Outwardly the G95 looks pretty similar to the G85, both of which look like scaled-down mid-level DSLRs. But the closer you look, the more differences you start to find.

Key takeaways:

  • Mid-level camera body with menus and control layout similar to higher-end G9
  • Fully articulating touchscreen, mic and headphone connections for video
  • Well-judged level of customization

The G95 (left) next to the G85. The larger grip provides enough space for a G9-style trio of WB, ISO and Exposure Comp buttons.

The G95's body includes a magnesium alloy front plate and, when combined with a weather-resistant lens, is said to be 'dust and splash resistant' (a phrase that, like most of these claims, includes no formal rating, promise or guarantee). It has a G9-style strip of buttons along the front of its top plate, giving access to white balance, ISO and exposure compensation. The three buttons are physically distinct: one bulges upwards, one features a pair of raised dots and the thirds is simply flat, so that you can locate them by 'feel.' In addition, the G95 has a headphone socket and moves the mic socket to a location where it won't clash with the rear screen when it's extended outwards.

The camera's grip has been made more extensive and is coated with a tougher, more aggressively textured rubber coating. We found it forced a very specific hand position on the camera that may leave your smallest finger constantly dangling over the bottom of the camera.

The microphone socket has moved to a location that doesn't interfere with the articulating screen.

Menus

The G95 inherits the latest Panasonic menu logic. This is slightly cleaner and easier to navigate, since the Custom section (with most camera behavior settings in it) is broken into named sections, to make it easier to find the setting you're after.

There's also a customizable 'My Menu' tab, which can be set up to contain all the menu options you find yourself using most often.

Customization

The button just peeking over the top of the rear dial, three directions of the four-way controller, Fn2 and Fn3 buttons are all customizable.

Despite the extensive dedicated control points, the G95 gives a reasonable degree of customization, whether it's in terms of changing button functions or choosing, for instance, whether the AF point loops when you push it to the edge of the screen.

There are six buttons whose functions can be customized, along with five positions on the sidebar of the touchscreen interface. The button in the rear dial, three positions of the four-way controller, a Fn2 button on the lower right and a Fn3 on the top left can all be repurposed.

The button in the rear command dial and the Fn3 button on the top-left corner of the camera can be configured to have a separate role while in Playback mode.

Dial Operation Switch

There's a button in the middle of the rear command dial, which can be used to toggle the functions of the camera's two command dials. The two functions that it switches to can be user defined, with the 'Dial Operation Switch Setup' option (under Dial Set in the Operation tab of the Custom Setup menu). The options, assignable to either dial are:

Options assignable to dials, using Dial Operation Switch function
  • Photo Style
  • Filter Effect
  • Aspect Ratio
  • 4K Photo
  • Highlight/Shadow
  • i.Dynamic
  • i.Resolution
  • Flash Mode
  • Flash Adjust
  • Sensitivity (ISO)
  • White Balance
  • AF Mode

If you don't find yourself needing one of these functions, you can instead use it as a standard function button.

Battery Life

The G95/G90 use the same DMW-BLC12 battery as the G85. It has a capacity of 8.7Wh, which earns it a CIPA rating of 290 shots per charge. As usual you'll almost certainly get more than this in practice, depending on how you shoot (double the CIPA number isn't unusual). This is a reasonable but not particularly impressive, compared with its immediate peers.

A rating of around 300 shots per charge is usually enough for a weekend of casual shooting but you'll want to have a USB battery pack with you if you're being any more committed than that.

Auto ISO

The G95 gains the ability to use Auto ISO (with exposure compensation) in manual mode, both for stills and video. In all the semi-auto modes you end up with the choice of Auto ISO mode or [i]ISO, which tries to intelligently choose its settings based on an analysis of subject motion.

You can specify the range of ISO values to use and you can specify a minimum shutter speed, but leaving the minimum shutter speed to 'auto' sees the camera just using 1/60 sec as the minimum much of the time, though with longer focal lengths it will attempt to keep your shutter speed to 1/focal length. There's no option to bias it faster or slower, or have it automatically compensate for your focal length.