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Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6 Hands-on Preview

April 2013 | By Barney Britton
Buy on GearShop$747.99


Preview based on a pre-production DMC-G6

Less than a year after releasing the G5, Panasonic is back with another mid-range G-series Micro Four Thirds interchangeable lens camera aimed at the upper entry-level DSLR/ILC market. The G6 sits above the recently-announced GF6 and below the GH3 in Panasonic's lineup and, although most of its key specifications are fairly familiar to anyone that's been watching the G-series for a while, the G6 does bring a couple of interesting new features, as well as some solid specification upgrades.

An interesting new feature is 'Clear Retouch', - a simple touch-based 'heal' tool. This function can be applied to captured images in review mode - you simply touch the area that you wish to clone-out and the camera attempts a context-aware fill, removing the offending object/blemish. We've only had a limited time with a pre-production camera, but we're not all that impressed by the feature's implementation. The 'healing' seems to be based on a highly simplistic proximity match, which we've found is more likely to insert bizarre, distracting textures than to effectively conceal unwanted scene elements.

More usefully, the G6 joins the GF6 in offering Near Field Communcation (NFC). NFC is a very short-range means of exchanging data that allows the camera to share details of its Wi-Fi connection with compatible smartphones or tablets through simply touching them against one another. The list of compatible devices includes many recent Android devices, though Apple has yet to embrace the technology.

Panasonic G6 specification highlights

  • 16MP Live MOS sensor
  • ISO 160-12,800 (extendable up to 25,600)
  • 3.0", 1.04 million dot capacative LCD
  • 1.44 million dot OLED electronic viewfinder with eye sensor
  • Full AVCHD 1080/60p video with full manual control (and 2.4X digital teleconverter option)
  • 3.5mm external mic socket
  • 7 frames per second continuous shooting, 5 fps with AF-tracking
  • 23 Scene modes including 'Cute Dessert' and 'Sweet Child's Face'
  • iAuto mode can automatically detect when to use 9 scene modes
  • 'Clear Retouch' touch gesture-based heal tool

In terms of core photographic features, the G6 offers a solid set of specifications, including the same sensor as the once range-topping GH2, albeit without that model's multi-aspect feature. Maximum effective resolution is 16MP effective, from 18MP (total pixels). Panasonic claims that the G6 offers superior image processing though, including improved noise reduction enabling it to achieve a maximum native ISO sensitivity of 12,800, extendable up to ISO 25,600.

Like its predecessors, the G6 has a built-in electronic viewfinder, an OLED unit no less, boasting 1.44 million dots (800 x 600 resolution). We're not sorry to say goodbye to the older field-sequential technology, with its associated issues with rainbow 'tearing' (issues that are not unique to Panasonic). Panasonic claims that the G6's finder is three times more responsive than that of the G5, too, and our first impressions are certainly very encouraging.

Of course, there's more than one way to compose your image, and the G6's fully-articulated rear display offers 1.04 million dot resolution. This is essentially a slightly wider, 3:2 aspect ratio screen, rather than the G5's 4:3 panel. As we'd expect from recent Panasonic G-series cameras it's also touch-sensitive though it now uses a capacative system that offers multi-touch control and should be more responsive than the pressure-senstive example that came before it. That said, as usual for mid-range and high-end G-series cameras, the G6 still has plenty of 'hard' control points for photographers that prefer a more traditional ergonomics.

NFC-simplified Wi-Fi connection

Connecting the G6 to a an NFC-equipped smartphone is as simple as starting the Panasonic Image App, pressing the Wi-Fi button on the camera and tapping the two devices together. NFC works over such short distances it may take a couple of attempts to locate the antenna on your smart device, but once located, it's all pretty simple.

If your device doesn't have NFC, the process involves manually selecting the right Wi-Fi connection in your phone's settings, then typing in a fairly long password (as is the case with most Wi-Fi cameras). Once you've paired your devices, the camera will remember the connection to speed up the process in future.

The Panasonic Image App on iOS gives a live view image and allows you to set the focus point, take the exposure or control the zoom if you're using a power zoom lens. The equivalent app for Android also gives the option to control manual focus. Panasonic says the apps will also give the ability to control exposure parameters (as is the case with the Lumix Link app for the GH3).
 
Both apps also allow you to view the contents of the camera's memory card and transfer images (at various sizes) across to the 'phone.  

The Panasonic Image App gives a pretty good level of control over the camera - allowing the user to position the camera's focus point, control a power zoom lens and the ability to control exposure (though this didn't appear to be available when we tried the currently-available version of the app). Once a shot is taken, it can be uploaded across to your smartphone - either at full or reduced resolution.

In addition to smartphone connections, the G6 allows you to create an account on Panasonic's Lumix Club cloud service. With this established, you can send images up to Lumix Club by connecting to a local Wi-Fi router, with the option that they are then posted on to various popular social networks, via Lumix Club. Alternatively, if you're connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your computer, you can get the camera to push all your images across to your computer as you shoot.

An advantage of using the GH2's sensor is that the G6 is able to offer more comprehensive video functions than the G5. It gains a socket for attaching an external mic as well as gaining full PASM exposure control over its movie capture. The G6 can capture movies in 1080 60p/60i/30PsF and 24p in AVCHD mode, along with 60p and 30p video in MP4 format (Cameras bought in PAL regions get the same combinations but with 50 and 25 frames per second).

Compared to its peers:

The Panasonic G6 and Olympus' flagship Micro Four Thirds camera, the OM-D, have similar dimensions but the retro-styled Olympus looks considerably skinnier and more angular. The G6's generous grip is very obvious in this view - the OM-D is not uncomfortable to use, but the G6's sculpted handgrip gives a really secure hold.
Despite the different approaches to body design the control and button layout of the two cameras is not too dissimilar, with a four-way controller and a few buttons located to the right of the screen and a screen that can be flipped out and tilted. However, the Olympus features two control dials, while the less-expensive G6 only has one - a slightly 'plasticky' small dial on the upper right of the camera's rear.
The G6's general size and layoput are very similar to the its predecessor the G5, but the higher 'shoulders' of the new model are very obvious in this view.

On the back, there are few significant changes - the G6 features five customizable 'Fn' buttons, but has only one extra control point - a button for activating the camera's Wi-Fi mode at the extreme lower-right of the rear control cluster.


If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

Images which can be viewed at a larger size have a small magnifying glass icon in the bottom right corner of the image, clicking on the image will display a larger (typically VGA) image in a new window.

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DPReview calibrate their monitors using Color Vision OptiCal at the (fairly well accepted) PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the (computer generated) grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally A,B and C.

This article is Copyright 2013 and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author.

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Comments

Total comments: 199
12
JoeAstro
By JoeAstro (8 months ago)

Hi guys,
Been eye-ing the G6 since its announcement. One thing I haven't seen is if Astrophotographers have used the G6 at all and how it performs. I've seen T-adapters for it to use in telescopes but no review whatsoever. I hope it's sensitive enough for AstroImaging.

0 upvotes
John Miles
By John Miles (10 months ago)

FZ50 Rated (-3) http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/52339583

As yet Panasonic does not produce a single lens encompassing the focal range of 35 to 420mm equiv. Several APS-C cameras achieve this from a number of manufacturers.

The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-150mm 1:4-5.6 lens gets the closest, but the question of effective IS arrises.

0 upvotes
MarcusGR
By MarcusGR (10 months ago)

Rx100: 1" sensor, EVF= NO, 3.8x zoom, F= 1.8-4.9, 280 grams
Rx10: 1'' sensor, EVF= YES, 8x zoom, F=2.8 810 grams (!!!)
"Rx50": 1" sensor, EVF = YES, 5x zoom, F=2.8 500 grams

Question: why not produce an all-round camera, integrating an EVF and a fast, reasonable zoom, which you can REALLY carry all-round around your neck all-day ?? I mean, without feeling like swearing or growling all the time ...??

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
JerryFn
By JerryFn (Jul 25, 2013)

Agghh no gps! I really use that feature!

1 upvote
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Jul 25, 2013)

this is such an enormous camera for an MFT...
why not just get an APSC mirrorless for a lower price? (ie: NX20) or within the same price range (Sony NEX whatever)

what is the advantage of this camera? video shooting? I suspect that may be the NX20's weakness, if video is important to you.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
LucidStrike
By LucidStrike (Aug 27, 2013)

Yes, Panasonic's core strength in this arena is video. That's old news since the GH1, and it's strange that people still act as if shooting video is some minor niche.

At any rate, it's still a rather small camera, and MFT lenses are still significantly smaller than APSC lenses, so...Clearly, the total package of G6+lens is much smaller and lighter than APSC+lens. =/

3 upvotes
Sal Mineo
By Sal Mineo (Aug 30, 2013)

I would not consider a camera that does not have a fully articulating LCD screen.

2 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (11 months ago)

"why not just get an APSC mirrorless for a lower price? (ie: NX20)"

NX20 is not any better in image quality, has poor VF, slow AF, slow writing speed, and the lenses are few and large.

1 upvote
arbuz
By arbuz (8 months ago)

and the sun is orbiting earth.

0 upvotes
Reggie Garg
By Reggie Garg (Jul 21, 2013)

Wonder why Panasonic does not mount the Leica 2.8 on such a camera! If it fits into a $500 FZ 200, cost wise, it would make a great package at < $1000 with a 4/3" or another>1" sensor. That should cure the IQ gripe once and for all.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Przemyslaw
By Przemyslaw (Jul 21, 2013)

I think this would be too easy for us - customers.
They spent too much money for producing so many lens and having just one lens with light 2.8 and range from 25 to 600 is not a good option for having a daily business with consumer world...

0 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Jul 25, 2013)

are you kidding? the fz200 has a cheap lousy TINY sensor, that is about 1/4 the size of an MFT sensor, requiring a much smaller lens, that costs way less to manufacture.

another thing, don't forget that you would be losing out on sharpness and contrast in big parts of the zoom range - most likely at longest (tele) and often on wide as well. sure, it would be practical, but soon you'll be wondering why your pictures aren't as good as you'd like them to be.

a superzoom doesn't do justice to the larger sensor, so it would defeat the purpose. not to mention higher costs given the larger lens required.

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Northgrove
By Northgrove (11 months ago)

They don't fit that lens onto this one because it would get enormous. The FZ200 has a much smaller and crappier sensor in order to manage such a long zoom with such an aperture.

0 upvotes
MacGyverForPresident
By MacGyverForPresident (Jul 15, 2013)

at when the review??

0 upvotes
Luminar
By Luminar (Jul 3, 2013)

i think this is the one im looking for, question, is it interchangeable-lens??????? ???????????

1 upvote
inorogNL
By inorogNL (Jul 4, 2013)

it is, and it is the one I am looking for just as well ( just ordered one for my little brother)

0 upvotes
f64manray
By f64manray (Jun 20, 2013)

Is there a headphone jack ?!! I can't believe there isn't a headphone jack.

1 upvote
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Jul 25, 2013)

LOL

1 upvote
Artpt
By Artpt (May 24, 2013)

http://www.imaging-resource.com/IMCOMP/COMPS01.HTM

There are some sample images to review for the G6.....perhaps a useful comparison.

1 upvote
Timmbits
By Timmbits (May 28, 2013)

for some reason that link isn't resolving...
Main G6 link http://www.imaging-resource.com/news/2013/05/24/panasonic-g6-and-gf6-first-shots-posted-pixel-peep-test-images-new-CSCs
Test images http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/panasonic-g6/panasonic-g6A7.HTM

0 upvotes
Ed Gill
By Ed Gill (May 20, 2013)

First, my thanks to DP Review for it's service to the photo community. The information is essential to making informed perchase decisions. Still wish Panasonic would address the lame flash systems in the G cameras. Oly has really put effort in advancing their flash capabilities but Panasonic seams to ignore this essential component. Of couse they could always come out with a Leaf shutter portrait lens, 1/500 synch should be easy with the small diameter shutter for 4/3. So much potential, for wildlife, travel, portrait - sigh. No serious long lenses, badly overpriced primes, no real macro, no alternate power sources, oh well.

1 upvote
jimkh
By jimkh (May 17, 2013)

I tried asking this in the micro 4 thirds forum but got no answer --Is the G6 battery, BLC-12, compatible with the one used in the G5, GH2, Fz200, the BLB-12?

Jim

0 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (May 17, 2013)

Image stabilization: "unknown" ??

1 upvote
FrankS009
By FrankS009 (May 16, 2013)

I also want to express my appreciation of the reviewer and of DP reviews. I didn't like much what seemed to be a cavalier attitude towards the G6, but there are also more reasoned things in the review and in other reviews by the same author.

0 upvotes
Artpt
By Artpt (May 13, 2013)

I appreciate all your DP Reviews. The Full Reviews are comprehensive and a wealth of information to read. However, some of the Preview's don't go forward into Full Reviews for various reasons.

Would there be a possibility of incorporating the ISO test widget for peviewed cameras (that a production ready of course), perhaps sacrificing time from the initial impression paragraphs? The specs are needed, and I think the ISO image quality shots would be welcome by most enthusiasts.

Thank you.

0 upvotes
Mike C
By Mike C (May 10, 2013)

So, is the 16MP GX1 Sensor based on the GH2 or is it newer technology that could have been used in the G6? Thank you

0 upvotes
FrankS009
By FrankS009 (May 10, 2013)

Read the introduction again, and found it even more condescending than I had before. I am interested in just how good the NR is and how improved its RAW output relative to the G5 and both EM5 and GH3. Yes I know the sensors of the latter two are the latest m4/3rds ones, but lets see how the G6 actually performs. This may be an important camera for a lot of people, in spite of the snobism of these reviewers.

3 upvotes
Vadimka
By Vadimka (May 10, 2013)

I generally don't like slr styled cameras, but this one somehow really tickles my fancy. And size is pretty good, cause gh3 was way too large. Lets see what EP5 will look like, not big fan of EM5 style.

2 upvotes
Vitruvius
By Vitruvius (May 9, 2013)

Weakest link relative to Oly OM-D E-M5 is the lack if IBIS. Weakest link of the E-M5 relative to the G6 is the video.

0 upvotes
Fois Giovanni
By Fois Giovanni (Jul 22, 2013)

The PANASONIC / LEICA opted for OIS for allowing a faster response to movements, prospectic correction to the angular change and ability to get closer to the sensor with the lens giving more freedom to the designers of the optical assembly. The disadvantage is that each of OIS lens must have one, thus more expensive, and the rotational motion of the lens axis (Z-axis, perpendicular to the sensor) is not corrected, although this movement is very limited in practice. The IBIS allows cheapen the objective and make the correction of the rotational motion on the axis ("Z") of the lens (including correct the horizon angle) but does not address the prospectic variation due to angular changes in the X and Y axes of the sensor. I believe that the sensor will not move as effective as moving a small block of lenses when it comes to compensate for high frequency instability. I also think that in terms of durability is better shake a small block of lenses than the sensor with its flat cables.

0 upvotes
Apostolos vakirtzis
By Apostolos vakirtzis (May 5, 2013)

I am interested in buying this nice camera.does anyone know when it is going to be available?what about a full review of the camera?

0 upvotes
The Jacal
By The Jacal (May 8, 2013)

The end of June, I think. It's on the Panny German website.

2 upvotes
Jon Ragnarsson
By Jon Ragnarsson (Apr 30, 2013)

With the raised shoulders, it looks a bit like S2 little brother. I never cared much for the look of the Panasonic G/GH cameras, but I think this is an improvement. Has less "designed by committee" feel to it.

7 upvotes
Hen3ry
By Hen3ry (Apr 30, 2013)

I like the earlier Gs, but the G6 shape is growing on me. :)

Cheers, geoff

0 upvotes
flipmac
By flipmac (Apr 30, 2013)

This or the T5i? I mean, both have articulated touchscreens but this one has WiFi built-in, does 1080p60 and is cheaper. Wonder if IQ is similar.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Apr 30, 2013)

It is similar. Almost the same DxOMark scores in every category (if it is the same as G5 as it probably is).
Default Canon JPEGs are probably a little warmer, but it is just a little adjustment away either way. Also, with G6 you can use viewfinder with video (and effects preview etc), it is smaller and lighter, and shoots faster it needed. With the new 14-140 must be a great travel camera.

1 upvote
chrisnfolsom
By chrisnfolsom (May 28, 2013)

It would be interesting to see a size comparison - with lenses. If the size difference isn't a decider I would assume the lens choice would make quite a difference.

I would like to see comparisons of actual "kits" - not just base kits, but the body, and good lenses as a total cost/solution, or a few alternates which would talk about quality and application trade-offs- light, zoom, portrait, sports and such. Great information as always.

0 upvotes
FrankS009
By FrankS009 (Apr 28, 2013)

Kit lens or lenses?

F.

0 upvotes
MacGyverForPresident
By MacGyverForPresident (Apr 27, 2013)

In my opinion Lumix G6 was born from the work of Vitaliy Kiselev, hired as partner by panasonic, on the Lumix GH2

0 upvotes
LucidStrike
By LucidStrike (Aug 9, 2013)

...How can you have a subjective "opinion" on a factual mater? More of a guess or an assessment really.

Also, I doubt Vitaly would have let the stock bitrates be so low if he had any say.

Comment edited 19 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
rladd
By rladd (Apr 26, 2013)

A Question:

The G6 uses the same sensor as the G5 and the GH2, right? Panasonic's press release says "the new Venus Engine is attains high-performance signal processing with the advanced noise reduction system." I'm wondering to what extent image quality can be enhanced without changing the sensor. Any thoughts?

I love the G5; it handles great and produces great images but at about ISO 1600 noise starts to become an issue. If the G6 produces a one-stop equivalent advantage over the G5 in terms of noise I will definitely buy it.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
ARTASHES
By ARTASHES (Apr 27, 2013)

I think it's mainly about jpeg processing

2 upvotes
RDMPhotos
By RDMPhotos (Apr 28, 2013)

They do say its the same Sensor as the GH2 but I does not have the true use of the Multi-aspect ratio

1 upvote
igorek7
By igorek7 (Apr 25, 2013)

Panasonic G5 was already a serious upgrade for the G-series of cameras, GH3 became the true semi-/pro-hybrid camera, but the G6 offers a few new features that even the GH3 doesn't (yet) have:
* Focus Peaking that shows the peak of focus in MF and AF+MF mode
* EV -3 - 18 (ISO100 equivalent) AF Detective Range,
* 1080p@60fps video in Extra Tele Conversion (ETC) mode (the GH3 tops out at 1080@30P in ETC),
* 7 fps @16Mpix&AFSingle, 5 fps @16Mpix&AFTracking and 40fps burst mode (versus 6fps@AFS and 20fps in GH3),
* 1,728-zone multi-pattern light metering system (versus 144-zone in GH3),
* Stop Motion Video, Sweep Panorama
* 1,036K dots TFT LCD screen (versus 614K dots OLED LCD in GH3)
* Adjustable HDR mode. While the Panasonic G5/GH3 have an in-camera HDR mode, there is only an On or Off setting with no scope to tone down the effect.
* NFC +better Wi-Fi: The G6 have wireless recording function with start/stop recording and 30fps video stream feed to tablet/smartphone.

2 upvotes
Hen3ry
By Hen3ry (Apr 30, 2013)

I'm not into the video stuff myself, but I know people who will go berserk over it. They'll LOVE it. I am looking at the G6 as a remarkably fully specced stills camera. It looks great. Th only doubt I had was that the E-P5 might eclipse it -- but no, the E-P5 hasn’t got an EVF. Same old add-on but now they have added a lock after years of complaints.

And it STILL obviously hasn’t got anything like the ergonomics of the G6 (or the G1 if it comes to that).

"Outdated sensor"? UPDATED sensor is what I see.

Cheers, geoff

4 upvotes
Ivan Lietaert
By Ivan Lietaert (May 6, 2013)

I too am very impressed by these specs. The GH3 has a stronger body, but the G6, at this price, is a very powerful tool indeed. Love the video specs, by the way!

0 upvotes
snapshtr
By snapshtr (Apr 25, 2013)

At first I was skeptical about Panasonic being able to squeeze more out of the outdated sensor. But from the sample photos I've seen at ePhotozine.com, the images look really impressive, clean and sharp, with loads of detail. Unfortunately, they also appear dull and flat. Hopefully that can be fixed with simple adjustments in LR.

1 upvote
agentul
By agentul (Apr 25, 2013)

the new 14-42 lens might have something to do with the sharpness.

0 upvotes
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Apr 25, 2013)

Panasonic has always had poor colors out of camera compared to, say, Olympus. (I've shot both extensively.) The default white balance is "not warm" to say the least, and contrast is not good. But if you work with them a little bit, you get some great images.

2 upvotes
Vlad S
By Vlad S (Apr 25, 2013)

Even better, typically on Panasonics adjustments in the camera are sufficient for very good OOC JPEGs. Set it and forget it.

0 upvotes
Hen3ry
By Hen3ry (Apr 30, 2013)

I have to ay I abandoned the G1 for the E-PL3 to get superior JPEG colors OOC. The sample pix I saw from the G5 were close enough to the Oly pix to encourage me to return from the Oly which is an ergonomic disaster area but I wasn't ready to change over.

I'll be in a position to change cameras in the next few months; the G6 is looking very much like the way to go.

Cheers, geoff

1 upvote
1MPXL
By 1MPXL (Apr 25, 2013)

GH2 is a very impressive camera 101% on video and 80% on stills. But this was years ago. The G6 have a beautiful exterior but an aged heart [sensor] yes, you will get great photos from it but it will never come close in the present sensor technology. Panasonic makes great lenses its a given fact that the sensors should evolve not only to compete but to satisfy consumers/users alike. I want it but with the prices of GH2 today - still GH2 is the better choice to get instead of G6. This action not only killed the G5 sales but also push MFT shooters to go jump ship. This is an unfortunate reality.

0 upvotes
agentul
By agentul (Apr 25, 2013)

because someone who has invested a few thousand dollars in the system will suddenly abandon it just because this particular camera doesn't have the latest sensor? are you a "financial analyst"?

4 upvotes
Steve_
By Steve_ (Apr 25, 2013)

The G5, whether you fancy it the greatest or worst camera of all time, was consigned to the bargain bin by its unexciting sensor choice - at a time when that decision made a lot more sense than choosing the same sensor now. Panasonic obviously learned nothing from this course of events.

I've used the G5, and although there are many things to like about it there is no way I would settle for its sensor at even half the price of an OMD. Once you grab the highlight slider in LR and bring back a perfectly blue sky out of apparent nothingness you can't go back. Consumers tend to see things from their perspective, not in terms of the easiest or most corporately defensible choice for the manufacturer. They see how affordable the E-PM2 and deduce that its superior sensor carries no particularly pronounced price premium. And they want the same in their new G6, if they were going to spend their hard-earned money on one.

Excuses just don't cut it in a competitive market.

2 upvotes
jim stirling
By jim stirling (Apr 25, 2013)

The difference in reality { as ,opposed to in the heads of some optimistic Olympus users }between the E-M5 and the G5 boils down to .7 of a stop DR and approx 0.3 of a stop ISO .Which while no doubt beneficial in specific scenarios is in most shooting situations pretty insignificant. If you want to get a really substantial gain in sensor output then you really need to move up in sensor size.
http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Cameras/Compare-Camera-Sensors/Compare-cameras-side-by-side/%28appareil1%29/816|0/%28brand%29/Panasonic/%28appareil2%29/793|0/%28brand2%29/Olympus/%28appareil3%29/814|0/%28brand3%29/Nikon
The E-PM2 as with other Pens is feature limited with poor ergonomics , an expensive external EVF to bring it in-line with a G series camera , nor does it even have an articulating screen and it comes with a stupid clip-on flash. I would take a G6 or G5 for that matter over any Pen model. Even with the E-M5 the only significant advantage is the excellent 5-AXIS IBIS,

5 upvotes
Steve_
By Steve_ (Apr 25, 2013)

Jim,

As I have both a G5 and an OMD in the house, perhaps you'll spare me your definition of what the difference 'actually' is. I've shot the cameras; I know. A lifetime of DXOMark study will not ever illustrate the 'actual' difference. And like most serious m43 shooters, I came from cameras with larger sensors, and having done so have a much better idea of the affect of sensor size than most.

You've also taken my point about the E-PM2 totally out of context. I did not say it is a better or worse camera than the G6, only that the appearance of the Sony sensor in such a budget-conscious product reveals that it could also have appeared in the G6 without breaking the bank. If your D800 had a recycled two-generation old sensor I really doubt you would have invested, and I don't view the G6 any differently.

5 upvotes
LucidStrike
By LucidStrike (Aug 9, 2013)

The GH3 has a Sony sensor, and it has better DR and ISO performance, but it also has way more moire. I'd prefer less moire, so I'm glad that kept their in-house sensor, as they apparently know how to avoid moire better than Sony does.

Comment edited 27 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Xellz
By Xellz (Apr 24, 2013)

Not that difficult, at least when camera is used regularly. And don't really need to change them all the time too, customize it once to fit your needs, easy to remember this way.

0 upvotes
Mark Schormann
By Mark Schormann (Apr 24, 2013)

An impressive 5 Fn buttons? Aargh! These things are more a curse than a blessing. Who can honestly remember which function was allocated to which button? And what you changed it to last?
I would be much more impressed with less Fn buttons - just put the things that are needed onto well marked buttons and the rest of the stuff into the menus. An Fn button is effectively just a badly marked button IMHO.

8 upvotes
cnit
By cnit (Apr 24, 2013)

Totally agree. Less Fn buttons more dedicated (and as you say well marked) buttons like on the L1 or the XE-1.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Apr 24, 2013)

The G6 has all the necessary dedicated buttons, and the four of the the FN buttons on the it do double duty with other actions like WiFi, Trash, QMenu, AE Lock.

Comment edited 12 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Ken Yull
By Ken Yull (Apr 24, 2013)

Well I like being able to set a button for changing shutter to silent or back. If you don't appreciate Fn buttons just stay with the default settings.

3 upvotes
Steve_
By Steve_ (Apr 25, 2013)

I think less customization would be needed if a little common sense entered the determination of the default controls for most modern cameras.

To whit - only Pentax can figure out that in the digital age there is no reason to maintain ISO as a secondary function. What I mean here is that although you might be able to assign ISO to any of those 5 buttons, you have the aperture or shutter (and exposure compensation... argh!) as choices for the dials. Why do you always want to have to press a button before adjusting ISO? Why is changing ISO any less likely than changing aperture or shutter speed? Well, it is if you are stuck in film-think...

It's really frustrating how vital they deem exposure compensation to be. You must burn one of the two dial functions on it, even though there 8 other ways to invoke this function, including the otherwise useless rocker switch by the shutter. Why have all those other methods if you aren't going to let the user re-purpose the dial function?

2 upvotes
Tonio Loewald
By Tonio Loewald (May 10, 2013)

Panasonic has simply labeled four buttons as both fixed function and function buttons. I for one find it hard to remember that my AE-lock button is actually something else, so this makes sense.

1 upvote
LucidStrike
By LucidStrike (Aug 9, 2013)

I don't change the functions often...and my memory isn't failing. >_>'

0 upvotes
snegron2
By snegron2 (Apr 24, 2013)

The body style resembles the old Leica R8/R9. I wonder if Panasonic was going for that look intentionally?

4 upvotes
madmaxmedia
By madmaxmedia (Apr 24, 2013)

I like it! Even if they didn't start with that purpose in mind, I'm sure they realized it at one point and may have deliberately moved in that direction. I think the Leica R8/9 look great.

1 upvote
agentul
By agentul (Apr 25, 2013)

search on the internet for the following: "Panasonic FZ-150 Leica V-LUX 3".

enraged, brethren?

0 upvotes
ssh33
By ssh33 (Apr 24, 2013)

GH2 with better EVF/screen, 60fps and focus peaking? Great deal!

There are better "photo" cameras for the money but this is a very nice piece of equipment for video at a very competitive price.

To all those knocking the form factor - pick any other camera that matches your fancypants. I love the utilitarian ergonomics so do many others.

2 upvotes
zenpmd
By zenpmd (Apr 24, 2013)

So which sensor will the GH2 have? The GH3/OMD one?

0 upvotes
Kim Letkeman
By Kim Letkeman (Apr 24, 2013)

The comment "An advantage of using the GH2's sensor is that the G6 is able to offer more comprehensive video functions than the G5." strikes me as peculiar. The G5 has the same sensor as the GH2 and G6 and the difference in feature sets was a choice Panasonic made, not some inherent difference in the sensor.

Otherwise, the G6 looks terrific. The real GH2 replacement (although the G5 remains a heck of a value and a good replacement for stills and some video.) Also it is the real poor man's GH3. Considering that the practical difference in RAW between all the 16mp m4/3 sensors is minimal, this is looking like a lot of camera for the money.

2 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Apr 24, 2013)

I've been using an E-PL5 for the past few week and I have a GH2, and disagree. "The practical difference in RAW between all the 16mp m4/3 sensors" is fairly significant in terms of DR and color depth. The difference is just not as great as DPR has lead people to believe when they wrote "for most people to get better IQ than the OMD they'd have to go to FF". This is simply not true. All you need to do is work with files from the D7000, D7100, D5200 or K5 to get better than files from the Olympus cameras. Richer colors, better DR, DOF control, cleaner at base ISO and high ISO.

But I do agree that sites like DxOMark have confused some into thinking that for general shooting there is a huge difference between the Panasonic and Olympus m43 cameras in terms of overall IQ. There are some differences, but files side by side they are not as dramatic as some would have you believe with all this talk of sensors.

6 upvotes
maxnimo
By maxnimo (Apr 24, 2013)

I absolutely love the idea of "very short-range means of exchanging data". Excellent! No more damn cables to mess with and misplace.

1 upvote
wkay
By wkay (Apr 24, 2013)

afraid to take a picture with it? not looking to buy bells and whistles.

0 upvotes
Zuzullo
By Zuzullo (Apr 24, 2013)

Time lapse?

1 upvote
kaiser soze
By kaiser soze (Apr 24, 2013)

With this camera and the other larger MFT cameras that Panasonic makes, it is obvious that the body is large in relation to the lens. It is further obvious that the reason is that for these cameras, the body needs to be larger in order to allow a useful quantity of physical controls. This is all very obvious. There can be no argument on these points. There can be no question that this camera could just as easily take advantage of an APS-C sensor, and not even the lens would be larger, because similar lenses that Sony makes for NEX are not any larger. None of this is in any way deniable. Furthermore, when the various size differences are all considered, it seems apparent that if Sony were to make a mirrorless camera with FF sensor, it would be about the size of this camera, albeit with a somewhat larger lens. (The lens would not be nearly as large as a lens for FF with mirror.)

1 upvote
DaveMarx
By DaveMarx (Apr 24, 2013)

And the point? You want Panasonic to abandon MFT? You'd prefer Sony to make the camera of your dreams?

Alternate hypothesis: Body is larger because market research shows that larger camera bodies are taken more seriously by the target audience (let's face it, Nikon and Canon's FF bodies are a tad bit larger than their FF film bodies ever were).

I don't quite get why Sony could or would make a FF body of this size, yet no other maker does. Faith that Sony can miniaturize better than anyone else? Physics is physics. Larger sensor requires larger glass. Could they build a really small box to put on the back of that larger lens? Yes, but I think we'd hear a whole lot about bad balance (the heavier the glass, the more leverage is needed to keep it level, hence a larger grip), and, yes, silly appearance.

0 upvotes
kaiser soze
By kaiser soze (Apr 24, 2013)

The point is self-evident. A camera this size and with this size lens will be a better camera if it uses a larger sensor. The point is not for Panasonic to abandon MFT. The point is that for this size camera, the MFT sensor is smaller than is ideal. I am only really pointing what is obvious, but it has to be pointed out, because few people are saying it, and some people are trying to argue that it is not true. It obviously is true. For smaller, genuinely compact cameras, the MFT sensor makes perfect sense. But with every camera, the size of the sensor needs to be a good match to the size of the camera. You alternate hypothesis is moot, i.e., if the camera body is larger for reason A rather than reason B (and reason A and reason B being so closely coupled as to be nearly indistinct), the pertinent fact is still that the camera body is large relative to the sensor.

2 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Apr 24, 2013)

the 4/3" is okay, not too bad.

what they need is f/1.4 zooms and f/0.x primes that can do the same work as f/2.8 zooms and f/1.x primes on 35mm format.

reasonable f/2.0 zooms and f/1.4 primes for entry level users.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 37 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
kaiser soze
By kaiser soze (Apr 24, 2013)

Arrgh. DaveMarx, as to your other point - You say that you don't get why Sony could do that "no other maker does", and talk about "physics is physics", etc. Well, comments of that sort are silly. OBVIOUSLY, the reason would only have to do with the manufacturer's demonstrated capability. You apparently have not bothered to compare the size of Sony's NEX lenses to the MFT lenses. One of the invalid assumptions that some people are evidently making is that a mirrorless FF camera would use the same size lenses as existing FF cameras with mirrors. This is wrong. When the lens moves closer to the sensor, it also gets smaller in diameter. Take the NEX-7, scale the lens diameter up by a factor less than 50%, and ditto for camera height. Why is it so difficult to visualize this being done, and how is it not obvious that the resulting camera body would be no larger than this? The lens itself would be larger in diameter than this lens, but by less than 50%. Not all of the diameter is optics.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Apr 24, 2013)

> because market research shows that larger camera bodies are taken more seriously by the target audience

good point, they have to compete in (large) size because they cannot compete in quality or price performance.

0 upvotes
dbateman
By dbateman (Apr 24, 2013)

What? You say you compared the size of sony NEX lenses to M43rds lenses. Then you say they are the same size. I am sorry but no!
Fuji has managed to make some really small nice lenses. These I would compare with M43rds. Sony on the hand has large lenses. Even Samsung has some nice small lenses that Sony hasn't been able to produce yet.

0 upvotes
j y g
By j y g (Apr 24, 2013)

I agree with kaiser soze. But... putting an APS-C in there would ramp up the prices on MFT cameras even more. This might not be a problem with MFTs if, to generate demand, they could be marketed with more attention to those who generally buy (sub-"enthusiast") point-and-shoot cameras. Look at what Nikon is able to get away with, thanks to those ridiculous Ashton Kutcher commercials and the sub-par "1" series. A few friends have bought Nikon 1's thinking that ILC intrinsically implies higher quality photos. Well, for MFT that is that is the truth. MFT manufacturers need to take advantage of that perception and get these cameras in the hands anyone who wants to pretend they're a pro.

0 upvotes
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Apr 25, 2013)

I think OP may be a little off base.

One of the problems with an increased video spec is overheating. This has long been a topic on the various GH2 hack forums. Cameras of some other manufacturers (not Panasonic) even lock up under extended video use. So when you have a much increased bitrate, etc. your camera needs to be bigger to dissipate heat. This to me is as logical an explanation for the size of the camera as the need for buttons on the exterior. The body could be smaller and still accept a lot of buttons.

Also, having been with m43 since the G1, I switched from Olympus DSLRs to Panasonic m43 BECAUSE of the larger Panasonic body size, which was easier to handle and included a built-in viewfinder. None of the Oly models offered a built-in viewfinder until the OM-5.

So, I'm not sure that all of the assumptions in OP are valid.

Comment edited 27 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Apr 25, 2013)

> compared the size of sony NEX lenses to M43rds lenses.

if they are following the "market research", there will be larger heavier lenses soon, probably bundled with stone.

0 upvotes
Tonio Loewald
By Tonio Loewald (Apr 26, 2013)

Lens diameter goes up in proportion to sensor size. Lens mass (glass) goes up as the CUBE of sensor size. So you'd expect the glass in FF lenses to be roughly 8x heavier. This isn't just physics, it's middle school math.

0 upvotes
AndyGM
By AndyGM (May 4, 2013)

The lens as seen in the photo does look a little too small compared with the body. However, this is the Panasonic 2013 standard kit lens, and was designed so that the GF6 is a more compact package (the old kitlens looked way too big on the GF series... almost NEX like). They are going to use the same kitlens on every camera... its just that on the more block fronted G6 its a bit swamped.

Put another zoom lens on this G6 and it will look much better proportioned. Go to four-thirds.org, choose the matching simulator and try it out. The bigger grip will work well if you use the 100-300mm supertele zoom.

0 upvotes
juliovideo
By juliovideo (Jul 20, 2013)

You are concerned about the G6K Lumix sensor with 16 MP, I wonder if anyone can beat the Sony PMW-F55 with 8.9MP CineAlta 4K.

0 upvotes
Hagane
By Hagane (Apr 24, 2013)

"An advantage of using the GH2's sensor is that the G6 is able to offer more comprehensive video functions than the G5. "

WTF?! The G5 uses the exact same sensor.... and how exactly are video functions bound to the sensor?!

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Apr 24, 2013)

"The Extra Tele Conversion function virtually extends the zoom range Max.4.8x without deterioration of image quality".

ETC is directly from the GH2 and would not be possible with the G5 sensor.

The above quote is from the G6 Press Release under "Highest Level in Class – Stunning Video..." on the front page of DPR.

0 upvotes
Hagane
By Hagane (Apr 24, 2013)

Again: The G5 uses the GH2 sensor.... they only disabled the Multi-Aspect-Ratio system and changed the readout method. And the lossless Tele Conversion is also found in the G5 although it is a 2.4 conversion. (which is the same as the G6, see text above, no idea where you picked up 4.8?)

0 upvotes
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Apr 24, 2013)

@marike6

I'm pretty sure my G2 also had ETC, unless I'm misremembering.

Edit: I also remember it being MORE than 2.4x on the G2, something like 2.9x or thereabouts. I may be wrong.

Comment edited 59 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Apr 24, 2013)

@Hagane Then I don't know. I was just trying to help you figure out what they were talking about regarding the sensor and "more comprehensive video functions".

0 upvotes
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Apr 24, 2013)

@Hagane,

I think the 4.8x must take the crop factor into account.

A 50mm lens is 100mm equivalent on m43. Then you times that by 2.4x, and you get 240mm equivalent for a 50mm lens, which is 4.8x.

It really is an amazing feature for video. I have a Nikon manual focus 180mm f2.8, which on this camera using the extended tele feature would be 864mm f2.8 equivalent. It is useful for video of birds, the moon, etc. With some lenses that already have a semi-macro feature, like the Olympus 70-300mm, you can use the ETC for extreme closeups. You can fill the video frame with a butterfly's head, that kind of thing.

0 upvotes
FoolyCooly
By FoolyCooly (Apr 24, 2013)

Is it too early to request a shootout?

Panasonic G6 VERSUS Blackmagic Pocket Cinema *FIGHT*

Interested in seeing if Panasonic squeezed any more DR out of the 16MP Live MOS.

BlackMagic shoots RAW Video but it is limited to 30fps.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Apr 24, 2013)

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera supports 1080HD resolution capture in 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97 and 30 fps.

The GH2 has very good quality video. The BMCC camera has awesome video quality with huge DR. If the Pocket Cinema is anything like the BMCC, it will not be a fair fight.

0 upvotes
Michael_13
By Michael_13 (Apr 24, 2013)

Just watch the comparison between 5d and Blackmagic (available on the web) and you'll see that G6 will not have much of a chance.

The Blackmagic's sensor is purpose built, while that of G6 is an all-rounder.

0 upvotes
FoolyCooly
By FoolyCooly (Apr 25, 2013)

WOW! The 5D MKIII gets slaughtered by the BlackMagic Cinema Camera. I hope the pocket cinema camera is that good!

http://vimeo.com/49875510

Comment edited 12 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Apr 24, 2013)

dpreview--

Is this a 2.4x "digital" teleconverter option, as described in the introduction?

I know on the G2 and the GH2 it was what I (at least) would call an "optical" teleconverter option, i.e., there is no up-rezzing involved, simply a crop of the sensor so that a smaller part of the sensor was sampled (enough for 1080 resolution, much smaller than the full sensor resolution, rather than downsizing the full sensor resolution to 1080 without teleconverter).

If this is the same as the GH2 and G2 teleconverters (and it may not be!), I don't think it makes sense to call it a "digital" teleconverter option; in that case, sampling a DX-sized piece of an FX sensor, at lower resolution and without up-rezzing, would also be a "digital" teleconversion, and I don't think most people would agree with that terminology.

Comment edited 35 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
FrankS009
By FrankS009 (Apr 24, 2013)

Have always thought the G5 looked like the S2 shrunk in the wash and the G6 more so, but why the gratuitous "of all things" comment? A bit of a put down - yes we know it is not a medium format camera. I am not a big fan of any DSLR design, but the S2 -and maybe the G6 - are the cleanest.

This camera is clearly not the EM5 killer that Panasonic might yet produce. But it looks like an attractive refinement of the G5 which itself is an excellent camera.

F.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
bluevellet
By bluevellet (Apr 24, 2013)

I like the five fn buttons. I wish more cameras of this class would do this (instead of putting everything in a touch-screen menu).

0 upvotes
tabloid
By tabloid (Apr 24, 2013)

Just wondering if in video mode... there shutter and aperture control whilst in auto focus.

0 upvotes
photo perzon
By photo perzon (Apr 24, 2013)

OMG so ugly. Looks like an OMD on cortizone.

2 upvotes
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (Apr 24, 2013)

Different ppl, different taste. I like it.

3 upvotes
FoolyCooly
By FoolyCooly (Apr 24, 2013)

Form Fits Function- it looks very functional to me. Love how all the buttons are on top or back. No more tilting the camera to get at some seldom used buttons... like my D7000.

0 upvotes
Kim Letkeman
By Kim Letkeman (Apr 24, 2013)

Now that's a silly comment. Each to his own. While I think the OM-D is a nice camera and would like one some day to complement my Panasonic bodies, it looks like something out of an Anime comic book to me. But I would never post that just to sound clever. Or did I just do that :-)

Comment edited 45 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (Apr 25, 2013)

I like it, and I like the OMD too. But the G6 looks like it will handle better overall as there is more space on the camera. Never know till you hold one though.

0 upvotes
ponyman
By ponyman (Apr 24, 2013)

That one ugly mother......

0 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Apr 24, 2013)

Camera appearances are an aquired taste. The first sight of equines terrified the Amerindians, who later became quite fond of horses and ponys.

0 upvotes
SeeRoy
By SeeRoy (Apr 24, 2013)

Luckily for them (and it's about the only bit of luck they've had since that time), horse design has remained relatively stable with no "improved" three- or five-legged versions appearing to cause them confusion and "upgrade" envy.

Comment edited 52 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Kim Letkeman
By Kim Letkeman (Apr 24, 2013)

Wow ... the OM-D fan boys are on a roll :-)

2 upvotes
SeeRoy
By SeeRoy (Apr 25, 2013)

Eh? It's a joke, dummy!

Comment edited 25 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
minktoast
By minktoast (Apr 24, 2013)

I have a G5 which I love. This looks like a very decent upgrade if they keep the price the same as the G5:

- new more compact standard kit lens (the more expensive X power zoom is still an option)
- better EVF (OLED)
- capacitive touch screen (resistive on G5)
- microphone socket
- manual video controls
- focus peaking

The lack of sensor upgrade over the G5 is a little disappointing but the GH2 sensor is very good except at the highest iso's.

For me the excellent ergonomics, very fast operation and focusing, optional silent shutter, EVF and articulating display on these camera makes for a compelling feature set. I find the buttons really well placed and you effectively have 'dual control dials' as the lever in front of the shutter release is very handy for exposure compensation.

If it looks a bit large in the photos I encourage you to try one in the flesh. It's a lot smaller than nearly all DSLRs - especially with the new more compact lens. And no, I don't work for Panasonic.

5 upvotes
Kim Letkeman
By Kim Letkeman (Apr 24, 2013)

"The lack of sensor upgrade over the G5 is a little disappointing but the GH2 sensor is very good except at the highest iso's."

While I agree with you, my G5 easily outshoots my GH2 in shadows in RAW. So I am not unhappy that Panasonic have chosen to update the GH2 sensor for the G6. Look at how much improvement they squeezed out of the GF5 sensor at 12mp as an example of what can be done on the cheap. And the practical difference in raw between all the 16mp sensors is not enough to get too twisted about anyway in my opinion.

So this is looking pretty darned good to me. I may sell off some equipment to grab the new body ...

1 upvote
minktoast
By minktoast (Apr 24, 2013)

"the practical difference in raw between all the 16mp sensors is not enough to get too twisted about anyway in my opinion."

Agreed - I guess I only put the sensor comment in there because everyone else was going on about. If I wanted the ultimate low light cam I'd go full frame. For everything else, m4/3 is fantastic for me. I didn't expect much from the change to a mirrorless sytem from a DSLR but the faster focusing, silent shutter, real live view on an articulated LCD, fantastic readout in an EVF and small size / weight have been a revelation. I can deal with the fact that a 16mp NEX might have less noise at ISO 25,600!

2 upvotes
Fredy Ross
By Fredy Ross (Apr 24, 2013)

How can you do a prefiew when you don't know if there is image stabilization or not? You have written unknown.

0 upvotes
anentropic
By anentropic (Apr 24, 2013)

it's a silly mistake in the table, but we all know there is no stabilization as this is a Panasonic camera and they put that in the lenses instead

5 upvotes
Naveed Akhtar
By Naveed Akhtar (Apr 24, 2013)

GH2 sensor !! sweet great news ..
Mean I don't have to downgrade from my GH1!!

0 upvotes
Total comments: 199
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