The Panasonic G9ii is here with 8 stops of image stabilization, so say goodbye to tripods! Okay not really, but the G9ii is packing some seriously powerful image stabilization. Read on for the full scoop on our first impressions of the Panasonic G9ii.
We got our hands on a pre-production G9ii, a micro-four-thirds powerhouse from Panasonic, to try out some of the new features including a staggering 8 stops of image stabilization. Phase detect autofocus enhanced by AI, hand-held high-resolution multi-shot, and the Leica Licensed monochrome creative style.
Now as a reminder the camera we used was a pre-production version and as such all of the photos are jpegs sent straight from the camera, and the performance and quality is subject to change in the final product.
So first off, after talking with the folks at Panasonic and seeing other creators create incredible handheld long exposures I had to see for myself if that was really possible. So I took the camera to this sort of indoor/outdoor mall here in Salt Lake City, that just so happens to have a few water features. I had nothing but the camera a few lenses and no tripod insight. And this is the result.
This is no tripod, I didn't rest the camera on a rail or anything this 100% me trying to be as steady as possible. It's also worth noting that this was at f/22, not usually a strong suit for most lenses but this doesn't look half bad.
Now joking aside, obviously, you still need a tripod for really long exposures, but getting exposures at even 1/5th of a second is totally doable even with my shaky hands. And 1/5th is good enough to really start to blur things like running water, or pesky tourists. Getting much longer than that it was a little harder to get a clear image.
Trying out the handheld high-resolution mode, I was easily able to get 100-megapixel shots even at the far end of the 12-35mm (24-70mm equivalent) lens. And that stabilization extends into video as well. With the active electronic stabilization enabled, this shot almost looks like it was on a remote-controlled gimbal, but again totally hand-held.
After the mall, I headed to Salt Lake's Liberty Park to try and photograph birds. Full disclosure, I am a terrible bird photographer. I tried to get some birds in flight rather unsuccessfully, but I don't think that's the camera's fault. The phase detect autofocus was quick and accurate and tracked birds well, assuming I managed to keep them in frame.
Last of all we headed back to the studio for some moody portraits using the 35-100 mm f/2.8 lens and the Leica licensed monochrome photo style with myself and our brand new graphic designer Savanah. I have to say I love this photo style, even in jpeg the sharpness and detail are pretty spot on. The photo style was nice and moody, with deep contrast and a film-like aesthetic.
A few more specs about this camera, it is also a decently spec'd video camera. It shoots 4k 422 10-bit internally up to 60p, It can also do a 5.8k open gate at 420 internally or 422 pro res using an external SSD. Using the electronic shutter you can shoot up to a blistering 75 frames per second. It is also fully weather-sealed.
So my overall thoughts on this camera. It's really cool to see Panasonic bringing such powerful technology to the micro-four-thirds mount. To me, the most impressive thing about the G9ii was the steady shot. Not only is it very powerful but you can adjust how much or how little you want help. I wish my full-frame cameras were this good in that regard. I think photographers of all types are really going to find that super powerful.
And though this is micro four thirds it's not exactly a featherweight. With the standard 12-35 mm it still feels pretty substantial. Of course when you get the larger lenses the weight difference really starts to shine. If you are someone who doesn't want to carry massive gear but still needs sharp images with fast autofocus. This is going to meet your needs and then some. This little pairing here gets you a 35mm equivalent focal length of 800mm and is built like a tank to boot. These lenses have all been tack sharp even wide open.
I'd say this camera is perfect for travelers and wildlife photographers who need something robust and feature-packed. This is also going to be great for outdoor content creators who want to quickly and easily generate content on the fly. I could especially see people like backpackers or rock climbers like this because of that quality-to-weight ratio.
Thanks for reading! Don't forget to get your camera out today!
You can preorder the Panasonic G9ii at Pictureline.com
Be sure to check out our full video review on our YouTube Channel here: