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Wednesday, 26 December 2018


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Before unpacking the purchased Lumix G9, Michael, I request that you extend your experiment and rent a Lumix GX9. (Upon your prognostication earlier in the year, I waited for a few months for Panasonic to introduce the GX8 Mark II - but gave up and bought a GX9 a few months ago. Not a Porsche - maybe a Miata?)

Using the “compare” feature on the B&H website shows GX9 maintains a lot of the tech advances of the G9, loosing a few features like the larger viewfinder size and longer battery life because of the smaller form factor.

The GX9 digital files are different from the GX8 files, though it may be because the GX9 eliminated the low-pass filter. I’m not sure the difference shows up in standard print and screen view but GX9 files are much sharper and clearer at the pixel peeping level. The GX8 did not stop me using my FF Canon DSLR but since the GX9 arrived, the Canon has mostly stayed on the shelf.

I am enamored with the Lumix GX series with it’s the Leica-look.

Which 911 would that be. The US Porsche web site lists 25 (!) different models priced from $91,100 to $293,200.

Porsche is like a lot of successful brands -- they find out how much money you have and then take it all.

Hi there Mike...hope you are having a great season..take care.

Uh oh, you said "special sauce" about a camera's image quality. That will make some people frustrated that you aren't following it up with multiple 100% crops showing the lack of such sauce in the G9. Other people will add that with proper development and post processing, any digital image can have the same sauce as any other. Meanwhile, GX8 users will look closely at their images, and a certain percentage of them will agree, there is definitely special sauce in them. Multiple people who just received full frame cameras for Christmas will wonder if their new cameras have sauce that is at least as good, or perhaps they were suckered by a marketing trend. Thanks Mike. : )

I own a Porsche and the mere thought of the Porsche 911 of cameras is to horrifying to even think of.

Mine just arrived today and I'm looking outside longingly at the low, golden, winter light while unfortunately screwed to my desk...


I resemble that remark! --Mike


But it looks horrible, Mike: industrial brutalism.

Perhaps similar, maybe, to a Porche of some type, but never a Ferrari, I'm afraid.

Only the Leica film cameras and some models of the Hassy 500 Series and the Nikon F and F2 pulled off a reasonable take on Italian automobile grace. Having just said which, I'm reminded of the old Jaguar ads that once boasted "grace, space and pace" as their charm offensive qualities... some old slogans do stick, it seems, even though there may be a strong likelihood that I have mixed the three ladies up a little. The again, maybe not. Anyway, it is said that on first sighting the Jaguar E Type at a motorshow, Senior Ferrari said that the only thing wrong with it was that he hadn't made it.



For an even more instant, 1/4 sec. first impression, I clicked on the B&H link and saw the photo. "So much camera, so little sensor!" Maybe it's big enough for good IQ, but looking at those broad, square fenders and that needlessly domed psuedo-pentaprism on top, I'm more reminded of and F-150: "Its small inside, but big outside!"

You've mentioned several time that you and John Camp like the look of the gx8 at high ISOs; film look was mentioned. What ISOs were the two of you using in the gx8?

Maybe you should have gone for a Nikon Z7 -- it's even leaner, and with a FF sensor. 8-)

Still love my GX8s -- the G9 just looks like another DSLR to me.

Hmmm... could an order for a Fuji X-H1 be in the cards?

Just curious how you feel about the Panasonic G9 compared to the Fuji X-H1? They seem to be quite similar in their conceptual approach to imaging. Is the 'user experience' similar?

I have 3 cameras:
Olympus PM2. Reminds me of a Suzuki Alto of 1984 I owned
Olympus Pen 5, that one is like the Ford Mondeo Stationwagen Turbodiesel.
And the Olympus OMD 5 mk1, that one reminds me of my trusted pea-green Mercedes W123 200 diesel, that I owned when the aformentioned Suzuki was oursecond car.

I've told people for decades that the Leica M-series is the Porsche 911 of cameras. German, expensive, well-built, a now-obsolete idea kept beautifully updated; it won't do everything like a Canikon SLR/SUV, but unsurpassed at what it excels at, handling and performance.
Sorry, Panasonic, that position has already been filled.

Definitely looks built for speed, but angular like a modern Corvette, rather than a Porsche.

I bought an EM1 mkII to take over as primary from my EM1 mkI. Had the G9 been out at the time I may have went that direction. I really like top plate LCD's, and the Panasonic seems a bit more user friendly than the blasted Olympus UI. Oh well, at least I have consistency, I curse both Olympus bodies equally each time I dive into the menu's. As long as I stay out of the menu's and utilize the hard controls I'm good. You can definitely tell the mkII is a second generation device after handling the mkI , the refinements are obvious. Be patient with your G9, give it enough time that you trust it to return the desired output.

"Easy to toss around turns; more figuratively, easy to drive free and loose."

Have you ever driven a 911? From what era?

I owned a '71 for several years. You didn't toss those around turns at speed. While not exactly squirrely, it was unlike any front or mid engined car, and it was certainly possible to lose it.

Overcooked it into a turn? Don't touch the brakes, unless you want to spin off into the woods! If the rear starts to feel loose, apply just a little power, and feel it tuck back in.

More recent models don't do that, of course, with larger tires, better suspensions and electronic stability control. OTOH, they are much larger and heavier; I don't imagine them to be very tossable.

The Boxster is tossable, but it felt claustrophobic to me and had much less storage space than even a 911.

The 911 has an image as a high performance car that should be fussy. I drove as my day to day car, kid seat in the back sometimes, a big grocery shopping trip of bags fit on the folded down back seats, it ran fine in traffic, and so on.

The clutch was very touchy when I got it. when it wore out and I had it replaced, Horst said one part had been in backwards. New clutch, properly installed, and that was smooth, too.

[An early '70s 911 almost killed me once...we just missed the tree...and I mean just.... --Mike]

I told ya it was fast! 😉


I'll admit, the weight of the G9 caught me off guard as well. I came from the GH3 (not a small or light camera in itself), and was slightly shocked too. I always use my main cameras gripped, so the G9's grip (3rd party this time, not paying the US$350 Panasonic wants) is much taller than the GH3's as well. I actually weighed them and the difference was like 150g (700+g vs 850+g). It doesn't seem that much but it was noticeable.

I haven't shot much with it but it is fast. The menus and customisation are really great to use. My only niggle as a long-time former Nikon user is that the front common dial needs to be below the shutter button, not above it. Still, it's close to perfection as you can get. The IBIS is amazing and the EVF is also equally superlative; I can finally use my adapter macro lens easily! Can't wait to go nuts shooting everything up close once I have a bit more time.

Yeah, it's like a Porsche 911 with Yugo's engine.

I find the G9 really desirable, but ended up getting the g80/g85, which is effectively a g9 lite: Still keeps the dual IS, weather sealing, good EVF and battery grip, while being slightly smaller, lighter, slower and a lot cheaper.

The MX5/Miata of cameras?
Perhaps that’s underselling the g80/G85, I’d consider it more like the Toyota gt86/Subaru BRZ (following the dual name theme)

If the G9 is the Porsche 911 (although I was thinking more along the lines of a Audi S4), then my silver Pentax KP with silver metal 20-40 lens would be a Land Rover (albeit with a bit of chrome).

The trend I see - and I could be wrong - is a lot of pros going for smaller sensors.
I'm no pro but I'm sticking to APSC, which I think is a great compromise, particularly with Pentax's small lenses.

Here's an interesting thing about the G9 / GX9 and the GX8. As far as I know (based, I admit, largely on what you've said), they have the same sensor. So, if the images look different this tells you how important the sensor is, or is not, in a digital camera, and also how raw 'raw' files actually are, if you are working from raw rather than in-camera JPEGs. Because if the raw files are really raw, and if you are using the same lens, then this is essentially the difference in the image quality you'd get from (say) an M6 and the cheapest Bessa with the same lens: awkwardly for certain cult members they're going to be the same. (I suspect, however, having seen output that has come directly from sensors, that 'raw' files are not very raw at all, so you can never do this experiment with digital cameras as there is always a lot of in-camera processing going on.)

But in fact, they don't have the same sensor, really: the GX8 has an anti-aliasing filter while the GX9 and G9 don't.

Now, I'm a heretic because I believe anti-aliasing filters are a good thing: I think that they do what the maths says they do, because I can do the maths, and remove aliases from information which is of a higher spatial frequency than the sensor can resolve. And I think anyone who has worked with audio processing, where signals with strong single-frequency components are very common (we call the things that make these 'musical instruments') would believe this even if they could not do the maths: if you turn off the anti-aliasing filters in any kind of sampling process at reasonable frequencies the results are audibly horrible as the aliases you get are not really harmonically related to the original note (if the note frequency is f and the sampling frequency is s, you get s + f, which you can't normally hear, and s - f, which you can, and it's not any kind of harmonic of f).

Anti-aliasing filters don't do very much if the lens can't resolve anything near the spatial frequency of the sensor. But you're probably using modern lenses which almost certainly can do that as they're so good. So the chances are the images from your G9 are full of aliases from high-spatial-frequency information in the image while those from the GX8 are not. And, perhaps (again, depending critically on how raw 'raw' is) this might be why the GX8 images appear nicer to you.

You won't see the aliases unless you go out of your way to take pictures of things which have very high single spatial frequencies in them (like diffraction gratings or sieves from a long way a way, or fences from a long way away). In the same way you don't hear the aliasing from an audio sampling device if you feed it white noise. But they are there, nevertheless. So perhaps that's what you are seeing: the images are worse because they're full of aliases. (Cynically: also the GX8 had the whole shutter-shock thing which perhaps acted as a slight soft filter making the images even nicer.)

I can't be the only person who thinks it's kind of funny that camera makers are removing features from their cameras which make images look better because the people who buy their cameras spend their time doing the modern equivalent of looking at 20x24 prints from an inch away. With an 8x loupe. Whatever that is, it's not photography. (Disclaimer: I spend far too much time obsessively using a grain focuser between making successive prints from the same neg, even knowing that the enlarger is really stable and that I'm about to stop the lens down to f/11 anyway so none of it matters at all. I am one of the loupe-from-an-inch-away people too.)

I picked up the G9 I think when a good price was pointed out on this site. I have a slew of great lenses for M43 so that was an easy decision.

I've been hoping that the G9 would let me cut the cord with the A7III for quick people shots - more wedding style get the eye in focus issues than sports action tracking.

It has been a slow process. I have real respect for the Sony's capabilities but I don't like using it overall as much as M43 and Fuji. I like having useable JPGs out of the box for many purposes and not having to spend bleary-eyed time on the computer - but earlier Panasonics had unacceptable skin tones (to my taste), so had to use raw, even for snapshots.

But the G9, after setting adjustments to taste, now fixes that problem and the raw files are great. The G9 doesn't have quite the high ISO room and isn't quite as good as the A7III in my experience at holding eye focus - but it is quite good - more than good enough if I'm just evaluating my actual experience in hand and not reading a specs review.

I've decided I could comfortably shoot a wedding or a boat launch or another get-it-or-go-home event with the G9 - using the high frames-per-second raw capture when split-second capture is required. So, mission accomplished, I can release the Sony to someone who will love it more than I.

And, although I'm completely used to Olympus menus, it is nice that Panasonic had an adult in the room when they designed theirs.

And, the icing on the cake, the high-quality EVF on the G9 finally closes that issue for me. 99.9% of the time I don't notice the thinner dynamic range vs a glass vf for my shooting (apologies to Sean Reid) and the many benefits of the EVF are wonderful and hard to part with once you get used to them.

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