What does our photography expert make of the latest camera in Panasonic's mirrorless range?
The evolution of Panasonic’s mirrorless camera range continues with the release of the new Lumix GX9.
My first impression is that it doesn’t seem that different from its predecessor, the Lumix GX8.
But as I familiarise myself with the Lumix GX9, I find it’s clearly more modern, more compact and slightly lighter. The control dials are better placed and easy to adjust with a touch of the index finger and thumb.
I’m pleased to see that Panasonic has retained the tilting Live View Finder (LVF), a great little feature that sets this camera apart from its competitors. It allows you to look into the LVF from the top and back, this is handy if you are shooting from a low viewpoint and for some more candid street photography.
The GX9 also has a large 3-inch touch monitor that tilts upwards by 80 degrees and downward by 45 degrees.
However, it’s on the inside I find most of the improvements.
Panasonic has included a new 20.3MP sensor and the excellent 5-axis Dual Image Stabilising system used in the flagship G9 camera. The 5-axis Dual IS works in both the photo and video modes. It allows you to comfort-ably hold the camera by hand at shutter speeds up to four stops slower, so, if you can hold a camera without the 5-axis Dual IS still at 1/60th second, you should be able to hand hold this camera at ¼ second (I have tried this and it really works).
The GX9 also has a new shutter mechanism for quieter shooting, Bluetooth for an always-on connection, and GPS tagging.
I like the new stylish look and the improved image stabilisation of the GX9. The updated image processor and the omission of the anti-aliasing/ low pass filter improve colour quality and sharpness. The camera is packed with clever features ranging from handy photo modes to 4K photo modes that allow you to extract 8MB stills from short video bursts shot at 30 frames per second.
But unfortunately the GX9 is not weather-sealed, whereas the GX8 is. The rear screen on the GX8 is multi-angle whereas the screen on the GX9 only tilts up and down and the grip on the GX9 is not as comfortable as that on the GX8.
But this is still a great travel and street photography camera, the unique tilting LVF sets it apart from its competition and is a winner in my book.
It is a well-built powerful camera packed with useful features and the RRP $1399 for the Lumix GX9 with a 12-32mm kit lens represents excellent value. Panasonic has a huge range of lenses for their micro four-thirds system cameras so it is a camera you can build a system around.
- For a full list of specifications, visit panasonic.com.au.