I’m down in San Diego, about to go on a safari. And I’ve got with me the Panasonic G9 II. This is the second generation in the G9 series from Panasonic.
This is a micro-four-thirds camera, 25.2 megapixels, in the same housing as the S5 II. So natural for me when I grab ahold of this camera. I’m excited to shoot with it. It has reworked autofocus. It’s got some features that they’ve really beefed up in this micro-four thirds camera. So let’s take a look at those.
Table of contents
- Panasonic Lumix G9 II – New Engine
- Panasonic Lumix G9 II – autofocus upgrade
- Panasonic Lumix G9 II burst mode
- Pre-Burst mode
- Panasonic Lumix G9 II Image stabilisation
- Panasonic Lumix G9 II High resolution mode
- Panasonic Lumix G9 II for macro
- Panasonic Lumix G9 II video capture
- Panasonic Lumix G9 II Tilting monitor
- Panasonic Lumix G9 II battery grip
- Thoughts about the Panasonic Lumix G9 II
- About the author
I have the 100-400mm lens with us today. Which is perfect for this because it’s really a 200-800mm. And I’m going to reach out and get some nice images of animals as we go on a little safari.
Panasonic Lumix G9 II – New Engine
Let’s talk about all the things that have been updated and see if this G9 II is really a step forward. I think you’re going to think it is. So the G9 II has a new engine.
It is two times faster. It’s going to give you faster autofocus. It’s going to give you faster burst speeds. That’s what allows it to give you those fast burst speeds and a beautiful image.
So that’s an important part of this camera. That opens up a lot of features that make this camera the next step forward.
Panasonic Lumix G9 II – autofocus upgrade
So the autofocus upgrade on this camera is very exciting. It’s a phase hybrid autofocus now, which is really needed on this camera.
They’ve added several features like animal detect, animal eye detect, you got a motorcycle, you got the car, all those options. You can access it through the back button on the camera. I love that access point on the S5 II and on this camera. Really an easy way to get into that autofocus and to change your modes.
So that in and of itself, I think, makes this camera really worthwhile. Because it’s going to give you much better autofocus, much better autofocus kind of performance.
And we saw that as we were photographing out with the animals. It really was hitting the eye of the animals. And I switched it to people, it’s hitting the eyes of the people. And I felt very comfortable with it.
And we got sharp images as we’re shooting. So let’s take a look at some of those images.
Panasonic Lumix G9 II burst mode
Hand in hand with this new autofocus is really your frames per second burst speed. With the autofocus in continuous mode, you get 60 frames a second.
In single mode, you’re going to get about 75 frames a second. But it’s got a great burst. It goes up to three seconds. So, if you think about that, that’s a lot of frames per second and allows it to buffer much longer.
And I found as I’m shooting, I can really stack the images up, and it buffers. It does a really great job. So, the buffer on this camera is incredible.
A great feature on this camera, I think, is a Pre-Burst. And what it is, is the ability to be focused and look at a subject when you’re half-pressed on the shutter. As the subject leaves the frame like a bird or a dragonfly, I shot a dragonfly, you start taking a picture at that moment, and I set it on one second.
So for the last second before, which is a long time, it’s taking images. It’s going to go back and take all those images that it was buffering.
And it’s going to give you the images of the dragonfly before it left. So there’s the dragonfly taking off. I did it with a faster shutter and slower shutter. But it just gives you the ability to catch action that you may miss otherwise.
And this happens all the time. I’m looking at a bird, waiting for it to take off, waiting for it to take off. I mean, how many times you keep hitting, you know, the shutter?
This is really excellent for birding because if that bird takes off to fly away and you start taking the picture, the bird has already left the frame. And now you see all the images as it flies away. It’s a great setup, the Pre-Burst!
Panasonic Lumix G9 II Image stabilisation
So the G9 II has eight stops of image stabilization. So it’s really one of the reasons they’ve lost the fan in the hood here. Whereas the S5 II has the fan to be able to cool it when doing video.
They’ve taken that feature out because all of the mechanisms to make this whole sensor move to give you eight stops have to come up into this hood. You can handhold telephoto lenses. I have had no problem holding 400-millimeter lenses with this camera at fairly slow shutter speed. I still like to be at 1/500th of a second or more if I can.
I’d really like to be at 1/1000. But this really makes it so you can go slower and slower and get good results because it’s got eight stops with the stabilization in the camera. Which is incredible because you can handhold a long lens. That makes this a great kind of sport, animal, out-on-location, handheld type of camera setup, which is ideal.
It has seven and a half stops at five-axis dual image stabilization that really helps you on those long telephotos. It gives you that conversion you need when using long telephoto lenses.
I shot everything today handheld. So I was using that stabilization on that long telephoto lens which is equivalent to an 800mm.
I was able to reach out there and handhold it. I wasn’t always shooting at a fast shutter speed. And it gave me great crisp images. So let’s take a look at some of those.
Panasonic Lumix G9 II High resolution mode
So the camera has a high resolution mode. It’s on the dial and very simple to get to. It’s going to give you up to 100 megapixels for a single image, and it’s handheld.
So the G9 II has a really interesting feature called Dynamic Range Boost. Basically, it’s an HDR. You’re going to shoot a single image at two different ISOs. The camera automatically combines those two images in a single image, and you get a great dynamic range image.
So I haven’t said much about this lens. This lens has been reworked, and I’ve really enjoyed shooting it. You can get a teleconverter, a 1.4 or a 2x converter, to be able to use with this. It’s very compact, very lightweight.
It really gives you great reach, especially with that teleconverter. You’re going to love the reach you get with this lens.
Panasonic Lumix G9 II for macro
And the macro capabilities, give you a 0.5x macro. So you take a look at some of the images.
I shot just a few insects, and not very many of these. But here’s a few.
So this lens matches this camera. If you want a sports, bird, or wildlife kind of lens, you need the 100-400mm because it’s 200-800mm. So this lens really matches the camera.
And it’s a rework that is lightweight, small and compact, which really makes it worthwhile with some macro capabilities. So there you go, I think this lens matches the camera.
Panasonic Lumix G9 II video capture
So most of the talk with this camera is probably going to be about still images and doing sports and action, birds, those kinds of things. But this camera really has some pretty incredible video capabilities. Go look at these, you have a 4:2:0 10-bit at 4k up to 120 frames a second.
You got 4:2:2 10-bit 4k up to 60 frames a second. You got a 4:2:0 10-bit at 5.7k up to 30 frames a second. You got a V-log on this.
You got open gate recording, 10-bit open gate recording at 5.8k. So there are significant video capabilities on this camera that most people are going to overlook.
But I think for those who are in the video world, this camera is going to be very interesting to them. And really, the place that this micro four thirds was a strong showing in the beginning of this kind of mirrorless video. And I think this camera is going to continue pushing that envelope with great features that are going to allow people to get excellent videos. So I think the video capabilities are worth looking at.
So a couple of things I have my notes here. It’s got a 3,680,000 dot OLED LVF which gives you great clarity, and I enjoyed working with it today as I look through the camera.
Panasonic Lumix G9 II Tilting monitor
It also has a 1,840,000 dot free-angle monitor, which is what they call it. Free angle monitor, basically tilt out screen. Which is nice. It tilts out and allows you to use it, put it in tight places or vlog with it.
Panasonic Lumix G9 II battery grip
It has a battery grip. It’s called a DMV-BG1 (buy here). This uses the very same camera as the S5 II. So it gives you a great camera and great battery life. Or you can get that grip that gives you two batteries you can put together and use the grip. And that gives you significantly more battery life and really makes it into a shoot-all-day kind of camera platform.
Thoughts about the Panasonic Lumix G9 II
I think for me, how do I like shooting with this camera? I actually love this camera because it’s so much like the S5 II. It’s got a great body size. I love the dials and everything. It really lays out exactly like the S5 II. You have your white balance, and ISO buttons up front.
You have the dials to give you your shoot modes you can get to really quickly and very easily. If you want to go to that high, if you want to go that high 100-megapixel mode, you have it right on the dial. So everything on this camera lays out very simply, very nice. You have that eight-way joystick on the back.
You got it, it’s a great pop-out monitor. So you can put this in places, which is really nice. I don’t know what the word they use for it, but it was really a fancy name. But it’s just a comfortable camera to shoot in my hand. It’s big enough for me to get my hand around it. I can set this lens on here. But this lens, I mean, look at that.
A 100-400mm lens like the Leica DG Vario-Elmar (here) on a micro 4/3 camera. This thing is really small and compact. A 100-400mm lens at that size is unheard of. It’s basically a 200-800mm lens. That’s what the value of micro four-thirds is. They’re smaller lenses. It’s lightweight. There’s a great line of lenses to be able to choose for this body style, great Leica kinds of lenses.
They also have features in here like Real Time LUTs to be able to put LUTs on the camera and do some video aspects. There’s some great video aspects to this camera. But just the mode of shooting this, I love how everything is so tactile and easy to get to. My drive modes are right here.
I can change my drive modes with my thumb right on the back. It’s very easy to see. My playback, everything is just right here in a mode that I like. I like this style of camera. It’s kind of a crossover of the old DSLR from the 70s and a mirrorless type camera application. And that, I think, is really what makes this whole series so wonderful.
And putting that into a Micro Four Thirds sensor gives you lightweight lenses and a great camera to travel with. Camera to take out and do sports and birds and animals, wildlife in that way. It’s an excellent form factor for people who want lightweight, fast, and long reach with lenses. So I just love shooting it because I love this kind of crossover between a DSLR mirrorless kind of camera.
So I’ve enjoyed shooting it. I’ve enjoyed using this lens. The lens was fast. The autofocus was good. It was right in the bird’s eyes. It just worked out really seamlessly.
That burst mode is fabulous if you’re trying to catch any kind of action. That really is a mode that works. So for me, Micro Four Thirds, Panasonic has always delivered great specs and great features in their Micro Four Thirds camera. And this does not disappoint at all. It moves that whole series forward. So there you have it.
If you love Micro Four Thirds. The G9 II is a great step forward. You’re going to love the features of this camera. So check it out. Keep those cameras rollin’ and keep on clickin’!
About the author
Jay P. Morgan is a commercial photographer, educator, and YouTube creator. You will find more of his work on The Slanted Lens, and you can follow him on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and support his work through Patreon. This article was also published here and shared with permission.