Overall impressions and sample gallery
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Overall impressions and sample gallery

Out of camera JPEG. Panasonic Leica DG 12-60mm F2.8-4.
ISO 200 | 1/4000 sec | F4

Credit where credit is due, Panasonic has a long history of bringing cameras to market that bear impressive technical capabilities; from the lineage that gave us the first-ever mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, to the first mirrorless camera that could capture 4K video comes the stills-focused G9. With this new model, Panasonic has taken advantage of that greater emphasis on stills to pack some advanced and innovative features into a camera that is meant to be rugged and reliable for professional use.

Starting with ruggedness, we have to admit the G9 feels great in the hand. It's all-metal, with a redesigned (and really comfy) grip. It's far from compact, but it doesn't feel heavy for a professional-level camera; its overall size allows room for an enormous viewfinder, good-sized battery and abundant external controls.

We've only had the G9 for a few days, and so we've not had time to fully evaluate all of the G9's new features in-depth. For now, we remain impressed with overall JPEG image quality, video autofocus performance looks to be improved and the image stabilizer is really something you have to see to believe.

The G9 continues to use the same Four Thirds 20.3MP sensor as the GH5.

With the same mechanical shutter as the GH5, it offers 9 fps burst shooting with what should be similar (read: very good) autofocus performance at 9 fps, but we're really looking forward to doing some sports testing at the full 20 fps with electronic shutter. We have to admit we're also curious how the new V-rated SD cards holds up to the CFast and XQD slots in high-end sports DSLRs.

There will always be folks that will have a hard time seeing past the Four Thirds sensor in the G9, relative to APS-C and full-frame offerings. But the G9 nonetheless comes with incredible image stabilization, high shooting speed, high quality 4K video and compact-yet-high-quality lens offerings (all of which are made possible, or at least easier, with the smaller Four Thirds sensor). For this, we think the G9 represents a compelling option for professional photographers needing all of the capability, customizability and resilience they can get in a smaller package than many competitors are able to offer.