For Photographers, Not Content material Creators

I don’t thoughts when cameras achieve video options — till these film perks push out important options for nonetheless photographers. However not like the GH6 which sadly lacked options like Dwell Composite, the brand new Panasonic G9 Mark II isn’t a hybrid digicam for content material creators. The Panasonic G9 II is a stills digicam for nonetheless photographers. And that’s an ideal factor.

Whereas the Panasonic G9 II nonetheless has video capabilities, it skips out on some extra high-end hybrid options that restrict the digicam in different areas. For instance, it doesn’t have the highest vent so whereas it gives limitless 4k recording occasions in a typical atmosphere, recording occasions are restricted whereas taking pictures out in excessive temperatures. Nonetheless, eliminating that vent permits the digicam to have extra room for a greater stabilization system together with extra superior climate sealing.

Panasonic is placing nonetheless photographers first with the brand new G9 II, which retails for about $1,900. In addition to prioritizing issues like Dwell View and enhanced stabilization over video options, the mirrorless physique sees a protracted checklist of enhancements together with, sure, lastly, section detection autofocus. A brand new processor, enhanced topic detection, and burst speeds with steady autofocus as much as 60 fps make the Panasonic G9 II an attractive alternative for genres like sports activities and wildlife, the place the 2x crop issue may even go a great distance in easing the price and weight of telephoto lenses.

I spent just a few days with the Panasonic G9 II earlier than the official announcement. Whereas I haven’t extensively examined out options like low gentle autofocus and RAW flexibility simply but, my first impressions are optimistic.

What’s new within the Panasonic G9 II vs G9

The second era G9 carries a number of large enhancements from the unique, with greater than 5 years because the launch of the primary G9. The largest updates embody:

  • An up to date 25.2-megapixel sensor, the identical as within the GH6
  • An 8-stop physique IS and seven.5-stop twin IS system, a leap from 6.5 stops
  • A hybrid section detection autofocus system with 779 factors
  • Automobile and Motorbike detection autofocus added
  • 60 fps digital shutter and 10 fps burst mechanical shutter with steady autofocus and pre-burst settings of .5, 1.0, or 1.5 seconds
  • 100 megapixel excessive res handheld in comparison with 80
  • A decrease base ISO of 100 (ISO 50 prolonged)
  • An up to date decision for the Vari-Angle LCD at 1,840k dots
  • Up to date ports, together with USB-C and synch socket


Photographers aware of Panasonic cameras will discover themselves proper at residence with the G9 II. Whereas the digicam has a protracted checklist of enhancements over its predecessor, the ergonomics stay comparatively unchanged from the G9. The digicam makes use of the identical chassis because the S5 Mark II, so the G9 II feels much like Panasonic’s full-frame our bodies as effectively — in reality, the G9 II weighs barely greater than the full-frame S5 II which Panasonic says is as a result of stabilization unit contained in the G9 II. It weighs the identical as the unique G9, and the size are off by just a few millimeters.

Like the unique, the Panasonic G9 II has a extremely pretty grip. My fingers can wrap all the way in which round it, which makes it a extra snug maintain, even when working with heavier telephoto lenses. My thumb and index finger relaxation proper close to the twin management wheels on the prime of the grip. The highest additionally homes shortcut buttons for white steadiness, ISO, publicity compensation, and document, with dials for each the mode and drive mode.

A bunch of autofocus buttons relaxation close to the thumb relaxation on the again. A spotlight mode change wraps round an AF space mode button. Subsequent to that’s an AF joystick—which might additionally transfer diagonally, not like the 4-way joystick on the unique G9—and the AF on button. Beneath that may be a set of menu buttons and controls. After leaping over the viewfinder, you’ll see playback and viewfinder buttons. The 1840k dot monitor flips out to the facet for vari-angle viewing. The viewfinder boasts a 3680k dot decision and, in digital shutter mode, doesn’t black out between bursts.

The grip facet of the digicam homes two SD card slots and a distant management port whereas the other facet has a financial institution of ports for a mic, headphones, HDMI, and USB. The entrance of the digicam homes two shortcut buttons between the mount and the grip. The battery door is situated on the underside of the digicam (the G9 II makes use of the identical battery because the S5).

Construct High quality

In contrast to the Panasonic S5 II, the G9 II doesn’t have a vent for energetic cooling. Whereas that limits 4K recording to round quarter-hour in excessive temps above 100 levels, it permits the G9 to higher face up to chilly temperatures. Which means the G9 II is mud, splash, and freeze-resistant. Panasonic says that the climate sealing is a bit higher than on cameras with the cooling vent. I used the G9 II in some on-and-off rain and didn’t have any points with it. I additionally didn’t spot any mud or particles on the sensor throughout my preliminary assessments.

Ease of Use

I discovered working with the Panasonic G9 II to be much like my expertise with different Panasonic cameras. There are numerous totally different controls which may be a bit daunting for inexperienced persons, however the devoted, tech-savvy beginner might do effectively with options like animal detection autofocus and spectacular stabilization.

Stabilization sees a leap as much as 8 stops. Utilizing a 12mm focal size, I used to be capable of take handheld images at 5 seconds lengthy, although that’s with bracing my elbows and holding my breath. I really like a digicam that may take some lengthy exposures with out a tripod, and up to now, the G9 II resides as much as that expectation.

The tremendous quick burst mode and pre-burst choices may even assist each new and seasoned photographers get the timing proper. A 60 fps burst with steady autofocus is quick sufficient to be a video. However, on the flip facet, culling a photograph session shot at 60 fps is time-consuming and soul-sucking.

The menu system can be much like different Panasonic fashions. There are some things that I needed to actually go searching for as a result of the tab labels aren’t at all times self-explanatory. However the tab system is okay when you spend a while getting aware of it. And the menu is touch-sensitive as effectively, which is a plus.

One factor that I’ve discovered mildly annoying working with the G9 up to now is the start-up time after powering on feels a bit slower than others. I can sometimes rely to 5 after flipping the digicam on earlier than the display comes alive. The battery life can be ranked decrease than rivals at 390 pictures with the viewfinder and LCD display, however 1,305 photographs in powerSave utilizing simply the viewfinder. Like with most different cameras, although, that is grossly underestimated, at the very least in case you activate the burst mode. I used up about half the battery on a two-hour birding hike.


The autofocus system is a whole overhaul from the predecessor as a result of the unique used distinction detection, whereas the G9 II makes use of a hybrid section detection system. Whereas I’m nonetheless placing the G9 II by means of the paces—and most notably, I haven’t spent a lot time working in low gentle but—my expertise up to now is that the system is fairly quick, although removed from infallible.

Utilizing the G9 II for birding, the system labored fairly effectively at choosing up on the animal and, when shut sufficient, the animal’s eye. Nonetheless, objects in entrance of the animal, equivalent to branches or tall grass, appear to throw the digicam off, and the main focus level rests on these branches as an alternative of the animal, regardless that the field across the animal’s eye makes it seem that the main focus has locked on efficiently. I discovered this to be a difficulty with each birds and a whitetail fawn. Most of my birding pictures are keepers, however the motive to make use of animal eye AF within the first place is to assist decide up the animal amongst all of the branches and such within the atmosphere. Hopefully, this is a matter that may be negated with settings as I proceed testing or corrected later with firmware.

The face detection up to now has been stable, recognizing the face or eyes, even whereas in profile. I’m nonetheless placing the autofocus system by means of its paces, however up to now the brand new section detection system appears fairly quick.

Picture high quality

The Panasonic G9 II makes use of the identical sensor because the Panasonic GH6, so the extent of element and backbone is similar. But, there might be some variations between the 2. The dynamic vary increase system on the GH6 is tuned for video and isn’t used on stills below ISO 800. Panasonic says the system is essentially modified on the G9 II. Utilizing two totally different circuits, the G9 II exposes two circuits directly to higher seize particulars in highlights and shadows, making a type of in-camera HDR with out the ghosting of conventional processes. Panasonic says that it delivers much more flexibility in publish with much less colour solid over the unique G9. However, with out the RAW assist in Lightroom or Seize One for this new digicam simply but, my opinions listed here are primarily based solely on the JPEGs straight from the digicam.

ISO 3200

Whereas the bump in decision over the predecessor is minor, the JPEG recordsdata are properly detailed with out an amazing quantity of noise. My preliminary assessments with this digicam have been largely birding and wildlife images, which required pushing the ISO effectively above base. At ISO 1600, the wildlife images coming from the G9 II nonetheless retain a pleasant stage of element with out numerous noise. Particulars begin to get a bit extra muddied at ISO 3200.

I at all times get pleasure from utilizing Panasonic’s Cinelike colour profiles, however there’s a fairly wonderful new colour profile possibility on the G9 II — a Leica Monochrome. I actually love Leica’s monochrome profiles, however not the worth factors. The G9 II can seize a few of the wealthy distinction of a Leica monochrome however with out the excessive price ticket.

My preliminary pictures with the Panasonic G9 II are proper according to my expectations for a higher-end Micro 4 Thirds digicam. Whereas I must dive into a greater diversity of pictures and situations, I didn’t discover something worrisome in my first impressions.

Additional Picture Samples – Unedited

First Impressions

The Panasonic G9 II is an thrilling replace to the corporate’s Micro 4 Thirds our bodies as a result of it’s aimed on the genres that stand to achieve probably the most from the smaller sensor — sports activities and wildlife. The upgraded autofocus system and 60 fps bursts will attraction most to the wildlife and sports activities shooters — which additionally occur to be the genres that sometimes profit probably the most from getting twice the attain from a lens.

However, the opposite motive that the G9 II is thrilling is as a result of it focuses on photographers, not content material creators. The G9 II nonetheless has video — and even high-end video choices like Apple ProRes—nevertheless it prioritizes picture options when a alternative needs to be made between the 2. I used to be extremely irritated when the GH6 eradicated my favourite taking pictures mode on Panasonic and ditched Dwell Composite whereas beefing up on video. Dwell Composite remains to be on the G9 II, together with a extra sturdy stabilization system and higher climate sealing. 

My first impressions of the Panasonic G9 II are largely optimistic. I really like the ergonomics and climate sealing. The Leica Monochrome is my new favourite Panasonic colour profile. The pace is over-the-top loopy. The stabilization is long-exposure-without-a-tripod good. However, I must spend a bit extra time with the digicam taking pictures extra genres to essentially hammer out the great and unhealthy. My greatest preliminary concern is that the animal eye AF tends to fail if there are branches or different objects in entrance of the animal. Keep tuned for the complete evaluate.