I was excited when Panasonic announced the GX9 last week because I have loved the GX80/85 since purchasing it last summer. I immediately saw the new model as a quite reasonable upgrade to the GX80/85, and not as an upgrade (actually more like a downgrade) to the larger-body GX8.
This is my GX80/85 with Olympus 12-40 and $10 eBay purchase half-case.
The GX9 looks the same but with an EV compensation dial
nestled under the mode dial. The GX9 is also a couple of millimeters
larger in each direction (width, height, depth)
It is no wonder that those who love the format of the GX8 are voicing discontent on the photography forums. After all, the new camera looks like a GX80/85 and not a GX8. Why the heck didn’t Pany just call it a GX90/95 and save themselves a lot of ill-will.
The GX80/85 versus GX9 comparisons below are from: http://camerasize.com/compare/#770,673. You might want to go to camerasize to check out a comparison with the GX8 which I have not included below.
It is the GX8 that deserved a true upgrade this month: The GX8 is now 2 1/2 years old, whereas the GX80/85 is not quite 2 years old. We are left wondering if a true GX8 upgrade will indeed ever happen. It’s as if Panasonic has decided to be done with the GX8 form factor (was it unsuccessful?) and combine the two GX bodies (GX80/85 and GX8) into just the smaller body going forward.
Physical Features …
The way I see it, the GX9 actually inherited most of its physical characteristics from the GX80/85. Here is a list I have pulled together of physical attributes that are coming from the GX80/85, in no particular order:
- Lack of anti-alias filter
- Lack of weather sealing
- Maximum mechanical shutter speed of 1/4000
- Electromagnetic drive to combat shutter shock
- Body style (though a couple of millimeters larger in each direction)
- 3” tilt screen,
- EVF (field sequential design)
- EVF size and resolution,
- Button placement
- 5-axis IBIS (GX8 has 4-axis; both have Dual IS)
- Pop up flash
On the other hand, the GX9 has inherited only a few physical features from the GX8:
- EV Compensation dial (though located differently),
- Tilting EVF (though smaller),
- Focus mode lever around one of the back function buttons
- 20 mp sensor.
Inside the Body…
Inside the body there are a few firmware upgrades that I am happy about, and which were not on the prior bodies:
- Minimum shutter speed setting.
- EV compensation dial (I have read) is active when shooting in manual exposure and auto ISO. (This was not available during the short time I owned the GX8, though I suppose it may have been changed by later firmware updates, if any.)
- Blue Tooth
The Lure of the Pre-Order …
Because I see this as a nice upgrade to my GX80/85, I have been dangerously close to hitting the preorder button at one of the big New York vendors. On the other hand, I must remember that I have a habit of being overly attracted to “bright shiny new objects”, and the GX9 is just such an object. I may yet purchase it, but I also know (quite frankly) that the GX9 should not be expected to improve my photography over the GX80/85….