Panasonic Lumix G9 review: A mirrorless moulded to the needs of still-shooters
- Night mode
- Shoulder-mounted information display
- 6.5-stop stablization
- 0.04-second autofocus
- Weather-sealed design
- Videographic capabilities not as robust as GH5
The Lumix G9 doesn’t hit the same highs as the a9 but, if you’re scared by the price-tag of the latter, this is a more-than-serviceable alternative at a third of the price.
Price$ 2,499.00 (AUD)
After a week or so playing with the settings and toggles, we took the Lumix G9 with us to cover this year’s CES in Las Vegas to see how it fared in the field. While we came away pretty happy with the results, we weren’t quite as dazzled by the results as we were with Sony’s beastly a9 (which we took to last year’s PAX Australia).
The battery in the a9 offers up more shots-per-battery and, in our experience, was able to write to the card faster - as well as more consistently fast - than the G9 was. For the most part, the G9 was very responsive to use but our time with the camera was infrequently dragged down by occasionally having to wait just a second or two after pushing record for the camera to actually respond to inputs.
Still, there’s a lot to like here - and the G9 does have a few tricks up its sleeve (not to mention a much-cheaper price-tag). You can change the focus point after taking a shot, you can film time-lapses and you can easily extract high-quality stills from video footage (8-megapixels or 18-megapixels, depending on the mode used).
The G9 also boasts an 80-megapixel high-resolution mode, which combines 8 separate sensor-shifted exposures in-camera into an ultra-high-res 80-megapixel JPEG or RAW image. In practice, this requires the right conditions to get the most out of the feature but does deliver some pretty impressive results - particularly when it comes to wider landscape photography.
Of course, for less than half the price, the G9 does a great job of stepping on the A9’s toes when it comes to continuous shooting. With the right settings, it delivers the same rattling 20FPS, making it a potentially-great fit for sports or music photography.
The Bottom Line
While all these references and comparisons between the Lumix G9 and the Sony a9 might seem a little unfair given the price-differential between the two, they actually serve to illustrate everything that the G9 has going for it.
Sure, this camera isn't perfect. However, for the price, the areas where the G9 falls a little short are much more understandable and acceptable than they would have been if we had experienced them in the a9. For $7000, you expect the best of the best. You expect no shortcomings. For $2500, the story is a little different. A few wrinkles are permitted.
Especially since beneath those wrinkles lies a powerful mirrorless shooter that’s capable of delivering outstanding results. What’s more, the shared DNA between this and the GH5 leaves it with a bevy of inherited videographic features that the a9 sorely lacks.
The Lumix G9 doesn’t hit the same highs as the a9 but, if you’re scared by the price-tag of the latter, this is a more-than-serviceable alternative.
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