Panasonic has launched the Lumix G9 to sit alongside the GH5 as its flagship stills camera. Let’s take a look at how the two models compare.



Sensor and processing engine

Panasonic has given the G9 the same 20.3Mp sensor and Venus 10 processing engine as is in the GH5 but we’re told that the new camera has been tuned quite differently, giving priority to its stills quality rather than the video. This would seem to be borne out by the comparison prints that I’ve seen.

Panasonic G9/GS9: Possible specifications and what we’d like to see

High Resolution Mode

Panasonic has given the G9 a new High Resolution mode that doesn’t appear on the GH5. When this is activated, the G9 takes a sequence of 8 images, with the image stabilisation (IS) system moving the sensor very slightly between each shot. The 20Mp images are then combined to create an 80Mp ‘equivalent’ image with more detail. These larger files can be used to make much bigger prints.

Panasonic says that High Resolution Mode is a tripod-only mode.

Image Stabilisation

Like the GH5, the G9 has a Dual IS system that can make use of both lens and body-based stabilisation to compensate for movement across 5-axis. However, while the GH5 brings a claimed shutter speed compensation value of 5EV, the G9’s is said to enable a shutter speed extension of up to 6.5EV at all focal lengths. That’s the difference between 1/250 sec and 1/3 sec, but at short focal lengths it could mean you can hand-hold the G9 for exposures measured in whole seconds.

 

Autofocus

Like the GH5, the G9 has a 225-point contrast detection AF system. However, Panasonic has sped-up the data processing and this gives the G9 a claimed focus acquisition time of just 0.04sec – according to Panasonic, that’s the World’s Fastest.

Sport and wildlife photographers will also be pleased to learn that the G9’s continuous AF system can be customised to suit the subject and shooting conditions.

Panasonic has also given the G9 a new AF-point Scope mode that magnifies the focus point so you can check the correct location is in focus and the ability for the focus point to switch to take a change in shooting orientation into account. In addition, you can set the G9 to allow you to scroll through AF points in a loop rather than going from one side to another and back.

Continuous shooting

In Single AF (AFS) mode the GH5 can shoot at up to 12fps (frames per second) for a maximum of 60 raw files whether it’s using the mechanical or the electronic shutter. The G9 can match this when its mechanical shutter is in use, but with the electronic shutter, it can shoot at up to 60fps for 50 raw files.

If you want to use continuous autofocusing (AFC), the G9 can shoot at 9fps for 50 raw files with the mechanical shutter or 20fps for 50 raw files with the electronic shutter. The GH5 tops-out at 9fps for 60 raw files whichever shutter is used.

Both cameras also offer Panasonic’s 4K Photo and 6K Photo modes. However, whereas the GH5 can shoot in 6K Photo mode at 30fps, or 4K Photo mode at 60fps or 30fps for an unlimited length of time (or at least until the card fills), the G9 can only shoot in 6K Photo mode at 30fps and 4K Photo mode at 60fps for up to 10minutes. At 30fps, the G9’s 4K Photo mode is limited to a maximum of 30 minutes.

Screen

The GH5 has a 3.2-inch RGBW LCD with 1,620,000 dots but the G9 has a smaller, 3-inch OLED screen with 1,040,000 dots. Both screens are on a vari-angle hinge and are touch-sensitive.

Viewfinder

Panasonic has given the G9 its most advanced electronic viewfinder to date. Like the GH5’s it’s a 21mm 3,680,000-dot OLED device, but its magnification can be set to 0.83x, 0.77x or 0.7x. Also, at 120fps, the fresh rate is twice that of the GH5’s and the lag is claimed to be just 0.005sec.

Camera NamePanasonic Lumix GH5Panasonic Lumix DMC-G9
Camera type:CSCCSC
Date announced:4th Jan 20178th Nov 2017
Price at launch:£1,699 body only, £1,899 with 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6 lens, £2,199 with Leica 12-60mm f/2.8-4 lens£1,499.99/$ Body only, £1669.99/$ with Lumix 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6, £2,019.99/$ with Leica 12-60mm f/2.8-4
Sensor size:Four Thirds type (17.3 x 13mm)Four Thirds type (17.3 x 13mm)
Effective pixel count:20.3 million20.3 million
Lens/Mount:Micro Four ThirdsMicro Four Thirds
Processor:Venus Engine 10Venus Engine
Sensitivity range:Still image: 200-25600 (expandable to 100-25,600) Video Mode: 200-12800 (expandable to 100-25,600)Still image: 200-25600 (expandable to 100-25,600) Video Mode: 200-12800 (expandable to 100-25,600)
Reflex AF system:N/AN/A
Live View AF System:225-point Contrast detection225-point Contrast detection
Max shooting rate:12fps with AF-S, 9fps with AF-C20fps with AF-C, 60fps with AF-S
Max video resolution:4K (4096 x 2160) at 24p, 4K (3840 x 2160) at 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p with no cropping4K (3840 x 2160) at 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p with no cropping
Storage:2x SD/SDHC/SDXC UHS-IIDual SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II)
Viewfinder:21mm electronic with 3,680,000 dots OLED21mm electronic with 3,680,000 dots OLED
Screen:Touch-sensitive vari-angle 3.2-inch RGBW LCD with 1,620,000 dotsTouch-sensitive vari-angle 3-inch OLED with 1,040,000 dots
Dimensions:138.5 x 98.1 x 87.4 mm / 5.45 x 3.86 x 3.44 inch (excluding protrusions)136.9 x 97.3 x 91.6mm / 5.39 x 3.83 x 3.61-inch (excluding protrusions)
Weight:645g / 1.42 lb (Body only, 725g / 1.60 lb (SD card, Battery, Body), ), 935g / 2.06 lb (SD card x 1, Battery, H-FS12060 lens included), 1030g / 2.27 lb (SD card x 1, Battery, H-HSA12035 lens included), 1045g / 2.30 lb (SD card x 1, Battery, H-ES12060 lens included)579g / 1.28 lb (Body only), 658g / 1.45 lb (SD card x 1, Battery, Body), 868g / 1.91 lb (SD card x 1, Battery, H-FS12060 lens included), 978g / 2.16 lb (SD card x 1, Battery, H-ES12060 lens included)
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