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The soon to be G9

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Old Thursday 18th January 2018, 23:05   #76
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Some more user input.

"Bird in flight works better than expected, actually as good as I hoped. Not up to D500, but close, very close. "

"It tracks very well!!! I just might sell my D500."

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/60657997
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Old Tuesday 23rd January 2018, 15:40   #77
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Another review

https://blog.mingthein.com/2018/01/2...onic-lumix-g9/
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Old Friday 9th February 2018, 05:01   #78
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Originally Posted by rka View Post
Was just about to do the same (G80) but holding off a bit since according to some initial info:

- Autofocus improved (lets see if the reviews confirm)
- USB Charging and Powering
- Big EVF

Is it worth another US$900? Maybe from my perspective if CAF+Tracking actually works.
Well...all of the above points seem to be true together with several other incremental improvements. Finally decided to go with the G9 over the G85 but it was a very tough decision since the G85 gives about 80% functionality at 50% price and also Iím not used to the larger size of the G9 which hopefully wonít be a big issue. Think overall itís a significant improvement from my current EM5 Mk1 which has been showing itís age recently with a few niggling issues and was especially challenging with BIF focusing (my FZ300 did a far better job with BIF).

In 2 weeks will be shooting with the G9+100-400 combo. Back to peanut butter and bread for a while.
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Old Friday 9th February 2018, 05:36   #79
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Well...all of the above points seem to be true together with several other incremental improvements. Finally decided to go with the G9 over the G85 but it was a very tough decision since the G85 gives about 80% functionality at 50% price and also Iím not used to the larger size of the G9 which hopefully wonít be a big issue. Think overall itís a significant improvement from my current EM5 Mk1 which has been showing itís age recently with a few niggling issues and was especially challenging with BIF focusing (my FZ300 did a far better job with BIF).

In 2 weeks will be shooting with the G9+100-400 combo. Back to peanut butter and bread for a while.
Nice one,look forward to your thoughts on it.
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Old Friday 9th February 2018, 15:51   #80
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I am also curious how you will be getting along. Having used the G85 extensively, I have had a few cases were the AF was less than stellar: the main thing was a dark bird in dark environs surrounded by more pale areas. The only shots I got of a forest falcon were the one time I manually focused. Even after that, the next shutter press I did not get focus because the AF went away from the point of Focus and could not get back.

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Old Friday 9th February 2018, 16:13   #81
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Have had a G9 for a few weeks, but work commitments have meant my first outing with it was today - in sporadic rain.

I have got the settings as I wish now, configuring the buttons where I need the functions - all easily usable with gloves, including being able to quickly change to multi point focus for bif.

Must say the AF scope mode is really useful for birding, saw some distant Fieldfares, and not having a telescope with me, probably wouldnít have picked out the couple of Hawfinches without this function.

Light was really poor, but so far so good I think, had a couple of moments trying to focus in trees, and not being able to quite get focus without focusing away and back in again, but in the gloom there wasnít much contrast to distinguish between, so am guessing it will be quicker and more accurate in better light - focus is lightning otherwise.
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Old Tuesday 20th February 2018, 20:56   #82
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Just received and charging the battery. At this point:

1. Surprised that there is a little play after attaching the 100-400mm. I had this play on the EM5 and assumed with a Panasonic body the lens would not rotate a little after locked in place. Not sure if weather sealing is an issue because of this. Would be good to know if others have this issue also and if there is any fix.

2. In the hand, the camera doesnít feel that much heavier than my EM5 even though it really is. I think this is because the weight is distributed over a larger body where the EM5 was like a small brick.

3. From a size perspective, this is very bulky compared to what Iím accustomed to. Will see how that works out. The grip is ok, but nothing to rave about. Love the dedicated buttons for ISO etc. and can see those being extremely useful.

If the battery finishes charging soon, will snap a few birds outside.


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Originally Posted by rka View Post
Well...all of the above points seem to be true together with several other incremental improvements. Finally decided to go with the G9 over the G85 but it was a very tough decision since the G85 gives about 80% functionality at 50% price and also Iím not used to the larger size of the G9 which hopefully wonít be a big issue. Think overall itís a significant improvement from my current EM5 Mk1 which has been showing itís age recently with a few niggling issues and was especially challenging with BIF focusing (my FZ300 did a far better job with BIF).

In 2 weeks will be shooting with the G9+100-400 combo. Back to peanut butter and bread for a while.
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Old Tuesday 20th February 2018, 21:15   #83
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With my G85 and PL lens there is a little bit of play. In practical terms it has not mattered so far - the setup has received light rain several times.

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Old Tuesday 20th February 2018, 22:55   #84
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Just did a quick test in failing light. Will take a while to figure out the best way to use the camera but my thoughts so far:

STILLS
1. Better focus than EM5 with 100-400. No hunting at all.
2. BIF autofocus was quite good but comparing with the EM5 is not fair since it was especially poor in that area. With practice should be able to consistently get good shots. Big plus for me.
3. Colours are very real. Truer than EM5.
4. Love the shutter button. Just a touch to focus and slight squeeze to snap.
5. For predictive focus with whatever the default settings were, too early to tell.
6. Stabilisation was good but honestly I think the majority was due to the lens since the EM5 did just as well with OIS only. More testing needed since many of the reviews say this was a huge improvement which I really didnít see.
7. The size of the camera was not an issue. However, after a while it started to feel heavy.
8. EVF - Viewfinder heaven!
9. Manual focusing aids - Quite well thought out. Looks like they will be actually useful.
10 Overall so far - A minor stills upgrade to the EM5 for fairly static birds. A significant upgrade for BIF. A decent upgrade for general handling and likely battery life.

VIDEO
1. I only shoot short 1080p clips (<1min usually). For this use case, the video capability is excellent.
2. The Extra Teleconverter function is a huge plus as it gives x2.7 in 1080p video and it works well and will provide for 2 useful benefits - a) More magnification for distant birds b) Allow shorter faster lenses to record video of birds when light is not good. I may now consider a Rokinon 135mm f2 (approx $450). On MFT this becomes 270mm f2 (from light gathering perspective). If taking 1080p video with the Tele mode, this becomes 270 x 2.7 = 700+ effective lens at F2. Really good option in very early morning where 100-400 would struggle.
3. Overall - Video is great.

All in all, I donít think it is worth two G85s and likely many of the areas I like are in the G85 already. However Iím happy with the purchase ... so far. Iíll do a more extensive test on my Sunday birding outing.
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Old Tuesday 20th February 2018, 23:05   #85
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This was one of my first shots to test the focusing in challenging situations. Not sure what it actually focused on but looks like it averaged. Didn’t have spot focus enabled at the time (need to find where to set).

However the colours were a very good representation of what was seen.

I downsized to 1024x768 to save here.
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Old Thursday 22nd February 2018, 22:05   #86
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Did a few more tests today and much more familiar with where things are.

So my update is:

STILLS:
1. Got quite a bit of hunting today with the bird in the centre of the focus box and bamboo in the background. In many cases, bamboo was focused on. With less going on in the background, no issues in focusing.
2. The ISO 6400 performance for Jpegs was quite good. Far superior to the EM5 which I never bothered to take beyond ISO 1600.
3. The extra 4mp was noticeable
4. The Extra Teleconverter function and Digital Zoom functions were ok. Would be useful to set a button to press to quickly go to x2 and press again to reset. This way could go between full res and lower res pics. Will figure that out later today.
5. Camera still felt heavy and my left arm is tired.
6. Did more BIF with distant hummingbirds and actually got in-focus pictures.
7. Overall my view is even more positive than my last review on the stills capability.

VIDEO:
1. I tested more extensively the x2.7 HD60 video and it really is excellent. Imagine taking two quick stills and just by pressing a button immediately getting x2.7 additional zoom with video capture. I works well.
2. The placement of the video button is poor. It should be closer to the standard shutter button for easy movement from stills to video with the same finger.
3. I tested 180fps video. Seems it will only work with manual focusing (will have to check the manual to confirm) and that was a letdown. However what you get when focused is quite amazing. Also the peaking highlighting as a MF aid is excellent.

Iím enjoying this camera more and more ... except the weight.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rka View Post
Just did a quick test in failing light. Will take a while to figure out the best way to use the camera but my thoughts so far:

STILLS
1. Better focus than EM5 with 100-400. No hunting at all.
2. BIF autofocus was quite good but comparing with the EM5 is not fair since it was especially poor in that area. With practice should be able to consistently get good shots. Big plus for me.
3. Colours are very real. Truer than EM5.
4. Love the shutter button. Just a touch to focus and slight squeeze to snap.
5. For predictive focus with whatever the default settings were, too early to tell.
6. Stabilisation was good but honestly I think the majority was due to the lens since the EM5 did just as well with OIS only. More testing needed since many of the reviews say this was a huge improvement which I really didnít see.
7. The size of the camera was not an issue. However, after a while it started to feel heavy.
8. EVF - Viewfinder heaven!
9. Manual focusing aids - Quite well thought out. Looks like they will be actually useful.
10 Overall so far - A minor stills upgrade to the EM5 for fairly static birds. A significant upgrade for BIF. A decent upgrade for general handling and likely battery life.

VIDEO
1. I only shoot short 1080p clips (<1min usually). For this use case, the video capability is excellent.
2. The Extra Teleconverter function is a huge plus as it gives x2.7 in 1080p video and it works well and will provide for 2 useful benefits - a) More magnification for distant birds b) Allow shorter faster lenses to record video of birds when light is not good. I may now consider a Rokinon 135mm f2 (approx $450). On MFT this becomes 270mm f2 (from light gathering perspective). If taking 1080p video with the Tele mode, this becomes 270 x 2.7 = 700+ effective lens at F2. Really good option in very early morning where 100-400 would struggle.
3. Overall - Video is great.

All in all, I donít think it is worth two G85s and likely many of the areas I like are in the G85 already. However Iím happy with the purchase ... so far. Iíll do a more extensive test on my Sunday birding outing.
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Old Friday 23rd February 2018, 00:34   #87
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Regarding iso performance: have you considered using jpg + raw for saving stills? if the iso6400 images you are talking about are OOC, then I expect you could get good results from RAW with iso12800.

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Old Friday 23rd February 2018, 00:45   #88
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Yes and agree. Likely will set a button to toggle from Jpeg Only to RAW+Jpeg.

Quote:
Originally Posted by njlarsen View Post
Regarding iso performance: have you considered using jpg + raw for saving stills? if the iso6400 images you are talking about are OOC, then I expect you could get good results from RAW with iso12800.

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Old Friday 23rd February 2018, 06:12   #89
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A fair but from users on this forum, some do say busy backgrounds confuse it.

https://www.mu-43.com/forums/panasonic-cameras.43/
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Old Friday 23rd February 2018, 08:23   #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikonmike View Post
A fair but from users on this forum, some do say busy backgrounds confuse it.

https://www.mu-43.com/forums/panasonic-cameras.43/
Thanks for the link. A quote from user Ziggy:
Quote:
Dedicated BIFfers would be looking elsewhere. They go for the Sony A6500, D500 and the like, for the AF performance.
That's relevant for me. More details here.
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Old Friday 23rd February 2018, 08:35   #91
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Thanks for the link. A quote from user Ziggy:
That's relevant for me. More details here.
Not too convinced this guy is up to speed, he seams to feel the need to use every combination of focus settings he can, so for me the jury is still out, i dont believe for a moment its not going to be better than my G80.

Another opinion here.

https://www.imaging-resource.com/PRO...est-part-i.htm
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Old Friday 23rd February 2018, 10:17   #92
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The only focus situation that worried me a bit was a bird (tropical kingbird) on a wire (electrical braided power cable) with vegetation about 100ft in the background. Several times I tried to lock focus on the cable which is an easy target due to the contrast and the stranded wire and it still went to the distant vegetation. When I manual focused close enough to the cable it locked on repeatedly. With my EM5, it would have locked on to the cable every time. The focus target was 90% covering the bird.

A focus situation that amazed me was a moving bird in the middle of branches. I didn’t expect to lock on at all as would never have done so with EM5. It repeatedly did. This was a bananaquit in brown branches so maybe the splashes of yellow and the clear lines on the feathers provided a nice target.

Regarding the focus modes used, I switched between a small center box and point focus for static birds and used a larger oval zone for BIF, all in AFS. I usually pulse AFS instead of using AFC.

Quote:
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A fair but from users on this forum, some do say busy backgrounds confuse it.

https://www.mu-43.com/forums/panasonic-cameras.43/
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Old Friday 23rd February 2018, 15:09   #93
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The one big problem I have had with the G85 was a forest falcon where only the head was in view, it was behind leaves and in front of tree trunks, and it was damn dark at the spot. I could manually focus but even after that, hitting AF took it off completely and I could not see what it focused on (or if it just gave up).

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Old Friday 23rd February 2018, 15:35   #94
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G9 V EM1MK11

There is a comment about the G9 losing focus lock on BIF if against a busy background but i think he was using a group focus points,i only ever use single unless against a clear sky.

https://mirrorlesscomparison.com/pan...s-em1-mark-ii/
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Old Saturday 24th February 2018, 00:48   #95
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More AF testing today and an ISO observation to check fully

Today I went to the forest edge experimenting in taking pictures in shaded areas with a lot of dried vines, small woody trees etc. I had taken a lot of bird pictures here in the past with my Panasonic FZ300 and the Oly EM5 with 100-400 so have a good feel on how they performed with AF and ISO/Aperture/Shutter settings that worked in these conditions.

Now with the G9:

1. The Pinpoint autofocus mode which is meant to be the most accurate was quite useless and unpredictable. 30% of the time it focused accurately. 70% of the time it locked focus, but on what I donít know since everything was blurry. Panasonic needs to fix this.

2. The 1-Area focus mode was the most consistent. However my EM5 and FZ330 performed at least equally from what I recall.

3. When I have more time, I need to do some picture IQ comparisons between the 3 cameras with same Shutter/Aperture/ISO settings. My unscientific feeling was the EM5 produced decent pictures in that setting requiring ISO 1600 maximum while the G9 had to be set to ISO 3200 or higher to get the same exposure with Shutter/Aperture similar. So Iím not sure if a specific ISO setting on the EM5 is equivalent to a higher ISO setting on G9.

All in all, while I like the G9 a lot for its features, at this point I really couldnít recommend it for birding still pictures. The pinpoint autofocus must be fixed otherwise taking in-focus pictures of small static birds in brush type areas will rely totally on manual focus.

I do like the video features though.
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Old Saturday 24th February 2018, 01:12   #96
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I forgot to mention that my testing today was with the Electronic Shutter only. On Sunday I will test with the Mechanical Shutter only.
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Old Saturday 24th February 2018, 08:37   #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rka View Post
Today I went to the forest edge experimenting in taking pictures in shaded areas with a lot of dried vines, small woody trees etc. I had taken a lot of bird pictures here in the past with my Panasonic FZ300 and the Oly EM5 with 100-400 so have a good feel on how they performed with AF and ISO/Aperture/Shutter settings that worked in these conditions.

Now with the G9:

1. The Pinpoint autofocus mode which is meant to be the most accurate was quite useless and unpredictable. 30% of the time it focused accurately. 70% of the time it locked focus, but on what I donít know since everything was blurry. Panasonic needs to fix this.
Interesting you used pinpoint mode, as that cuts out AFC functionality I believe - I found the smallest focus area with AFC is by setting up a custom 225 setting, with just the central small box - so far so good on that for me, nothing has come out blurry unexpectedly.

I have used my G9 since posting last, but just spent the best part of the week with flu, so not actually looked at my results yet If I had anything of use, may post later.
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Old Saturday 24th February 2018, 13:11   #98
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Interesting you used pinpoint mode, as that cuts out AFC functionality I believe - I found the smallest focus area with AFC is by setting up a custom 225 setting, with just the central small box - so far so good on that for me, nothing has come out blurry unexpectedly.

I have used my G9 since posting last, but just spent the best part of the week with flu, so not actually looked at my results yet If I had anything of use, may post later.
I tend to use AFS mostly in short bursts, force of habit. With the pinpoint mode, I tested on static objects also like leaves where the veins were clear etc. which should be easy territory for locking focus. In the setting I mentioned, most eere blurry.

But you have given me a good idea to try - to set a very small custom zone and see how that fares. Would also investigate if itís possible to toggle different custom zones patterns quickly (button press).

Looking forward to your experiences with the G9.
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Old Saturday 24th February 2018, 13:34   #99
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I tend to use AFS mostly in short bursts, force of habit. With the pinpoint mode, I tested on static objects also like leaves where the veins were clear etc. which should be easy territory for locking focus. In the setting I mentioned, most eere blurry.

But you have given me a good idea to try - to set a very small custom zone and see how that fares. Would also investigate if itís possible to toggle different custom zones patterns quickly (button press).

Looking forward to your experiences with the G9.
I too look forward to your own and otherís experiences.

I have my AF selection entirely on the joystick - tap in any direction to get up the choices, and a tap left to get 225 mode.

With 225 mode I have tried reducing the size to restrict the size for birds in flight, but cannot see this is saveable as a default, but it can be accessed by a tap down on the joystick.

As an alternative I also have C2 AF mode set to a diamond shape - so to get that option from C1 small box mode I just need to hit joystick up twice, and once to the right and start shooting - not tried in the field yet, but keeping all my AF selection to the joystick I think should be intuitive, has worked well for swapping between C1 and 225 mode so far.
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Old Saturday 24th February 2018, 16:47   #100
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On the G85 I have single central AF point on C1 and a diamond shaped area of several on C2, so switching for me is about turning the wheel. There is a button to turn for SAF to CAF or back. I find that works reasonably easy.

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