Similar to its photographic capabilities, the GX9 has been stripped of some of the key videomaking features of its predecessor which, consequently, may well have potential buyers looking elsewhere. The most significant omissions are a stereo audio input and the ‘Cinelike D’ and ‘Cinelike V’ gamma profiles which optimise the dynamic range for colour grading in post-production. Now it’s just possible Panasonic has determined that serious videomakers are all heading straight over to the GH5/5S models which is probably true, but aspiring practitioners would undoubtedly still like to have these features too.
It all seems a bit contradictory because, otherwise, the GX9 has plenty going for it as a compact video camera, including 4K recording in the UHD resolution (3840x2160 pixels) at either 25 or 24 fps, Full HD recording at 50 fps and functionality which extends to the ‘Photo Style’ presets (which, of course could be tweaked to flatten colour), many of the ‘Creative Control’ special effects, all the ‘PASM’ exposure control modes, continuous autofocusing with subject tracking and various image processing functions. Touch focusing comes into its own here, including being able to set up a pull-focus sequence by tapping on the start and finish points. There are also a number of other on-screen adjustments which also help reduce handling noise. Also handy is the ‘4K Live Cropping’ function which is available when shooting either FHD or HD footage and makes use of the bigger frame size to allow for panning or zooming to be set up on the monitor screen.
The built-in stereo microphones are adjustable for recording level and there’s a wind-cut filter. As noted in the main text, five-axis ‘Dual I.S.’ image stabilisation is available when shooting both 2K and 4K video, and the various assists include zebra patterns to indicate overexposed areas and a focus peaking display for manual focusing.
As before, the GX9’s HDMI connection can output an uncompressed video feed, either in 4K or 2K resolution, for recording to an external device.
So, a whole lot of important boxes ticked, but a few really key ones left blank, which means the casual video-maker probably has more than is needed, and the more serious user not quite enough.