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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

Our images from the Panasonic G6 generally look very good, they are well exposed, have good, natural colours and plenty of detail.

After testing the Canon 700D and Canon 100D recently it was nice to use the Panasonic G6's 1728-zone Intelligent Multiple zone metering system, which gives more consistent results in high contrast situations.

In fact during this test we found little reason to use centre weighted or spot-metering, because the general-purpose multiple-zone system does so well. That said, it's not completely foolproof, and we occasionally had to adjust the exposure compensation, but it was usually only by 1/3EV.

Panasonic G6 review

Although the Panasonic G6 lagged some way behind the Olympus PEN Lite E-PL5 and in some cases the Sony NEX-6 in our dynamic range lab tests, its images look natural, with a wide range of tones and smooth gradations. A dynamic range of around 10EV in JPEGs taken at up to ISO 800 is pretty good, and the end result is images that have a good level of contrast.

Colours straight from the camera are also good, and the automatic white balance system copes very well with a range of lighting conditions, only struggling in low artificial light. While there's a range of preset white balance settings, it's so easy to set a custom white balance value that it makes sense to use this in artificial light.

Panasonic has used the same sensor in the G6 as it has in the G5, and our lab tests show that the raw files (after conversion to TIFF) have almost identical signal to noise ratio and dynamic range. However, it seems Panasonic has been able to eke out a little more detail from the G6's files, and it achieves higher resolution scores from ISO 800 and above.

Panasonic G6 review

Our JPEG images taken at ISO 1600 have lots of detail, with very little sign of noise and just a hint of smoothing visible at 100% on the screen. Pushing up to ISO 6400 increases the amount of smoothing that's visible at 100%, but images still look very good when sized to make A3 (16.5 x 11.7-inch) prints.

Raw files can be processed to reveal more detail than the JPEGs, but this is at the expense of noise, which becomes more visible.

Panasonic supplies Silkypix Developer Studio software for raw file conversion. While this is a comprehensive image editing package, it isn't especially tailored to the camera in the same way that the software that's supplied with Canon and Nikon DSLRs is. Consequently, you can't make in-camera-like changes to raw files.

Panasonic G6 review

However, in reality many Panasonic G6 users are only likely to use the Silkypix software until the raw file conversion component of their preferred image editing software, perhaps Adobe Photoshop Elements or Lightroom has been updated, so it's not a major deal.

Panasonic's claims for the G6's AF system are borne out, as well as being fast and accurate it is better able to focus in low light and follow moving subjects than its predecessor. It only really struggles to find its target in very low lighting situations that would also trouble an entry- or enthusiast-level DSLR's phase detection AF system.

The AF Tracking mode still isn't able to keep up with subjects moving faster than walking pace. But if 1-Area AF and continuous AF mode is selected and you keep the active AF over the subject, the Panasonic G6 can focus the lens very quickly and keep up with fast moving subjects.

Panasonic G6 review

The Panasonic G6 might not be our first choice of camera for shooting sport, but it is certainly capable of doing so, and can produce some great results.

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