MAK­ING MOVIES

Camera - - ON TRIAL | PANASONIC LUMIX GX9 -

Sim­i­lar to its pho­to­graphic ca­pa­bil­i­ties, the GX9 has been stripped of some of the key video­mak­ing fea­tures of its pre­de­ces­sor which, con­se­quently, may well have po­ten­tial buy­ers look­ing else­where. The most sig­nif­i­cant omis­sions are a stereo au­dio in­put and the ‘Cine­like D’ and ‘Cine­like V’ gamma pro­files which op­ti­mise the dy­namic range for colour grad­ing in post-pro­duc­tion. Now it’s just pos­si­ble Panasonic has de­ter­mined that se­ri­ous video­mak­ers are all head­ing straight over to the GH5/5S mod­els which is prob­a­bly true, but as­pir­ing prac­ti­tion­ers would un­doubt­edly still like to have th­ese fea­tures too.

It all seems a bit con­tra­dic­tory be­cause, oth­er­wise, the GX9 has plenty go­ing for it as a com­pact video cam­era, in­clud­ing 4K record­ing in the UHD res­o­lu­tion (3840x2160 pix­els) at ei­ther 25 or 24 fps, Full HD record­ing at 50 fps and func­tion­al­ity which ex­tends to the ‘Photo Style’ pre­sets (which, of course could be tweaked to flat­ten colour), many of the ‘Cre­ative Con­trol’ spe­cial ef­fects, all the ‘PASM’ ex­po­sure con­trol modes, con­tin­u­ous aut­o­fo­cus­ing with sub­ject track­ing and var­i­ous im­age pro­cess­ing func­tions. Touch fo­cus­ing comes into its own here, in­clud­ing be­ing able to set up a pull-fo­cus se­quence by tap­ping on the start and fin­ish points. There are also a num­ber of other on-screen ad­just­ments which also help re­duce han­dling noise. Also handy is the ‘4K Live Crop­ping’ func­tion which is avail­able when shoot­ing ei­ther FHD or HD footage and makes use of the big­ger frame size to al­low for pan­ning or zoom­ing to be set up on the mon­i­tor screen.

The built-in stereo mi­cro­phones are ad­justable for record­ing level and there’s a wind-cut fil­ter. As noted in the main text, five-axis ‘Dual I.S.’ im­age sta­bil­i­sa­tion is avail­able when shoot­ing both 2K and 4K video, and the var­i­ous as­sists in­clude ze­bra pat­terns to in­di­cate over­ex­posed ar­eas and a fo­cus peak­ing dis­play for man­ual fo­cus­ing.

As be­fore, the GX9’s HDMI con­nec­tion can output an un­com­pressed video feed, ei­ther in 4K or 2K res­o­lu­tion, for record­ing to an ex­ter­nal de­vice.

So, a whole lot of im­por­tant boxes ticked, but a few re­ally key ones left blank, which means the ca­sual video-maker prob­a­bly has more than is needed, and the more se­ri­ous user not quite enough.

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