The DISP Button

One of the more useful buttons on a G camera is the DISP button, but it is confusing to use because its function changes depending on the display mode of the camera.   The screens you get when reviewing pictures (called PLAYBACK Mode)  is very different from the screens available before a picture is taken (called RECORDING Mode), what you see in the Viewfinder is different from what shows on the Monitor, and if that isn’t confusing enough, some of the displays depend upon menu items set in custom functions!  This information is valuable, however, so you need to understand this stuff; otherwise you will be in the field and at some point scream “Where the Hell is the histogram?”  Further in RECORDING mode the DISP button will give you a chance to change settings using the touchscreen.  This is a real time saver if you know about it!

NOTE TO PANASONIC:  If anyone at Panasonic is reading this (and cares about their customers) this structure is unbelievably and unnecessarily complex. This is inexcusable.  A simple structure should be the default, and all of the complications explained below should only appear with changes in Custom settings.

Where is DISP?  Unfortunately it has been moving.  On the G9 it has been placed near the right bottom (53) on the back of the camera:

Screen Shot 2018-01-07 at 11.13.13 AM



  On the G7 and G85 it is (36) above the multi-selector:


On all the G cameras it is important to use the DISP in coordination with the PLAYBACK button, which is labeled with a green arrow like this on the G85:


On The G85, PLAYBACK is button (34) on the figure above, but on the G9 PLAYBACK has been moved to the left side of the back, button (35):


To enter PLAYBACK MODE you press the green arrow once.  To exit you either press it again, or half press the shutter button.

But wait, there is more!  You need to select a screen display style, separately for the Viewfinder and the Monitor.  You only have to do this once.  Do it in Menu>Custom>Monitor/Display>LVF Disp. Style (for the Viewfinder) and Menu>Custom>Monitor/Display>Monitor Disp. Style (for the Touchscreen.  I recommend using the black border style to begin:


The black border makes the important information easier to discern.  Later, if you find that you want more screen real estate you can switch to the  superimposed style.  

Next, you have to know about the tilt sensor display.  This is also called an artificial horizon on other cameras.  This is really useful for wide angle lenses and architecture, and really annoying otherwise.  I have not found a way to get rid of it, but it only appears in RECORDING mode displays, and you can cycle to a screen that doesn’t have it if you don’t want it.

TIP  You can easily fix vertical and horizontal converging lines in Lightroom or Photoshop, BUT only if you don’t have important parts of the picture near the edge of the frame!  You may find that perspective adjustments on such images results in an unwanted crop.  You can try to scale the image first, but even then you may need to resort to content aware surgery.  If you intend to make adjustments in post capture then leave some space around the subject either by zooming out, stepping back, or using a wider lens.

Now you can understand what the DISP button does.

In RECORDING MODE:  Viewfinder

With each press of the DISP button the Viewfinder changes between these fourscreens:

In RECORDING MODE:  Monitor

With each press of the DISP button the Monitor changes between these six screens:

When the on-monitor recording information screen is displayed, you can advantageously touch the desired item and change its setting directly.

In PLAYBACK MODE:  Viewfinder & Monitor

With each press of the DISP button on the G85 both the Viewfinder and Monitor change between these five* screens:

*The fourth screen is a Highlight Display that shows only if Highlight is set ON in the Custom Menu. 

With each press of the DISP button on the G9 both the Viewfinder and Monitor change between these four* screens:

*The third screen on the G9 is a Highlight Display that shows only if Highlight is set ON in the Custom Menu. 

The G9 has cursor buttons (46) on the new multi-selector wheel:


This makes it possible to have nested screens.  When the Detailed Information Display is showing (screen two), pressing the up/down cursor buttons cycles through a:

  • Detailed information display
  • Histogram display
  • Photo style, Highlight shadow display
  • White balance display
  • Lens information display
--© Robert Rose 2018