That’s it, we bought the Lumix G9 Panasonic, released on January 11, 2018! From its announcement in November 2017, we knew we were going to get it so much that the Panasonic brand won our trust. I knew that as soon as a new Panasonic camera was released, I would leave the Lumix G7 for an expert hybrid camera! So here is our article, test and review of the Panasonic G9 Lumix!
We are NOT paid in any way by Panasonic! We are only faithful client convinced my Panasonic’s camera!
Panasonic G9 Lumix : technical specifications
- Sensor Size : 17.3 x 13.0 mm (4:3)
- Sensor : Live MOS
- Pixels: 20 Megapixels
- Weight: 658 grams (body only)
- 5-axis stabilization : YES
- Viewfinder: YES
- Rotatable screen: YES
- Tactile screen : YES
- Screen size : 3″
- Double screen
- Double slot
- Resistant from -10°C to 40°C
Lumix G9 Panasonic: specific functionalities
- Post Focus
- 6K Pictures
- Video 4K 60 fps
- 40 Million Pixel
- 80 Million Pixel
Ergonomy of the Panasonic G9 Lumix
Design of the Lumix G9 Camera
No surprise, the Lumix G9’s look is in line with the Panasonic’s cameras. And as usual, its look is sober, robust and that’s what we like! Simple but with beautiful finishes, the touch of red on the left wheel gives a very classy style to the camera! (yes as on the Canon)… In short, the look of the Lumix G9 chosen by Panasonic is perfect! We clearly feel that we are on the top of the range. Just for its style, we wanted to buy it.
Panasonic G9 settings access, knobs and joystick
As usual with Panasonic, I like the many accesses to the same settings and through several menus! Yeah, when you don’t know it, it’s a little confusing at first. But it allows you to create your own shortcuts to this or that setting! On Panasonic G9 Lumix, there’s no change in settings’ access. To change a setting, I can go through the touch screen or a button on the camera and/or the wheel ! And I can go from one to the other as I please! I find this rather advantageous because each user can appropriate the camera. And it is possible to switch from touch to knobs at any time!
For a high-end product like the Lumix G9 Panasonic, you are entitled to be demanding and to ask for tactile as much as wheels or buttons, and you have it! The big plus of the Panasonic G9: the custom menu you can create for yourself. This is the ideal tool for quick access to your favourite settings.
I really like the double left wheel which is a two in one: choice of shooting modes (M, S, A, P, iA…) and choice of shooting type (Simple, Rafale, 6K, Post Focus, Self-timer…).
After several months of practice on the Panasonic G9, I can’t live without the joystick anymore! So when I walk around with another camera, I miss it. And when you photograph with the viewfinder, it’s a real plus.
Who says expert digital camera body, says additional gadgets very useful. That’s what you might think, at first glance, of the double screen! But it’s welcome to check settings at a glance. I forget all the time to reset my exposure, I appreciate this double screen! And besides, it lights up when it’s dark.
What is the double slot? It is the possibility to install two memory cards in your camera. Now we’re in the little plus of the expert body again. Essential for travel, especially when shooting in RAW because this format takes up a lot of space on the SD card. Ditto for the video shooting when you film at the 4K 60 fps, you’ll need an SD memory card that can take it.
Of course, you have several possible settings to optimize this double slot on the Lumix G9 ! Save to SD card 1 and then to SD card 2 or choose the destination each time you save (which can allow you to separate photos and videos for example) or record simultaneously to both SD cards ! For our part, we decided to put a 128GB SD card for photos and a 256GB SD card for videos.
Handling the Panasonic G9 Lumix
Panasonic G9 Lumix weight
One of the first features of the Panasonic G9 Lumix we looked at was the weight! As we walk a lot on trip, we bought the Lumix G7 for its quality photo camera AND lightweighted. It must be said that we came from a Sony Nex rather compact (but with the menus which did not suit me). When we saw the weight of the Lumix G9, we had some doubts. Going from a naked box of 410 grams to a box of 658 grams, I feared that it would be a lot (Being specified that we travel only by train, bus, plane and on foot – with a baby).
Finally, you don’t feel that much difference in weight, even after a big day of walking with a full bag! As for the grip, once you get used to the handle of the Panasonic G9 Lumix, it’s hard to do without it! The hand is naturally positioned on the handle. To shoot, the Lumix G9 camera is perfectly balanced and the buttons are well positioned. It’s a real pleasure to photograph with it, even when you haven’t used it for a while.
At the beginning, the only confusing thing about the Lumix G9 Panasonic is its super fast trigger. It is difficult from the first use to find the balance point at mid race. It takes a little practice, especially when shooting with a viewfinder.
Finally, today, we much prefer this hyper fast trigger! Our other cameras look way too slow next to the Panasonic G9!
I’m completely used to this trigger now and the combination of the joystick and the quick release is ideal.
Panasonic G9 Lumix : the best expert hybrid camera
If you want to buy an expert digital camera body, the Lumix G9 Panasonic is, in my opinion, the best value for money! Its price is lower than other brands like Canon, Nikon or Sony (for the same range and same features). But that’s not all, the lenses compatible with this box are also much cheaper. And for the same price as a competitor’s bare body, you will also get a LEICA DG VARIO-ELMAR 12-60mm lens, the full size equivalent of a 24-120mm lens, a quality and versatile lens! Enough to take pictures with an expert camera without having to change lenses often.
Sensor with 5-axis stabilization
One of the advantages of the Lumix G9 Panasonic is its 5-axis stabilization sensor, which makes it easy to take photographs by hand and thus to take beautiful pictures in low light. Being able to have great picture on low light without carrying your tripod with you is so cool.
This stabilization is also ideal and necessary if you shoot with telephoto lenses, from 100mm. I zoom in very often, and usually with a little one moving in a baby carrier, so I can no longer do without this stabilization. Having tested a Canon 6D, the stabilization difference is obvious and in favor of the Panasonic G9 Lumix.
80 Million Pixel Photo
The other advantage of 5-axis stabilization is the possibility of taking photos with a very high resolution: 40 and 80 million pixels. With the Panasonic G9 camera placed on a tripod, you can get this type of shot. But you must photograph a static subject.
Indeed, the camera uses stabilization to take a series of photos of the same scene by shifting the sensor between each photo. He then merges them to obtain an 80 million pixel shot. And the bonus of this mode is that it delivers photos in JPEG and RAW.
This mode is essential for magnificent photos or enlargements.
Lumix G9 Panasonic and video 60 fps
With the Panasonic Lumix G9, we have a camera that offers the possibility of filming in 4K 60 frames per second. It is one of the rare cameras on the market to make UHD in 60 FPS (especially at this price). So, even if we are at 90% photo, we have necessarily tested this video mode as well as the autofocus of the Lumix G9. The result is just incredible! The 60 fps brings a real plus to the 4K, especially if you have a 4K screen or an iMac 5k you will feel immersed in the filmed scene. The 4K 60 frames per second, we’ve waited a long time for it, and we’re so happy to finally have it!
We often immortalize memories of our son and with the 4K, we are sure to keep our videos in high quality for years to come.
We filmed freehand (without stabilizer, gimbal, or tripod) to test 5-axis stabilization in real conditions, with the Lumix GX 12-35mm f2.8 lens and the Lumix 14-140 mm f3.5-5.6 lens. Use the Chrome browser to take full advantage of the 4K (Settings > Quality > 2160p60) ! Note that Youtube degrades the quality a bit and that the original video file gives even better results.
The Lumix G9 combines all the concentrated Panasonic technology in one expert camera! With a great quality/price ratio, just buy Panasonic G9 Camera !
Panasonic G9 : an accessible hybrid expert camera accessible to everyone
Even if the Panasonic Lumix G9 camera is more for expert photographers, don’t be afraid to get it if you are beginner or amateur! This camera can suit you whatever your photography learning level. Getting started is easy and you will find an automatic mode before you get used to aperture, speed or even manual mode.
In manual mode, Panasonic helps you in your photo settings, if they are not good, a red gauge appears before triggering! Beginner, you can buy Lumix G9 without fear!
Post Focus : Choose your Focus Point after shooting
When we begin photography, we want to take beautiful shots with great bokeh. But between all the settings, you can get lost or sometimes you don’t have time to adjust all settings before you shoot. On the Lumix G9 body, you can use the Post Focus option!
But what is Post Focus? It’s the opportunity to choose your focus point after taking picture! This feature is magic and the resulting bokeh is great! You take your photo, you display it on the screen and then you select the area of the photo where you want to make the point and you record… Easy! With the same photo, you can choose to make the point at one place then at another! The Post Focus is like the 4K, I dreamed about it for a very long time! Few years ago, cameras with post focus were overpriced! There, for an affordable price, I have this function which allows me to make a single photo and to select the focus point afterwards and the rest becomes blurred! It’s magic!
It’s hard to believe but these two photos are from the same shot!
Tired of missing your moving subject photos? Whether it’s your kid’s football game or your nephew’s first steps, all your photos are blurry? And, the speed mode remains obscure for you? With the Panasonic G9 you can use the “6K Photos” mode to make all your shots a success! What is the “6K” photo? The camera films in 6K resolution and then allows you to select and extract still images of 18 Million pixels… Pretty good! Your camera records 30 photos per second in a 6K resolution which in terms of speed far surpasses the burst mode! That’s how I was able to immortalize our son’s first steps without any blurry pictures! An indispensable feature to capture the best memories of our lives!
Panasonic G9 Lumix : a great hybrid camera to travel
Even if the weight of the Panasonic G9 camera is a little higher than the Panasonic GX range, with its 658 grams, we are far from the weight of a reflex camera. This is among other things what makes the Lumix G9 an excellent camera for travelling. Besides this reduced weight, the compatible lenses are also among the lightest. The advantage of the Panasonic G9 Lumix is its handling. With the handle, the hand is naturally positioned for optimal shooting conditions. The hand perfectly fits the camera body which is balanced, everything is well placed. When I take it back for a few minutes, I shoot immediately and easily. This is not the case with all our cameras.
Tropicalized and resistant, you can travel everywhere with the Lumix G9 Panasonic.
Lumix G9 Panasonic Autonomy of the battery
A hybrid camera means a smaller battery with a low battery life. With the Panasonic G9, it’s not! You can easily shoot 450 photos with the same battery. When travelling, it is essential to be able to count on the autonomy of its battery. And to have spent long days in London with the Lumix G9, we can confirm that we were happy with its autonomy. (But it’s better to always have two batteries, see our paragraph about accessories).
Panasonic mobile app and features
Too little is said about it in camera tests and yet mobile camera applications are essential. In any case, with the Lumix G9 you will see that you will often use the ImageApp app.
Using your phone as a remote control to trigger
Think you need a remote control when travelling? Forget that extra purchase! With the Panasonic ImageApp application, no need to buy a remote control, your mobile phone will trigger for you! For our holiday memories, we love this application! Because often, even if you prefer to photograph monuments and are not fond of seflies, a souvenir of a holiday with friends or family is always welcome.
Transfer your photos on the road
You fear to loose your travel photos or you want to share them instantly to your loved ones? With the Panasonic mobile application compatible with Lumix G9 you will be able to send your photos on phone or tablet to share them to your friends easily.
While offering affordable prices, Panasonic does not offer a low cost that would cut down on quality or functionality! The Lumix G9 has a touch screen that can be rotated in all directions, buttons, knobs, a viewfinder, a joystick, a double SD slot, a setting reminder screen, post focus, 6K shooting and 4K 60 fps video… ! With all this, no choice but to buy this high quality expert camera!
Panasonic G9 Lumix test conditions
Duration of the test: 6 months (use of the product still in progress)
Lenses used : Lumix GX Vario 12-35mm f2.8 II, Lumix Vario 14-140mm f3.5-5.6 and Lumix G 25mm f1.7
Frequency of use: almost daily
Type of shooting: landscape, monuments, portrait, child, animals.
Shooting conditions: good weather outside, good weather inside. Daytime pictures, pictures at the end of the day. Photos by night and dusk.
Temperature during shooting: from -2°C to 28°C
Battery life: about 450 shots
Features tested: video 4K 60fps, 6K photos, post focus, mobile app.
Lumix G9 Panasonic review
Once again, Panasonic did great with the Lumix G9! I took a little time (two days!) to switch from Lumix G7 to G9 but once I forgot my habits, I was quickly convinced by the Panasonic G9.
The speed of the trigger, after a few weeks with the G9 camera, we forget it! It’s even very pleasant to photograph very quickly! I quickly got used to the buttons and knobs! Only the button to trigger the video disturbed me. BUT, it is possible to start the video with the shutter release button when in video mode. The camera withstands very well the cool temperatures, (me a little less)! I tested it to -2°C! Already, the joystick and me, we don’t leave each other anymore! It is very pleasant to photograph with the viewfinder with the joystick. I have no latency time, so I can instantly choose my focus point.
The screen is great quality and so is the viewfinder! Moreover, I take a real pleasure to photograph with the viewfinder of Lumix G9! I could test the rise in ISO of the camera with many photographs made in inside and in grey weather ! Up to ISO 1600, it manages really well! At ISO 3200, it gets a bit spoilt… So I activated the option to limit the ISO to 1600.
Another point, the camera manages contrasts very well! Auto white balance is set very well too! I don’t end up with a sky I have to work on post treatment or a personalized white balance.
I could test the 5 axis stabilization of the Lumix G9 Panasonic: it is quite exceptional! For long exposure times, you no longer need a tripod like at nightfall or for water drag effects.
I tested the automatic mode as well as the speed mode, the aperture mode or the manual mode. I alternate between the four modes according to the needs and the type of photo I practice.
My review of the Panasonic G9 is unquestionable: this Lumix G9 camera is great ! I re-discovered the joy of photography and to progress.
With the Panasonic G9 Lumix, we have a hybrid camera of quality which is clearly close to a Reflex. great handling, great features and of course the quality of the pictures, you have everything. I found a new breath in my photography practice. All with 4K 60 frames per second video at an affordable price at this level of technology. After several weeks of intensive use of our Lumix G9, we are totally convinced we made the right choice by purchasing this expert hybrid camera.
Panasonic Lumix G9 Portfolio
Which lens should I buy with the Panasonic Lumix G9?
Lumix G9 + LEICA 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 lens
This is the lens that Panasonic provides with its Lumix G9 camera in a pack that is easy to find! When you know that the LEICA DG VARIO-ELMAR 12-60 mm lens alone costs 899.99$, it’s worth taking the pack (when you don’t already have a lens)!
This lens is a full frame equivalent 24-120mm, which covers a good distance for travel photography, landscape, wide angle, portrait, etc.. This is an excellent LEICA quality multi-purpose lens. The lens is stabilized which will reduce the number of blurry pictures! If we were not already equipped with lenses, this is certainly the package we would have chosen. The Lumix G9 + LEICA 12-60mm lens offers a nice entry into the top of the Panasonic.
We already had the Lumix GX Vario 12-35mm constant aperture f/2.8 lens. Once we’ve tested this lens, we can’t do without it.
Clearly, the Lumix G9 body + LEICA 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 lens is the most advantageous with a high quality optics and whose aperture does not rise too high (f/4.0 in telephoto). If we didn’t already have several Lumix lenses, we would have bought the G9 camera + LEICA 12-60 mm lens.
Which accessories should I buy with Panasonic G9 Lumix ?
Besides the Lumix G9 nude camera and lenses, some accessories need to be purchased before going on a trip with this new camera.
Additional battery for Lumix G9
The second battery for your camera is essential when you go on vacation. Especially since 4K video 60 frames per second is very energy consuming! For the Lumix G9, it is the same battery as for the Lumix GH5 and Lumix GH5S.
Wrist strap for optimal grip on Panasonic G9 Lumix
For a better grip of our Lumix G9 box, we bought a Peak Design handle just before our trip to London. Instead of having the camera around my neck, I had it in my hand or in our photo bag.
With a handle, the grip is more pleasant and stable. And it is especially more practical to walk in a city and photograph quickly (provided you have a photo bag just as practical). If you buy the Panasonic G9 Lumix, we recommend the Peak Design handle. This avoids constant tension on the camera. And if you fear for thefts, fixed to your hand, it is impossible to tear it from you! We loved the handle strap so much, we pulled it to all our cameras.
Memory Card for Lumix G9
So far we are using a 128GB Sandisk Extreme Pro SDXC card that has a write speed of 90MB/s. It is a very fast and very reliable card which with its 128 GB does not oblige us to download our photos on our computer or hard disk every evening when traveling.
If you are looking for an SD memory card to shoot in 4k 60 images / second at 150 Mb/s, the above mentioned card will suit but it also exists in 256 GB.
Panasonic G9 Lumix or Lumix GH5 or Lumix GH5S, what’s the difference?
All year 2017, I hesitated to buy the Lumix GH5 but its very video oriented positioning made me hesitate, I who am more photo! I had then convinced myself to wait for an expert hybrid like the GX80 or the GX8. And that’s it, Panasonic did it with his G9 camera! So, I don’t regret that I put aside the Lumix GH5! Because the Panasonic G9 is the expert camera for photos! But with the possibility to make 4K video, 60 frames per second in 150 Mbit/s (8 bits)! In short, Panasonic has managed to reconcile our needs in terms of photo and video quality in a single body.
But then how to find your way between Panasonic’s three expert cameras?
Lumix GH5: Panasonic’s photo & video expert camera
If the Lumix GH5 was seen since its release as the reference of the expert body for video, it remains nevertheless a good camera for photo. According to an interview with Panasonic’s product manager (Yosuke Yamane-san), this camera was designed to be versatile. Moreover, its users are 50% photographers and 50% videographers! With its many video modes, the Lumix GH5 makes it possible to go far in settings, video formats and of course to film in 4K 60 frames/second up to 400 Mbps in 10 bits. It is also an expert camera for photo with its 20 million pixel sensor.
Lumix GH5S: Panasonic’s video expert camera
January 2018, Panasonic announced in general misunderstanding, the release of the Lumix GH5S, its expert camera for video! Wasn’t the Lumix GH5 the video expert? It was Panasonic’s product manager again who came to clarify all this! The Lumix GH5S is not designed to be an expert photo camera. The proof, it is only equipped with a sensor 10 million pixels but which costs twice more than Lumix GH5’s sensor ! This camera is the video expert of the Panasonic brand, particularly adapted for low lights! (GH5S, S for sensitivity !). The GH5S body is not stabilized because Panasonic understands that when we make video (especially when it is dark) we are equipped with a tripod or a stabilizer, moreover the majority of the lenses are already stabilized (POWER OIS).
Lumix G9: Panasonic’s expert photo camera
That’s where Lumix G9 comes in! On a daily basis, for travel, we are 90% photos. So investing in a video expert body wasn’t a good idea after all! As for the Lumix GH5, it was missing something to decide us. When Panasonic announced the Lumix G9 as THE expert camera for photo… All my attention was on it. Of course, it had to include some video features to please us. Expert photo body with 4K video mode – 60 frames/second, the Panasonic G9 Lumix is the perfect camera.