Review Summary: This Panasonic G9 is the best Micro 4/3 camera ever! It’s so good when matched with Olympus f/1.2 primes that it gives the Sony a6500, Fuji X-T2, and Canon 5D Mark IV a run for the money. Check out the video for more…
These photos below also appear in the video. They were shot mainly with the Olympus 17mm f/1.2 lens.
Thanks for doing this review…I have the EM5 II…I enjoy it very much. No doubt MFT cameras in general are full of very useful features. They are also excellent as 4K video cameras. However, as a result of their sensor qualities they simply are unable to compete with larger sensors in terms of both resolution and DR. I use mine as a travel camera…for more serious work which requires ultimate IQ I am left to use my antiquated DSLR.
Quite a few years between the E-M5 Mark II and the G9. Check one out, you might be surprised.
Excellent review, the camera video looked great and the audio sounded great. Can I ask what mic/headphone combo unit you were using? The mic sounded great.
Two things for audio.
#1 is a Yamaha AG06 mixer. I just got this yesterday, and very impressed so far. Iâ€™ll be reviewing it later on.
#2 An Audio-Technica BPHS1 (broadcast headset). I use it because itâ€™s much easier than soundproofing my office at home, attaching boom poles, etc. Also, since itâ€™s close to my mouth, Iâ€™m able to use a lower gain setting and it blocks out fan noise from my computer, kids, washer machine, etc.
Finally, I slightly boosted levels in DaVinci Resolve.
You really riled up some of the guys on DPReview. Don’t let it get to you. If you were reviewing an Olympus camera, you’d have 30 thumbs up at least, and you’d be getting a standing ovation.
The reason you get that kind of response is because it’s a 90% Olympus forum (at least) and Panasonic is as alien to them as Canon and Nikon.
Your review is pretty much in agreement with the pro reviews and all the comparative reviews between the E-M1 II and the G9 I’ve read, so keep it up. I have yet to see one person who has owned both cameras who didn’t like the G9 better.
Thanks! Much appreciated! I really didnâ€™t expect any controversy at all!
I’ve noticed that you can praise a Panasonic camera in the abstract on DPReview. But woe to you if you tell them it’s better than an Olympus camera. That’s the burden of Panasonic and Olympus sharing a forum. A lot of those guys probably only begrudgingly accept that Panasonic is part of Micro Four Thirds. This is all due to the fact that Olympus had a camera presence in the film era and a lot of those guys are so ancient, they had probably been using Olympus film cameras 50 or 60 years before the digital age. I can’t prove it but I think some of those guys actually drive the reviews of the cameras.
It’s sort of an inside joke that Panasonic is sort of the Rodney Dangerfield of the camera world. They get dinged and criticized for things that no other manufacturer does. They probably have to perform twice as well in some aspects to get the same respect. Take the autofocus performance of both cameras as an example.
If you look at the G9 autofocus tests and the E-M1 II autofocus tests on DPReview, the G9 clearly performed BETTER in those tests than the E-M1 II on the bike test.
This is quite obvious. Furthermore, they did additional very complex AF tests with the G9 that were never performed on the E-M1 II, and it actually performed like high end DSLRs in the hit rate. How did Olympus do? How the hell would I know? It was never tested. How did Fuji do? How the hell would I or anyone else know?
It’s clear from the tone of the DPReview review that they’re just as flawed as any reviewer out there. They ding the G9 for using DFD/CDAF even when it freaking aces ALL of their tests. The whole summary of the AF performance is based on the fact that it uses CDAF, not on its actual performance on the tests.
The point is, what actual camera out there performed better, PDAF, OSPDAF, or CDAF. Honestly, there’s no evidence that there’s any other camera that had a higher hit rate than the G9.
So, honestly, I don’t have respect for reviewers who don’t evaluate a camera based on its performance but on a spec sheet, and that’s exactly what DPReview does sometimes. I’m pretty sure that if Panasonic had actually put in the spec sheet that this camera had OSPDAF, they’d be calling it the greatest thing since sliced bread.
So, I definitely trust someone who has both cameras in his hands and gives his honest opinion more than spec sheet “pro” reviewers.
Great insight! Thanks again for your comments!
Just a clarfication though, I previously owned an E-M1 Mark II, but no longer do. It was a fine camera. It had a weird issue with video files being split into smaller segments. Even Jordan Drake from The Camera Store TV confirmed this on Twitter –
Otherwise, the E-M1 Mark II was a good camera, but nothing great. I’ve owned many a Micro 4/3 camera over the years (bought and sold. E-PL5, E-P5, E-P3, E-M1, E-M1 Mark II, Pen-F, GH4, GH3, GX8, G85, GX7, GX8 and now the G9. Of those, I have found the E-P5, E-M1 (original), GX85, and G9 to be the best. Yes, I know that’s a lot of cameras to have owned, but I love this stuff, and enjoy using different cameras. Thankfully, the internet has made buying and selling gear easier than ever before.
Dear Noah! It would be very helpful for me/us to share the settings with each other. What we have experienced in quality and effects, what has become better: photo style – contrast, sharpness, noise reduction, saturation. Color space. I dynamic. I resolution. It’s great to give us that much freedom, because I think the factory has something to refine for better and comparative images.
Well maybe in January or around then we will have a new Olympus announcement and then the Oly guys (I am one) can have their day until the next G9 version comes out. They will probably just keep leap-froging each other. I never worry about it. Still using my 3 year old EM5-II and it still takes great photos. Hoping to get something new this next year. Looking forward to see what Oly brings forward then will measure that against the G9.