye.

A team of skilled, experienced people have designed and constructed this camera, and it has been thoroughly tested in- and externally before production started. If you see any things that you don't like, it would be reasonable to assume that they're still there for a reason (which you may want to learn), or that there may be solutions and workarounds (which requires some digging).  I see none of that in your review. It's one thing to be uninformed or judgmental, but being both at the same time leads to disasters like this review.

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benwood Regular Member • Posts: 327
Re: You've played with it for a few hours and post a review??

I've never owned a camera with a top LCD before, yet I already know I would like to have one.  I *often* shoot where I want to glance at the settings but not necessarily look at the LCD, e.g. time lapse or when I am shooting quite low.

And like other intelligent people have pointed out, the size and weight is well known.  If I get one of these, it's not likely to be my hiking camera, which will remain the domain of my rangefinder GX-7 until perhaps one day (I hope) THAT gets upgraded.  To Pen-F or GX-9 (if ever that comes out).

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Ben

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Sony Alpha DSLR-A700 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 Panasonic Leica D Summilux Asph 25mm F1.4 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS +5 more
Hatstand Senior Member • Posts: 1,542
Clickbait title

User "reviews", always good for a laugh

Suspect OP would be telling a very different story, and would be in love with everything about the G9... if it had an Olympus badge on it...

(unknown member) Senior Member • Posts: 1,752
OPs comments are more valid than those who don't own one

The OP shared his experience and the unknowing are dumping on him. Unless you own one and can provide feedback from actual experience your input is just hearsay of minimal value.

Denjw
Denjw Veteran Member • Posts: 6,202
Re: Panasonic G9 - camera you can't trust

samtheman2014 wrote:

LightCatcherLT wrote:

northlondon43 wrote:

Wow, did you have a hangover when you wrote this? πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹

I probably should have, maybe my impression would be better. Now it seems I upset some people. In any case my review reflects my needs and tolerances. Someone's tolerances may vary.

You seem to strongly favour Olympus , why not just go with what you prefer. In fact looking at your posting history seems to read like an Olympus fan club member

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/60617990

You are complaining about some stuff that is just daft , the size of the camera is well known , there are no shortage of comparisons around the net showing this. Same with the weight they never kept is a secret . The top LCD you are complaining about was also right there in the photos of the camera . You are complaining about the length of a lens ,did you think they were kidding us on when they announced its specs and it would be shorter in real life ?

Unless there is something horribly wrong with your camera , the static AF on even the cheapest and oldest m43 cameras is more than good enough . When someone with a short history of posting and lots of pro posts for a different brand posts a scathing review of another makes model you have to wonder. If I loved brand A as much as you seem to do I wouldn't even consider brand B. There are a number of pro reviews out and other user experience posts that do not have your problems.

Yes some silly bias going on here I suspect to just bring down the Average Community Score.

It appears he only handled the camera and took some test shots in a camera store for a short time.

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cf782 Contributing Member • Posts: 624
Panasonic looks good on paper...

I once owned Panasonic L1, L10, GH2 and LX100 before. They were all good cameras, by looking at specifications and feel in hands. But all of them were replaced with Olympus cameras. The last Panasonic I owned was an LX100. I love its zoom and its build quality. I bought it to replace my Fujifilm X100 which I though lacking of wide and tele ends as LX100. However, I did not like the JPEG output from the LX100, ended up selling it and bought an X100 Black Limited version back. I love the X100 so much, recently bought the latest version X100F. The X100F now is my daily companion.

Thanks,

Edward

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Denjw
Denjw Veteran Member • Posts: 6,202
Re: OPs comments are more valid than those who don't own one

greg 123 wrote:

The OP shared his experience and the unknowing are dumping on him. Unless you own one and can provide feedback from actual experience your input is just hearsay of minimal value.

But does he own one?  That's not my impression. It appears he handled and took some tests shots in a camera store for a short period.

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