Panasonic GX9 Performance


Timing and Performance

Generally very good performance for a mirrorless ILC.

Startup/Play to Record

Power on
to first shot

~1.0 second

Time it takes to turn on and capture a shot.

Play to Record,
first shot

~0.5 second

Time until first shot is captured.

Startup time was faster-than-average for a mirrorless camera, and switching from Play to Record and taking a shot was also fairly quick.


Shutter Response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus,
Single-area AF mode

0.145 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting.

Full Autofocus
Single-area AF mode
Flash enabled

0.360 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture. Auto Flash enabled.

Manual Focus

0.060 second

For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused".

Prefocused

0.050 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

The Panasonic GX9's autofocus speed was very good our tests, especially for a camera that uses contrast detection only. The GX9 produced full-autofocus shutter lag (with the subject at a fixed distance) of 0.145 second using 1-area (center) AFS mode with the Panasonic Leica DG 12-60mm f/2.8-4 at 25mm. That's quite good for a mirrorless camera and competitive with most prosumer DSLRs.

Enabling the built-in flash raised shutter lag to an average of about 0.36 second to account for the metering preflash.

When manually focused, the GX9's lag time dropped to 0.060 second, also quite good. The GX9's prefocused shutter lag time was 0.050 second, which is quite fast.

To minimize the effect of different lens' focusing speed, we test AF-active shutter lag with the lens already set to the correct focal distance.


Cycle Time (shot to shot)

Single Shot mode
Large/Fine JPEG

< 0.3 second

Time per shot, averaged over a few frames (we no longer test for buffer depths in single-shot mode).

Single Shot mode
RAW + L/F JPEG

< 0.3 second

Time per shot, averaged over a few frames (we no longer test for buffer depths in single-shot mode).

Early shutter
penalty?

No

Some cameras refuse to snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous H
Large Fine JPEG

0.11 second
(9.16 fps);
140 frames total;
18 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 140 frames, then slows to an average of 0.18s or 5.43 fps with a lot of variation.

Continuous H
RAW

0.11 second
(9.15 fps);
32 frames total;
17 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 32 frames, then slows to an average of 0.87s or 1.15 fps with a lot of variation.

Continuous H
RAW + L/F JPEG

0.11 second
(9.14 fps);
29 frames total;
29 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 29 frames, then slows to an average of 0.90s or 1.11 fps with a lot of variation.

Flash Recycling

1.49 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a 64GB Lexar Pro 2000x UHS-II SDXC card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity also affects cycle times and burst mode performance, with higher ISOs generally increasing cycle times and reducing burst performance.

Single-shot cycle times were so fast that they were difficult to accurately measure as they depend on the tester's dexterity and ability to maintain an optimum rhythm, so your results may vary. (Note that we no longer test single-shot mode with just RAW files, as the results are usually somewhere in between JPEG and RAW+JPEG.)

Continuous High Speed "H" mode burst rate was quite good for its class at between 9.1 and 9.2 frames per second depending on the file type, slightly exceeding Panasonic's 9 fps spec. Note that these burst rates are with single-shot AF mode (AFS) and with Live View (viewfinder updates between captured frames during the burst) disabled. Panasonic claims up to 6 fps with continuous autofocus (AFC). The GX9 also offers Middle Speed (rated at about 6 fps) and Low Speed (rated at 2 fps) modes both with Live View, however we did not test those modes in the lab.

The GX9 has an all-electronic shutter mode, however its continuous mode specs are identical to using the mechanical shutter above, so we did not test electronic shutter mode in the lab.

Full-resolution buffer depth when shooting Large/Fine JPEGs was excellent at 140 frames in Continuous H mode, and the buffer full rate was a very respectable 5.4 frames per second. When shooting RAW files buffer depth was 32 frames, and 29 frames when shooting RAW+JPEG files, which is pretty good, however the buffer full rates dropped to just above one frame per second with a lot of variation when shooting with RAW files.

Buffer clearing was pretty sluggish even with a fast UHS-II card, ranging from 17 seconds after a max-length burst of RAW files to 29 seconds after a max-length burst of RAW+JPEG files. You can however take additional photos and adjust settings while the buffer is clearing. Note that the GX9 is not UHS-II compliant, but it does take advantage of the card's UHS-I mode.


Bottom line, the Panasonic GX9's performance is very good for its class. Startup and mode switching are relatively fast, while autofocus speed and shutter lag are very good. Burst performance is quite good, buffer depths are good to excellent, however buffer clearing is sluggish.

Battery Life

Poor CIPA battery life rating.

Operating Mode Battery Life
Still Capture, CIPA standard
(Monitor with
H-FS12032 or H-FS12060 lens)
260 shots
Still Capture, CIPA standard
(EVF with
H-FS12032 or H-FS12060 lens)
250 shots

The Panasonic GX9 uses a custom rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack for power, and comes with an AC adapter and USB cable for in-camera charging. The CIPA-rated 260 shots per charge when using the monitor and 250 shots with the EVF are well below average for a mirrorless ILC, and much lower than a typical DSLR when using its optical viewfinder. The GX9 does however have a Power Save LVF mode that increases battery life up to a whopping 900 shots per charge when the time to sleep is set to one second. Still, we strongly recommend getting a second battery for your GX9 if you plan any extended outings.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on a fully-charged rechargeable battery), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

 



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