Sony A5100 Vs Lumix GF9 — A Detailed Comparison

In this review, we will talk about two cameras- the Sony A5100 Vs Lumix GF9. We will bring you comprehensive details of features and facts which will help you in picking the camera which you would prefer for your type of photography.

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We understand that you may not have all the time to read this article; we have made it simple and understandable for your reading pleasure. You’ll be done in no time.

Sony A5100 Vs Lumix GF9 — Comparison Review

The Sony A5100 and the Lumix GF9 (called Panasonic GX800, G850 in some regions. It is only called GF9 in Japan) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2014 and January 2017.

Both the A5100 and the GF9 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are based on an APS-C (A5100) and a Four Thirds (GF9) sensor. The Panasonic has a resolution of 15.8 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 24 MP.

The Sony A5100 enjoys 24 Megapixels to its predecessor’s 20, it also boasts the A6000’s 179 embedded phase-detect autofocus points which allow that model to continuously focus with a high degree of success. This is a huge upgrade over the A5000, and indeed almost any system camera, mirrorless or DSLR. Where most cameras costing even twice the price of the Sony A5100 can struggle with continuous autofocus, especially mirrorless models, Sony’s embedded phase-detect array can track sports and action with ease.

The Lumix GF9 replaces the GF7 and is aimed at anyone upgrading from a phone or compact camera for better quality, control and flexibility. Like all of Panasonic’s mirrorless cameras to date, it’s based on the Micro Four Thirds system which means it works with any lens designed for that format, including a wealth of options from Panasonic and Olympus.

The Lumix GF9 features a 16 Megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor, the ability to record Full HD or 4k video, built-in Wifi and a touchscreen that flips up by 180 degrees for selfie shooting or filming pieces to camera. Like the Lumix GX80 / GX85 before it, the GF9’s sensor has the low-pass filter removed for slightly crisper results.

Ratings Of The Features Of Sony A5100 Vs Lumix GF9

Concerning battery life, the Lumix GF9 gets 210 shots out of its DMW-BLH7 battery, while the A5100 can take 400 images on a single charge of its NP-FW50 power pack. The power pack in the A5100 can be charged via the USB port. The Lumix GF9’s battery can be recharged either via AC or USB according to the users’ convenience.

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer colour-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation.

Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Panasonic GF9 features a Four Thirds sensor and the Sony A5100 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the A5100 is 63 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.0 and 1.5. The sensor in the GF9 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the A5100 offers a 3:2 aspect ratio.

Price Value Ratio – Sony A5100 Vs Lumix GF9

The Sony A5100 and the Lumix GF9 are both entry-level cameras with affordable price tags. Their myriad of features makes their prices tags well deserved.

The Sony A5100 is slightly more affordable than the Lumix GF9.

About The Brands

 Sony

Sony is one of the world’s most widely known electronics companies. Founded in Japan, the company has grown from humble roots to a multinational giant. From the tape player to the Walkman, to OLED TV, Sony’s tradition of innovation has made it a profitable company for more than 60 years.

The Sony Alpha line has gained popularity over the years and is known for their small-sized mirrorless cameras with large APS-C sensors.

Panasonic

Panasonic, today, is the fourth largest manufacturer of TVs and makes $94.78 billion annually in sales, ranking it 69th in the world, according to Forbes’ Global 2000.

The Lumix series of the Panasonic brand has also gained popularity as they shoot 4K videos and photos and much more.

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Sony A5100 Vs Lumix GF9 – Specs Comparison

Announcement Date 2014-08-17  2017-01-04
Sensor Resolution 24.3 mega pixels 16 mega pixels
ISO 100 – 25600 200 – 25600
Continuous Shooting 6 fps 10 fps
Video Resolution 1,920 x 1,080 3840 x 2160
Number of focus points 179 49
Viewfinder None None
LCD Screen Resolution 922k dots 1,040k dots
Max Shutter Speed 1/500 1/4000
Colour Depth 23.8 bits 23.2 bits
Dynamic Range 13.3 12.7
Battery Life 340 shots 270 shots
Weight 283g 269g
Max Native Light sensitivity 25,600 ISO 25,600 ISO
Low light ISO 1347 586
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Sony A5100 Vs Lumix GF9 – Circumstances They Are Best Suited For

Sony A5100 Lumix GF9
The Sony a5100 has a larger APS-C sensor than the Lumix GF9. This gives a nice blur background to the object you capture, making it suitable for portrait photography.

Its high resolution of 24 megapixels compared to the 16 mega pixels of the Lumix GF9, gives more room for cropping of captured images after a shot, making it great for taking passport photographs.

In street photography, the Sony A5100’s live view is perfect. With its live view you can go stealth on people as you take shots of them. With this you can explore street life photography fully without having a problem with anyone.
For travel and vacation photographers, weight, size, and reliability are all important. The GF9 – aided by its small collapsible zoom – is among the smallest, lightest ILCs on the market.

However, you must note that it isn’t weather-sealed and offers the lowest battery rating of any camera in its class.

It is said that in the world of sports, faster is better, the Lumix GF9 10 frames per second in continuous shooting is a great start for sports photography as you will be able to keep up with the players speed and capture the action.

In videography, the Lumix GF9 records smooth, high-resolution QFHD 4K videos in 3840×2160 resolution at 30p or 24p in MP4. Taking advantage of 4K technology you can also enjoy 4K photo shots and a variety of derivative functions, such as Focus Stacking, Post Focus and Light Composition.

Sony A5100 Vs Lumix GF9– A Video Review

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Sony A5100 Vs Lumix GF9 – Common Features

In this part of the Sony A5100 Vs Lumix GF9 comparison article, we would be discussing all the features possessed by both cameras.

Focus Peaking

Focus is obviously an essential element of all photography and modern digital cameras boast amazing automatic systems to take care of it for you.

Focus peaking is a sensor-based assisting function intended to help photographers acquire fast and accurate critical focus while using manual controls.

Focus peaking uses actual visual data to locate areas of the frame which are sharp and highlights them so that the photographer/videographer can be absolutely sure.

Not only finding focus is easier using this technology. Shuffling between two or more focus points also becomes a much simpler process. Let’s take a look at some examples of when focus peaking might be preferable.

When lighting is poor, even the most high-end cameras autofocus system may well struggle to find enough contrast to lock focus, so will keep moving in and out of sharpness. It will often be quicker to focus manually and of course you will have more control over the point of focus.

Focus peaking is also important when taking macro shots. This is when you are often very close to a physically small subject and using a wide aperture, which makes it extremely difficult to control the focus points.

It is quite possible that the camera’s autofocus will miss the point of interest especially when the subject is not at the center of the frame. So, manual focus is almost a must.

You will be in complete control of the focus point and, if your subject moves slightly, you can quickly and easily re-focus.

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In-camera Panorama

A panoramic image depicts a field of view considerably wider than the one that can be captured in one exposure. It tells a more complex story and draws the viewer of the image closer to the feeling of what it was like to be there.

To make a panorama, you take several shots that capture overlapping sections of the scene and you stitch it seamlessly together.

While it’s not a must you use a tripod, you will get better results because the photos you capture will be in alignment in at least one axis. When the photo merging software merges your photos later, there will be less wastage and you’ll end up with a slightly larger frame.

For best results, it’s advisable to shoot in RAW rather than JPEG format. RAW images are the digital equivalent of negatives in film camera terms.

Unlike the JPEG format, there’s no image compression, and no adjustments to the image are made such as sharpening or changes to color saturation, etc. RAW gives you far more options for working with the images in post-editing.

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Tilt-able Screen

Tilt-able LCDs permit the LCD display screen to flip or tilt away from the camera to be seen at different angles, while some only tilt-up, many will flip-out and swivel. This feature is important in modern-day photography.

Fortunately, the Sony A5100 and the Lumix GF9 both have features.

Built-in-Wifi

The Sony 5100 and the Lumix GF9 are part of the ever-increasing amount of cameras offering some form of alternative connectivity to make uploading and viewing faster and more intuitive.

With Built-in Wifi, you can easily connect to your other smart devices like your smartphone or computer. Once you connected, you will be able to transfer your images and videos seamlessly.

There’s also NFC (Near Field Communication), which is a feature eminent in the Sony A5100 and is starting to be rolled out across more cameras. All you have to do to connect this device with another is by touching them together.

It only works on NFC enabled devices.

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Bulb Mode

Bulb mode is an exposure setting on your camera that allows you to hold your shutter open for as long as you want. When Bulb mode is set, your shutter will stay open for as long as you have your finger on the shutter button, either on the camera or via a remote release.

Photographers typically use Bulb mode at night when shooting subjects such as astrophotography, as the movement of the stars can only be captured at very long shutter speeds.

Using bulb mode setting for very long exposures allow a range of photography types that are not normally available on other settings like fireworks, light trails, star trails, vehicles moving at night, and so on.

Internal Flash

Using a camera flash is an inevitable part of being a photographer, especially since photography is mainly concerned with light. But to gain more confidence in using your built-in flash when taking pictures, one must first understand its uses.

Contrary to what many beginner photographers think, flash is not only used to brighten a nearby scene or subject. It can also set the mood, add emphasis to image elements, and create special effects in your photograph and this is extremely useful for photographers.

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Sony A5100 Vs Lumix GF9 – Unique Features

In this section, we will be looking at the differences between Sony A5100 and Lumix GF9. We have put together some features that vary between the two cameras.

Larger Sensor

The digital image sensor is the part of the camera that actually captures the image, from the light that is reflected onto it by the lens. The sensors are of a good size in the Sony A5100 and the Lumix GF9, but we’ll be looking at the advantages of an APS-C sensor over a Micro four-third.

Let’s start with the obvious thing – resolution. Having a digital sensor with a larger surface area provides the opportunity to include more pixels. Assuming the pixels are the same size, having a digital sensor that is 40% larger, reads that there can be 40% more pixels. That means higher resolution for your images, which in turn means more detail and the ability to make them larger.

A larger digital image sensor also appears to lead to an increase in dynamic range for your camera. This is the range of tones that your camera can capture between pure white and pure black. The wider range, the better your photograph.

If you want an appreciable degree of background blur in your images, you will need to use a larger digital image sensor. It is not just a function of aperture size (though it takes a major part in it). It is virtually impossible to achieve a strong amount of background blur with a camera that has a tiny image sensor.

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NFC

Near Field Communication, better known as NFC, is an alternative type of wireless connectivity that enables short-range communication between mobile devices.

To initiate an NFC connection, two NFC enabled products are required to be placed within 4cm of each other, after which data or images can be transferred via a Wi-Fi connection.

Rather than relying on radio waves, NFC uses electromagnetic radio fields to form its communication. NFC is mostly found in the Sony Alpha line, where the A5100 belongs to. The Lumix GF9 doesn’t have this feature.

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Lacks Anti-aliasing filter

A low-pass (or anti-aliasing) filter adds a little bit of blur to the image, which is helpful in avoiding moiré patterns. Moiré patterns are caused when two similar patterns interfere with each other, causing a much more noticeable and unwanted pattern.

The pixels in a digital camera’s image sensor are arranged in a grid, and any sort of closely-spaced vertical or horizontal lines in your image can, therefore, create a moiré pattern in the final image. The low-pass filter adds a small amount of blur that doesn’t significantly change the image overall but still reduces the moiré effect.

Lacking the Anti-aliasing filter produces sharper images and more captured fine detail in those images. This may be a great feature for studio and landscape photographers who may not mind the occasional occurrence of moiré in some images while getting more sharpness and detail in every image.

4K Abilities

The 4K capture capabilities is a great feature, one of the choke-full features of the GF9. Beyond being able to record in 4K, this time in QFHD 4K specifically with 3840 x 2160 resolutions, this new snapper is able to capture 4K PHOTO shots.

When engaged, 150 frames in raw 4K are captured within five seconds and can be used to select the best shot from that set. This function, which comes in three modes—Burst, 4K Burst (Start/Stop), and 4K Pre-Burst—and operates at 30fps, will produce an 8MP high-res picture.

Snapping 4K shots also provide the Lumix GF9 with the ability to boost focus and brightness levels with the following features: Focus Stacking, Post Focus, and Light Composition.

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More Telephoto Lens Reach

 A telephoto lens has a long reach, allowing you to photograph a subject that is far away or magnifying the subject in your frame. Generally, a lens is considered “telephoto” if it has a focal length of 60mm or longer.

This is the most obvious reason to use a telephoto lens and why most beginners consider getting one. A telephoto lens will allow you to take photos of subjects that are farther away. This comes in handy when you are taking photos of things that you can’t, or don’t want to, get close to. Having more distance between you and your subject can help some people feel more at ease in front of the camera. The Sony A5100 has a farther telephoto reach than the Lumix GF9, 75mm Vs 64mm.

Faster Shutter

One of the three most important settings in photography is Shutter Speed, the other two being Aperture and ISO. Shutter speed is responsible for two particular things: changing the brightness of your photo and creating dramatic effects by either freezing action or blurring motion. 

Shutter speed can also be used to freeze motion. If you use especially fast shutter speed, you can eliminate motion even from fast-moving objects, like birds in flight, or cars driving past. If you use a fast shutter speed while taking pictures of water, each droplet will hang in the air completely sharp, this might not even be visible to our own eyes.

The Sony A5100 has a faster shutter speed than the Lumix GF9, meaning It allows you to explore sports photography to capture sportsmen and women in motion. Fast flying planes, roaring cars, and quick bikes freeze, bringing awesomeness to the table.

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Sony A5100 Vs Lumix GF9 – Unique Pros

Sony A5100

  • The Sony A5100 has an impressive video capture performance.
  • It has a very small and comfortable form factor with a tough body.
  • It has a very good image quality for its class.
  • It also has a quick autofocus and good dynamic range.

Lumix GF9

  • It is compact, lightweight body with swappable lenses.
  • It produces crisp, detailed and relatively low noise 16 Megapixel photos.
  • It has a 4K movie and 4K Photo modes with post focus adjustments.
  • It has a sleek design.
  • It has a tilting LCD and touchscreen.
  • An enjoyable user experience is guaranteed.
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Sony A5100 Vs Lumix GF9 – Unique Cons

Sony A5100

  • It touchscreen performance is not as comprehensive as competitors.
  • It has no microphone input jack.
  • It’s JPEG processing at higher ISOs not as good as some competing mid-level models.

Lumix GF9

  • Its screen doesn’t tilt down.
  • There is no optical stabilisation on kit zoom not as effective as other lenses.
  • It has no Mic input
  • It has a short 4K clip limit
  • It has a micro SD card slot
  • It has a poor battery life.
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Sony A5100 Vs Lumix GF9– Common Pros

Sony A5100Lumix GF9
Raw Support A RAW file is an uncompressed version of the image file. Essentially the camera takes the image data from the sensor and saves it in an unedited and uncompressed format on the memory card.

One of the biggest benefits of RAW mode is that you record all of the data from the sensor. This gives the highest quality files.

When you shoot JPEG the white balance is applied to the image.

With RAW the white balance is still recorded, but because you have way more data, it’s easy to adjust.

Great white balance and color are essential to an awesome image, and shooting RAW lets you make the adjustments easier and faster, with better results.  
Same applies here
Continuous shooting Action is one of the tougher subjects to capture on camera. Burst mode helps increase the odds of getting that perfectly-timed shot. Same applies here
AE bracketing In photography, bracketing is the general technique of taking several shots of the same subject using different camera settings.

The Auto Exposure Bracketing (or AEB) functionality of the camera allows us to take multiple shots based on a predefined setting with one single shutter click.

AEB helps ensure you leave the shoot with the shots you need. It is great for a number of photography types such as landscape photography and street photography.
Same applies here
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Sony A5100 Vs Lumix GF9– Common Cons

Sony A5100

Lumix GF9

No Viewfinder Holding the camera out at arm’s-length while looking at the LCD screen — and then keeping the camera steady while trying to zoom in on a subject — takes a lot of effort. By using the LCD screen in this way, you will often end up with a blurry image.

With the Viewfinder pressed to your face, you can get a form of stabilization or balance as you take your shots.
Same applies here

Sony A5100 Vs Lumix GF9– People Thoughts about Both

Sony A5100

Lumix GF9

Vloggers love this camera because of its size and its mirror flip-up screen which makes sure the angle, lighting, and focus are right.  

Video creators really loved its fast focusing, the 50 megabit recording mode, and its full-frame 4:2:2 uncompressed HDMI output.  

Vloggers were disappointed to learn that the camera cannot be operated off of external power. And charging the battery inside the camera can take as long as 5 hours. The a5100 also lacks an external microphone input.  

A lot of people hate that there is no in-body stabilization which is very important, so you need to keep this in mind and may as well buy a lens with image stabilization.

People loved the Wifi and NFC feature in the camera.    
People loved that it is a 4/3 camera with full functionality and compatibility with 4/3 lenses. They also loved that it took crisp and sharp images.  

In video mode, you can’t set the shutter speed, when you try it instantly reverts to an automatic mode. You can manually set ISO and aperture, but the shutter speed is a big problem.    

People also complained about its lack of audio input, which is a real bummer; they would have liked to use an external mic.  

Travel photographers love this camera for its small size. It is always convenient to put it into your travel luggage without noticing its weight, not like most SLRs      
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Sony A5100 Vs Lumix GF9– Conclusion

The Sony A5100 is a great camera which can work best for daily, sports and street photography. Its light weight, Wifi features, and tilt-able screen make it great for travel and vlogging.

Its large APS-C sensor plays a good role in making its pictures beautiful, clear and detailed when printed. With long battery life, it is also good for videography. The Sony A5100 would be a wonderful choice for any entry-level photographer.

The Lumix GF9 remains the master in videography, with its 4K video mode and its 4K photo/selfie mode, the GF9 remains a splendid camera for vlogging. If you run a blog which you’ll need to always snap portraits and selfie, this is your camera.

However, in the end, there can only be one winner. And for us, it’s the Sony A5100. Its bigger lens, NFC feature, and flip-up screen, just give it the edge over the Lumix GF9. Also, the fact that it’s more affordable than the Lumix is a huge plus.

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