Panasonic Lumix G9 review: A mirrorless moulded to the needs of still-shooters
- Night mode
- Shoulder-mounted information display
- 6.5-stop stablization
- 0.04-second autofocus
- Weather-sealed design
- Videographic capabilities not as robust as GH5
The Lumix G9 doesn’t hit the same highs as the a9 but, if you’re scared by the price-tag of the latter, this is a more-than-serviceable alternative at a third of the price.
One of the more interesting aspects about Panasonic’s Lumix camera line-up is the way that each model - while often tilted towards different situations and contexts - inevitably informs the next. Last year’s Lumix GH5 might have had a feature-set designed from the ground up to make it a dream camera for videographers. However, plenty of the advancements involved have carried over into the company’s next dedicated still-shooter: the Panasonic Lumix G9.
Offering up the same rugged, weather-sealed splash, dust and freezeproof magnesium alloy design found in the GH5, the G9 promises to sweeten the deal with an industry-leading autofocus speed of 0.04 seconds and best-in-class burst shooting. Effortlessly envisioned as both a successor to the G7 and Panasonic’s most-advanced camera yet, the pitch for the G9 might carry a familiar rattle but it’s not hard to see why you should be excited about it.
The Panasonic Lumix G9 is a mirrorless camera that boasts a 20.3-megapixel Micro Four Thirds CMOS image sensor, Venus Engine 10 processor and 5-Axis Dual I.S.2 image stabilization. It comes capable of burst shooting at speeds of between 12FPS (with mechanical shutter) 20FPS (continuous with no blackout) and 60FPS (with electronic shutter), neatly paired up with the ultra-fast autofocus mentioned above. Said autofocus system boasts 225 zones of precision and comes with full face/eye detection and tracking.
In terms of the unit’s form-factor, the Lumix G9 comes with a 3.2-inch multi-angle tiltable touch display on the back, paired up with a 3,680K-dot OLED EVF and a dedicated AF point selector joystick. There’s also a new LCD information display sitting on the shoulder of the camera. Still, for the most part, the button layout is pretty similar to that found in the GH5 - which shouldn’t surprise.
Like the GH5, the G9 comes ready to film in up to 4K quality in either 30FPS or 60FPS. It can also shoot 1080p in up to 180FPS. ISO-wise, the Lumix G9 caps out at 25600 but also offers extended lower settings of as little as ISO 100. Normally, the G9 can go as low of 200.
Then, when it comes to ports, the Lumix G9 arrives armed to the teeth. It’s got a two UHS-II SD slots, a USB 3.1 Type-C port, a HDMI Type-A port, a 2.5mm wired remote slot and a pair 3.5mm mic and headphones jacks.
The mirrorless camera also comes bundled with a single battery pack, a USB-powered dedicated battery charger, USB 2.0 & USB 3.0 cables, an AC/USB adapter, shoulder strap and a few extras - including an eye cup, body cap, flash socket cover and hot-shoe cover.
Our testing paired up the G9 up with both the Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm f/2.8-4 ASPH. POWER O.I.S. Lens and its telephotographic cousin, the Leica DG Elmarit 200mm f/2.8 Power O.I.S.
The G9 should play nice with most modern Micro Four Thirds lenses. That said, it’s definitely (and always) worth giving these things a quick Google before you spend the money involved.
Next Page: Design, Performance, The Bottom Line and Image Gallery
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