Price (RRP): $1399
One of the promises of mirrorless cameras was, well, smaller cameras. And, yes, the premium models (see here and here) from the Panasonic Lumix G Series are a little smaller than many DSLRs. But the Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 is the one that combines high quality and compactness.
Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 Features
According to my scales, this camera is only 543 grams in weight. That includes the lens, SD card, battery and strap. By contrast, my own Panasonic Lumix GH4 weighs 938 grams (with a 12 to 35mm zoom lens in place). So, the Lumix DC-GX9 is much less drag on the shoulder in the hand carry.
It’s also only 134mm wide, from strap lug to strap lug, or 124mm wide across the body. And it’s 73mm high and deep. That’s with the included lens and lens cap, and with the lens wound into its dormant state. We’ll talk about that later.
The Lumix DC-GX9 is available in standard camera black, but also in two tones with a silver top. I’m rather keen on the retro look of the latter. It takes me back to my old Olympus Pen 35mm camera (from a very, very long time ago).
The Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 uses the Micro Four Thirds lens system, so it’s compatible with the wide range of Panasonic Lumix and Leica lenses. But it also comes with a compact lens installed, so it’s ready to go from the box.
The camera uses a 20.3 megapixel “Live MOS” sensor. It can take photos in JPEG (with your choice of two compression levels) or RAW. Or both JPEG and RAW.
Bursting with modes
And being Panasonic, it also has a 4K Photo mode. That takes mere 8.3-megapixel stills but as 30fps sequences. Aside from faster than usual burst speeds, this also allows “pre-burst”. This is a battery-chewing mode because it keeps the camera in focus on whatever it happens to be pointing at, all the time. When you release the shutter, it stores the last thirty frames and stores thirty more subsequent frames. When things are moving fast, that gives you a better chance of getting the shot that you want.
But there are plenty of other fancy features, like time-lapse shooting in which the camera takes pictures at regular intervals and then converts them to a video sequence. And stop-motion animation, in which you take shots of your plasticine creatures, moving them between shots. The camera converts that also into a video sequence.
There’s bracketing for exposure, aperture, white balance and focus. That last can capture up to 999 images at different focus depths. You can choose which one you want, or use focus stacking in software like Photoshop. That combines a series of photos focused at different depths into one, potentially delivering incredible depth of field.
You can also do focus stacking in camera, using the 4K Photo mode.
In full resolution mode, there are burst speeds of up to 9 frames per second or 6 frames per second with continuous autofocus. There can be more than 100 images in a burst if you’re just using JPEG, and more than 30 if you want RAW.