Panasonic announced a new micro four-thirds camera last week, the Lumix G9. It is intended to be a terrific stills camera, a perfect companion to the GH5. I’m a Lumix Luminary and I got to spend a little time with the prototype camera in my hands last week. I like it very much. It feels terrific in the hand with a deep finger grip and it’s lighter than the GH5. The viewfinder is wonderfully large. I’m pretty excited about this camera. The thing is, the only thing that really matters in a new camera is image quality: does it make my pictures better than the camera I have? I’ve got two examples to share, one with high ISO’s and one with the new 80-megapixel High Resolution Mode.

The Lumix G9 will be available in January 2018. You can preorder right here.

High ISO Performance

I’ll just let you take look at these. While the G9 has the same sensor as the GH5, it has new processing that makes better images at high ISO’s. Please keep in mind that these samples were made by me on a prototype camera with prototype firmware; everything could change between now and production time. These are jpeg’s straight from the camera because RAW files can’t be fully read, yet (Lightroom will get an update for the G9).

These were shot at ISO’s 200, 3200, 6400, and 25,600. I think the 3200 looks amazingly good. Keep in mind that the 6400 looks better than 1600 did on my Nikon D90, and 25,600 looks better than 6400 on my Nikon D700 of just a few years ago. And then when I consider that this sensor is 1/4 the size of a D700…sheesh, I’m impressed.

Click to view larger.

High Resolution Mode

The new High Resolution Mode uses the sensor’s stabilization platform to shift the sensor a few pixels in each direction and compile several pictures together to record a much higher resolution image. I played with this just a bit, but it’s pretty cool. Keep in mind that since it’s using the stabilizer to move the sensor around, the in-body stabilization doesn’t work so you need to keep the camera still. I shot this leaf with Panasonic’s 45-200mm lens, a kit lens, and it did a remarkable job. I can only guess how well it will perform with one of my finest lenses and when it’s not shooting in the rain ;)