• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

G80 to G9 worthwhile upgrade? (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
I’ve been a moderately keen photographer on and off for about 45 years so I have seen and used all kinds of kit. I got the G80 shortly after it was launched, I had previously used a Nikon D90 and various lenses but always felt it was too bulky. Obviously, digital cameras have come on a lot anyway. I recently upgraded to the 100-400 Leica lens as I’ve got more interested in photographing birds and other wildlife.

It looks to me that the G9 is Panasonic’s best model for my purposes but both it and Olympus’ offerings have been around for nearly as long as my G80. For those of you who may use it, should I look at the G9, something else or wait for a new model? I know that the Olympus business has been sold and Panasonic has just launched full frame cameras so perhaps neither will launch a new m43 camera better suited to wildlife photography. I don’t want to invest loads in it as I have a few Panasonic lenses and generally enjoy using it all. In other words, whilst a whole new system might be better still, I can’t make that kind of investment and, as I say, quite like what I have. I feel the focussing in the G80 can struggle a bit and image quality could be a bit better. I know one limiting factor is that the sensor is small in a m43 but I have seen some stunning bird shots from this system. So, should I go for a G9, or would an Olympus body be better with my power ois lenses (if so, which?) or do we think there’s a new model coming along that would be worth waiting for? Thanks for any practical advice from those who’ve used this system. I did look at the other posts first and they helped but part of my question is about the models now being 3+ years old and time had moved on since some of the other discussions on here.
Last edited:
To me, the question is, are you getting everything there is out of your G80? Did you use the d90 for birds or only for other photos? I am asking because I feel it took me at least a year with the combo you have to get it to do it’s best. I cannot advice you on any upgrade because I am still using mine.

Depends on the type of wildlife you do, i have used both the G9 and Olympus em1mk11, if its all action i would say look at the om, if its just a small amount of action then the G9 is a fantastic upgrade.
I have gone G6, G7, G80 and G9 - there has been a definite image quality boost for me going to the G9, and action is possible, especially with a red dot sight.

Unfortunately my exposure settings were off on the Swift, but still pleased with what I managed to pull back with such a small sensor camera, certainly enough camera for me.

No one knows for sure if a G10 or similar will ever come out, I hope it does, but in the mean time a G9 is a lot of camera for the money in my opinion.


  • 21F70196-BD8A-4041-BEC9-5C4284000F7D.jpg
    84.3 KB · Views: 53
  • 79B9052E-9903-4382-B599-0A396FA04994.jpg
    281.8 KB · Views: 51
  • 46562DF4-AB60-48A8-8A68-5352EDC5737E.jpg
    60.2 KB · Views: 53
I’ve asked myself the same question, but decided against the G9 because of its larger size and weight. Although the G9 is only 150g heavier than the G80, when carrying a scope, binoculars, camera and food/water, I feel that every gram counts. Earlier this year I picked up a used GX8 as I wanted to try the 20mp; it’s a lovely camera, but ergonomically I find the G80 far superior for wildlife shooting. The truth is, no M43 body ticks all the boxes for me; what I’d like is a Panasonic body (for Dual IS) with the continuous autofocus of an Olympus, the handling of a G9 and the weight of a G80! But if ever such a camera is released, it will be probably cost a lot more than I am willing to spend.
I carry mine in a holster, and use the battery grip for the superior ergonomics with the PL100-400, so never really worried about the weight or size - I figure I am not carrying a big white lens which is where the big size and weight advantages creep in with m4/3, so a hundred grams here or there on the body doesn’t matter too much to me, ergonomics and balance are key for me.

The G9 has no AA filter which may be a big part of the reason, along with the resolution, as to why I saw the big jump in quality over the G80.
Dont know if i have posted this before but the exposure latitude for over exposure can be good on the G9, i cocked up and over exposed this one but still pulled something out.


  • P1002540base.jpg
    211.7 KB · Views: 61
  • P1002540.jpg
    184 KB · Views: 63
Thanks everyone, lots of wise insights and food for thought. Like someone said above I’m sure I’m not getting everything out of the G80 that I could. I started photography over 45 years ago - once you’d loaded up a film it was more or less a matter of getting a viable exposure with a long lens, there actually wasn’t much to adjust - max aperture, fastest shutter speed and that was about it. I do remember push processing film etc. These days there are endless permutations for getting a ‘correct’ exposure including many that are sub optimal for one reason or another. Hey ho ...
Well I did get the G9, I found a nice nearly new second hand one with a battery grip included (I'll see if I find myself using it but it's cost me nothing). So far, I'm really enjoying using it, it really feels like it means business and I have certainly managed to up my game a bit with the shots I'm getting. Enjoying it is important, a new bit of kit often provides the impetus to get out more which I have and I've been very pleased with the results.
Thank you for sharing. In which ways do you feel this is better? I may have to go the same way ...

Hi Niels, a few people made some comparisons in the comments above. I can't say I have remotely tested either camera to the limit, I haven't used many of their features. The G9 is a bigger, heavier camera but I don't find it uncomfortably so, especially with the 100-400mm Panaleica lens I'm using most of the time. It has much more solid feel, everything is more positive and feels like it will last, although I had no problems in 3 years with my G80. Plastic is pretty good stuff for the purpose. I have been getting some very nice shots with the G9 but that is partly through paying more attention to the settings, much of which I could have done with the G80. I generally feel it's a bit faster and more responsive and I've had some good results with the continuous autofocus and animal recognition. Although I don't really do much video, the stabilisation is phenomenal in the G9, I got some usable footage with the 100-400mm at full stretch using the inbuilt teleconverter in the camera on video handheld on 1600mm equivalent - quite amazing. Mine came with a 12-60 Leica zoom which I have sold as I have the Lumix equivalent already, I never used it much and actually I felt that one was better balanced on the G9 anyway - I have the 14-140 that I use as my walkabout lens. Thee are lots of video channels on YouTube about using the G9, much of it dedicated to wildlife and these have helped me get more out of my pictures - e.g. pushing up the ISO to allow a faster shutter speed with the lens partly stopped down for a better depth of field. Whilst the IS is great, it doesn't stop the bird moving and the depth of field can be tiny at the far end of the 100-400mm zoom range. It's obvious really but as I began my photography with film when ISO 400 was fast and I wasn't really using the capabilities of the camera. From my experience, the G80 has a great feature set and it proved itself reliable for me over a number of years. Nothing wrong with it but I am enjoying the G9 although I don't think it's any smaller and lighter than my old Canon EOS 35mm camera from nearly 30 years ago. The G80 is more like the Olympus OM2 that preceded it, in size.
Thank you. Most information I have seen is from people not using the G80/85 or not very much. Theoretically the AF is better in the G9 but how much is difficult to judge when not trying it myself.

Warning! This thread is more than 3 years ago old.
It's likely that no further discussion is required, in which case we recommend starting a new thread. If however you feel your response is required you can still do so.

Users who are viewing this thread