Thinking about the G9 or maybe the GX85

Discussion in 'Panasonic' started by Archiver, Jun 4, 2018.

  1. Archiver

    Archiver Top Veteran

    710
    Jul 11, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia
    Hey folks, just your average GAS ramble to come. :2thumbs:

    The G9 looks good. Really good. The Olympus E-M5 got me into m43 and since then, the Panasonic GM1, GH3 and GH4 have come to the fold. I use the GH cameras for work, but the GM1 is a wonderful stills camera with the small Olympus primes. The G9 feels great in the hand and promises better image quality, good AF tracking, great burst mode shooting, and a range of things which would be useful for general shooting and sports/action events. It also uses the same batteries as the GH3/4/5/s, so I can easily swap between the two lines.

    It's especially attractive right now because it's about 20% off retail, and it comes with a free battery grip which retails for $400 AUD. I like saving money on stuff!

    But I'm just not sure if I can justify spending $2000 AUD on a stills oriented camera when I could get the GH5 for about $450 more. The GH5 would be a very practical step up for work, with its huge array of high quality video codecs. It's just not the stills camera the G9 is made out to be. And it's $450 more.

    The G9 is bigger than what I'm used to carrying on a daily basis right now. If I get it, it will likely come out on special occasions or for dedicated shooting, and I feel like I would get less use from it than something smaller. I can justify at GH5 or even a GH5s because I'll beat it like a redheaded stepchild for work, but the G9 almost seems like a throwback to the (shudder) days I carried a Canon DSLR every day.

    So I'm looking at the GX85 to take the edge off my desire for another stills-oriented camera. Now that it's discontinued, prices are at an all time low of $750, and it has the image quality of the GM1 plus 5 axis stabilization. At a pinch, it would be a decent B or C cam for the GH cameras. The GX9 is about $1100 with the 20mp sensor of the GH5/G9, but I'm not convinced that the extra $350 is worth it.

    The GX85 seems like a good bet. It's small enough that I'd carry it more often than the G9, and it's considerably less money, so I could justify it as a stills camera. But I feel like I'm missing the extra stills capabilities of the G9, plus the 4k 60p video.

    The best way to save money is to not spend it! But that goes against my gearlusting sensibilities.

    Just rambling and thinking out loud. Carry on. :biggrin:
     
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  2. Archiver

    Archiver Top Veteran

    710
    Jul 11, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia
    Price wise, things are worse now that I've been looking online. My Panasonic 12-35mm f2.8 has stopped working properly (AF motor buzzes and vibrates constantly) and I'm in need of a new lens. I can get a new one, get a Pana Leica 12-60mm, or an Olympus 12-40mm.

    The original 12-35mm is a very nice lens, very compact and high quality.

    The Oly 12-40 lacks IS but it has reasonable manual focus by wire, as well as a bit of reach that the Panasonic did not. I often found myself wanting that extra bit of reach when shooting with the 12-35, so the Oly is quite appealing. And it's a few hundred dollars less than the Panasonic, due to current sales.

    The Pana Leica 12-60 does have IS, but the variable aperture means that it's a bit less useful in low light, and won't give me as shallow depth of field at the long end. At the same time, it has even more reach than the 12-40, acting like a 24-120mm in full frame terms. I loved the versatility of zoom with the Canon 24-105L, so 24-120mm equivalent would be very nice. Just got to consider the variable aperture.

    What's even cooler is that the G9 + Pana Leica 12-60, or the Pana 12-35, is only $2860 AUD in the right shops. That's way less than retail, and it would be equivalent to getting the G9 for $2000 and either the 12-60mm or 12-35mm for only $860, which is a fantastic buy right now. But I'd only get the lens at that price if I drop an extra $2k to get a G9, which I'd use somewhat less than everyday. Or I might fall in love with the G9 if I got one, and use it all the time.

    On another note, I could use the G9 for work, as it has Cinelike V and Cinelike D video profiles, which I use all the time.

    Ugh.
     
  3. For me, weight would come into it. You could get a G8 of course :) 
     
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  4. Archiver

    Archiver Top Veteran

    710
    Jul 11, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia
    I hear you about the weight. I'm so used to carrying just a LX7/10 and the tiny GM1 that the thought of the G9's weight and size gives me pause.

    Reading more about the G9's specs, it appears that even though it shoots 4K 60p at 150mbps, it's in mp4 and not mov. MOV is better for editing, and if I was going to try to justify this as a work camera, it would be better if it shot in mov. So yeah, it's looking more like a stills camera for landscapes and action, and personal video projects but not paid work. Ugh.

    Do you mean a GX9 (new version of the GX85) or the G80 (downscaled version of the GH4)? If it was about a smaller camera, the GX85 is real cheap right now, and the new GX9 can be found for about $1100 AUD.

    If I'm replacing the Panasonic 12-35mm, I'm either getting the Oly 12-40 or the Pana Leica 12-60. Hey, if I get the GX85 and the Oly 12-40, it would end up being less than the G9 on special! :love:
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2018
  5. tonyturley

    tonyturley Hall of Famer

    Nov 24, 2014
    Scott Depot, WV, USA
    Tony
    I've had the GX85 about a month. The size and weight are about perfect for me. I've been using it with the Oly 17/1.8. I'm not a video guy, but I have captured a few just to try it out, and the IQ was very good. I rented the 12-35/2.8 once, and while the IQ was good, it just felt like a big lens to me. I guess the Oly 12-40/2.8 would feel even bigger. Versatility vs. compact and portable - the eternal debate.
     
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  6. Biro

    Biro Super Moderator

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    How about the GX8:

    Panasonic DMC-GX8 Lumix Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds DMC-GX8/B

    Great Eight: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 review

    Panasonic GX8 Review: a Near-Perfect Travel Camera - Indie Traveller

    For a while, there was a controversy over perceived softness in images taken at certain shutter speeds with the GX8. The consensus was that this was because of "shutter shock." Panasonic came out with a firmware update that allows you to select a mode that automatically has the camera use the electronic shutter at those speeds and mechanical shutter at other speeds. Of course, you can always select mechanical or electronic shutter manually.

    On the other hand, there are many happy GX8 owners out there who have never had an issue with shutter shock, including me. I, and quite a few others, suspect the real issue is certain lenses, such as the Panasonic 14-140, which seem to be unusually susceptible to shutter shock. That, and issues with photo technique on the part of at least some of the people doing the complaining.

    I say the GX8 is worth taking a look at.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2018
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  7. Archiver

    Archiver Top Veteran

    710
    Jul 11, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia
    If I get the Oly 12-40, it's to replace a faulty Panasonic 12-35, which I use for work. It's not so bad to lug around gear if you're getting paid for it! But for personal photography, I prefer to be as lightweight as I can without compromising image quality too much. I have quite a few m43 lenses including the Pana 14/2.5, Oly 25/1.8, 17/1.8, 45/1.8 and 75/1.8, so I'm in no danger of being without small primes.

    Oh heck, I was just checking prices online and the GX85 dropped from $758 to $674. Yeah, that's mine, now. :dance3: I guess that solves the problem of G9 vs GX85! :2thumbs:
     
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  8. davidzvi

    davidzvi Veteran

    416
    Apr 18, 2014
    David
    One thing to consider; and it's a big one for me.

    The GH5, G9, and GX9 (and E-M1 mkII) all have Auto ISO in manual mode WITH the ability to use exposure comp. The GX85 does not allow exposure comp in manual to float the ISO.
     
  9. Archiver

    Archiver Top Veteran

    710
    Jul 11, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia
    A GX85 is on its way to me now, so it's a bit late. :ninja: But I do get what you're saying. I've dealt with the fixed ISO in Manual mode in the GH3, GH4 and GM1 for ages now, so I'm used to it. Most of the time, it's just a matter of manually adjusting the ISO while shooting. Auto ISO in manual would be a nice convenience, though.

    I'm really looking forward to having a camera the size of the E-M5 but with much better video quality. While E-M5 video was good for its time, especially with that fantastic IBIS, it fell apart in the shadows with lots of macroblocking, and was a far cry from the GH3, much less the GH4. I've shot a lot of personal work with the tiny GM1, but it's always been a hassle to keep it steady. I sometimes carry the GH4 for personal work, but I prefer the size of the E-M5, not to mention the stabilization. The GX85 is going to bridge the gap between GM1 video quality and E-M5 size and stabilization.

    If I still want the G9, that can wait another while.
     
  10. davidzvi

    davidzvi Veteran

    416
    Apr 18, 2014
    David
    Don't get new wrong, i have one and it's a fine camera, I have one. Just punting it out.
     
  11. Archiver

    Archiver Top Veteran

    710
    Jul 11, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia
    The GX85 has arrived, and but for one thing, it is everything I thought it would be and more.

    The one issue is the weird limitations on video recording times. In Australia, 4K is unlimited (to the capacity of the card) but 1080 50p mp4 is limited to 20 minutes?? I've never seen this time limitation in any other camera. 1080 25p is limited to 27.09 minutes, and 720p is limited to 29.29 minutes. :coco:

    Fortunately/unfortunately, unlimited recording is available with all AVCHD codecs. Fortunate because it's unlimited, but unfortunate because they are these stupid MTS files which always reset the file number to 000 when you format the card.

    Apart from that, the camera is great. It's about the same size and weight of the Olympus E-M5, just a little taller to accommodate the small corner EVF, and has no faux prism hump. The switches and buttons are firm and clicky, not soft. The build quality seems good, and it feels reassuringly solid. The texture of the body is is matte and the grip sits very well in my grasp. The IBIS works a treat, both for stills and video. Even in 4k, it works very well. Can't wait to put a Voigtlander m43 or Leica/Zeiss M mount on this and shoot some video.

    The GX85 and LX10 will be my new EDC, replacing the GM1 and LX7 or Ricoh GR. Both have stabilization and 4k video, and share similar menus and functions. I never thought I'd have so many Panasonic cameras. It doesn't have the retro visual appeal of the Olympus Pen F, but it's a far more discreet camera instead. When I was in the shop, I had another look at the G9, which confirmed that I'd only carry it now and again due to the size. I can take the GX85 just about everywhere. :2thumbs:
     
  12. rayvonn

    rayvonn All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2015
    The only doubt I had was about the GX85's EVF. Maybe it's not a problem at all? Let us know how you get on.
     
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  13. davidzvi

    davidzvi Veteran

    416
    Apr 18, 2014
    David
    The EVF on the GX85 has been the subject of much debate over on MU-43. I'm not sure anyone can say they LIKE it. But most seem to be of the thought that it doesn't bother them or it's good enough. Some pretty much hate it. I fall into the first group. It's pretty much the same issue as many had with the EVF on the GX7. I would have to guess that it wasn't or hasn't been that big of an issue in terms of sales of the GX80/85 or Panasonic probably wouldn't have used basically the same EVF on the GX9.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2018
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  14. tonyturley

    tonyturley Hall of Famer

    Nov 24, 2014
    Scott Depot, WV, USA
    Tony
    I've been using my GX85 a lot the past few days, and the EVF hasn't been a problem at all. I also have an E-M10 II, and I can't say I like one more than the other. They each serve a purpose for me.
     
  15. Archiver

    Archiver Top Veteran

    710
    Jul 11, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia
    I'm not fussed about the EVF. It's not great, but it is clear and large enough to use with sunglasses, and that's good enough for me.

    So far, I'm really happy with the GX85. It's only been a day, but it's produced some excellent video clips which would easily intercut as a B cam for the GH4. I'm using Natural profile with Contrast, Sharpness and Noise Reduction all turned right down, and the Highlights lowered by 2 clicks. This creates a pleasantly neutral and soft image which looks great on a monitor for general purposes. It remains to be seen how well the footage grades, but it should take a light colour grading okay.

    Focus speed is super, handling is wonderful, and image stabilization is fantastic. I keep saying I wish I'd bought this camera earlier, but then, it was never this cheap. It is better than the already excellent Olympus E-M5 in a number of ways, although some of these things are my personal preference, like menu system, colour rendition, video modes and quality, etc.

    The lack of AA filter makes portraits a bit scary! Every pore and wrinkle is up for show, and I'll have to work out a way to tone down the sharpness/detail in Lightroom.

    Unfortunately, it's making me wonder how much better my work could look with the IBIS of a GH5! :laugh1:
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2018
  16. davidzvi

    davidzvi Veteran

    416
    Apr 18, 2014
    David
    I'd add a half case, I got a MegaGear on and it improved the feeling in the hand a lot.
     
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