Panasonic G6 mini review from full frame user

Started Sep 7, 2013 | Discussions
Joachim Gerstl
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Panasonic G6 mini review from full frame user
Sep 7, 2013

Hi,

I tried out a Panasonic G6 I bought as a present for my mother in law ( no I really like her ). I liked it a lot that's why I wrote about my thoughts of it and how it compares to my Canon 6D or Fuji XP1.

Hope it helps those who are on the fence regarding this camera or buying into m43. Here is it:

http://www.littlebigtravelingcamera.com/?p=3600

regards

Joachim
http://www.littlebigtravelingcamera.com

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Hen3ry
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Re: Panasonic G6 mini review from full frame user
In reply to Joachim Gerstl, Sep 7, 2013

Joachim Gerstl wrote:

Hi,

I tried out a Panasonic G6 I bought as a present for my mother in law ( no I really like her ). I liked it a lot that's why I wrote about my thoughts of it and how it compares to my Canon 6D or Fuji XP1.

Hope it helps those who are on the fence regarding this camera or buying into m43. Here is it:

http://www.littlebigtravelingcamera.com/?p=3600

Joachim, many thanks. An excellent short review making the appropriate points succinctly and well.

I particularly like the way you approached the G6 as a camera -- something for taking pictures -- not as some sort of adversary you need to hammer into the ground!

I also particularly liked your picture of G6 in the hand -- it puts the size into perspective. People keep talking about it as though it is a big camera when I know from the specs it is actually as small (in the real world, with a lens on it) as my E-PL3 with EVF in place.

I'm out to get a G6 in a couple of months' time. I was going to buy it myself, but as a 71 year old with a couple of married daughters, you’ve inspired me to maybe approach my sons-in-law …

Cheers, geoff

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ThePhilips
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Re: Panasonic G6 mini review from full frame user
In reply to Joachim Gerstl, Sep 7, 2013

3. If you are not in close up or street photography there is still a strong point for more DOF: when taking pictures of kids or pictures of more people. With a full frame DSLR you need to stop down to make sure that all persons are in focus. It happened to me a couple of times that I shot at f2.8 just to find out that the second face is out of focus.

[...] A perfect sensor is of no use if the image is not in focus. [...]

*Nod*.

People routinely forget about this important difference: larger DOF also means less OOF shots. And even some OOFs are still good for web resolutions.

Many years ago I went with Oly 43 cams and the larger DOF was one of the major reason. Now, without much thought, I'm too buying into the m43.

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Manip16
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Re: Panasonic G6 mini review from full frame user
In reply to Joachim Gerstl, Sep 7, 2013

I think that was a well written, accurate, and overall worth reading review. Only small note I might have added is that using anything other than 4:3 on a 4:3 camera will cause IQ loss for obvious reasons.

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Joachim Gerstl
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Re: Panasonic G6 mini review from full frame user
In reply to Hen3ry, Sep 7, 2013

Thank you, Geoff. The camera is very small. It might look like a DSLR but it is small and light yet still very capable.

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Joachim Gerstl
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Re: Panasonic G6 mini review from full frame user
In reply to Manip16, Sep 7, 2013

Thank you. Maybe I'm stupid but why should I loose image quality when I use only part of the sensor?

I loose some resolution but otherwise there should be any penalty. Am I wrong?

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LudwigVB
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Re: Panasonic G6 mini review from full frame user
In reply to ThePhilips, Sep 8, 2013

ThePhilips wrote:

3. If you are not in close up or street photography there is still a strong point for more DOF: when taking pictures of kids or pictures of more people. With a full frame DSLR you need to stop down to make sure that all persons are in focus. It happened to me a couple of times that I shot at f2.8 just to find out that the second face is out of focus.

[...] A perfect sensor is of no use if the image is not in focus. [...]

*Nod*.

People routinely forget about this important difference: larger DOF also means less OOF shots. And even some OOFs are still good for web resolutions.

Many years ago I went with Oly 43 cams and the larger DOF was one of the major reason. Now, without much thought, II'm too buying into the m43.

I also see greater DoF as an advantage of M43. When I was using fim cameras, I generally required greater DoF for the pictures I took. I often used the DoF scale marked on the lens (as in the OM system lenses) for zone focussing, which served me well. That's something I miss with digital cameras that have AF.

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David 247
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Re: Panasonic G6 mini review from full frame user
In reply to Joachim Gerstl, Sep 8, 2013

A nice brief review and well balanced on all points.  Nice that you also provided a link to an in-depth technical review.

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cwathington
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Re: Panasonic G6 mini review from full frame user
In reply to Joachim Gerstl, Sep 8, 2013

Good review. Not sure I agree about the fast lenses part. I have the PL 25mm and the Oly 45mm. They are both great wide open.

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DElliott
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Re: Panasonic G6 mini review from full frame user
In reply to Joachim Gerstl, Sep 8, 2013

Joachim Gerstl wrote:

Thank you. Maybe I'm stupid but why should I loose image quality when I use only part of the sensor?

I loose some resolution but otherwise there should be any penalty. Am I wrong?

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Essentially it's just cropping the photo, and thus, like you say, reducing the available resolution.  But it won't impact image quality in any other way.

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Sean Nelson
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Re: Panasonic G6 mini review from full frame user
In reply to Joachim Gerstl, Sep 8, 2013

Joachim Gerstl wrote:

Thank you. Maybe I'm stupid but why should I loose image quality when I use only part of the sensor?

Of course, "image quality" is a very vague and nebulous term.   But in very general terms you loose "image quality" whenever you have to enlarge an image more than "usual", whether it's because you're starting from a smaller sensor, cropping, or displaying/printing the image at a large size.   The "IQ" loss is due to factors such as reduced resolution (the bigger the pixels are reproduced, the less sharp the result), extra noise (you loose the noise averaging effects that occur when you show the picture at a small scale and noise in adjacent pixels is averaged out), etc.

When you use only part of the sensor, you have a smaller diagonal to work with.   So if you show the results (on a monitor or via printing) at the same diagonal size as uncropped images, then you're having to enlarge a little bit more and hence, I assume, the claim of "IQ" loss.

Personally, though, I think the effect is pretty small, and it's totally dependent on the idea that you're going to reproduce the image at the same diagonal size.   I can easily imagine scenarios where that wouldn't be the case.

Still, the multi-aspect sensor used on the GH1 and GH2 eliminated the issue altogether, and it's a shame that it hasn't been a feature in the latest generation of cameras.

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Joachim Gerstl
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Re: Panasonic G6 mini review from full frame user
In reply to Sean Nelson, Sep 8, 2013

Thank you Sean and DElliot. It confirms what I thought.

I understand that the 4:3 ratio gave the name to the whole system but I'm wondering how many people really shoot at 4:3 today and why.

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Sergey_Green
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I thought so also ..
In reply to Sean Nelson, Sep 8, 2013

Sean Nelson wrote:

Joachim Gerstl wrote:

Thank you. Maybe I'm stupid but why should I loose image quality when I use only part of the sensor?

Of course, "image quality" is a very vague and nebulous term. But in very general terms you loose "image quality" whenever you have to enlarge an image more than "usual", whether it's because you're starting from a smaller sensor, cropping, or displaying/printing the image at a large size. The "IQ" loss is due to factors such as reduced resolution (the bigger the pixels are reproduced, the less sharp the result), extra noise (you loose the noise averaging effects that occur when you show the picture at a small scale and noise in adjacent pixels is averaged out), etc.

I think the size of the image depends on number of pixels, and not the medium it was recorded on. Larger pixels for the same count (and on a larger frame) however is a different story, and is usually seen quite early in the images.

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Sergey_Green
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So let's call the fact as an advantage ;) ..
In reply to ThePhilips, Sep 8, 2013

ThePhilips wrote:

3. If you are not in close up or street photography there is still a strong point for more DOF: when taking pictures of kids or pictures of more people. With a full frame DSLR you need to stop down to make sure that all persons are in focus. It happened to me a couple of times that I shot at f2.8 just to find out that the second face is out of focus.

[...] A perfect sensor is of no use if the image is not in focus. [...]

*Nod*.

People routinely forget about this important difference: larger DOF also means less OOF shots. And even some OOFs are still good for web resolutions.

Many years ago I went with Oly 43 cams and the larger DOF was one of the major reason. Now, without much thought, I'm too buying into the m43.

Because you simply do not have any other option, and you won't forget.

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Joachim Gerstl
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Re: Panasonic G6 mini review from full frame user
In reply to David 247, Sep 8, 2013

David 247 wrote:

A nice brief review and well balanced on all points. Nice that you also provided a link to an in-depth technical review.

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Thank you. I think Gordon's reviews are among the best. Very balanced and without the "the best camera ever buy now" ads.

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Trevor Carpenter
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Re: Panasonic G6 mini review from full frame user
In reply to Joachim Gerstl, Sep 8, 2013

Joachim Gerstl wrote:

Thank you Sean and DElliot. It confirms what I thought.

I understand that the 4:3 ratio gave the name to the whole system but I'm wondering how many people really shoot at 4:3 today and why.

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I shoot at 4:3 because I think it provides a much more attractive format than 3:2. In PP I sometimes crop to 16|:9 or 16:10. I never use 3:2. I have a 4:3 screen I may end up with a 16:9, I am never going to have 3:2 Surely 3:2 is the only format that will always give you black bits whatever screen you use. I think 3:2 is obsolete.

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Joachim Gerstl
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Re: Panasonic G6 mini review from full frame user
In reply to cwathington, Sep 8, 2013

cwathington wrote:

Good review. Not sure I agree about the fast lenses part. I have the PL 25mm and the Oly 45mm. They are both great wide open.

Thank you. I have to admit that I haven't tried one of the fast lenses but m43 compared to full frame means about 2 stops difference in DOF. Combined with a shorter focal length i.e. 45mm compared to 90mm DOF is even larger.

So the 1.8/45mm acts more like a 4/90mm lens on a full frame. Something that can be achieved with the slow standard lens. Which is not impressive for subject to background separation.

If you put a real fast lens like the 1.2/85 or the 1.4/85 on a full frame camera it is a completely different story.

If you want to have shallow DOF m43 is the wrong choice. If this is not important than it is a very good choice with lot's of good and compact lenses.

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mausta
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Re: Panasonic G6 mini review from full frame user
In reply to DElliott, Sep 8, 2013

GH1 and GH2 have multi aspect ratio sensors, no cropping.

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jwhphotos
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Re: Panasonic G6 mini review from full frame user
In reply to Joachim Gerstl, Sep 8, 2013

I do believe that the 43rds and m43rds are named for an old film size convention and not the ratio of the sensor.

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Kim Letkeman
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well ...
In reply to Joachim Gerstl, Sep 8, 2013

You pretty much lost me when you quoted the classic FF addict's lament ... with a 4/3" sensor it is hard to separate the subject from the background.

A nonsense statement without all sorts of qualifications ...

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