Panasonic has announced the details of its new flagship mirrorless Micro Four Thirds camera for video, the Panasonic LUMIX G9II. The new camera has a larger sensor and AI-powered autofocus as well as a host of other improvements.
The LUMIX G9II mirrorless camera has a new 25.2-megapixel Live MOS Micro Four Thirds sensor. This is a big increase in resolution over the 20.2-megapixel sensor in the original G9. The new sensor also has a dynamic range of over 13 stops with V-Log/V-Gamut video, though this drops by a stop when shooting video over 60 fps. In addition, the LUMIX G9II is powered by a new engine which Panasonic says achieves natural, three-dimensional textured images and ensures high-speed processing of high bitrate video.
Panasonic says that the LUMIX G9II is the first camera in the Micro Four Thirds LUMIX G Series to feature Phase Detection Auto-Focus (PDAF) technology. The camera also uses new AI-powered recognition technology developed using deep learning technology for real-time auto-focus recognition. Panasonic says that this now recognizes cars, motorcycles and animal eyes for improved precision in subject recognition.
The LUMIX G9II features 4:2:0 10-bit 5.8K full sensor recording with a 4:3 aspect ratio as well as 5.7K 17:9 video. The camera also delivers slow motion recording up to 120p/100p in 4:2:0 10-bit Cinema 4K or UHD 4K. In addition, the LUMIX G9II supports Apple ProRes recording for high image quality at low compression. ProRes files reduce the load on your computer during post-production so you can edit without the need to transcode your clips.
The LUMIX G9II has a robust image stabilization system with an 8-stop Body Image Stabilizer. It also features 7.5-stop 5-axis Dual I.S. for use with longer telephoto lenses. In addition, the camera uses advanced Active I.S. for video image stabilization along with perspective distortion correction. If you are running or walking, then the Enhance IS will work to correct larger shakes in your video footage.
The LUMIX G9II has a 3-inch fully articulating LCD touchscreen monitor with a 1.84-megapixel resolution. It also has an OLED electronic viewfinder with a resolution of 3.68 megapixels. The camera has a real time LUT (Look Up Table) function so you can preview how your video will look after grading. In addition, the LUMIX G9II has an enhanced monochrome mode called LEICA Monochrome for deep black-white contrast in your images. You can record to dual UHS-II SD cards internally. If you need to shoot for longer, the camera can record to and playback from an external SSD via USB.
What we think
It’s around six years since the original LUMIX G9 was released and the second generation model has a lot of enhancements. The larger sensor and new processing engine should deliver a boost to the camera’s image quality. It’s also great that you can shoot using the full 4:3 sensor for open gate” high resolution. This is really useful if you want the flexibility to crop to horizontal or vertical video in the edit. In addition, the phase detection autofocus and ability to record to an external drive make the LUMIX G9II a powerful video camera. One thing that’s missing is a cooling fan unfortunately, so you may find situations where the camera overheats and limits your recording time. However, the LUMIX G9II is still the best Panasonic camera for Micro Four Thirds video shooters.
Pricing and availability
The Panasonic LUMIX G9II will be available from early November and will retail at $1,899.