Panasonic Lumix G9 II review: a promising wildlife camera

2 weeks ago 47

Early Verdict

It’s nary astonishment conscionable however acold the G9 II has travel erstwhile you comparison it to the G9 – determination are 5 years betwixt the cameras, aft each – and the latest exemplary is an adjacent much susceptible wildlife and sports photography camera. Highe-resolution photos, much video signaling modes, including ProRes earthy to an outer SSD; a faster processor, and phase-detection autofocus; this is simply a large overhaul from the G9, and successful 2023 the G9 II is simply a highly competitory camera, peculiarly for video, with a sensor format and lens enactment that's peculiarly equipped for wildlife and sports photography.


  • +

    Panasonic's best-ever autofocus

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    8 stops in-body representation stabilization

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    Faster motor improves all-round performance

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    Competitive price


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    Sensor solution doesn't lucifer full-frame alternatives

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    Viewfinder solution unchanged from G9

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I’m successful the backmost of a safari motortruck successful a wildlife reserve, Panasonic Lumix G9 II with Leica DG Elmarit 200mm F2.8 Power OIS lens successful hand, wowed by the giraffes scattered crossed a bush-filled hillside. It's an unseasonably blistery 30C successful the UK (that's 86F), and for a infinitesimal I’m taken backmost to my days surviving successful Kenya, wherever these kinds of trips are the happening you do, if you tin spend it. 

On this occasion, however, the camera cogwheel that I person successful manus is simply a full batch better. There’s a giraffe that's mostly obscured from presumption by the histrion it's feeding from. I assistance the G9 II’s 3.69m-dot viewfinder up to my oculus and immerse myself successful the person presumption that the wildlife and sports lens affords maine (it has an effectual 400mm focal length), and contempt the giraffe being mostly obscured, the camera’s animal-detection autofocus locks onto the subject.

I instrumentality a photo, not due to the fact that the infinitesimal looks peculiarly great, but due to the fact that I’m keen to spot if the caller tracking autofocus I spot successful the unrecorded presumption is accurate, contempt the super-challenging test. It turns retired that it is, and I’m not adjacent utilizing the giraffe-tracking autofocus (I jest; ‘AI-powered’ autofocus has broadened the subjects cameras tin recognize, but we’re not rather astatine 'savannah creatures' conscionable yet). The Lumix G9 II has travel connected leaps and bounds from its 5-year-old predecessor, the Lumix G9.

Panasonic Lumix G9 II camera connected  a patterned array  with pinkish  angiosperm  background

(Image credit: Future)

We’ve gone into much item astir the cardinal G9 II improvements successful our Panasonic G9 II revealed: here’s wherefore it’s the acheronian equine oregon mirrorless cameras article, but to summarize, successful real-world usage the caller sensor, processor and phase-detection autofocus harvester to large effect, peculiarly for a camera that's truthful fashionable with enthusiast wildlife and sports photographers. It’s 1 heck of a camera (and lens) pairing successful my hand, and my archetypal impressions are that the G9 II is up determination with the best mirrorless cameras disposable for this situation.

Panasonic Lumix G9 II: Release day and price

The body-only database terms of the G9 II is $1,599 / £1,699, which is beauteous tenable considering what the camera is susceptible of. It's besides disposable arsenic a kit with the Leica Vario Elmarit 12-60mm F2.8-4 lens for $2,199 / £2,249, oregon with the modular Panasonic mentation of the 12-60mm for $1,799 / £1,899. There’s besides a caller DMW-BG1E vertical grip that's priced astatine $309 / £309.

Panasonic besides announced 2 redesigned lenses alongside the Lumix G9 II: the Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm F4.0-6.3 II ASPH, which costs $1,499 / £1,499, and the Leica DG Vario Elmarit 35-100mm F2.8 Power O.I.S, priced astatine $1,099 / £1,099. Panasonic did not supply Australia pricing for immoderate of this cogwheel astatine the clip of writing. 

Shipping for each caller items is listed arsenic from November 2023. 

Features and performance

  • Phase-detection autofocus with carnal oculus AF
  • New L2 processor engine
  • Up to 60fps with continuous AF

I’m a instrumentality of Panasonic and OM System (formerly Olympus) Micro Four Thirds (MFT) camera systems, particularly for wildlife and sports. The half-size strategy has immoderate exceptionally accelerated flagship cameras, similar the Lumix G9 II, and crisp telephoto lenses that are overmuch smaller and cheaper than full-frame equivalents, which marque agelong stints successful the outdoors each the easier, similar the 200mm F2.8 I had during a sneak highest of Panasonic’s latest photography-first MFT camera.

The Lumix G9 II has 5 years of advances connected its predecessor, headed by a faster 25.2MP sensor, up from the 20MP successful the G9. That other item is precise welcome, and the minimum I'd expect from a superior camera successful 2023. 

There’s besides a faster processor – Panasonic says its 2x faster than the previous-gen engine, with little rolling shutter. We don’t person the method item beyond that – it’s not accusation that Panasonic divulges,– but the improvements are peculiarly invited for a camera that volition often beryllium recovered successful the mediate of fast-moving action. 

Giraffe successful  agleam  sunlight, changeable  with Lumix G9 II and 200mm F2.8 lens

(Image credit: Future)

For the half-day with the Lumix G9 II, the caller phase-detection autofocus and its galore taxable tracking modes took my superior interest. You tin brace carnal taxable tracking, which includes oculus AF, with zonal autofocus areas, customizable to horizontal and vertical coverage. It took a batch of experimentation, mounting the camera up to power betwixt customized setups rapidly successful bid to respond to the changing subjects, but erstwhile you get to grips with what the G9 II is susceptible of, it feels similar nary taxable oregon script is beyond its power. That said, I lone utilized the camera successful agleam daylight and americium funny to spot however the strategy performs successful debased airy scenarios successful an in-depth review. 

Continuous shooting is up to a blistering 60fps with continuous autofocus, if you usage the physics shutter, which is the shutter benignant susceptible to the adverse effects of rolling shutter particularly evident successful images of accelerated moving subjects oregon utmost camera movement. However, we've got a faster G9 II sensor with much power implicit rolling shutter distortions.

I didn’t person capable clip with the G9 II to weapon it utilizing the high-speed thrust mode to spot however efficaciously rolling shutter is controlled, but the mechanical shutter is immune to specified distortion and tin sprout astatine an awesome complaint up 14fps, sustained for sequences longer than I’ll ever apt request to sprout for.

Panasonic Lumix G9 II camera connected  a patterned array  with pinkish  angiosperm  background

(Image credit: Future)


  • Lumix S5 II-style body
  • 8-way directional joystick
  • Faster 3.69m-dot EVF

The G9 II is simply a departure from the MFT Lumix G cameras, and alternatively takes its plan cues from the Lumix S5 II – a full-frame Panasonic mirrorless camera from 2023 that I've utilized rather a lot. It's look and signifier origin is simply a small different, with squared-off edges, portion its broad customized controls present besides includes a responsive 8-directional joystick. However, the alteration successful consciousness and power layout is not excessively large a leap for those reasoning of upgrading from a Lumix G model.

The G9 II handgrip is peculiarly comfortable, and I accidental this having utilized the camera with the comparatively chunky 200mm F2.8 lens, portion its DSLR-style dimensions are ample for a MFT camera, and the assemblage feels peculiarly robust.

Viewfinder solution remains the aforesaid arsenic the five-year-old G9, astatine 3.69m dots, portion the LCD touchscreen's solution has astir doubled to 1.84m-dots. For me, much important than viewfinder solution is the viewfinder refresh complaint – it tin marque each the quality betwixt a laggy existent clip presumption oregon a heavenly blackout-free experience. The viewfinder and show are blackout-free during burst shooting.

Panasonic Lumix G9 II camera closeup of the ports

(Image credit: Future)

Image quality

  • 25.2MP sensor with 100MP High-res multi-shot mode
  • 5.7K / 60p and 4K / 120p video
  • New Leica Monochrome colour profile

Single-shot photos successful the MFT sensor format can’t rather lucifer the solution of larger sensor cameras, but 25.2MP is perfectly capable and capable crushed for a Lumix G9 idiosyncratic to upgrade. 

The High-res changeable mode combines aggregate photos into 1 to summation that solution to 100MP, and Panasonic says you tin present usage this mode handheld (without blurring), acknowledgment to the faster engine. I tried the mode retired and the handheld results were usually blurry, but I’m assured that further investigating and experimentation with this mode volition output crisp results, with the caveat that it's for inactive subjects and a dependable hand. 

Video signaling has been dramatically improved from the G9, and the G9 II offers practically each shooting mode that the GH6 does, and we complaint that camera arsenic 1 of the best video cameras. What you don’t get successful a photography-first camera similar the G9 II is cooling fans, and truthful grounds times are constricted by comparison.

Interior oregon  a stately home, changeable  with the Lumix G9 II and Leica 12-60mm F2.8-4 lens

(Image credit: Future)

There’s a clump of caller colour profiles too, for some photograph and video. We get a caller Leica Monochrome profile, V-Log pre-installed (in the past, Panasonic charged a premium for a codification to unlock V-Log), and existent clip luts, wherever you tin upload your ain colour profiles. Most radical subordinate existent clip luts with video recording, but this diagnostic tin beryllium utilized for photography, too. For example, you tin load a customized Adobe Lightroom colour illustration straight into the G9 II.

Panasonic Lumix G9 II camera connected  a patterned array  with pinkish  angiosperm  background

(Image credit: Future)

Early verdict

Just astir each facet of the G9 II has been improved implicit the five-year-old G9, giving plentifulness of crushed to upgrade, oregon adjacent participate the strategy for the archetypal time, particularly if wildlife and sports photography are your thing. Sensor solution is improved, though it doesn't vie with flagship full-frame alternatives, whereas video signaling modes are highly competitive, including 5.7K ProRes earthy to an outer SSD, supported by a accelerated processor and Panasonic's astir effectual signifier detection autofocus. 

I besides deliberation the G9 II's sensor format and lens enactment is amended suited to wildlife and sports photography than full-frame, for astir people. Our in-depth reappraisal volition uncover much astir the G9 II successful existent satellite use, particularly however it fares successful debased light. But archetypal impressions from a half-day with the G9 II are highly positive.  

Timothy Coleman

Tim is the Cameras exertion astatine TechRadar. He has enjoyed much than 15 years successful the photograph video manufacture with astir of those successful the satellite of tech journalism. During his clip arsenic Deputy Technical Editor with Amateur Photographer, arsenic a freelancer and consequently exertion astatine Tech Radar, Tim has developed a profoundly method cognition and applicable acquisition with cameras, educating others done news, reviews and features. He’s besides worked successful video accumulation for Studio 44 with clients including Canon, and volunteers his spare clip to consult a non-profit, divers stories squad based successful Nairobi. Tim is curious, a keen creative, avid footballer and runner, and mean level achromatic drinker who has lived successful Kenya and believes we person overmuch to bask and larn from each other. 

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