Panasonic Lumix DC G95 Review

Panasonic Lumix DC G95 Review

Panasonic DC G95

$997.99
9

Image Quality

8.5/10

Video Performance

8.0/10

Portability

9.5/10

Value For Money

8.8/10

Lens Support

9.5/10

EVF

9.5/10

Build Quality

9.5/10

Pros

  • Image Quality
  • 5-Axis Image Stabilization
  • Excellent Build Quality
  • AF Performance is good
  • No time limit for Video Capture
  • V-Log L Support
  • Excellent EVF

Cons

  • Image quality not at par with APS-C peers
  • 4K Video Crop factor
  • Focus Wobble in C-AF
  • AF not at par with other cameras
  • High Frame Rate Video does not support AF

The Panasonic Lumix DC G95 was launched in July of 2019 as a successor for the G85. Aimed at the Vloggers and enthusiasts, Panasonic claims the G95 is a solid performer on both the stills and video front. The G95 features a flip-out screen, 4K capture, and IBIS, mic, and headphone sockets, and all of these point towards a video-centric camera. The G95 is targeted towards North America and is sold elsewhere as the G90, with the difference being in screen tech (OLED vs LCD)

Let’s take a look at its primary specifications and then dive down into actual performance,

Panasonic Lumix DC G95 Specifications

Panasonic G95

20MP – Four Thirds CMOS Sensor
No Optical low-pass (anti-aliasing) filter
ISO 200 – 25600
5-axis Sensor-shift Image Stabilization
3 Fully Articulated Screen
2360k dot Electronic viewfinder
9 fps shooting with AF-S, 6 fps with AF-C
4K – 3840 x 2160 video resolution
120 fps High-Speed Video
Built-in Wireless
536g. 130 x 94 x 77 mm
Weather-Sealed Body
Unlimited video capture (up to actual capacity of card)
V-Log L gamma profile (8-bit only)
L. Monochrome D (high-contrast mono mode)
4K Photo mode with auto marking and sequence composition

Panasonic Lumix DC G95 Ergonomics

Sharing similar dimensions to the G85, the G95 has some distinct improvements in usability and customization. First of all, the grip has been enlarged and has three separate buttons for white balance, ISO and exposure, very reminiscent of the G9.

Lumix G95

These buttons are distinct, each with a different tactile feel to allow easy usage. The G95 has a headphone port along with a microphone input, making it quite appealing to videographers.

Panasonic G95

The G95 has a flip-out LCD screen (OLED for the G90) with a 1.04M dot resolution. The screen is good quality and has sufficiently high resolution and the easy to use flip out design makes it very user friendly.

Panasonic G95

The controls are easy to use with customization options for easier control. The rear command dial has a custom button which allows you to toggle between two functions, for instance, the ability to choose between modes.

Panasonic G95

The G95 uses the DMW-BLC12E battery, the same as the G85. The battery has a not so impressive CIPA rating of 290 shots which you can exceed in real-life usage. The device has a single UHS-II card slot for storage.

Panasonic G95
Panasonic G95

Panasonic Lumix DC G95 Autofocus

The G95 has six different AF modes:

  • Face/eye detection (no animals, sorry)
  • Tracking
  • 49-area
  • Custom multi
  • 1-area
  • Pinpoint

The G95 has fairly impressive autofocus performance despite having only a contrast-based AF. The G95 has an updated version of Panasonic’s Depth from Defocus focus system with technology from the G9 and thanks to its 240fps AF calculation system.

The single-shot AF is blisteringly fast, while C-AF is a hit and miss affair with the AF system noticeably wobbling before it locks on. This will happen as the system actively adjusts focus. The system as the same 49-point AF system as the G85, although it can focus in as little as 0.07 seconds and is rated for low-light autofocus down to -4 EV, provided that there is enough contrast. Another feature is changing the size of the Single point auto-focus area mode and you can also create custom AF area configurations through the custom Multi focus group mode.

The face detection system on the G95 works well, though it’s not as advanced compared to Panasonic’s full-frame S1. It detects faces and eyes well when your subject is looking at you or slightly offset, and sticks with them, at least until they start to look away. However, there is no way to switch between detected faces, even with the touchscreen, which is disappointing.

Overall the AF system is good and responsive and with an effective burst rate of 9fps with single-shot AF and 6fps with continuous is a fair performer. Definitely not a match to the G9 and not an exponential growth over the G85, but still a fair performer. Panasonic could have tried an adaptation of the 255-point AF system from the G9, but I guess that’s asking too much.

Buffer is also good enough with practically unlimited JPEG capture capability and has fairly good clearing times. Raw buffer depth is around 30 frames at 9fps.

Panasonic Lumix DC G95 Focus Stacking & Other Features

The G95 features focus stacking and post focus, which allows you to shoot a sequence of videos with different focal lengths and then you can choose a frame based on your liking or stack them together to produce an image with a greater depth of field.

The G95 also allows you to choose frames from 4K video and you can reach up to 30fps using this feature. The G95 has a sequence composition mode to combine the moving elements of multiple frames into a single composition image. Keep in mind that all of these features will have a crop factor involved as its part of the 4K video mode.

Panasonic Lumix DC G95 Image Quality

Panasonic G95 Gallery

Camera Responsiveness Test

Shutter Response <0.05secs
Wide – Focus / Shutter Response 0.1secs
Full zoom – Focus / Shutter Response 0.125secs
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 0.85secs 
Shot to Shot without Flash 0.3secs 
Shot to Shot with Flash 0.6secs
Continuous Shooting – JPEG
(shots before slow down)
8fps (580 shots before slowdown)
Continuous Shooting – Flash N/A
Continuous Shooting – RAW 8fps (35 shots)

The G95 performs well at low to middle ISOs with good color reproduction and detail capture. However, at higher ISOs we see a distinct increase in noise levels, thanks to the smaller sensor. Performance at low ISO is on par with the Sony A6400 or the Fujifilm X-T30. Midrange ISO shows increased noise levels and higher ISOs will add a significant amount of noise in comparison with its APS-C sized competitors. Overall till ISO 3200 is where I would venture in most cases, although image quality at ISO 6400 remains good.

Overall the G95 produces good image quality and if you are expecting a dramatic variance in image quality between the G95 and its APS-C sensor toting rivals, then that is not the case.

Panasonic Lumix DC G95 Dynamic Range

The G95’s sensor can be termed as an ISO Invariant sensor, although it does add some noise penalty when you keep the ISO down, but brighten the image by 3 stops and gain 3 stops of highlight details. So in situations with intense backlighting or low light, shooting at Base ISO and brightening the image in post-processing works. We do not see performance on par with the likes of the Sony A6400 or the Fujifilm X-T30. The APS-C sensors will show lesser noise under similar shooting conditions thanks to their sensor size.

Panasonic Lumix DC G95 Video Performance

The G95 is being touted as a true hybrid camera with powerful performance on both image and the video front. And if you look at the feature list, then it indeed looks like an impressive videographer’s machine. The G95 features 4K capture at 30 or 24p. You have the full videographer’s interface, an articulating screen, mic and headphone sockets, V-Log L support and 5-Axis IBIS.

The G95 supports unlimited record time, audio presets and level adjustment, exposure compensation in full auto mode and Auto ISO.

However, the 4K capture introduces a 1.25x crop as the sensor only uses the central portion of its sensor to capture 4K. This has a significant negative impact on video quality. You are effectively using a 1” sensor to capture 4K and the noise performance is similar to a small sensor. Also with the 1.25x crop, the 12-60mm kit lens now becomes a 30-150mm equivalent.

Detail capture is also not great at 4K, although performance at 1080p is significantly better. One advantage here is that since only a part of the sensor is being used, IS does not impact video quality. AF in video remains good, although the wobble that we see thanks to the DFD AF system makes the output look unprofessional.

If you plan to use the G95 for video, then it is recommended to stick to 1080p. However, the G95 does not support Autofocus when shooting high frame rate videos (Above 60p).

Panasonic Lumix DC G95 Conclusion

The G95 is being marketed as a truly, hybrid camera with a wide variety of video-specific options, a proven sensor and, great image output. And if you are happy with FHD video, then the G95 will not disappoint. However, its 4K capabilities remain lackluster, courtesy of that large crop.  

The other factor is cost. At the same price as the G95, you can have the Sony A6400 or the Fujifilm X-T30 or the Canon EOS M6 II or the Nikon Z50. All of these cameras offer better AF, better high ISO performance and in terms of the Fujifilm and the Canon, better video performance.

In terms of image quality, the G95 is a good performer and also has a great IBIS system, which none of its APS-C rivals have. The G95 is really well built and has some weather sealing as compared to its peers. The EVF is excellent and quite large. In short, the G95 is a great camera for those looking for a rugged, well built and overall a well-balanced system with good video features and image quality.

 

Panasonic Lumix DC G95 Competitors

Sony A6400

sony

With excellent image quality and video performance, the A6400 is a formidable camera. The rugged, weather-sealed body may not have the best ergonomics, but has an incredible EVF and great build quality. The price difference between these two cameras is negligible. Image quality above ISO 6400 is much better on the Sony.

 

 

Canon EOS M6 II

Canon EOS M6

The Canon EOS M6 II is an impressive successor to the original EOS M6. With a 32MP sensor, excellent build quality, the M6 II only falters because of a lack of integrated EVF. The price difference here is again negligible and the overall performance is superb at high ISO.

 

 

Nikon Z50

Nikon Z50

As Nikon’s first APS-C mirrorless camera, the Z50 has a lot to prove and in most cases meets or even exceeds those expectations. It’s a well-built camera with probably the best ergonomics in its class, a lovely weather-sealed body, and superb image & Video quality. It’s just the lack of a native lens ecosystem which is a let-down.

 

The Fujifilm X-T30

Fujifilm X-T30

The X-T30 is a powerful performer with best in class video capabilities, truly excellent lens line up and good ergonomics. The X-T30 offers a headphone option and best of all Log capture. If you like a retro-looking performance machine, the X-T30 is just the camera for you.

 

Related Links,

Fujifilm X-T30 Review
Nikon Z6 Long Term Review
Nikon Z50 Review
Nikon D780 Review
Nikon Z50 vs Z6 Differences

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