Panasonic Lumix G DC-G9 Mirrorless Camera
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In the ever-on-going debate of mirrorless or DSLR cameras, there are pros and cons to each side. The Panasonic Lumix G DC-G9 20.3 MP Mirrorless Ultra HD Digital Camera - 4K - Black - Body Only attempts to close that gap. Is it a good fit for you?
In this article, we will take a look at this camera to answer that very question. Is it close enough to a DLSR to satisfy the lens and accessory happy photographers while still being less bulky and better in low light situations for the mirrorless fans?
By getting to know the camera, it’s features and limits; we will have a better idea if it is the bridge in the debate that is so desperately needed. Panasonic has no doubts, but there is a non-biased approach to a camera review needed. We will provide such a review.
Panasonic Lumix G DC-G9 20.3 MP Mirrorless Ultra HD Digital Camera - 4K - Black - Body Only Design
The Panasonic G9 is closer in size and shape to a DSLR camera. It has a huge, deep grip and a wide body to house the LCD screens. The body also has a deep leather-type texture that aids in grip.
The bulky style of the G9 merges the space between the larger. More complex DSLR bodies, less feature-rich mirrorless styles. That, coupled with the top mount LCD makes the G9 stand out.
The illuminated screen shows the current status and settings and is one of only a couple mirrorless cameras even to have it. The G9 is often compared to the Panasonic GH5, which in the world of mirrorless cameras reigns as one of the best video capture cameras available.
The G9, however, takes away some of the lusters of the GH5 by having better quality (and focus) on stills while still maintaining great aptitude for video.
Features and Options
Let’s take a look at the features and options of the Panasonic Lumix G DC-G9. While it is touted by many customers and professionals as the best mirrorless camera available, you can make the call for yourself.
1.3 pounds (body only)
1.04 million pixels
Memory Card Slots
USB 3.0, HDMI, 3.5mm audio, 2.5mm audio
Memory Card Compatible
Secure Digital, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC)
Video Frame Rate
Up to 60fps
100 – 25600
Self Timer Delay
60 – 1/32000
Image Sensor Size (HxV)
5184 x 3888
Exposure White Balance Modes
Incandescent; cloudy; flash; daylight; shade; 2500K - 10000K
Features and Details
When looking at a professional grade camera body, you need to know (and understand) what is going on with all the features it has. This section will detail the most prominent and/or confusing aspects of the Lumix G9.
1. Electronic Viewfinder
The Lumix G9 electronic viewfinder may be the best in the industry. The megapixels and magnification are two of the essential aspects of a viewfinder, and the G9 isn’t lacking. With an overall 3.68 million dots, it makes for clear images. The magnification at 0.83x is the largest magnification on the market. Even the popular Fujifilm X-T2 only has a magnification of 0.77x.
The view panel also has a near-instant on power-up cycle and 120fps refresh rate. This is more than double of any other mirrorless on the market as of this writing. This refresh rate and quick-on eliminates ghosting and tearing of the image and what you see is what you get.
2. Shutter Speed Plus Electric versus Mechanical
This camera is said to have the worlds fastest autofocus speed (which has 0.04s second acquisition.) This may be handy when you are trying to shoot an auto race or wild cheetah in the plains.
The burst speed comes maximum 60fps, which should make everyone happy in any event. However, it causes problems as you will use a single focal point and it can also suffer from low light flicker. You can adjust the burst speed, though, which is great and a 20fps should catch most motion you are after with clarity and consistency.
Switching to the mechanical shutter when needed, or if you enjoy hearing the clicking of the shutter as you snap pictures. What you will lose, though is the frames per second in autofocus. When the electric shutter is selected, you can maintain 20fps. However, this will drop to 9 to 12fps when using the mechanical shutter.
3. Dual Everything
The Panasonic G9 has dual modes and features. The first thing you will notice is the dual function or “Fn” lever. It is a two-position lever that will select between two quick-launch modes.
The drive mode is also a dual set up. Select between I and II, which adjust the shooting scenarios to fine tune to specific, predefined settings.
A position I set to electronic shutter with a 20fps burst and position II used for mechanical shutter at 12fps burst. The options are limitless and greater control over the shutter and settings.
The G9 also offers dual microSD card slots. Both of the slots are UHS-II compatible, which use both for 4k video or rapid fire 60fps stills.You can have a standard battery, that drain at about 400 images per charge. You can also choose to use the battery saving mode which allows for 920 images per charge.
4. Image Quality
It is true that the Panasonic G9 uses a 20-megapixel Live Mos sensor that is the same as the GH5. Images aren't visually differentiated between the two.
However, the G9 has something the GH5 doesn’t: High-resolution mode. That will use the image stabilization to offset the sensor pixel by pixel which converts the image quality to an 80-megapixel shot.
The only problem here is that the camera must be motionless, which means the use of a tripod. Further, the subject of the shot must also be motionless. The slightest movement by either will ruin the entire picture.
5. Lens Quality
Lens selection is the most important attribute though. Regardless of the power or mega-pixel level of the camera. The good news is that the Panasonic G9 utilizes the Micro Four Thirds range of lenses and is even compatible with the Olympus lenses.
These include the high powered 200mm f/2.8 Leica. With this combination the clarity, distance, and focus are unbeatable. Sure, you will pay more for the set up as a whole, but the image quality will be the best.
The camera can ward off image noise and produce beautiful high-contrast shots. However, to truly get the most of the color palette you should opt to shoot in Vivid mode. This will enhance the colors and contrasts for a noticeable difference.The camera has a speed drawback in that there is no F100 setting; the minimal setting is F200.
No camera is perfect, despite what it offers or is capable of. However, we feel that for mirrorless cameras, the Panasonic Lumix G DC-G9 20.3 MP Mirrorless Ultra HD Digital Camera - 4K - Black - Body Only is at the top of the class. We really like:
We can’t like everything, and even the most expensive on the market have drawbacks. The Lumix G9 is no different. You may find you don’t like:
The G9 has the display, lowlight capabilities speed and video capabilities generally associated with Mirrorless models.
Possibly the best viewfinder on the market, the highest magnification and ability to hold Miro Four Thirds lenses, including the 200mm f/2.8 Leica, it is quite capable of long distance, high-resolution images.
The 4k video rivals all other Mirrorless models, including the dominant GH5. With Dual settings, dual memory card slots and dual battery options, the G9 is one camera that can handle just about everything, including high-speed burst shots at 60fps.While it isn’t perfect and does have a few drawbacks, these are minimized by the true capabilities, and in the right hands, the most stunning shots you have possibly ever seen.