While the Lumix G9 is touted as more of a photographer’s camera, it’s certainly not lacking in the video department and is better featured here than most D-SLRs and many of its mirrorless rivals. While it’s nowhere near as capable as the GH5 or GH5S, it still has pretty well everything the more serious video-maker is likely to want, starting with 4K recording.
Like the GH5, the G9 uses the entire area of the M43 sensor when recording 4K video and then downsamples the footage in-camera so there’s no focal length magnification factor. Using the MP4 format, 4K video is recorded in the UHD resolution of 3840x2160 pixels with the choice of 50 or 25 fps speeds (PAL) and the cinematic 24 fps. Internally, it records 8-bit 4:2:0 colour with Long GOP compression ((Long Group Of Pictures which is IPB interframe coding), giving a maximum bit rate of 150 Mbps. There’s a full-sized, Type A HDMI connector with a uncompressed (8-bit 4:2:2 colour) output in the 4K and 2K resolutions (except at 4K/50p when it’s back to 4:2:0 colour). Full HD resolution clips can be recorded in either the MP4 or AVCHD formats, with a maximum bit rate of 28 Mbps. In addition to the standard choice of frame rates (both PAL and NTSC standards), 180 and 150 fps settings are available for recording slow-motion clips. The variable frame rates for 4K are 48, 50 and 60 fps.
The G9 has built-in stereo microphones with manual levels control over -12 dB to +6.0 dB in 19 steps. There’s also a wind-cut filter and an automatic level limiter (attenuator) plus a stereo audio input and output are provided via 3.5 mm minijacks. UHD recording at 50 fps (or 60 fps) is with higher-quality LPCM audio.
The camera’s video-centric features include zebra patterns (two options, each with adjustable thresholds), time stamp recording, a centre marker, two ‘Cinelike’ gamma profiles with adjustable parameters (D and V, both essentially flatter than the photo presets), and ‘4K Live Cropping’ (for automatic zooms and pans with 2K recording). The full capabilities of the ‘Dual I.S.’ five-axis image stabilisation are also available. Of course, this is really just the basics compared to the GH5, but it’s still more than enough for even the more dedicated video-maker.
Video functionality includes continuous autofocusing with subject tracking, the full set of ‘PASM’ exposure modes, adjustable sensitivity and exposure compensation, lens corrections, dynamic range and resolution processing, many of the ‘Creative Control’ effects, and the rest of the ‘Photo Style’ picture presets.
All this is topped off with excellent image quality, both at 4K and 2K, so the Lumix G9 is certainly capable enough as a video camera.