Well not for me at least !
As I blogged yesterday I have been very pleased with the G9 over the last 7 months and have no desire to return to a heavy-weight DSLR format, I recognise that there are some shortcomings with the m43 format but for me they really don’t amount to much and where they do I have easily found workarounds that get me where I need to be.
I have therefore now decided to fully commit to the format and am in the process of completing my “gear” list whilst at the same time disposing of my Canon equipment.
Whilst I am very happy with the G9 and like it’s compact format (especially the lenses) I do sometimes wish it was a little smaller and more discrete, this is especially the case when you just want to grab a camera with a single lens and go and do a bit of low key photography on the street or when just wanting to travel really light, let’s call it a street camera. So given this “need” I have decided to supplement the G9 with one of the smaller format rangefinder style m43 cameras – up until recently I had thought this was most likely to be one of the Olympus Pen cameras such as the Pen F. As an aside my very first camera (40 or so years ago) was an Olympus OM10 and I do have a now somewhat ageing 12mp Pen which at the time I was quite pleased with.
Now one of the features that I would prefer to have in a street camera is a flip up/down rather than fully articulating screen, whilst the fully articulating screen on the G9 is great it is not very discreet in use at least not in the same way that you can use a flip-up screen. If not for this requirement I would have bought a Pen F, unfortunately, at least for me, the Pen F has a fully articulating screen – furthermore, the Pen F is a rather expensive camera given its quite limited capabilities at around £1,000 at the time of writing.
So what are the alternatives ?
Well, earlier this year Panasonic announced the new Lumix GX9 a replacement for the GX8 – except it’s not, at least not really, what it really is, is a replacement for the GX80/85 and should have been called the GX95. It has a small rangefinder format, smaller than the GX8, and “only” has a flip-up screen. It has the same 20.3mp sensor as the G9 and as with the G9 has no low-pass filter, 5 axis image stabilisation, 4K. Video etc and whilst it clearly lacks all of the bells and whistles of the G9 it clearly should be capable of delivering images of the same quality as the G9 and that will be plenty good enough for me. It does lack weatherproofing which is perhaps a shame but as I have the G9 I can use that in inclement conditions.
Now for the good news. When the GX9 was launched it was priced at what seemed a reasonable £700, a good bit cheaper than the Pen F. Since it’s launch I think it is fair to say that the GX9 has had a very mixed reception on the internet largely based on its specification (compared with previous iterations) rather than the quality of images it is capable of, perhaps in part because of this its price has now reduced to an even more reasonable £600.
Now for the really good news. Panasonic currently (August 2018) has a summer cashback promotion running which rather incredibly gives £150 cashback on the GX9, meaning that you can currently buy the GX9 for a rather amazing £450 ! Well, this to my mind is an offer that is too good to miss (half the price of a Pen F) so I have one on the way.
But that’s not the end of the story. The summer cashback offer also applies to the GX9 kits, including the kit with the tiny 12-32 zoom lens. Now I hadn’t intended to buy another lens as I was intending to use the GX9 with my 20mm pancake lens. However, I read a few reviews online about the little zoom and perhaps surprisingly it does gets really good reviews. To buy this lens standalone costs about £290, buying it with the GX9 adds an amazingly little £89 – well it would be rude not to so I have one of those on the way as well.
Nice! I also have a GX85 with the 12-32 and love it. It fits in a bag or coat pocket easily and is also nice to carry with a the wide lens alongside the G9 when I have a long lens on it.