Panasonic has just used the wraps off its new full-frame digital cameras, the S1 and S1R. While there’s something new and shiny coming, there is still too much to like in the business’s Micro Four Thirds lineup, like the Panasonic G9, which released at the start of this year.
The Panasonic G9 is the company’s flagship stills-oriented camera and sits above the Panasonic G85. Compared to the G85, the G9 has many advantages including a 20.3-megapixel sensor, for instance, the same one found in the Panasonic GH5. Whereas the GH5 appeals even more to video shooters, the G9 is aimed more at stills shooters, although they are both extremely capable hybrid cameras. The G9 also includes a larger electronic viewfinder compared to the G85, dual card slots, faster JPEG shooting, a quicker electronic shutter, and several other improvements and fresh features.
Check Out: Best Lenses for Panasonic Lumix G9
Panasonic Lumix G9: Price
Panasonic Lumix G9: Image Quality
The G9 gets an increase in megapixel count from 16 to 20 in comparison with 2017’s G85. Further, the G9 contains improved image processing because of the latest-gen Venus processor chip. These two improvements soon add up to noticeably better picture quality.
The Panasonic G9 provides images with good comparison and pleasing color. Because of the insufficient optical low-pass filtration system, the G9 can produce some aliasing artifacts, but that does mean it delivers images with very good details. At its base ISO of 200, the Panasonic G9 captures sharp, detailed images that may hold up nicely against its APS-C competition. When compared to Olympus E-M1 Mark II, the G9 delivers cleaner pictures with better sharpness and even more nuanced processing. With that said, the G9 was lab-tested with a fresh lens, so it has a slight benefit over previously-tested MFT digital cameras due to that. Overall, though, sharpness from the G9 is great, with only minor edge-improvement artifacts around high-contrast subjects.
As you raise the ISO, the G9 pulls further from the G85. That is due in a large component not merely to improved equipment, but also the improved software program in the camera. Despite having smaller pixels than the G85, the G9 produces images with less sound at ISO 1600 and beyond.
Inside our print quality evaluation, we found the G9 to create excellent 30 x 40-inch prints at bottom ISO, an excellent 16 x 20 inch print at ISO 800, and an excellent 11 x 14 print at ISO 3200. Beyond ISO 3200, the quality will degrade a lot, knocking acceptable printing size right down to 8 x 10 at ISO 6400 and 5 x 7 at ISO 12,800. (We don’t suggest prints at its best ISO of 25,600.) Provided its sensor size and megapixel count, the Panasonic G9 delivered a good performance inside our print quality testing.
Panasonic Lumix G9: Autofocus and Performance
Looking first at the way the G9’s autofocus does in the laboratory, it proved to provide excellent overall performance despite devoid of any phase-detect pixels. Full-autofocus shutter lag was only 0.121 seconds, which is really as fast or faster than many pro-level DSLR cameras.
In the field, the problem was generally positive as well, with the 225-stage DFD-powered autofocus system delivering fast and accurate outcomes. The camera occasionally could easily get confused and lock onto the backdrop, nonetheless, it was typically in a position to quickly recover.
The camera is fast to power on, capture a graphic and routine from shot-to-shot. In terms of continuous shooting, the G9 is a very fast camera. With the mechanical shutter, it could capture Natural and JPEG images at only over 12 fps. Buffer depths proved impressive as well, enabling over 80 RAW frames with 14-second clearing time and 600 JPEG pictures, which cleared in an identical period of time. It’s worth noting that the G9’s shooting speeds when working with AF-C drop to 9 fps, which continues to be quick. When you shoot with the digital shutter, you can capture full-size Natural and JPEG images at an impressive 60 frames per second, which is incredibly fast; when using constant autofocus, the burst price drop to a still-impressive 20 fps.
Panasonic Lumix G9: Camera Body and Handling
Like the GH5, the G9 includes a large front grip that enables you to easily grip and contain the camera. It’s a comfy camera to use. The G9 also contains ample physical controls, making changing configurations on the fly a breeze within the field.
The G9 may be the first Panasonic mirrorless camera to add a top-deck LCD panel, gives it an appearance comparable to a high-end DSLR, although considerably smaller sized than something similar to a Nikon D850 or Canon 5D Mark IV. The G9 is actually a shrunken-straight down DSLR while being mirrorless and feeling just as capable as bigger cameras. Being mirrorless, the G9 depends on an electric viewfinder, which provides a 35mm-comparative magnification of 0.83x. This large viewfinder functions perfectly for composing pictures and tracking topics. The G9’s EVF refreshes at 120 fps and doesn’t have a blackout, which we appreciated a whole lot out in the field. Actually, during our first Field Check, we discovered it to be among the better EVFs out generally there.
Panasonic Lumix G9: Video Features and Performance
As the GH5 and GH5S could be the popular cameras for videographers, that will not imply that the G9 does not have video chops. There aren’t quite as many settings and features on the G9 as there are on the GH5-series of cameras, however, the G9 does offer a lot, which includes 4K UHD video catch at up to 60 fps, which is something not so many cameras offer, aside from ones with these types of still photography capabilities and as of this price point.
There is not V-Log, 10-bit video or unlimited recording on the G9, but the footage from the camera is usually crisp and autofocus became decent, although somewhat susceptible to hunting even when the topic was in concentrate. While 4K quality at all three offered frame prices, 24, 30 and 60p, was good, we were likewise impressed with the entire HD video quality, which normally delivers less quality than 4K video but nonetheless looks nice. The tale isn’t as positive with the high frame-rate video setting, so we recommend capturing at 4K/60p and slowing it down instead of using HFR mode. Likewise, the high ISO video overall performance isn’t very impressive, although you can find good-quality video up through ISO 3200. ISO 6,400 is definitely noticeably degraded so that it is best avoided when possible.
Panasonic Lumix G9: Key Features
- 20.3MP Live MOS sensor with no AA filter (same as GH5)
- 3.68M-dot electronic viewfinder w/ 0.83x equivalent magnification
- 1.04M-dot 3″ articulating touchscreen display
- 5-axis in-body image stabilization with Dual I.S. 2 (CIPA rated 6.5 stops)
- 20 fps burst w/continuous AF using the e-shutter (for ~50 frames)
- 9 fps burst w/continuous AF using mechanical shutter (for 600+ frames)
- 80MP Raw and/or JPEG files using High-Resolution mode
- 4K/60p UHD video capture
- Magnesium body designed to be dust/weather-sealed
- Dual UHS-II card slots supporting new high-speed ‘V’-rated cards
- An assortment of 4K and 6K Photo modes and in-camera focus stacking
- USB charge and power capability
- Top plate LCD
- AF joystick
- Wi-Fi + Bluetooth
Panasonic Lumix G9: Conclusion
Overall, the Panasonic G9 is an extremely great Micro Four Thirds camera and can be an especially good stills camera. Having said that, despite it becoming Panasonic’s flagship still-shooting Micro Four Thirds camera, the G9 still has amazing video features, although without yet features as the GH5. Using its DSLR-like style, the G9 is quite easy and intuitive to make use of while providing high-quality images that may compete keenly against some APS-C cameras.
The Panasonic G9 offers many excellent shooting features, great efficiency and is a superb value in an overall robust and flexible camera system. There were a whole lot of great digital cameras released since last December, however, the Panasonic G9 may be probably the most underrated of the bunch. If you are searching for a stills-concentrated Panasonic MFT camera, search no further compared to the Panasonic G9.