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Panasonic G9 versus Canon 80D

The Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 and the Canon EOS 80D are two enthusiast cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in November 2017 and February 2016. The G9 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the 80D is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a Four Thirds (G9) and an APS-C (80D) sensor. The Panasonic has a resolution of 20.2 megapixel, whereas the Canon provides 24 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Panasonic G9 vs Canon 80D

The physical size and weight of the Panasonic G9 and the Canon 80D are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the G9 – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Panasonic G9 vs Canon 80D
Compare G9 versus 80D top
Compare G9 and 80D rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon 80D is notably larger (10 percent) than the Panasonic G9. Moreover, the 80D is markedly heavier (11 percent) than the G9. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can find an overview of optics for the two cameras in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog (G9) and the Canon EF Lens Catalog (80D). Mirrorless cameras, such as the Panasonic G9, have moreover the advantage that they have a relatively short flange to focal plane distance and can thus use many lenses from other systems via adapters.

Concerning battery life, the G9 gets 400 shots out of its DMW-BLF19 battery, while the 80D can take 960 images on a single charge of its LP-E6N power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Panasonic G9» 137 mm 97 mm 92 mm 658 g 400 Y Nov 2017 1,699 i i
Canon 80D« 139 mm 105 mm 79 mm 730 g 960 Y Feb 2016 1,199 i i
Canon 6D Mark II« » 144 mm 111 mm 75 mm 765 g 1200 Y Jun 2017 1,999 i i
Canon 70D« » 139 mm 104 mm 79 mm 755 g 920 Y Jul 2013 1,199- i
Canon 60D« » 145 mm 106 mm 79 mm 755 g 1100 Y Aug 2010 1,399- i
Fujifilm X-H1« » 140 mm 97 mm 86 mm 673 g 310 Y Feb 2018 1,899 i i
Nikon D7500« » 136 mm 104 mm 73 mm 720 g 950 Y Apr 2017 1,299 i i
Olympus E-M1 II« » 134 mm 91 mm 67 mm 574 g 440 Y Sep 2016 1,999 i i
Panasonic GH5s« » 139 mm 98 mm 87 mm 660 g 440 Y Jan 2018 2,499 i i
Panasonic GH5« » 139 mm 98 mm 87 mm 725 g 410 Y Jan 2017 1,999 i i
Panasonic GX8« » 133 mm 78 mm 63 mm 487 g 330 Y Jul 2015 1,199- i
Panasonic GH4« » 133 mm 93 mm 84 mm 560 g 500 Y Feb 2014 1,499- i
Sony A7 III« » 127 mm 96 mm 74 mm 650 g 610 Y Feb 2018 1,999 i i
Sony A9« » 127 mm 96 mm 63 mm 673 g 650 Y Apr 2017 4,499 i i
Sony RX10 II« » 129 mm 88 mm 102 mm 813 g 400 Y Jun 2015 1,299- i
Sony A7 II« » 127 mm 96 mm 60 mm 599 g 350 Y Nov 2014 1,999- i
Sony A77« » 143 mm 104 mm 81 mm 732 g 470 Y Aug 2011 1,999- i

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The 80D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 29 percent) than the G9, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison: Panasonic G9 vs Canon 80D

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Panasonic G9 features a Four Thirds sensor and the Canon 80D an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the 80D is 50 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.0 and 1.6. The sensor in the G9 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the 80D offers a 3:2 aspect.

Panasonic G9 and Canon 80D sensor measures

With 24MP, the 80D offers a higher resolution than the G9 (20.2MP), but the 80D nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.75μm versus 3.34μm for the G9) due to its larger sensor. However, the G9 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 8 months) than the 80D, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the G9 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

Unlike the 80D, the G9 has the capacity to capture high quality composite images (80.6MP) by combining multiple shots after shifting its sensor by miniscule distances. This multi-shot, pixel-shift mode is most suitable for photography of stationary objects (landscapes, studio scenes).

G9 versus 80D MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Panasonic G9» Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/60p----
Canon 80D« APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.2113579
Canon 6D Mark II« » Full Frame 26.0 6240 41601080/60p24.411.9286285
Canon 70D« » APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/30p22.511.692668
Canon 60D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.581366
Fujifilm X-H1« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p----
Nikon D7500« » APS-C 20.7 5568 37124K/30p24.314.0148386
Olympus E-M1 II« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p23.712.8131280
Panasonic GH5s« » Four Thirds 9.9 3680 27004K/60p----
Panasonic GH5« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/60p23.913.080777
Panasonic GX8« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p23.512.680675
Panasonic GH4« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34564K/30p23.212.879174
Sony A7 III« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.014.7373096
Sony A9« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.913.3351792
Sony RX10 II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p23.012.653170
Sony A7 II« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.913.6244990
Sony A77« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.013.280178

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the G9 provides a higher video resolution than the 80D. It can shoot video footage at 4K/60p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/60p.

 

Feature comparison: Panasonic G9 vs Canon 80D

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the G9 has an electronic viewfinder (3680k dots), while the 80D has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Panasonic G9 and Canon 80D in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.

Core Features
  Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Panasonic G9»3680 Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 8000 20.0 n Y
Canon 80D«optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 8000 7.0 Y n
Canon 6D Mark II« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 6.5 n n
Canon 70D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 8000 7.0 Y n
Canon 60D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel n 8000 5.3 Y n
Fujifilm X-H1« »3690 Y 3.0 1040 full-flex Y 8000 14.0 n Y
Nikon D7500« »optical Y 3.2 922 tilting Y 8000 8.0 Y n
Olympus E-M1 II« »2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 8000 18.0 n Y
Panasonic GH5s« »3680 n 3.2 1620 swivel Y 8000 12.0 n n
Panasonic GH5« »3680 n 3.2 1620 swivel Y 8000 12.0 n Y
Panasonic GX8« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 8000 10.0 n Y
Panasonic GH4« »2359 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 8000 12.0 Y n
Sony A7 III« »2359 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 8000 10.0 n Y
Sony A9« »3686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 8000 20.0 n Y
Sony RX10 II« »2359 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 3200 14.0 Y Y
Sony A7 II« »2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 8000 5.0 n Y
Sony A77« »2359 Y 3.0 921 full-flex n 8000 12.0 Y Y

Both the G9 and the 80D are current models that good online retailers will have in stock. You can check the latest prices, for example, at amazon. The 80D replaced the earlier Canon 70D, while the G9 followed on from the Panasonic G85.

Review summary: Panasonic G9 vs Canon 80D

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Panasonic G9 and the Canon 80D? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DC-G9:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • High quality composites: Can combine several shots after pixel-shifting its sensor.
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/60p vs 1080/60p).
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (20 vs 7 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 72g or 10 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can take a broad range of non-native lenses via adapters.
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization build-in.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 8 months after the 80D).

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Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS 80D:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 20.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 11%.
  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better low-light imaging: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for better high-ISO images.
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (960 versus 400) out of a single battery charge.
  • Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (29 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2016).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the G9 comes out slightly ahead of the 80D (9 : 8 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera.

G9 09:08 80D

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the G9 and the 80D in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Panasonic G9»HiRec85/1005/5-5/5 Nov 2017 1,699 i i
Canon 80D«HiRec84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 1,199 i i
Canon 6D Mark II« »Rec80/1004.5/54/54/5 Jun 2017 1,999 i i
Canon 70D« »HiRec83/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Jul 2013 1,199- i
Canon 60D« »Rec79/1004/55/54.5/5 Aug 2010 1,399- i
Fujifilm X-H1« »Rec86/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Feb 2018 1,899 i i
Nikon D7500« »HiRec86/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2017 1,299 i i
Olympus E-M1 II« »HiRec85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2016 1,999 i i
Panasonic GH5s« »-84/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jan 2018 2,499 i i
Panasonic GH5« »HiRec85/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2017 1,999 i i
Panasonic GX8« »Rec82/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jul 2015 1,199- i
Panasonic GH4« »HiRec85/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2014 1,499- i
Sony A7 III« »HiRec89/1005/5-5/5 Feb 2018 1,999 i i
Sony A9« »HiRec89/1005/55/55/5 Apr 2017 4,499 i i
Sony RX10 II« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Jun 2015 1,299- i
Sony A7 II« »Rec82/1004.5/55/55/5 Nov 2014 1,999- i
Sony A77« »91/10081/100-4.5/55/5 Aug 2011 1,999- i

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored. If the camera you are interested in is not available, please contact me, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

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