Small body with tilting EVF. 20MP Micro Four Thirds sensor. In-body stabilization. Tilting touch LCD. Pop-up flash. 4K video.
No body-only purchase option. Drops GX8's vari-angle LCD.
- Bottom Line
Panasonic's Lumix DC-GX9 camera is smaller and less expensive than the GX8 that came before it.
Panasonic has sized down the sequel to its GX8. The DC-GX9 ($999.99 with 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6 lens) is built into the same chassis as the slimmer GX85, but has a more modern image sensor and adds a tilting EVF and a dedicated EV control dial. We haven't yet had a chance to test the camera, but have some initial details ahead of its release in March.
The GX9 looks a lot like the GX85—the two cameras share the same basic body design. That puts the GX9 at about 2.8 by 4.9 by 1.8 inches (HWD) and 14.4 ounces, without a lens mounted. Its bundled lens, the 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6, is larger than the 12-32mm that is bundled with the GX85. The lens sells for $500 on its own, making the bundle a fairly good value. But there's no body-only option, at least in the US, so you're forced to buy the lens, even if you already have one that covers that range.
The slim body sports both an integrated EVF and flash, which you don't get with every mirrorless camera. There's also a hot shoe to mount an external flash or use a wireless trigger.
The top plate also has a movie button and the shutter release; the latter is surrounded by a control dial. There's also a standard mode dial with a nested EV compensation dial below it. The EV dial supports a -3 to +3EV adjustment range in third-stop increments.
Rear controls start with the Fn3/LVF, located just to the right of the viewfinder. It switches between the viewfinder and rear LCD, or sets an eye sensor to swap between the two automatically. Next to it is a switch to adjust the focus mode, a button to raise the flash, the AE/AF Lock button, and the rear control dial.
The remainder of the controls are bunched together in the bottom right corner. You get the standard Play, Menu, and Delete buttons, along with ISO, Focus, Drive, and White Balance controls. The Delete button serves double duty, activating Panasonic's Q. Menu when taking photos. The Q. Menu puts additional controls on the rear LCD, and can be navigated using buttons or by touch.
The LCD is a 3-inch panel with a 1,240k-dot resolution. It tilts up and down for low or high angle capture, but doesn't swing out to the side of the body like the vari-angle display Panasonic used on the the GX8.
There's also an electronic viewfinder. It sits at the top left corner and tilts up. You can use it at eye level, with the eyecup parallel to the rear plate, or at a 90-degree angle. The tilting design is a plus for working at a low angle on a tripod, as it can save you from getting down on the ground to frame up a shot.
The GX9 supports in-camera charging via micro USB and has a standard SD memory card slot. It's rated for 260 images using the rear LCD, 250 images using the EVF, or 900 shots per charge with power-saving mode enabled per CIPA testing standards.
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support are included for quick, easy file transfer to a smartphone. The GX9 works with the Panasonic Image App, which is available for Android and iOS devices.
Performance and Imaging
We haven't yet had a chance to test the GX9's autofocus and burst shooting capabilities. The camera uses the same DFD contrast autofocus system found in other recent releases, so we expect it to focus as quickly as the GX85.
Continuous shooting is available at 9fps with locked focus or 6fps with continuous focus enabled. Burst rates are the same whether you use the electronic or mechanical shutter, with support for full-resolution Raw and JPG capture. You can push to 30fps with locked focus when shooting 8MP JPGs using the 4K Photo mode.
The image sensor is a Micro Four Thirds chip with 20MP resolution—currently the highest we've seen in this format. The sensor design omits the optical low pass filter, a plus for photographers who want the most detail and texture out of images. In-body, five-axis stabilization is included. The system works in conjunction with stabilized lenses.
Panasonic has added a new monochrome JPG capture mode to the GX9. It's called L.Monochrome D and promises to deliver black-and-white images that look more like film than digital. Randomized grain patterns are part of the process, as are tweaks to highlights and shadows.
Panasonic cameras are typically on the cutting edge in terms of video capture and the GX9 is no different. It can record at 4K resolution at up to 30fps and supports capture rates of 60fps at 1080p quality.
The Panasonic Lumix GX9 is another compact Micro Four Thirds from Panasonic. The company has announced several new models over the past few months, including the GH5S and G9 at the higher end of the market.
The GX9 is appealing to still photographers thanks to its high-resolution sensor without an OLPF. Its video chops are pretty solid too. We'll see how it stacks up against the competition when we have a chance to test it.
Other Panasonic Digital Cameras
About the Author
Jim Fisher Senior Analyst, Digital Cameras
Senior digital camera analyst for the PCMag consumer electronics reviews team, Jim Fisher is a graduate of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he concentrated on documentary video production. Jim's interest in photography really took off when he borrowed his father's Hasselblad 500C and light meter in 2007. He honed his writing skills at re… See Full Bio
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