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Panasonic G6 review

Same sensor as the G5, but more responsive

We liked the Panasonic G5 because as well as producing high quality images it has all the headline features that we want from a modern compact system camera: a good built-in electronic viewfinder, a vari-angle touchscreen, the ability to shoot raw and JPEG images when using the Creative Controls and a sensible control arrangement with some novel thinking.

While Panasonic hasn't done anything radical such as increasing the pixel count of the sensor, the Panasonic G6 has some good enhancements over the G5. The touchscreen, for example, is much more sensitive, which makes it faster and more inviting to use.

It seems strange that Panasonic has stepped back with the G6's Quick Menu, which unlike the G5's is not customisable.

We liked

Being able to compose images in either the viewfinder or on the LCD screen is something of a luxury with a compact system camera, and one that we really appreciate. The Panasonic G6's screen provides a nice clear view in all but the brightest light, but there are times when it just seems more natural to shoot with the camera held to your eye. It's also a more stable way of holding the camera, so the risk of camera shake is reduced.

Having a fully articulating screen is also a huge bonus, because it encourages you to shoot from more interesting angles. In these situations it's particularly helpful that the camera can be controlled via the touchscreen, even to the extent that the lens can be focused and the shutter fired with a touch of a finger on the screen.

We often complain about cameras only enabling us to shoot JPEG files when we want to use filter effects. Thankfully Panasonic enables raw files to be recorded at the same time when the Creative Control options are used. This means you can have a JPEG image with the effect applied and a clean raw file for normal processing.

We disliked

The 16 million pixel sensor in the Panasonic G6 has been around for a while now, and while we know that Panasonic likes to get value for money from its sensors, it would've been nice to have seen the pixel count rise to challenge the 24.3 million pixel offering of the Sony NEX-7.

It would also be nice if the Creative Control options could be used in the advanced exposure modes (aperture priority, shutter priority and manual) so there is control over the exposure.

Verdict

The Panasonic G6 feels like the most complete and well-rounded enthusiast-level Panasonic compact system camera to date. It may lack a few of the features and the rugged build of the Panasonic GH3, but it's also significantly smaller, making it a more attractive option to carry around with you.

It's also very capable, capturing high-quality images with plenty of sharp detail at the lower sensitivity settings. Image colour and exposure is also generally excellent.

Using the Wi-Fi connectivity isn't quite as slick an experience as we'd like, but the additional functionality is useful - and fun.

It is clear that the compact system camera is now stepping beyond the confines to which it has traditionally been assigned. The Panasonic G6's focusing system is fast and accurate in a range of conditions, and it is possible to shoot sport and action as well as take travel and landscape images.

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