Lumix G9 First Impressions – EVF

As a mirrorless camera the G9 has an electronic viewfinder (evf) – in the case of the G9 this is a 3,680k dot OLED panel.

The viewfinder shows a default magnification of 0.83x which I understand is the largest on any camera currently available – it is certainly large and gives a very immersive view so much so that for someone (like me) coming from a DSLR it is not really that obvious that it is not an opitical viewfinder – like better DSLRs the field of view is 100% so what you see through the viewfinder will be exactly what is recorded in the image.

The screen refresh rate can be set at either 60 or 120fps with both showing a very clear image that is sharp from corner to corner and appaers to suffer no lag when panning etc, there is a tiny amount of pincusioning of the image but this is very minor and in no way detracts in use.

The evf can be customised in a number of ways to make it fully suited for your purposes. If you are a spectacle wearer you can reduce the size of the image to make it easier to see from corner to corner (3 settings in total), in addition the screen can be configured to either show a full size image with all information/icons sitting over the image or alternatively a slightly smaller image with the exposure settings sitting outside the image on a black border.  Dioptre adjustment is also available that appears to cover a reasonable range of strength.

nb: images in this blog post have been captured with an iPhone – the images are not as sharp as the actual G9 evf and do not show the very slight pincushion that is visible to the naked eye.

IMG_2617
Exposure settings within image
IMG_2618
Exposure settings on black border with slightly smaller image

A half push of the shutter button very quickly snaps the image into focus, with focus being confirmed by the focus point and indicator turning green (plus beep if required), a full push of the shutter then captures the image which can be held on the screen for review (time adjustable) or not depending on how “Auto Review” has been set up.

Overexposed elements can be shown though blinkies and/or zebra lines.  Either of two sets of Zebra lines can be used at ranges from 50% upto 105%.

zebra (1 of 1)
Zebras set at 80% – induced by +1ev exposure compensation

The evf can be set to show a number of different grid line patterns and to show a histogram which can be positioned anywhere on the screen, the histogram turns orange when exposure compensation is set.  Personally I would have preferred it if the histogram was bigger or at least wider as it is in my view a little too small. In addition an exposure meter can be shown with invalid exposures shown in red as indeed will be the shutter speed and aperture if a valid exposure cannot be acheived.

By default the evf displays virtually all of the settings of the camera fortunately given the size of the screen this is not to overwhelming although there are more than a few icons that the meaning of needs to be learned.

IMG_0132
Core evf information & settings

Other evf options include the display of a level gauge that shows both pitch and roll and a night mode (turns the evf red) that can be used at night to prevent ruining your night vision.

red (1 of 1)
evf – night mode
level (1 of 1)
evf level guage showing level for both pitch and role (green bars)
level 2 (2 of 2)
evf level gauge showing right role and forward pitch (yellow bars)

There is I am sure a lot more that could be said about the evf and no doubt other options that I have yet to discover. So far I have very few issues with using it, some reviews have complained about the image being soft in the corners or wobbly, I have not found this to be the case, I have also read that the review image of images captured in raw are soft making it difficult to establish if the captured image was sharp or not, again I have not found this to be the case – others mileage may of course differ but so far I am more than satisfied.

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