Panasonic LUMIX G9 (PRNewsfoto/Panasonic Consumer Electronics)

This announcement is not a review of the G9 but having had the opportunity to briefly use and test this camera, I can say, it is as good as the specs and performs exceptionally well.

Panasonic’s new Lumix DC-G9 is a camera tailored for pro and advanced stills photographers.  The camera uses the same 20.3 MP sensor as the GH5 but has processing enhancements for better image quality and can be pixel shifted to produce 80MP RAW files.  This sensor ship is ideal for architecture, still life and product photography where high resolutions are demanded. 

The new High Resolution mode produces an 80-megapixel equivalent (10368 x 7776) image combining 8 consecutively shot images while shifting the sensor. This combined image can not only be set for JPEG but also RAW (in camera).

The body has a new control and dial layout and adds a LCD display on the right side of the view finder. The power on and off switch is conveniently located around the shutter release. The mode dial and drive mode dial are concentric and lockable. Drive modes include: Single, Continuous I and II, 6K Photo, Post Focus, Self timer and Time-lapse.  The body is slimmer than the GH5 and has a deeper and very comfortable grip.

The joystick is similar to the one found on the GH5. What is new is the OLED electronic viewfinder.  It has a magnification factor of 0.83 x equivalent and a resolution of 3.68 million dots, it is truly impressive. A 3″ fully articulating touchscreen LCD is basically the same as the GH5. However you now have the ability to keep the LCD closed and use the top LCD display to read your camera settings, exposure etc. 

The body supports two SD card slots, both are UHS-II capable. Ports are similar to the GH5 and include HDMI, microphone, headphone, flash sync, USB 3.0 (Micro B) and remote control. The body is weather sealed and will operate at temperatures as low as -10C.

The G9 image stabilization is as good if not marginally better than the GH5, offering 6.5 stops of image shake reduction. With a majority of the newer lenses the system will use the proven combined lens and bod Dual I.S. 2 stabilization.

Another major improvement is in the focusing system.  The Depth from Defocus system has been significantly refined and now has 225 selectable focus points. This system is not only faster but offers superb tracking that uses a “Deep Learning” technology that detects a human body in addition to the conventional face and eye detection. In addition a new “AF Point Scope” magnifies distant subjects allowing for precise focus and capture.

As for speed, the G9 will shoot bursts of 20 fps in continuous autofocus mode using the electronic shutter.  In mechanical shutter mode the speed drops to 9 fps. The buffer capacity is 50 RAW files in a single burst.  However with single AF engaged the G9 can shoot at a blazing fast 60 fps (electronic) and 12 fps (mechanical).  In my brief testing there was no blackout at all using the electronic shutter.

The minimum shutter speed is 60 sec. and maximum is 1/8000 sec using the mechanical shutter and 1/32000 sec. using the electronic shutter.  The flash sync speed remains at 1/250 sec.

Though the G9 is targeted at stills photographer, it is no video slouch. It will shoot 4K video at up to 60 fps, with a maximum bitrate of 150Mbps. For slo motion capture it will shoot 60 fps in 4K and 180 fps if you select Full HD video.

The 4K and 6K photo modes are fully supported as they are in the GH5. 

There is an optional battery grip available.  The camera comes with a new charger.

The G9 and accessories will ship in January 2018 for $1699 body only. The DMW-BGG9 grip for $349.

Extracted from the press release:

Optional Accessories Specially Designed for LUMIX G9

  • Battery Grip DMW-BGG9 – includes joystick and one additional battery.
  • Eye Cup DMW-EC4 for enhanced viewing and comfort.
  • Battery Charger DMW-BTC13 – enables rapid charging.
  • Shoulder Strap DMW-SSTG9 – length-adjustable and can be detached easily.
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