Panasonic has just presented its Lumix G9 II, a photo-oriented camera that has nothing to envy of the brand’s video-oriented models.
For several years, Panasonic seemed to be focusing primarily on the development of its range of full frame cameras with the S1, S5, S5 II and S5 IIX. This is ultimately not the case and, after having mainly pampered its video-oriented range, with the Lumix GH5 II and Lumix GH6, Panasonic finally presented, this Tuesday, a successor to its micro 4/3 range oriented towards photography, the Panasonic Lumix G9 II.
As a reminder, the first Panasonic Lumix G9 was launched at the end of 2017, almost six years ago. If Panasonic subsequently released it in a smaller format with the Lumix GX9, at the beginning of 2018, we have had no news of the G photo range – with a 4/3″ sensor – from the Japanese manufacturer since then.
Even if, from its name, the Panasonic G9 II seems mainly aimed at photographers, it is in fact a particularly high-end and extremely versatile micro 4/3 camera, geared towards both photography and video. Enough to overshadow the Lumix GH6 launched last year.
A burst of up to 75 frames per second
On the photo side first, we are entitled here to a device with a photo sensor of 25.2 MP in 4/3″ format associated with a new Venus Engine processor. Above all, the device offers superlative characteristics in terms of shooting. For example, it has a burst of up to 75 frames per second with the electronic shutter without autofocus tracking (and up to 60 frames per second in continuous autofocus). The buffer memory is then 200 shots in RAW+JPG. You can also count on a configurable pre-burst of 0.5 to 1.5 seconds to ensure shots are recorded before the trigger button is pressed. A high-resolution handheld mode — taking advantage of sensor stabilization — is also integrated for recording images. RAW+JPG shots of 100 million pixelsin the format 11552 x 8672 pixels.
The case is also equipped with stabilization of the sensor alone allowing a gain of 7.5 EV, without even counting on the optical stabilization which allows a gain of up to 8 EV. As on the Lumix GH6, Panasonic offers a dual circuit for shooting allowing simultaneous use of recording on the high sensitivity and low sensitivity circuit. Enough to offer a dynamic range of more than 13 EV in V-Log video with information in both highlights and shadows.
The first Lumix micro 4/3 with hybrid autofocus
The new Panasonic Lumix G9 II is also Panasonic’s first micro 4/3 camera to adopt the new hybrid autofocus from the manufacturer, inaugurated last year with the Lumix S5 II and S5 IIX. As a reminder, this autofocus uses both contrast detection – historic Panasonic technology – and phase correlation, for better responsiveness, particularly in video. To do this, the Lumix G9 II will use 779 autofocus points.
In terms of ergonomics, the Lumix G9 II has little to envy of the GH6 or a full frame body given its rather imposing size. It is equipped with a 3.38 million dot Oled electronic viewfinder with a magnification factor of 0.8 x as well as a 3-inch rotatable screen with 1.84 million dots. The case also offers two UHS-II SD card drawers – but no CFExpress port – an HDMI Type-A socket, an 8-way joystick and a USB-C socket which can be used at the same time to recharge the device and to feed it. This USB-C jack can also be used for connect an SSD in order to benefit from storage for videos.
A device also very good at video
On the video side precisely, the Panasonic Lumix G9 will be able to benefit from internal recording in C4K 4:2:2 10-bit up to 60p, 5.7K 4:2:0 10-bit up to 60p, C4K 10-bit 100p or Full HD 10-bit 240p for slow motion. Thanks to an SSD connected via USB-C – the HDMI connection does not allow using an external recorder – we will be able to record sequences in ProRes 422 HQ up to 5.7K 30p. On the other hand, unlike the GH6, the Lumix G9 II will not allow you to record video in ProRes RAW or Blackmagic RAW format.
The Panasonic Lumix G9 II will be available during the month of November for the price of 1899 euros bare body, or as a kit with a 12-60 mm f/2.8-4.0 photo lens (24-120 mm equivalent). For comparison, the Lumix GH6 is now offered for around 1800 euros when the first Lumix G9 is offered for around 1000 euros for an initial launch price, in 2017, of 1699 euros.