More Panasonic G9 Photography

It was a bit last minute, but I met up with a friend last night in the Peak District. I took along the Panasonic G9 to continue my re-immersion into the world of micro 43. As usual, it didn’t go entirely to plan but there was a brief period of 5-10 minutes where the clouds broke for a rather nice sky. It didn’t last long but here is one of the images I managed to capture.

Carhead Rocks, Peak District. Panasonic G9

I shot this with the Panasonic Lumix G9 and 8-18 Leica lens at 9mm. The camera was mounted on a tripod although the shutter speed was 1/20” and could have been handheld at ISO200 and f/8.0. I made the RAW conversion using DxO PhotoLab 4 with some further tweaks to the colour in the Nik Collection and Photoshop.

Overall, the image captures the right colours but there is still something I don’t like about the G9 RAW file colour rendering. I’ve tried Capture One, Lightroom, and ACR with various profiles but none look natural to me. The DxO PhotoLab generic rendering is also not to my taste with greens looking more like nuclear waste.

I’ve now spent a lot of time going through the different renderings in these RAW converters and so far, I think I like the PhotoLab Camera Body rendering for an “Olympus E-M10 MkIV” is OK. This seems to produce nice greens although I’m not as pleased with how it renders orange and red. Hopefully with more images in different conditions and some further investigation, I will find a solution.

I hope you like the image and have a great weekend.

15 thoughts on “More Panasonic G9 Photography

  1. The HSL of colours very easily adjusted in any of the editors so is it an issue .

    I’m still torn as to whether or not IQ from G9 or OMD EM1 iii would be satisfactory to me as a replacement for my Fuji XT3 system as I would welcome the weight gain . I’m 67 and even the Fuji kit I’m finding too heavy

    1. It really depends on the type of shooting you do and how you use the camera. The G9 (and other M43 cameras) seem biased to highlight recovery where the Fuji is biased towards shadow recovery. This means the shadows are noisy in the M43 in comparison to the Fuji and may even cause some to criticise. But when it comes to recovering highlights, you can recover skies that have blown to white where the Fuji would struggle. If you expose for good shadows with M43 they can produce excellent quality. You do need good lenses but then there are a lot of good lenses available and the prices are usually good. I’m still submitting stock photography I shot with my original Olympus EM5 and there is not a problem. I can also easily double the resolution of the RAW files with software for prints and you would never know. The only thing I would say about the G9 and EM1 is that they are still big cameras. Why not take a look at something like the EM5 and perhaps try renting one to help make up your mind. Pair it with the Olympus 12-40 and you have an excellent kit.

      1. I prefer the GX9 over the G9. It’s almost the G9 in features and much smaller and lighter with both a tilting LCD and a tilting EVF. It’s a joy to use in the field handheld with it’s dual stabilization. Coupled with the Panasonic/Leica lenses, it’s a top-notch M43 image maker. Al Askerberg

    2. I missed the first part of your comment earlier. HSL is easily adjusted but it still doesn’t correct a poor colour profile. The profile controls the relationships between the colours in a way you can’t control with HSL. If you adjust something in HSL to correct it you will find unwanted shifts in other colours. I could edit the profile to produce my own colour relationship – it’s a lot of effort but I may just resort to it yet.

    3. Graham,
      I think you’ll find this interesting. In a nutshell, I can’t see any difference in detail in files prepared for 24″ prints using RAW files from my Panasonic GX9 and Sony a7RIII. I can see a significant difference at 36″. So, if you’re not printing larger than 24″, I doubt you’ll find any practical difference in terms of detail between a G9 or GX9 and your XT3. If you’re going bigger than 24″, the extra 4MP from the XT3 will probably buy you just another inch or two.
      Here’s how I arrived at this conclusion. I made the same cityscape shots with both cameras, processed the RAWs with DxO PhotoLab 4 Elite’s Optical Corrections and DeepPRIME noise reduction, exported the resulting DNG to Lightroom, applied Super Resolution, then exported (with sharpening) at the target print size and 300dpi.
      When I view the 24″ images (7,200 pixels wide) at 50% on my 4K 32″ display, they appear 25.5″ wide onscreen and I can’t see any difference. If I view them at 100% (i.e. as if I were going to print them 48″ wide), I do see a clear difference. Similarly, if I view the images prepped for 36″ prints (10,800 pixels wide) at 50%, I can see a clear difference.
      My conclusion: Up to 24″, there’s little practical advantage to having more than 20MP.

      1. Thanks for adding this. There is some great information here. Out of interest, have you tried printing a small section of the two images when enlarged to 36″? I did this with an enlarged image from an old 6MP camera and was shocked at how good the printed results were.

  2. I’m intrigued by your re-immersion. I’ve had several Panasonic m43 cameras starting with the G1 (which I still own, and which gets periodically dusted on the shelf). I’ve always liked the hardware, and always felt that the overall tradeoffs favored m43 for most photography situations given how people shoot and share and how little they print these days. But I’ve always also had issues with getting the most out of my raw files, and I’ve lost a few shots here and there in darker locations when trying to lock focus on people. And then there’s the issue of noise in low light. For your subjects I can see it being a lot better, especially in high-res mode.

    When it came to choosing a new camera I took a serious look at the G9 but ended up with a Z5 at the same price, and virtually the same weight (for the body, at least). No high-res more, and lenses weigh more (and are more expensive) but for the more varied subjects I shoot it ended up as a better fit. Cheers.

  3. If you’re not happy with the color rendering from stock profiles, get your hands on a color test chart and software that can generate a .dcp custom camera profile. X-rite’s ColorChecker is the best-known such kit, but I’ve found (but can’t recall, at the moment) a couple of much cheaper alternatives. PhotoLab 4 can apply .dcp profiles.

      1. Well, for those, you’d want to use a “daylight” profile, not one made from a reference image shot at the time, as the latter would “correct” the warm light.

      2. Yes, that was the profile I created using full sun, partial and shade. When used on warm images I don’t like the results.

  4. Jacques and Robin: Very interesting, food for thought and experiments.
    Never thought about the possibility to compare onscreen – partly because I do not trust the screen and my math (what does the resolution of the monitor to the comparison?) and partly because I compared the prints themselves anyway.
    Thanks, not bad at all 😉 , constructive discussion!
    Keep well

  5. Just going back to the processing of the Panasonic raw files through various pieces of software to get to the comparable result . A lot of post processing work .

    Given that weight is at the core of my requirements I am currently contemplating a high end full frame mirrorless such as made by Sony / Nikon etc with a top short zoom of say 24-70 and then where necessary heavily crop and if the crop needs a boost run it through the awesome current Topaz Gigapixel Ai .

    1. Be sure to judge the handling of the camera with the lens attached. I used to have the Sony A7R. The image quality was good and the camera tiny. It’s only when I bolted a lens to it that the camera became unbalanced and difficult to handle. I can#t dispute the image quality though.

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