Panasonic Lumix G9II is Made for Photographers — Our REVIEW & Image Gallery

Panasonic just released the Lumix G9II mirrorless digital camera, and Shutterbug had a chance to thoroughly test an early sample. Featuring a new 25.2-megapixel Live MOS sensor and a Leica Monochrome Photo Style option, the latest Micro 4/3 might be the best new camera of 2023.

What's in a name? Some people mistakenly believe that a Micro 4/3 sensor is smaller than the proceeding Four Thirds sensor made popular by Panasonic, Olympus, Kodak and others a few years back. That led to a misinformed prejudice.

But it's not true; the sensors are the same size. And with modern, updated electronics and today's superb lenses, Micro 4/3 holds its own against any format when in the hands of a competent photographer.

Leica Monochrome. Panasonic Lumix G9II, Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4, 1/800, f/8, ISO 400 ©Jon Sienkiewicz

The Panasonic Lumix G9II has so many upgraded features compared to the 2018-version Lumix G9 that it's surprising that they share the same name root. Most significantly, the G9II has a 25.2-megapixel sensor, broader ISO range, improved image stabilization, an LCD with nearly 2X the resolution, and many other improvements. On the video side, the Lumix G9II adds Apple ProRes recording format, improved audio, and up to 13+ stops latitude (V-Log), USB-SSD recording options, and no recording time limitations. Also available, real-time LUT function.

The dimensions of the new G9II and original G9 are about the same, and the weights are identical.

Key Features
25.2-megapixel Live MOS sensor
No low-pass filter
PASM exposure modes
100-megapixel High Resolution mode
18 Photo Style options
Leica Monochrome Photo Style option
Up to 8 stops of image stabilization
779-point Phase Hybrid autofocus
Dual media slots for SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II)
Mechanical shutter speed range 1/8000 – 60 seconds
Electronic shutter speed range 1/32000 – 60 seconds + Bulb
Articulated LCD
High resolution OLED eyelevel finder
MOV, MP4 & ProRes video capture modes
USB-SSD recording options
C4K/4K recording options
Unlimited video recording time
Splash / dust / freeze resistant
8-direction joystick
Dimensions: 53 x 4 x 3.5 inches (134.3 x 102.3 x 90.1 mm)
Weight: 23.2 ounces (658 g)

Focus on Photography
Although the Lumix G9II certainly has sufficient video features to satisfy most of us, the camera was clearly designed and built with still photographers in mind. That's very positive thing in my book. Leica Monochrome, one the 18 Photo Styles offered, is remarkable and uncannily accurate (and I've been shooting with Leica's since hamburgers cost a quarter).

Other photo-centric features include a 100-megapixel High Resolution mode that can be implemented even when the camera is handheld. The large and sharp OLED EVF and 1840k-dot free-angle LCD monitor are also important photographers' tools.

Panasonic Lumix G9II, Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm f/2.8-4, 1/400, f/5, ISO 200 ©Jon Sienkiewicz

New AI-powered recognition technology provides real-time auto-focus recognition that now recognizes cars, motorcycles and animal eyes. Additionally, the G9II marks the first PDAF (Phase Detection Autofocus) implementation in the Lumix G series.

Salsa ingredients. Panasonic Lumix G9II, Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm f/2.8-4, 1/160, f/4.5, ISO 100. Fotodiox Light Box. ©Jon Sienkiewicz

More important than the advanced technical features, the Panasonic Lumix G9II feels great in the hands and operates intuitively and with ease. Controls are where they should be and the very logical menus are easy to comprehend and navigate.

Fabricated primarily of magnesium alloy, the Panasonic Lumix G9II is durable and solid. Weighing in just shy of 1.5 pounds (23.2 ounces or 658 g) the camera is no lightweight but neither is it too heavy. All major controls (including ISO, WB, etc.) are accessible without consulting a menu and are located in common-sense positions.

Grapes from Aylano Farm, Cumberland County, NJ. Panasonic Lumix G9II, Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm f/2.8-4, 1/200, f/5, ISO 200 ©Jon Sienkiewicz

You can pick up a Panasonic Lumix G9II and begin using it immediately without consulting a manual; this says a lot about the camera. As you explore more deeply into its abundant features (especially the Leica Monochrome Photo Style, for example) you appreciate the rich assortment of photographic tools it provides.

Panasonic Lumix G9II, Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm f/2.8-4, 1/250, f/4, ISO 500 ©Jon Sienkiewicz

Performance Summary
The image quality is equal to or better than any camera I've tested this year. Colors are rich and well saturated, Auto White Balance was spot-on and the image stabilization system worked flawlessly. Low-light, high-ISO images were clean and contrasty with minimal noise. The Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm f/2.8-4 ASPH zoom supplied with the sample and my personal Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4 prime lens both produced crisp, sharp images shot after shot.

Panasonic Lumix G9II, Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm f/2.8-4, 1/1600, f/9 ISO 200 ©Jon Sienkiewicz

Using and evaluating the Panasonic Lumix G9II was extremely enjoyable. It's a camera built with active, enthusiastic photographers in mind, yet easy enough to use that a flat-out newbie can get great results immediately.

As a bonus, the Micro 4/3 format is perfect if you're the type who loves adapting older lenses from the 35mm-film era. The lens multiplication factor is 2X, so your old 135mm f/2.8 Nikkor becomes an awesome 270mm f/2.8, ideal for birding, wildlife and beautiful bokeh.

The Panasonic Lumix G9II is worthy of our hearty recommendation.

Spotted Lantern Fly (invasive species). Panasonic Lumix G9II, Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm f/2.8-4, 1/125, f/4, ISO 200 ©Jon Sienkiewicz

Price & Availability
The Panasonic Lumix G9II is available for PREORDER from Amazon, priced at $1899 (body only). Visit the Panasonic Store on It's anticipated that the camera will be shipped to consumers around mid-November.  All Lumix cameras are backed by an extended 3-year warranty. Note that you may see the camera's name expressed as "G9M2" on Panasonic's website.

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Panasonic Lumix G9II, Leica Vario-Elmarit DG 12-60mm f/2.8-4, 1/500, f/6.3, ISO 200 ©Jon Sienkiewicz

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Husk Cherries. Panasonic Lumix G9II, Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm f/2.8-4, 1/125, f/4.5 ISO 200 ©Jon Sienkiewicz


100% crop of original above. ©Jon Sienkiewicz


Leica Monochrome. Panasonic Lumix G9II, Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4, 1/2000, f/1.4, ISO 200 ©Jon Sienkiewicz


Panasonic Lumix G9II, Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm f/2.8-4, 1/500, f/6.3, ISO 200 ©Jon Sienkiewicz


Leica Monochrome. Panasonic Lumix G9II, Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4, 1/800, f/1.4, ISO 200 ©Jon Sienkiewicz


Panasonic Lumix G9II, Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm f/2.8-4, 1/125, f/3.9, ISO 100 ©Jon Sienkiewicz