Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 is one of the few mirrorless micrographs with the Micro Four Thirds matrix, which can be reached by a professional photographer. Why? More about this in the review of the new Panasonica model.
The Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 presented in November is one of very few models in the offer of a Japanese producer, which is mainly addressed to photographers. Panasonic is known primarily for creating great cameras for filming, or rather professional cameras with the appearance of the camera, meanwhile, although the Lumix G9 offers quite good film capabilities, it remains only a secondary issue. This camera was not only designed as a professional tool dedicated to, among others, photojournalists, but it was also reasonably priced – on less than 7.5 thousand. PLN per body .
Big and solid, but surprisingly light
The Lumix DC-G9 design resembles a DSLR camera. This large (though light, weighing 650 grams with a battery) the body has been designed to fit well in the palm of your hand . Immediately noticeable is a strongly contoured grip, which makes the camera stays very confident, without worrying about the equipment slipping out of your hands. A large part of the body is covered with a rough rubber, but the body of the housing is a magnesium alloy. Thanks to this, the camera should be durable and able to cope well in bad weather conditions.Due to the fact that the camera is dedicated to professional users, the housing could not be missing a large number of buttons and knobs. Among them, we can of course find the PA, S, M knob with the film mode, and, moreover, three Custom modes, in which we will write the parameters adjusted by us. Using the dial you can also select the shooting mode – single or serial. Finally, there was no possibility to set the aperture or the shutter. In the upper part you will also find important buttons for quick access to ISO, white balance and exposure compensation. The front of the camera fills, among other things, several function buttons and the autofocus mode switch. This is another important tool in the work of the photographer, so we are glad that the body will find all the relevant buttons to facilitate quick access to key functions. Although the camera was equipped with a good touch-operated screen (with the focusing function), the producer decided to give us a joystick, which is a solution known for advanced SLRs. This will help when using the viewfinder instead of the display. Another solution known from SLRs is to place a black and white display on the top, showing the most important parameters. It is also worth mentioning that on the left side you will find several inputs that allow us for wired communication. Among them, USB 3.0 port, micro HDMI, microphone input, as well as headphone. So everything is needed. On the right side there is a double entry to the memory card – this is a very useful option, which is most often found only in more expensive models. The camera's battery is large – both in terms of size and capacity, which is up to 1860 mAh. Thanks to this the camera does not discharge excessively quickly, although it must be remembered that the Lumix G9 has a considerable energy demand, among others due to the presence of matrix stabilization. So it's worth getting an extra battery. As a standard, we should easily make over 400 photos on a single charge. Wireless connectivity is provided by Wi-Fi – not in the latest standard, but the connection is very stable. By installing a special application, we will be able to use a smartphone to control the camera or transfer our photos without using a cable.
Display and viewfinder as standard
The LCD display of the tested model meets today's standards, offering 3 inches in size and a resolution of 1.04 million. points. The maximum brightness is also quite good, and when the sun shines too much, we can always use the viewfinder. Electronic viewfinder in OLED technology with 0.83x magnification provides 100% field of view and its resolution is 2.360 million points. This is a good model, although I admit that I have seen better solutions in cheaper cameras.The camera screen has a touch that gives you a lot of possibilities. In addition to the standard focus point selection with your finger on the screen, we also handle the entire menu by touch, which will be a quicker and easier way than using the buttons . Especially that most of us use the touch more naturally due to smartphones. The menu itself has a lot of functions, it is quite well sorted, but it will take some time to find it. Sometimes we will have to bury a little before we get to the seemingly obvious function. But everything is a matter of skill and after some time navigating the menu will become easier. A small black and white screen can be found on the upper part of the housing . It shows the most important parameters that we are currently using, including the aperture value, shutter speed and ISO. The panel is illuminated, making it easier to work after dark.
The quality of the photos is a pleasant surprise
The photographic possibilities of the camera are large and the number of additional options is impressive. Let's start with the basics. The model uses a Micro 4/3 sensor with a resolution of 21.77 Mpix. The sensor has no anti-aliasing filter , which means that the detail of the images is much larger. The matrix is supported by the Venus Engine image processor and this set performs very well. In the case of smaller ISO values, the detail is great, while for the last useful ISO value ( range is 200-25 600 ) I would consider 3,200, but I would like to emphasize that in the case of 6400, we still get a lot from the picture after using the denoise function.It's obvious that image quality is the most important factor when choosing a camera. And in this respect I can say with a clear conscience that the Lumix G9 is doing great. Despite the small matrix, the producer manages to provide a really good picture. Pictures are detailed, especially at lower ISO values , and their tonal dynamics are impressive. The camera selects colors nicely, therefore the pictures (without any processing) are well saturated and the white balance is hit. The automaton is lost only under artificial lighting, for example at street lamps. We also have AWB with cold tones, thanks to which, even when the environment is yellowish, we can achieve relatively natural, nice colors. Below are some examples of photos. Full resolution can be found in the gallery . The quality of the pictures speaks for itself, but it should also describe a number of functions that will prove very useful at work. One of the new features is the ability to take Hi-Res photos, equivalent to 80 Mpix resolution. This is a novelty, but there are also features known from previous models. In this 6K Photo function – thanks to it we will take 30 pictures in a second in 6K quality (while 4K Photo allows you to take as many as 60 photos per second with 4K resolution). In traditional serial mode with a mechanical shutter, the camera speed is 12 fps. The strong point of the camera is its autofocus, which has as many as 225 focus areas . Because AF points fill almost the entire frame, we manage to get really sharp photos. Importantly, the AF works very quickly, and thus the camera works well in street or reporter photography, when we have little time and we need to sharpen quickly and accurately. The functions of eye and face detection are very useful when photographing people. Thanks to them, if the camera detects a face, we are sure that the picture will be properly sharpened. We also have a tracking mode, which, however, can get lost. Autofocus has the DFD function, there is also a well-known Post Focus function, thanks to which we choose what should be sharp in the picture after it has been taken. In addition to autofocus and efficient serial modes, matrix stabilization will also be useful. The manufacturer declares that the 5-axis stabilization in cooperation with stabilization in the lens can provide a result of 6.5 EV . I got the impression that it is a bit less, but it is still a great result, which means that even after dark, using longer exposure times, we will not need a tripod.
Filming in 4K at 50p
This is one of the few models of Panasonic, in which I can not write much about the possibilities of film. They are not the most important here, although this does not of course change the fact that they are still considerable. The camera lacked some of the features known from models created at a movie angle, but still the capabilities of this model are greater than in many other, more expensive cameras. Full HD mode is standard 50 frames per second, and the bitrate can be 50 Mbps. More important, however, is that we get the slow-motion mode, so the number of frames can ultimately be increased to as much as 180 without loss of quality. for 4K mode is 50 fps / bitrate 150 Mbps . We can film in MP4 and MOV formats. The quality of the recorded image is at a very high level, and remember that 50 frames per second in 4K mode is still a novelty that can not be found, for example, in any Sony model. It should be appreciated that Panasonic is starting to treat it as a standard in most of the models it is currently launching. Filmmakers will also be useful for entering the microphone, which can be attached to the hot shoe as well as the headphone input. During filming, the matrix's stabilization works perfectly – we can film at longer focal lengths without any worries, and if we carefully take the steps, the shot will be smooth as if using a gimbal . So what was missing? Only options known from the top models, such as 4K cinema format or film profiles. So this is not a camera dedicated to filmmakers, but it still works well in this field.
Summary and evaluation
Panasonic Lumix G9 is a model that is difficult to fault. The camera takes very nice photos and provides great comfort of use, and the number of functions compares it next to the most advanced models dedicated to professionals. At the same time, it was reasonably priced, because the current PLN 7,300 for a camera about these possibilities is a really reasonable price. Panasonic finally showed a model that can lead many to change from a SLR . This is important because after all we do not have (contrary to appearances) so many models that can meet the requirements of professionals, hence the low percentage of mirrorless photographers compared to filmmakers. Can you accuse Lumix G9? Probably the autofocus should be a bit better, as well as the quality of the pictures at higher ISO sensitivities. However, these are small cons, which fade in comparison with a really large number of advantages. And the latter make the Lumix G9 a really interesting purchase. The camera receives the distinction "Selection of redaction" from us. [Show_rating]