Autofocus: WOW! The G9 has 225 focus areas vs 49 in the G85. What more do you need to say about that. Oh yeah, autofocus is as fast as 0.04 seconds in some conditions too.
Burst rate: 12fps instead of 9fps on the AFS, quite a jump in burst mode.
Movie formats: We all know Panasonic excels in this area, and it is not surprising they have upped their game with 60fps on 4K. They also give you up to 180fps in 1080p, a special slo-mo mode many of you will love. Something the G85 has no chance of keeping up with. So those that love movies, will have to consider the G9.
Image Stabilization: Both use the ever-impressive IS from Panasonic, but the G9 has slightly more stabilization at 6.5 stops vs 5.0.
Bluetooth: This has been added to the G9, which is always a welcome addition given how painful wifi can be for connecting to anything from a device.
SD Card Slots: Ok, the G85 has a single UHS-II card slot, which is fine. But the G9 has given you way more options with 2! Backup, relay or format allocation recording are now available.
The G9 is quite a bit larger and heavier, and comes with some impressive features, but how does it differ in the body?
The biggest things that stand out to me are:
Backlit LCD status screen: Great for knowing exactly what you are shooting in (ISO, shutter, mode, etc) at a glance, the LCD status screen is here for the first time on this camera
View Finder: The LCD screen is great, but we all know that in bright conditions you really want to immerse yourself in the camera and see what it sees – exactly. Panasonic has taken this a step further with the over 3k dots and 0.84 magnification (you can scale it back if it is too much). You can also see the nice round rubber seal on it to help immerse you too.
AF Joystick: The 225 focus areas on the G9 are impressive, but now you can also move them either on the screen or via a toggle (bottom right of the viewfinder)
ISO/WB and Exposure: If you are shooting stills on the G9, you will love the easy access to these functions right by the adjustment dial behind the shutter button. Instead of having to fish for them on the back of the camera like on almost any other camera
Custom Function Switch (on the front): Set your own favorite settings and switch between them with ease with the dedicated custom function switch on the front of the G9.
External Power via USB: With more professional use in mind, Panasonic has not only added 2 SD card slots in this camera but also the ability to power the camera from the battery charger view the USB port. Great for those extra long shoots, or just when you forgot to charge your battery the night before! (Might also pay to have a backpack with a built-in charger on hand:>)
Aside from all those differences, what do these cameras have in common?
Weather Proof Body: both have decent weatherproofing. Don’t throw it in a river just yet, but mild snow/rain and dust should not be a problem.
Wide ISO Range: From 100 – over 25600, you have lots of low light options if your lens does not have a wide enough aperture (always the better option)
Quality LCD: The 3-inch flip LCD with 10400 dots provides you with lots of shooting options and angles and combines with the view finder to give you all the choices you need to get that perfect shot.
Stabilization: Panasonic is at the fore in this area, and both cameras are quite similar with both the in-body and lens stabilization (as well as electronic/crop style stabilization to help)
Video: With 4K on both, and up to 60fps on the G9, this still photo-style camera also does a decent job at the video, albeit with a shooting limit of 30 mins (G9). If you want unlimited, go with the GH5 as it’s built for the video!
Yes, there are quite a few differences between these cameras, but the shared features are also impressive.
The big question is now, is it worth forking out that extra cash for the G9 over the G85?
Panasonic G9 Review
Panasonic G85 Review
Is The Upgrade Worth It?
The G85 is impressive enough to just grab at the more affordable price, for sure. But, the G9 is kinda tempting too, right?
If you intend on shooting a bit more action with your photography, the G9 has a slight edge with a faster shutter, great auto-focus points, and better stabilization.
The G9 is also more for the pro with the dual SD cards, external power, easier controls and customization, and better view finder. So, if you are getting more into your photography or want to, this is a better bet. Just keep in mind it’s a bigger commitment, literally (size and weight).
Panasonic has given their all in the G9, so there is a lot to love!