With the G9 II, the line between photo and video cameras becomes even clearer. Perhaps too much.
With the GH5 and G9, Panasonic launched two true heavyweights a few years ago. However, only in a figurative sense, because both cameras were quite feature-packed, but overall they were fairly compact, thanks to Micro Four Thirds. The GH6 has been around for a while, and with the new full-frame cameras, Panasonic has taken another leap forward technically. The original G9 now looks a bit dated. So it’s time for a new version. The G9 II comes with a completely new chassis and some powerful features that should appeal to a wide audience.
Strictly speaking, the issue is not entirely new. It’s the same body as the S5 II, only the fan is missing and the lens mount is of course smaller for an MFT camera. Other than that, the two cameras are almost identical on the outside. On the plus side, this means the G9 II is just as easy to use as a full-format DSLM, but on the downside, it’s also quite large and heavy. Among the advantages of the MFT system, only more compact lenses remain, although this should not be underestimated.
Operation is similar to the S5 II, which is mostly a good thing
We’ve already praised the process in our S5 II test, so this also applies to the G9 II, which is identical on that point. The buttons are sensibly placed and all easy to access. The camera lies comfortably in the hand and is not too large despite its decent size. Unfortunately, Panasonic also adopted the S5 II’s one flaw: the control panel is still squishy. Thanks to the touch screen and joystick, you won’t need them often.
In terms of ports and features, the G9 II offers more than usual. In addition to the HDMI-A port, there is USB-C, which can also be used to connect an SSD, and 3.5mm slots for microphone and headphones. Recording is done on two SD cards. In a smaller body, one or other of these features would likely be given up due to space constraints. But what’s missing is the LCD screen at the top, which was still installed on the G9. Instead, you’ll find the mode wheel there, which was previously located to the left of the camera lens. The selector wheel for the shutter button is now located there.
There are more connections than most competitors
The G9 is clearly positioned as a photo counterpart to the first camcorder, the GH5. The G9 II focuses more on video. Although the camera’s photo features are still strong, they are a much lower priority than they were on the previous model. From Panasonic’s perspective, this should be more of a savings tactic than a wink. Reusing the S5 II’s body would certainly save Panasonic a lot of money.
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