It’s a fine day to be a fan of Panasonic. They have announced a new still-photography flagship LUMIX camera body as well as two wide-aperture zoom lenses for the Micro Four Thirds system. The LUMIX G9II should be available in early November and the two lenses in late October, but you can pre-order them at any Mike’s Camera starting today.
The LUMIX G9 has reigned as Panasonic’s still-focused flagship since 2018, so there are several eagerly-anticipated upgrades in version two. First, naturally, is a new core: a 25.2 MP Live MOS sensor (the same resolution as the LUMIX GH6) paired with Panasonic’s most advanced image processing engine yet. This sensor is the first in the LUMIX G series to be set up for Phase Detection Autofocus, enabling fast and precise continuous photography—at up to 60 fps with AFC, no less. For shooting sports, wildlife, and automobiles, the difference should be easily palpable.
The most rapid burst can be sustained for up to three seconds, blackout-free, including a bit of pre-burst buffer that can save you from that critical missed shot. And, while the LUMIX G9II is more still-image oriented, you can still capture high framerate video: even at 4K 4:2:0 10-bit, you can record up to 120 fps.
So, yes, you can shoot quickly with the G9II, but can you shoot steadily? The 5-axis Dual I.S. 2 system built into the body says yes, offering up to 7.5 stops of shake compensation. Work handheld in low light or (foreshadowing) at a long telephoto range.
The LUMIX G9II also features enhanced Leica Monochrome creative styles and the ability to record video with a real-time LUT preview.
Available early November, either as a stand-alone body or in a kit with the DG VARIO-ELMARIT 12–60mm f/2.8–4 ASPH lens.
Here’s that foreshadowing payoff. Panasonic has updated their premium compact ultra-zoom to incorporate the latest in their optical abilities. This lens has the 35mm equivalent field of view of 200–800mm, which can be increased to 400–1600mm with the optional DMW-TC20 2x teleconverter.
BUT WAIT—there’s more. This lens also has a maximum magnification of 0.5x, which can be increased to true macro (1.0x) when using the 2x teleconverter. This lens truly offers the best of both near and far. Capture nature (and more) without disturbing sensitive subjects, even when you’re filling the frame!
The 100–400mm f/4–6.3 II is dust-, splash-, and freeze-resistant, and will be available in late October.
The second lens modernization announced today is that of the professional’s trusty friend: with a full-frame equivalent field of view of 70–200, a bright f/2.8 maximum aperture, and (for the first time) the optical chops to receive the Leica DG designation, this compact and lightweight workhorse is bound to be a smash hit for the Micro Four Thirds system.
The Leica DG 35–100mm f/2.8 offers the sharpest and clearest performance of any Panasonic 35–100mm yet, with gorgeous bokeh and a dependable autofocus mechanism. Dual I.S. 2 compatible, this lens will prove to be bright, sharp, and stable.
Like the 100–400mm f/4–6.3 II, the 35–100mm f/2.8 is dust-, splash-, and freeze-resistant, and will be available in late October.