What is new vs the G85:
- Joy stick
- Top LCD
- 6.5-stop stabilization with 5-axis image stabilizer in conjunction with lens stabilizer
- Up to 20fps with full AF and 60fps with locked AF
- Waterproof and frost resistant (-10 degrees) body housing made of magnesium
- New EVF with no blackout and 0.83x magnification
- Hi-rez Mode with 20/60/80 MP
- Dual Cards Slots
- Canon style Dial Pad
Some initial thoughts:
- Nice looks
- Nice grip
- Nice Magnification on EVF
- 3 Fn buttons in back
- 3 buttons on top ( WB - ISO - Exposure ) - assume they can be re-programmed to be Fn buttons
- Joystick - but the question remains when will Panasonic improve tracking focus speed with hybrid sensor - Phase or Dual Pixel sensors
- Negative - the Display button is on the Left Side - Why ???? it means two handed operation - hopefully another button on Right Side can be programmed to do Display - Fuji came out with a Firmware Update to address this and now allow you to assign a button or the D-Pad option to do Display - Many have programed the Display to be the button in front on Right Hand Side as it is very handy. So hopefully this will be the case with the G9. On a large heavy DSLR maybe it makes less of a difference - but still I wish the Display was on the Right Side on my Nikon's
The new G9 is clearly aimed to compete with the new Olympus OM-D EM1MarkII. Both share similar with rugged looks and a deep handgrip. Both have an articulated LCD and have High Mega Pixel Stills Mode although Panasonic seems to out-do Olympus with their new feature. The Panasonic Lumix G9 has 7 buttons and 2 Control Dials making it less likely you will need to dive in to the Menu very often. In many ways the new Panasonic Lumix G9 seems to be an exciting new camera. What remains un-confirmed is the price. The rumor mill has it at $1800-$2000 which would make the G9 somewhat competitive against the Olympus OM-D EM1 M II which sells for $1800.
The G9 has the Dual Card slots and high frame rate and expected deep buffer along with nice 4k modes and weather sealing and rugged build.
What we feel the G9 needs to have to be able to truly compete with the Olympus OM-D EM1 M II is a Hybrid Tracking Auto Focus - Phase Detect and similar EVF resolution and magnification.