Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6 Review
In the last month, you may have noticed that Andy Kho and I were playing with a new DSLR that was not even launched in the Malaysian market.
In fact we were pretty impressed with its performance and we took it along with us in place of our usual cameras for a couple of outings –
and our little adventure with this cam culminated in the launch itself – https://timchew.net/2013/07/08/panasonic-lumix-g6-gf6-and-lf1/
Anyway before I go on to tell you about the camera, I think you better hear what celebrity photographer Andy Kho has to say about it first (BTW you can click on each pic to view the larger version):
Personally when it comes to a camera’s functionality and performance, I am very particular since I’m a professional photographer.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6 is small, lightweight and has great economic. Love the ergonomics of the G6. The shutter button is placed at the right angle of approximately 45 degrees, which in my perspective is the perfect angle for your thumb when you want to take selfies. Most cameras have an angle of less than 20 degrees so you can’t actually half-press the shutter button to focus before shooting. With the 45 angle, you can actually hold the camera firmly and it won’t slip off your hand (happened to me a few times with other small cameras). Love the flip LCD that lets you view yourself and I bet a lot of girls would love this too.
Focusing in such low light with speed and accuracy is something I look for in a camera that I want to bring with me to a party when I’m not working as a photographer. The flash works well with the multi-point metering mode. I’m glad Panasonic included two (2) very important features for the flash which is the option to use either 1st or 2nd curtain sync as well as the ability to control the flash EV. This is something I use all the time. Very important in night life photography and definitely a must have. The Auto White Balance (AWB) on the Lumix DMC-G6 has great improvement over the previous models too and the White Balance can be easily adjusted to suit the situation although I found that the AWB to be pretty accurate so I left it on AWB most of the time.
Using the G6 and the X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 is a perfect match. It’s AF speed, accuracy and sharpness amazed me. Thumbs up to you Panasonic for making that lens. It’s the number one lens on my micro 4/3 wish list.
LUMIX G (H-HS12035) X VARIO 12-35mm / F2.8 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S. Lens
- Nano Surface Coating technology for dramatic reduction of ghost and flare
- F2.8 brightness over the entire zoom range
- POWER O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) that suppresses large, slow movement 2x more effectively
- Capable of using under harsh conditions with its splash / dust proof design
- Outstandingly compact and light-weight among the lens with the same level of performance
Well that’s what a fully capable and skilled photographer can do with the Lumix G6. But what about the rest of us? (I stopped using DSLRs a couple of years back as I really preferred the mobility of compact/ micro 4/3 cameras) but at least I still remember how to use them.
So after Andy had his fill of the camera I took the Lumix G6 for a little test-drive and here’s what I shot.
I was shooting with the kit lens and rarely went full manual with the G6 because most of the time I was shooting on the go and didn’t have the time to adjust the settings so I was pretty much shooting using P or A or sometimes the scene modes. The ease of operation was something I liked and the quality of the photos is really quite astounding for a DSLR at that price (you can scroll to the bottom of this post for the price and different packages).
Here is more detailed info on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6:
16.05-Megapixel Digital Live MOS Sensor and New Venus Engine for Even Higher Picture Quality
The DMC-G6 integrates 16.05-megapixel Digital Live MOS which boasts high resolution and high sensitivity image recording with minimum noise. Panasonic adds its original pixel mix technology to the sensor to maximize the speed advantage native to the CMOS sensor. The current process is designed exclusively for the digital Live MOS sensor to minimize the noise generation. The fine wiring around the photodiode realizes high aperture ratio, which results in high resolution and excellent S/N ratio while high performance transistor encourages high speed signal processing.
The image processor Venus Engine is also newly developed to feature its advanced noise reduction systems. By extending the control level of noise, controllable area of noise is expanded by approx.64x in size. This makes it possible to remove large block of noise which was formally hard to detect and helps produce clear, smooth image especially for the nighttime scenery. In addition, the Multi-process NR (Noise Reduction) works in two separate steps allowing even finer control over noise level. The texture of noise itself, regardless of the noise size, is improved with this deliberate control, which is resulting in the reproduction of smooth human skin even in high sensitivity recording.
Furthermore, the optimum design of newly adopted Detail Reproduction Filter Process enhances the limit resolution by max. 3% and the contrast of middle to high range by max. 5%. Plus, the advanced Intelligent D-range Control offers wider dynamic range while maintaining the smooth gradation thanks to the high-precision signal processing. Suppressing both blocked shadows and blown highlights, every part of an image – from dark to bright – is faithfully reproduced.
The combination of the digital Live MOS Sensor and the Venus Engine achieves ISO3200 (Auto) and max. ISO 25600 (Extended). The Low Light AF in DMC-G6 gains higher performance in such as moonlight even without AF assist lamp to set focus on the subject more precisely.
High Speed Response with Advanced AF System for Fleeting Photo Opportunities
All cameras of LUMIX G adopt Contrast AF for its focus system. Compared with the Phase difference system AF, the Contrast AF boasts higher accuracy especially in shooting with bright lens with small F value. The DMC-G6 features high-speed Light Speed AF, making it possible to capture even the fast-moving subject clearly. Not only the accuracy but also the speed of AF in DMC-G6 surpasses the high-end DSLRs with Phase difference. 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 and max. 40 fps using an electronic shutter. Also, AF Tracking enables consecutive shooting to capture moving subject in sharp focus at 5 fps.
Combined with the Full-area Touch AF, it is possible to set focus on any point in the field of view which realizes quick and intuitive focusing operation with free frame composition. In addition, the newly adopted Touch AE (Auto Exposure) function allows setting focus and exposure at a single touch on the subject displayed on the monitor. With DMC-G6, it is selectable to set focus and/or exposure according to the shooting situation. For more practical control over focusing, the DMC-G6 incorporates Focus Peaking function that shows the peak of focus in MF and AF+MF mode.
The DMC-G6 incorporates high speed response desired for the digital single lens mirrorless camera, taking only approx. 0.5 sec* to get ready to shoot after startup. The control on DMC-G6 is smooth and easy with optimum layout of operation devices. The function lever allows direct adjustment of allotted function – zoom**, exposure or aperture*** control, which works for magnification in playback mode and page flip in menu. The compatibility with the UHS-I (Ultra High Speed I) SDXC/SDHC Memory Card allows faster data writing even in RAW recording mode.
*With H-FS1442A, based on the CIPA standard.
** When used with Power Zoom lenses H-PS14042 or H-PS45175.
*** In M (Manual) mode.
Highest Level in Class – Stunning Video Recording Performance Succeeded from the LUMIX G Flagship
All LUMIX G cameras, especially the DMC-GH3, are renowned for their capability of high quality video recording. The DMC-G6 records stunningly smooth, high-resolution full-HD 1,920 x 1,080 60p (60 Hz) / 50p (50 Hz) videos in AVCHD Progressive (MPEG-4 / H.264) format. The DMC-G6 also supports 1080/24p native mode with 24 Mbps in AVCHD format bringing impressive afterimage to the footage. In addition, the P/A/S/M mode also lets users enjoy professional-like expressive video recording. The full-HD 1,920 x 1,080 60p (60 Hz) / 50p (50 Hz) video can also be recorded in MP4 at 28 Mbps, to play it back directly on the PC or other portable electronic devices without a need of conversion.
In addition to the practical full-time AF, the Touch AF in video recording also lets users enjoy professional-like rack focusing. Just by pointing the subject, the focus is shifted to it and let it stand out to attract attention. The AF Tracking locks on the subject with focus even it moves.
High quality sound can be recorded with Dolby® Digital Stereo Creator. A Wind Cut function is also available to block out most of the noise from background wind. In addition to the built-in stereo microphone, the DMC-G6 is equipped with two 3.5mm terminals for external microphone to comply with serious sound recording. The Extra Tele Conversion function virtually extends the zoom range Max.4.8x without deterioration of image quality in smaller resolution.
The Time Lapse Shot automatically starts recording photos at time lapse sequence once the start time, interval and the number of pictures to shoot are set. The Stop Motion Animation function enables producing a stop motion (stop frame) video in camera with the pictures that are sequentially shot while moving the object by degrees. This effect makes the object appear as if it is moving by itself.
– Maximum time to record motion pictures continuously with [AVCHD] is 29 minutes 59 seconds in Europe and some Asian areas.
– Maximum time to record motion pictures continuously with [MP4] is 29 minutes 59 seconds or up to 4 GB.
– You can check the recordable time on the monitor. (For [FHD] in [MP4] format, the file size is large and so the recordable time will drop below 29 minutes 59 seconds.)
Easy Wireless Connectivity via Wi-Fi® / NFC with Smartphones
The DMC-G6 integrates Wi-Fi® connectivity (IEEE 802.11 b/g/n) with NFC (Near Field Communication) technology camera to offer more flexible shooting experience and instant image sharing with easy operation. All these flexible shooting / browsing / sharing style are made possible with the DMC-G6 and the Panasonic’s dedicated application software Panasonic Image App for iOS / Android smartphones/tablets.
Users can connect the camera with a smartphone/tablet by just bringing them together. What is new is that the setup is extremely easy and finishes within a few seconds, making it possible to pair the camera directly to the smartphone/tablet without connection procedure of information input for authorization.
Remote shooting of both photo and video* is available by using the smartphone/tablet for a remote shutter with a monitor which displayed live at smooth 30 fps. Not only releasing a shutter, zooming**, focusing and settings of shutter speed, aperture, exposure compensation are all controllable with a smartphone/tablet.
The Instant Transfer function allows the camera to transfer the photo data to the designated electronic devices automatically whenever shutter is released. In playback mode, users can also touch the image displayed on the camera to transfer it directly to the smartphone/tablet right on the spot. In addition, it is possible to tag the location information to the image by utilizing the GPS (Global Positioning System) log of a smartphone / tablet.
Archiving images becomes easy. DMC-G6 transfers the data to PC or other compliant electronic devices automatically via the wireless access point (router) at home. Also, with Panasonic’s exclusive cloud service “LUMIX CLUB”, DMC-G6 can automatically synchronize images via internet with the designated devices and web services like Facebook™, Flickr™, Picasa™, Twitter™ or YouTube™.
The Wi-Fi Direct™ function allows direct playback of images on the DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) – compliant VIERA HDTV***.
*For remote shooting of video, start/stop recording is available over smartphone/tablet control
**With LUMIX G Power Zoom Lens H-PS14042 or H-PS45175.
*** Using [Playback on TV] of the Wi-Fi function, you can display images on a TV that supports the Digital Media Renderer (DMR) function of the DLNA standard. Please check the following website about the compatible devices for details. http://panasonic.jp/support/global/cs/dsc/
New 1,440K-dot OLED LVF
The large, bright 1,440K-dot equivalent OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) LVF (Live View Finder) with approx.100% field of view in 3:2 aspect boasts excellent color reproduction and astonishingly high contrast at 10,000:1 for outstanding viewability. The display time lag is minimized dramatically compared with the predecessor DMC-G5. The image output between the LVF and the rear LCD is switched automatically with the eye sensor on the LVF, which features options of sensitivity – high, low and off – to reduce false operation during touching on the rear monitor.
New 3-inch Free-angle In-Cell Touch Monitor
The new 3-inch large, approx.1040K-dot high resolution monitor rotates 180° to the side and tilts 270° up and down boasting approx. 100% of field of view. The front panel is directly attached to the new In Cell Touch LCD without containing air layer in between. The result is that the reflection of external light is dramatically suppressed. Together with the increased resolution by approx.13% and improved color reproduction by approx.20%, the monitor for DMC-G6 secures higher visibility than ever. Plus, attenuation of transmitting backlight is minimized to achieve wide angle of view and by 25% of power saving.
The free-angle monitor with a touch-screen operation makes both monitoring and touching at any physical position. The touch-screen operation excels not only for shooting but also for playing back images with outstanding visibility. The Touch Pad function enables using both LVF and monitor simultaneously to encourage more intuitive shooting.
Creative Control / Creative Panorama
The popular Creative Control mode is upgraded by increasing its filter option from 14 (for DMC-G5) to 19 (for DMC-G6) adding new Old Days, Sunshine*, Bleach Bypass, Toy Pop, Fantasy in addition to the conventional Expressive, Retro, High Key, Sepia, High Dynamic, Soft Focus*, Dynamic Monochrome, Impressive Art, One Point Color, Cross Process, Low Key, Toy Effect and Star Filter* and Miniature Effect** mode. Effect parameter of each mode is also adjustable.
With the new Creative Panorama function, it is possible to shoot a horizontal / vertical panoramic image with consequent shots taken by overlaying the previous picture and to put on a filter effect of Creative Control***.
* For photo only
** Sound will not be recorded with [MINIATURE EFFECT] in Creative Control Mode and approximately 1/10 of the time period is recorded. (If you record for 10 minutes, the resulting motion picture recording will be approximately 1 minute long)
***Some filters of Creative Control cannot be used in Creative Panorama mode.
The Clear Retouch makes it is possible to erase unwanted objects or figures in an image by just tracing over them on LCD with a fingertip. They naturally disappear without destroying the image.
Advanced iA+ (Intelligent Auto Plus Mode) and Scene Guide for Beginners
For beginners of digital interchangeable lens system cameras, iA (Intelligent Auto) mode supports taking beautiful pictures with a variety of shooting-assist functions including AF Tracking, Intelligent D-range Control, Intelligent Scene Selector, Face Recognition and Intelligent ISO Control. The Intelligent Scene Selector now integrates Food Recognition mode. It detects food on the dish and captures it to look delicious. The iA Plus mode lets users adjust defocusing area in the background, exposure compensation and white balance for more flexible control.
The Scene Guide* offers 23 sample pictures shot by professional photographers. Users can choose the one closer to the situation they are going to shoot and optimum parameters for shooting the scene will be automatically set. Furthermore, shooting procedure, technical advice and recommended interchangeable lens for the scene can be shown for users to learn photography.
* Video recording using Scene Guide is not possible in some scenes.
Compact, Easy-to-use Design with a Variety of Color Selection
The DMC-G6 features compact, easy-to-use design integrating useful built-in flash(GN 10 ISO160･m / GN 8 ISO100･m).
Unlike other conventional big, heavy and black DSLRs, the DMC-G6 is available in black, white or silver to match the user’s preference.
G6K (14-42mm) = RM 2,699.00
G6X (14-42mm Power Zoom Lens) = RM3,299.00
G6W (14-42mm + 45-150mm) = RM3,499.00
More info on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6 at http://www.panasonic.com/my/consumer/cameras-camcorders.html or https://www.facebook.com/mypanasonic