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Lightweight Lumix enters a new phase

Posted on Dec 5, 2023 by Samara Husbands

The Lumix G9 II is the first camera in Panasonic’s Micro Four Thirds range to feature phase detection autofocus

The speedy new 25.2-megapixel Live MOS sensor and processor that also enables high-bit-rate video make up some of the new features.

A 779-point AF system combines Panasonic’s subject recognition tech with phase detection for accurate focus and high-speed tracking of fast-moving subjects. AI-powered algorithms recognise cars, motorcycles and animal eyes.

The £1699/$1898 mirrorless camera is capable of 4:2:0 10-bit recording in 5.8K at a 4:3 ratio from the full sensor, while 5.7K in 17:9 enables framing options for various social media formats. There is also 4:2:0 10-bit C4K/4K in up to 120p.

Apple ProRes 422 recording is included, which delivers high image quality at low compression, reducing the load on the computer during post-production, and allows editing without transcoding. The dynamic range is claimed to be more than 13 stops when using V-Log/V-Gamut and Dynamic Range Boost settings. 

A Frame Indicator function surrounds the image frame with a red border during recording, while the Frame Marker lets you record with frame guides to replicate the angle of view when cropping in post. This simplifies conversion from anamorphic videos to vertical videos for social media.

Vertical Position Info detects the orientation of the video. You can select whether or not to add the vertical position video information from the menu.

Advanced Focus Transition shifts the focus point automatically at a constant speed for precise in-focus to out-of-focus points, creating a smooth rack focus effect.

V-Log has been pre-installed and is used to capture a flat and neutral gamma curve. An equivalent 13+ stops of dynamic range provides accurate control of colour data in post, as well as seamless editing with footage shot using Varicam models.

With the Lumix G9 II, recording and playback are supported using an external SSD via USB. You also gain the ability to record ProRes 422 HQ and 4:2:2 10-bit All-Intra directly to an SSD, combining portability and high capacity for improved data backup and post-processing efficiency.

Real Time LUT recording streamlines workflow and colour grading, with support for Cube, VLT and TXT formats for V-Log View Assist in real time to approximate the final look of footage.

Dual IS 2 takes away the shakes as it combines the eight-stop-rated, five-axis sensor-shift image stabilisation with two-axis stabilisation of compatible Lumix lenses that feature OIS. With adapted optics, you can manually select whether to use in-camera sensor-shift image stabilisation or the lens’ optical stabilisation.

Designed for video use, Boost IS is a digital stabilisation technology that gives a steady shot when the camera is not moving, while Active IS corrects for camera shake when shooting on the move. 

The 3.68m-dot OLED EVF offers 0.8x magnification with a smooth 60fps or 120fps refresh rate. A large, three-inch, 1.84m-dot LCD is bright, with clear means for live view shooting as well as playback and menu navigation. The touchscreen has a free-angle design to suit working from high, low and front-facing angles.

There are dual UHS-II SD memory cards, while a USB Type C port allows for video recording to an SSD drive as well as high-speed in-camera battery charging. A full-size HDMI Type A port is found within the dust- and splash-resistant magnesium alloy body, a 2.5mm port can be used with the optional DMW-RS2 Remote Shutter, and 3.5mm microphone and headphone jacks are included. Panasonic’s optional XLR microphone adapter provides XLR inputs and physical controls through a hotshoe connection.

 An optional DMW-BG1 battery grip is equipped with an eight-direction joystick compatible with the G9 II, S5 II and S5 II X. 

Originally published in the November/December 2023 issue of Pro Moviemaker.

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