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02-24-2022, 07:42 AM - 13 Likes   #1
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15 Days, 15 Thoughts with a Panasonic G9 - from a 15-Year Pentax User

Today marks the 15th day I've owned my Panasonic G9, and in a spurt of writing earlier this morning I jotted down 15-ish thoughts about it. There's plenty of other things I could have included, but eh...


1. I bought the Panasonic G9 in anticipation of some video projects later in the year. Cost was $1150 with 12-60/3.5-5.6 lens. By comparison, my Pentax K-3 II purchased in 2017 was New-Open Box with a 3 year Mack warranty for $730, and my Pentax K-70 was bought new in 2019 for $500.

2. The G9 is large for a m4/3 camera, and feels very well-built and reasonably comfortable to hold. The grip, however, is not as nicely sculpted as on the K-3 II and K-70. The rubber-type coating on the Pentax feels more pleasant, too.

3. The EVF is very large - much larger than the OVF in Pentax DSLRs - and 3.68M dots. It is also cleverly size-adjustable to scale down so folks who wear glasses (like me) can more easily see the corners.

4. The K-3 II/K-70 OVF is still much nicer to look through, though, almost to the point of being a relief.

5. There have been a couple of scenarios where the superior brightness of the EVF has proven essential in low-light shooting - I could barely see my subject with the naked eye, let alone through an OVF.

6. ISO performance of the G9 is broadly similar to that of the K-3 II.

7. The G9's mechanical shutter has a smooth, refined sound. Going "silent" with the electronic shutter is very cool.

8. So far I'm finding the G9's IBIS to be maybe 2 stops better than what I have experienced with the K-3 II and K-70.

9. The Lumix 12-60/3.5-5.6 is an impressive kit lens - performance feels halfway between the kit Pentax 18-55 and 16-85 - but holey moley is the distortion massive at the wide end.

10. As I consider which lenses I want to include in my G9 kit, I'm amused by the fact that there is a comparable lens available in K-mount.

11. In use, the G9 feels more of a "device" and less of a "camera" than my Pentaxes.

12. The JPEG engine in the G9 is quite nice, but far less customizable than Pentax.

13. I get that ISO 100 is an "Extended" ISO for the G9 - base ISO is 200 - but not being able to include ISO 100 as part of Auto ISO is dumb.

14. Panasonic's alternative to PDAF is called DFD - "Depth From Defocus" - and when using AF-C there is a visible pulsing in the EVF/LCD. I'm surprised it is not bothering me (so far) but I can definitely see how it would drive some people crazy.

15. If I could do a single feature-swap between my Panasonic and my Pentax - and I'm not counting video - I would like Pentax to be as quiet as the Panasonic and the Panasonic to have the ergonomics of Pentax.

*Bonus thought - A couple years ago a Ricoh Imaging exec said they anticipated that some MILC users would return to DSLR, and use both types of cameras. At the time I thought that made sense, and I think that even more, now.


Last edited by luftfluss; 02-24-2022 at 07:51 AM.
02-24-2022, 07:54 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Thanks for these nicely considered thoughts. As a user who may need to grab a camera better suited to video (the K3III's cropped 4K busted the deal for me---I could more easily deal with shorter recording times than a crop from APSC...) it's good to hear what you had to say.
02-24-2022, 08:01 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Interesting, I might try to do the same thought process with my e m5 iii. As a glasses wearer also, I do think it's easier to see info in the evf, that was something I had to peer down at in the KP. EVF/OVF differences aside, I still haven't been out much with my camera so I haven't had much opportunity to really get the feel of things, in fact I'm still changing settings as I customise it. I keep thinking of something and learning how to do it on the camera and then seeing if there's a handy shortcut I can program in.

On a sad note, my KP went today but it's gone to a bloke upgrading from a K200. I think it'll blow his socks off!
02-24-2022, 08:02 AM - 1 Like   #4
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I never used the G9. The GX8 I used was nice and I never saw the pulsing. My auto iso did include iso 100 - there may be a setting you need to change but I could be confused. As for IBIS did you find this at equivalent focal lengths or at the same focal length? I didnít find that at the same focal length the GX8 was as good as the KP - with non-ois lenses. But the crop difference gave me nearly equivalent stabilization. The G9 IBIS is better as I understand, but Iím not clear how much it is improved. My k-3 had similar iso performance to the GX8. Lenses available were quite different in size and weight in my selected collection but many similarities in coverage and broadly it is clear that both systems can cover a lot of scenarios easily with lens choices available.

EVF - low light can be an area where it works well. Congested contrast and meh refresh rates make lesser versions less easy to ďseeĒ the world with.

02-24-2022, 08:15 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
I never used the G9. The GX8 I used was nice and I never saw the pulsing. My auto iso did include iso 100 - there may be a setting you need to change but I could be confused. As for IBIS did you find this at equivalent focal lengths or at the same focal length? I didn’t find that at the same focal length the GX8 was as good as the KP - with non-ois lenses. But the crop difference gave me nearly equivalent stabilization. The G9 IBIS is better as I understand, but I’m not clear how much it is improved. My k-3 had similar iso performance to the GX8. Lenses available were quite different in size and weight in my selected collection but many similarities in coverage and broadly it is clear that both systems can cover a lot of scenarios easily with lens choices available.

EVF - low light can be an area where it works well. Congested contrast and meh refresh rates make lesser versions less easy to “see” the world with.
Re: ISO 100, I did go through all the settings and checked with other folks, and all indications were that I couldn't include in in Auto ISO. Still possible I missed something, though.

My IBIS observations are purely informal, and I've noticed that effectiveness varies by focal length. I was able to get sharp shots with a 300/2.8 at 1/4s shutter speed while braced against a window frame, whereas my best with the same lens on my K-3 II was 1/60s.

One of the first settings i changed on the my G9 was to set the EVF refresh rate to 120fps. It's very nice, but in very low light I've still experienced occasional choppiness.
02-24-2022, 08:50 AM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
I never used the G9. The GX8 I used was nice and I never saw the pulsing.
Another Pentax user and occasional forum visitor bought the G9 for the same purpose as Luftfluss, as a video tool for his YouTube channel. In comments last night he said the G9 simply wasn't going to work for him because of that constant pulsing in the background. Made him crazy.
02-24-2022, 08:54 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by gatorguy Quote
Another Pentax user and occasional forum visitor bought the G9 for the same purpose as Luftfluss, as a video tool for his YouTube channel. In comments last night he said the G9 simply wasn't going to work for him because of that constant pulsing in the background. Made him crazy.
Ugly. I may be less sensitive or the lower grade EVF in the GX8 may not have shared that issue. My EVFs have lagged and been contrast challenged but not pulsed. Yuck!

02-24-2022, 09:10 AM   #8
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AFAICT, the "pulsing" occurs in AF-C. Since I shoot AF-S for photos, I don't experience it. I might in the future, though.

Also, as I understand it, upgrading to the latest firmware reduces the pulsing effect as the AF is improved and less prone to stray from even a moving subject during AF-C and video.
02-24-2022, 09:12 AM - 2 Likes   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
Today marks the 15th day I've owned my Panasonic G9, and in a spurt of writing earlier this morning I jotted down 15-ish thoughts about it. There's plenty of other things I could have included, but eh...
Thanks for your summary. Interesting overview, and the points are clearly presented. As one might expect, there are pros and cons.

Sounds like you might be a customer for a PentaSonic, or perhaps a PanaTax.

- Craig
02-24-2022, 09:42 AM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by c.a.m Quote
Thanks for your summary. Interesting overview, and the points are clearly presented. As one might expect, there are pros and cons.

Sounds like you might be a customer for a PentaSonic, or perhaps a PanaTax.

- Craig
Give me a K-3 III and a K-3 III with MILC guts, and I would be content... but I wouldn't be able to afford it!
02-24-2022, 10:15 AM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
AFAICT, the "pulsing" occurs in AF-C. Since I shoot AF-S for photos, I don't experience it. I might in the future, though.

Also, as I understand it, upgrading to the latest firmware reduces the pulsing effect as the AF is improved and less prone to stray from even a moving subject during AF-C and video.
Thatís a good point. I shot nearly exclusively AF-S.
02-24-2022, 01:51 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
Panasonic G9
Many in M43 use a G9,I was tempted years ago at A$ 1999 for body and battery grip.I think I probably bought an Olympus instead.

There are a couple of Australians on YouTube who use M43(one switched from a K-1 to G9) .
02-24-2022, 01:58 PM   #13
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Interesting run down. I wonder how the IBIS would compare to the K3-III?
02-24-2022, 02:38 PM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by clickclick Quote
Interesting run down. I wonder how the IBIS would compare to the K3-III?
My longest ever hand-held exposure that was tack-sharp was 2 seconds with the DA 15 + K-70. Held the camera at waist level and looked down at the flippy LCD for composition.

There are so many variables that I think it is difficult to compare precisely across systems, but so far in my experience the G9's IBIS especially excels at long focal lengths, which makes sense given that the smaller m4/3 sensor is more easily moved to compensate for large amounts of camera shake than the larger APS-C and FF sensors. So I'd guess that the G9 would still beat the K-3 III with IBIS, but of course the K-3 III counters with better high ISO performance.
02-24-2022, 05:06 PM - 2 Likes   #15
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I've sometimes wondered if it would have been better to spend the extra money and go for the G9 instead of G95. But I like it all the same. I'm always impressed with Dual IS. When I had the 100-400, I used to get *some* sharp shots at 1/30 and 400mm (800 equiv) by shooting bursts (works well for stationary birds in low light). And the same when recording family videos, it's quite smooth. DFD pulsing... yes, I'm noticing it when holding AFC on a stationary subject, to account for any sudden moves. But in video, since I'm using the kit lens and don't have a fast prime, pulsing isn't too noticeable usually
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