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Vixari is the world's most portable tripod, but it can still handle DSLRs

DP Review Latest news - Thu, 11/09/2017 - 08:21

A new tripod called Vixari is attempting to launch on Kickstarter, where it is billed as "the world's most portable tripod." Vixari has an ultra-portable foldable design that's only a little bigger than a smartphone, but despite its ultra-compact size, Vixari is still able to handle large cameras, including DSLRs that weigh up to 2kg / 4.4lbs.

Vixari isn't the first portable tripod, but the team behind it claims that it is the most compact. The tripod features extendable legs that fold into the unit's body, which itself doubles as a folding case. Each of the three legs have a maximum length of 105cm / 41in, while the body has three mounting options: a slot for smartphones between 6mm and 9mm in thickness, a mount screw, and GoPro tripod mount adapter. And since it can be used to trigger smartphones, it includes a Bluetooth remote shutter that supports Android and iOS.

The tripod body is made from polycarbonate, while the legs are made from aluminum alloy, the combination of which makes it durable and lightweight. The tripod will be offered in black, white, and dark blue colors, assuming it successfully makes it to market. Overall, Vixari measures 19cm x 6.5cm x 3.4cm / 7.4in x 2.5in x 1.33in and weighs 600g / 1.32lbs.

Kickstarter backers are offered the tripod, plus mount screw, mount adapter, remote shutter, and charging cable for pledges of at least £49 / $65. Shipping to these early bird backers is expected to start in February 2018.

To learn more or put down a pledge, head over to the Kickstarter campaign.

Categories: Photo News

Vivo V7+ Release Date, Price and Specs - CNET

CNET Reviews - Thu, 11/09/2017 - 07:01
This midrange phone from China will let you take selfies that can smooth out your pores.
Categories: Photo News

Nest Secure review - CNET

CNET Reviews - Thu, 11/09/2017 - 06:24
I wouldn't mind getting Nest Secure as a gift, but $499 is a lot for a home security starter kit.
Categories: Photo News

Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 first impressions

DP Review Latest news - Thu, 11/09/2017 - 06:00

The Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 is the company's newest mirrorless interchangeable lens camera (ILC), and in many ways, the first Lumix camera ever to be aimed squarely at professional and advanced amateur stills photographers – and it shows.

But that doesn't mean the G9 is light on video specs; Panasonic has long been a leader in 'hybrid' stills and video cameras with the impressive GH-series, but just as the GH-series leans slightly more to the video side of things, the G9 leans the other way.

Even though we've had only a few days with our G9, we've already seen improvements to the JPEG engine (color in particular), and been able to play around with some of its new features like the 80MP high-resolution mode, and been blown away by its incredibly large electronic viewfinder. Some of its capabilities – like impressive-looking 20 fps burst shooting with continuous autofocus – will need more in-depth testing.

But for now, we've put together some of our first impressions and takeaways – let's get started.

Key specifications
Design sketch of the Panasonic Lumix DC-G9.

The Lumix G9 is overflowing with refinements and improvements both inside and out. There's a lot to digest in this camera, but here are what we believe to be the G9's most important qualities:

  • 20.3MP Live MOS sensor with no AA filter (same as GH5)
  • 6.5-stop 5-axis Dual I.S. 2
  • 0.83x (35mm equivalent) high-res, 120 fps electronic viewfinder
  • 80MP high-resolution mode
  • 20 fps bursts with continuous autofocus (60fps with focus locked)
  • Dual UHS-II SD card slots supporting new high-speed V-rated cards
  • Assortment of 4K and 6K Photo modes, in-camera focus stacking
  • Refined ergonomics and controls
  • USB charge and USB power capability, 400 shots per charge battery life (CIPA)

But for established photographers, particularly those Panasonic is targeting, equally important in addition to this list of objective specifications are the intangibles; how does the G9 feel in the hand, and how does it respond to your inputs?

Let's get started with that first consideration, and look at the G9's body and design.

Body, design and handling
The G9 isn't a small camera, but with a suitably compact lens, it isn't too intimidating. Out-of-camera JPEG, processed in-camera with increased exposure compensation. Panasonic Leica DG 25mm F1.4.
ISO 3200 | 1/500 sec | F1.4

The G9 comes with splash, freeze and dust proof construction, and feels in the hand as though you're holding a chunk of solid magnesium alloy, as opposed to a hollow one filled with Panasonic's most advanced photographic technology to date.

Battery life from the G9 is good if not downright impressive, at a CIPA rated 400 shots; it's compatible with the same battery as the GH5, and will easily last you many hours of serious shooting. As always, exploring menus and rocketing through images in playback will shorten the battery's stamina.

Speaking of playback, the rear jog dial does a good job of moving through your images quickly, handy for when you start firing off those 20 fps bursts. The new top-plate LCD allows you to check your settings at a glance, even if the rear screen is folded away, and the combined Mode + Drive dials on the left shoulder work surprisingly well; some competitors that have attempted this end up feeling kind of 'fiddly.'

The top plate on the G9 is one of its key physical differentiators versus the GH5.

The AF joystick has been tweaked, with a new textured finish and a click-in option to toggle between your chosen AF point and the center. Unfortunately, we think it could still be faster to move your AF area when you tap it to the side, and if you're holding it to the side, your moving AF area won't respond to a change in your desired direction unless you release the joystick, and push in that new direction. Compounding this is that you can't move the point diagonally; only horizontally and vertically.

As always, having an AF joystick is always better than not having one, and we're hopeful to see these issues addressed in a future firmware update.

Body, design and handling
An abundance of controls and overall responsive performance helped me get this grab image of a low-flying plane in South Seattle. Out-of-camera JPEG, cropped to taste. Panasonic Leica DG 12-60mm F2.8-4.
ISO 200 | 1/640 sec | F4.5

The G9 has tons of controls, and tons of customization options. It can take a while for you to find your way around the camera, but that's nothing out of the ordinary for a flagship. One thing we've noticed is that, likely on purpose, the shutter button on the G9 is very sensitive, so that could be something users may need to adjust to.

What shouldn't require much adjustment to is the all-new 0.83x (equivalent) optical viewfinder. It's among the largest electronic viewfinders ever built into a digital camera, providing an immersive shooting experience that's enhanced by the use of an OLED display, which gives great contrast.

As someone who's just officially griped about the necessity of USB charging, it's nice to see it make an appearance on the G9 in addition to the ability to run off of USB power. The batteries by now are commonplace, but it'll be great to power the camera with a USB power pack for longer shoots like timelapses, or when you need to top-up a battery off the grid.

The G9 has among the largest electronic viewfinders ever built into a digital camera.

And finally, let's address the issue of size. There's also no doubt that the G9 is fairly 'chunky,' especially given the Four Thirds sensor inside. Despite this, we think it's likely to be a good fit for its intended audience.

After all, a comfortable grip, extensive external controls, decent battery life, robust weather sealing and a crazy stabilization system all come with size and weight penalties; but even so, the G9 is lighter than the GH5. Indeed, couple the G9 with the appreciably small size of many Micro Four Thirds lenses, and you have the potential to make for a lightweight yet comprehensive kit that doesn't skimp on ergonomic comfort.

New and notable features
In this image, you can see how possible motion in your scene might impact your ability to use this mode - but you can also see just how much detail is there in the static portions of the scene. Panasonic Leica DG 12-60mm F2.8-4.
ISO 200 | 1/500 sec | F4

The new 80MP high resolution mode on the G9 works similarly to competitors' offerings, and takes eight shots in quick succession, moving the sensor by a half-pixel for each image. In practice, it's one of the faster implementations of a pixel-shift high res mode that we've seen, and predictably comes with a serious increase in image quality. Usually.

What you gain in detail and noise characteristics, you lose out depending on how much motion is in your scene. The above image is a good example of both the detail benefit you can get from this mode, as well as how it copes with moving subjects – and for the record, this is not necessarily the setting Panasonic would recommend for this feature, but we figured you, dear reader, might be curious about it.

Image stabilization on the G9 is a claimed 6.5 stops, which is basically magic.

As an added bonus, if you did attempt an 80MP image and were bothered by unintended motion artifacts, the G9 has an option to capture an additional 'normal' 20MP Raw and JPEG image simultaneously.

Image stabilization on the G9 is a claimed 6.5 stops - which is basically magic. With shorter lens, you'll have an almost glidecam experience (even if you're only using the in-body stabilization), and even with the new Panasonic Leica 200mm F2.8 lens and 2.0x teleconverter, you can easily frame your subjects shake-free through the viewfinder, even hand-held.

Image and video quality impressions
Panasonic told us that, for their latest JPEG engine, they've been working hard on the G9's rendition of yellows and blues, particularly for blue skies. We think they look pretty darn good.

While we don't yet have Raw support for the G9, the early JPEGs coming out of our camera look good. We've been critical of Panasonic's JPEG color and noise reduction in the past, and our early sample shots seem to show noticeable improvements.

First, the automatic white balance seems to handle a variety of settings with much greater reliability – warm evening light is represented as such, without going over-the-top orange, colors are nicely saturated and exhibit far less 'green-shifted yellows' than before. We'll wait until we can perform our studio testing to make a definitive call on noise reduction, but it looks to this reviewer that there's less smearing of areas of fine detail, which was historically a problem even at lower ISO values.

Panasonic is claiming more sophisticated sharpening and noise reduction on the G9, but we're waiting for our studio scene analysis before we can claim anything definitive in this regard.

In terms of video, the G9 offers 4K UHD capture at up to 60 fps, as well as an array of slow-motion modes in both 4K and Full HD. While you lose out on some more advanced features of the GH5, such as ultra-high bitrate recording, higher color depth capture and unlimited clip length (the G9 tops out at 10 minutes and 30 minutes for 4K/60p and 4K/30p respectively), video capture is still taken from the full width of the sensor and downscaled, and so should provide great detail. Lastly, our initial impressions show DFD autofocus to be more decisive and less prone to 'wobble' when shooting video, making run-and-gun capture more feasible.

Overall impressions and sample gallery
Out of camera JPEG. Panasonic Leica DG 12-60mm F2.8-4.
ISO 200 | 1/4000 sec | F4

Credit where credit is due, Panasonic has a long history of bringing cameras to market that bear impressive technical capabilities; from the lineage that gave us the first-ever mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, to the first mirrorless camera that could capture 4K video comes the stills-focused G9. With this new model, Panasonic has taken advantage of that greater emphasis on stills to pack some advanced and innovative features into a camera that is meant to be rugged and reliable for professional use.

Starting with ruggedness, we have to admit the G9 feels great in the hand. It's all-metal, with a redesigned (and really comfy) grip. It's far from compact, but it doesn't feel heavy for a professional-level camera; its overall size allows room for an enormous viewfinder, good-sized battery and abundant external controls.

We've only had the G9 for a few days, and so we've not had time to fully evaluate all of the G9's new features in-depth. For now, we remain impressed with overall JPEG image quality, video autofocus performance looks to be improved and the image stabilizer is really something you have to see to believe.

The G9 continues to use the same Four Thirds 20.3MP sensor as the GH5.

With the same mechanical shutter as the GH5, it offers 9 fps burst shooting with what should be similar (read: very good) autofocus performance at 9 fps, but we're really looking forward to doing some sports testing at the full 20 fps with electronic shutter. We have to admit we're also curious how the new V-rated SD cards holds up to the CFast and XQD slots in high-end sports DSLRs.

There will always be folks that will have a hard time seeing past the Four Thirds sensor in the G9, relative to APS-C and full-frame offerings. But the G9 nonetheless comes with incredible image stabilization, high shooting speed, high quality 4K video and compact-yet-high-quality lens offerings (all of which are made possible, or at least easier, with the smaller Four Thirds sensor). For this, we think the G9 represents a compelling option for professional photographers needing all of the capability, customizability and resilience they can get in a smaller package than many competitors are able to offer.

Categories: Photo News

Dell XPS 13 (late 2017) review - CNET

CNET Reviews - Thu, 11/09/2017 - 04:00
Dell sticks with its winning premium ultrabook design while adding Intel's latest mobile CPUs for all-around better performance.
Categories: Photo News

Ember Ceramic Mug Release Date, Price and Specs - CNET

CNET Reviews - Wed, 11/08/2017 - 21:01
The Temperature Control Ceramic Mug keeps hot liquids hot with a companion app that lets you set the precise temperature.
Categories: Photo News

GE GFD45ESSKWW Dryer review - CNET

CNET Reviews - Wed, 11/08/2017 - 15:31
GE's slow, stackable dryer won't win any style points.
Categories: Photo News

Eufy Lumos LED Smart Bulb review - CNET

CNET Reviews - Wed, 11/08/2017 - 13:54
It isn't anything fancy, but the Alexa-compatible Eufy Lumos LED boasts solid specs and foolproof smart controls.
Categories: Photo News

This is what happens when a 'weather sealed' camera takes a dip in salt water

DP Review Latest news - Wed, 11/08/2017 - 13:31
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It shouldn't need saying, but weather resistant, weather sealed and environmentally sealed do not mean waterproof. A cursory glance at your warranty should make this clear: no matter how good a reputation your brand has, if it isn't covered by the warranty, you're in 'at your own risk' territory.

Roger Cicala's latest blog post over at Lens Rentals shows the damage that can occur when a nominally weather sealed camera gets wet—both the damage and the detective work made clearer by the fact that this particular camera took a dip in salt water. Cicala follows the path of the corrosion throughout the camera and explains why an encounter with seawater may render your camera not just non-functioning, but completely irreparable.

As is so often the case with Cicala's 'big picture' blog posts, don't get too hung up on the specific model he's dissecting. As he points out in the comments, he's written off some of every brand from salt-water damage.

Check out some of the pictures from this particularly painful teardown at the top, and then click the big blue button below to see the full post on Lens Rentals.

Teardown of a corroded camera

As an aside, this is the main of reasons we can't test manufacturer claims in this area. Partly, of course, it's because we have to return all the cameras to the manufacturers; but another aspect is that, like lens copy variation, camera failure is probabilistic: you'd need to test lots of cameras to know whether the model you're testing is flawed or if you were just unlucky with your sample.

Cicala gets the kind of insight that the rest of us simply can't get—he gets to see a much larger data set based on what the company rents and what it then has to repair—but even he doesn't claim to have a solid answer to which brand is best. Just something to bear in mind the next time you're thinking of sharing that 'extreme torture test' video of your brand's flagship.

Categories: Photo News

VSCO adds 'Recipes' feature that lets you create 10 custom presets

DP Review Latest news - Wed, 11/08/2017 - 13:17

VSCO has launched a new feature for VSCO X subscribers called Recipes. With Recipes, subscribers are able to save their favorite edits, making it possible to apply them as a batch to future images. Up to 10 Recipes can be saved at a time via a new menu item that you tap after the image edits are chosen for the first time.

Non VSCO X subscribers will be able to save only one recipe, so if you want to get into the preset making game, you'll need to pony up for the VSCO X membership ($20/year).

The company explains how to use the new Recipes feature in the video below:

Categories: Photo News

Netgear Arlo Outdoor Smart Home Security Light Release Date, Price and Specs - CNET

CNET Reviews - Wed, 11/08/2017 - 10:09
Meet the Netgear Arlo Outdoor Smart Home Security Light, a smart floodlight that watches over your yard.
Categories: Photo News

Corephotonics sues Apple over dual-camera zoom patents

DP Review Latest news - Wed, 11/08/2017 - 06:52

Israel-based company Corephotonics—which is best known for its smartphone dual-camera systems—has filed a patent infringement case against Apple in federal court. The company claims that has used Corephotonics' dual-camera zoom technology in the iPhone 7 Plus and 8 Plus without authorization.

According to the complaint, Corephotonics Chief Executive David Mendlovic had attempted to negotiate a partnership with Apple. However, while Corephotonics received positive feedback on their technology from Apple, the iPhone makers refused a licensing deal, suggesting Corephotonics patents could be infringed with little consequence.

From the lawsuit:

As one of its first acts as a company, Corephotonics reached out to Apple in the hopes of establishing a strategic partnership. Corephotonics received many encouraging reports and positive feedback from Apple about its technology, but the parties never concluded a license to the Corephotonics technology.

In fact, after one failed effort to negotiate a license, Apple's lead negotiator expressed contempt for Corephotonics’ patents, telling Dr. Mendlovic and others that even if Apple infringed, it would take years and millions of dollars in litigation before Apple might have to pay something.

Corephotonics investors include Foxconn and chipmaker MediaTek, which are both suppliers to Apple. In the lawsuit the company is represented by legal firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, which also advised Samsung Electronics on its patent litigation with Apple.

Categories: Photo News

Amazon Cloud Cam review - CNET

CNET Reviews - Wed, 11/08/2017 - 06:31
The $120 Amazon Cloud Cam is a capable indoor security camera at a great price.
Categories: Photo News

Roku Express (2017) review - CNET

CNET Reviews - Wed, 11/08/2017 - 04:00
It might not have all the fanciest features, but the ultra-affordable Roku Express is still a great choice if you value simplicity and quick-enough load times.
Categories: Photo News

Samsung HW-MS750 review - CNET

CNET Reviews - Wed, 11/08/2017 - 04:00
The Samsung HW-MS750 offers a decent mix of features and performance, but it's simply too expensive for what it does.
Categories: Photo News

Panasonic Lumix G9 Release Date, Price and Specs - CNET

CNET Reviews - Wed, 11/08/2017 - 01:00
Panasonic hopes a combination of speed, tonal tuning and body design will tempt serious photographers.
Categories: Photo News

Panasonic G9 offers pro-level features, 20 fps bursts, huge EVF and class-leading image stabilization

DP Review Latest news - Wed, 11/08/2017 - 01:00
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Panasonic's new Lumix DC-G9 is the company's first mirrorless camera aimed specifically at professional stills photographers. Geared for high-speed capture at up to 20fps, the G9 offers the same 20MP Four Thirds sensor as the video-centric GH5, but with tweaked image processing for better JPEG image quality. If 20 Megapixels isn't enough for you, the G9 is able to shift its sensor (more on that below) eight times to create an 80MP Raw image with ultra-high resolution.

The G9's image stabilization is as good as you'll find on any interchangeable lens cameras, capable of reducing shake by up to 6.5 stops. Panasonic claims that this system still offers that level of stabilization at wider focal lengths when using non-stabilized lenses, and maintains it at longer focal lengths with those with built-in IS, where it can use 'Dual I.S. 2.'

There's a refined 'Depth from Defocus' AF system on the G9, which offers 225 selectable points and improvements in both speed and subject tracking. The camera is capable of shooting bursts at 20 fps with continuous autofocus using its electronic shutter (9 fps with mechanical) and 60 fps with single AF (12 fps with mechanical). The buffer allows for up to 50 Raw images to be captured in a single burst.

The G9 samples the full width of the sensor for all resolutions, which means no crop and higher quality.

The G9 has a sturdy metal body that's sealed against the elements and freezeproof to -10C/+14F. Direct controls include a lockable mode dial with a sub-dial for drive mode, an AF-point selection joystick and function switch for quickly swapping settings, similar to what's found on some Olympus cameras. The OLED electronic viewfinder is downright enormous, with a maximum magnification of 0.83x equivalent and a resolution of 3.68 million dots. A 3" fully articulating touchscreen LCD is also available. The camera has two SD memory card slots, both of which support UHS-II media. Ports include HDMI, microphone, headphone, flash sync, USB 3.0 (Micro B) and wired remote.

On the video front, the G9 can capture UHD 4K video at up to 60 fps, with a maximum bitrate of 150Mbps. It samples the full width of the sensor for all resolutions, which means no crop and higher quality. You can shoot slo-mo video at up to 60 fps in 4K and 180 fps at Full HD. The G9 can use its video capabilities to capture both 6K and 4K stills.

The G9 is powered by the same DMW-BLF19 battery as the GH5 with a CIPA rating of up to 400 shots per charge. A 'power save LVF' mode puts the camera into sleep mode when the EVF is not in use, and the camera turns on instantly when the shutter release is half-pressed. This mode improves battery life by roughly 2.3x. An optional battery grip holds an additional DMW-BLF19, bringing the CIPA number up to 800 shots. The G9 can be charged over USB.

Lastly, connectivity. While most cameras are still using 802.11b/g/n, the G9 uses the modern 802.11ac standard. Using the Panasonic Image App you can remotely control the camera, automatically transfer photos and copy settings from one G9 to another. Bluetooth 4.2 LE maintains a constant connection between the camera and smartphone and a basic app can be used as a remote shutter release.

The DC-G9 will ship in January 2018 for $1699 body only. The DMW-BGG9 grip will arrive at the same time for $349.

Press Release

Panasonic LUMIX G9 - The Ultimate Photo Shooting Camera

Featuring High Picture Quality, an 80-megapixel High Resolution Mode and 6.5-stops of compensation with or without Dual I.S. 2.0 compatible LUMIX lenses

November 8, 2017 (Newark, NJ) – Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company is proud to introduce a new flagship Digital Single Lens Mirrorless camera, the LUMIX G9 that boasts outstanding mobility with ultra-high-speed response. Evolving from the GH5’s high performance, the LUMIX G9 achieves the highest-ever image quality in photo shooting by elevating resolution, gradation and color reproduction with its 20.3-megapixel Digital Live MOS Sensor without a low-pass filter. A High Resolution mode is also added that provides 80-megapixel equivalent images in JPEG /RAW formats produced in-camera.

The Body I.S. (Image Stabilizer) in the LUMIX G9 is dramatically improved, making it possible to use 6.5 stops of compensation with or without Dual I.S.2.0 compatible Lumix lenses. This is achieved by a more accurate calculation of shake in various shooting conditions, utilizing information of angular velocity and motion vector acquired not only from the gyro sensor but also from the image sensor and accelerometer sensor.

The high-speed, high-precision AF with DFD technology achieves the world’s fastest*1AF speed of 0.04 sec*2. With its high tracking performance to the subject, the LUMIX G9 does not lose the target subject.

The LUMIX G9 also boasts the fastest-in-class*3 20 fps (AFC) / 60 fps (AFS) in 20.3-megapixel full resolution to capture those unmissable moments. Complying with 6K/4K PHOTO, users can choose the most suitable burst shooting mode in addition to the regular consecutive shooting mode and new Pre-burst shooting mode depending on the situation. 
The LUMIX G9 has the largest-in-class*1 LVF (Live View Finder) with a stunningly high magnification ratio of approx.1.66x / 0.83x (35mm camera equivalent). No blackouts occur even in high-speed burst shooting*4. Night mode and an AF Point Scope function is also integrated.

To withstand heavy field use, the LUMIX G9 is composed of a magnesium alloy full die-cast front / rear frame and is not only splash proof*5 and dustproof but also freeze proof down to -10 degrees centigrade. The largest-in-class Status LCD on the top of the camera makes shooting even easier and more comfortable. For the rear monitor, a 3.0-inch free-angle LCD in 3:2 aspect ratio with 1,040K-dot high resolution is equipped. The G9 has a double SD Memory Card slot, compatible with the high-speed, high-capacity UHS-II.

The LUMIX G9 includes Bluetooth and Wi-Fi® connectivity to offer a more flexible shooting experience and instant image sharing with easy operation. Compatibility with Bluetooth 4.2 (called BLE: Bluetooth Low Energy) enables constant connection with a smartphone or tablet with minimum power consumption. For Wi-Fi, 5GHz (IEEE802.11ac) can be selected in addition to the conventional 2.4GHz (IEEE 802.11b/g/n) for an even more secure and stable connection.
*1 As a Digital Single Lens Mirrorless camera, as of November 8, 2017
*2 In 1-Area AF, at wide-end with H-ES12060 (CIPA) in LVF120 fps setting.
*3 With H-ES12060, as a Digital Single Lens Mirrorless camera, as of November 8, 2017
*4 In AFC 20 fps/ AFS 60 fps setting
*5 Splash Proof is a term used to describe an extra level of protection this camera offers against exposure to a minimal amount of moisture, water or dust. Splash Proof does not guarantee that damage will not occur if this camera is subjected to direct contact with water.

1. Highest picture quality in the history of LUMIX cameras
Evolving even further from the performance of the LUMIX GH5, the LUMIX G9 achieves the highest image quality in the history of all LUMIX G Digital Single Lens Mirrorless cameras. The 20.3-megapixel Digital Live MOS Sensor without low-pass filter drives the maximum performance of the lens and the Venus Engine 10 rendering high-precision yet natural images with its Multipixel Luminance Generation and Intelligent Detail Processing. An optimum gradation setting according to the characteristics of the sensor provides a wider dynamic range for smoother gradation. Plus, an AR coating on the sensor minimizes ghosts and flaring even in backlighting. A Tuned Three-dimensional Color Control detects not only hue and saturation but also brightness, and applies optimal control according to the value of each factor. This achieves rich color reproduction from dark to bright parts of the image, which especially improves the expression of skies or human skin. A Tuned High Precision Multi Process NR boasts high noise identification accuracy and preserves details even after the noise reduction process, which results in natural textures and precise detail especially in middle to high sensitivity image recording.

The new High Resolution mode produces an 80-megapixel equivalent (10368 x 7776) image by synthesizing 8 consecutively shot images while shifting the sensor. Not only JPEG but also RAW can be produced in the camera, without the need for software processing. This magnificently high resolution photo is ideal for landscape and product photography using a tripod.

2. Advanced Body I.S. (Image Stabilizer) and Dual I.S.
To achieve stable handheld shooting even in slower shutter speed, the Body I.S. (Image Stabilizer) in the LUMIX G9 is further advanced. Panasonic adopted a newly developed algorithm that precisely calculates shake information acquired not only from a gyro sensor, but also from the image sensor and accelerometer sensor. This enables more accurate shake detection and compensation, making it possible to use a 6.5-stop slower shutter speeds*1. Notably, movement with characteristically low-frequency is suppressed more effectively to use slower shutter speeds.. With its high mobility achieved by the compact, lightweight design and powerful Body I.S., this LUMIX G Digital Single Lens Mirrorless Camera makes previously impossible shooting, such as handheld 800mm (35mm camera equivalent) ultra-telephoto shooting possible.

Combining an this B.I.S.(Body Image Stabilizer, 5-axis) and O.I.S.(Optical Image Stabilizer, 2-axis), the 5-axis Dual I.S. (Image Stabilizer) 2*2 in the LUMIX G9 compensates for larger movements that were conventionally uncontrollable. Maximizing both O.I.S and B.I.S. is highly beneficial in telephoto shots and in adverse situations, such as at night or with one-handed shooting with a 6.5-stop slower shutter speed*3.

The 5-axis Dual I.S. 2.0 works for both photo and motion picture recording, including 4K video. Panasonic LUMIX G DSLM Cameras offer a wide variety of digital interchangeable lenses and most of them support the 5-axis Dual I.S. in the LUMIX G9. The B.I.S. compensates for camera movement even when a lens without O.I.S. (e.g. a cine lens) is used.
*1 Based on the CIPA standard [Yaw/Pitch direction: focusing distance f=60mm (35mm film camera equivalent f=120mm), when H-ES12060 is used.
*2 5-Axis Dual I.S.2 can be used with the following lenses as of November 8, 2017: H-HSA12035, H-ES12060, H-FS14140, H-HSA35100, H-FSA45200, H-FSA100300, H-RS100400 and H-ES200. Firmware update is required for some lenses.
*3 Based on the CIPA standard [Yaw/Pitch direction: focusing distance f=140mm (35mm camera equivalent f=280mm), when H-FS14140 is used

3. Outstanding tracking performance and high-speed, high-precision AF
The DFD (Depth From Defocus) technology*1 calculates the distance to the subject by evaluating two images with different sharpness levels while instantly consulting the optical characteristics data of the current lens. Panasonic’s combination of the Contrast AF with DFD technology was further advanced in the LUMIX G9 together with the speed of the sensor drive during auto focusing in photo shooting, which achieves 480 fps. Consequently, the LUMIX G9 realizes an ultra-high-speed AF of approximately 0.04 sec*2 and 60 (AFS) / 20(AFC) fps high-speed burst shooting using an electronic shutter at full resolution.

Thanks to the high processing performance of the Venus Engine 10, the LUMIX G9 incorporates Deep Learning technology that detects a human body in addition to the conventional face and eye detection. The AF Point Scope function is also new on the LUMIX G9. It magnifies subjects that are far away to capture them in clear focus.

For more precise focusing, the focus areas are increased from 49 to 225-areas in addition to the conventional Face/Eye Recognition, Tracking AF, 1-area AF and Pinpoint AF. Users can make a group of 225 focus areas and move or change the size of it as they like according to the composition. All focusing operations are easily controlled with the newly adopted joystick located on the thumb position without taking the eyes off of the subject even when using an LVF or releasing the finger from the shutter button. The LUMIX G9 is equipped with AF Custom Settings with which users can set AF Sensitivity, AF Area Switching Sensitivity and Moving Object Prediction Level. Four patterns of presets are also available for frequently used situations.
*1 Contrast AF with DFD Technology works only with Panasonic Micro Four Thirds lenses.
*2 In 1-Area AF, at wide-end with H-ES12060 (CIPA) in LVF120 fps setting.

4. High mobility for agile field shooting
The LUMIX G9 boasts outstanding performance to achieve the fastest-in-class*1 20 fps (AFC) / 60 fps (AFS) at 20.3-megapixel full resolution. Taking advantage of its blackout-free LVF (Live View Finder), it is the best mirrorless camera for capturing moving subjects in sharp focus. With its high tracking performance to the subject, the LUMIX G9 doesn’t loses the target subject. Pre-burst shooting is also new on LUMIX G9, which starts shooting 0.4 sec in advance to releasing the shutter. 

For more continuous burst shooting, the 6K PHOTO*2 makes it possible to capture the unmissable moments at 30 fps by extracting the frame with the best timing out of a 6K burst file (in 4:3 or 3:2 aspect) to save as an approx.18-megapixel equivalent high resolution photo. The 4K PHOTO is also upgraded to enable 60 fps high-speed capture in approx.8-megapixel equivalent resolution. In 6K PHOTO /4K PHOTO, three exclusive modes can be chosen from depending on the situation; 6K Burst / 4K Burst, 6K Burst (Start/Stop) / 4K Burst (Start/Stop) and 6K Pre-burst / 4K Pre-burst. Users can choose the most suitable burst shooting mode in addition to the regular consecutive shooting mode in full resolution depending on the situation.

The new High Sensitivity MOS Sensor helps to suppress the rolling shutter effect. Plus, the Venus Engine 10 makes it possible to apply Post Recording Refinement over the pictures to correct distortion and reduce noise when playing back or cutting images out of the 6K burst file / 4K burst file by compensating the signal information between the consecutive frames. As a result, the picture quality of 6K PHOTO /4K PHOTO shot at high shutter speed in high sensitivity or those shot when panning are dramatically improved.
*1 ‘As a Digital Single Lens Mirrorless Camera, as of November 8, 2017.
*2 ‘6K PHOTO’ is a high speed burst shooting function that cuts a still image out of a 4:3 or 3:2 video footage with approx.18-megapixel (approx. 6000 x 3000 effective pixel count) that the 6K image manages.

5. Innovative LVF (Live View Finder) with high magnification ratio and excellent performance
The LVF (Live View Finder) is the key factor for completing the ultra-high-speed response of the camera. The LUMIX G9 has the largest-in-class LVF with a stunningly high magnification ratio of approx.1.66x / 0.83x (35mm camera equivalent). The magnification ratio can be switched among 0.7x, 0.77x and 0.83x according to the shooting situation. High-precision, high-speed OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) display features 3,680K-dot high resolution and 100% field of view. Adoption of OLED for the LVF achieves smooth display at 120 fps and high speed response with minimum time lag of less than 0.005 sec as well as 10,000:1 high contrast for exceptional visibility. No blackout occurs even in high speed burst shooting, so as not to lose sight of the subject. With an eye point of approximately 21 mm, it offers high visibility with comfort for users wearing glasses. It is always sharp and clear from the center all the way to the corners. The LUMIX G9 incorporates Night mode which provides mild backlighting. It lets the user watch the subject comfortably immediately after viewing the monitor while in a dark situation for a long period of time.

6. Optimal design for Intuitive control and operation
The LUMIX G9 includes a largest-in-class Status LCD on the top, allowing users to check the settings at a glance.

The Fn lever makes it possible to change the setting quickly once frequently-used settings are assigned. The LUMIX G9 also comes with a joystick at the optimal position to achieve intuitive focus area control without taking the eyes off of the viewfinder, together with a focus lever and AF mode button. Dials on the grip and Fn buttons are also located in the best position to operate unseen.

7. High mobility and rugged design for heavy field use
To be tough enough to withstand even heavy field use, the main structure is composed of a magnesium alloy full die-cast front/rear frame. Secure construction and a sealing for every joint, dial, and button make the LUMIX G9 not only splash proof and dustproof but also freeze proof down to 14°F (-10 degrees Celsius).

The LUMIX G9 is equipped with a double SD Memory Card slot compatible with high-speed, high capacity UHS-II. Users can flexibly choose the recording method from Relay Recording, Backup Recording or Allocation Recording. In Relay Recording, the data will be written on the SD Memory Card in the second slot when the SD Memory Card in the first slot is full. The content will be written in both SD Memory Cards in the first and second slot simultaneously in Backup Recording. In Allocation Recording, data is automatically allocated to the SD Memory Card in the designated slot by the type of content – RAW, JPEG, 6K PHOTO / 4K PHOTO, or 4K video data. For example, users can store only photos on the SD Memory Card in slot 1 and videos in slot 2. Moreover, both slots are equipped with access lamps so users can tell which SD Memory Card is under writing and which can be ejected at a glance.
The LUMIX G9 enables not only power charging but also power feeding via USB, which enhances extended shooting time.

8. Other Features
・3.0"1040k-dot Free-angle Monitor
Adopting a static-type touch control system, the 3.0-inch free-angle rear monitor in 3:2 aspect with 1,040K-dot high resolution features approx.100% field of view. It uses a pixel structure of RGB (Red / Green / Blue) and White to feature even higher visibility in sunny outdoor scenes. It tilts up and down by approx.270-degree which makes shooting at either high or low angles even easier. Night mode can also be applied to the display on the rear monitor.
・Bluetooth 4.2 and Wi-Fi 5GHz (IEEE802.11ac) / 2.4GHz (IEEE802.11b/g/n)
The LUMIX G9 integrates Bluetooth and Wi-Fi® connectivity to offer a more flexible shooting experience and instant image sharing with easy operation. Once the camera is connected to a smartphone or tablet installed with Panasonic's dedicated application software Image App for iOS / Android, users can shoot, browse and share images remotely. Compatibility with Bluetooth 4.2 (called BLE: Bluetooth Low Energy) enables constant connection with a smartphone/tablet with minimum power consumption. This enables the camera to activate by simply using a smartphone/tablet or to add GPS geotag on the photos automatically. Furthermore, the settings of a LUMIX G9 camera can also be copied and transmitted wirelessly to other G9 cameras when using multiple G9 cameras.

For the Wi-Fi, 5GHz (IEEE802.11ac) is effective in addition to the conventional 2.4GHz (IEEE802.11b/g/n. This provides even secure and stable connection not only with a smartphone/tablet but also with other devices on location for smooth remote control. Transmission speed of photo/video data is also increased up by using the 5GHz-band*.
* 5 GHz Wi-Fi is not available in some countries.

9. Optional Accessories Specially Designed for LUMIX G9
・Battery Grip DMW-BGG9
The LUMIX G9 is compatible with the new Battery Grip DMW-BGG9. By using two batteries, one in the camera and the other in the grip, the DMW-BGG9 extends the battery life for longer shooting time. It also makes handling more comfortable even in vertical angle shooting. The DMW-BGG9 also provides intuitive operation with a joystick. Exclusively designed for the LUMIX G9, the DMW-BGG9 perfectly matches the camera, boasting a rugged, splash proof, dustproof and freeze proof design.
-Eye Cup DMW-EC4
The Eye Cup DMW-EC4 makes it even more comfortable to see the high-performance LVF of the G9.
-Battery Charger DMW-BTC13
The Battery Charger DMW-BTC13 enables quick charging of the Battery Pack DMW-BLF19 from an AC outlet using the bundled AC adopter.
-Shoulder Strap DMW-SSTG9
The Shoulder Strap DMW-SSTG9 is a length-adjustable shoulder strap. The camera can be detached or replaced quickly to prepare for the next photo opportunity in various shooting situations.

The new G9 and all accessories will be available in early January 2018. The G9 (body only) MSRP will be $1699.99 and the Battery Grip $349.99.

Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 specifications PriceMSRP$1699 (body only)Body typeBody typeSLR-like (bridge)Body materialMagnesium alloySensorMax resolution5184 x 3888Image ratio w:h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9Effective pixels20 megapixelsSensor photo detectors22 megapixelsSensor sizeFour Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm)Sensor typeCMOSColor spacesRGB, Adobe RGBColor filter arrayPrimary color filterImageISOAuto, 200-25600 (expands to 100-25600)Boosted ISO (minimum)100White balance presets5Custom white balanceYes (4 slots)Image stabilizationSensor-shiftCIPA image stabilization rating6.5 stop(s)Uncompressed formatRAWJPEG quality levelsFine, standardFile format
  • JPEG (Exif v2.31)
  • Raw (Panasonic 12-bit RW2)
Optics & FocusAutofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Touch
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lampYesDigital zoomYes (2x-4x)Manual focusYesNumber of focus points225Lens mountMicro Four ThirdsFocal length multiplier2×Screen / viewfinderArticulated LCDFully articulatedScreen size3″Screen dots1,040,000Touch screenYesScreen typeTFT LCDLive viewYesViewfinder typeElectronicViewfinder coverage100%Viewfinder magnification1.66× (0.83× 35mm equiv.)Viewfinder resolution3,680,000Photography featuresMinimum shutter speed60 secMaximum shutter speed1/8000 secMaximum shutter speed (electronic)1/32000 secExposure modes
  • iAuto
  • Program
  • Aperture priority
  • Shutter priority
  • Manual
Built-in flashNoExternal flashYes (via hot shoe or flash sync port)Flash modesAuto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Forced On/Red-eye Reduction, Slow Sync., Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced OffFlash X sync speed1/250 secDrive modes
  • Single
  • Continuous I/II
  • 6K Photo
  • Post Focus
  • Self-timer
  • TIme-lapse
Continuous drive20.0 fpsSelf-timerYesMetering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV steps)AE Bracketing±3 (3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)WB BracketingYesVideography featuresFormatMPEG-4, AVCHD, H.264Modes
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 60p / 150 Mbps, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 100 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 23.98p / 100 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 28 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 20 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 28 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60i / 24 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60i / 17 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 23.98p / 24 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
MicrophoneStereoSpeakerMonoStorageStorage typesDual SD/SDHC/SDXC slots (UHS-II supported)ConnectivityUSB USB 3.0 (5 GBit/sec)USB chargingYesHDMIYesMicrophone portYesHeadphone portYesWirelessBuilt-InWireless notes802.11ac + BluetoothRemote controlYes (wired or via smartphone)PhysicalEnvironmentally sealedYesBatteryBattery PackBattery descriptionDMW-BTC13 lithium-ion battery & USB chargerBattery Life (CIPA)400Weight (inc. batteries)658 g (1.45 lb / 23.21 oz)Dimensions137 x 97 x 92 mm (5.39 x 3.82 x 3.62″)Other featuresOrientation sensorYesTimelapse recordingYesGPSNone
Categories: Photo News

Panasonic Lumix G9: What you need to know

DP Review Latest news - Wed, 11/08/2017 - 01:00
Panasonic Lumix G9: What you need to know

The new Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 is a flagship interchangeable lens camera aimed primarily at stills photographers. Sitting alongside the video-centric GH5 in Panasonic's high-end Micro Four Thirds lineup, the G9 is designed for speed, durability, and versatility. Between using one for a few days and digging into its lengthy spec sheet, here's what we think you need to know about it.

Same 20.3MP sensor as GH5

The G9 features the same 20.3MP CMOS sensor as the GH5, capable of a maximum output of 5184 x 3888 pixels. As such, baseline performance in stills mode should be very good indeed. Panasonic did a lot of work with the GH5 to improve JPEG image quality over earlier generations and despite being a video-oriented camera, the GH5 compared well with competitive models from the likes of Olympus and Fujifilm.

Revamped JPEG engine

The really good news is that Panasonic's engineers didn't stop with the improvements they made in the GH5. As a stills-focused flagship, the G9 has been further tweaked, with improved color and noise reduction in JPEG mode. We were pretty happy with JPEGs from the GH5, but the improvements in the G9 are obvious. Organic textures are rendered more naturally, and images taken at medium / high ISO sensitivities look better, thanks to more intelligent noise reduction.

Large, high-resolution EVF

The G9's OLED viewfinder is really something. A resolution of 3.86 million dots (equiv) and 120 fps refresh rate means that it's detailed and contrasty, and with an equivalent maximum magnification of 0.83X (in full-frame camera terms) it's enormous, too – and very immersive. Looking through the G9's finder, it's easy to forget that it uses a Micro Four Thirds sensor. If the viewfinder image is too big for you (for instance if you wear reading / sunglasses) the magnification can be dialed back to 0.77X or 0.7X if/when required.

Obviously, being a mirrorless camera, a full range of shooting information and various shooting aids (like focus peaking, an electronic level etc.) are available in the G9's viewfinder, just as they are on the rear LCD.

20fps burst shooting with AF-C

The G9's conventional mechanical shutter tops out at 9 fps with AF-C, but shifting to a fully electronic shutter ups that to an impressive 20 frames per second. If this still isn't fast enough for you, the G9 can also shoot at a maximum rate of 60 fps using its electronic shutter with focus locked.

For best performance, you'll want to install a UHS-II Class 3 (U3) SD card. The G9 offers two card slots, both of which support the UHS-II standard.

4k/60p video

The G9 isn't meant to replace the GH5 and cannot match that model's professional video features, but despite the focus on still imaging, its video feature set is still pretty solid. The headline feature is 4K/60p video at a maximum bitrate of 150Mbps but other features, like focusing peaking, zebra stripes and flicker reduction are good to see, and should make the G9 useful for multimedia professionals as well as casual or occasional video shooters.

Encouragingly, the G9's autofocus in video mode seems much improved over previous models and less prone to 'hunting'. In the words of our very own technical editor Rishi Sanyal, this makes autofocus in video mode 'usable'. High praise indeed, as anyone who knows him will tell you.

4K / 6K photo

The G9 also offers 4K and 6K photo modes, which essentially capture high-resolution stills images as video frames, at up to 30fps (6K) and 60fps (4K). Effective resolution is 18MP for 6K photo files and 8MP in 4K photo mode. Panasonic claims that the Venus Engine 10 processor enables more effective 'Post Recording Refinement' to improve image quality in 4K/6K photo modes, by reducing noise and rolling shutter effect.

80mp high-res shot mode

Among the most interesting features to emerge into the consumer and professional stills camera market in the past few years have been the various sensor-shift modes, offered by the likes of Olympus and Pentax, aimed at increasing resolution (in one way or another). The G9 joins the club with an 80MP high-resolution shot mode (with JPEG and Raw output) which works by shifting the 20MP sensor by half-pixel increments, eight times – and then combining the exposures into a single, high-resolution image.

We haven't been able to give this feature a proper try-out yet, but we'd expect it to offer the same benefits as the similar mode built into Olympus's high-end Micro Four Thirds cameras. At the very least, it should offer a very useful resolution boost for still life and product photography. We're hopeful that capture is fast enough to also make it useful for landscape work, assuming minimal or no movement within the scene.

6.5 stops of image stabilization

No – that's not a typo. The G9's 5-axis system is rated to offer image stabilization to the tune of 6.5 stops of correction, with short lenses and/or longer lenses, in combination with optical stabilization. We've been very impressed with improvements made to image stabilization in recent Panasonic and Olympus M43 cameras, and the G9 continues this trend.

To put this in perspective, 6.5 stops of correction means that you should be able to hand-hold a 100mm (equiv) lens at shutter speeds of slightly longer than a quarter of a second. Watch this space for some real-world test results.

Improved DFD autofocus

Panasonic's clever Depth-from-Defocus (DFD) technology delivers impressively fast and accurate autofocus – including tracking – considering that it's a pure contrast-detection AF system. In the G9, Panasonic claims that this 225-point system has been further improved compared to the GH5. In addition to various automatic AF area modes, an AF joystick is nicely positioned for use by the right thumb, and the G9's 1.04 million-dot rear LCD can be used as a touch panel for AF point positioning with your eye to the viewfinder, if required.

Professional build quality

The G9 is built to be a flagship stills camera and as such it offers excellent build quality, with dust and moisture-sealing and a cold weather performance rating down to -10°C (14°F). Designed for use outdoors and in tough conditions, the quality of the G9's die-cast magnesium alloy construction is obvious as soon as you pick it up. Less tangible, but a time-honored shorthand for durability is the G9's shutter rating, which like many professional DSLRs should withstand (at least) 200,000 cycles.

USB 3.0 and Bluetooth LE / WiFi

Like the GH5, the G9 features a USB 3.0 interface, but via a conventional Micro-B-type connector, rather than USB C. Not quite as versatile, but probably more practical for the stills photographers at whom the G9 is being aimed. The G9 can be charged via USB and powered from it, too – increasing the camera's versatility when tethered or used remotely. Bluetooth LE 4.2 and Wi-Fi (5GH) is also built-in, for connection to smart devices.

Categories: Photo News

Panasonic Lumix G9 sample gallery

DP Review Latest news - Wed, 11/08/2017 - 01:00
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Panasonic pleasantly surprised us last week when they dropped off a near-final version of their new Lumix DC-G9 flagship stills camera. There's obviously a ton we want to test out, but in the meantime, we were eager to get it out and about for some initial sample shooting. Watch this space in the coming weeks for more images under a variety of situations, including some peak-action sports. For now, take a look at what it can do in low light and a rare sunny afternoon in otherwise wintry Seattle.

See our Panasonic Lumix G9 sample gallery

Categories: Photo News

Video: Meet the Panasonic Lumix G9

DP Review Latest news - Wed, 11/08/2017 - 01:00

What happens when a company known for its video-centric hybrid cameras turns its attention to professional stills shooters? The Panasonic G9. Still equipped with high-end video specs like 4K/60p recording, it adds stills-centric features like 20 fps bursts and an 80MP high-resolution mode. Get caught up on everything that's new in our quick overview video.

Categories: Photo News