FOR such a small camera, Panasonic's Lumix GX9 packs an awful lot of features in.
The 20 megapixel shooter, which uses a Micro Four Thirds sensor, is designed as a travel camera with one of its most unique features being a tilting live view finder.
It comes in very handy when you want to shoot at different angles - and don't particularly want to lie on the ground to get your shot.
An Eye Sensor is activated simply by looking into the viewfinder, which tilts up by about 80 degrees.
Looking around the camera, there is no shortage of dials to customise your shooting settings.
The Lumix GX9 introduces an exposure dial which we found particularly handy in producing images with a bit more impact.
Most photographers tell you to slightly underexpose, and this allows you to do that easily.
The Digital Live MOS sensor (without Low Pass Filter) delivers accurate images which look both natural and vibrant.
As you would expect there are an array of possible settings on the dials from full manual control to a good selection of scene settings.
There's also a focus level to quickly adjust between AFS (AFF)/AFC and manual focus.
While there are certainly faster focusing cameras around, we didn't find much of an issue in the shooting we did given the autofocus at 0.07 second. In super low light, video focus suffered a little though.
The GX9 shoots 4K Photo and video and supports as range of interchangeable lens.
One of the improvements to 4K shooting is Auto Marking, which highlights images that contain movement or faces.
The in-camera sequence composition functions allows a range of images to be shown in one shot - such as the arc of a diver leaving the board, a dancer's movement or a waterskier flying through the air.
The 4K video options include 4K live cropping for more stable panning and zooming. There also a 4K Pre-burst mode for photos which shoots 30 frames per second before and after the shutter is released.
Another interesting feature is Post Focus - which allows you to choose the point of your focus after the shot is recorded.
The panoramic mode is also particularly good, pulling in a lot of image detail so you can achieve a high quality result while also having a live play panorama.
Panasonic says its Dual I.S. technology can support up to four stops of image stabilisation - enabling shooting still subjects handheld at slower shutter speeds and ISO values, as well as supporting telephoto focal lengths.
We put the camera to the test in very low light, a short distance from a camp fire. The results were pretty stunning with details not seen by my natural eyes.
High Precision Multi Process Noise Reduction both identifies noise and preserves detail, supporting low- light shooting at ISO 25600, Panasonic says.
The main 1240k-dot touch monitor, which also tilts, allows you to easily review photos and videos as well as scroll through camera shooting modes and settings.
Overall, it's a great little package aimed at those who take their compact and travel photography seriously. For the enthusiast there is plenty to play with.
The DC-GX9 is available in Black, or two-tone Silver and Black. The single lens kit with 12-32mm lens has aRRP $1,399.