Panasonic LUMIX S9 Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera Released – Compact Camera with 6K Recording Capabilities

Panasonic LUMIX S9 Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera Released - Compact Camera with 6K Recording Capabilities

Panasonic has just released a new, very compact mirrorless camera: the Lumix S9. This “entry-level” camera is part of the S-line family and sports a 24.2MP full-frame image sensor, which is relatively similar to the one in the Lumix S5 II/S5 IIX. For filmmakers, this camera can record in 6K at up to 30 frames per second; it has in-body image stabilization (IBIS) and a Phase Detection autofocus system. So, let’s take a closer look at it!

The Panasonic S-line of full-frame mirrorless cameras is relatively famous among photographers and filmmakers with remarkable models such as the LUMIX S1H and, more recently, the S5 II and the video-centric S5 IIX that are terrific all-round camera bodies.

While Panasonic continues to release frequent free firmware updates for their mirrorless camera bodies, the company has just released a more “budget-friendly” camera for enthusiastic content creators who are looking to enter the Panasonic ecosystem of cameras: the LUMIX S9.

Panasonic LUMIX S9 – A compact body

The Panasonic LUMIX S9 is a compact, lightweight mirrorless camera that measures only 4.96 x 2.91 x 1.84 inches / 12.6 x 7.39 x 4.67cm and weighs 0.9 lbs/403g without the battery.

The S9 has a micro-HDMI port and a USB-C port on the left
The S9 has a micro-HDMI port and a USB-C port on the right. Image credit: Panasonic

With such a compact camera body, you have to make compromises, and that’s what Panasonic did with the I/O ports. On the camera’s right side, you’ll find a micro-HDMI port and a USB-C port. On the camera’s left side, you’ll find a 3.5mm microphone input but no 3.5mm headphone jack.

Bottom of the Panasonic LUMIX S9
Bottom of the LUMIX S9. Image credit: Panasonic

The LUMIX S9 captures footage on SD UHS-II memory cards. The single SD card slot is located at the bottom of the camera in the battery compartment. The camera uses a Panasonic DMW-BLK22 battery, the same as the S5/S5 II/S5 IIX. At the bottom of the camera, you’ll also find a 1/4″-20 mounting point.

Top of the LUMIX S9
Top of the LUMIX S9. Image credit: Panasonic

As you might have already been able to tell, the LUMIX S9 features a 3″ tilting touchscreen LCD, but compared to its bigger brothers, it lost the built-in EVF. Furthermore, there is a cold-shoe mount at the top of the camera, but with no electronic communication pins.

The controls at the top of the camera have also been simplified, which are more suitable for content creators on the go who don’t want to mess too much with their camera settings. One nice thing for filmmakers is that the dedicated red record button is still here.

Back of the LUMIX S9 with its dedicated LUT button.
The back of the LUMIX S9 has a dedicated LUT button. Image credit: Panasonic

There is also an interesting dedicated LUT button at the back of the camera. This button instantly applies a LUT to your pictures/videos. The S9 can store up to 39 LUTs internally, and you can dial the LUT strength from 10 to 100%. You can add custom LUTs via the companion app or load your own .cube or .vlt LUTs via the SD card.

The Panasonic LUMIX S9 has a 24.4MP full-frame image sensor
The LUMIX S9 has a 24.2MP full-frame image sensor. Image credit: Panasonic

Recording capabilities

The Panasonic LUMIX S9 is an L-mount camera that sports a 24.2MP full-frame image sensor. This sensor looks similar to the one found on the LUMIX S5 II/S5 IIX. Indeed, the LUMIX S9 shares a lot of recording capabilities with its bigger brother, including:

  • If you want to get the most out of the LUMIX S9, it can record internally at up to 6K30P in 4:2:0 10-bit in a 3:2 Open Gate mode. You can also record in 4K Open Gate 3:2 at up to 30P.
  • 6K full-width and 4K full-width modes are also available (16:9/1.89:1), both at up to 29.97P. The 6K full-width mode records in 4:2:0 8-bit, while the 4K full-width mode expends your bit depth to 10-bit 4:2:2.
  • The S9 can also capture 10-bit 4:2:2 footage at up to 60P but with an APS-C crop.
  • Lastly, in FullHD 1080P, you can crank your frame rate at up to 180 frames per second in 4:2:2 10-bit.

However, all these recording formats have a few shortcomings. According to Panasonic, the S9 can record in 6K for up to 10 minutes, 15 minutes in DCI 4K/4K UHD and below, and 20 minutes in FullHD 1080P. Also, you can’t record footage to an external SSD via the USB-C port, as you can with more advanced camera models.

You can still record externally using the micro-HDMI output port in 5.9K29.97P 4:2:2 10-bit. However, in this mode, you cannot simultaneously record internally. If you opt to record externally in 4K30P 4:2:2 10-bit, you have the option to record in-camera simultaneously.

The Panasonic LUMIX S9 with the new LUMIX S 26mm F/8 lens. Image credit: Panasonic

The LUMIX S9 has a dual native ISO of 100/640 in “standard” recording modes. You can capture footage using the Panasonic V-Log/V-Gamut picture profile. When switching to V-Log, the dual native ISO is 640/4000. If you shoot in HLG mode, the dual native ISO will be 400 and 2500.

The S9 also features 5-axis in-body image stabilization, also called IBIS. Four different IBIS modes are available: B.I.S Dual I.S.2, Active I.S., E.I.S, and Boost I.S.

Lastly, the LUMIX S9 features a Hybrid Phase and Contrast detection autofocus system similar to the one found in the S5 II. This autofocus system has 779 AF points and can recognize humans, pets/birds, cars, and motorcycles. The autofocus system works in both photo and video modes. In photo mode, you can track subjects in burst mode at up to 30 frames per second.

Image credit: Panasonic

Panasonic LUMIX S9 connectivity

The LUMIX S9 is a compact camera designed to be taken with you everywhere. No big surprise, it features built-in Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 5.0. Next to the S9 launch, Panasonic also introduced a new companion app called “LumixLab,” which allows you to import, edit, and publish your photos/videos directly on your smartphone. The app also features a library of LUTs that can be uploaded to the camera wirelessly.

Price and availability

The Panasonic LUMIX S9 will start shipping at the end of this month for $1,497.99/€1462,51 for the body only. The camera will be available in font colors: dark olive, crimson red, night blue, and jet black. Also, for $1,797.99/€1756.17, you can get a kit with the S9 and the LUMIX S 20-60mm F/3.5-5.6 L-mount zoom lens.

For more information, please visit Panasonic’s website here.

What do you think about this compact, full-frame, mirrorless camera? Would it be an excellent addition to your kit next to a LUMIX S1H or S5 II/S5 IIX? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!


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