*Lumix GX9, death of the GX line?

Hey everyone!  Look, the opinions are pretty polarized in regard to Panasonic’s newest m4/3 camera, and I feel that both sides are right.  On one side, we have those of us that are excited to see the form factor shrink a little bit with the cost coming down to a remarkably reasonable level.  On the other side, we have those of us that are lamenting the lack of ergonomics, weather sealing, fully functional, high spec EVF and general feel that the GX8 has been downgraded.  

As someone who has owned every GX model made (less the GX80/85 which I have shot with fairly extensively, however) I do feel I’m in a position to throw my opinion around a bit.  Not that you have to agree, nor even listen, but here’s what I think…

Panasonic has long been my choice in the micro 4/3 realm.  Nothing against Olympus, but being a photographer that shoots multiple systems for different situations, I find Oly to be difficult and quirky to jump back and forth between where the Pana cams seem far more geared to a seamless interface from a generalized photography and UI standpoint.  Oly is great if you shoot nothing but Oly, however for me, I’ve never been able to jive with the Oly cams I’ve shot with personally.

I entered into the m4/3 world with the introduction of the Lumix GF1 (a camera that over the years I’ve traded, and gotten back, and still have!).  It was fairly revolutionary, and is a beautiful little machine that married quality, system size reduction and most of all, fun.  From there the GF line went off a cliff in my opinion with new GF cameras being released like rabbits, culminating in Panasonic splitting the “rangefinder” sized line into the GF and GX lines.  The GX1 was also a solid camera, and one that birthed the idea that the form factor of a rangefinder styled body could start to balance size and function while not compromising either.  From there, the GM line took the short lived mini mantle with only two models, and then we ended up getting one of my favorite Lumix cameras of all time in the GX7.  The GX7 is still one of my favorite cameras I’ve yet used.  Other than a lack of weather sealing, there isn’t much I can criticize it for.  Then, instead of continuing the GF line, Panasonic decided to split the GX line into two with the addition of the GX8 and GX80/85.  The GX8, for it’s initially somewhat odd ergonomics, packed a lot into a relatively compact package.  At the time, it was by far the best performing sensor, it was weather sealed, it had a wonderful EVF and while initially I wasn’t too into the ergonomics, I’ve grown to truly appreciate the depth of the grip in that I can shoot it with the system’s larger optics with confidence and comfort.  What it lacked in absolute size reduction, it made up for in being a total package for those of us wanting to use larger, faster optics but not wanting a DSLR-esque EVF hump, and in that way I saw it as a kind of ‘lightning in a bottle’ model for the system.  That we had the choice to size down if reduction was our primary need with the GX80/85, or gain a more ‘professionally’ rounded, admittedly bigger tool in the GX8, everyone was happy, right?  Well, you should have been anyway.

Alright, we all know now that the GX9 is certainly more GX80/85 upgrade than GX8 upgrade now that it has been announced.  The weather sealing is absent, the EVF is smaller and crappier than the GX8, and the “grip” harkens back to the smaller GF bodies (and mimics the GX80/85).  This camera is a GX90/95 by all accounts, not a true GX9, so why didn’t they just call it that?  Why in the world would they so obviously dumb the GX line down to a single stream when surely there was room for both?  We all would have loved the GX9 had it been called a GX90/95, knowing that it packed a ton in at under $1000 (with a solid lens!) while reserving the posibility to get what many of us truly wanted in an actual GX8 replacement, somewhere down the road.  This to me is the tragedy.  Not that the GX9 isn’t a potentially great camera at a very reasonable price, because it really is, but that it is not what many of us expected of a top of the line, rangefinder styled camera to follow up the GX8.  

We can point to the fact that the GX7 wasn’t weather sealed, or that the GX8 was the first ‘non-DSLR body style’ to provide such a solid EVF, sensor and overall package, but once you get offered a taste of something, it’s hard to accept the major steps backward that the GX9 in fact is, by direct comparison.  That’s all.

Now, if Panasonic has something else up their sleeve, I’ll be happy, but that will go nowhere in helping them gain any credence as to their bizarre naming nomenclature.  The GX9 should absolutely have been the GX90 or GX95, period.  Even if they never decided to extend the life of the GX “pro” line, it would have at least lent some weight to their decision making.  Those who are excited about this camera would still have purchased it, and those wanting an actual upgrade to the GX8 would have been able to hold onto a glimmer of hope.  Instead, those of us waiting for a true upgrade to the GX8 were left wanting with nothing more than a well priced, poorer specified slap in the face as consolation.

The GX9 is a camera that I may see myself purchasing if it ever becomes available as body only, and gets a discount to drop it down to around $500, because, sure.  The GX8 sensor without the anti aliasing layer providing even more fine detail?  Yeah, I’m down. (Yes, I do fear it’s the GX8 sensor, not the GH5/G9 sensor fwiw as initial reviews mentioned as such, but are now harder to find record of, which is fine because it’s a great sensor)  For the time being, I am going to continue to use my weather sealed GX8, with amazing EVF and save myself a grand which I had (and more) ready to go for this camera, until it was announced this week.  The most frustrating part to me is that this, for all intents and purposes, looks like a wonderful upgrade to the GX80/85, and a great deal, but a true GX9, it is not.

Thanks Panasonic, you’ve broken my heart. Kinda. 

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63 thoughts on “*Lumix GX9, death of the GX line?

      • I’ve always struggled to understand why, when these companies already dedicate the R&D budget to upgrade to a better version of something (in this case the evf), why go backward to a previous version when “upgrading” a model. Fine if we’re calling it a GX90, but to go from the GX8 to GX9 with these major drawbacks, is just bizarre. I know it’s all cost and margins, but c’mon, call it a GX90, then, right?! Silly panasonic, did they think us gear nerds wouldn’t notice? My wallet did. It’s carrying a lot of extra weight this week.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Hi Tyson,

        I have owned two GX7. My GX8, after two and a half years of loyal services, is reaching a critical actuation number. I own all primes, but the 8 & 12mm, but including the 42.5 ;-), and all high end Panaleica zooms (including 100-400 and 8-18). Thanks to you, Samayang, Lensbaby, Voightlanders and LAOWA got, directly or indirectly my attention for at least one of their lenses.

        I have built myself a portrait grip that triggers the shutter (based on a Canon intended grip) and put together all required pieces to make my G&ND Firecrest filters better flare proof with as little extra size as possible and as easy to carry as possible in the mountain ;-)…I’ll stop there regarding other DIY works this so lovable GX8 got me to do for studio and landscape works, otherwise you’ll think I’m completely mental ;-).

        It felt so depressing last week when all articles and videos I could read about the GX9 seemed to say at best very little and, at worse and mostly, nothing about what GX8 might be feeling!!!

        So BIG THANKS TO YOU TYSON FOR SPEAKING OUT 😀

        I’m off on Wednesday to a nice camera store to try a SONY a7rIII. As a fervent hybrid fan, I believe this is the only camera whose technical qualities can make up for what I’ll be loosing in terms of ergonomic.

        Like you, I had saved big money (and a bit more ;-)) to carry on this great GX adventure…to get “our” GX9 ;-). And it’s not just THAT GX”9″, it’s the total absence of expectation management after they launched the GX80/85/7MkIII and the absence of any for of communication but insults to the GX8 users when they announced this GX90/95/7MkIII….pana(thetic), really? 😦

        Broken heart too, cheers from Paris

        Liked by 3 people

      • Hi Gaël,

        I also shoot a sony a7rii, and while I do enjoy it, it is (for me) a more specialized tool. Firstly, an uncompressed 14 bit RAW file is huuuuuge and creates a bit of strain on my computer’s internals when importing, exporting or working on it. Not a huge deal, but I tend to shoot with it more for specific projects knowing that I’ll benefit from a large file. On top of that, the system is also much larger overall. People like to point out how “Large” the GX8 is, and by most measurements it’s not much smaller than an a7 series body, but the ability to keep it compact with various lenses (the PL15, 20mm, or even faster, larger lenses being relatively small and light by comparison to full frame equivalents, is where the size and weight reduction come into balance for me. That said, they are pretty amazing cameras but they do also have their own drawbacks (Sony’s menus try to give the Oly menus a run for their money) and there are certain functional omissions that are head scratchers for me (on the a7rii and previously on the a7ii at least).

        Nothing is perfect, but I feel you could do a lot worse, as long as you don’t mind the cost and size of the overall system. The files from the “R” sensors are pretty amazing.

        Enjoy whatever you end up with!

        Cheers,

        T

        Like

      • Hey Tyson,
        Thanks for your answer. Seems like the a7rIII has very interesting improvements, mainly an even better EVF and same touch AF as pana (who wants a joystick when you’ve got touch AF?).
        Touch AF is obvioulsy much better with a rangerfinder body (ask Pinocchio ;-)), but apparently there are option to define the active zone of the touch AF…this is the kind of thing I’m going to try on Wednesday. And yes, I’m planning to come back with some RAW files to play with and strain my PC ;-).
        After understanding what the disadvantages of m4/3 were (I’m an electronic and signal processing engineer by mistake who is now finding it very handy when it comes to photography), I jumped very quickly to DxO Optics Pro that I still use for a first level of processing before feeding with TIFF the teeth of Lightroom and/or Photoshop (to blend and or stack). My PC’s doing but I understand the gap of resolution my be hard to digest 8-).
        You’re right the main concern is going to be the size. I believe anything above 70mm FF will be a real pain coming from m4/3… “to choose is to foresake”…at least on Wednesday I will be able to assess whether the GAP in dynamic range is worth it.
        Take care

        Liked by 1 person

      • For someone coming into the Lumix line cold-I’ve only tried them in the shops-the GX-9 is tempting with sexy looks and its tilt screen and viewfinder. Yes lacking sealing and mic inputs. I sold my X-70 and bought a RX100mk3 to hold me until the holy grail comes out. I thought perhaps this Lumix release would be The One…so maybe I just forget the GX-9 and get a humpy XT-2 for about the same money?

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  1. Hey Tyson,

    I couldn’t have said everything you said any better!

    This is a solid GX80/85 upgrade, NOT a true GX8 upgrade.

    The weirdest thing for me was my reaction to the announcement.

    Angry. Livid. Almost RAGE.
    I even looked at Fujis (X-H1… pretty nice). EGAD!
    Jeeze, it’s only a freakin’ camera, after all! I’m not really a Panny fanboi, either.

    Your opinion of the Olympus interface jibes with mine. So looking at the EM1v2 isn’t an option for me. Besides, as a designer their form over function industrial design and engineers’ fixation on complexity, I find incredibly irritating.

    I’ll just soldier on with my GX8 and GX7 and see what else Panasonic releases down the road.

    Thanks for more thought provoking stuff!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi Tyson, I’m a streetphotographer from Amsterdam, Holland. I use the Lumix GX80 and also Olympus pen and E-M1 gear. For my use in streetphotography I consider the Olympus interface much more evolved and more geared to the needs of a streetphotographer.Let me explaine why:

    Week points of the Lumix interface for me as a streetphotographer:
    If you select the touch shutter function via the lcd you can tap and fire the shutter and your focus point selection changes with it. If you shut down the camera and start up again your focus point is were you tapped last time. If you want to use the touch shutter function again you have to select it again via the lcd menu. If you just want center point AF you have to use the cursor buttons on the back of the camera first the left cursor button then the down cursor button and finally to set the focus point in the center the disp button. pff..

    Compare with this with the Olympus interface:
    You can tap on the lcd if you want the touch shutter function on or off, your choice stays the same after you shut down the camera and start up again and your focus point is right in the center. You can then tap to focus and shoot anywhere on the lcd or just use the center focus point and the shutter button. So much easier and straight forward.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Jeroen,

      It’s funny, my gripe about the “re-centering” of the AF point is the exact opposite of yours. I feel the value of the AF point staying put outweighs the AF point automatically reverting to the center, which drove me batty 🙂

      What I like about a touch activated and AF point assignable screen is that it is so absolutely quick to change AF point to anywhere in the frame with a quick touch where as with the Sony and Canon cams I use, they’re archaic in that you either have to go into a menu (sony) or use the joystick to select 9, 11 or if you’re lucky, more assignable CDAF points on a Canon, the touch assignable (in any iteration in my opinion) is so superior, at least when it comes to assigning the actual AF point.

      One truly beneficial thing I think that we get in the m4/3 realm with Oly and Pana taking two slightly different approaches, is that we get choices, a lot of them. And where one feature suits one shooter another may suit another, and that is pretty radical 🙂 I really liked the em5 when I would be shooting it solely for a week or so, but still struggled with the depth of menus and assignable functions which may or may not have changed depending on the mode at any given time. If I got it set up and didn’t do too much tinkering, I could operate it with my eyes closed (kinda), but if I was switching between cams, that became a little more frustrating to try and remember which function was set to which CFn button in whichever mode or whatever. Again, not as big a deal I feel if you’re using it to shoot a fairly similar style or way consistently, or if not juggling different systems or cameras. Unfortunately, my brain needs a dumber setup 😉 where I always have a dedicated and labeled ISO button, WB button, drive button, etc. I can’t remember much anymore.

      Thanks man!

      t

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jeroen, if you want to center the AF point on a Panasonic, just press any of the cursor buttons (just a single tap will suffice) and then press Display. The AF point is then instantly centered. Or you could just use the touch screen.

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  3. After reading some of the discussions over at dpr, it seems that in Japan, this camera is being called the, GX7 MkIII. That would precisely place this camera as the third iteration of the GX7. It makes perfect sense in that case. Naming it the, GX9, in North America is just plain stupid.

    But, as you (Tyson) have said, when this camera (GX9) comes down in price ($500-ish), then I’d love to score one.

    Tom

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Tom,

      That definitely makes more sense, but why they choose to call these cameras by such different name and number schemes makes for a thoroughly frustrating reality for many of us. I can only assume that the GX80 (Europe)/GX85(‘Mericas) was what Japan considered the GX7mkII? Either way, it seems counterintuitive, when the world that has known the GX8, knows that this is absolutely not a GX9, to call it such. Really, why not stick with the GX90/95 in the west? Everyone can kinda understand that. Just bizarre I feel. The only thing I can think of is that Panasonic is trimming everything down so that the GX line will all coagulate into this GXxx/GX7mk x line, which is fine seeing as it’s priced well. Just a bummer for those of us that got used to a weather sealed badass like the GX8.

      Thanks man!

      t

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Like you I had started with the GF1 and then moved up to the GX7 which I loved, particularly the form feature. I was waiting for the GX9 hoping to get the better manual shutter, weather sealing and 5 axis IS but through a friend learned ahead of time what the GX9 was actually going to become so moved to the G9 instead. While is is an awesome camera I still prefer the smaller rangefinder form factor.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have debated the G9, but I think I’m just going to hold off for a bit, and enjoy the GX8, which is still one of the best m4/3 cams I’ve used, and aside from perhaps the new GH/G sensor, the best m4/3 sensor currently. Will be interesting to see how it looks without the AA filter on the GX9, because that is one feature I’d imagine will test well with the new cam. That G9 though, looks like an absolute monster!

      Enjoy it 🙂

      t

      Like

      • I handled a G9 last week and even though I don’t mind slightly larger, heavier cameras (GX8!!!) or lenses (the Voigtländers!!!) the G9 is just a big, fat chunk on par with the GH-5.

        Even though I like the handling, ergonomics and breadth of external controls , there’s really no way I would carry something like that every day the way I’ve carried my GX7 and GX8.

        I won’t belabor the frustrations with Panasonic and the faux GX9…

        Liked by 1 person

      • I go back and forth with the G9/GH5 now that I know I’m not getting my long anticipated GX8 upgrade, but I too just don’t want another DSLR style body occupying my bag. I’ve got the sony for that, and on the other end the GM1 still kicks it. That middle ground, everyday, compact ‘enough’ and fun to shoot, low profile, left side evf, rangefinder style body is what I pine for as far as an upgrade. Oh well, may just go blow my budget on a new lens or something 🙂

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  5. Yeah agree with you, Tyson. Like you I moved from DSLR to m4/3 through Panasonic. The GM1 to be precise, it was a beauty at the time (well it still is, there’s no smaller m4/3 camera body!) Unfortunately as the years went by, I realised the it was Olympus who was cramming more and more innovation and technology into their cameras, what with weather sealing, fully articulated LCD screen, 5-axis IBIS just in their middle of the line camera, so I ended up upgrading to the OMD-EM5 Mk2 instead of another Panny. Sad, but oh well, if it’s anything to go by, I DO have some Panny lenses… but alas, I love my Olympus dearly.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Yes, clearly the Panasonic product name dept have gone (for a while now) completely mad.
    As mentioned above the naming in Japan make a little more sense. In an online world with standardised product names, iPhone X, Galaxy 8 etc. it’s hard to understand their approach.

    You can see the full Lumix range here if you scroll down to the bottom.
    http://panasonic.jp/dc/g_series/gx7mk3/

    I’m a GX1 and GX7 owner but might go for a second-hand GX9 (GX7-MKIII) when they start to appear on the auction sites in a few months time. Panasonic have also very annoyingly locked down the languages to the regions too for a number of years.

    Finally, I noticed this camera as well as the G9 have dropped the usual little gold ‘L’ mark which I thought was a bit of a nod to the Leica relationship.

    Cheers
    Paddy

    Liked by 2 people

    • This naming confusion helps no one, especially the company trying to sell the same, differently named product all over the world, to a very well connected and situationally intelligent group (we pay very close attention to things that interest us 😉)

      I think the gold “L” has long signified the “Lumix” branding of Panasonic’s digital camera platform but I too believe it was a nod to the Leica partnership. This is not the first conversation I’ve been involved in about it, which I’m sure was by design. I hadn’t even noticed it has been missing! Good catch.

      Thanks man!

      t

      Liked by 1 person

      • That little script “L” is just so tacky!
        The first thing I cover with black tape! Lumix is a close second.

        I like all the advertising and stuff on the top plate, like Leica and Fuji.

        Like

  7. Tyson, thanks for yr article. I have used Panasonic bodies since the GH1 and has been my m4/3 Brand from the beginning. It got to a point where I sold all my Canon equipment two yrs ago. My actual equip? GX-8 and G-9, which I exchanged for my GH-5, being more of a photo guy than a video one.
    About the GX-9? Exactly the same as you. BIG dissapointment. I even called it the GX-95 in another forum. The GX-8 is one of my favorite cameras ever. Hope Pana sees again the beauty of a pro level rangefinder!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, I don’t think any of us would have had any issue (at least I wouldn’t have) if they’d have called it what we all see it to be in the GX90/95, because it looks like a GREAT camera for the price and a worthy upgrade to the GX80/85. Fingers crossed, Panasonic listens.

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  8. You have basically taken the words out of my mouth, Tyson. Fully agree.

    If Panasonic had simply named this the GX90/95, then everyone would have been happy. GX7 and GX85 users would be thrilled by the substantial and useful update over the camera they already knew and loved, and GX8 users would be able to hold out hope that a truly high-end GX (with all the latest internals, like newer IBIS, shutter, and smarter Auto ISO logic) was still forthcoming.

    There would have been no outcry at all (except for the usual belly-aching on the review sites which need not be dignified or acknowledged).

    As it stands, I’m a GX7 user who really liked the idea of the GX8, but there were enough little issues with it that I couldn’t compel myself to upgrade. I really liked the form factor, ergonomics, and the left-side EVF. But as it is, I will be holding out hope for the G95, which seems as if it will be the true spiritual successor to the GX8, despite its more ungainly shape and SLR-style hump. The G9 is a bridge too far, and unless Olympus decides to entirely redesign its UI logic with the E-M5 III (or pulls a whole bunch of rabbits out of its hat feature-wise), I don’t really want to wrestle with a new way of operating, having gotten very comfortable with Panasonic’s interface.

    So like many, I will be in a holding pattern with this release. Just a waste of potential and a colossal marketing failure by Panasonic on this, really.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m with you, Andrew! I know there are a couple gripes about the GX8, but I’ve not seen one issue with shutter shock (exhaustively tested that out on mine) and the IS issue is really a matter of maybe a stop (I’m still getting 3-4 with Dual IS) so, I wouldn’t entirely discount it if we start to see some substantial discounts as it reaches the end of the line. I’ve had mine for years and it’s still rock solid and I’ve had it out in all kinds of weather over the years, it’s traveled internationally with me, and has pretty much been a daily, in the bag cam for me. My initial quips have all gone away through actual use and I can say that while I feel the GX7 is still probably my favorite pana cam from a personal connection standpoint, the GX8 is a better operational camera in every way I have been able to tell.

      Thanks man,
      t

      Liked by 1 person

      • It sounds kind of silly to say it out loud, but actually one of my main complaints with the GX8 is the Auto ISO logic.

        It has an exposure compensation dial, but you can’t use it to bias the exposure with Auto ISO in Manual Mode. I like shooting with manual lenses that don’t have electronic contacts, so I can’t shoot them in Shutter Priority (which is useful for low-light, to ensure that I’m pushing the limits of light-gathering without skyrocketing the ISO). With my GX7, it’s annoying that I don’t have Auto ISO in Manual at all, but even with that capability, not being able to adjust the brightness with Exposure Compensation really limits its utility.

        Long story short, Panasonic has finally picked up the thread and enabled that capability in the GH5, G9, and GX9. So it will surely be present in G95 as well. (It took Olympus until the PEN-F and E-M1 II to allow this functionality, too, so it’s just been non-existent in M4/3 for a long time! Probably the single biggest operational oversight on what are otherwise brilliantly photographer-centric user interfaces).

        Liked by 1 person

    • I personally, really like the GX9 as a camera as well. I’m just more frustrated that it should have been the GX90/95, even if they didn’t intend to ever release a true successor to the GX8, because it’s so obviously a downgrade in a few key ways to the model it’s “replacing” which is never a good thing. I know it’s pedantic, but I can see this stupid naming eff up being a huge turn off for many current pana shooters because it signals no real continuation to the GX8’s line of thought, which to me, is a horrible oversight on Panasonic’s part. Really too bad.

      Thanks man!

      t

      Liked by 2 people

      • Looks like something were lost in translation… Panasonics international marketing department do not seem to know their products. The first thing I thought when I saw the rumored pictures of the GX9 was that this would be the GX90 aka GX7III.

        Nice blog BTW!

        Liked by 2 people

      • I think it would also help Panasonic if they decided on one model name, globally. I know they like to monitor sales across regions, but most every other company keeps with the same naming for their models (outside of Canon’s Kiss/Rebel/xxxD/xxxxD, et al). Had the GX80 and GX85 been simply, the GX7mk2, and this GX9 the GX7mk3, the line of GX7s would have been somewhat legendary and produced a customer/product relationship a-la the 5D series or D800 series, etc. Instead, they’ve attempted to differentiate three different model names, by region, for the same cameras, and now amalgamating two entirely different lines, into one. I really don’t know what they’re doing over there. 😉

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  9. Panasonic never claimed that the GX9 is an upgrade to the GX8. Yes, their naming is all over the place, and varies between regions – but so is naming of many other products from many other manufacturers. If it pleases you, get a Dymo LabelWriter, punch “GX7 Mk III”, stick it on the GX9 body, and review it.

    Is there really room for two GX stream? How do you know that? OK, assuming an upgrade to the current GX8 is released one day, and it is named “Panasonic Mustang”… are you going to complain that it does not have V8 engine? Is the name of a camera of any significance whatsoever? It is? Well, for some it is, so… Dymo LabelWriter is pretty reliable fix.

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    • Thanks for playing, Vlad but you miss the point most of us have validly made. It’s not that the GX9 is or is going to be a bad camera, it is that it disallows for an actual upgrade to an existing product. I’m sorry, but a literal uptick in a linear nomenclature dictates a literal upgrade by nature, ESPECIALLY in the digital world. Would an iPhone 8 that had lower performance metrics compared to an iPhone 7 be seen as simply something we should just get a dymo label writer to make a label that said “iPhone SE mark 2”? No, we’d expect it to have a better screen, performance or features. If they priced it at 2/3 the price, Apple would call it the SEmk2 (or something to differentiate it so they could sell a true 8) or be rightly criticized for incorrectly confusing their product line, period.

      I kind of understand what you’re saying, but I feel you’re wrong to try and fit this argument into your view of naming.

      You’re projecting things that nobody here has said, but as I literally mentioned in my second sentence, I feel both sides to this argument are legitimately right.

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      • Thanks for responding, Tyson. The GX8 is not an “existing product”; it was discontinued before the GX9 was released (different timing in different countries). Internally it was killed months ago, and the name “GX9” was left sitting in vacuum with no “GX8 Mk II” planned. Clearly, contrary to hopes of some, there is not enough room for both lines. I sympathize with people who hoped to see rumored GX9 materializing as a proper “GX8 Mk II”, but here is a reality check: Panasonic NEVER promised that. It was always only a wishful thinking of some enthusiasts based on: “model 9 has to be improved model 8, right?”. Sometimes it is. Sometimes it is not.

        Panasonic decided to kill the single product GX8 branch, and decided to continue the GX85/GX80 branch. Of course they may reverse their decision in future. Panasonic recycled (rightly or wrongly) freed “GX9” name to a different line. Dissecting: but they should name it GX95! but they should continue the GX8 line! is largely pointless exercise. This is performing a post-mortem on a dead horse who has bolted long time ago, got exhausted, and died.

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      • I’m not sure what you consider discontinued , but the GX8 is alive, well and on sale currently. Again, I think you’re missing what is being said and perhaps taking this a little too personally. Many of us are just frustrated at the step backward for a numerical continuation when in reality they (Panasonic) could have easily done far less harm to themselves with one extra digit, that’s all. By adding that digit, they’d still sell it to everyone who would buy it regardless of the name, but have frustrated many that were waiting for something more and may now look elsewhere because they have obviously given up the continuation of a good line, that’s all. Companies make their choices based on their research and budgets, and consumers do the same. Like I and others have said, we were budgeting for and awaiting the update to the GX8, and now that this is what’s on offer, that money won’t be ending up in Panasonic’s account. I’m fine buying something else, but would have very much liked a true successor to the GX8.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. This is not just Panasonic breaking people hearts … OLYMPUS does that too (even worse). Their latest OM-D E-M10 Mk III is even poorer combination of factors to what GX9 (GX7 Mk3) represents. Here a metal body of older model is being replaced by all PLASTIC construction … byzantine menu system … simplified to extinction of features dumped into separate bag … SAME asking PRICE etc. As the market is shrinking and sales volume goes down … manufactures are turning ultimate attention cutting their own costs to maintain and “improve” profit margins. If proper GX9 was actually executed it would get dangerously close in price to a new G9. Panasonic choose to kill one in favor of another so not to cannibalize their anticipated sales as they probably saw no place for two of them to be successful.

    However the most recent trend I have the biggest problem with is SIZE increase. This was the biggest factor in favor of m4/3 system when it took off. Look at any most recent releases from both manufactures … I really do miss GM1 and GM5 and small lenses to fit them! Recycled to history bin …

    Liked by 1 person

    • Profit drives business, but I feel innovation builds relationships. I guess there is a certain inevitability with any company at a certain point to turn purely to margins, but I still feel there is room for both. Panasonic has, since very close to the beginning, split both the rangefinder style and DSLR style categories in two (or 3) with the ability to focus on budget driven and feature driven segments. With the G9, they threw caution to the wind and went all out with a stills focused body right up against the GH5, and then almost immediately launched the GH5s. They’ve always done well with video, and the G platform had always been budget/stills focused. Similar with the GM and GX (previously the GF and GX) lines. I still see room for a more budget friendly GXxx line and more pro spec’d GXx line. Keep one compact and budget friendly, and provide a better more highly spec’d tool for the enthusiast/pro market. I got over the need for the system to be small a long time ago. As long as we could go small if wanted, but also got high performing bodies and optics for more demanding applications, the system would maintain functional diversity, and I really like that.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. As everyone else has said, couldn’t agree more.

    To me the, the GX7 nailed almost everything, and the GX8 was the best possible evolution of that particular style of camera. Never been into the faux-DSLR style bodies as a 35mm rangefinder user. I loved my Panasonic LC1 and the GX8 was the best possible M4/3 successor to that.
    The GX9 is a retrograde step in almost every way. If a company like Fujifilm can offer top-notch quality across a variety of body styles (SLR, RF, MF etc), why can’t Panasonic?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Let me preface this with the fact that I’ve yet to even shoot a Fuji X camera, but I must say that their offerings, system and support of that system has seemed second to none, from a purely photographic tool point of view. While I doubt we’ll see sideline shooters sporting Fuji cameras, for hobbyists up through studio pros, they seem to both listen, and implement suggestion better than any other current company from where I’m sitting. From the get go, I’d always seen APS-C as a no-mans land in that you don’t get much size or weight reduction compared to FF equivalents, nor huge IQ benefits to a smaller sensor system like the 4/3 standard which actually does substantially decrease size and weight. It has always sat between those two platforms for me, but perhaps I should be looking at it as a marriage of compromises? The X-pro line has always intrigued me 🙂 …

      Liked by 2 people

      • I have an X-Pro2 and am hoping that the X-Pro3 will have a much improved EVF so I can add one for when I need to use lenses wider than 18mm and longer than 56mm.

        If you know how to use optical viewfinder cameras the X-Pro2 is great and much more affordable than Leica M-System cameras. I love using its OV with a small ERF image lower right for focussing or overview of the whole scene especially when shooting monochrome. I can do things with an OVF camera that I cannot with a rangefinder-style camera.

        I love using real rangefinder cameras in the two-camera, two-focal length way I learned with Leica Ms years ago.

        Fujifilm does some great things but needs to update some essential prime lenses and add some focal lengths, and improve their lenses for video use as that is clearly a direction they are going in with the X-H1.

        They have some blind spots – no exposure zebras in any camera, just blinkies which I find crude and annoying.

        They also do not make anything like the GX8’s tilting EVF.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Pingback: Panasonic Cheaps Out, Dumbs Down and Winds Back Professional Rangefinder-Style GX Camera Series with Lumix DC-GX9 – UNTITLED: STORIES OF CREATIVITY, INNOVATION, SUCCESS

  13. I still have and use a gx7, to me this is an upgrade all over the line. Before the gx7 I had a gx1, for which the 7 was an upgrade.
    The only camera of the gx line with a single digit that isn’t comparable to the others is the gx8.. sooo if you guys will try to be completely honest with yourselves, you know that it’s the gx8 that shouldn’t have been called like that.
    That said, who cares!? The name shouldn’t compromise the value that a camera has, is this good or not, for the price?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, or we could look at as the GX1 being the first, the GX7 adding features like an EVF and IBIS, and the GX8 adding weather sealing, higher res sensor, way better EVF and better IBIS. That is traditionally how upgrades tend to go. One may then assume that the GX9, the next upgrade to the premium GX line would build further on the foundation, but instead it is the very first GXx camera to substantially downgrade from its predecessor. It’s less to do with the name, and more to do with what it actually is when considering the history of the line. If we look at it as a GX90/95, it’s a great upgrade to the GX80/85, but the opposite when comparing to the GX8, a well loved camera many of us expected big things from whenever it was upgraded. That said, we care.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Yes, it may be seen that way.. but it was way bigger and without the almost useless but better than nothing (and manually orientable) embedded flash, compared to gx7.
        Gx9 is back to the original (small) form factor for the gx* series (which is one of the strenghts of m43) and regained flash, also, it has a way better ibis than gx8, and the ibis also works on video.

        It looses the weatherproof, yes, thats a minus, but honestly I bring gx7 with me in all hiking I do, with not always good conditions, with snow and low temperatures, and also when I climb multi pitch routes (so climbing chalk) never had an issue for the non-weather proof body.

        Maybe the gx8 successor will come, but it will have a different name, would that be bad?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sure, but what I think most of the GX8 users have come to expect is that Panasonic obviously listened to many who wanted a larger, more full spec rangefinder, and split the GX into two streams with the GXx and GXxx platforms, which is exactly what you’re describing. Smaller, cheaper, fewer bells and whistles = GX80/85. This is the foundation of the gripe in both what I’ve laid out in my article, and what most people I’ve talked to who are also frustrated have said. It’s not that this GX9 is a bad camera, it’s just not a GX9, it’s a GX90 or should have been. Whether or not Pana decided to move ahead with an upgrade to the GX8, they should keep with their own crazy naming and numbering scheme as opposed to pissing a lot of people off (primarily customers willing to spend more than they’re asking for the GX9). Now, I’d guess they have done their homework and there are fewer that would buy a true upgrade than would go with the more consumer friendly GX85 upgrade, but again, why in the hell even confuse or upset their customers with this decision when if they’d just called it what we all know it to be (GX90/95) EVERYONE would be happy.

        You, or other naysayers may ask why it even matters, and I guess, from my perspective, if being honest it doesn’t to me other than I’ve now been looking at investing in a totally new system, which I’d never considered until this decision.

        I’m guessing you’ve not owned the GX8. It’s larger, sure, but not much larger than the GX7. A bit taller with a deeper grip, which isn’t a bad thing to most who’ve shot with one. With any lens on there, the grip size difference essentially disappears as even with the 14 or 20 lenses on there, they protrude past the grip, yet it handles well with any of the larger optics. Yes, it’s a little bigger, but that was what the GX80/85 was for, those who wanted a smaller body.

        Companies make decisions based on whatever info they choose to pay attention to, but like Canon (for me) deciding to minutely upgrade the 5D platform, while increasing the introductory pricing by 15-20% with each new release after the 5DII, made me look elsewhere for truly evolutionary steps forward and after spending well over $10k on canon equipment getting myself and biz started over a few years, I’ve not spent a penny with them in the last 7 or 8 years. I still have my canon gear, and use it with Sony cams now, and may some day jump back, but it’s not likely due to what I see as their lack of innovation. I fear the same type of fallout with the micro 4/3 system for me. I’ll still have the many lenses and couple bodies I’ve held onto, and may even buy a discounted body somewhere down the line, but I don’t see myself truly investing much more in the future without seeing Panasonic commit to the lines that I’ve grown to find useful and provide me with the tools I want and need. That’s just the market, and I’m not expecting any company to cater to me, or any particular segment, but when they start to try and cheapen things down to more manageable margins, leaving certain segments behind, I feel those are the types of decisions that will ultimately hurt their longevity. Luckily for them, the video segment is probably going to continue strongly, and the G9 is a solid stills body for those who want to have a DSLR style/sized body, but that only satisfies one of two areas I see as being important in professional or serious quality, the other being size. The GX9 satisfies size reduction, but at the detriment of many of the features that made the GX8 the whole package. Just unfortunate they felt they needed to sacrifice one of them. Maybe they have something else in the works, and that would be welcome, but it would probably be reactionary as they seem to have shown their hand with the naming of the GX9, and it may be too late for many like me who may be looking to invest elsewhere in the mean time.

        Liked by 1 person

      • From this chart, I think we both are right, the gx8 is indeed the only one of the series that it’s different and has its own parallel line that goes on, while the japanese names are as you would have wanted since those are basically gx7 II and III.

        I don’t understand different naming in different markets (unless of involountary offensive therm of course) but at the same time I don’t give names any weight.
        🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  14. I own the GX8 and LX100 with many lens including the excellent Leica 100-400, Leica 15mm and Laowa 7.5mm. I’ve been saving my coin to purchase the GX9 and LX200…..no go with the GX9……I hope they don’t stuff up the LX200 as well! therwise I definately will have to move on to Oly.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m hoping this whole thing is just a hiccup and we’ll see a true step forward in a compact, pro rangefinder somewhere down the line. The GX line has always been a platform to release new sensors (new 16 and 20mp sensors in past models), new features (first with IBIS), and continually building an evolving and ever updating line, this is literally the first GXx release to step backward. Unfortunately, I think Olympus is seeming to take a similar tack, although it will be interesting to see what they do with the EM5 III. Personally, I have so vastly preferred the ergonomics, UI and layout of the pana cams that I don’t think I could pjump back to Oly myself, but I think you could do a lot worse. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • It just seems so illogical. People bought the GX8 because they wanted the best. But the next model moves backwards in many ways…… I’d love the tech of the G9 but it’s just too big and defeats the whole purpose of the system. Crazy.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. In the present situation new innovation is advancing right now and innovation is enhancing step by step and in the realm of photography new cameras and communicate hardware are enhancing its innovation and its gives specific answers for the video administration framework.

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  16. I believe that this is a simple mistake in the name. They can get out of this by calling the successor of the GX8 mark II or GX10, which can also be a problem.
    Let’s wait for the Photokina exhibition, maybe everything will be clear.
    What would you want from the new GX8 mark II?
    – disabling the AA filter
    – AF joystick
    – fast PixelShift (8 photos per 1 / 250s) for landscape and portrait
    – better ISO logic or ISO/time dial on top instead of flash

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    • I would like to see, at a minimum, weather sealing, improved/new sensor and incremental improvement in noise and dynamic range as I feel should be the platform’s aim every release as it more or less has always been. Along with that the standard 3 year cycle improvements in video frame rates, etc, although I’m no video guy. I wasn’t expecting a revolution, but I was absolutely expecting an evolution (certainly not a devolution) personally. Again it’s the nomenclature issue, as this as a GX95, is a nice evolution for that line.

      Like

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