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Panasonic S9 Comparison Review

The Panasonic Lumix DC-S9 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that was revealed to the public in May 2024 and is equipped with a full frame sensor. It offers a resolution of 24 megapixel.

camera

Is the Panasonic S9 a good camera? The S9 has a Camera Elo of 3034. This very strong rating puts it among the elite group of camera grand masters. The S9 ranks among the top 10 percent of all mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (full frame cameras), the S9 ranks among the top 20 percent.

Headline Specifications
Panasonic S9
Mirrorless system camera
Leica L mount lenses
24 MP, Full Frame Sensor
6K/30p Video
ISO 100 - 51 200 (50 - 204 800)
no viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0 LCD, 1840k dots
Swivel touchscreen
30 shutter flaps per second
In-body stabilization
470 shots per battery charge
126 x 74 x 47 mm, 486 g

Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.

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Body comparison with a credit card

An illustration of the physical dimensions of the Panasonic S9 vis-à-vis a credit card is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Panasonic S9 vs credit card front
S9 versus credit card top view
S9 and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Panasonic S9 alongside a set of similar cameras. If you want to review a particular camera pair side-by-side, just move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price
Street
Price
1.
 
Panasonic S9 126 mm 74 mm 47 mm 486 g 470 n May 2024 US$ 1 499 amazon.com
2.
 
Canon R8 133 mm 86 mm 70 mm 461 g 220 n Feb 2023 US$ 1 499 amazon.com
3.
 
Canon RP 133 mm 85 mm 70 mm 485 g 250 n Feb 2019 US$ 1 299 amazon.com
4.
 
Fujifilm X-S20 128 mm 85 mm 65 mm 491 g 750 n May 2023 US$ 1 299 amazon.com
5.
 
Panasonic GX9 124 mm 72 mm 47 mm 407 g 260 n Feb 2018 US$ 849ebay.com
6.
 
Panasonic S1 149 mm 110 mm 97 mm 1017 g 400 Y Feb 2019 US$ 2 499 amazon.com
7.
 
Panasonic S1H 151 mm 114 mm 110 mm 1052 g 400 Y May 2019 US$ 3 999 amazon.com
8.
 
Panasonic S5 133 mm 98 mm 82 mm 714 g 440 Y Sep 2020 US$ 1 999 amazon.com
9.
 
Panasonic S5 II 134 mm 102 mm 90 mm 740 g 370 Y Jan 2023 US$ 1 999 amazon.com
10.
 
Sony A7C 124 mm 71 mm 60 mm 509 g 740 Y Sep 2020 US$ 1 799 amazon.com
11.
 
Sony A6700 122 mm 69 mm 64 mm 493 g 570 Y Jul 2023 US$ 1 399 amazon.com
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Panasonic S9 was launched in the US market at a price of $1,499. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

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Check S9 price at
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Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

The Panasonic S9 features a full frame sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Panasonic S9 among the large-sensor cameras that aim for top notch image quality.

Panasonic S9 sensor measures

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of alternative cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Panasonic S9 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40006K/30p25.414.8329796
2.
 
Canon R8 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004k/60p24.514.7329593
3.
 
Canon RP Full Frame 26.0 6240 41604K/30p24.311.9297785
4.
 
Fujifilm X-S20 APS-C 26.0 6240 41604K/60p24.314.0231586
5.
 
Panasonic GX9 Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p23.112.8116374
6.
 
Panasonic S1 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/60p25.214.5333395
7.
 
Panasonic S1H Full Frame 24.0 6000 40006K/30p25.214.2280594
8.
 
Panasonic S5 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/60p25.114.5269794
9.
 
Panasonic S5 II Full Frame 24.0 6000 40006K/30p25.414.6315896
10.
 
Sony A7C Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.014.7340795
11.
 
Sony A6700 APS-C 25.6 6192 41284K/120p24.314.0232986
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The S9 indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the S9 can use is 6K/30p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The tables below summarize some of the other core capabilities of the Panasonic S9 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Panasonic S9none n3.0 / 1840 swivel Y 1/8000s 30.0/s n Y
2.
 
Canon R82360 n3.0 / 1620 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0/s n n
3.
 
Canon RP2360 n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s n n
4.
 
Fujifilm X-S202360 n3.0 / 1840 swivel Y 1/4000s 8.0/s Y Y
5.
 
Panasonic GX92760 n3.0 / 1240 tilting Y 1/4000s 9.0/s Y Y
6.
 
Panasonic S15760 Y3.2 / 2100 full-flex Y 1/8000s 9.0/s n Y
7.
 
Panasonic S1H5760 Y3.2 / 2330 swivel Y 1/8000s 9.0/s n Y
8.
 
Panasonic S52360 n3.0 / 1840 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0/s n Y
9.
 
Panasonic S5 II3680 n3.0 / 1840 swivel Y 1/8000s 9.0/s n Y
10.
 
Sony A7C2360 n3.0 / 922 swivel Y 1/4000s 10.0/s n Y
11.
 
Sony A67002360 n3.0 / 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 11.0/s n Y
Note: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

The LCD screen on the Panasonic Lumix DC-S9 is flexibly attached to the body. In particular, the LCD is hinged on the side and can be flipped out for odd-angle shots in both portrait and landscape orientation. Also, this fully articulated, swivel type of LCD attachment is often appreciated by videographers for its flexibility. Moreover, v-loggers like the design because the screen can be turned to be front-facing.

articulated screen
Flexible screen on the S9

One feature that differentiates the S9 from many older cameras is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The S9 reduces the risk of handshake-induced blur with all attached lenses, while cameras without IBIS have to rely on optical image stabilization in OIS-equipped lenses to achieve the same effect.

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Connection comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Panasonic Lumix DC-S9 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Panasonic S9Ystereo / monoY-micro3.2Y-Y
2.
 
Canon R8Ystereo / monoYYmicro3.2Y-Y
3.
 
Canon RPYstereo / monoYYmicro2.0Y-Y
4.
 
Fujifilm X-S20Ystereo / monoYYmicro3.2Y-Y
5.
 
Panasonic GX9Ystereo / mono--micro2.0Y-Y
6.
 
Panasonic S1Ystereo / monoYYfull3.1Y-Y
7.
 
Panasonic S1HYstereo / monoYYfull3.1Y-Y
8.
 
Panasonic S5Ystereo / monoYYmicro3.2Y-Y
9.
 
Panasonic S5 IIYstereo / monoYYfull3.2Y-Y
10.
 
Sony A7CYstereo / monoYYmicro3.2YYY
11.
 
Sony A6700Ystereo / monoYYYES3.2YYY

It is notable that the S9 has a microphone port. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.

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Expert reviews

While the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the S9 in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased. This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]).

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Review Scores
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price
Street
Price
1.
 
Panasonic S9............ May 2024 US$ 1 499 amazon.com
2.
 
Canon R84.5/5+ +4.5/587/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2023 US$ 1 499 amazon.com
3.
 
Canon RP4/5+4/5..4.5/54/5 Feb 2019 US$ 1 299 amazon.com
4.
 
Fujifilm X-S205/5+ +5/586/100..4.5/5 May 2023 US$ 1 299 amazon.com
5.
 
Panasonic GX94/5+4/584/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2018 US$ 849ebay.com
6.
 
Panasonic S14.5/5+ +4.5/588/1004.5/54/5 Feb 2019 US$ 2 499 amazon.com
7.
 
Panasonic S1H....4/590/100.... May 2019 US$ 3 999 amazon.com
8.
 
Panasonic S54.5/5+ +4.5/588/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2020 US$ 1 999 amazon.com
9.
 
Panasonic S5 II4.5/5+ +5/590/1004.5/55/5 Jan 2023 US$ 1 999 amazon.com
10.
 
Sony A7C3.5/5..3.5/586/1004/54/5 Sep 2020 US$ 1 799 amazon.com
11.
 
Sony A67004.5/5+4.5/588/1004.5/54.5/5 Jul 2023 US$ 1 399 amazon.com
Note: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

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Check S9 price at
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Panasonic S9 FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the S9.

What type of imaging sensor is used in the Panasonic S9?

The camera is build around a BSI-CMOS (Backside Illuminated Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor.

Which image processing chip is used in the Panasonic S9 to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?

Panasonic equipped the S9 with the Venus image processor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the Panasonic S9?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 51200, which can be extended to ISO 50-204800.

Does the Panasonic S9 have a selfie-friendly screen?

Yes, the LCD-screen of the S9 is flexible and can be turned to be front-facing for capturing selfies.

What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Panasonic Lumix DC-S9?

Panasonic does not publish a shutter rating for the S9. Yet, shutters in comparable cameras from other manufacturers are said to be good for at least 200 000 actuations. It should be noted, though, that this number represents a Mean Time before Failure. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust an expected shutter life of 200 000 shots over, say, three years, one would have to take about 200 pictures each and every day.

Is completely silent shooting possible with the Panasonic S9?

The camera has an electronic shutter option, so that it is indeed feasible to capture images without any shutter noise.

Do I need to purchase an external camera trigger to shoot time-lapse sequences with the Panasonic S9?

No, the Panasonic Lumix DC-S9 has an intervalometer built-in, so that low frequency shooting (for example, flower blooming, sunset, moon rise) can be undertaken without the need to purchase a separate external intervalometer and related software.

Is it difficult to use manual focus lenses with the Panasonic S9?

The S9 offers focus peaking as a manual focus aid. This feature works by placing a colored highlight on in-focus zones within the image.

Does the Panasonic S9 feature an autofocus assist light?

Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.

What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with the Panasonic S9 for flash photography?

The S9's flash sync speed is 1/250 sec.

Does the Panasonic S9 support the Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus interface for SD cards?

Yes, the camera can indeed use UHS-II cards (data transfer speed of up to 312 MB/s).

Which battery does the Panasonic S9 use?

The camera gets its power from the Panasonic DMW-BLK22 (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

Camera to camera comparisons

In case you are interested in seeing how this camera compares to another one, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Panasonic S9
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Leica L mount lenses
    Launch Date May 2024
    Launch Price USD 1 499
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 35.6 x 23.8 mm
    Sensor Area 847 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 42.8 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6 000 x 4 000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.94 μm
    Pixel Density 2.83 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter
    Movie Capability 6K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 51 200 ISO
    ISO Boost 50 - 204 800 ISO
    Image Processor Venus
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type No viewfinder
    Top-Level Screen no Top Display
    LCD Framing Live View
    LCD Size 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 1840k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen
    V-logging Friendliness Front-flip possible
    Touch Input Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs
    Focus System On-Sensor Phase-detect
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peaking
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/8000s
    Continuous Shooting 30 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy200 000 actuations
    Silent ShootingElectronic Shutter
    Time Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer Built-in
    Image StabilizationIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards
    Single or Dual Card Slots Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-II
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 3.2
    HDMI Port micro HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs
    Battery Type Panasonic DMW-BLK22 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)470 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 126 x 74 x 47 mm
    (5.0 x 2.9 x 1.9 in)
    Camera Weight 486 g (17.1 oz)

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