Panasonic GX9 review

Panasonic’s new rangefinder-style mirrorless camera offers plenty of features in a compact, well-made body

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Early verdict

The GX9 is pretty convincing as a portable and responsive camera, and its autofocus system is fast and effective for everyday still images. It’s less convincing in its continuous shooting mode, but then we have the G9 for that kind of photography.

Read more: Panasonic G9 review

The GX9 certainly appears to tick all the right boxes. It has a relatively compact, rectangular, rangefinder-style body, and it feels solid and substantial – quite heavy, in fact – in your hands. The electronic viewfinder is very good, as is the tilting screen on the rear. 

Even so, despite some reassuringly solid external controls, the GX9 still heavily relies on its digital interface. This is where it becomes obvious just how much this camera can do, but also how much patience and dexterity you might need to get the most from it. 

You do get a lot for your money in terms of build quality, performance, features and image quality, but somehow the GX9 lacks that magical X-factor that makes a camera desirable. It’s extremely efficient but it doesn’t have the physical appeal of, for example, a typical Fujifilm or Olympus model.

Panasonic GX9 competition

Panasonic GX80

The GX9’s younger sibling is lighter and cheaper by comparison, but it uses Panasonic’s older 16MP sensor and lacks the GX9’s exposure compensation dial. Even so, it does offer much of the GX9’s appeal at a significantly lower price.

Olympus PEN-F

It has the same resolution as the GX9 and a Micro Four Thirds sensor too, but the PEN-F lacks 4K video and costs a good deal more. Nevertheless, it does have a classic retro charm that the GX9 lacks, together with a great range of Art Filters and photo effects.

Fujifilm X-T20

It's a DSLR-style mirrorless camera with a larger APS-C sensor than the GX9, but if you put them side by side the X-T20 is barely larger than the GX9. The X-T20’s 24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III sensor delivers superb quality and the camera has more external controls too.

Read more: The 10 best mirrorless cameras in 2018