Announced this morning, the Panasonic Lumix G9 is the firm’s new flagship for stills photography, borrowing features from the video-oriented GH5 while bringing to the table a few new tricks of its own.
There’s plenty to get through, so let’s dive straight in.
Panasonic Lumix G9: Best ever image quality
Panasonic bills the G9 as boasting the highest-ever image quality seen from a Lumix camera. This comes from a 20.3MP Digital Live MOS sensor – Micro Four Thirds, naturally – that eschews a low-pass filter for optimum image quality.
For those who need more pixels, Panasonic has added a High Resolution mode, which combines images together to produce 80MP-equivalent (!) images in-camera, in JPEG or RAW formats.
This is all powered by the Venus Engine, which uses Multipixel Luminance Generation and Intelligent Detail processing.
Panasonic has also beefed up its in-body image stabilisation for the Lumix G9 – the firm claims that the Body I.S. will allow photographers to make use of shutter speeds up to 6.5 stops slower, thanks to a more accurate calculation of shake in different shooting conditions, which is achieved through use of data from the gyro-sensor, image sensor and accelerometer sensor.
The 5-axis Dual I.S. is combination of multiple methods of stabilisation, and Panasonic claims that it’ll be useful even for extended telephoto shooting or extreme low-light work, compensating for larger movements conventionally thought uncontrollable. It works for both photo and 4K video recording, too. We’re looking forward to testing it out.
Panasonic Lumix G9: Speed
Thanks again to the Venus Engine, the Lumix G9 is capable of burst-shooting at up to 60fps with focus fixed, and it also includes Panasonic’s now-obligatory 6K/4K PHOTO modes, which allow for the extraction of stills from 6K/4K footage.
The high-speed Depth from Defocus autofocus technology is present and correct, producing AF acquisition times as short as 0.04sec – which Panasonic proudly touts as the fastest in the industry – and offering sophisticated tracking performance for moving subjects.
Panasonic Lumix G9: Build and handling
With its heavy-duty magnesium alloy build and thick, chunky handgrip, the Lumix G9 is a weighty offering that flies in the face of the days when CSCs were dismissed as small and plasticky.
It’s designed for heavy use out in the field, with a body that’s splashproof, dustproof and freezeproof down to -10 degrees centigrade. It’s got a hefty status LCD on its top – the largest in class, as Panasonic points out – while the rear LCD is a 3-inch free-angle type with 1,040k-dot high resolution.
The viewfinder, too, is largest in class, with a magnification ratio of approximately 1.66x and an OLED 120fps display with a minimum lag of less than 0.005sec.
Another welcome inclusion is a double SD card slot, which is compatible with high-speed UHS-II.
Panasonic Lumix G9: Connectivity
Naturally the Lumix G9 offers Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity for easy hooking up with a smartphone or tablet. For Wi-FI, 5GHz is available for a more secure connection, as well as standard 2.4GHz.
Panasonic Lumix G9: Pricing and availability
The Panasonic Lumix G9 is expected from January 2018. Body-only it’ll set you back £1,499, while two kits will also be available. The M Kit – a G9 and a Panasonic 12-60mm lens – will cost you £1,699; the L Kit – a G9 and a Leica 12-60mm lens – will be priced £2,019.