Above: A four minute exposure with the Lumix G9 and Leica DG 8-18mm fitted with Lee 10-stop and hard graduated filters. Photos and video can be set to record to the camera’s SD card and or the computer’s memory, although in the case of video, the file is copied to the computer after the recording’s finished – and you’re prompted to see if this is really what you want. The design and position of controls is always a highly personal thing: I found the newly positioned rear wheel fell more comfortably below my thumb, but felt the AF joystick – like the GH5 – involved a bit of a stretch. Receive mail from us on behalf of our trusted partners or sponsors? A couple may not quite be as good as the rest, but I’d still class them as being more than satisfactory. Interestingly Panasonic says the 6K Photo stills are generated from original footage / images measuring 6000×3000 pixels, suggesting some interpolation and scaling takes place to generate the final image size and shape; 6000 pixels is also curiously wider than normal photos taken at the maximum native resolution. In the sequence below, where I’ve again picked out 16 consecutive frames, I’d say only one is off and two are a little soft but still usable. The Lumix G9 offers four shutter options: Mechanical (MSHTR), Electronic Front Curtain (EFC), Electronic (ESHTR), and Auto which chooses between them based on the desired shutter speed. Current page: A brief note on autofocus areas: I found a single AF area most reliable when shooting predictable cycling, or a small zone using Custom Multi when shooting less predictable subjects like birds in flight. At first I found the shutter release was far too sensitive, accidentally taking shots as I tried to find the halfway position, but after a few days I got used to it and found it second nature – although hand it over to another photographer and they’ll almost certainly shoot-off a bunch of images without meaning to. I ended up using the Pre mode more often than not. Meanwhile the screen, like the GH5, is hinged at the side, allowing you to flip it out to almost any angle including facing-forward for pieces to camera or back on itself for protection. As such, there’s three options for 6K Photo: Burst (which records video while the shutter button is pressed), Burst S / S (which starts recording with one press and stops with another), and Pre-burst (which keeps a one-second rolling buffer to avoid unwieldy clips to store and go through). (Source: Panasonic.) I’ve made a compilation of video footage to demonstrate what it’s capable of below. At the time of writing, Micro Four Thirds had over 75 lenses available from Panasonic and Olympus along with third parties including Sigma, Tamron, Samyang, Voigtlander and others. Above left: Impressive Art effect. Further enhancing the experience is the fact the native photo shape of 4:3 on Micro Four Thirds matches the viewfinder panel, allowing images to fill it in composition or playback; it really is an immersive experience. New York, Therefore, when Panasonic launched their new Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 recently, it seemed like they were targeting the photography crowd, considering the very similar photography specific features the G9 has in comparison to the E-M1 Mark II. I’ll go into more detail later in the review, but in my tests both slots indeed appeared to be the same speed, allowing the same burst depth and buffer-write times, although when they were configured to Backup with both writing simultaneously, the buffer depth did reduce in my tests; more later. I’ve grown fond of Panasonic’s various 4K Photo modes and now the G9’s ability to extract higher resolution 18 Megapixel stills from 6K footage – not to mention capturing 4K / 8 Megapxiels at a faster rate of 60fps – greatly improves their flexibility and usefulness. Pop-up flash. Lumix G9 SH1 PRE drive mode. For action shooters, the feed is blackout-free when using the camera's burst shooting mode, while there’s also a night mode, plus an AF Point Scope integrated into the viewfinder design. In Remote Operation you get (almost) full manual control over the camera with the chance to adjust pretty much anything that’s not set by a physical dial. In both cases they’d capture 50 frames in total over two and a half seconds, pre-buffering around one quarter of a second’s worth of action. Above right: Sunshine effect, Above left: Retro effect. The screen itself employs a 3:2 shaped / 1040k dot LCD panel, slightly smaller than the panel on the GH5 but still very usable. Like most electronic shutters to date, the G9’s can suffer from some skewing or rolling artefacts so it’s best used when not panning or capturing subjects moving quickly across the frame. If the camera’s powering-up up from cold it takes roughly ten seconds for the Bluetooth to re-establish itself with your phone (after which a blue light illuminates on the top right surface), then another 15 seconds or so for the positional information to come through, indicated by a solid GPS icon on the screen and in the viewfinder. Focusing is sensitive down to light levels as low as -4EV, … But for most of us, the G9 remains a very respectable choice for movie recording with enough features and quality to keep all but the most demanding videographers satisfied. But back to its coverage which takes you from fairly wide-angle to respectable telephoto, covering most bases in a compact package. In practice this rapid focus hunting makes for a slightly odd view with a mild wobbling or fluttering appearance that’s unlike rival phase-detect AF systems in operation; the G9 is literally checking the focus for every shot. With Dual IS 2 enabled, I could achieve the same result at 1/125 and an almost perfect one at 1/60, representing two to three stops of compensation. Even without noise reduction, the Lumix G9 is delivering very clean images virtually bereft of artefacts, at least at 200 ISO. The Panasonic G9 ships either body only, with the Panasonic 12-60mm f3.5-5.6 lens, or with the excellent Leica 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 lens that we predominantly reviewed it with. The viewfinder head features a defined ridge splitting it into two distinct surfaces, giving it a more angular appearance than the GH5’s smooth top. 100% crops without and with Dual IS 2 stabilisation. While that number is the same as on the GH5, the magnification has been bumped up from 0.76x to 0.83x (35mm equivalent), while the display runs at a smooth 120fps. Panasonic’s Lumix G9 is a high-end mirrorless camera aimed at enthusiasts, delivering the best photo quality and fastest shooting from a Lumix G body to date. SH1 PRE and SH2 PRE are both useful, but you still have to be very careful with the timing. I’ve also confirmed that it is possible to power the G9 over USB (and you can use the supplied AC adapter and cable to do it), but there needs to be a battery fitted, it needs to have some charge already in it, and you need ‘USB Power Supply’ enabled in the menus. I personally find the Pre Burst mode very useful for capturing birds taking off. The Lumix G9 is a chunky, serious-looking camera that may share a great deal of design and control DNA with the Lumix GH5, but ends up having its own distinctive style. I then tried configuring both slots for Backup, where the same data would be written to both cards. I’ve dedicated the next page of the review to my quality results with the Lumix G9, starting with a sweep of the ISO range in JPEG and RAW, followed by lots of examples of the new high resolution mode that captures and composites eight frames to generate 40 or 80 Megapixel images! JPEGs and even RAW files can be copied onto the phone over Wifi, and I confirmed the latter were the original files by subsequently sharing them onto Dropbox. Here’s two examples where I tapped to choose to focus on two different areas after the event. The Lumix G9 is equipped with Wifi for wireless image transfer and remote control with smartphones, along with Bluetooth for seamless location tagging, a more responsive remote shutter, and easy Wifi negotiation. May not be used without permission. Long exposure enthusiasts will appreciate the 60 second option in the standard mechanical and EFC range, although I wish it either kept going further like recent Fujifilm bodies or offered preset Bulb timers. Another button enters Live View mode, presenting a live image of what the camera can see. I have an example of the miniature effect in my movie section later. New to the G9 is a lever to the lower left side of the lens mount as you hold the camera, that can also be configured to one of 16 functions; I had it set to switch the camera into its night mode where all text was presented as red on black to preserve night vision. Auto ISO is available with the option to set an upper and lower limit, along with a minimum shutter speed down to one second. I took to the streets of Brighton and photographed my friend Ben cycling towards me using the G9 fitted with the Leica 200mm f2.8 – opened wide to f2.8 of course. Clever buffering also allows the additional SH1 PRE and SH2 PRE modes to start recording a handful of rolling images as you half-press the shutter release; the most recent are then committed to memory as you fully push down, allowing you to capture a split second of prior action. A good result for the relatively small sensor, although again the experience for LE enthusiasts could be greatly enhanced with an on-screen timer. The body itself feels very solid and confident in your hands. Switching to continuous AF with the mechanical shutter though delivered the quoted 9fps in practice. So back to Ben on his bike, again with the 200mm f2.8 at f2.8 but this time using SH1 (20fps) with continuous AF. 20MP Micro Four Thirds sensor. Switch the camera on with a USB source connected and you can externally power the camera from it too. I found just one mildly ‘hot’ pixel on the 241 second shot, but it was quite discreet and easily retouched. There's both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Low Energy connectivity, with the latter enabling a constant connection to your smartphone with minimum power consumption. To … Note it’s possible to adjust the viewfinder refresh rate between 60 and 120fps and while the latter is preferred when panning, the display resolution on my sample reduced a little; as such I tended to leave the G9 viewfinder at 60fps. In my tests both modes again captured action starting a quarter of a second before I fully pushed-down on the shutter, but in the case of SH2 PRE working at 60fps, this devoted more of the 50 frame buffer to the pre-moments. You’ll either need to employ separate software, like Helicon focus, or deploy the 4k / 6k Post Focus stacking option I demonstrated in the video and will describe later. For a live image, greater control or the chance to transfer images, you’ll need to connect over Wifi, but the Bluetooth can sort that out for you too; just tap Remote Operation or Transfer Image and the app will use Bluetooth to fire-up the Wifi on both devices and take care of passwords for you. With stabilisation enabled, I achieved the same result at 1/15 and found my 1/8 result was almost perfect. You may enjoy having it playing in the background as you read through the review and results! Excellent image quality, 60fps shooting, polished handling and a wealth of advanced features add up to make the Lumix G9 a brilliant all-round mirrorless camera and Panasonic's best mirrorless camera to date. Once complete you simply tap the part of the image you’d like in-focus and it ‘magically’ becomes sharp – it’s a great party trick to impress your friends, although of course all you’re doing is using a clever media player to navigate a short video where the focus racked over the subjects from near to far. Above these and behind its own flap is a 3.5mm headphone jack, and above this, again behind its own flap, is a 3.5mm microphone input; the mic input is positioned sufficiently high on the side of the body that neither it nor the flap should obstruct the screen as it’s flipped out and around. Ergonomics Speed High Resolution Image Stabilization Video Conclusion. Panasonic offers tethering software for Windows and Mac systems, designed to work with the Lumix GH5, G9 and GH5S over a USB cable; there’s no Wifi option for laptop tethering, although if you do require wireless control of the camera, Panasonic offers the powerful Image App for iOS and Android devices which I’ve devoted a section to later in the review. You’ll know when USB power is working as the G9 displays a plug icon next to the battery meter and also warns you it won’t be charging the battery while the camera’s switched on. Again a lower result than I expected, but still very useful. This is great for capturing the moment someone strikes a ball or a bird takes off. The Lumix G9 is Panasonic's new flagship mirrorless camera, sitting alongside the Lumix GH5 in the range. Above: Lumix GH5 (left) and Lumix G9 (right). It can record internally in 10 bit rather than 8 bit, supports the wider Cinema 4k format and anamorphic options, higher bit rates for 4k and 1080p, and supports the optional V-Log profile for even flatter footage, plus more besides. Of course the 6K Post Focus mode already has a video file that contains multiple images where the focus has been adjusted slightly, so the data required for stacking is ready to be redeployed. Panasonic’s Lumix G9 is billed as the company’s ultimate stills camera, leaving the GH5 and GH5S to enjoy the title of best hybrid and movie bodies in the range respectively. The electronic shutter does however unlock the G9’s fastest burst speeds that I’ll discuss later in this section. So while many rival mirror-less formats are only now beginning to cover most bases with a single lens, Micro Four Thirds typically has two or more options available. The Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 is a speed-oriented Micro Four Thirds camera. I should however add the results at 1/30, 1/15 and even 1/8 were pretty good, just not completely sharp. I should also add Panasonic can also cleverly exploit 3D Noise Reduction when extracting individual stills from footage, taking multiple frames on either side into account. Panasonic's mirrorless Lumix DC-G9 camera boasts some head-turning specs, including 60fps Raw image capture, but we'll have to see if its real-world performance lives up to its promise. Dual IS 2 lenses include the Leica (and Lumix G) versions of the 12-60mm zoom, the Leica 200mm f2.8 telephoto, and recent upgraded versions of models like the 100-300mm. Overview: Panasonic Lumix G9 Review. Overall it’s one of the best touch experiences around. Check out the quality tab for my full quality results including six examples of the High Resolution mode, and don’t forget to click the verdict tab for my final analysis and opinion!
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