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Panasonic G6 review

Same sensor as the G5, but more responsive

Our Verdict

For

  • Viewfinder
  • Fully articulating screen
  • Extensive touchscreen controls
  • Can shoot raw files with filters

Against

  • Old 16MP sensor
  • Can't use Creative Control options in advanced exposure modes

Like Panasonic's other compact system cameras (CSCs), the Panasonic G6 is built following the Micro Four Thirds standard.

This means that it has a 17.3 x 13mm (0.68 x 0.51-inch) sensor, which is smaller than the APS-C format sensors in cameras such as the Canon EOS 700D (22.3 x 14.9mm) and Nikon D5200 (23.5 x 15.6mm), which are both DSLRs, and the Sony NEX-5R (23.5 x 15.6mm) and Samsung NX300 (23.5 x 15.7mm), which are CSCs.

However, using the Micro Fours Thirds (MFT) standard means that the Panasonic G6 is compatible with Olympus MFT lenses as well as a growing collection from third party manufacturers such as Sigma.

Panasonic G6 review

Because Panasonic and Olympus were first and second, respectively, into the CSC market, both companies have had time to develop the system, and there's an extensive array of optics available.

Panasonic has used a mini-DSLR style for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6, and unlike many compact system cameras, it has a viewfinder built in, though the mirrorless design naturally means that this is an electronic device.

Like the Panasonic G5 before it, the Panasonic G6's LCD screen is touch-sensitive and is mounted on an articulating joint, so you can twist it around to get a clear view from a range of angles.

Panasonic G6 review

The Panasonic G6 sits below the Panasonic GH3 in the company's CSC lineup, and it's aimed at enthusiast photographers who want to shoot a range of subjects but want a smaller, lighter camera system than the average DSLR kit.

Features

Although Panasonic has stuck with the same 16.05 million pixel Live MOS sensor in the Lumix G6 that it used in the Panasonic G5 (and Panasonic GH2), it has used a new, more powerful Venus Engine, a better touchscreen and an improved electronic viewfinder (EVF).

According to Panasonic, the compact system camera's new processing engine enables the G6 to produce better quality images, and in turn enables a wider extended sensitivity range of ISO 160-25600.

Panasonic G6 review

In addition, the manufacturer says the new engine enables faster autofocusing, especially in low light. It does this by dropping the readout from the sensor from 120fps to 15fps, making it eight times more sensitive. Panasonic has also worked to improve the G6's ability to track moving subjects, as well as boosting the maximum continuous shooting speed to 7fps.

While the Panasonic G5 has a 1,440,00- dot LCD in its electronic viewfinder, the Panasonic G6 has a 1,440,000-dot OLED finder, which is brighter and should provide a clearer view.

Meanwhile, the touchscreen is a capacitive device rather than resistive, so it responds to a touch of a finger rather than requiring a press.

Panasonic G6 review

As on the Panasonic G5, there's a collection of Creative Control modes with options such as Toy Camera and Impressive Art that adjust the processing of the images to give them a particular look. These are accessed via the main mode dial and can be used when shooting raw as well as JPEG files, giving you a 'clean' image as well as one with the effect applied.

Having a raw file as well as a more heavily processed JPEG makes the Creative Control options more attractive to enthusiast photographers who want to option of working on their images post-capture.

The downside to using the Creative Control options is that there's no control over key features such as aperture and shutter speed. However, the Photo Style options Standard, Vivid, Natural, Monochrome, Scenery, Portrait and Custom can be used in any exposure mode (apart from Creative Control) with full control over the camera settings, and they work with raw and JPEG file recording.

Panasonic G6 review

Panasonic has also given the G6 Wi-Fi connectivity, and an NFC chip means that it is possible to connect quickly and easily to other NFC devices such as an Android smartphone or tablet.

As yet Apple hasn't included an NFC chip in its iPhones, but rumours are rife that one will feature in the iPhone 5S/6.

The Panasonic G6 price is £629/US$749.99 (around AU$989) including a 14-42mm kit lens.

Tech Specs

Product TypeMirrorless Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
TouchscreenYes
Effective Camera Resolution16.1 Megapixel
GPSNo
USBYes
PictBridgeYes
Product FamilyLumix
ColourBlack
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NamePanasonic
FeaturesNoise Reduction, Continuous Shooting Mode, Face Detection, Live View, Orientation Sensor
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMPEG-4, AVCHD, MP4
Viewfinder TypeElectronic
Weight (Approximate)340 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityREACH
Maximum Image Resolution4608 x 3456
Maximum Frame Rate60 fps
Number of Batteries Supported1
Battery Built-inNo
Battery RechargeableYes
Battery IncludedYes
Display Screen TypeLCD
Image Sensor TypeLive MOS
Total Camera Resolution18.3 Megapixel
HDMIYes
Camera AssemblyBody Only
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC UHS-I), Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC UHS-I)
Height84.6 mm
Width122.5 mm
Depth71.4 mm
Autofocus Points23
Image FormatsJPEG, RAW, MPO
Audio FormatsAAC
Flash ModesAuto Flash, Flash ON, Flash OFF, Red-eye Reduction, Slow Sync, Front Curtain Sync, Rear Curtain Sync
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerPanasonic
Product ModelDMC-G6
Product NameDMC-G6 Compact System Camera
Product LineLumix
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberDMCG6EBK
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.panasonic.co.uk
Marketing Information

LUMIX G Micro System Digital Camera G6 - Digital Single Lens Mirrorless Camera Featuring High Picture Quality, High Speed Response and Easy Sharing

The DMC-G6 integrates 16.05-megapixel Live MOS Sensor and Venus Engine featuring its advanced noise reduction systems. The controllable noise area is expanded by approx.64x in size and large block noise is removed. The Multi-process NR works in two separate steps allowing finer control over noise level. The limit resolution is enhanced with detail reproduction, and advanced Intelligent D-range Control ensures beautiful gradation with wider dynamic range. The Low Light AF gains higher performance in such as moonlight even without AF assist lamp.

The fast, accurate Light Speed AF makes it possible to capture fast-moving subjects clearly. The camera and the lens exchange the digital signal at max. 240 fps to minimize the time to focus. The DMC-G6 realizes the high speed burst shooting at 7 fps in 16.05-megapixel full resolution. Also, AF Tracking enables consecutive shooting to capture moving subject at 5 fps. he 1440K-dot equivalent OLED LVF retains the outstanding viewability. It can be used with monitor at the same time as the Touch Pad function.

The DMC-G6 can record full HD 1,920 x 1,080 videos with stunning smoothness at 50p (50Hz) in AVCHD Progressive and MP4 format, or 24p in AVCHD format according to your intended use. In addition to the built-in stereo microphone featuring Dolby® Digital, the DMC-G6 is equipped with 3.5mm terminals for external microphone to comply with serious sound recording. Also, the audio input level can be adjusted in 19 steps. The P/A/S/M mode will faithfully reflect your shooting intent, and give you a wide range of video images.

With the Wi-Fi® connectivity with NFC technology, you can connect the camera to your smartphone/tablet anywhere with one-touch, which makes sharing images much easier. It is also possible to use a smartphone/tablet as a multi-capable remote shutter with a monitor. With the Instant Transfer function, photos are automatically sent to the smartphone/tablet right after shooting. On the other hand, both photo and video can be archived to the registered digital equipment such as PC automatically via the wireless access point (router) at home.

Battery Life340 Shot
Package Contents
  • DMC-G6 Compact System Camera
  • Lens Cap
  • Lens Hood
  • Lens Rear Cap
  • Battery Charger
  • Battery Pack
  • Body Cap
  • USB Connection Cable
  • Shoulder Strap
  • Software CD-ROM
Display Resolution1036000 Pixel
Limited Warranty1 Year
Built-in DevicesMicrophone, Speaker