Annnounced: Panasonic Lumix S9 and 26mm f/8 Pancake Lens

Panasonic has officially announced the new Panasonic Lumix S9 L-mount full-frame mirrorless camera and Lumix S 26mm f/8 pancake lens. Despite advancements in smartphone photography and videography, the S9’s uniquely small full-frame system offers significantly more power without the bulk of typical mirrorless or DSLR cameras. Its 24.2MP full-frame sensor enables the creation of high-quality images, even in low-light conditions. The S9 also supports a variety of L-mount lenses, providing flexibility for different shooting needs. Overall, the simplicity and convenience of the S9 make it an excellent tool for quickly creating and sharing impactful images.

Pre-order links:

  • Panasonic Lumix S9: $1,497.99 at B&HAdorama.
  • Panasonic Lumix S9 with 20-60mm Lens: $1,797.99 at B&HAdorama.
  • Free 26mm f/8 lens with the purchase of Lumix S9 camera or kit
  • Panasonic Lumix S 26mm f/8 Lens: $197.99 at B&HAdorama.

This mirrorless camera features a 24.4MP full-frame sensor and is the first compact design in the Lumix S series, weighing only 14.2 oz. The S9 includes advanced features such as Panasonic’s Phase Hybrid autofocus system, in-body stabilization, and 6K video capabilities. It is ideal for those upgrading from a smartphone or downsizing from a bulkier camera, especially when paired with the new Lumix S 26mm f/8 pancake lens.

The S9’s sensor is the same as the one found in the popular Lumix S5 II from last year, and many of the specs and recording formats have been retained. To achieve its compact size, the viewfinder has been omitted, but the S9’s 1840k-dot free-angle flip-out monitor provides ample functionality for framing and adjusting settings. The camera’s battery can be charged via the USB-C port, and it is designed to be compatible with portable power banks. A full battery offers a reported 470 shots under standard conditions. Aimed more at content creators than professional crews, the S9 features one SD card slot and no cooling fan, but these compromises allow for a full-frame camera that can fit into a coat pocket.

As the smallest and lightest full-frame mirrorless camera in Panasonic’s lineup, the Lumix S9 weighs just 403g (14.2 oz) and measures 126 x 73.9 x 46.7 mm (4.96 x 2.9 x 1.83 in). It uses a 24.2MP full-frame CMOS sensor, the same highly praised sensor from the Lumix S5 II, which received a five-star rating.

The sensor is paired with Panasonic’s phase detection autofocus system, which offers fast focusing and subject recognition for human faces, eyes, animals, birds, cars, and motorbikes. Additionally, Panasonic’s 5-axis in-body image stabilization provides 5.0 stops of stabilization, which increases to 6.5 stops with compatible lenses, significantly reducing blurring from camera shake when shooting handheld.

The Lumix S 26mm f/8 is characterized by its ultra-thin and lightweight design, making it an ideal on-the-go snapshot lens for full-frame camera systems. Weighing only 2 ounces and with a depth of just 18mm (0.71 inches), this “pancake” lens is extremely portable. It features a fixed f/8 aperture, manual focus control, and offers a wide 80-degree field of view, enabling photographers to concentrate on composition while capturing high-resolution images.

Interestingly, the lens design echoes the Olympus 15mm f/8 “body cap” lens for the Micro Four Thirds system, especially in its minimalist features. Unlike traditional lenses, it does not accept lens caps or filters; instead, it includes a protective element across the front to withstand being left on the camera. The short-throw focus ring is a notable feature, contrasting with the close-focus/infinity switch of the Olympus counterpart.

The Lumix S 26mm f/8, priced at $199, is expected to be bundled with the Lumix S9, enhancing its appeal without significantly increasing the kit’s cost.

Panasonic’s upcoming 18-40mm f/4.5-6.3 compact zoom lens, with its ability to focus as close as 0.15 meters, aims to be a cost-effective alternative to the pricier Lumix S 16-35mm f/4 and a potential competitor to the 20-60mm f/3.5-5.6. This new zoom lens will likely cater to photographers seeking versatility and affordability in their gear.