Panasonic G9 Performance


Timing and Performance

Excellent overall performance.

Startup/Play to Record

Power on
to first shot

~0.9 second

Time it takes to turn on and capture a shot.

Play to Record,
first shot

~0.7 second

Time until first shot is captured.

Powering on and taking a shot was fast for a mirrorless camera, at about 0.9 second. Switching from Play to Record mode and taking a shot was a bit faster, at about 0.7 second. Very good performance here for a mirrorless camera, though most DSLRs are faster.


Shutter Response (Lag Time)
Mechanical Shutter

Full Autofocus,
AFS, Center AF

0.121 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting.

Manual Focus

0.051 second

For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused".

Prefocused

0.045 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

Electronic Shutter

Full Autofocus,
AFS, Center AF

0.125 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting.

Manual Focus

0.064 second

For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused".

Prefocused

0.064 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

Note: All timing performed with a Panasonic Leica DG 12-60mm f/2.8-4 (H-ES12060) zoom lens at medium focal length (~50mm eq.). Performance may vary with other lenses and focal lengths.

The Panasonic G9's autofocus speed was excellent in our tests, especially for a camera that uses contrast-detect AF. In the lab, the G9 produced a full-autofocus shutter lag (with the subject at a fixed distance) of 0.121 second using 1-area (center) AFS mode with the Panasonic Leica DG 12-60mm f/2.8-4 lens at a focal length of about 25mm (50mm equivalent). That's faster than a lot of pro DSLRs.

Shutter lag in manual focus mode was very low at only 0.051 second, and prefocused shutter lag was even lower at 0.045 second. Very good performance here.

Using the fully electronic shutter option only slowed shutter lag slightly, as you can see in the second half of the table above.

To minimize the effect of different lens' focusing speed, we test AF-active shutter lag with the lens already set to the correct focal distance.


Cycle Time (shot to shot)

Single Shot mode
Large/Fine JPEG

< 0.3 second

Time per shot, averaged over a few frames (we no longer test for buffer depth in single-shot mode).

Single Shot mode
RAW + L/F JPEG

< 0.3 second

Time per shot, averaged over a few frames (we no longer test for buffer depth in single-shot mode).

Early shutter
penalty?

No

Some cameras don't snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous H mode (m-shutter)
Large/Fine JPEG

0.08 second
(12.1 fps);
600 frames total;
13 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 600 frames, then slows to an average of 0.20s or 5.1 fps when buffer is full.

Continuous H mode (m-shutter)
RAW

0.08 second
(12.3 fps);
83 frames total;
14 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 83 frames, then slows to an average of 0.38s or 2.6 fps when buffer is full.

Continuous H mode (m-shutter)
RAW + L/F JPEG

0.08 second
(12.3 fps);
67 frames total;
20 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 67 frames, then slows to an average of 0.37s or 2.7 fps when buffer is full.

Continuous SH2 mode (e-shutter)
Large/Fine JPEG

0.02 second
(60.0 fps);
50 frames total;
7 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over capped buffer length of 50 frames, then stops.

Continuous SH2 mode (e-shutter)
RAW

0.02 second
(60.0 fps);
50 frames total;
14 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over capped buffer length of 50 frames, then stops.

Continuous SH2 mode (e-shutter)
RAW + L/F JPEG

0.02 second
(60.0 fps);
50 frames total;
18 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over capped buffer length of 50 frames, then stops.

Flash Recycling

N/A

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a 64GB Lexar Professional 2000x (260MB/s write) SDXC. Slower cards can produce correspondingly slower clearing times and may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Single-shot cycle times were so fast that they were difficult to accurately measure as they depend on the tester's nimbleness and ability to maintain an optimum rhythm, so your results may vary. (Note that we no longer test single-shot mode with just RAW files, as the results are usually somewhere in between.)

In Continuous H mode, the fastest mechanical shutter burst mode, the G9 captured images at just over 12 frames-per-second no matter the file type, easily meeting Panasonic's 12 fps spec. Note that autofocus is locked at the first frame of a burst in this mode (AFS). Panasonic claims the G9 can manage up to 9 fps with AF updated between frames (AFC) when using the mechanical shutter, however we did not test that mode in the lab.

In Continuous SH2 mode, the fastest electronic shutter burst mode, the G9 was able to shoot full-resolution images at a blistering 60 frames-per-second no matter the file type, which is truly impressive for the size and resolution of the sensor. Again, this is with AF locked at the first frame. (Panasonic rates Continuous SH1 mode with AFC at 20 fps which is still amazing.)

Buffer depths were outstanding when shooting best quality JPEGs in Continuous H mode, at 600 frames before the camera slowed down with our fast 64GB Lexar Professional 2000x UHS-II SDXC card (rated for 260MB/s writes). Buffer depths fell to 83 RAW frames and 67 RAW+JPEG frames, though that's still very good.

In Continuous SH2 mode at 60 fps, the buffer depth was 50 frames for all file types and the camera stopped capturing after that until the buffer completely cleared. According to Panasonic, buffer depth in SH1 (AFC) mode at 20 fps is also about 50 frames, however we did not confirm that in the lab.

Buffer clearing times were reasonable considering the buffer sizes, taking about 13 seconds for a max length burst of JPEGs, 14 seconds for RAW frames, and about 20 seconds for RAW+JPEG files in Continuous Hi mode. The camera lets you make setting changes, review just-shot images and continue shooting while its buffer is clearing. Buffer clearing was faster in the 60 fps SH2 mode, ranging from about 7 seconds to 18 seconds depending on file type, but as mentioned the camera stops capturing at 50 frames and you can't view just-shot images, however you can adjust settings while it's clearing.


Bottom line, the Panasonic G9's performance is excellent overall, with reasonably fast startup, fast autofocus, low shutter lag, very fast cycle times, amazing burst performance, and generous buffer depths. It compares well with the Olympus E-M1 Mark II flagship as one of the two fastest Micro Four Thirds cameras currently on the market.

Battery

Battery Life
Good battery life for its class, with very flexible power options.

Operating Mode Battery Life
Still Capture, CIPA standard
(Monitor / EVF with H-FS12060 lens)
380 / 400 shots
Still Capture, CIPA standard
(Monitor / EVF with H-ES12060 lens)
360 / 380 shots

The Panasonic G9 uses a custom DMW-BLF19 rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack for power, and comes with a single battery and a dedicated battery charger. In-camera battery charging and power supply via USB are both supported. Battery life is CIPA-rated for between 360 and 400 shots per charge depending on which display is active and which lens is used. That's slightly above average for a mirrorless camera but not nearly as good as most DSLRs when using their optical viewfinders. However the G9 has a Power Save LVF mode which when enabled, increases battery life to an excellent 890-900 shots per charge according to Panasonic. And the optional DMW-BGG9 power grip can double battery life with a second battery.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on a fully-charged rechargeable battery), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

 



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