The Panasonic Lumix G9 II, priced at £1,699/$1,899 (body only), marks a significant upgrade after almost six years since the release of the original G9. As Panasonic directed attention towards its full-frame cameras, there were speculations about the potential discontinuation of its Micro Four Thirds (MFT) lineup. However, the G9 II signals a commitment to the MFT format, emphasizing its advantages in video and specific photography genres.
- The G9 II takes its design cues from the recent S5 II more than the original G9.
- The G9 II uses an MFT image sensor that captures 25MP shots.
- It might have a small sensor, but it’s not a small camera: the G9 II has the heft you’d expect from a pro-oriented model.
- The electronic viewfinder has an impressive 3.68 million dots and high refresh rates.
- The rear screen has touchscreen controls and a fully articulated tilt-and-swivel system.
- The built-in joystick helps you select your focus point or area while you look through the EVF.
- A rich set of controls (with comfortable spacing) includes an eight-way navigation pad.
- G9 owners looking to upgrade may rue the loss of the top info screen in favor of a second dial.
- The 2x crop factor of the G9 II’s MFT image sensor means that compatible lenses are small and light.
|Sensor:||25.21MPMicro Four ThirdsLiveMOS|
|AF points:||779-point Phase Detection AF/|
|Max image size:||5,776 x 4,336px|
|Image Stabilisation:||Dual IS 2 (7.5-stop)|
|Max burst:||14fps AF-S or10fps AF-C|
or 60fps AF-C (electronicshutter)
|Video:||5.8K 30p, 4.4K 60p, 4K 120p,FHD 240p|
|Memory card:||2 x UHS-I/UHS-II SD/SDHC/SDXC|
|Power:||Li-ion battery, USB powersupplyand charging|
|Size (Wx H x D):||134 x102 x 90mm|
|Weight:||658g (including batteryand SD card)|
- Enhanced autofocus system with 779-point phase detection and advanced subject recognition for effective tracking.
- New 25.2MP Live MOS Sensor paired with a high-resolution Pixel Shift mode, capable of generating 100MP images handheld.
- Top burst speed of 60fps with continuous autofocus, extendable to 75fps without autofocus using the electronic shutter.
- Improved image stabilization system offering up to eight stops of in-body stabilization.
- Video capabilities include resolutions of 5.7K 60p, 4K 120p, or Full HD 240p. Supports 4:2:0 10-bit recording with up to 13 stops of dynamic range in V-Log.
- External recording options, including Apple ProRes, and the ability to create or install real-time LUTs in-camera for both photos and videos.
- Solid build with weatherproof sealing and a well-designed layout featuring three command dials, an eight-way joystick, and quick-access buttons.
- Removal of the top screen replaced by a mode dial, offering a more traditional photographer’s interface.
- The Micro Four Thirds sensor provides an extended reach with a 2x crop factor, making compatible lenses smaller and lighter.
Build and Handling
The G9 II undeniably feels solid and well put together, and there is weatherproof sealing. In the tradition of the G9, Panasonic has put every button and dial most photographers are ever going to need on the G9 II. There are three command dials, a directional pad, and an upgraded eight-way joystick, as well as buttons to change ISO, exposure, autofocus, and white balance quickly.
The G9 II is a proper old-school photographer’s camera, with tactile controls and not much hidden behind touchscreen menus. However, there are a few notable changes from the previous model – the biggest being the removal of the top screen, which has been replaced by a mode dial. Some photographers become attached to their top screens but, thanks to modern cameras with information-laden EVFs, other people almost never actually use them.
The only unimpressive thing about the build I could find was the doors that cover the side ports. I found that they opened far too easily and wouldn’t stay closed unless firmly pressed in, which was a minor inconvenience and an occasional hindrance.
The design of the body itself has been refined a little since the last model: the top of the camera has been flattened down from the more rounded design of the G9. The G9 II now looks identical to the S5 II; with a lens on, you won’t even notice the difference.
One point to note is that the G9 II is not a small camera despite its smaller sensor, which was originally one of the big selling points of the MFT format.
- Captures detailed photos at 25MP, allowing room for cropping without significant loss of quality for web and social media use.
- Excellent color and dynamic range in JPEGs, accurate automatic white balance, and consistent performance in changing lighting conditions.
- Micro Four Thirds sensor extends reach with a 2x crop factor, providing cost-effective and compact alternatives for telephoto lenses.
- In-body image stabilization and optical stabilization in lenses deliver exceptional stability, even at longer focal lengths.
- Handheld high-megapixel mode offers quick in-camera processing, generating impressive 100MP images suitable for cropping or larger prints.
- Video performance stands out, with sharp footage, great colors, and improvements in image stabilization and focusing.
The Panasonic Lumix G9 II is a robust and feature-rich camera, maintaining the advantages of the Micro Four Thirds format while offering significant improvements in autofocus, image stabilization, and video capabilities.
The Lumix G9 II delivers a true hybrid camera experience, with comprehensive specs that cater to both photographers and videographers. Video performance in particular is outstanding. A worthy follow-up to the original, the G9 II shows why Panasonic is right not to give up on the MFT mount just yet – and why you might not want to either.