This… may well be… the only camera you need. This is the new Panasonic LUMIX G9 mark II, and I'm gonna tell you why this is the best Micro Four Thirds camera ever made.
G9 Mark II Launch Video, scene 2A, take three, marker!
This is a whole new look — and likely not a look that you're going to see again. Regular viewers will know that I have moved across the world, and am setting up my new studio. This is it – although my gear isn't here yet, so there's a LOT to be done. If you saw my instagram story, you know that I'm currently shooting this video on a very skeleton bit of gear. Anyway, these walls are going to get painted, there's gonna be sets built over there, and over here, and there… it's, it's all gonna be great. Just for now, think of this like the Construct in the Matrix. Just a big empty space, full of opportunity.
I'm PhotoJoseph, a LUMIX Ambassador, and this new LUMIX G9 Mark II should definitively answer the question I've seen countless times; “is Panasonic going to kill micro four thirds?”. The answer, is a resounding, NO. Panasonic just took the soul of the G9, the brains of the S5 Mark II, and some of the cunning of the LUMIX GH6 to make this little baby.
Rapid fire, Top feature highlights:
Hybrid phase detect autofocus with 779 points, with human AND animal, eye AND body detection, car and motorcycle recognition, and continuous autofocus up to 60 photos per second.
Up to eight stops image stabilization.
A higher resolution 25.2 megapixel sensor.
Dynamic range boost, which has advantages for both still photos and video.
A 100 megapixel handheld high resolution mode.
Realtime LUT, a really cool feature for getting a custom look straight out of the camera.
A new picture profile called Leica Monochrome, which, actually looks… like a Leica!
Live view compositing, pre-burst shooting up to one and a half seconds, USB-PD power deliver, USB-SSD recording, no recording limitations, Open Gate video, 4-channel audio, ProRes recording !!, 422 10-bit Cinema 4K up to 60p…
That's a lot of new features. Alright; let's break 'em down.
Let's start with autofocus; arguably the most important update to the camera. The G9 Mark II adopts the hybrid phase detect autofocus found in the full frame LUMIX S5 mark II and the S5 mark II X. It's a combination of phase detect and contrast-based DFD, for the best of both worlds. The new autofocus engine and its 779 focus points brings the latest autofocus enhancements,
including body and eye detection for human… body and eye detection for animals, and can even differentiate between the two, if they're in a scene together.
It also has both car and motorcycle detection…
and can shoot continuous autofocus up to 60 frames per second.
There's also a pre-burst function, which on the G9 was fixed at 0.4 seconds, while on the G9 Mark II, is user selectable between 0.5, 1, and 1.5 seconds. Pre-burst means that when you press the shutter, your selected seconds worth of photos from BEFORE you pressed the shutter — are recorded! This is ideal for capturing anything unpredictable, like kids or pets or sportsball, where by the time you see the action and press the shutter, it's too late.
When you DO finally press the shutter, all the photos that would have been taken if you had actually pressed the shutter a half-a-second, or a second, or a second-and-a-half ago, get saved to the card. It's really incredible!
It's practically time travel! The sensor has gone from 20.3 megapixels in the G9, up to 25.2 megapixels in the G9 Mark II. There's no low pass filter on the sensor, making images even sharper. And because of that higher resolution sensor, the camera can now shoot
100 megapixel photos in high resolution mode, by combining up to 16 photos shot in rapid sequence, where the stabilizer shifts the sensor slightly between photos, then stitches the images together.
And the incredible image stabilization which we'll talk more about in a moment, means you can even do this hand held.
So how good is that stabilization? How about up to eight stops!
That translates to longer exposures, handheld, with longer lenses, and, smoother handheld video.
Hey, what do you think so far? Let me know in the comments below if by this point you think it's worth upgrading. And if you don't think it is yet… wait until the end; there's a lot more to talk about! Starting with… Dynamic Range Boost! The DR Boost found in the GH6 has been added to the G9 Mark II… with some improvements. For still photographers, this means improved shadow detail and color rendition, and for video, it means 13+ stops of dynamic range with full V-Log — which is included, by the way, and not a paid upgrade like it was for the G9 – starting at an ISO of just 500.
There's a new color profile called Leica Monochrome, which, because of the Panasonic and Leica L-squared alliance, looks remarkably like a Leica.
Color profiles however can now go way beyond what's built into the camera. With the addition of RealTime LUT, something first introduced in the LUMIX S5 Mark II, you can now install a LUT – think of it like a custom picture profile – that will bake that custom look into your JPEGs or video,
allowing you to get any look you want straight out of camera. You can buy or download free LUTs, or make your own, with Photoshop, or using video editors like DaVinci Resolve or Premiere. This truly does allow you to customize your look however you like, and get that look without any post processing.
If you're into long exposure photography, the new Live View Compositing
allows you to preview long exposures for photos like light painting, or star trails, on the LCD, seeing them build up over time, so you know exactly when to stop shooting.
Now, a couple of physical improvements and updates…
The joystick is now eight-directional vs the previous four,
and the LCD monitor is much higher resolution at 1.8 million pixels, up from 1 million.
The camera body may look familiar; it's actually based on the S5 mark II, yet is only a tiny bit bigger than the original G9, and it's the identical weight of the G9.
The camera has dual SD card slots, and it also supports SSD over USB recording!
That means you can have huge storage capacity, and copy files from the drive in record time, or even edit directly from the SSD drive. This works for both photo and video.
And speaking of video recording; while throughout this video I've focused largely on still photography, the LUMIX G9 Mark II is a phenomenal video camera as well. Just some highlights; it can shoot 4:2:0 10-bit Cinema 4K up to 120p… 4:2:2 10-bit C4K up to 60p, 4:2:0 10-bit 5.7K up to 30p, and it even shoots 4:2:0 10-bit 5.8K open gate up to 30p. It has synchro scan, shutter angle support, scopes, 13+ stops of dynamic range with full V-Log and dynamic range boost at a new low ISO of 500, ProRes recording, and, not to mention, the best autofocus in a LUMIX camera. About the only thing missing is timecode input, but of course you can always add timecode to the audio track with hardware like the Deity TC1.
If you want to compare the G9 Mark II to the original G9, get your fingers on the pause and screenshot buttons to grab these comparisons, or just visit PhotoJoseph.com/G9II where I have the chart posted.
The LUMIX G9 Mark II is a hell of a camera, and now you can see why I called it the only camera you may need. The G9 Mark II will start shipping this November 2023, and you can order the camera now, using the link below. I already have several more videos around the G9 mark II planned, but if you made it this far, let me know in the comments what you want to see next about this camera! Now, watch these videos about Open Gate, which you may have heard mentioned in this video, but wondered what in the world it was.