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Panasonic introduces its stills specialist

Having established Lumix mirrorless cameras as the ‘go to’ range for shooting video, Panasonic is now staking a stronger claim for superior stills shooting with its latest camera, the Lumix G9.Panasonic rolled out the new camera plus a premium 200mm, f2.8 Leica lens to media, professional photographers and retailers this week, although it won’t be on the shelves until January.

The body-only RRP of the G9 is $2499, which is highly competitive with overseas pricing. US price is US$1700 ($2250 ex-GST), so it’s unlikely to bleed sales to offshore retailers.

To encourage some pre-Christmas activity, Panasonic has a special pre-order promotion – those who place an order for January delivery will receive the $399 accessory battery grip (DMW-BGG9) as a bonus.

Panasonics international marketing manager, Yasunori Takase, visited Australia for the Lumix G9 launch.

Advanced stills capture features include the fastest burst shooting in a mirrorless interchangeable of 20 fps (AFC) and 60 fps (AFS – electronic shutter with focus and exposure locked on the first frame); a chart-topping 6.5 stops of image stabilisation; plus an 80-megapixel high res mode built on a composite of 8 frames.

Scott Mellish, Panasonic’s Imaging product marketing manager said the G9’s 20.3 CMOS megapixel sensor, common to the best-selling GH5, ‘has been tweaked for stills photography’.

‘The G9 takes the outstanding developments that debuted with the GH5 and adds new capabilities for specialised shooting never before seen in this class of camera,’ he said.

Panasonic has built a raft of features into the G9 which will appeal to advanced amateurs and professionals. It is fundamentally designed for action photography – sports and wildlife – though the 80-megapixel high res mode expands its utility to still lifes, landscapes, and even studio photography.

Panasonic now has over 30 lenses to support the Lumix camera range.

The Body IS (Image Stabilizer) boasts an unmatched 6.5 stops of compensation with or without Dual IS2.0 compatible Lumix lenses, achieved by using data not only from the gyro sensor but also from the image sensor and accelerometer sensor.

The OLED EVF has 3.68-million-dot resolution, 100 percent field of view, a 10,000:1 contrast ratio, a time lag of less than 0.005, and refreshes at a brisk 120 fps. It is free from blackout even when shooting high speed bursts.

Magnification can be switched from the default .83x to .7x and .77x – mainly for spectacle wearers who can adjust magnification to see the full frame.

The G9 also sports a illuminated Status LCD on top of the body (‘largest in class’) for convenient reference to settings. The 3-inch, 270-degree tilt LCD touch screen has 1.04-million-dot resolution and a 3:2 aspect ratio.

In addition to 4K video shooting, there’s a 6K Photo mode which records a burst of 18-megapixel stills continuously at 30 fps with no buffer limit.

Even though the magnesium alloy body weighs just 579 grams, seals on every joint, dial and button renders the G9 splashproof, dustproof and freezeproof down to 10 degees Celsius.

For convenient back up while shooting, the high-speed Dual SD UHS II Card slots provide  simultaneous recording to both cards.

The G9 will be available in Australia in January 2018, along with the accessory Battery Grip and Eyecup:
DC-G9GN-K – Body only: RRP $2499
DC-G9LEICA – Leica kit with 12-60mm f2.8-4.0 lens (H-ES12060E): RRP $3499
DC-G9PRO – Pro kit with 12-35mm f2.8 lens (H-HSA12035E): RRP $3499
DMW-BGG9 – Accessory Battery Grip: RRP $399
DMW-EC4 – Accessory Eyecup: RRP $29.95

Lumix G9 with the newly-announced 200mm f2.8 lens, which is also splash- and dustproof.

During the media launch journalists were given some time with the new camera. I was handed a model attached to a fairly hefty 100-400mm lens. Hand-held, it was capturing consistently sharp-as-a-tack images at 400mm. Admittedly it was a bright, sunny day, but nonetheless the results seemed to vouch for the effectiveness of the Lumix G9’s superior image stabilisation system.

Panasonic supplied our colleague Margaret Brown with a pre-release unit of the Lumix G9, in which she wrote: ‘By including many of the features of the flagship GH5 in the G9, Panasonic has developed a camera that will do most of the things a keen photographer requires, while offering high resolution for shooting still photos and movie clips. What’s not to like? Click here to read her ‘First Look’ review.

Full Panasonic Lumix G9 press release: LUMIX G9 MEDIA RELEASE







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