Before we start, let us get this out of our system...
If you still do not believe me, take a look at this Panasonic G camera History Tree that I created with reference to a low quality snap of the same chart from Japan.
As you can see from the chart, the GX9 is, to Panasonic Japan, the GX7 MarkIII and our GX85 is their GX7 MarkII because BOTH model came from the SAME family.
The GX8 is by itself, a stand alone model and still NOT replace by a new camera.
So WHY are some reviewers keep comparing the GX9 with the GX8?
May be we should blame Panasonic for their naming game? :)
Now that we understand each other, let us take a look at this new Lumix offer...
Put the GX9 and GX85 side by side, it is easy to realise both cameras came from the same family.
The main external difference is that the GX9 have a two tier dial on top, which I find a bit harder to adjust because of the smaller size. The exposure compensation lower dial, being too close to the top dial, is actually slower to change, compare to the GX85's press and adjust dial where your thumb sits!
Both cameras came with the same rear screen, the GX9 is of high resolution and it show.
EVF on both are not very exciting, a far cry from the INCREDIBLE one that came with the GX8! The EVF of the GX9 is able to tilt, that is the only feature similar yo GX8.
Both the GX85 and GX9 came with a little pop up flash that you can tilt and bounce.
The new GX9 (right) is slightly heavier than the GX85, by 18 grams! I Hardly feel it! Could they use the same body, you tell me!
Surprisingly, a NEW feature on the GX9 that no other Lumix camera have is the little door where the charging and HDMI ports sit. Give the door a push and it disappeared, like magic, reviewing the two ports, minus the dangling door!
It is much harder to extract the SD card from the GX9, the ejected card sits too near to the wall and I can imagine those with big fingers struggling to remove it!
Extraction of the GX85 SD card is a breeze :)
Oh.. personally, I hate to charge my battery IN CAMERA, both the 85 and new 9 came with the same charger WITHOUT an external battery cradle, I bought my own so I can charge OUTSIDE the camera. May be that's just me?
The other "Special" that came with the GX9 are a new MONOCHROME mode that give "even finer graduation" and I read somewhere that the AF speed of the GX9 is FASTER than the GX85. This I got to see, so I did a simple test.
Both cameras were fitted with the 12-32 kit lens and the videos were shot at the 32mm setting.
Can you spot the difference?
I can't, look like the AF speed of both were the same, so I took the GX9 to shoot a line dancing video...
The original video of "Lonely Drum" was shot with the 12-32 kit lens at 12mm in 4K 25p and I ended up with a whooping 3840X2160 MP4 file that is 2GB+! The Youtube upload was resized to 1920X1080.
I am surprise how good the colour rendering of this ISO 1,600 video is! It was done with the kit lens!
A "grab" from the video.
The AF tracking was nearly spot on, there were two brief focus "hunt", I am sure this will not happen with the 12-35 F2.8.
I find the hand held video was really smooth and steady, the in built DUAL 2 STABILISER work very well!
The Sensor, the Sensor!
Of course the coup d'état of the GX9 against the older GX85 is the 20.3 MP high-resolution MOS Sensor with Tuned Three-Dimensional Colour Control to detect hue, saturation and brightness for optimal results, on top of that they removed the sharpness zapping AA Filter!
In theory, at least, it will be SHARPER than the (AA Filterless) 16MP sensor in the GX85!
But are you able to see the difference?
First of all, take a look at the pictures above, both were taken with the same 12-32 kit lens but the GX9 will produce a LARGER file than the GX85 because it have a sensor with MORE pixels.
In real life, even with 2 million MORE pixels, visually, you will not be able to see the difference.
I was a bit bemuse by Panasonic promoting the GX9 as the best street photography camera, since the GX9 is so similar to the GX85, I reckon what it can do, the GX85 can do too!
I took the GX9 to our Cuba Mall and watched the world go by...
Then I took some nice group photos with it...
Some landscape, sunset, giant cruise ship...
I even got round to snap some pictures of
Korean food and use the tiny flash for our wefie!
I even try my old Nikon and Leica prime lenses on this new Lumix...
Taken with my old Nikon 35-70 F3.5 FF zoom lens.
With my 40 years old Leica 35mm F1.4 Summilux-M.
In April, 2016 when I reviewed the GX85, I asked this question...
"LUMIX GX85 Did Panasonic GET IT RIGHT?"
Personally, I think they did, they updated the very popular GX7, put in the best stabiliser and a 10% sharper filterless 16MP sensor... it came with everything a keen and FUSSY photographer (like Moi) could ever want! IT was an overnight success!
I was so impressed, I bought one myself!
Now, with a new name, the GX9 try to have the same success, but instead, getting some negative response from Lumix fan!
These comment from a forum sums up some of the frustration some Lumix user feel...
"The camera itself is not all that bad. But slapping a highly anticipated premium label on a more so refreshment product is what's ticking people off!
To make it worse, they named it properly as GX7 Mk3 in the JP market, so they knew this is not a step up in the high end model in GX line going into the marketing campaign."
Well, everyone are entitled to their own opinion, for me, my GX85 is still able to provide what I want and I don't see I will upgrade to another "Got It Right" Lumix with 20MP sensor.
On the other hand, if you are new to the game and looking for a "Got It Right" Lumix, this is the best camera to go for!
The last time I check, the LUMIX GX9 (Body Only) is going for NZ$1,398 at our local Photowarehouse.
** Thanks to PANASONIC NEW ZEALAND for the review LUMIX GX9**