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LIVE LAUNCH: Panasonic drops a major new camera and two new lenses

Watch Panasonic's LIVE camera launch, as a major new body and a pair of new zooms break cover

Panasonic Lumix teaser
(Image: © Panasonic)

Panasonic is launching a new camera today at 10:00 EDT / 15:00 BST, which is technically tomorrow 00:00 AEST. And you can watch the event live, right here along with us!

In addition to watching the announcement via the embedded video below, we'll be live blogging the event as it happens – bringing you the specs, info and nitty gritty as it's revealed, along with our insight and commentary on what we see.


Today is the big day! And not just for Panasonic – there's also the live Fujifilm X Summit (watch along here) taking place at 05:00 ET / 10:00 BST / 19:00 AEST, followed by the Sony Burano launch (check it out here) that takes place in the same 10:00 EDT / 15:00 BST / 00:00 AEST slot as the Panasonic announcement.

In case you missed it, Fuji announced a new 100MP medium format camera along with a premium prime and a pair of tilt-shift lenses.

Don't expect any of the above from the Panasonic launch. 

Just an hour away from the launch, and already some interesting (and off-the-mark) guesses are being made in the comments:

More guesses, this time on the (correct) Micro Four Thirds train:


2008 Panasonic pioneered the mirrorless camera with the Panasonic G1 – which I played with a short while ago

Aaaaaand here it is! The new flagship, Panasonic Lumix G9 II with: 

Up to 8 stops of in-body image stabilization!

New battery grip, which is also compatible with the Panasonic S5 II and S5 IIX

Real Time LUTs for stills and video – use one of the built-in library (including Leica Monochrome) or create one of your own

(Missed a trick by not calling it "Monochrom", IMO)

5.8K 30fps, 4.4K 60p, 4K 120p, FullHD 240p

Two newly updated lenses!

Newly compatible with the phase hybrid AF system, along with the Panasonic 2x teleconverter (in the case of the 100-400mm)

"Our firm commitment to Micro Four Thirds", says Panasonic Man. 

Ooh, a live Q&A section simulcast with global and US YouTube and Instagram accounts. 

"What happend to the 6k Photo Mode?" asks one user.

"Micro Four Thirds is back with a vengeance and we are SUPER COMMITTED to this platform… especially the photographers out there, which makes a bit of a change for us." 

It's the 15th anniversary of Lumix, apparently. 

Interesting… they're addressing the criticism that MFT was always created to be small and compact, given that the G9 II is pretty damned similar to the tank-like S5 II.

Apparently being weather sealed contributes to the size. 

At launch, the camera will have Live View Composite – no need to wait for firmware. 

The chaps are really pushing the stills features, while noting that the G9 II is being used for their YouTube stream. 

Firmware updates coming for older lenses so that they benefit from the new phase detect AF system – but new lenses like the 100-400mm already have that technology.

Pricing in US is $1,899 body only

High Resolution Shot Mode – producing 100MP images – includes motion detection and compensation functionality for shooting outdoors, handheld or non-handheld, along with enhanced color dimensionality.

Uses BLK22 battery – like S5 II and S5 IIX – but also uses the old BLK19 (for those who focus more on stills, as the higher capacity battery mainly facilitates video functions)

Connections: USB-C, full-size HDMI, mic and headphone jack, 2x UHS-II SD card slots, compatible with XLR-1 audio adapter, remote port

Also works with Kondor Blue and SanDisk Pro Blade SSD mags adapter, released for the S5 II.

Pre-burst is back, to start buffering shots when you half-press the shutter. You can set it for 1.5 secs, 1 sec or 0.5 secs – which, combined with the 60fps burst shooting, gives you up to 90 frames before you even press the shutter!

Time Lapse function with the Panasonic calculator to tell you how many frames you need. That's also huge, for some folks. 

What's changed?

No, this is NOT the same sensor as the Panasonic GH6 – the first clue is that it has phase detect. 

Clearly Panny is focusing on the stills side of things, given that it's known as "the video brand". But now preaching the video specs:

"True modern photographer first and foremost" and a good secondary camera for videography

8 stops of IBIS up to 60mm / 120mm equivalent in full frame terms – so past that, IBIS drops to 7.5 stops

Subject detection and phase detect upgrades:

Car subject detection is now joined by motorcycle detection

Thermal limitations are about the same as the original G9 – but they can't quote exactly what those recording times are, without going into every individual environmental scenario. 

No wait, it does NOT work with the BLK19 battery

For 4:3 open gate recording at 30p, it does not have a crop – it's full sensor height and width

This system is NOT dual native ISO – because it uses the DR Boost function:

Now talking about the Leica L2 Technology benefits – which seems to amount to the Leica Monochrome mode that's been fine-tuned by Leica (not Panasonic's interpretation of it)

Phase detect WILL work with OM System / Olympus lenses

ProRes limitations due to memory cards – 1080p to the SD card, but 4K needs to go to an external SSD 

Will the new AF firmware come to the S5 II and S5 IIX? 

The G9 II is the first Micro Four Thirds camera to support Panasonic's Real Time LUTs – which can be applied in-camera, at the point of capture. 

Aaaaaaaand that's about it from the Panasonic launch! 

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