Panasonic G9 vs Sony A7R III
The Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 and the Sony Alpha A7R III are two enthusiast cameras that were announced, respectively, in November 2017 and October 2017. Both the G9 and the A7R III are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are based on a Four Thirds (G9) and a full frame (A7R III) sensor. The Panasonic has a resolution of 20.2 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 42.2 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
|Panasonic G9||Sony A7R III|
|Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Micro Four Thirds lenses||Sony E mount lenses|
|20.2 MP, Four Thirds Sensor||42.2 MP, Full Frame Sensor|
|4K/60p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO 200-25600||ISO 100-32000 (50-102400)|
|Electronic viewfinder (3680k dots)||Electronic viewfinder (3686k dots)|
|3.0" LCD, 1040k dots||3.0" LCD, 1440k dots|
|Swivel touchscreen||Tilting touchscreen|
|20 shutter flaps per second||10 shutter flaps per second|
|In-body stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|400 shots per battery charge||650 shots per battery charge|
|137 x 97 x 92 mm, 658 g||127 x 96 x 74 mm, 650 g|
Body comparison: Panasonic G9 vs Sony A7R III
The physical size and weight of the Panasonic G9 and the Sony A7R III are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A7R III is notably smaller (8 percent) than the Panasonic G9. Moreover, the A7R III is slightly lighter (1 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 compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog (G9) and the Sony FE Lens Catalog (A7R III). Mirrorless cameras, such as the two under consideration, have the additional advantage of having a short flange to focal plane distance, which makes it possible to mount many lenses from other systems onto the camera via adapters.
Concerning battery life, the G9 gets 400 shots out of its DMW-BLF19 battery, while the A7R III can take 650 images on a single charge of its NP-FZ100 power pack. The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.
|Panasonic G9»||137 mm||97 mm||92 mm||658 g||400||Y||Nov 2017||1,699||Panasonic G9|
|Sony A7R III«||127 mm||96 mm||74 mm||650 g||650||Y||Oct 2017||3,199||Sony A7R III|
|Fujifilm X-H1« »||140 mm||97 mm||86 mm||673 g||310||Y||Feb 2018||1,899||Fujifilm X-H1|
|Nikon Z6« »||134 mm||101 mm||67 mm||675 g||310||Y||Aug 2018||1,999||Nikon Z6|
|Olympus E-M1 II« »||134 mm||91 mm||67 mm||574 g||440||Y||Sep 2016||1,999||Olympus E-M1 II|
|Panasonic GH5s« »||139 mm||98 mm||87 mm||660 g||440||Y||Jan 2018||2,499||Panasonic GH5s|
|Panasonic GH5« »||139 mm||98 mm||87 mm||725 g||410||Y||Jan 2017||1,999||Panasonic GH5|
|Panasonic G80« »||128 mm||89 mm||74 mm||505 g||330||Y||Sep 2016||899||Panasonic G80|
|Pentax KP« »||132 mm||101 mm||76 mm||703 g||390||Y||Jan 2017||1,099||Pentax KP|
|Pentax K-70« »||126 mm||93 mm||74 mm||688 g||410||Y||Jun 2016||649||Pentax K-70|
|Sony A7 III« »||127 mm||96 mm||74 mm||650 g||610||Y||Feb 2018||1,999||Sony A7 III|
|Sony A9« »||127 mm||96 mm||63 mm||673 g||650||Y||Apr 2017||4,499||Sony A9|
|Sony A99 II« »||143 mm||104 mm||76 mm||849 g||490||Y||Sep 2016||3,199||Sony A99 II|
|Sony A7R II« »||127 mm||96 mm||60 mm||625 g||290||Y||Jun 2015||3,199||-||Sony A7R II|
|Sony A7S II« »||127 mm||96 mm||60 mm||627 g||370||Y||Sep 2015||2,999||Sony A7S II|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The G9 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 47 percent) than the A7R III, 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.
Sensor comparison: Panasonic G9 vs Sony A7R III
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Panasonic G9 features a Four Thirds sensor and the Sony A7R III a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the A7R III is 283 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.0 and 1.0. The sensor in the G9 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the A7R III offers a 3:2 aspect.
With 42.2MP, the A7R III offers a higher resolution than the G9 (20.2MP), but the A7R III nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.52μm versus 3.34μm for the G9) due to its larger sensor. It is noteworthy in this context that the two cameras were released in close succession, so that their sensors are from the same technological generation. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.
The A7R III has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during video recording.
Both cameras have the capacity to capture high quality composite images by combining multiple shots after shifting the sensor by miniscule distances. This multi-shot, pixel-shift mode is most suitable for photography of stationary objects (landscapes, studio scenes).
The Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha A7R III are ISO 100 to ISO 32000, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-102400..
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Panasonic G9»||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/60p||-||-||-||-||Panasonic G9|
|Sony A7R III«||Full Frame||42.2||7952||5304||4K/30p||26.0||14.7||3523||100||Sony A7R III|
|Fujifilm X-H1« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Fujifilm X-H1|
|Nikon Z6« »||Full Frame||24.3||6048||4024||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Nikon Z6|
|Olympus E-M1 II« »||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||23.7||12.8||1312||80||Olympus E-M1 II|
|Panasonic GH5s« »||Four Thirds||9.9||3680||2700||4K/60p||-||-||-||-||Panasonic GH5s|
|Panasonic GH5« »||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/60p||23.9||13.0||807||77||Panasonic GH5|
|Panasonic G80« »||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||4K/30p||22.8||12.5||656||71||Panasonic G80|
|Pentax KP« »||APS-C||24.1||6016||4000||1080/60i||-||-||-||-||Pentax KP|
|Pentax K-70« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60i||-||-||-||-||Pentax K-70|
|Sony A7 III« »||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||14.7||3730||96||Sony A7 III|
|Sony A9« »||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||24.9||13.3||3517||92||Sony A9|
|Sony A99 II« »||Full Frame||42.2||7952||5304||4K/30p||25.4||13.4||2317||92||Sony A99 II|
|Sony A7R II« »||Full Frame||42.2||7952||5304||4K/30p||26.0||13.9||3434||98||Sony A7R II|
|Sony A7S II« »||Full Frame||12.0||4240||2832||4K/30p||23.6||13.3||2993||85||Sony A7S II|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the G9 provides a higher frame rate than the A7R III. It can shoot video footage at 4K/60p, while the Sony is limited to 4K/30p.
Feature comparison: Panasonic G9 vs Sony A7R III
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The two cameras under review are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the A7R III offers a slightly higher resolution than the one in the G9 (3686k vs 3680k dots). The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Panasonic G9 and Sony A7R III in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Panasonic G9»||3680||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||8000||20.0||n||Y||Panasonic G9|
|Sony A7R III«||3686||n||3.0||1440||tilting||Y||8000||10.0||n||Y||Sony A7R III|
|Fujifilm X-H1« »||3690||Y||3.0||1040||full-flex||Y||8000||14.0||n||Y||Fujifilm X-H1|
|Nikon Z6« »||3690||Y||3.2||2100||tilting||Y||8000||12.0||n||Y||Nikon Z6|
|Olympus E-M1 II« »||2360||n||3.0||1037||swivel||Y||8000||18.0||n||Y||Olympus E-M1 II|
|Panasonic GH5s« »||3680||n||3.2||1620||swivel||Y||8000||12.0||n||n||Panasonic GH5s|
|Panasonic GH5« »||3680||n||3.2||1620||swivel||Y||8000||12.0||n||Y||Panasonic GH5|
|Panasonic G80« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||9.0||Y||Y||Panasonic G80|
|Pentax KP« »||optical||n||3.0||921||tilting||n||6000||7.0||Y||Y||Pentax KP|
|Pentax K-70« »||optical||n||3.0||921||swivel||n||6000||6.0||Y||Y||Pentax K-70|
|Sony A7 III« »||2359||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||8000||10.0||n||Y||Sony A7 III|
|Sony A9« »||3686||n||3.0||1440||tilting||Y||8000||20.0||n||Y||Sony A9|
|Sony A99 II« »||2400||Y||3.0||1229||full-flex||n||8000||12.0||n||Y||Sony A99 II|
|Sony A7R II« »||2400||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||8000||5.0||n||Y||Sony A7R II|
|Sony A7S II« »||2400||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||8000||5.0||n||Y||Sony A7S II|
One feature that is present on the G9, but is missing on the A7R III is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.The G9 has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the A7R III does not have a selfie-screen.
The reported shutter speed and shutter burst refer to the use of the mechanical shutter. In addition, both cameras feature an electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The G9 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the A7R III uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. Both cameras feature dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails.
Connectivity comparison: Panasonic G9 vs Sony A7R III
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 and Sony Alpha A7R III and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Panasonic G9»||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||full||3.0||Y||-||Y||Panasonic G9|
|Sony A7R III«||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y||Sony A7R III|
|Fujifilm X-H1« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||3.0||Y||-||-||Fujifilm X-H1|
|Nikon Z6« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y||Nikon Z6|
|Olympus E-M1 II« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.0||Y||-||-||Olympus E-M1 II|
|Panasonic GH5s« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||full||3.1||Y||-||Y||Panasonic GH5s|
|Panasonic GH5« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||full||3.1||Y||-||Y||Panasonic GH5|
|Panasonic G80« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic G80|
|Pentax KP« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||-||2.0||Y||-||-||Pentax KP|
|Pentax K-70« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Pentax K-70|
|Sony A7 III« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y||Sony A7 III|
|Sony A9« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Sony A9|
|Sony A99 II« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Sony A99 II|
|Sony A7R II« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A7R II|
|Sony A7S II« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A7S II|
Both cameras feature a PC Sync terminal to control professional strobe lights, which will be appreciated by studio photographers.
Both the G9 and the A7R III are recent models that feature in their makers' current product line-up. The A7R III replaced the earlier Sony A7R II, while the G9 followed on from the Panasonic G85.
Review summary: Panasonic G9 vs Sony A7R III
So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Panasonic G9 or the Sony A7R III – has the upper hand? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DC-G9:
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (4K/60p versus 4K/30p).
- Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
- More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (20 vs 10 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More solid recording: Has a full-sized HDMI port for a sturdy connection to an external recorder.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (47 percent cheaper at launch).
Reasons to prefer the Sony Alpha A7R III:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (42.2 vs 20.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 48%.
- Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
- Richer colors: Larger pixels generate images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Capable of capturing a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can be used in poorly lit environments and still produce good images.
- Better video autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident movie autofocus.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1440k vs 1040k dots).
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (650 versus 400) out of a single battery charge.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.1 vs 3.0).
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the A7R III emerges as the winner of the match-up (10 : 7 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the G9 or the A7R III. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
Expert reviews: Panasonic G9 vs Sony A7R III
This is why expert reviews are important. 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). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Panasonic G9»||HiRec||85/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Nov 2017||1,699||Panasonic G9|
|Sony A7R III«||HiRec||90/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Oct 2017||3,199||Sony A7R III|
|Fujifilm X-H1« »||Rec||86/100||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Feb 2018||1,899||Fujifilm X-H1|
|Nikon Z6« »||-||-||4.5/5||-||5/5||Aug 2018||1,999||Nikon Z6|
|Olympus E-M1 II« »||HiRec||85/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||1,999||Olympus E-M1 II|
|Panasonic GH5s« »||-||84/100||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Jan 2018||2,499||Panasonic GH5s|
|Panasonic GH5« »||HiRec||85/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Jan 2017||1,999||Panasonic GH5|
|Panasonic G80« »||HiRec||84/100||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||899||Panasonic G80|
|Pentax KP« »||-||82/100||5/5||-||4.5/5||Jan 2017||1,099||Pentax KP|
|Pentax K-70« »||-||79/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2016||649||Pentax K-70|
|Sony A7 III« »||HiRec||89/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Feb 2018||1,999||Sony A7 III|
|Sony A9« »||HiRec||89/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Apr 2017||4,499||Sony A9|
|Sony A99 II« »||-||85/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||3,199||Sony A99 II|
|Sony A7R II« »||HiRec||90/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Jun 2015||3,199||-||Sony A7R II|
|Sony A7S II« »||Rec||-||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Sep 2015||2,999||Sony A7S II|
The above review scores should be interpreted 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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods 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 are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon 450D vs Olympus E-M1X
- Canon 60D vs Fujifilm X-T10
- Canon 6D Mark II vs Olympus E-M1
- Canon M5 vs Olympus E-30
- Canon T3i vs Panasonic G85
- Fujifilm X-Pro1 vs Sony A6000
- Fujifilm X-T10 vs Sony A5100
- Fujifilm X-T20 vs Canon T6
- Nikon D3100 vs Canon XS
- Nikon D500 vs Canon M50
- Olympus PEN-F vs Fujifilm X100
- Panasonic LX100 vs Canon G16
Specifications: Panasonic G9 vs Sony A7R III
|Camera Model||Panasonic G9||Sony A7R III|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Micro Four Thirds lenses||Sony E mount lenses|
|Launch Date||November 2017||October 2017|
|Launch Price||USD 1699||USD 3199|
|Sensor Format||Four Thirds Sensor||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||17.3 x 13.0 mm||35.9 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||224.9 mm2||861.6 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||21.6 mm||43.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||20.2 Megapixels||42.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5184 x 3888 pixels||7952 x 5304 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.34 μm||4.52 μm|
|Pixel Density||8.96 MP/cm2||4.90 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/60p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||200-25600 ISO||100-32000 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100-25600 ISO||50-102400 ISO|
|Image Processor||Venus 10||BIONZ X|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||100|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||26.0|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||14.7|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||3523|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||3680k dots||3686k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||no Top Display|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||1440k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Tilting screen|
|Autofocus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/8000s||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||20 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Silent Shooting||Electronic Shutter||Electronic Shutter|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Dual card slots||Dual card slots|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 3.0||USB 3.1|
|HDMI Port||full HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||Headphone port||Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||Bluetooth built-in|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Type||DMW-BLF19 power pack||NP-FZ100 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||400 shots per charge||650 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||USB charging|
137 x 97 x 92 mm
(5.4 x 3.8 x 3.6 in)
127 x 96 x 74 mm
(5.0 x 3.8 x 2.9 in)
|Camera Weight||658 g (23.2 oz)||650 g (22.9 oz)|
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