Enter the ePHOTOzine Christmas Prize Draw extravaganza!

Panasonic Lumix G9 Expert Review - Verdict

 Add Comment

Panasonic Lumix G9 (14)

Value For Money

The Panasonic Lumix G9 is priced at £1499 body only, which makes it cheaper than the Panasonic Lumix GH5 at £1699 body only, the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II at £1849 body only, and the Nikon D500 at £1799 body only, but more expensive than some of it's competitors, such as the Fujifilm X-T2 which is £1399 body only, and Sony Alpha A6500 at £1279 body only. 

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II, 20mp, 60fps, CINE 4K, £1849 body only
Panasonic Lumix GH5, 20mp, 12fps, CINE 4K, £1699 body only
Sony Alpha A6500, 24mp, 11fps, 4K, £1279 body only. 
Fujifilm X-T2, 24mp, 14fps, 4K, £1399 body only
Nikon D500, 20mp, 10fps, 4K, £1799 body only

Have a look at more premium compact system cameras in our Top 15 Best Mirrorless Cameras 2017. You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.


Panasonic Lumix G9 Verdict

The price of the Panasonic Lumix G9 puts it in to the professional area of the market, rather than enthusiastic amateur, and this could put some buyers off. However, there will be those that have the money and are happy to spend it on the camera, once the range of features available has been taken into consideration.

The size of the camera is also slightly at odds with the Micro Four Thirds system, being bigger than some APS-C cameras such as the Fujifilm X-T2. However, there will be those that appreciate the excellent handling that the larger size allows. There's also a large range of Micro Four Thirds lenses of all shapes and sizes. The large grip will be particularly useful when using longer lenses on the camera, such as the new Leica 200mm f/2.8 lens

Noise performance is very good up to ISO3200, and it'll be down to your own image needs whether you want to shoot at ISO6400. Colour reproduction is very pleasing, with good JPEG images produced straight out of the camera, with little or no need for additional editing. This will be particularly beneficial if you're using one of the high speed shooting modes, as it will help speed up your workflow. 

You can shoot at up to 60fps, using the electronic shutter, or up to 20fps with continuous AF, however, the camera will only take 50 photos before it stops shooting. If you shoot using the mechanical shutter, you can shoot at 12fps, and can take an impressive 600 photos! We were also impressed with the camera's rapid and accurate focus for both fast moving subjects, and portraits. 

The Panasonic Lumix G9, is one of the fastest shooting cameras available, and is available at a very competitive price point, being around £300 less than the E-M1 Mark II. If you need this kind of speed, or want to try it, then there's not much that comes close to the performance of these two cameras. The G9 is also great to use, with the controls and menus neatly arranged, making it quick and easy to change settings, so that you don't having to spend time studying the manual. The top LCD screen means you can quickly see your camera settings without having to hold the camera in front of you. 

Whilst the G9 isn't aimed at professional video recording in the same way as the GH5, the camera produces excellent looking 4K video, and the 5-axis image stabilisation system helps make even handheld video look good. The image stabilisation works in combination with the lens' optical image stabilisation in order to give up to 6.5 stops. Add in to this, the impressive 40/80mp high resolution mode which will be great for macro or reproduction work, and you have a camera that offers a great set of features.

Panasonic Lumix G9 Pros

  • Great colour and detail in images
  • Good noise performance up to ISO3200
  • Excellent image stabilisation system
  • Comfortable design and handling
  • Rapid and accurate focus
  • Large high-resolution EVF
  • 60fps continuous shooting
  • 40/80mp High-Res Mode
  • Impressive 4K video quality
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth built-in
  • In-camera raw editing

Panasonic Lumix G9 Cons

  • Some may not like the size
  • Some may not like the price
  • Noise can be an issue above ISO6400

Features5/5
Handling5/5
Performance5/5
Value4/5
Overall Verdict


Support this site by shopping with one of our affiliates: Amazon UK, Amazon US, Amazon CA, ebay UK, Save 10% with Eversure Insurance.
*It doesn't cost you anything extra when you use these links, but it does support the site, helping keep ePHOTOzine free to use, thank you.

Used Photography Gear

Cameraworld The offers are provided by the Cameraworld & ePHOTOzine Partnership, see more fantastic Used Photography Gear.

Photographs taken using the Panasonic Lumix G9

Half Moon with MFTAngry SkyBlack & White.Under Saltburn PierChilled CatIn Careal fieldThe FlyLower Pecca fallsBreakoutDouble DeckerCardinalAutumn backlighted leafs with Real sunraysDiving ternNoir film style

Other articles you might find interesting...

Nikon Z50 Review
Sony Alpha A6100 ILCE-6100 Review
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III Review
Canon EOS M6 Mark II Review
Sony Alpha A6500 Only £599 On Amazon UK
Panasonic Lumix S1H Sample Photos
Olympus Pen E-PL10 Now Available In Europe
Top 14 Best Entry Level Mirrorless Compact System Cameras 2019

Comments


pablophotographer 8 1.3k 354
8 Nov 2017 2:17PM
It seems built ergonomically - it looks a bit Nikon to me Smile

Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

ChrisV Plus
13 2.3k 26 United Kingdom
9 Nov 2017 1:37PM
The Nikon comparison struck me too. Mind you I always thought the GH3 on were similar to Nikon - the top LCD and other tweaks simply underline the similarities.

I'm tempted by this, but can't help thinking it's a bit overpriced. It's not by itself by any means in that regard [it looks relatively cheap against the EM1 mkII]. I think Canon, Olympus and to a lesser degree Panasonic are all overpricing their higher end cameras. It's a disturbing trend that's tempting me toward Sony... and their over-priced lenses. Hmmm.
My slight concern is moving to the M43 sensor but so far from the images I've seen on this website and elsewhere, the IQ has not disappointed. For what it offers, I don't think it is overpriced. Thinking hard about making a pre-order, maybe tomorrow!
The recent addition of 6 test images here don't fill me with much confidence about IQ in respect of the sensor. Indeed, they seem like more of the same from M43. Perhaps I shouldn't be taken aback as this sensor measures 17.3 x 13 whereas that of the APS-C sensor measures 23.5 x 15.6, a difference of 38%. In addition, this is a 20 MP sensor that I'm comparing to a 24 mp APS-C sensor. But I did think/hope that maybe this G9 with an improved M43 sensor might just work for me. Now not so sure. I'll reserve judgement until sight of more test images.
joshwa Plus
9 905 United Kingdom
1 Dec 2017 8:58PM
Full review now live - with additional images added. We'll be adding even more images over the next few days.

You can find some other images here as well.
Niknut Plus
9 2.4k 80 United Kingdom
1 Dec 2017 9:11PM
Mmmmmm....I knew it !!....£1500 !!!!.......it's saving grace is the IQ; very impressive !!

My G1 is smaller & lighter......& my Samsung NX30 is similarly lighter & smaller plus
a bigger (APSC) sensor...............sorry Panasonic I'll stick with what I've got !!.Smile
brian1208 16 11.6k 12 United Kingdom
1 Dec 2017 9:27PM
Does anyone know if it has "exposure compensation" when shooting in manual exposure with Auto ISO mode (as with the EM-1 mk2)

I realise its not true exposure compensation but I find it an invaluable functionality when shooting BIF and my water-sport work

I haven't been able to see if it's the case in any of the reviews I seen so far (could have missed it of course Smile )
lemmy 12 2.8k United Kingdom
2 Dec 2017 3:58PM

Quote:Does anyone know if it has "exposure compensation" when shooting in manual exposure with Auto ISO mode (as with the EM-1 mk2)


My GH5 does so the G9 will.
joshwa Plus
9 905 United Kingdom
3 Dec 2017 7:31AM
Hi Brian, yes it does allow exposure compensation in manual mode,
Thanks
Josh
ChrisV Plus
13 2.3k 26 United Kingdom
4 Dec 2017 12:05PM
The price is a bit of a weird one. It is competetive among its immediate MfT peers, but looks very expensive against some [arguably] equivalent APSc models including Fuji and Sony's flagships in that format.

But if you factor in the fact that preorders include the battery grip [£309 separately] and the price seems a bit more palatable. If you need the battery grip.

Panasonic have quite a history of releasing expensive and street price then falling quite quickly [the GH series seems a bit of an exception to the rule with current models]. The battery grip thing suggest there may be discounts down the line. But there again I think Olympus did a similar thing with the EM1s and the price of those didn't dip that quickly - not substantially in any case.

Personally as a stills shooter who doesn't need tremendous speed, there isn't enough to entice me to upgrade from the bodies I already have [the EM1, 1 and GX8] at those sort of prices.
4 Dec 2017 2:46PM
Nice piece by ePhotozine but one comment I find mind-boggling.

"The price of the Panasonic Lumix G9 puts it into the professional area of the market, rather than enthusiastic amateur, and this could put some buyers off."

How can anyone, especially a review site that's reviewed other PRO cameras suggest that for a Pro body this is expensive? I shot all the Nikon pro bodies including the D4, D3, D2X etc. and all of them were priced 3X that of the G9. How can ePhotozine think this much technology in this small of a package is overpriced? Quite frankly a site like ePhotozine should be sharing their knowledge of how other professional cameras compare. When you compare the G9 to other bodies that are truly professional, the price looks extremely appealing. Prices of Nikon pro gear is actually one of the main reasons I moved to Panasonic. Lumix bodies are a fraction of what I used to spend for Nikons i used to make a living with.

Part of the problem many of the manufacturers are having, including Lumix, Olympus and even Sony, is they're giving us so much for so little, photographers forget what the heck we used just 5 years ago. There is no comparison and yet we get a comment like, "The price of the Panasonic Lumix G9 puts it into the professional area of the market". Yea, it does, at 3X's less than other pro bodies we used.
4 Dec 2017 4:02PM
Nice review, but I have to agree with Daniel. This camera with the capabilities that it has, is not priced too high. It just isn't. It seems to be priced correctly given the competition.
Niknut Plus
9 2.4k 80 United Kingdom
4 Dec 2017 4:11PM
Pity it isn't in the Christmas Draw ??????.......HINT, HINT !!.GrinGrinGrinGrin
ChrisV Plus
13 2.3k 26 United Kingdom
4 Dec 2017 4:50PM
Sorry Daniel, but it's just silly to say the G9 is in the same bracket as the D5, DXII, or A9 [or for that matter the A7III/D850]. It is more comparable to the D7500, the XT2 or the A6500 and it's more expensive than any of those. So yep it's an expensive camera in its marketplace.

I don't say you need to be shooting 35mm to be a pro, but if you're going to compare with anything you can hardly leapfrog the APSc competition. I think the EPZ comment is more than moderate and perfectly rational.
Two design issues that really frustrate me with Panasonic which they need to sort..

The menu system is horrible. The language is not always intuitive.

That bloody AF-S / AF-F switch. Just add an extra position on the switch dial, rather than forcing folk into the horrible menu. It's a fairly important difference for stills shooters in particular (who the camera is aimed at) and so when they are in a hide, at -5 with huge gloves on... an extra physical position on externally visible switch would be really handy.

At the moment you have to switch between auto select and single shot via a menu.

Fairly grim design.
joshwa Plus
9 905 United Kingdom
5 Dec 2017 8:55PM
From the review:

Quote:"The price of the Panasonic Lumix G9 puts it into the professional area of the market, rather than enthusiastic amateur, and this could put some buyers off*. However, there will be those that have the money and are happy to spend it on the camera, once the range of features available has been taken into consideration."


Quote:The Panasonic Lumix G9, is one of the fastest shooting cameras available, and is available at a very competitive price point...

* IE: The price is likely to put the enthusiastic amateur off, who wants to spend around £1000-1250.

If you read the Value For Money section we state that it is cheaper than much of the competition.
ktog11 3 United Kingdom
6 Dec 2017 12:07PM
I'm always intrigued to see comments from people complaining about higher ISO performance, particularly as far as M43 is concerned, because I'd be very interested to know why/how often those people find themselves shooting under those conditions. I was a Pro photographer for over forty years, and we managed very well in film days with stocks that maxed out at ISO 1600 or less. If you really need super high ISO capabilities, then the Sony A7SII or Nikon D5 is probably for you, but in the realms of less specialist photography, I've found M43 to offer immense advantages.
6 Dec 2017 4:00PM
There is a New Discussion about these cameras at The Online Photographer Today ~ For my Tastes, this is a bit too much money for a small sensor camera. Also, as a Stills Photographer, I find more use with the Flip-Up LCD Screen Arrangement of the Fujifilm X-T2 and the Sony a6500. Plus the money difference is important to me. http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2017/12/first-up-this-morning-ken-tanaka-has-enlarged-greatly-on-the-previous-post-about-the-new-harry-gruyaert-booksdont-miss-th.html
Cynog 7 3 United Kingdom
6 Dec 2017 7:29PM
Oh dear, I am seriously thinking about pre-ordering this camera, but the IQ does not impress at all.

Quote:Oh dear, I am seriously thinking about pre-ordering this camera, but the IQ does not impress at all.


Suggest you check out the images contained in the WEX promotional video - via this link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVVL3OJ32nk&t=1s

They do seem a lot better.
9 Dec 2017 10:17PM
I'd really appreciate some discussion of the CAF performance, which isn't addressed well above. My suspicion is that the hybrid phase detect system of the E-M1 Mark II is still probably superior for tracking, but the larger/higher-res viewfinder paired with the the AF-selection joystick is very enticing, especially given the high burst rate and dual UHS-II card slots (and the lower price compared to the Olympus...). If the AF were at least comparable I think that would almost make this camera a no-brainer for action photography within premium MFT cameras.

Really hoping for a future review (or an update to this one) that considers CAF performance critically.
banehawi Plus
15 2.2k 4049 Canada
12 Dec 2017 5:25PM
High ISO noise performance to me doesnt seem to be hugely improved compared to other 20MP Panasonic models. M4/3 still falls far short of the larger sensors in this respect.

IQ with the same sensor and lens as other Panny 20Mp will not be a lot different as far as I can tell.
brian1208 16 11.6k 12 United Kingdom
13 Dec 2017 7:01AM
High ISO performance is important for anyone who needs to shoot with high ISO, for a lot of us this isn't a requirement but low system weight, excellent focusing / tracking speeds and high sequential rate ability are (with Hi-Res capability as an added bonus)

Its a great time to be a photographer as there are now tools available to meet the needs of most of us (and I would suggest that most of the kit now available exceeds the abilities of many of those who use it Wink )

I regularly use my EM-1 mk2 shooting at ISO4000 for bad weather water sports and the results are usable (and the system copes with driving rain, salt spray and flying seaweed) so I am happy and am looking forward to replacing my 2nd body (G80) with the G9 for use with my PL100-400 - once the G9 has been around for a bit, had any bugs ironed out and the price drops a tad.

Thanks for the review
13 Dec 2017 3:55PM
With Panasonic, Olympus, Sony and Fujifilm, it really is worth waiting for all the "Bugs" of new cameras to get shaken out. The Cameras we have now is more than adequate for the work that most of us are doing. The new gear is great, but the price for "Soon to Be Outdated Camera/Computer Devices" is getting a bit too steep at $1700 to $3400 per body. Prices always fall, and with the slowdown of worldwide camera sales, the decrease will come rather quickly. Eventually even our cell phones will have 1 inch sensors. These are great days for picture makers!

Quote:With Panasonic, Olympus, Sony and Fujifilm, it really is worth waiting for all the "Bugs" of new cameras to get shaken out. The Cameras we have now is more than adequate for the work that most of us are doing. The new gear is great, but the price for "Soon to Be Outdated Camera/Computer Devices" is getting a bit too steep at $1700 to $3400 per body. Prices always fall, and with the slowdown of worldwide camera sales, the decrease will come rather quickly. Eventually even our cell phones will have 1 inch sensors. These are great days for picture makers!


I reckon this camera is competitively priced and that you might have to wait longer than you think for a price decrease, if at all - I think not. Moreover, it is being launched, at least in the UK, with the highly respected PL 12-60 at a reduced price, plus a useful battery grip thrown in. That's a pretty good package for those who it suits and I reckon there might be some conquest sales - folk moving to M43.
18 Dec 2017 9:06PM
The price is a bit steep for enthusiasts. I like it alot but its out of my price range, as others have said there is alot of good competition at this price, I canít see it selling well. Iíll wait for the price to fall... maybe.
srh 15 54 1 United Kingdom
20 Dec 2017 1:43PM
Any firmer dates on when in January it will be released yet?

Quote:Any firmer dates on when in January it will be released yet?


Anticipated date of sale in the UK is the latter half of January 2018
srh 15 54 1 United Kingdom
21 Dec 2017 11:35AM

Quote:
Quote:Any firmer dates on when in January it will be released yet?


Anticipated date of sale in the UK is the latter half of January 2018



I hope it's sooner than that!

One of the Admins on the UK Lumix Experience site has indicated it might start shipping to UK customers as early as the first week of January. We can but live in hope!!
24 Apr 2018 7:39AM
I've been using my G9 for a couple of months. It's proving to be an awesome cam. Love the speed and improved autofocus. Works well with my Godox lights.

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.