Panasonic LX15 versus Panasonic G9
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX15 (called Panasonic LX10 in some regions) and the Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2016 and November 2017. The LX15 is a fixed lens compact, while the G9 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an one-inch (LX15) and a Four Thirds (G9) sensor. The LX15 has a resolution of 20 megapixel, whereas the G9 provides 20.2 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 LX15 vs Panasonic G9
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Panasonic LX15 and the Panasonic G9. 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. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the LX15 – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic G9 is considerably larger (109 percent) than the Panasonic LX15. It is noteworthy in this context that the G9 is splash and dust-proof, while the LX15 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the LX15 has a lens build in, whereas the G9 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can find an overview of optics for the G9 and their specifications in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog.
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|
|Panasonic LX15»||4.2 in||2.4 in||1.7 in||10.9 oz||260||n||Sep 2016||699|
|Panasonic G9«||5.4 in||3.8 in||3.6 in||23.2 oz||400||Y||Nov 2017||1,699|
|Canon G7 X Mark II« »||4.2 in||2.4 in||1.7 in||11.3 oz||265||n||Feb 2016||699|
|Canon M3« »||4.4 in||2.7 in||1.7 in||12.9 oz||250||n||Feb 2015||679||-|
|Canon G5 X« »||4.4 in||3.0 in||1.7 in||12.5 oz||210||n||Oct 2015||799|
|Canon G7 X« »||4.1 in||2.4 in||1.6 in||10.7 oz||210||n||Sep 2014||699||-|
|Fujifilm X-H1« »||5.5 in||3.8 in||3.4 in||23.7 oz||310||Y||Feb 2018||1,899|
|Olympus E-M1 II« »||5.3 in||3.6 in||2.6 in||20.2 oz||440||Y||Sep 2016||1,999|
|Panasonic GH5s« »||5.5 in||3.9 in||3.4 in||23.3 oz||440||Y||Jan 2018||2,499|
|Panasonic TZ200« »||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.8 in||12.0 oz||370||n||Feb 2018||799|
|Panasonic TZ90« »||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.6 in||11.4 oz||380||n||Apr 2017||449|
|Panasonic GH5« »||5.5 in||3.9 in||3.4 in||25.6 oz||410||Y||Jan 2017||1,999|
|Panasonic G85« »||5.0 in||3.5 in||2.9 in||17.8 oz||330||Y||Sep 2016||899|
|Panasonic TZ100« »||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.7 in||11.0 oz||300||n||Jan 2016||699||-|
|Panasonic LX7« »||4.4 in||2.7 in||1.8 in||10.5 oz||330||n||Jul 2012||499||-|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.6 in||10.5 oz||280||n||Jun 2015||999||-|
|Sony RX100 III« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.6 in||10.2 oz||320||n||May 2014||799||-|
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 LX15 was launched at a lower price than the G9, despite having a lens build in. 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 LX15 vs Panasonic G9
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Panasonic LX15 features an one-inch sensor and the Panasonic G9 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the G9 is 94 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.7 and 2.0. The sensor in the LX15 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the G9 offers a 4:3 aspect.
With 20.2MP, the G9 offers a higher resolution than the LX15 (20MP), but the G9 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.34μm versus 2.41μm for the LX15) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the G9 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 1 month) than the LX15, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further 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 LX15, 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).
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). 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||-||-||-||-|
|Canon G7 X Mark II« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||-||-||-||-|
|Canon M3« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/30p||22.8||11.8||1169||72|
|Canon G5 X« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||-||-||-||-|
|Canon G7 X« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.0||12.7||556||71|
|Fujifilm X-H1« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||-||-||-||-|
|Olympus E-M1 II« »||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||23.7||12.8||1312||80|
|Panasonic GH5s« »||Four Thirds||9.9||3680||2700||4K/60p||-||-||-||-|
|Panasonic TZ200« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||-||-||-||-|
|Panasonic TZ90« »||1/2.3||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||19.1||10.6||106||36|
|Panasonic GH5« »||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/60p||23.9||13.0||807||77|
|Panasonic G85« »||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||4K/30p||22.8||12.5||656||71|
|Panasonic TZ100« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.5||559||70|
|Panasonic LX7« »||1/1.7||10.0||3648||2736||1080/60p||20.7||11.7||147||50|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.6||591||70|
|Sony RX100 III« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||12.3||495||67|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the G9 provides a faster frame rate than the LX15. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/60p, while the LX15 is limited to 4K/30p.
Feature comparison: Panasonic LX15 vs Panasonic G9
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the G9 has an electronic viewfinder (3680k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the LX15 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Panasonic LX15, the Panasonic G9, and comparable cameras. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.
|Canon G7 X Mark II« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||2000||8.0||Y||Y|
|Canon M3« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||4.2||Y||n|
|Canon G5 X« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||2000||5.9||Y||Y|
|Canon G7 X« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||2000||6.5||Y||Y|
|Fujifilm X-H1« »||3690||Y||3.0||1040||full-flex||Y||8000||14.0||n||Y|
|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 TZ200« »||2330||n||3.0||1240||fixed||Y||2000||10.0||Y||Y|
|Panasonic TZ90« »||1166||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||2000||10.0||Y||Y|
|Panasonic GH5« »||3680||n||3.2||1620||swivel||Y||8000||12.0||n||Y|
|Panasonic G85« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||9.0||Y||Y|
|Panasonic TZ100« »||1166||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||2000||10.0||Y||Y|
|Panasonic LX7« »||-||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||4000||11.0||Y||Y|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||2359||n||3.0||1228||tilting||n||2000||16.0||Y||Y|
|Sony RX100 III« »||1440||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||2000||10.0||Y||Y|
Both the LX15 and the G9 are current models that good online retailers will have in stock. You can check the latest prices, for example, at amazon. The LX15 replaced the earlier Panasonic LX7, while the G9 followed on from the Panasonic G85.
Review summary: Panasonic LX15 vs Panasonic G9
So what is the bottom line? Is the Panasonic LX15 better than the Panasonic G9 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX15:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Ready to shoot: Has a lens build-in, whereas the G9 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (106x60mm vs 137x97mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a build-in lens (unlike the G9).
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a build-in lens.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2016).
Arguments in favor 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 image quality: Is equipped with a larger and more technologically advanced sensor.
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (4K/60p versus 4K/30p).
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
- Easier setting verification: Has a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (20 vs 10 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (400 versus 260) out of a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 1 month) more recently.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the G9 is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 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 the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the LX15 and the G9 in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased. This is why expert reviews are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known 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.
|Panasonic LX15»||HiRec||81/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||699|
|Panasonic G9«||HiRec||85/100||5/5||-||5/5||Nov 2017||1,699|
|Canon G7 X Mark II« »||HiRec||81/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||699|
|Canon M3« »||rev||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2015||679||-|
|Canon G5 X« »||HiRec||78/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||799|
|Canon G7 X« »||HiRec||77/100||4.5/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||699||-|
|Fujifilm X-H1« »||Rec||86/100||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Feb 2018||1,899|
|Olympus E-M1 II« »||HiRec||85/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||1,999|
|Panasonic GH5s« »||-||84/100||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Jan 2018||2,499|
|Panasonic TZ200« »||HiRec||81/100||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Feb 2018||799|
|Panasonic TZ90« »||HiRec||-||4/5||-||4/5||Apr 2017||449|
|Panasonic GH5« »||HiRec||85/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Jan 2017||1,999|
|Panasonic G85« »||HiRec||84/100||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||899|
|Panasonic TZ100« »||HiRec||82/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2016||699||-|
|Panasonic LX7« »||HiRec||75/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||499||-|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||HiRec||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||999||-|
|Sony RX100 III« »||HiRec||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||May 2014||799||-|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
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