Panasonic G9 Is a Flagship Mirrorless for Stills

November 8, 2017

By Greg Scoblete

While Panasonic’s GH5 is no slouch in the stills department, it’s so packed with video features that you could be forgiven for treating it as a video camera. The G9 looks to rectify that. If the GH5 is the hybrid flagship, the G9 is Panasonic’s flagship still camera. It’s modeled closely on the GH5, but optimized for still photography.

It features a 20-megapixel CMOS sensor with no low-pass filter and a third of a stop more dynamic range than the GH5.

It can crank at up to 20 fps using an electronic shutter with autofocusing or up to 60 fps with focus fixed on the first frame for up to 50 RAW files. If you’re using a mechanical shutter, you’ll hit burst rates of 9 fps in AF-C and 12 fps with focus fixed on the first frame.

Panasonic has improved its dual image stabilization system, which combines the body stabilizer with select image-stabilized Panasonic lenses to deliver up to 6.5 stops of image stabilization. Importantly, Panasonic has improved the system so that it can stabilize effectively at both wide and telephoto focal lengths (up to the equivalent of 280mm). Previously, dual stabilization was effective at wide focal lengths but less so out at telephoto ranges.

It can also deliver the 6.5 stops of correction even if you’re not using a stabilized lens,

While the G9 isn’t pitched as heavily toward filmmakers as the GH5, it still boasts 4K/60p video recording (8-bit 4:2:0 internally and 8-bit, 4:2:2 externally via HDMI). Full HD recording is available up to 180 fps. It offers 6K and 4K photo modes to isolate high-res images from 30fps video bursts.

Panasonic has borrowed a page from Olympus and Ricoh by incorporating a high-resolution mode that moves the image sensor by half a pixel for a total of eight images that are compiled in camera to create a single high res image equivalent to about 80-megapixels.

You’ll find a new AF Point Scope feature that enlarges the area in focus, plus the camera will remember the focus point as you switch between a vertical and horizontal orientation. As you move focus points horizontally they will now loop around to the other side of the frame, Pac-Man style, rather than get stuck at the edge.

Additional features include:

  • weather proof build
  • EVF with .83x view and 120fps refresh rate (EVF magnification can be adjusted to .7x and .77x)
  • a status LCD on the top of the camera
  • 225 AF points
  • a joystick to select AF points
  • dual SD card slots
  • 200K shutter life
  • 3-inch free angle LCD display
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • mechanical shutter speeds of 60-1/8,000 sec.
  • electronic shutter speeds up to 1/32,000 sec.

The G9 will ship this month for $1,700. Panasonic will also offer a battery grip for the camera for $350.

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