Panasonic Lumix G9 has been announced quite a while ago at the end of 2017. But, this strongly solid mirrorless camera was just available last January 2018. Titled as the highest-end stills-oriented camera, this device sits next to the video expert Lumix DC-GH5 as the products front liners. With this close comparison toward GH5, the brand is not only setting that G9 to be great at stills image, but it’s also expected to get the video expertise from the GH5. Is this expectation fulfilled in Panasonic Lumix G9? Let’s see in the description below.
If it’s not because its rather smaller size, Panasonic Lumix G9 looks exactly like DSLR. Especially with the LCD panel on top plate, you will feel the strong DSLR impression from this brand new Panasonic camera. Besides this top plate LCD, there are several other characteristics that make this camera stands out among others in its class. For example, you will easily notice that the viewfinder on this device is large. This viewfinder is even considered as the largest viewfinder ever applied in Micro Four Thirds Sensor camera. Moreover, it also has dual UHS-II card slots and supports V-rated SD cards, which are considered as the fastest one in the mirrorless game.
Panasonic Lumix G9 Design
As mentioned earlier, the new Panasonic Lumix G9 brings strong DSLR kind of look on its body. Indeed, the size may be smaller compared to other DSLR, but the design, especially on the top plate, really resemblance a DSLR device. The camera dimension stretches up to 137 x 97 x 92 mm (5.39 x 3.82 x 3.62″), which is considered as bigger for mirrorless, but rather smaller for DSLR. While for the weight, it’s measured in 658 g, which is lighter than the 725 grams Panasonic GH5. But for the overall size, both Panasonic G9 and GH5 are very similar.
Build quality and handling is great. It’s solid and comfortable to hold. Especially for the grip, even if it’s not as deep as the GH5, it’s still felt just right on hand. Moving to the camera body, it is constructed from die-cast magnesium alloy covered by rubberized skin. This combination creates very strong rugged impression to the camera body. Even though Panasonic does not blatantly claims that the camera has full whether-shield feature, however, Panasonic has managed every button, dial, and joint in this camera is weather-shield, substantially. Therefore, the camera is able to against minimum water, dust, and moisture.
As for the button, we impressed on how Panasonic manages them so that they are reachable in one hand, makes this camera is easy to operate. The drive mode dial for example, it’s now located below the mode dial. While the On/Off switch, it is moved all the way to the front of shutter button. All these arrangement felt just so nice and convenient. As for the port, we can find USB 3.0 Micro-B as well as HDMI Type-A interfaces on side. Moreover, 3.5mm microphone port and 3.5mm headphone socket are also available behind the rubberized flaps.
Display and EVF
Tilting LCD display is such a must for today’s camera, especially for the high end camera product. This state is also applied to Panasonic Lumix G9. Having 3 inch articulating touchscreen monitor with 1.04M-dot resolution, this camera really stands out with its clear and bright display. This display is considered as responsive, and can do so many features such as pinch to zoom as well as swiping in playback when you want to move to the next image. And more interestingly, this screen also functions really well in choosing focus point which can be done simply by touching the considered focusing point.
The EVF is also a plus point on Panasonic Lumix G9. As mentioned before, it is large, even considered as largest ne among micro four thirds sensor camera. With 3.68M-dot resolution and 0.83x equivalent magnification, this viewfinder is detail, and can display the whole area on frame. Moreover, it’s also stated that the EVF has default in 60fps, makes you won’t miss any detail of the object. And if you want to increase this speed, the EVF can be boosted to 120fps with less than 0.005 seconds of refresh rate. But, it may affect on the power draining.
Panasonic Lumix G9 Features
In the sensory area, Panasonic Lumix G9 has 20.3-megapixel Live MOS which is the same sensor as we found on GH5. To maximize resolution, this sensor looses anti aliasing filter and changes processing algorithm. So, not only the resolution that has been increased, but the dynamic range is also improved by 25%. To result even more brilliant images, the sensor is coupled with brand new Venus image processor, resulting on higher speed that this camera has.
The speed reached is 12fps when shooting in AF-S mode, 60 frames when shooting in RAW format, and 50 fps when shooting RAW in electronic shutter mode. But, when shooting in AF-C, this speed will drop by 9 fps with mechanical shutter, and 20fps with electronic shutter. ISO sensitivity ranges from ISO 200 to ISO 25,600, just like the GH5. However, this ISO can be extended to the lower setting up to ISO 100. As for shutter speed, it ranges from 60 seconds to 1/8000sec in mechanical focal-plane shutter, and 60 seconds to 1/32,000sec in the electronic shutter.
For image auto-focusing system, Panasonic use both contrast detecting and Depth From Defocus Technology (DFD). With this combination, the camera is able to achieve focus quickly for about 0.04 seconds. Another noticeable feature in Panasonic Lumix G9 is the brand new 5-axis Dual I.S II image stabilizer. This stabilizer system offers 6.5 stops of compensation to reduce camera shake so that you can get more stable image shooting even when your hand is shaky.
For the video, Panasonic Lumix G9 indeed inherits the videography expertise from the latest GH5. The video capability is really excellent, proving that this camera is not only for stills, but also for shooting video. On paper, this camera is able to record 4K video with 3840 x 2160 of resolution at 60fps. At this format, the bit rate is 150Mbps, and the color output is 4:2:0 8-bit. Slow motion can be achieved at 180fps in Full HD quality and in Panasonic’s 4K as well as 6K photo filter modes.
Panasonic Lumix G9 Battery Life and Connectivity
Power supply is supplied by DMW-BLF19 battery, the same battery used in Panasonic GH-camera line. With this battery, the camera can last for about 400 shoots in 1 single charge. However, with new power-saving LVF shooting mode, Panasonic claims that the camera can shoot up to 890 shoots in one single charge. While on the connectivity sector, the camera has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. With these, you can simple share your images from camera directly to your personal device such as Laptop or mobile phone. Moreover, with Panasonic Image app, you can control the camera remotely from the personal device.
Panasonic Lumix G9 Price and Impression
Overall, we’re impressed on how Panasonic manages this camera to be very well-rounded in term of design and features. The EVF in this camera is great. It’s large, clear, and provides you more than enough EVF viewing experience. While the status LCD on the top plate, it’s really helpful to check camera and setting status during shoot. More importantly, as a product that sits side by side with Panasonic Lumix GH5, Panasonic Lumix G9 got what we called Panasonic Lumix GH5 video expertise.
Lastly, for you who likes to get good camera for both stills and video, this Panasonic Lumix G9 would be a good choice. As for the price, this camera is offered in $1,699 for body only. This price is considered as competitive since you can get so many things from this versatile mirrorless Panasonic Lumix G9 camera.