Panasonic G9 First Impressions

  By Jordan Drake

Mirrorless cameras have made huge strides in recent years, becoming incredibly popular with hobbyists and advanced amateurs, but 2017 will be remembered as the year mirrorless cameras really started targeting pros. Olympus’ E-M1 MK II, Sony’s A9 and now Panasonic’s G9 are all designed for the professional market. 

When we reviewed the Panasonic GH5, Chris Niccolls and I commented on how it was a very capable stills camera but felt that it didn’t justify the price premium over the very capable G85 if you were primarily interested in stills. The G9 addresses this concern by bringing over all the stills features we loved from the GH5, with some exciting new features, but at a lower price. If speed, portability, and durability are top priorities for your photography, the G9 certainly warrants a look.

The standout feature for me is the enormous, incredibly sharp electronic viewfinder. I love the GH5 EVF, but this is noticeably better, with no noticeable lag. We’ve finally reached the point where I don’t miss an optical viewfinder, and using a traditional DSLR is starting to feel like a step back. The G9 also has a much faster burst rate than the GH5, shooting an impressive 20 full-size images per second with continuous AF, up to 60 frames per second with focus locked. 

If you need higher resolution then that the 20MP files the G9 normally produces, Panasonic has added a Hi-Res mode. The camera needs to be on a solid tripod, and your subject needs to be motionless, but this mode can produce 40 or 80 megapixel images as a RAW or JPEG. First seen in some Olympus models, this can be a revolutionary feature if you shoot products, landscape, or art reproduction. 

As a very happy GH5 shooter, it’s impressive to see the strides Panasonic have made with the G9 in just a few months. The mirrorless camera market is certainly getting exciting this year! If the Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 or the new Panasonic Lumix G Leica DG Elmarit 200mm f2.8 sounds like it might be the right camera for your photography, you can pre-order it from The Camera Store today.