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Mike G

Impressions of the Lumix G9

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Panasonic Lumix G9 + Leica 12-60 f2.8-4

 

First impressions

 

The camera body is a mixture of buttons and control dials which operate very smoothly. And as you will understand there is a learning curve to travel.

Bashing through the manuals and the camera menus, so far I’m liking the menu system, but of course with a camera of this complexity it will take a while to become familiar!

The heft of the camera and lens to me doesn’t feel very heavy and the grip is very secure and fits my smallish hands quite well, better so the my X-H1.

All the buttons and control wheels are quite tactile and easy to use.

The EVF is brilliant and again superior to the X-H1. The screen magnifications are 0.7, 0.77 and 8.3 and all three are quite readable, even for me who wears spectacles.

The LCD is approximately very similar to the X-H1.

Auto-focus is very fast and positive.

Silent mode is just that silent, so silent that you are never sure you’ve taken a shot until one has checked the review screen.

The lens controls work extremely smoothly and positively with no sloppiness or backlash.

Zooming is very smooth, and stays put.

 

 

 

I shall add to these as time goes by!

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Good to hear you're enjoying it, Mike. I would like to give both the G9 and the GH5 a whirl. I have the 8-18mm Leica and oh boy, it's superb! I have used it on a few jobs already and I really like it. The review will come in a couple of weeks. 

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Dallas, that may well be my next purchase, in a few weeks when I get a price for my 80mm which was PXed, but needed to go back to Fuji to be checked out for some moisture in the lens!

Looking forward to your review of the Leica 8-18mm!

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Welcome to m4/3, and I used to shoot with the Panasonic bodies up through the GH3, but switched full-time to the Olympus side once I picked up the E-M1.  The Panasonic has a much simpler, easy to navigate menu system than the Olympus.  I have not used the G9, but I really like some of the features it has.  I would be curious to see if it is as fast as my E-M1 mkII for moving subjects, such as birds in flight.  I will be watching to see what you can get out of it.

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Thanks Greg, I’ll confess right now I’m probably the worlds worst for capturing BIF or even almost anything in flight! I’ve found the menus reasonably easy to navigate, interpreting what they mean is another matter of course. 

The features will take some serious work to get to grips with. So far I’m loving the Leica 12-60 F2.8/4 and today with PX trade in cash I ordered the 8-18mm Leica lens. I never could get on with Olympus camera bodies even back when the OM1 was released!

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Just a few little observations, the Panasonic G9 body seems to laid out in a more hand friendly style than the Fujifilm X-H1, at least to my hands. The controls are more logically positioned at least for my hands!

The build quality is first class, equal to anything I’ve ever owned! As are the Leica badged lenses, at least equal to my Fujinon lenses, I’m still assessing the image quality but I reckon the Fujinons have a very very slight edge. I am definitely in favour of the 4*3 image format over the 3*2 format.

The G9 EVF is fantastic compared to the X-H1, much better especially at 83% magnification!, the LCD screens are equal to each other. 

Because I really like the G9 body and it’s output, I’m almost at the tipping point of opting for the M4/3 system over the Fujifilm system, ummmmmm.

 

As an aside I see the recently announced Panasonic full frame(please don’t shout at me) have an extremely similar body style to the G9, no bad thing in my eyes.

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There is a legion of nay-sayers who will stop at nothing to discredit the smaller micro four thirds system, Mike. They invent terms such as "equivalent aperture" and other mystical nonsense to somehow throw a shadow over the quality of this system. All they're doing is missing out.

 

I have used a lot of cameras and a lot of systems since I first got serious about photography 18 years ago and as I have said many, many times on this forum (probably to my detriment), I have not used a better, more versatile system than this. I will continue to invest in it for my work. It will be a very sad thing indeed if the photography world continues to get hung up on building for the 35mm system at the expense of small formats like MFT and APS-C. Long may they thrive. If I ever feel the need for a bigger camera you can rest assured it won't be a 35mm based one, it will be medium format. 

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49 minutes ago, Dallas said:

There is a legion of nay-sayers who will stop at nothing to discredit the smaller micro four thirds system, Mike. They invent terms such as "equivalent aperture" and other mystical nonsense to somehow throw a shadow over the quality of this system. All they're doing is missing out.

 

I have used a lot of cameras and a lot of systems since I first got serious about photography 18 years ago and as I have said many, many times on this forum (probably to my detriment), I have not used a better, more versatile system than this. I will continue to invest in it for my work. It will be a very sad thing indeed if the photography world continues to get hung up on building for the 35mm system at the expense of small formats like MFT and APS-C. Long may they thrive. If I ever feel the need for a bigger camera you can rest assured it won't be a 35mm based one, it will be medium format. 

Sadly the internet is plagued by 'nay-sayers' many of whom will never have even tried the equipment or software they are criticising. 

I have never used a MFT camera although I have played with a friend's, and for me the bodies are just too small for my big hands, but that doesn't make them bad or unusable for others. I chose the opposite end of the spectrum, FF big and heavy. But so what.

I always advise people that there is no such thing as a bad camera these days and that we blessed with a huge choice of equipment. The sensible options is to get to a store or find a colleague that owns the model or similar to your choice and make sure it works for you, from the point of view of size, ease of operation, available lenses and budget etc.. Read online reviews by all means to create a short list but don't make a decision based on those alone.

You have obviously been through that process Dallas and Mike is now evaluating his options. Why should we question either yours or Mike's decision.

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Mike (B), I agree with you 100% in that there are no more "bad cameras". There will always be bad photographers though. No short supply of those. 

 

Sometimes though it is infuriating to read the drivel that gets written by websites that are supposedly the source of education for those who are not in the know. Dpreview, for example. Just today in their "article" on the new Sigma DN 56/1.4 lens which they are bringing to MFT, the "author" goes on about it having an "equivalent aperture" to a 112mm f/2.8 lens. What are these people smoking? Do they equate the aperture of a lens to only the depth of field and then just double the focal length to a non-existent lens because it's convenient for the slender-minded to make a comparison? I eventually just gave up responding to the twits who were defending this insanity. I felt like asking what it's equivalence would be on a large format system but thought better of it. 

 

Anyway... 

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Even after my short acquaintance with the G9 and my few Panasonic lenses, I think I’m sold!

compared to the G9 the X-H1 seems unfinished and poorly designed(which is a pity, because the Fujinon lenses are very good) I find the LUMIX touch system is streets ahead of the X-H1, because it actually works quite well! The Lumix menus are quite easy to navigate compared to the Fuji menus, equally comprehensive, it’s the terminology that’s a little confusing at the moment, but time will cure that I’m sure. 

My latest lump of glass turned up today, a Panasonic Leica 42.5mm 1.2 Nocticron, big but good to use, fast to focus and like my other PL lenses smooth to operate. That’s something else Panasonic is doing well I.e. focus by wire, it just again seems to be implemented in a better way!

The G9 is the best handling camera I’ve used since I had a Canon T90!

 

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My latest purchase arrived this morning, a P Leica NOCTICRON 42.5mm 1.2

iPhone X 

B9182A60-7679-4851-95F0-4048C7B0F8FB.thumb.jpeg.ca2a53d9f4341e93a3c7636ecb0e1d9a.jpeg

A bit of lens porn!

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Wow Mike, impressive!

I look forward to seeing some shots.

i can imagine that shooting with that lens wide open is probably best done using manual focus, given the shallow depth of field at f./1.2.

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Yep, that sure looks good Mike. I do love my fast lenses and shooting wide open.

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Mike, may your G9 really work well for you.

 

My first M43 was a Panasonic G3, but I never warmed to its menus and UI and I switched to an Olympus OMD E-M1 Mk1 which has been fantastic and it now has an even better Mk2 to keep it company.  The G9 by now must be light years ahead of the G3, so maybe I would like the G9 also. 

 

My G3 came with a 14-45mm kit zoom that was very good and punched well above its weight.  It is still a good lens if you can find one.  Relatively light weight also - in keeping with the M43 ethos.

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If I was to upgrade my Olympus E-M1's today I would be really hard pressed in deciding whether to get a Mk II or something from Panasonic, either the GH5 or this G9. My problem, of course, is the poor market support from the latter in my country. 

 

Congrats on your purchase, Mike! 

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Dallas, The G9 is touted as a stills camera while the G5 is pushed as a hybrid stills/video machine and the G5s as a pure video camera, note that the G5s has a 12MP sensor. Makes it a better camera for video apparently!

The G9 has an 80MP mode using pixel shift tech for those interested, not sure if Olympus has this mode on it’s E-M1 Mk2 camera?

But I can see that in country manufacturer support is very important.

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2 hours ago, Hugh_3170 said:

Mike, may your G9 really work well for you.

 

My first M43 was a Panasonic G3, but I never warmed to its menus and UI and I switched to an Olympus OMD E-M1 Mk1 which has been fantastic and it now has an even better Mk2 to keep it company.  The G9 by now must be light years ahead of the G3, so maybe I would like the G9 also. 

Hugh, I’m finding that the G9 menus are easy to navigate, but I’m still getting used to Panasonic’s terminology. The G9 touch screen system works well much better than the Fuji touch system, which I had to turn off because it wasn’tvery Good at all, it gets in the way

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Mike B, wide open is something I’ve not done very much of! But no excuse now have I.🤗

 

Vivion, I don’t normally do manual focussing! But the G9 has a very good built in magnifier, so maybe I’ll give it a go!

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