Controls & Features

The rear of the camera has a plethora of controls, including three customizable Function buttons. There are 11 pages worth of options that can be assigned to those buttons, covering just about everything in the menus, With three custom shooting modes to choose from, you can have the function buttons pre-set for various situations.

The DC-GX9 has a pair of menus which can be customized. First is the Quick Menu, to which you can assign up to ten functions, or leave it at defaults [is this still the two mode Q.Menu: the one that looks like a cheap compact or the huge touchscreen custom one? If so, say so.]. There's also a 'My Menu' tab that does exactly what it sounds like: You can pick any menu option and throw it into a dedicated tab that can be the default when you press the Menu button.

Monochrome effects

An example of L. Monochrome D with strong grain effect. ISO 200 | 1/200 sec | F4 | Panasonic Lumix G 25mm F1.7 @ 50mm equiv. | Photo by Carey Rose

Panasonic has added a third Photo Style for black & white shooting called L. Monochrome D. The company says that mode offers deeper blacks and richer gradation than the standard Monochrome and L. Monochrome options. There's also a new Grain Effect features, which gives your black & white photos a surprisingly film-like, random-pattern grain.

Sequence Composition

One fun new option that's part of Panasonic's 4K Photo feature is called Sequence Composition. This lets you grab various frames captured in a 4K Photo burst and combine them into a single photo, much like a multiple exposure. Sequence Composition is pretty easy to figure out and we were impressed with the results - just be sure to use a tripod when shooting.

Wi-Fi + Bluetooth

While wireless connectivity isn't new to the GX9, the addition of Bluetooth LE is. Bluetooth allows for a constant, low energy (hence the 'LE') connection between camera and smartphone, which allows you to remotely release the shutter (without live view,) transfer images as they're taken (Wi-Fi will kick in,) and add location information to photos automatically. Pairing is easy and everything worked swimmingly during our time with the camera.

Video

The GX9 has a decent feature set for capturing video. You can record 4K UHD clips at 30p or 24p with a 100Mbps bit rate and 5-axis Hybrid OIS (albeit with a crop). Exposure compensation can be used during shooting and zebra patterns, focus peaking and audio level adjustment are available, as well. The GX9 lacks mic or headphone jacks (the GX8 had the former,) a telling sign that it's not intended to be a video powerhouse.