Panasonic has added a new flagship to its Lumix G range, the G9. The mirrorless camera is aimed squarely at professional photographers and is built around an improved version of the sensor resident in the company's impressive GH5 video monster. It boasts the world's fastest autofocus, has been built to brush off demanding field work and can produce 80 MP images in-camera.

Though the Lumix G9 features a 20.3 megapixel Live MOS (17.3 x 13.0 mm) sensor, Panasonic has included a High Resolution mode that boosts image quality to 80 MP (10,368 x 7,776 equivalent) by shifting the sensor eight times and merging all the shots together into one image. Both JPEG and RAW format flavors can be produced in the camera itself, negating the need for computer-based splicing and post processing.

Image processing is handled by the company's Venus 10 engine, allowing for ISO100 - 25,600 light sensitivity, fast AF and impressive continuous shooting. DFD (Depth From Defocus) technology – which looks at two images of different sharpness, compares them with current Micro Four Thirds lens data and calculates the distance to the subject – helps the camera's autofocus to achieve a "world's fastest" speed of 0.04 seconds. Selection of the G9's 225 focus areas can be undertaken using a thumb joystick control. The camera can zip through bursts of 20 frames per second at full resolution with continuous AF, or 60 fps in single AF.

The flagship's Body Image Stabilizer uses a newly-developed algorithm to compensate for camera shake by up to 6.5 stops, while larger movements are handled by a combination of Body and Optical IS. The 5-axis Dual IS is available for both stills and video, the latter racking up to 4K at 60 fps.

Tuned Three-dimensional Color Control detects hue, saturation and brightness and "applies optimal control according to the value of each factor" – which should result in rich color reproduction across the whole image. And Panasonic promises that its noise reduction technology preserves precious detail after NR has cleaned up the image.

Elsewhere, the Lumix G9 has a 3.68 million dot OLED Live View Finder rocking a high magnification ratio of 0.83x, with Panasonic promising high-speed shooting without any frame-to-frame blackouts. There's a 3-inch tilting LCD touch panel, too, at 1.04 million dot resolution and users can check camera settings using a large LCD panel up top.

Pro-pleasing features continue with magnesium alloy construction that's splashproof, dustproof and able to withstand temperatures as low as -10° C (14° F), two SD card slots compatible with the high-speed, high capacity UHS-II standard, and cooked-in Wi-Fi (both 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz) and Bluetooth 4.2, which allow for remote operation and wireless data transfer.

The Lumix G9 has a body-only price of US$1,699.99 (AU$2499) and is up for pre-order now, shipping is estimated to start early January 2018. The promo video below overviews the main features.

Product page: Lumix G9

View gallery - 5 images