Panasonic’s Lumix GH5 has been about for a good few months now and it's been reviewed quite well. When we reviewed the GH5, it proved to be an awesome camera for video. For $2,000, you got a camera rich with video features like sensor stabilization and having no addition cropping when shooting in 4K. With the recent announcement of the Lumix G9, Panasonic combines many of the features of the GH5 with a new focus on the needs of photographers.
"It's representing a new era for Lumix as an imaging brand. We've been known as a video camera manufacturer ... but photography is the main focus for this system... [the G9] includes plenty of manual dials and knobs, making it easier to adjust the aperture, shutter speed and other settings,” says Panasonic's Dan Unger.
The G9 does seem like it’s geared more toward photography than the GH5 was, but it retains a lot of similarities to the GH5. It offers 5-axis mechanical image stabilization just like the GH5, and it’s got the same 20.3-megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor, which is much smaller than full frame Sony sensors. The G9 and the GH5 also use the same image processor, though it’s reported that Panasonic made improvements to the sensor’s AF speeds since the GH5, allowing it to autofocus in 0.04 seconds in certain conditions. Panasonic also says that they’ve improved the 5-axis in-body stabilization, giving it up to 6.5 extra stops of brightness with 1/800th of a second mechanical shutter and up to 1.32,000th of a second electronic shutter.
The G9 can shoot in full 29.3-megapixel burst mode at 60 fps in AF-S mode and offers up to 20 fps in continuous AD-C with the electronic shutter. You can capture up to 50 RAW or JPEG image files in those modes. You can also switch to 6K/4K Photo mode for lower-resolutions. When using the mechanical shutter, you can capture up to 9 fps with continuous AF for up to 600 JPEG, or 60 RAW files.
The G9 body has also been redesigned with a weather resistant magnesium alloy body with a deep grip similar to Sony’s a9 or a7.
See the G9 in action here with a video from WEX Photo Video:
What about video on the G9? The new camera will be capable of 4K recording at 60 fps, but it unfortunately can’t do 10-bit with up to a million colors like the GH5 can. It can instead do 4:2:0 8-bit at a 150Mbps data rate.
The G9 is more geared to photographers, and though it might be pretty good at shooting video, it’s probably more of a photographer or hybrid-shooter's camera, as Panasonic intended it to be.
The G9’s priced at $1,700 for the body only, which is lower than the GH5’s $2,000 price tag. Panasonic reports that the G9 will be released in early January 2018. Go to panasonic.com to learn more about the Panasonic Lumix G9.