Adrian has been writing about the media industry for 20 years in a wide number of leading publications. He is a longstanding member of The IBC and ISE Daily teams, International Editor for CinemaEditor, award winning film critic, conference moderator and copywriter of white papers, press releases and marketing materials for a wide range of organisations. He lives in Liverpool and absolutely loves it.
The new Lumix GX9 from Panasonic looks set to build on the success of its compact camera range with much improved stabilisation, 4K photo mode and much more.
Panasonic has introduced a new compact in its Lumix range targeting wannabe paparazzi and discrete street photographers. Given a sleek profile the DC-GX9 is rigged with features for run and gun reportage including a view finder that tilts up 80-degrees offering an extraordinary shooting style.
Retailing at £699 body only from next month, the Lumix DC-GX9 houses a 20.3 megapixel sensor, the same as in the flagship G9, and its 4K video prowess is rated at 3840x2160 in 25p or 24p in MP4.\
However, what marks the camera out is the viewfinder that tilts up 80-degrees and makes for surreptitious photography by enabling you to hold the camera down around the hips and still see more or less what you’re shooting.
This version of the Live View Finder (LVF) has an eye sensor AF which starts auto focusing as soon as it’s in use “to ensure no shooting opportunity is missed”.
The LVF boasts a 2760,000-dot equivalent resolution, “almost” 100 per cent colour reproduction, 16:9 aspect ratio, a 1.39x / 0.7x (35mm camera equivalent) magnification and 100 per cent field of view.
To save power, the camera will automatically enter sleep mode after detecting the eye is off the LVF’s eye sensor at a designated time. Panasonic claim approximately 900 images per battery charge is achieved with this power-saving function.
It comes with a 3-inch touch screen monitor too of course and this also tilts up 80-degrees and down by 45-degrees, which should make shooting in either high or low angles easier. With a 1240,000-dot resolution this monitor allows you to check composition on screen even in total darkness by boosting the sensitivity.
Autofocus and 5 axis stabiliser
The Contrast AF System, “excels in both speed and accuracy”, according to Pana, by exchanging a digital signal between the camera and the lens at a maximum 240 frames per second. As a result, the GX9 achieves high-speed AF of approximately 0.07 sec (not quite as fast but darn near it as the G9) and high-speed burst shooting at 9 fps (AFS) / 6 fps (AFC) – useful for capturing those urban riots or police car chases in-focus.
A variety of AF functions including Face/Eye Detection AF and the popular Pinpoint AF function assist with a wide-ranging of shooting situations. For example, the Low Light AF makes it possible to set focus on the subject more precisely - even without the AF assist lamp in extremely low-lit situations down to -4EV.
The 5-axis Dual I.S. (Image Stabiliser) is also carried over from the G9 for more effective suppression of blur. This works in both photo and video mode including 4K and is compatible, as with others in the Lumix G range, with a wide variety of digital interchangeable lenses.
To further reduce motion blur, the GX9’s shutter unit incorporates an electromagnetic drive which is said to reduce the risk of shutter shock by approximately 90 per cent. The sound of the mechanical shutter is also softened in another nod to the desire for street snappers to minimise their presence.
Light composition mode
There’s a Light Composition mode which combines a sequence of images in the camera and self-selects and saves the brighter pixel. This makes it possible to produce “more dramatic” images of situations such as fireworks or night scenery, Pana claims.
Another way to quickly select the best shot out of hundreds of frames is via the Auto Marking function. This allows you to jump to a frame where the difference is obvious between consequent frames to minimise the time for choosing the best shot.
There’s an exposure dial for quick change of exposure setting, a Focus lever for tuning between AFS, AFC and manual without diving into a menu, and Focus Bracketing, which permits 999 images to be shot with different focal distances.
Also new to the Lumix GX9 is the option to shoot photos with and without creative filter options applied simultaneously. RAWs can be developed in the camera, allowing independence from access to a computer. Sophisticated modes, such as Multi exposure and Time lapse shot/ stop motion animation are also available.
Naturally there’s Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity and once paired with the Panasonic Image App, you can shoot, browse and share images remotely. Compatibility with Bluetooth 4.2 (also called Bluetooth Low Energy) enables constant connection with a mobile device with minimum power consumption. This enables the camera to activate by simply using a smartphone/tablet or to add GPS geotag on the photos automatically.
The Lumix DC-GX9 will go on sale in early March and will RRP at £699 (body only).
Introducing the GX9: Premium Technology in a Compact Body
The Lumix GX9: Capture the World in your own Creative Way
Panasonic has today introduced a new compact system camera with a sleek design - the Lumix GX9. Building on Panasonic’s rich heritage of superior compact system cameras, the Lumix GX9 boasts a host of great features and is perfect for amateur photographers wanting a professional experience. With its compact body and high-end technology, the Lumix GX9 is an excellent companion for seekers of the authentic street-style picture.
The 20.3 megapixel Digital Live MOS Sensor comes without a low-pass filter to ensure the greatest details are captured and an optimised gradation setting provides a wide dynamic range. Three-dimensional Colour Control detects hue, saturation levels and brightness individually and achieves the truest colour reproduction from dark to bright parts of the image - especially improving skies or human skin.
Capture small, authentic moments with speed, consideration and precision
The Contrast AF System features Depth From Defocus (DFD) technology and excels in both speed and accuracy by exchanging a digital signal between the camera and the lens at a maximum 240 frames per second (fps). As a result, the Lumix GX9 achieves high-speed AF of approximately 0.07 sec and high-speed burst shooting at 9 fps (AFS) / 6 fps (AFC) to capture fast-moving subjects in-focus.
A variety of AF functions including Face/Eye Detection AF and the popular Pinpoint AF function enhance usability to comply with a wide-ranging of shooting situations. The advanced Low Light AF makes it possible to set focus on the subject more precisely - even without the AF assist lamp in extremely low-lit situations down to -4EV.
To help ensure the best shot is taken, the Lumix GX9 integrates a new LVF (Live View Finder) that tilts up 80-degrees offering an extraordinary shooting style – especially for subjects below eye-level. The Live View Finder Eye Sensor AF starts auto focusing as soon as it’s in use to ensure no shooting opportunity is missed. With 2760K-dot equivalent high-resolution and almost 100% colour reproduction, this 16:9 Wide Screen LVF boasts 1.39x / 0.7x (35mm camera equiv.) magnification and 100% field of view.
To save power, the camera includes a new feature which makes it automatically enter sleep mode at a designated time after detecting the eye is off the Viewfinder eye sensor saving battery whilst shooting. A long battery life of approximately 900 images per battery charge is achieved with this power-saving LVF and users can quickly go back into shooting mode with a half-press of the shutter button.
The new 3.0-inch large, 1240K-dot high resolution touch monitor tilts up by 80-degrees and down by 45-degrees, which enables shooting in either high or low angles even easier. Live View Boost allows to check the composition on the screen even in total darkness by boosting the sensitivity.
Image Stabilisation – for perfect shots on the go
For greater precision, the Lumix GX9 incorporates 5-axis Dual I.S. (Image Stabiliser) for more effective suppression of blur. Combining an O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabiliser, 2-axis) and a B.I.S. (Body Image Stabiliser, 5-axis), the 5-axis Dual I.S. compensates for a larger range of movement, making it possible to use 4-stop slower shutter speed. Users can enjoy blur-free photo/video shooting from wide to tele, even in low-light situations.
The 5-axis Dual I.S. works in both photo and motion picture recording including 4K video. Panasonic Lumix G Cameras offer a wide variety of digital interchangeable lenses and most of them comply with this 5-axis dual I.S.
To further reduce motion blur, the Lumix GX9’s shutter unit incorporates an electromagnetic drive which reduces the risk of shutter shock by approximately 90%6. For street photographers who need to minimise disrupting their subjects, the sound of the mechanical shutter is also reduced in volume. For further reduction in noise, Silent Mode switches the shutter from mechanical to electronic and turns all sound (AF, operation) off while suppressing the emission of the AF assist lamp and flash with just a single setting; perfect for special shooting occasions.
Sophisticated 4K Capabilities
With its high-speed signal readout and processing of the engine, the Lumix GX9 is capable of recording smooth, high-resolution 4K video in 3840x2160 25p(50Hz Area) or 24p in MP4.
Taking advantage of 4K technology, users can also capture the fleeting photo opportunities at 30 fps in 8-megamixel equivalent resolution to save it as a 4K PHOTO.
Choosing the best shot out of hundreds of frames is now easier with a new Auto Marking function. It allows the user to jump to a frame where the difference is obvious between consequent frames to minimise the time for choosing the best shot.
In addition, the Lumix GX9 incorporates Light Composition function as a new option of 4K PHOTO mode. The camera combines the images by choosing and saving the brighter pixel. This makes it possible to produce more dramatic images of situations such as fireworks or night scenery with ease.
Intuitive Creativity – improved body details, new filter
For more intuitive control, an exposure dial has been included for quick change of exposure setting. A Focus lever has also been added to the back side of the camera enabling users to change between AFS (AFF), AFC and manual focus without diving into a menu.
For further creative freedom, Focus and Aperture Bracketing have been added. With Focus Bracketing, a maximum of 999 images can be shot with different focal distances. Aperture Bracketing lets users have multiple shots with different depth of field. Users can later choose the shot with the best focus level or most fitting depth of field characteristic.
Also new to the Lumix GX9 is the option to shoot photos with and without creative filter options applied simultaneously. RAWs can be developed in the camera, allowing independence from access to a computer. Sophisticated modes, such as Multi exposure and Time lapse shot/ stop motion animation are also available in the Lumix GX9.
The Lumix GX9 integrates Bluetooth and Wi-Fi® connectivity to offer a more flexible shooting experience and instant image sharing. Once the camera is connected to a smartphone or tablet installed with Panasonic's dedicated application software Panasonic Image App for iOS / Android, users can shoot, browse and share images remotely. Compatibility with Bluetooth 4.2 (called BLE: Bluetooth Low Energy) enables constant connection with a smartphone/tablet with minimum power consumption. This enables the camera to activate by simply using a smartphone/tablet or to add GPS geotag on the photos automatically.
Setting the new standard for Panasonic’s Compact System Cameras, the Lumix GX9 is the perfect companion to save eternal memories and share your daily life in your own creative way.
Eye Cup DMW-EC5 (sold separately)
The LUMIX GX9 complies with a variety of optional accessories to expand the shooting experience. The Eye Cup DMW-EC5 is available making it even more comfortable to see the LVF.
Hand Grip DMW-HGR2 (sold separately)
The Hand Grip DMW-HGR2 enhances grip power for more stable shooting especially when using an ultra-telephoto lens or a large-diameter lens. It is designed to match sleek camera profile.
DMW Series Camera Bags: Shoulder, Compact Shoulder and Backpack (all sold separately)
Each Camera Bag is the perfect accessory to protect the LUMIX GX9. All are highly-durable, have a Water-Resistant Base, Protective Flap Design, Quick Release Buckles and Side Stretch Pockets.
For more information and the latest news, follow @LumixUK on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram.
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The Winter Olympics next month not only promises to be the most viewed and most interactive online sports event yet, technology trials around the edges of the games point the way toward the future of sports coverage and of the Olympics itself.
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