Panasonic Lumix G90 Camera Review: Mirrorless for the Masses

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The cropped mirrorless camera market is booming right now. A small device with interchangeable lenses and professional photo and video capabilities meets the needs of the time: bloggers, travelers, photo and video enthusiasts appreciate the opportunity to always have a camera with them and create high-quality content. The new Panasonic G90 camera gives the impression of a device that will appeal to a wide variety of users: from beginners shooting in auto mode to serious users who have already dealt with conditionally “professional” equipment. Let’s see what this camera is interesting for.


Panasonic Lumix G90 Sony α6400 Fujifilm X-T30 Canon EOS M50
Image sensor 17.3×13mm (Micro 4/3) Live MOS 23.5×15.6mm (APS-C), Exmor CMOS 23.6×15.6mm (APS-C) X-Trans CMOS IV 22.3×14.9mm (APS-C) CMOS
Effective sensor resolution 20.3 MP 24.2 MP 26.1 MP 24.2 MP
Built-in Image Stabilizer In-camera, 5-axis Not Not Not
Bayonet Micro 4/3 Sony e-mount Fujifilm X-mount Canon EF-M
Photo Format JPEG (DCF Ver. 2.0, Exif Ver. 2.31), RAW JPEG (DCF Ver. 2.0, Exif Ver. 2.31), RAW 14bit JPEG (EXIF 2.3, DCF 2.0), RAW JPEG (EXIF 2.30), RAW 14bit
Frame size Up to 5184×3888 Up to 6000×4000 Up to 6240×4160 Up to 6000×4000
Video resolution Up to 3840 × 2160 (30fps) Up to 3840×2160, 30p Up to 4096×2160, 30p Up to 3840 × 2160 (25 fps)
Sensitivity ISO 200-25600, expandable to ISO 100 ISO 200-12800, expandable to ISO 80-51200 ISO 200-12800, expandable to ISO 80-51200 ISO 100-25600, expandable to ISO 51200
Gate Mechanical shutter: 1/4000 — 60 s;
Electronic shutter: 1/16000 — 1 s;
long (Bulb); silent mode
1/4000—30 s; long (Bulb); silent mode Mechanical shutter: 1/4000 — 30 s;
electronic shutter: 1/32000 — 30 s;
long (Bulb); silent mode
Mechanical shutter: 1/4000 — 30 s;
long (Bulb)
Burst speed Up to 9 frames per second; in 4K photo mode up to 30 fps with electronic shutter 11 fps Up to 8 fps, up to 20 fps with electronic shutter; with an additional crop of 1.25x — up to 30 frames per second Up to 10 fps with single focus, Up to 7.4 fps with focus tracking
autofocus Contrast, 49 dots Hybrid (contrast + phase), 425 dots Hybrid (contrast + phase), 425 dots Hybrid, Dual Pixel CMOS, 143 dots
Metering, modes of operation 1728-spot TTL metering, multi-spot/center-weighted/spot 1200-zone evaluative: multi-segment, center-weighted, spot, spot standard/large area, screen average, brightest area TTL metering at 256 points: multi-point, center-weighted, average-weighted, spot 384-zone TTL metering, evaluative/partial/center-weighted/spot
exposure compensation ±5 EV in 1/3-stop increments ±5.0 EV (in 1/3 EV or 1/2 EV increments) ±5 EV in 1/3-stop increments ±5 EV in 1/3-stop increments
Built-in flash Built-in guide number 9 (ISO 200), guide number 6.4 (ISO 100) Built-in, 1/160 sec timing, guide number 6 (ISO 100) Built-in guide number 7 (ISO 200) Built-in guide number approximately 5 (ISO 100)
Self-timer 2/10 s 2/10 s 2/10 s 2/10 s
Memory card SD / SDHC / SDXC (UHS-II) Memory Stick PRO Duo/Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo; SD/SDHC/SDXC to UHS-I One SD/SDHC/SDXC slot (UHS-I) SD / SDHC / SDXC (UHS-I)
Display LCD, 3-inch, 1240k dots, touch, tilting LCD, 3-inch, resolution 921k dots, touch, tilting 3″, 1,040k dots, oblique LCD, 3-inch, 1040k dots, touch, swivel
Viewfinder Electronic (OLED, 2.36 million dots) Electronic (OLED, 2.36 million dots) Electronic (OLED, 2.36 million dots) Electronic (OLED with 2360k dots)
Interfaces microHDMI, USB Type-C, 3.5 mm microphone, 3.5 mm headphone microUSB, microDMI, 3.5 mm microphone jack HDMI, USB 3.1 (Type-C), 2.5mm for external microphone/remote control miсroUSB, miniHDMI, external microphone
Wireless modules WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC WiFi, Bluetooth WiFi, NFC, Bluetooth
Nutrition Li-ion battery DMW-BLC12, 8.7W · h (1200 mAh, 7.2 V) Li-ion battery NP-FW50, 7.3 Wh (1020 mAh, 7.2 V) Li-ion battery NP-W126S 8.7 Wh (1200 mAh, 7.2V) Lithium-ion battery LP-E12, 6.3 Wh (875 mAh, 7.2V)
Dimensions 130×94×77mm 120×67×60mm 118.4×82.8×46.8mm 116.3×88.1×58.7mm
Weight 536 grams (incl. battery and memory card) 403 grams (incl. battery and memory card) 383 grams (incl. battery and memory card) 387-390 grams (including battery and memory card), depending on the color variation
Current price $720 for version without lens (body) ; $920 for version with lens (kit) $620 for version without lens (body), $820 for version with kit lens E 16-50mm $620 for version without lens (body), $620 for version with XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 kit lens $420 for lens version (kit)

⇡#Key features of the camera

The Panasonic Lumix DC-G90 (or simply G90) succeeded the Lumix DC-G80, but it’s no ordinary cosmetic upgrade. According to a number of its characteristics, the new camera is closer to the older models GH5 and G9, which implies more serious possibilities and interest in the device not only from novice amateur photographers. Let’s first list the main distinguishing features of the DC-G90.

The 20.3-megapixel sensor is borrowed from the older G9 model. Sensor format — Micro 4/3, crop factor — 2. The sensor is not equipped with an optical low-pass filter, which allows you to get a high-quality, well-detailed image. The reverse side of the absence of this filter is the risk of moire appearing on a number of subjects.

The camera uses an improved image processor Venus Engine, which also means better photo quality.

The image stabilization system is a proprietary development by Panasonic, which we have already appreciated more than once when working with other camera models. Using Lumix lenses allows you to combine their optical stabilization with the internal stabilization of the camera due to Dual IS 2, which in total gives a gain of up to five stages of stabilization. In practice, this means that you can shoot handheld at much slower shutter speeds, and therefore the ability to not increase the ISO too much to get high-quality images. At the same time, the maximum available sensitivity has become higher — ISO 25600.

Panasonic Lumix DC-G90 has 49 focus areas and allows continuous shooting at 9 frames per second. The manufacturer claims improved autofocus in low light and low contrast conditions, which are typical for evening or foggy landscapes. The camera has a number of features that make night shooting easier: Starlight AF, MF Assist 20x, Live View Boost.

The DC-G90 features a shock-free and quiet shutter, which allows you to sharpen images with a high level of detail, as well as photographing in situations where complete silence is required.

A large number of creative modes and artistic filters allow you to create pictures with various interesting effects. Although this option is mainly aimed at beginners in the world of photography, a number of effects may be of interest to professional photographers. Particularly noteworthy is the ability to shoot in monochrome, which is a kind of imitation of black and white film. For better styling, you can also choose the amount of grain in the image. L. Monochrome and L. Monochrome D are new shooting styles for finer tonal gradations.

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2 (low energy) modules are available for wireless communication with the camera. Bluetooth connectivity allows you to take pictures and start and stop video recording with your smartphone or tablet. With the Panasonic Image app for Android/iOS, you can also control functions such as zoom and focus and share images on social networks.

Panasonic Lumix DC-G90 allows you to shoot video in 4K format (V-LogL). The camera has a headphone jack.

The camera came to my test with three lenses: Leica 12-60 / 2.8-4.0, wide-angle Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18mm f / 2.8-4 Asph. and the «fix» Panasonic Lumix H-HS043E-S 42.5mm f/1.7 G Aspherical Power OIS. In my test, my goal was to take pictures of a variety of genres and under different conditions to try to create an objective picture of what the average amateur photographer can get with the Lumix DC-G90.

⇡#Appearance and ergonomics

At first glance, the Panasonic Lumix DC-G90 gives the impression of a solid professional camera, only in miniature. It is not as compact and light as many competitors in its class (for example, the same Sony a6400, which we talked about recently): it has a fairly large and comfortable grip for the right hand, a protrusion on the rear panel for the thumb, a large viewfinder dimensions, built-in flash and control wheels. The weight of the camera without battery and memory card is 481 grams, dimensions are 130 × 94 × 77 mm. Of course, such a device will not fit in a flat ladies’ clutch, but in a standard small bag — no problem. The camera is equipped with an anti-slip coating that visually resembles artificial leather and is pleasant to the touch. Thanks to the materials and thoughtful grip Lumix DC-G90 lies securely in the hand. Another good news is the presence of dust and moisture protection, which is especially important for photographers who lead an active lifestyle, such as travel bloggers. The frame of the front of the camera is made of magnesium alloy, and all seams, control wheels and buttons are hermetically sealed.

On the left edge are connectors for a microphone and headphones, USB Type-C (which, in addition to transmitting information, can be used to charge the camera) and microHDMI.

On the right edge is a slot for a memory card. The camera supports SD/SDHC/SDXC cards.

Above, from left to right are:

  • Selector for selecting the drive mode and timer. The disc is quite tight and requires some effort to turn. It is unlikely that it will be possible to rotate it with one finger.
  • Hot shoe + built-in flash that opens with a lever on the left.
  • The shooting mode dial is also quite tight, combined with the camera on/off lever.
  • Two wheels responsible for adjusting the settings + shutter button.
  • Buttons for selecting white balance, ISO, exposure compensation and video recording.

On the back are:

  • programmable Fn3 button;
  • viewfinder with a large rubberized eyecup;
  • LCD display;
  • focus type switching lever combined with a focus lock button;
  • button for viewing pictures;
  • selector dial with a menu button in the center;
  • quick menu button;
  • button to change the type of information displayed on the display.

On the front is a mount with a lens release button and an autofocus assist lamp.

Below is the battery compartment and tripod socket. They are at a sufficient distance from each other so that the tripod platform does not block access to the battery.

⇡ # Viewfinder and screen

The Panasonic Lumix DC-G90’s OLED viewfinder is a legacy from the previous DC-G80. Its resolution is 2360 thousand dots, and the magnification factor is 0.74x. The appearance of the eyecup has slightly changed — the hole in it now has a round shape. I was comfortable working with the viewfinder — color reproduction and contrast are at a good level. However, in most situations, I prefer to work on the screen.

The LCD screen has increased its resolution from 1,040,000 to 1,240,000 dots compared to the earlier model, while its size has remained the same — three inches. The screen is equipped with a touch coating and has a hinge that can be rotated in all planes. And this is the most convenient, even if it negatively affects the dimensions of the camera. It facilitates shooting from difficult positions (for example, from ground/water level), makes it possible to take a self-portrait or selfie, and when the camera is not in use, it is convenient to close it and thus protect it from damage. The swivel mechanism works smoothly, it is very pleasant to deal with it. The image on the display also evoked positive emotions, with the exception of a small number of situations when shooting in the bright setting sun, I did not have a desire to switch to working through the viewfinder.

In general, I liked the ergonomics of the camera. At first, the detailing of the controls seemed even redundant, and out of habit I set up the work through the quick menu. However, this analog method has its own charm. And certainly users for whom the Panasonic Lumix DC-G90 will be the first serious camera, the presence of dedicated buttons for adjusting the white balance or ISO will not seem superfluous. Perhaps, the declared principle of intuitive control was really realized here.


The menu is organized in the classic way for Panasonic cameras: the main sections are arranged in a column on the left, sub-items that can be opened on the right. Navigation is available both with the help of analog controls and in a touch way — the user can choose the most comfortable option for himself. Some menu items are not selectable when shooting in RAW format, and the range of settings is limited when using Intelligent Auto. The camera also has a quick menu, which is called up by pressing the Fn2 button: here are all the basic settings that can be changed with a couple of taps on the touch screen.

⇡#Camera in action

⇡#Shooting in JPEGspecial features

Despite the fact that the Panasonic Lumix DC-G90 belongs more to the category of semi-professional devices in terms of its capabilities, the manufacturer has made sure that the camera is adapted to the needs of all categories of users. There are a lot of “chips” and options that allow you to take various and interesting photos without going into the intricacies of settings.

Intelligent auto mode. A beginner in the world of photography can start with this mode by selecting the Ai section on the top dial (to the right of the viewfinder). In this case, the camera itself will evaluate the plot and select the most appropriate settings. For most simple plots, this option is fine. In general, you will get a pleasing to the eye, quite juicy and contrasting image. The colors look quite natural, without obvious impurities of extraneous shades or excessive saturation. But in some portraits taken in the shade, I noticed a shift in skin color to a reddish tone. The level of detail (the same texture of the skin, for example) I cannot call impressively high, regardless of which lens the picture was taken with, but the question is what the user will compare it with.

  The picture was taken in auto mode.  The camera handled the scene correctly.  The portrait was shot at an open aperture, which made it possible to get a blurry background in the picture and accentuate the face.  The skin tone is slightly red.  Not critical, but manually adjusting the white balance here would not be superfluous

The picture was taken in auto mode. The camera handled the scene correctly. The portrait was shot at an open aperture, which made it possible to get a blurry background in the picture and accentuate the face. The skin tone is slightly red. Not critical, but manually adjusting the white balance here would not be superfluous

Artistic filters. On the mode dial, they are indicated by a palette with a brush. Panasonic cameras stand out for their interesting creative filters. In the Lumix DC-G90 we see a set that has already become a classic — 22 filters for every taste and color. A number of them not only affect the color/contrast of the image, but also add special effects — for example, sunlight in the corner or rays around small light sources. In a leisurely shooting situation, it can be very exciting to choose the filter that best suits the scene or try different options and see how the shot changes. For those users who are not yet ready to delve into special image processing programs, such a solution can become a lifesaver that will help you not get bored and bring a touch of creativity to the filming process.

Experimenting with artistic filters is very exciting. With a successful selection, the filter can make the picture more atmospheric and expressive.

Below you can see an example of shooting one scene with all available filters.

Scene modes. On the same control wheel, they are marked with the abbreviation SCN. Unlike auto mode, where the camera fully analyzes the type of scene being shot, here the user can choose the scene himself, prompting the camera for the necessary settings and get a more predictable result.

A series of portraits taken in succession using Backlight Clarity, Backlight Softness, Silky Skin, Clear Portrait

In part, scene modes are reminiscent of artistic filters — for example, there is also a monochrome mode here. Others are focused not so much on image processing, but on choosing the appropriate exposure settings (for example, the Clear Sports Shots category). In addition, the set of scene modes itself can also be considered as a kind of cheat sheet in case inspiration runs out: leafing through them, a novice photographer can get ideas for what else to photograph interesting: the list includes such funny sections as “seductive dessert” or “cute baby face».

However, no one obliges you to use scene programs for their “intended purpose”: for example, you can easily take a portrait in the “delicate image of a flower” mode and get an interesting effect.

Soft Flower Mode simulates the effect of a soft filter. If desired, it can be used when shooting portraits and any other subjects.

Photostyle. In cases where you do not need a cardinal adjustment of the image through filters, but want to influence some basic settings — brightness, contrast, saturation, noise reduction level, it is convenient to use the «photo style» tab. There are already a number of pre-programmed styles: “portrait”, “landscape”, “bright”, etc. The user can adjust each of them to suit his needs. You can also create your own style from scratch. Panasonic’s signature monochrome styles deserve attention: «Monochrome», «L. Monochrome» and «L. Monochrome D. At least they inspired me to search for graphic stories that would look spectacular in black and white.

  The picture was taken using the photo style “L.  Monochrome D

The picture was taken using the photo style “L. Monochrome D»

HDRAdjusting highlights and shadows. HDR is a familiar feature that allows you to expand the dynamic range of the picture when shooting high-contrast scenes. The camera takes three frames with different exposures and automatically combines them into one image — this way it is possible to avoid overexposure and too deep shadows in the photo.

On the left is a normal shot, on the right is the result of automatic stitching HDR. The difference is clear: the right image shows much better detail in the shadows, and the sky looks more expressive.

Quite interesting and already familiar from previous Panasonic cameras, the “Lights/Shadows” option allows you to adjust the image contrast by controlling shadows and highlights separately. You can choose one of the available presets or adjust the curve manually: a gradation from +5 to -5 is available, where a larger number corresponds to the highest lightness of shadows / highlights. By making the shadows as deep as possible and the highlights as bright as possible, you can get dramatic contrast. In a situation where the image, on the contrary, is too contrasty, you can brighten the shadows and dim the highlights, thus expanding the dynamic range:

In the second shot, the shadows are as bright as possible, and the highlights are muted, which allowed the details in the lower part of the image to come out without “losing” the sky.

In addition, the Intelligent Dynamic Range and Shadow Compensation functions are available in the camera, but experiments with them did not give such a pronounced effect: the difference in the pictures turned out to be barely perceptible.

Multiple exposure. A classic creative technique that allows you to combine several (up to four, in this case) frames in one image. You can use different focal lengths when shooting frames within the same composition, as well as control how shots are stacked on top of each other (two options are available).

  Two frames combined into one in multiple exposure mode

Two frames combined into one in multiple exposure mode

4K photo. This mode can be selected using the left control wheel. It will be especially interesting when shooting dynamic scenes, where it is important to catch the most successful moment. The camera takes a number of shots at reduced resolution, but at high speed. The result can be viewed as a video, as well as select the best shots and save them as a photo.

  Example of shooting in 4K photo mode: a short movie and a frame selected from it

Example of shooting in 4K photo mode: a short movie and a frame selected from it

Digging deeper, we can discover more options for working with the 4K photo format. For example, the manufacturer offers the option of merging several frames into one, which looks spectacular when shooting different phases of movement. However, my experiment without a tripod was not successful — the result was, frankly, strange. Reception, perhaps not quite for beginners, but with interesting potential:


Some «chips» can not be mastered the first time

Post focus. Similar to the previous option, but with a slightly different message: in this case, the camera also takes a quick series of frames that can be viewed in video format, but the focus changes from frame to frame. Thus, after shooting, the photographer can choose the frame where the focus is most accurate or corresponds to the artistic intent. Among other things, this may be of interest to lovers of macro photography, because when shooting small objects in one frame, it is not always possible to perfectly get into sharpness.

Example of shooting in post-focus mode

⇡#Autofocus, continuous shooting

Autofocus capabilities are one of the main areas that are currently experiencing rapid development and competition among cameras. Many modern devices are able to provide excellent image quality in comfortable conditions, but when it comes to “live” shooting, especially when working with dynamics, the differences become more obvious, and sometimes older models lose in this regard to more “nimble” amateur cameras. Panasonic is not far behind in this race, and introduces an ultra-fast autofocus system in their Lumix DC-G90 camera. Claimed autofocus response time is 0.07 seconds. The camera uses a contrast focusing system with 49 zones. By modern standards, this is not much — for example, the Sony a6400 model, which we recently wrote about, has 425 hybrid autofocus zones (phase sensors are combined with contrast sensors). Therefore, it was especially interesting to check how the camera behaves in difficult shooting situations.

For me, one of the main test subjects is shooting animals, since these are models that do not sit still for a long time, and it is impossible to predict their trajectory. Frame-by-frame focus in such situations is ineffective, so all hope is for tracking mode. It is very easy to set the object for tracking to the camera — just touch the touch screen in the right place. After that, the focusing frame “sticks” quite reliably to the desired object (in this case, to the cat’s face) and continues to move behind it, periodically expanding or narrowing. In the case of significant movements, however, correction is sometimes necessary (the object is also set again by touching), since when shooting at an open aperture, the depth of field is small, and getting sharpness right in front of the eyes is critical. But in general I liked the speed with which the camera reacts to the subject, and the way it moves around the frame. The percentage of marriage for this kind of shooting turned out to be not very large.

Next is the «test run», which also allows you to evaluate the accuracy and speed of focusing and the size of the buffer. The Panasonic Lumix DC-G90 burst speed is up to 9 frames per second (RAW) and up to 30 frames per second (JPEG, 8.3 MP). In RAW + JPEG (maximum quality), I was able to shoot a series of 28 frames long. This is not bad, but not the limit for this class of cameras. As for the sharpness of the shots, in many frames the camera does not seem to keep up with the model. There seem to be no obvious mistakes, but upon closer inspection it turns out that the focus has gone a little off the face. This can hardly be attributed to a problem with the micro-sharpness of a particular lens, since this situation is absent in other shots (both dynamic and static).

A couple of examples of how tracking autofocus works when shooting a run on camera

When shooting static scenes, I had no problems with focusing. The focus is really very fast and tenacious: the camera equally successfully «grabs» both the bright landscape outside the window and the shaded objects on the windowsill. When shooting in the dark, the result is also pleased.

Like most modern cameras, the Panasonic Lumix DC-G90 has a face and eye detection function, but there is no way to set a specific face for focusing priority on it, as well as priority for the left or right eye. In shooting situations, automation sometimes makes mistakes, focusing on the far eye of the model. In this case, manual adjustment will be required (you can specify the desired eye, again, using the touch screen).

⇡#Offline work

Panasonic Lumix DC-G90 uses 8.7W DMW-BLC12 Li-ion battery ·h (1200 mAh, 7.2 V).

The declared duration of operation on a single charge according to the CIPA standard is 290 frames. The actual duration, of course, depends on how the user uses the camera: whether he shoots through the viewfinder or the screen, how long he looks at the pictures on the screen, etc. From my own experience, I can say that the camera charge was enough for me for one long walk, in during which I filmed quite intensively. When traveling, you can focus on a day of unhurried shooting. But since limiting yourself to conserve battery power is still not very pleasant, it makes sense to purchase an additional battery or a special DMW-BGG1 battery grip, which doubles the camera’s operating time on a single charge. Designed specifically for the Lumix DC-G90, this accessory is equipped with buttons and wheels of the same shape as on the camera, and is also dust and moisture resistant.

USB charging is available in the camera. The ability to recharge the battery with an external battery is very convenient. You can also connect the camera to an external power source while shooting.

⇡ #Shooting at high ISO

The size of the matrix is ​​​​a topic that has broken a lot of copies. Does it matter in reality, will the user notice the difference in their direct shooting practice, or will the numbers remain numbers? Let me remind you that the Panasonic Lumix DC-G90 uses a Micro 4/3 format matrix, and the crop factor is 2 — this distinguishes the camera from most direct competitors using APS-C type sensors. And if disputes over the visual merits of full-frame shots can be attributed to the category of individual preferences, then the noise level is a very specific indicator, and due to physical laws, other things being equal, a smaller matrix at the same resolution will give a higher noise level. Let’s look at some examples of shooting at high ISO and try to draw conclusions.

The shot below was taken at ISO 1250. If you look at the original RAW image, the noise in the sky is visible to the naked eye. For such an ISO value, the noise can be called quite significant. The in-chamber noise reduction coped with it, but I had to sacrifice small details, which is why soapiness appeared — while not particularly large and not cutting the eyes.

Left — in-camera JPEG, right — RAW converted with default settings

Shooting at night in fog at ISO 2500 gave an unsatisfactory result. As a result of noise reduction, artifacts appeared in the sky, the color is uneven, and the picture as a whole looks soapy. On the original RAW, monochrome noise is clearly distinguishable.

Left — in-camera JPEG, right — RAW converted with default settings

For comparison, I’ll immediately show the same scene shot at ISO 16000 (this is not the maximum, the maximum, let me remind you, is 25600). I think comments are unnecessary — such an ISO cannot be called a working one.

Left — in-camera JPEG, right — RAW converted with default settings

Such high ISO values ​​u200bu200bare not used very often in real practice, so let’s return to smaller values. ISO 6400 is the working sensitivity for most modern cameras, including cropped mirrorless cameras. The result of the Panasonic Lumix DC-G90 is not brilliant, but in principle acceptable if the photo is planned to be used for publication in a small format, for example, in social networks. But, in my opinion, it’s better to turn off the noise reduction — the picture turned out to be too blurry and seems just blurry (pay attention, for example, to the surface of the water).

Download RAW-files (259 MB)

The specific acceptable ISO value may vary depending on the scene — somewhere ISO 2500 already gives a too noisy picture, somewhere you can use larger values. But in general, my fears were confirmed — the Panasonic Lumix DC-G90 still turned out to be a very noisy camera by modern standards. Below you can see an example of shooting a test scene at different ISO values.

Download RAW files (179 MB)

⇡ # Stabilizer operation

The image stabilization system is traditionally one of the strengths of Panasonic cameras. In part, it just compensates for the lack of miracles when shooting at high ISO values: where on other cameras an increase in ISO is seen as inevitable, with Lumix this need can be circumvented by achieving the correct exposure by lengthening the shutter speed. When using proprietary lenses, the degree of stabilization reaches five steps, and this is a very serious indicator. Alas, such a decision is relevant, of course, only for shooting static scenes. When photographing dynamics, we are tied to a fast shutter speed, which means that the stabilizer will not help us in any way, and an increase in ISO becomes inevitable. Let’s see, however, what results can be achieved by photographing the landscape from hand at night. Below you can see two frames taken without additional support. The shutter speed on the first was 1/5 second at a focal length of 27 mm, on the second — 1/2 second at a focal length of 20 mm. Both have good sharpness on static objects, there is no blurring from hand shaking. I note that this is a regular situation, that is, I did not need to choose one successful frame from many defective ones — almost all the pictures taken with identical settings turned out to be normal in sharpness. At longer shutter speeds, blur was already noticeable, but I do not exclude that my performance is not the limit. The stabilizer, as usual, proved to be excellent, and in many situations it can really help out the photographer by ensuring the quality of the frame.

⇡#Shooting in RAW

To assess the dynamic range in RAW format, I chose a contrasting scene, which looks frankly bad when shooting in JPEG, and tried to “save” it.

The picture was taken at dusk. The sky is still quite light, the reflections of the sunset are visible on it, while the lower part has gone into a deep shadow. The original frame looks underexposed, with the brightest part of the sky overexposed. Manipulations in Adobe Camera RAW helped to improve the picture: in place of the black “dips”, the color and all the details are now well read. However, there was also a lot of noise from brightening the shadows, despite the fact that the picture was taken at a fairly low ISO value of ISO 500. It was not possible to fully “pull out” the sky, but it also became noticeably more detailed. You can reduce overexposure to a minimum by greatly reducing the exposure to minus, and then manually gluing “pseudo-HDR” together to get a more acceptable result. But that is another story.

On the left is the original JPEG, next is the result of RAW processing, next is a frame that shows a margin in highlights when the exposure is lowered

The next plot is somewhat less contrasted, although the sky is light in the original, but with preserved details, so the result of manipulations in the RAW converter looks more satisfactory. In such a picture, the noise does not hurt the eye much, if desired, they can be suppressed a little in the editor:

On the left — in-camera JPEG, on the right — RAW, converted with settings to taste

Below you can see some more examples of RAW processing:

Panasonic Lumix DC-G90 as a whole demonstrates a dynamic range worthy of its class, without any miracles: the headroom in highlights is limited. But it is very dangerous to brighten the shadows separately from the general exposure: there is a pronounced noise, and you can run into the “ceiling” without reaching the desired level of lightness. Highly contrasting scenes in which maximum quality is important to you, it is better to shoot in HDR and stitch the frames manually.

⇡#Shooting video

Despite the fact that the manufacturer itself positions the Lumix DC-G90 as a device for lovers of not only photos, but also videos, we do not see a big breakthrough in terms of video recording characteristics. The camera is capable of shooting video in 4K quality at 30 or 25 frames per second, supports shooting at 60, 90 and 120 fps at a reduced resolution. Of the important updates — the camera has a headphone jack.

4K movie example (static)

Unfortunately, when shooting video, the image is taken from only part of the sensor, completely, as in the G9, it is not used — when shooting, you must take into account the 1.25x crop (this, for example, means that the 12mm «wide» end of the zoom is lens results in an angle of view closer to a 30mm lens in full frame mode, rather than 24mm as in photo mode). And that’s not good news for Panasonic. If earlier the company had practically no competitors in this area, now the same Fujifilm X-T30 shoots 4K 30p video from a larger sensor area without cropping.

4K movie example (dynamic)

The Panasonic Lumix DC-G90 also has problems with noise — shooting at high ISOs is possible, but the quality will have to be sacrificed too much. For professional use, the G90 is not suitable.

AF tracking operation in movie mode

And, finally, autofocus — it works in video mode, but it doesn’t dare to call its work high-quality. Objects regularly fall out of the tracking area, the focus «fidgets», is lost. The Lumix DC-G90 is fine as a hobby camcorder, but it doesn’t live up to our expectations of a Panasonic camcorder in this area.


The Panasonic Lumix DC-G90 is an ambiguous camera that from the first minutes inspires respect with its performance and thoughtful controls, does not disappoint when shooting simple scenes and pleases with an abundance of interesting features — shooting with creative filters, in 4K photo modes, post-focus, etc. In the presence of interesting optics (for example, an inexpensive but pleasant 42.5 mm lens f/1.7) you can create high-quality and three-dimensional images.

However, in difficult shooting situations, the camera does not perform well. Shooting at high ISOs is one of the main frustrations. On a number of subjects, the value of ISO 2500 was already critical — this can be attributed to a smaller sensor size compared to its closest competitors at a sufficiently high (20.3 MP) resolution. Autofocus, although very pleased with the speed of reaction, as well as the ability to work in the dark, in practice is not always accurate, and does not seem to keep up with the fast movement in the frame. The camera may be of interest to fans of unhurried creative shooting — if you are a landscape painter or photograph portraits in good light, the described disadvantages will not affect you much, but the opportunity to purchase relatively inexpensive optics will be a plus. I cannot recommend the Panasonic Lumix DC-G90 to fans of reportage shooting.

Travel photographers should appreciate the camera’s good build, dust and moisture resistance, a very handy swivel screen and a chic stabilizer — but take into account the need to have an additional battery, since the camera does not hold a charge for very long (there is also a plus — the ability to charge via USB via a portable device) . Beginners who shoot in auto mode and love simple creative experiments will almost certainly like the Lumix DC-G90 — there is a lot of interesting things in the camera for those who are not ready to go into all the intricacies of photography. But is such a “solid” device needed for this category of users? For me, the new Panasonic turned out to be not universal enough and not completely understandable, but perhaps it will find its connoisseur.

Download RAW-files (940 MB)


  • convenient management;
  • the presence of protection from weather conditions;
  • excellent stabilizer;
  • fast and tenacious autofocus, including when shooting in low light;
  • sensor without low-pass filter;
  • an abundance of creative functions, 4K video and 4K photo, post-focus mode;
  • high speed continuous shooting (9 frames per second);
  • USB charging;
  • having a headphone jack.


  • shooting quality at high ISO;
  • autofocus errors when shooting dynamic scenes;
  • short battery life;
  • not the best video shooting capabilities.


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