Beyond the Specs: Real-World Performance of the Panasonic G9II and Its Lenses

The Micro Four Thirds (MFT) camera system has carved out a unique niche in the photography world, known for its compact design, flexibility, and image quality. Developed by Panasonic, this MFT system features a sensor size that is between the larger sensors of DSLRs and the more compact ones found in point-and-shoot cameras. This balance results in a camera system that is both lightweight and capable of producing stunning images. In this article, I’ll delve into my experience testing the Panasonic G9II and various lenses.

I had been quite dormant in photography other than shooting product photos. When the opportunity to work with MFT gear came along, I was excited for a new challenge. B&H Photo provided the equipment for this review. While I’m cautious about the term “review,” I prefer sharing my personal experience. With any tool, you’ll learn to harness its power. The G9II excels in photography and static-style vlogging.

Mastering Portraits with the Panasonic G9II

Capturing the perfect portrait of a Warmblood mare can be as challenging as it is rewarding. The nuances of head positioning and ear placement are crucial, and the Panasonic G9II’s rapid autofocus system makes this task significantly easier. Its precise focusing capabilities allow you to concentrate more on composition and timing rather than technical adjustments. Photographing such a dynamic subject often requires the coordination of multiple people, and the Panasonic’s efficiency in autofocus helps streamline this process; by setting the autofocus to animal, then eye, and continuous.


The horse portraits above were captured with the Panasonic Leica 25mm f/1.4 lens. This exquisite portrait lens delivers stunning bokeh, rich contrast, exceptional sharpness, and that distinctive “Leica Glow” we all adore. To fully exploit its capabilities, position yourself close to the minimum focus distance with your subject at an aperture larger than f/2, and ensure there is some separation between your subject and the background. Considering that this lens is currently priced under $600, its performance is truly remarkable. In fact, the three lenses discussed in this post are essential for anyone using a Micro Four Thirds (MFT) system.

The Micro Four Thirds Sensor: Street Photography Excellence

One of the standout features of the MFT sensor is its resolving power, which is especially apparent in street photography. The image captured during sunrise on Worth Avenue, taken with an aperture of F/1.7, demonstrates the depth of field and detail that the MFT sensor can achieve. The Panasonic G9II’s sensor, paired with high-quality lenses, excels in capturing intricate details and vibrant colors in diverse shooting conditions.


Palm Beach’s Worth Ave

A Game-Changer for Enthusiasts

The combination of the MFT sensor with Leica glass delivers images that are not only sharp and colorful but also aesthetically pleasing with minimal effort. While some may argue that smartphones can match this quality, the dedicated experience offered by MFT cameras like the Panasonic G9II is unparalleled by phone cameras. These cameras are loved for their lightweight, compact form, and affordability. More importantly, great photography isn’t solely about technical prowess; it’s about capturing moments through an inspired lens.



All Along the Clock Tower

The clock tower’s time indicates that I took this photo at 7 a.m. Certain cameras and lenses encourage you to explore and enjoy the sights. The Panasonic setup is affordable and delivers excellent results. Whether you choose to use the viewfinder or the bright lcd screen, making compositions is a breeze. In fact most of my photos, I didn’t even crop.


Exploring the Zoom Lenses



Safari Testing in Progress…


Transitioning from prime lenses to a zoom lens can significantly change your photographic experience. The Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm f/4-5.6 II POWER O.I.S. lens introduces a new level of versatility. For someone accustomed to using only 35mm and 50mm prime lenses, the range and flexibility of this zoom lens are exhilarating.



The image stabilization with this zoom lens and camera combination works exceptionally well.




My MVP (Most Valuable Player) Lens Choice


Among the impressive range of MFT lenses, the Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH. stands out as a personal favorite. Its aperture ring, focal length, and build quality offer exceptional value for its price, making it a must-have for enthusiasts. It’s the lens that just seemed to stay on the camera as a default.


Why Shoot an Ordinary Portrait When Your Friend is a World-Class Performer?

Panasonic Lumix Leica Lens

Panasonic Leica Lens 15mm DG Summilux ISO 100 F/2.8 1/400

When seeking new and exciting content to shoot, I reached out to my friend Nicole Winter. We’ve collaborated several times before, and we were both eager to work together again. Nicole was accustomed to me using a rangefinder and asking her to hold uncomfortable positions for extended periods—all in pursuit of the perfect shot. This time, with the Panasonic G9II’s autofocus, the process was much smoother for me. Although autofocus wasn’t flawless in variable lighting conditions (as seen in the photo above), the viewfinder’s feedback ensured I knew when it was locked on correctly. I set the autofocus to human with eye detection to improve accuracy.

Leica 15mm DG Summilux ISO 400 F2 1/60


My experience with the Panasonic Lumix G9II has been outstanding. The Micro Four Thirds system is alive, as evidenced by the G9II, the anticipated GH7, and the Leica D-Lux 8. The G9II proves to be a powerful tool for both photography and static video work, making it an excellent choice for vloggers with its flip-out LCD screen and microphone input. I extend my gratitude to B&H Photo for providing the equipment for this review—it has been a fantastic journey.


Links to everything used in this review:

Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH. Lens

Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4 II ASPH. Lens

Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm Lens

Panasonic Lumix G9 II Mirrorless Camera


by Scott Morvay

House of Vi Vante


**Notes, All images except Nicole’s link to the 43Addict Flickr Page


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Micro Four Thirds: Debunking Misconceptions About Camera Literacy (Unreliable Source Deemed Click Bait)

Earlier, a blog post titled “Micro Four Thirds is Hard for Those With Low Camera Literacy to Understand: Panasonic” has stirred up controversy among photography enthusiasts. This blog argues that Micro Four Thirds cameras, particularly those made by Panasonic, are challenging for users with low camera literacy to grasp. As a passionate advocate for all forms of photography education and the democratization of camera technology, I find this viewpoint not only misleading but also potentially divisive within the photography community. Jason goes on with demonstrating how out of touch he is, perhaps it’s an age thing.

Firstly, let’s address the term “camera literacy.” It suggests a hierarchy of understanding where certain cameras are deemed more complex or sophisticated than others. This notion can be exclusionary and fails to recognize that different cameras serve diverse needs and preferences. While it’s true that Micro Four Thirds cameras may have unique features and characteristics, so do other camera systems. The key lies in education and familiarity. There is a tool for every job. He proves that quite well with his writing.

Panasonic, a leading manufacturer in the Micro Four Thirds market, has invested heavily in user-friendly interfaces and intuitive design. Their cameras often feature touchscreen controls, clear menu systems, and in-camera guides tailored to beginners. This approach aims to bridge any perceived gap in camera literacy, making their products accessible to photographers of all skill levels. Even offering top quality Leica glass for their enthusiasts.

From a practical standpoint, many photographers value the portability and versatility offered by Micro Four Thirds cameras. The smaller sensor size allows for compact lenses and lighter camera bodies, ideal for travel, street photography, and videography. These advantages appeal not only to professionals but also to beginners seeking a balanced entry into photography without sacrificing quality or creative control. The price points are of great value as well.

It’s essential to challenge narratives that perpetuate the idea of a steep learning curve associated with certain camera systems. Rather than discouraging potential users based on assumptions about complexity, we should encourage exploration and provide resources to empower photographers at every level. That is exactly why I took on the challenge of writing for the 43addict blog.

In conclusion, Micro Four Thirds cameras, including those manufactured by Panasonic, OM systems, and even Leica should not be dismissed as difficult for those with low camera literacy. Instead, they represent a viable choice for photographers seeking innovation, flexibility, and accessibility in their photographic journey.

Scott Morvay

43Addict Blog Contributor

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The Panasonic Lumix GH9II Gets Put Through Its Paces w/ an International Performer

Panasonic Lumix Leica Lens

Nicole and I have worked together many times. In fact, some of our early work went completely viral, and the photos kept popping up everywhere—it was like playing “whack-a-mole,” trying to get them taken down. That’s why full-sized images of this shoot won’t be available on Flickr. Nicole has performed all around the world in various roles such as a contortionist, aerialist, dancer, and model. It’s pretty awesome that she is appearing on the 43addict camera blog.

For this photoshoot, I was loaned the Panasonic Lumix GH9 II camera and the Leica 15mm f/1.7 lens by B&H in NY. This is the gear I used to create these photos. All images were shot in RAW format and then lightly edited in Photoshop.


Leica DG Summilux 15mm ISO 100 F/1.7 1/3200

I think this photo clearly demonstrates the nature of Micro Four Thirds sensors. It’s not going to deliver the same flavor as a full frame, but paired with Leica glass it renders quite nicely and yielded a sharp subject at 1.7 with leading line that’s bokehlicious.

Leica DG Summilux 15mm ISO 100 F/1.7 1/3200

When doing photography like this, it’s important to communicate clearly with your subject and to be aware of what’s happening around you beyond the viewfinder. For example, when I was shooting this image, I showed Nicole my composition and explained my idea, allowing her the space to bring it to life.

ISO 400 F2 1/60

This photo was taken under the rail bridge, and it was challenging for me to get in there with her. I think one advantage of MFT cameras is how light and small both the cameras and lenses are. When you’re working with performers in 90°F temperatures, you better be in good shape too (my neck did hurt the next day). Nicole and I had an amazing time taking photos together, and we’re planning another shoot on a rooftop after dark in a few months.


All photos by Scott Morvay of Vi Vante

Performer Nicole Winter

Photos cannot be used without our permission but feel free to share a link to this blog post.

Purchase this great affordable photo gear at B&H Photo.

Panasonic Lumix G9II

Leica 15mm DG Summilux F/1.7


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The Best Autofocus Video Settings for Recording People on the Panasonic Lumix Cameras Revealed

Setting up autofocus for video can be quite challenging. You get all ready to record your vlog or the talent and everything looks great, until you notice in post your camera is hunting for focus. It’s focused, on the eye, the tip of the nose, and oh no you hold up an object.

Are you ready for the cheat sheet, the cliffnotes, the goods?

  • Autofocus Set to Full Area
  • Human Detection
  • Eye/Face Detection
  • Continuous Focus

Beware of minimum focus distance. Meaning; do not get too close too the lens.

These settings will apply to most Panasonic Lumix Cameras. These exact settings are on the G9II.

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25mm Leica DG Summilux F/1.4 Horse Portrait Image Samples on the Panasonic G9II

For this lens and camera review B&H photo was so kind to loan the Lumix G9II and this lens Leica lens to me.

I showed up to my friend’s farm with just the Panasonic Lumix G9II with the Leica 25mm DG Summilux F/1.4 mounted. I went into the autofocus menu and set it to animal, with targeting on the eye.

Photographing Warmblood horses is not easy, especially when they’re over 17 hands tall. You have to pay attention so that you don’t get stepped on, avoid pulling anything out of your bag that could “spook” them, and refrain from annoying them by using strobes or flashes. One of the things that immediately distinguishes a professional horse portrait from an amateur one is the ears; they need to be in the forward position. While my friend was holding the horse, we played audio recordings of horses neighing from an app!

It’s always highly advisable to “put the money in the jukebox,” a term I coined with horses, meaning to give them treats before riding or asking them to work. Cici has some carrots and an apple. I was shooting at large apertures to achieve the Leica look, especially on a 4/3 camera where you’ll want to use larger apertures to achieve pronounced bokeh. I can tell you the 25mm Leica DG Summilux lens does give you the signature Leica look for hardly any money.

I photographed in RAW for optimal quality. Each photo will link to the 43 Addict Flickr page, where you can view them in full size. I plan to make an acrylic print of whichever photo my friend chooses. I’m actually impressed with the files from the 4/3 sensor.

I also have to give credit to the brightness of the LCD screen on the Lumix G9II. I realized as I walked back to the barn that I never even used the viewfinder. I think the LCD screen allowed me to manage many things at once: maintaining communication while working with our subject, having a higher level of situational awareness, and achieving superb compositions. After the shoot, Cici was rewarded with another apple, plus it was dinner time.

This setup past the test, but I’m not through yet…….. Follow the blog for more!

Links to B&H for the gear I used:

Panasonic Lumix G9II

Leica 25mm DG Summilux F/1.4

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