Size Comparison: G9, GX7 and 5D and lenses (24~200 FOV)


Mu-43 Top Veteran
Sep 3, 2011
Southern California
A while back, there was a thread about micro four thirds camera bodies and lenses becoming oversized. Exhibit 1 was the Panasonic G9. It seemed that every review of the camera mentioned the size, weight and bulk as negatives. I chimed in that it was bordering on the size of my DSLR cameras, while others said it went against the M43 ethos of compact, lightweight, and inconspicuous.

The same has been said of recent m43 lens releases, including the Olympus 1.2 Pro series primes, and the 12~100 f/4 superzoom lens. This latter caught my attention when it was released, but again, many of the reviews commented negatively on the size, weight and bulk.

As an avid user of the GX7 camera bodies, I listened to the naysayers, and held off on upgrading my kit, but also kept watch on the falling prices for the G85, which seemed to have the perfect ergonomics and haptics for my hands, and came with the well received P12~60 kit lens.

Fast forward to Christmas 2018, and the price drop on the G9 and PL12~60 combo was too hard to resist, so out came my credit card. The reviews were right; I instantly fell in love with G9. It was larger than the G85, and much more so than my GX7, but the PL12~60 balanced very nicely. I then mounted the P100-300 lens, the largest native m43 lens in my kit, and the combination felt as good, if not better. No more sensation of a tiny sensor box attached to a large tube. So the G9 was a keeper.

I then agonized for days while trying out the PL12-60, absorbing every online comparison post and review. I kept trying to convince myself that the Olympus 12~100 wasn't worth $700 more, that it was too large and bulky, and I already had the range covered with my 12~35/35~100 f/2.8 lenses. That internal debate lasted less than a week. I returned the PL12~60, and ordered the 12~100.

My personal conclusion: All the talk about "oversized" m43 cameras and lenses is overblown. The G9 and 12~100 combination is a dream. It's not overly heavy, nor is it too bulky, and balances just fine; much better than if it were mounted to my GX7. It also takes up much less space than my GX7 or DSLR zoom kits with similar field of view. The practical advantage of having such a quality all-in-one lens on a premium m43 body goes without saying.

To demonstrate just how they compare in size, I lined up the G9 and 12~100, GX7 and 12~35/35~100, and my 5D and 24~105/70~200 combinations:

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By weight:
G9 & Lens: 1,166 grams
GX7 & Lenses: 1,107 grams
5D & Lenses: 3,120 grams

But is the G9 and 12~100 too bulky? Here it is in my favorite Domke 5XB, and it can be easily zipped up:

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Here's the GX7 and lenses in the same bag:

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I'll probably keep the GX7 kit for when I want to be less conspicuous (i.e., look like a tourist), but the G9 kit will be my go to camera for 90% of my photography, so for me, the value proposition of the upgrade was definitely worthwhile.

I hope this will help others when it comes time to relieve that GAS.

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