So, let’s get some homework out of the way first. Some photographers (including myself) will say the specifications for this camera are impressive. Others will say it’s hamstrung by the small micro four-thirds sensor.
My response for the “small sensor” gripe is that what works for you and your genre/style of photography may not work for others. This camera works for me… and many thousands of others.
- 20.3 Megapixel Micro 4/3rds sensor with no anti-aliasing filter (same as GH5)
- 20 FPS burst w/continuous AF frame rate using the e-shutter (for ~50 frames)
- 9 FPS burst w/continuous AF using mechanical shutter (for 600+ frames)
- ISO 100-25,600
- Dust-resistant, freezeproof, splashproof – Magnesium body
- 5-axis in-body image stabilization with Dual I.S. version 2.0 (6.5 stops)
- Uses same batteries as GH3, GH4, GH5 and GH5S
- Wi-Fi + Bluetooth
- 1.04M-dot 3″ articulating touchscreen display
- Dual UHS-II card slots supporting new high-speed ‘V’-rated cards
- Assortment of 4K and 6K Photo modes and in-camera focus stacking
So, that’s enough about the specs… what makes this camera different from other Lumix cameras? Even from it’s siblings, the GH5 and GH5s?
- 80MP Raw and/or JPEG files using High-Resolution mode
- Top Plate LCD
- Nikon Style On/off backlight
- Buttons positioned perfectly
- Deep hand grip
- Well thought-out buttons and dials
- Good-enough Audio/video – 4K/60p UHD video capture
- Night mode
- Front custom switch
- HUGE 60FPS EVF, 3.68M-dot electronic viewfinder w/ up to 0.83x equivalent magnification
- USB charge and power capability
The Bad Stuff:
As we all know, there are no perfect cameras. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention a few quibbles that keep the G9 from being flawless.
- Sensitive shutter button
- Top LCD backlight turns off too quickly (not configurable?) On some Fuji’s the display stays activated constantly (not backlit) even when the camera is off.
- Low light performance (damn physics)
In short, the G9 is a triumph, especially at this price point. As I record this, you can snag a G9 (body only) for around $1,600US).
It’s the obvious result of Panasonic engineering listening to its base, watching trends, and aiming squarely at producing a camera that is created unapologetically for still photographers — while still maintaining video capabilities that make similar cameras in its class jealous.
I own a few Lumix cameras, and this is the first one that gives me that little electric feeling in the pit of my stomach!
In the upcoming videos in this series, I’ll take the G9 out and put some of its stand-out features to the test.