GX9 EVF brightness (or lack of)

I wear glasses so can’t use an eyecup and although I really like my GX9 I find it’s rather dim EVF a bit of a challenge in bright sunlight. On the other hand the G100’s EVF is great for brightness (and size!) but is far from ideal optically, requiring the eye to be dead centre in order to get a sharp view.

Although I prefer rangefinder-style cameras the GX9’s EVF dimness is starting to become an issue for me; are there any alternatives of the same general size/weight/features that offer a bright EVF like the G100? Please don’t suggest a G9, it may have a lovely EVF but it’s way to big and heavy for my purposes :wink:

I may have to consider moving back to an Olympus body (E-M5 size) but I do prefer the way Panasonic cameras behave although from past experience the Olympus EVFs have generally been far better for my eyesight.

Any suggestions or comments welcomed.

What is the evf setting?

For Panny cameras having evfs, when set set brightness etc of the output media (LCD or evf), if we look at the evf, the setting will affect evf and vice versa.

How about a system reset to see would it become better?

GX9 uses nearly the same display unit of GX7/85 as well as similar optics for the magnification. I found the evf of mine (GX7 & GX85) are small in 4:3 but bright enough for operation (composition, exposure setting and others) and they can truely reflect the Live View simulated image.

BTW, did you wear sunglasses? GX7/85/9 evfs are not sun glass friendly.

I am wearing progressive focal glasses for last 2 decades…

It’s not the EVF settings (“Viewfinder”) but the actual backlight brightness that can’t be adjusted. On the G100 there’s something called “EVF luminance” that can be “auto” (works well) or a manual setting that alters the backlight intensity independently of whatever is set under “Viewfinder”. There are similar settings for the LCD or “Monitor”.

The GX9 has something similar for the LCD but not for the EVF - which I find too dim in extreme bright light, unlike the G100 which is fine even on auto. I’ve had similar issues with some other cameras with LCD EVFs over the years and normally prefer OLED displays. Perhaps the G100 is just a lucky exception.

When you adjust the brightness of evf, had your eye on the evf? If not, any adjustment made will be done to the LCD only.

It is a common adjustment on the evf/LCD of a lot of Panny cameras.

TBH, I do not love the evf of GX7/85, just can live with them.

I wear glasses and am living in region having very bright and hot sun throughout majority the year. Since their sequential evf are not sunglass friendly, I have to put on very light gray color non polarized sunglasses when it was a sunny day. This could keep affection on my sense of lighting condition and color shift to minimal.

I don’t find the larger evf of G85 any wow factor. But it’s OLED display can save me a lot of inconvenince on sunglasses.

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Just have a chance to check the manual of G100.

As per the manual, basically the options on adjustment the evf/LCD of G100 should be very similar to that of other Panny cameras, including GX9.

An screen shot from G100 manual:

The screen shots from GX9 for similar matter:

It seems that G100 has Auto & -3 ~ +3 setting on luminance whereas GX9 has Auto & Mode 1 to Mode 3… Not sure would these give the differences but GX9 can adjust on evf Luminance too.

Thanks for taking the time to research this - I has already done the same but you weren’t to know that :slight_smile:

Unfortunately the “Monitor Luminance” setting in the GX9 menu applies only to the “Monitor” (LCD) no matter whether you’re using the EVF or not, which is exactly what your screenshot from the manual shows. Compare the G100 screenshot that describes it as “[Monitor Luminance]/[LVF Luminance]” which works as expected.

There’s no control for EVF “Luminance” on the GX9, which is annoying. I think the GX9 will have to go; perhaps I’ll bite the bullet and go back to Olympus for when I need more functionality than the G100 offers.

PS: I was using the G100 yesterday in very bright conditions and the EVF was great - but I’m not a fan of how the camera handles which is why I bought the GX9 in the first place.

I have a GX9.

Since I like the size, heft and raw image quality of the camera I endure the eye-level viewfinder.

Outdoors in sunlight it is not usable for much more than making sure that the camera is pointed in the right direction and the image is approximately in focus. I always remind myself that the image in that viewfinder bears no relation to the usually high quality raw file being generated by the camera in terms of color, contrast etc.
Yes, I have varied all the settings but a small, meh quality TV screen is what it is. Varying the settings for the viewfinder really does not do very much at all, but the OP should give that a go.

The panel on the back of the camera is somewhat better for evaluating color, brightness, focus etc. Even with tilting it may wash out in bright sunlight, but that is so for the back panel of every dSLR.

Unlike the physically larger and much higher quality eye lever viewfinder in my Nikon Z the eyelevel finder in the GX9 is unusable with sunglasses, polarized or not. But I can use the GX9 hand-held with the equivalent of a 600 mm lens, something my back and neck would not allow with the Nikon Z.

Thanks for the confirmation. Like you I’ve never used an EVF for anything other than composition, just as I used an OVF; there are proper tools to adjust exposure et al. And like you I liked the handling of the camera - and its feature set - so the EVF was a big let down.

I’ve used lots of EVFs, some much better than others of course, but the GX9 is the worst I’ve come across in any camera of this class and for no obvious reason. It’s worse in many ways than even the GM5 EVF which is tiny and a bit dim for obvious reasons but I still find perfectly usable, unlike the GX9 EVF.

Fortunately my GX9 was bought used at a good price and is in lovely condition so I probably won’t make a loss on its sale, but it has to go. I’m a “EVF 99.9% of the time” photographer so the quality of the EVF is more important than almost anything else the camera has to offer - with the notable exception of the unique GM5 - as long as the the camera handles well and produces good files.

The G100 EVF is good, the image quality is excellent, but I just don’t like its handling and controls (or lack of). But I do like its lack of weight and diminutive size so it’s definitely staying. I would prefer to stay with a 20MP sensor for the GX9 replacement but I’m tempted by a camera I know well from the past that has a good 16MP sensor and a very strong feature set that I can buy boxed in “Like new” condition for significantly less than I’ll get for the GX9 - the original Olympus E-M1. It’s a little bigger and heavier than the GX9 but not by enough to concern me. I haven’t pressed the “Buy” button yet though. Decisions, decisions… :wink:

I have used the GX7 with the same EVF without any problems for years and I have to use spectacles and sun glasses.
However, there is an alternative: the GX8 is only slightly bigger and has a very nice tiltable EVF. It can be had for very little money used. It also is weather sealed and has a nice grip.

I’m not convinced the GX7 EVF was identical - I had two of them and although the EVFs were not great they were much more usable (brighter?) than the the dim GX9 EVF.

The GX8 is an excellent suggestion as it has an OLED EVF. I had considered it for that reason but was turned off by numerous reports of shutter shock, which was eliminated in the GX9 shutter. The GX9 is a really nice camera… apart from that EVF.

Afterthought: Back in 2014 when I had a GX7 I quite liked this grab shot:

GX7+PL15/1.7, 1/3200s @ f/2.8, ISO200

Mallaig, November and almost high noon. I’m always amazed at the quality of light - even at midday - at high latitudes.

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Bottom line:

I decided to buy a very lightly used E-M5 II from a dealer, boxed and complete with all original bits - and with a 12-month warranty - for almost exactly the trade-in price offered for the GX9. I got a lot of useful extras with the GX9 (extra OEM batteries, OEM USB charger, etc) that I’m keeping for use with my G100 and GM5 so overall I’ve made a slight profit over my original GX9 purchase.

Ok, I lose 20MP but gain a usable EVF, world class IBIS, weather sealing… and more. It’s been a while since I last used an Olympus body but I think I can still remember most of the quirks of the menu system - and the E-M5 II has more than enough buttons and dials to ignore the menus once it’s set up, at least for my purposes.

I was briefly tempted by the E-M5 III - or even the OM-5 - but the mark II is so cheap these days it was hard to justify the cost difference for the benefits the later cameras offer for my usage, and in any case the mkII is better built than the later models. That said, if OMS ever makes a OM-5 II I might just buy a cheap mk 1 :slight_smile:

Later: After looking at some more old images from the GX7 I remembered this one, taken with the 14-42 PZ shortly before it ended up in the loch after a cold-hands fumbled lens change:

GX7+PZ14-42 @ 14mm, 1/60s @ f/5.6, ISO200

Loch Linhe, November 2014, dawn. I liked that little PZ but I never did buy a replacement.

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Good shot John but be sure to use e-shutter for that lens on GX7. It is a well known shutter shock magnet.

I have it with GX1, originally very happy with its size but suffered shutter shock. Later when I moved to GX7 that its 12-bits e-shutter can eliminate shutter shock completely, there was the even smaller and wider 12-32. As a result, the 14-42PZ has rarely been used.

The never coming DUAL IS upgrade for this lens has just kept it idle. :pensive:

Thanks Albert. I used the electronic shutter pretty much all the time when I had the GX7, it was ideal for my type of use, and although I never replaced the PZ 14-42 I always preferred its rendering to that of the 12-32. I think perhaps it’s down to micro-contrast, the 14-42 isn’t sharper but it has more of the “bite” needed for images like this one.

Incidentally I now have my E-M5 II and it’s just as nice-but-annoying as I remember from using it briefly back when it was the latest thing. But the EVF is lovely :slight_smile:

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