What's it like to use?

Cameras can serve different purposes for different photographers; the right tool for one person might be the wrong one for someone else. With that in mind, we'll be taking a look at how the Panasonic Lumix GX9 stacks up for a variety of common uses, based on its specifications, our lab testing, and the time we've spent with it in the real world.

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Candid and street

Out of camera JPEG | Panasonic Leica DG 15mm F1.7 | ISO 200 | 1/1000 sec | F6.3

Photo by Wenmei Hill

The Lumix GX9 comes with a host of features both inside and out that make it well-suited to candid and street photography - here's what we've found during our time with it.

Pros:

  • Tilting electronic viewfinder and LCD make it easy to shoot unobtrusively
  • Responsive touchscreen for AF placement and touch-to-shoot functionality
  • Responsive interface and controls
  • Compact, discreet design
  • Fast autofocus with DFD-compatible lenses
  • Built-in flash could be used for fill during the day, key light at night
  • Easily accessible exposure compensation dial for changing conditions
  • Great JPEG color, high-contrast black-and-white monochrome modes

Cons:

  • Limited battery life
  • Bundled kit lens (in the US) isn't the best option in our opinion
  • Viewfinder and exposure compensation dial are prone to being bumped out of place

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Family and lifestyle

Out-of-camera JPEG | ISO 200 | F1.7 | 1/5000 sec

Family and lifestyle is all about capturing fleeting moments as they happen - which requires good autofocus, responsive operation, and often, reliable metering. Here's how we think the GX9 stacks up in this regard.

Pros:

  • Fast and accurate autofocus
  • Compact size with prime lenses makes it easy to carry with you
  • Good JPEG quality for easy sharing
  • Good-quality 4K video
  • Wide array of available lenses for big groups or tight close-ups
  • Built-in flash for fill

Cons:

  • The GX9's Four Thirds sensor is excellent, but can't compete with the best APS-C or Full Frame cameras for low light shooting
  • Limited battery life (an extra battery is one more thing to carry with you)

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Landscapes

Processed in Adobe Camera Raw
Lumix G Vario 12-60mm F3.5-5.6 @ 12mm | ISO 200 | F4.5 | 1/8000 sec

Photo by Dan Bracaglia

The GX9 is certainly capable of taking great landscape photos. Its resolution and dynamic range may not be up to the requirements of demanding shooters, but should work well for most casual users.

Pros:

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Wide array of available lenses, including many wide-angle options
  • USB charging for powering up off the grid
  • Tilting screen and viewfinder good for working at low angles
  • Good manual focus implementation and aids
  • Built-in focus stacking and post-focus

Cons:

  • Lacking any sort of multi-shot, high-resolution mode
  • No weather-sealing
  • So-so battery life, lack of included standalone charger makes it difficult to keep more than one battery charged
  • May be too little resolution for demanding users
  • The Four Thirds sensor can't compete with larger APS-C or full frame sensors in terms of outright dynamic range

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Formal portraits

Processed in-camera using the L.Monochrome D. picture style
Lumix G 42.5mm F1.7 | ISO 400 | F1.7 | 1/100 sec

Photo by Jeff Keller

Staged or formal portraiture introduces a number of requirements on both photographer and camera. In addition to requiring good resolution, color reproduction and autofocus accuracy come into play. In all, here's how we think the GX9 does in this category.

Pros:

  • Improved JPEG color and B&W modes along with wireless connectivity make sending off files a breeze
  • Expansive and reasonably priced selection of lenses - kit lens in US kit offers good focal length range
  • Built-in flash for fill
  • Very accurate autofocus
  • Tilting screen allows for better connection with portrait subject while shooting
  • Hot shoe makes triggering external flash systems a breeze

Cons:

  • Small, field sequential viewfinder isn't great
  • May be too little resolution for demanding users
  • Small grip limits comfort of hand-holding with larger portrait lenses

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Travel

Processed in Adobe Camera Raw
Panasonic Leica DG 15mm F1.7 | ISO 200 | 1/125 sec | F3.2

Photo by Wenmei Hill

Travel cameras should be capable, responsive, offer great JPEGs and easy wireless connectivity for sharing them. The GX9 gets a lot of things right for travel - here's what we think.

Pros:

  • Compact, attractive design
  • Tilting LCD and viewfinder allow for unobtrusive shooting
  • USB charging
  • Wide variety of affordable lenses
  • Robust wireless feature set for easy image sharing
  • Good JPEG color and quality
  • Good low light performance

Cons:

  • Limited battery life
  • Only wall adapter and USB cable in box - no dedicated external charger included

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Video

The GX9 isn't being marketed as a pro video camera, but for users looking to capture good-quality 4K videos along with their stills, it's a good option. Just bear in mind that since there's a 1.25x crop, a 24mm equivalent lens turns into a 30mm, and this can limit your ability to shoot wide-angle.

Additionally, that crop means that the area of the sensor you're using is quite small - around the same size as a 1"-type sensor, which will result in a quality loss, particularly in low light.s

Pros:

  • Good 4K/30p capture at up to 100mbps, good quality Full HD as well
  • Robust capture aids, including focus peaking, zebra warnings and histogram
  • In-body image stabilization makes for smooth footage with every lens
  • Enabling in-body stabilization does not crop footage
  • Digital image stabilization enhances smoothness without a detail penalty
  • Tilting viewfinder could be handy for daytime shooting
  • Exposure compensation works in manual movie mode, so you can keep your aperture and shutter speed constant while the ISO value handles brightness

Cons:

  • Capturing video in 4K comes with a ~1.25x crop
  • No microphone input or headphone output for audio capture and monitoring
  • Some users may prefer a fully articulating screen
  • Battery life on the short side

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Our reviews are designed with real-world shooting scenarios in mind, and on this page we're looking at how the Lumix GX9 performs for several popular use-cases. After considering its features and target market, we have opted not to specifically address 'Sports and wildlife' and 'Weddings and events' in this section.