WHEN considering serious camera kit for aspiring photographers, Panasonic is probably not the first brand that comes to mind.
Nikon and Canon have claimed those bagging rights for years.
But after using the Lumix GH5, and now the Lumix G9, and reading plenty of reviews from people more qualified than me, it's probably worth a rethink.
The Lumix G9 is one superb camera.
With an incredible shooting speed of 60 frames per second in 20 megapixel resolution, it doesn't miss much.
We put it to the test in a range of pretty demanding scenarios - from the back of a jetski boat, during a night time concert performance in poor light and during the harsh sun of the middle of the day.
The results were pretty consistent.
Stunning, vivid colours, even in the lowest of light, while the ability to capture every part of a jump or a dancer's leap was impressive.
Whereas many cameras you might have had three or four shots in a fast sequence, we were getting five or six.
While the GH5 is more designed for video photographers, the G9 brings in the best elements of video as well as a wide range of features which would appeal to still photographers.
The camera features sophisticated stabilisation technology (5-Axis Dual I.S. 2) and also has the ability to produce 80 megapixel high resolution images by combining shots.
It also has an impressive 6.5 stop compensation capability.
As a mirrorless camera it is compact with the ability to easily interchange lenses.
In the hands, it features great grip and has the quality finish you would expect on the top of the range shooter.
It features both a live view finder and a OLED display.
The specs on both are among the best around.
Panasonic says that at 0.83x (35mm camera equivalent), the magnification ratio of the Live View Finder (LVF) is the largest in its class.
The OLED display has a high 120 fps refresh rate with no blackout.
What I particularly liked is the large LCD status on the top of the body - which provides detailed settings at a glance.
If you are trying to preserve battery, you can switch your main display off and just use that. It's also easy to read in the middle of the day.
The camera also has USB charging - something that will be appreciated by travel photographers.
With a decent lens, this would be a very good camera to capture the action of an African safari.
For those with a decent budget to outlay, Panasonic has announced the introduction of a new telephoto single focal length lens, the LEICA DG ELMARIT 200mm / F2.8 / POWER OIS (35mm camera equivalent: 400mm).
It is compact with a 200mm focal length and a bundled 1.4x Teleconverter extends focal length to 560mm (35mm equivalent).
The Lumix G9, like the GH5, features 6K Photo Mode burst shooting with no buffer limit.
It's a good option if you want to grab high quality stills while shooting at speed.
And given you are likely to take a lot more photos, the Dual SD UHS-II card slots will come in very handy.
As an all round shooter for enthusiasts, the G9 ticks all the boxes.
It's highy mobile, versatile, has more settings than you will ever need, and is ideal for fast action photography.
And for landscape photographers, the 80 megapixel mode will create images with more detail than you could ever need.
In Australia the body will go for $2499, the DC-G9LEICA Leica kit with 12-60mm f2.8-4.0 lens will retail at $3499 and the DC-G9PRO Pro kit with 12-35mm f2.8 lens will cost $3499.
There's also a DMW-BGG9 Accessory Battery Grip for $399.