On the inside, it’s the GH5; the G9 has updated image processing and algorithms which allow it to eke out a slightly better noise profile and autofocus speed, enables a few more features and improved image stabilization which Panasonic claims deliver a whopping 6.5 stops.
The improved processing also enables it to increase the speed of the electronic shutter, which in turn enables high-speed continuous shooting: 20 frames per second with autofocus and autoexposure or 60fps without when using the shutter. (With the mechanical shutter it’s the same as the GH5.)
The image processing is also optimized differently than the GH5, prioritizing accuracy for memory colors (skies, grass, skin tones), reproducing textures and maximizing tonal range. But it’s still only 12-bit raw, a limitation of the current generation of Four Thirds sensors.
But not wholly unfamiliar. Most of the rejiggering is on the top, where Panasonic added a status display — the type you see on midrange and high-end DSLRs. It also moved the mode dial to the right side and consolidated it with a drive-mode dial, as well as repositioning a few other dials. Most notably, the video record button, which is easily reachable on the GH5, requires an awkward hand contortion on the G9.
You can program a couple of drive modes for quick change via a switch on the front of the camera (or on the mode dial), which is novel, and it has a nice, bright viewfinder that’s even bigger than the one on the GH5. You can toggle different magnifications, which sounds great but in practice didn’t strike me as all that useful.
Power features like dual UHS-II SD card slots, 5GHz Wi-Fi support and a USB 3 connection remain, though Panasonic swapped the GH5’s USB-C connector for a USB 3 Micro-B. The body also retains the weather-resistant build of the GH5. A new perk is a dedicated tethering app.
|Sensor effective resolution||20.3MP Live MOS
|Sensitivity range||ISO 100 (exp)/ISO 200 – ISO 25600|
|Burst shooting||20fps (electronic shutter); 9fps (mechanical shutter)60 raw/600 JPEG (With fixed focus and exposure, 60fps with eshutter and 12fps with mechanical shutter)|
(mag/ effective mag)
100 percent coverage
DFD Contrast AF
|AF sensitivity||-4 – 18 EV|
|Shutter speed||1/8,000 to 60 secs (1/32,000 electronic); bulb to 60 minutes; 1/250 sec x-sync|
|Shutter durability||200,000 cycles|
|Metering sensitivity||0 – 18 EV|
|Best video||H.264 MP4
4K UHD/60p @ 150Mbps; 1080/60p, 50p, 25p, 24p; 1080/180fps
|Audio||Stereo, mic input, headphones|
|Manual aperture and shutter in video||Yes|
|Maximum best-quality recording time per clip||10 min|
|Clean HDMI out||Yes|
|IS||Dual IS 2
|Memory slots||2xSDXC UHS-II U3|
|Wireless connection||802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2|
|Battery life (CIPA rating)||380 (VF), 400 (LCD)
|Size (WHD)||5.4×3.8×3.6 in
|Body operating weight||23.2 (est.)
658 g (est.)
|Mfr. price (body only)||$1,700|
|Release date||January 2018|