Panasonic Announces Ultra-Compact LUMIX S9 and 26mm Lens


For photographers and videographers seeking great specs in a small body, the new Panasonic Lumix S9 could be just the ticket. This mirrorless camera packs a 24.4MP full-frame sensor into the first compact design in the Lumix S series, coming in at only 14.2 oz. The S9 also includes Panasonic’s advanced Phase Hybrid autofocus system, in-body stabilization, and 6K video codecs. For people looking to step up from a smartphone or downsize from a bulkier body, the S9 should check all the necessary boxes, especially when paired with the new Lumix S 26mm f/8 pancake lens.

The S9’s sensor is equivalent to the one found on last year’s popular Lumix S5 II, and many of the specs and recording formats found in that camera have carried over. To slim down the size of the body, we’ve lost the viewfinder, but the S9’s 1840k-dot free-angle flip-out monitor should suffice for framing and settings adjustments. You can charge the camera’s battery via the USB-C port on the body, and Panasonic has specifically designed it to play nice with portable power banks. A full battery gets you a reported 470 shots in standard conditions. Panasonic is aiming this camera more at content creators than large professional crews, so we’re down to one SD card slot and no cooling fan, but sacrifices were necessary to make a full-frame camera that can fit into a coat pocket.

High-Tech Photo Features

The Lumix S9 makes raw photo capture easy and intuitive, with top-of-the-line autofocus, burst shooting, and stabilization. Panasonic has made huge strides in autofocus technology over the past few years, and the S9 boasts the latest algorithms, with human, animal, car, and motorcycle detection. The S9 utilizes both phase detection auto-focus (PDAF) and contrast-based depth-from-defocus (DFD) technology to create an ultra-reliable Phase Hybrid Auto-Focus system that can keep up with fast moving subjects like athletes and sports cars.

Panasonic Lumix S9
Panasonic Lumix S9

The body of the S9 features 5-stop internal stabilization, which steps up to 6.5-stop 5-axis dual internal stabilization when paired with a compatible lens. A 96MP Handheld High-Res photo mode is available for shots that require an extra level of detail, though you may still want a tripod handy for its longer exposure times. Another great tool for difficult shooting situations is a 30 fps Pre-Burst mode that can capture the moment right before you press the shutter button, even while using auto-focus. Panasonic’s popular Synchro Scan can also sync the shutter speed to the flicker frequency of your lighting to eliminate banding.

Flexible Video Formats

Recording modes on the S9 will be a major selling point, as this tiny powerhouse keeps the same popular flavors of video seen in the S5 II. Expect C4K 60p in 4:2:2 10-bit, as well as full 6K in 3:2 or 17:9 with 4:2:0 10-bit up to 30 fps. 6K 3:2 open gate recording is a huge asset in this camera especially, as it allows for more dynamic cropping and framing for social media cuts, retaining a bunch of extra information in the top and bottom of the image. The renowned Lumix in-body stabilization discussed earlier is also a huge asset for video, virtually eliminating micro-jitters and massively aiding handheld shooting. Slow and Quick mode unlocks a super slow-motion 180 fps, as well as highly customizable timelapse settings.

Like the S5 II, expect a Dual Native ISO of 100/640 in standard recording modes and 640/4000 when shooting in V-Log. Speaking of V-Log, that will be the picture profile for maxing out the S9’s fourteen stops of dynamic range, cementing the S9 as a great B-Cam for videographers using larger Lumix models. Cinelike D2 / V2 recording modes have also been ported over for faster turnaround on projects. One feature new to the S9 is a Real Time LUT mode that lets you add, customize, and adjust LUTs in the camera, toggling them on and off with a dedicated LUT button on the body.

Sharing Made Easy

The Real Time LUT feature complements a new Lumix Lab smartphone app that Panasonic is set to launch alongside the S9. Lumix Lab will help you quickly and reliably transfer photos and videos from the camera, easily applying edits before uploading them straight to your social media platform of choice. The app also allows you to create original LUTs, saving them to the camera and the phone. Download other creators’ LUTs for an endless supply of styles and flavors. An additional app-focused MP4 Lite recording mode in the S9 captures H.265 50Mbps files built for easy sharing.

It’s clear Panasonic wants to make this a great entry point for smartphone users looking to step up their photography and video. The S9’s full-frame sensor is significantly larger than what you’d find on even a top-of-the-line phone, and that means much better low light performance and more pronounced bokeh, plus the flexibility of interchangeable lenses. By using Lumix Lab to streamline editing and sharing, first-time mirrorless camera owners should encounter a smooth and intuitive experience that never requires a computer.

The Ideal Lenses

As you’d expect, the camera comes equipped with an L mount, opening up tons of lens options from a variety of manufacturers. To compliment the body’s small size, Panasonic’s releasing a Lumix S 26mm f/8 pancake lens. At only 2.6 x 0.7”, and just 2 oz, the lens is barely bigger than a body cap. This makes it perfect for quick snapshots, street photography, and on-the-go field work. It’s manual focus only, but at f/8, that shouldn’t be too much of a concern. Expect corner to corner sharpness and an impressive minimum focus of 0.82 ft. Panasonic also announced the development a compact Lumix S 18-40mm f/4.5-6/3, with a versatile ultra-wide to standard field of view and minimum focus of less than half a foot. That lens should be a popular pick for content creators but does not have a firm release date quite yet.

Lumix S 26mm f/8 Pancake Lens
Lumix S 26mm f/8 Pancake Lens

With the S9, Panasonic is packing many of the best innovations from the past few years into a remarkably lightweight body that can easily slip into a jacket pocket or travel bag. Combined with the new Lumix Lab app, users can capture great photos and videos that are easily shareable with friends, family, and followers.

For more information about the new Panasonic Lumix S9 and the Lumix S 26mm f/8 lens, including additional features, specs, and highlights, be sure to check out their detailed product pages. Or drop us a line below, and we’ll do our best to answer all your comments and questions.