With world’s fastest autofocus, Panasonic Lumix G9 is a mirrorless powerhouse

Lumix G9
Panasonic just unleashed a monster of a Micro Four Thirds camera. Called the Lumix G9, it’s the apparent successor to the Lumix G7 — except that it’s far more powerful versatile. Panasonic has made a considerable upmarket jump, improving every aspect of the camera, from the image stabilization to the fully weather sealed construction, while raising the price to $1,700 for the body only.

Borrowing heavily from the flagship Lumix GH5, the G9 is built around a 20-megapixel sensor and Venus Engine 10 processor. But Panasonic claims the G9 actually surpasses the image quality of the GH5, with more accurate color reproduction, specifically in skies and skin tones. It also boasts an impressive new internal stabilization system that promises up to 6.5 stops of stabilization power — with or without a compatible optically stabilized lens. Panasonic achieved this by relying on three different systems to track camera movement: the standard gyroscope, an accelerometer, and image data from the 20MP sensor itself.

The new stabilization system is also responsible for the G9’s other headline feature: a multi-shot mode that produces an 80MP RAW or JPEG file. According to the press release, it appears to work identically to how the High Res Shot mode works in some Olympus cameras, by taking eight different exposures while slighting shifting the sensor position between each.

The camera also features a completely revamped autofocus system, with 225 areas and a focus speed of 0.04 seconds — quick enough for Panasonic to claim it now has the fastest autofocus in the world. It should also be much better at tracking moving subjects, according to the company.

In addition to 4K video, the G9 also inherits 6K photo mode from the GH5. Users can extract an 18MP still frame from a 30 frames-per-second sequence. Standard continuous shooting mode tops out at 20 FPS with continuous autofocus, or a staggering 60 FPS with AF locked.

While these features alone would have made for a worthy upgrade, Panasonic didn’t stop there. The G9 sees numerous usability improvements, including a new LCD information display on the top of the camera, dual UHS-II SD card slots, and a dedicated AF point selector joystick. An optional vertical battery grip will also be available.

Alongside the G9, Panasonic announced the Leica DG Elmarit 200mm F2.8 Power O.I.S. lens. The company stated it has the sharpest edge-to-edge performance of any Lumix lens, providing a solid telephoto offering for Micro Four Thirds shooters. The 400mm full-frame equivalent lens is also dust and splash-proof, making it a good compliment to G9.

It won’t come cheap, however. With an MSRP of $3,000, the sharpest Lumix lens ever is also the most expensive. Both it and Lumix G9 camera will be available in January 2018.

Product Review

With outstanding image quality, the ‘basic’ Sony A7 III excels in every way

Replacing the four-year-old A7 II as the new entry-level model in Sony's full-frame line, the A7 III is an impressively capable camera that gives more expensive models a run for their money.
Mobile

How to take great photos with the Pixel 3, the best camera phone around

You’ve scored yourself a new Google Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL, and you want to take advantage of that incredible camera. We’ve got everything you need to know right here about how to snap the best photos with your Pixel 3.
Product Review

Fewer pixels, better camera? The Nikon Z6 shows the beauty of restraint

The Nikon Z6 is the sibling to the new mirrorless Z7 -- but for some photographers, the cheaper Z6 may be the better option. Read where the $2,000 camera beats the $3,400 one (and where it doesn’t) in our Nikon Z6 review.
Photography

Full frame or 4K for less than $1K? These 4 older cameras still have a lot to offer

Looking for a great camera deal? Sometimes, you might be better off buying one that's a few years -- last generation's professional models may not cost much more than today's entry-level models.
Social Media

Build a wish list and shop videos with Instagram’s latest shopping update

Eyeing a product on Instagram? Now there are more ways to shop from the social network. Instagram just rolled out options to save products in a collection as users can also now shop from videos.
Photography

See the National Forests like never before in these awe-inspiring drone videos

What's the difference between a National Park and a National Forest? Drones. With no ban on drones in National Forests -- at least, not yet -- filmmakers have a way to capture the immensity of these locations with stunning results.
Product Review

Airselfie 2 may as well be a GoPro stapled to a drunk hummingbird

On paper, the Airselfie 2 is marketed as flying photographer that fits in your pocket and snaps selfies from the sky. Unfortunately it’s more like a HandiCam controlled by a swarm of intoxicated bumblebees
Social Media

Addicted to Instagram? Its new ‘activity dashboard’ is here to help

Ever get that nagging feeling you're spending too much time on Instagram? Well, a new "activity dashboard" has a bunch of features designed to help you better control how you use the addictive photo-sharing app.
Photography

Photography news: Best spot for fall photos, new firmware from Fuji and Nikon

Where's the best spot to take fall photos? Michigan, according to social media and a Nikon contest. The results and more in this week's photography news, including significant firmware updates for the Fujifilm X-T3, X-H1, and GFX 50S.
Emerging Tech

DJI Mavic 2 Pro vs Mavic 2 Zoom: What’s the real difference?

DJI's Mavic 2 series drones are ready to fly -- but which one is right for you? The Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom are nearly identical save for their cameras. Here's what you need to know about these powerful new UAVs.
Product Review

DJI has always been the king of drones, and the new Mavics are almost perfect

After flying both the Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom for over a week, we’re convinced that these are two of the best drones that DJI has ever made.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: A.I. selfie drones, ‘invisible’ wireless chargers

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Deals

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…