The Lumix G9 is the newest and most advanced mirrorless camera from Panasonic. It joins the Lumix GH5 as the company’s flagship model in this category.
Even though the Panasonic GH5 is the company’s most stills-oriented flagship camera to date, many people still consider it primarily a tool for videographers, even though it offers many photographic functions.
On the other hand, the launch of the Lumix G9 is intended to end this predicament. Although it shares many exact specifications as the GH5, it provides more features tailored to still photographers’ needs. Unfortunately, however, it does so at the expense of more advanced video features that most intended users are not likely to require.
Panasonic Lumix G9 Features
Because the Panasonic Lumix G9 is equipped with the same 20.3-megapixel Micro Four Thirds Live MOS sensor as the Panasonic Lumix GH5, no low-pass filter is present in these cameras. And if a resolution of 20.3 megapixels isn’t quite enough for you, the G9 also has a new High-Resolution mode that can produce files at an equivalent of 80 megapixels.
This works by merging eight photographs that have been shot in fast succession, with minor sensor changes between each one—because of this, using this mode requires using a tripod, which is not needed when utilizing some competing technologies.
Panasonic Lumix G9 Build Quality
The design of the Panasonic Lumix G9 takes a somewhat different path than that of the GH5, which succeeds. It appears to have slightly slumped proportions, probably because the shutter button and grip are elevated, while the sharp-edged pentaprism rests somewhat lower.
Adding a top-plate status LCD is the most noticeable alteration to the design. This feature is prevalent in high-end DSLRs, but the expensive Leica SL is the only mirrorless camera with one. Even though mirrorless designs have generally rejected the top-plate LCD, it is lovely to see one on the G9 since it makes it simple to take a fast peek at all the basic shooting settings.
Panasonic Lumix G9 Autofocus
The GH5 and the Lumix G9 have an autofocus coverage of 225 areas, covering the bulk of the frame but not extending to the frame’s corners. In addition, the sensitivity of the focusing may be adjusted down to light levels as low as -4EV, and the G9 utilizes the Depth from Defocus (DFD) autofocus technology developed by Panasonic.
While other manufacturers of mirrorless cameras have moved toward adopting hybrid autofocus systems that use both phase-detection and contrast-detection AF technologies, Panasonic has decided to stick with using contrast-detection autofocus exclusively.
Although it is reasonable to assume that this method will result in a slower autofocus acquisition than competing cameras, it does not appear to be affected in practice. In our tests, it achieved an acquisition speed of 0.04 seconds, a very modest gain over the 0.05 seconds achieved by the GH5. Moreover, it didn’t leave us lacking for anything; even in low light, it could lock on without any problems.
Panasonic Lumix G9 Performance
The Lumix G9 can shoot at a lightning-fast 20 frames per second with full continuous autofocus; however, this number may be increased to an astounding 60 frames per second if the subject is not tracked.
That is a significant improvement from the GH5’s 12fps (9fps with AF-C), and it is also feasible to pull still shots out of 4K and 6K video using the Photo mode in any of those resolutions. However, it is possible to extract single 8MP and 18MP photos from 4K 60fps and 6K 30fps film. This may make these modes less appealing now that the G9 can record at such rapid speeds.
Panasonic Lumix G9 Image Quality
The image quality produced by the Panasonic Lumix G9 is outstanding. It is, without a doubt, the most impressive performance we have witnessed from a camera based on the Micro Four Thirds standard.
The absence of an optical low pass filter enables the 20.3-megapixel chip to give excellent detail even when working at lower sensitivities. It is pretty challenging to differentiate between the results produced by the G9 and those made by a similar APS-C competitor.
In addition, Panasonic has put a lot of effort into improving how colors are rendered. As a result, the JPEG files produced by the G9 have colors that are considerably more true to life and seem more natural than those produced by previous Lumix cameras.
When looking at raw files, there is a little suggestion of luminance (grain-like) noise in the middle-range sensitivities, but you must look closely to see it. Nevertheless, the results are excellent over the whole ISO range.
Panasonic Lumix G9 Specs
|Body type||SLR-style mirrorless|
|Body material||Magnesium alloy|
|Max resolution||5184 x 3888|
|Image ratio w h||1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9|
|Effective pixels||20 megapixels|
|Sensor photo detectors||22 megapixels|
|Sensor size||Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm)|
|Color space||sRGB, Adobe RGB|
|Color filter array||Primary color filter|
|ISO||Auto, 200-25600 (expands to 100-25600)|
|Boosted ISO (minimum)||100|
|White balance presets||5|
|Custom white balance||Yes (4 slots)|
|CIPA image stabilization rating||6.5 stop(s)|
|JPEG quality levels||Fine, standard|
|File format||JPEG (Exif v2.31)Raw (Panasonic 12-bit RW2)|
|Optics & Focus|
|Autofocus||Contrast Detect (sensor)Multi-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View|
|Autofocus assist lamp||Yes|
|Digital zoom||Yes (2x-4x)|
|Number of focus points||225|
|Lens mount||Micro Four Thirds|
|Focal length multiplier||2×|
|Articulated LCD||Fully articulated|
|Screen type||TFT LCD|
|Viewfinder magnification||1.66× (0.83× 35mm equiv.)|
|Minimum shutter speed||60 sec|
|Maximum shutter speed||1/8000 sec|
|Maximum shutter speed (electronic)||1/32000 sec|
|Exposure modes||iAutoProgramAperture priorityShutter priorityManual|
|External flash||Yes (via hot shoe or flash sync port)|
|Flash modes||Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Forced On/Red-eye Reduction, Slow Sync., Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced Off|
|Flash X sync speed||1/250 sec|
|Drive modes||SingleContinuous I/II6K PhotoPost FocusSelf-timer time-lapse|
|Continuous drive||20.0 fps|
|Metering modes||MultiCenter-weighted spot|
|Exposure compensation||±5 (at 1/3 EV steps)|
|AE Bracketing||±3 (3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)|
|Format||MPEG-4, AVCHD, H.264|
|Modes||3840 x 2160 @ 60p / 150 Mbps, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 100 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC3840 x 2160 @ 23.98p / 100 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 28 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 20 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 28 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital1920 x 1080 @ 60i / 24 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital1920 x 1080 @ 60i / 17 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital1920 x 1080 @ 23.98p / 24 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital|
|Storage types||Dual SD/SDHC/SDXC slots (UHS-II supported)|
|USB||USB 3.0 (5 GBit/sec)|
|Wireless notes||802.11ac + Bluetooth|
|Remote control||Yes (wired or via smartphone)|
|Battery description||DMW-BTC13 lithium-ion battery & USB charger|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||400|
|Weight (inc. batteries)||658 g (1.45 lb / 23.21 oz)|
|Dimensions||137 x 97 x 92 mm (5.39 x 3.82 x 3.62″)|
Panasonic Lumix G9 Verdict
The Lumix G9 is both Panasonic’s most excellent mirrorless camera to date and a fantastic all-around mirrorless camera thanks to its superb image quality, ability to shoot at 60 frames per second (fps), refined handling, and abundance of sophisticated capabilities.