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That’s where this advanced stabilisation really helps.

High Resolution Mode

Now some may say that 20.3 megapixels aren’t enough. The Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 gives you options. Specifically the 80 megapixel high resolution mode. This is very much for tripod only, and for still scenes only, because it involves taking four pictures in rapid succession, moving the sensor a microscopic distance between each shot. So where there is one pixel in the regular mode, there are four in this mode. The camera then merges them all into a quadruple resolution shot.

The camera and scene must be stable because the four shots are in sequence. Any tiny movement between one shot and the next will spoil things.

Is the glass good enough to resolve a significant difference between the two? I used a similar scene to the one with the 1 second exposure and again a 60mm lens (120mm equivalent) at the buildings 850 metres away. Ideally you’d use a remote shutter release. We used a few seconds delay so that there’d be no camera shake from a hand on the camera. The four shots were taken in very rapid succession. The camera also kept a standard 20 megapixel version of the picture.

The result: 10368 by 7776 pixels versus 5184 by 3888, or 20.16 megapixels versus 8.06 megapixels. A file size of 20.9MB versus 7.72MB in JPEG, or 125MB versus 22.8MB in RAW. EXIF exposure data was the same for both: 1/1000 second, f/8, ISO 200.

Here’s the full frame scaled down for context (I’m using the JPEG versions for all these because Photoshop doesn’t yet support Panasonic’s latest version of RAW format):

Now here’s the 20 megapixel version, cropped down to some of those roofs (and doubled in size in Photoshop so that it matches the other version):

And here’s the 80 megapixel version. If you have any doubts about whether the camera and lens can usefully employ the additional pixels, just check out the roof tiles.

Again, this mode is not for moving stuff. Here are those foreground waves. You can see how the four images from different instants have been overlaid.

But if you’re doing still lifes, portraits and many other types of photography where both the camera and scene are stable, this camera gives you an astonishingly high resolution.