Is Panasonic G9 Good For Long Exposure Photography

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Great in-body stabilisation. Quick autofocus. Ergonomic build. Flip-out touchscreen. 4K/60p video. 10-scrap video. Flare-up rate around 10fps. Double carte slots.

These are features commonly craved by photographers. Many wish for a camera that has them all, and now they’re grateful that Canon has finally released the EOS R6, a full-frame camera, for well above $2000.

Merely what if I told you that such a camera has existed for two years now? For less than one-half the cost? Today, I’m reviewing the Panasonic G9, a camera that, sadly, has been largely unnoticed by the photo community.

If you’re afterwards these features, and the G9 has gone under your radar, read on: it might exist the perfect choice for you.

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Overview of the Panasonic G9

The Panasonic G9 is a mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera. Information technology was introduced in early 2022. Information technology’s based on the Micro Four Thirds organisation.

At the time, information technology was the flagship of the stills-oriented part of Panasonic’s lineup. Two full-frame models take been added since (S1 and S1R), at more double the price.

But the G9 remains a highly capable camera for almost all applications. Except for great low-light performance, information technology gives you lot many of your dream features in an ergonomic, well-idea-out parcel.

It’s amidst the nigh compelling Micro Four Thirds cameras, and certainly represents huge value for the money in g9 camera

Who Is the Panasonic G9 For?

At that place are several types of creators whom the G9 tin benefit. I’m writing creators, not only photographers, considering it’due south an impressive camera for video also.

And then, definitely, the first target demographic is hybrid shooters. For those, who simultaneously shoot video and stills, but are on a capped upkeep, the G9 gives many possibilities no other comparable camera offers. It offers extremely high-quality video files, at 4k/60p, or 4k/30p in x chip.

Then, there are action, sports, and wildlife photographers. This is a more populated field, and the G9 competes with some splendid cameras, such every bit the recently reviewed Sony A6400. The Sony doubtlessly has the edge in autofocus and ISO performance. But the G9 has bang-up advantages every bit well, such every bit burst rates or ergonomics, nonetheless resolution, or the aforementioned video features.

And there are those who want a great, economical camera for casual use. Travel, documentary, street, and family photography are areas where the G9 offers a real culling to larger-sensor APS-C cameras.A street scene

Fundamental Features

So, let’due south come across the Panasonic G9‘s features in more item and how they help existent-life usability.

Mount and Compatibility

The Panasonic G9 is congenital around the Micro Four Thirds (MFT) mountain and organisation. Sensors in this system are smaller than APS-C sensors.

Now, commonly, MFT camera bodies are minor, and this is one of their great features. Not then much with the G9: this a DSLR-sized device, but an extremely ergonomic i at least.

Notwithstanding, the other strengths of the MFT system are still true. Lenses can exist scaled downwards, and smaller sensors are more effectively stabilised. In the historic period where noise levels are hardly a concern at virtually ISO levels, many photographers prefer these.

As well Panasonic, several camera makers share the MFT mount, such every bit Olympus or Blackmagic. Even more lens manufacturers build lenses for it, which is a meaning thing to consider when investing in a organisation. Tertiary-party companies, most notably Sigma, offering fantastic and depression-cost lens options.

Native lens options past Panasonic include some excellent lenses every bit well. In the telephoto range, in that location are 100-300mm f/four (200-600mm eq.) and 200mm f/2.8 (400mm eq.) lenses, both hand-holdable and stabilised. There are also bang-up standard zooms, such as the 12-35mm f/2.eight, or the 12-60mm kit lens. One of the best primes for MFT is the 42.5mm f/1.2 lens.

You can likewise adapt larger lenses designed for larger sensors thanks to the short flange altitude. In that location are also speed booster adaptors available for Canon EF and Nikon F mounts. These concentrate the paradigm circumvolve of the full-frame lenses onto the smaller sensor and shorten their focal lengths. This largely gives back their full-frame behaviour and calorie-free gathering adequacy.Empty street scene in Budapest

Sensor and Image Quality

The Panasonic G9 has a Four Thirds-sized sensor, which measures 13mm x 17mm. This gives it a crop factor of 2.0x, although it can’t be directly compared to total-frame due to their different aspect ratios. It has a resolution of 20 megapixels, which is the standard for MFT.

In terms of dynamic range, this sensor is excellent. It doesn’t lag likewise much behind larger options. In my non-scientific measurement, information technology seemed to give me effectually 12 stops of dynamic range. This sensor, even so, is not ISO invariant, so you lot need to smash your exposure perfectly for the all-time results, merely like on Canon cameras.

Loftier ISO performance, as y’all’d await from a sensor this size, is non bang-up. Upward to ISO 3200, images are adequately make clean, and they’re still quite usable at 6400. However, that’s what I’d consider the upper limit of the G9.

Notation that the default racket reduction setting applies some reduction even to raw files – I recommend turning this off. You’re better off cleaning up your images yourself during editing, instead of letting a generalised algorithm do the job.

The sensor is stabilised on five axes. On its own, it gives about v stops of correction. Pair the camera with a lens that besides has optical stabilisation (virtually of them have), you lot get 6.5 stops! And this stabiliser is 1 of the smoothest I’ve seen in video mode, likewise.

If you’re non shooting moving subjects (or deliberately go for longer speeds), this actually makes up for the size divergence confronting full-frame cameras. In such situations, the G9 will perform better than cameras with unstabilised full-frame sensors.

In the image below, I was able to perfectly hand-concord 1/3s at 60mm (120mm eq.). And this is not a one-fourth dimension success: my keeper rate at this speed was around 80%. At 1 second, it dropped to around 25%.

Black and white shot of an empty street scene in Budapest
Manus-held long exposure shot. The blur you encounter on the bottom is a tram.

Another great feature made possible past the sensor stabilisation is the loftier-resolution style. This style takes 4 or 8 shots while moving the sensor incrementally at sub-pixel precision. The resulting, stitched images measure 40 or 80 megapixels. This option is available in raw and jpg, but you lot need to keep the photographic camera steady on a tripod.

In terms of colours, Panasonic’s picture profiles are fairly neutral, every bit are the raw colours of the G9. Whether you’re shooting raw or jpg, you can expect to get easy-to-work-with files.A street scene in Budapest

Autofocus and Burst

Autofocus is one of the almost ambivalent features of the G9.

Nearly of the time photographers (including myself) adopt phase-detection-based autofocusing systems. Phase detection technology relies on the stage differences of calorie-free rays coming through different paths in the lens. This makes it possible to calculate precise focus without really moving anything in the lens. In one case it’south calculated, the lens tin move the focusing element(s) exactly where they should exist.

Even so, the G9 doesn’t have phase detection. It relies solely on dissimilarity detection. This technology is more often than not considered subpar to PD, because, in order to achieve precipitous focus, the lens needs to go beyond the point of sharpest focus and come up back. This generates comparatively more lens movement, and results in slower acquisition of focus. Usually.

In the G9, you’ll observe a new blazon of dissimilarity detection autofocus, chosen the Depth from Defocus technology. This works by continuously wobbling the focusing elements in the lens back and forth very chop-chop, and analysing the live preview. This looks really confusing and weird the first fourth dimension you meet it in the viewfinder. You need to learn to trust the camera that it will take a sharp shot. In my feel, it does, most every time.

The applied science is only fully compatible with Panasonic’s native lenses. Other Micro 4 Thirds lenses tin can be used with the normal contrast-detection system.

Face and eye detection work well, although not as finer than Sony’due south system. Focus peaking is available.A lion fountain in Budapest

The Panasonic G9 offers many unlike continuous shooting (outburst) modes. These make it a highly capable action photographic camera.

With continuous autofocus tracking and mechanical shutter, it can deliver nine frames per second, for around l raw files. With tracking and electronic shutter, this number increases to 12 fps.

There are likewise shorter, super-high-speed options. With these, yous don’t ever get continuous autofocus, and there’s as well no live view. Merely yous can tape fifty raw images in a row at either xx fps (tracking) or 60 fps (no tracking). These tin can exist fantastic for documenting things similar water drops or shooting photograph-finishes, especially the 60fps option.

Video Features

The G9 has the potential to exist a fantastic video camera in experienced easily. It inherits much of the feature ready of the GH5, Panasonic’s video-axial MFT workhorse.

First, it gives you 4k footage at 30fps in x bit, or at 60fps in 8 bit. Both options come with loftier bitrates and record internally to the memory cards. The 10-bit 4k footage responds to grading beautifully, especially with the Log profiles. 4k at 60fps in 10 fleck is also possible, only only with an external recorder through the HDMI port.

Second, the congenital-in stabiliser enables you to shoot hand-held in many situations. It’s just every bit smooth as the stabiliser in the GH5 but slightly even stronger.

Continuous autofocus also works well, better than in the GH5, actually. It tracks subjects seamlessly and pulls focus smoothly.

The G9 is well supplied with ports for video. It has a microphone input jack (three.5mm) and a headphone output jack (3.5mm) for monitoring your audio. Information technology besides has a full-sized HDMI port for outputting clean video feed. With these, you can turn the G9 into a mobile, but versatile and high-quality video g9 camera

Body and Handling

In that location are two ways to await at the G9‘south trunk design. One is that it goes against everything Micro Iv Thirds cameras are known for. It’s not compact, and it’south not lite at 137mm x 97mm 10 92mm and with a weight of 658 grams.

The other is that this has never been the point. The features the G9 offers need a larger body, and so does its primary audience.

It’s built like a tank. I don’t know of a single seemingly more durable mirrorless camera in its price range, or even slightly in a higher place. The grip is big and very comfy. The feeling of property and using the camera is very similar to large crop-sensor DSLRs, such as the Canon 7D MkII.

The trunk is fully weather condition-sealed, resistant to rain and dust. Many MFT lenses are weather-sealed equally well.

A 3″ fully articulating touchscreen is located on the dorsum. The camera is fully optimised to piece of work with the touchscreen interface. However, there are many customisable office buttons, and all the base function buttons you’d find on a total-sized DSLR. It too has a focusing joystick.

Y’all’ll discover a small, DSLR-style secondary LCD on the tiptop, which always shows your exposure parameters and other fundamental settings. This is a bully, professional touch.

panasonic g9 camera

I loved that in that location are iii command dials. They offer quick manual controls, making shooting in manual style an extra chip easier compared to cameras with two dials only. Most cameras, fifty-fifty professional models, only have two dials actually.

I also actually liked the OLED electronic viewfinder, it’s 1 of the best on the market. It’due south bright, responsive, and huge. At 0.83 equivalent magnification, it’s much larger than my Canon 5D MkIII‘due south optical viewfinder. The G9’southward EVF also offers 2 viewing modes, one optimised for photographers with g9 camera

Battery life has never been a strong point of mirrorless cameras, and it’s no different with the G9 either. However, it offers a slightly larger reserve than its directly rivals, at above 400 shots per bombardment charge. Cheers to the big blueprint of the camera, tripod plates don’t obstruct the opening of the battery compartment.

A primal professional feature that separates the G9 from much of its competition is the dual card slots. Both are uniform with UHS-2 SD memory cards. The card door is located on the side of the camera. You tin swap i of the cards while the other i is recording.

panasonic g9 camera


Given the hybrid nature of the Panasonic G9, it has many alternatives that can compete with some of its features. However, there are not many cameras that outperform information technology in all fields. Those that do cost
a lot

Perhaps the most direct rival is the Olympus OM-D E-M1 MkII. The second generation of Olympus’ prosumer line, this camera offers like or better stills features (including phase detection) but lags behind in video. Epitome quality is basically identical betwixt the 2.

The recently reviewed Sony A6400 has awesome autofocus and a mod APS-C sensor. It’s much better suited for low-light use. However, information technology’s also subpar in well-nigh video features, except that it’south not limited at 30 minutes of recording. Check out my review hither.

The Canon EOS M6 2 is Canon’s recent flagship APS-C mirrorless. It matches up to the G9 in near of its stills features and autofocus, but its image quality is not quite upwards to the Sony. It’south also very small, unergonomic, and doesn’t accept great bombardment life.

The Canon EOS 7D MkII is Canon’s flagship APS-C DSLR. Introduced in 2022, it shows its historic period today, simply I’ve felt it’due south quite comparable to the G9 in some aspect. Ane is its toughness, build quality, and ergonomics – both are fantastic. They’re also similar in image quality, autofocus, and burst rates (though the 7D tin’t practice the super-high rates with electronic shutter). In terms of video, the 7D MkII is way behind.

For video production, you lot might consider Panasonic’due south GH5. Information technology has all the video features of the G9 but gives more precise exposure command and monitoring options. Nosotros actually shoot all our videos and courses with a couple of GH5 cameras at Expert Photography.

And finally, if budget is not a limitation to you lot, there’s one more than. The recently announced Catechism EOS R6 is a full-frame mirrorless camera that ticks all the boxes the G9 does, in both stills and video areas. Add together to that its great autofocus and its low-calorie-free operation. Nonetheless, it costs more than twice as much.Black and white street scene in Budapest

Our Verdict

The Panasonic G9 is an excellent hybrid camera for a bunch of applications. It excels in activity and casual photography, and video recording in skilful calorie-free.

It’s one of the almost comfy and ergonomic mirrorless cameras I’ve always tested.

Check it out here on Amazon.


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panasonic g9 camera

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