Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6 Hands-on Preview
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 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:
Jun 29, 2013
Apr 24, 2013
Apr 24, 2013
Mar 23, 2016
Correct these four common composition mistakes and your photos will be more balanced, tell a better story, and lead your viewer's eye where you want it to go.
The rugged, compact 360° action camera Kodak unveiled at Photokina in 2016, the Kodak PixPro Orbit 360, is finally available in the United States.
iOS 11 launches tomorrow, and it'll save all of your pictures in a new high efficiency image format called HEIC. Fortunately, there's now a converter that will let you turn those photos back into JPEGs.
Photo protection company ImageRights recently released a new service that lets non-subscribers take advantage of their streamlined copyright registration system that checks for errors and fills out all the required forms for you.
What's the difference between a $200 circular polarizing filter and a $100 circular polarizing filter? Roger Cicala at Lens Rentals put six different filters through a few tests to find out.
A flurry of leaks reveal that GoPro's upcoming Hero6 will shoot 4K at 60fps, 1080p at 240fps, will cost $500, and is scheduled for announcement/release on September 28th.
Before he became the iconic director whose name we've all heard, a teenage Stanley Kubrick struck up a business relationship with New York’s Look magazine. No surprise: he was an incredibly talented photographer.
WD's new G-Technology G-Drive mobile SSD R-Series is a portable solid state option for photographers who want the reliability of an SSD in a rugged water and dust-resistant package.
Fast, stabilized and affordable is an appealing combination when it comes to lenses. With its latest 24-70mm F2.8, Tamron aims to upgrade autofocus speed and stabilization. We've got a full gallery from this updated full-frame zoom.
Photographer Clay Cook tells the story of his most ambitious photographic dream and career goal coming true: photographing A-list actress Jennifer Lawrence.
In an interview with a Chinese website, Nikon Japan's Director of Development dropped a bombshell, saying that a Nikon mirrorless camera "must be full-frame."
Here's a side-by-side spec comparison of two flagship devices with particular attention to the things that really matter – at least to people who prioritize photography features.
A month and a half after revealing the finalists of the 2017 EyeEm Awards, the photo sharing community and licensing marketplace has finally revealed the winners.
Photographer Josselin Cornou tells the breathtaking story behind two beautiful photos captured while snorkeling with humpback whales in Tonga.
The Sony RX10 IV is a fixed lens camera with a 1"-type sensor and 24-600mm equivalent lens that can shoot 4K video or stills at 24 fps, but that's not what we think is interesting about it. The addition of phase detection autofocus is pivotal to all those features.
The announcement date is set! Google will reveal their next generation Pixel phones—their response to Apple's shiny new iPhone X—on October 4th. Let the smartphone camera wars begin.
Sony just debuted three palm-style 4K camcorders that steal a bit of speedy phase detect autofocus technology from the company's RX10 IV. In fact, they kind of improve on it.
Earlier today, NASA's Cassini spacecraft plunged into Saturn's atmosphere, ending a 20 year long mission. Here are 21 of our favorite photographs captured by this incredible machine and its makers.
Fans of film photography should keep an eye out for the widespread theatrical release of Kodachrome, a movie staring Jason Sudeikis about the final days of the iconic film stock.
Photographer Manny Ortiz breaks down the pros and cons of shooting natural light vs off-camera flash, and explains why he chooses to shoot one, the other, or both in any given situation.
A leaked product page and a bunch of leaked photos shows Profoto is preparing to release its first ever speedlight: the Profoto A1 Air TTL
The Yashica camera brand disappeared in 2003, but a new teaser video and website hint at a comeback. Excited?
Western Digital just debuted a new, higher capacity WD Gold internal hard drive. The new drive offers 12TB of storage and class-leading reliability to the tune of a 550TB/year workload rating.
The new Godox XPRO-C is an affordable, highly capable flash trigger for Canon users that boasts a lot of useful features at a very reasonable price.
Tamron is working on a lightweight, durable and compact 100-400mm tele-zoom lens that will be available for Canon and Nikon cameras by the end of the year.
The Nikon D850 promises equal parts resolution and speed. On a trip to Bend, Oregon, we had the chance to try it out with fashion, sports, landscapes, and more. Check out our updated sample gallery to see how it fared.
A leaked photo of the upcoming GoPro Hero6 in its final retail packaging shows a powerful little camera that will be able to shoot 4K video at 60 frames per second.
Photography enthusiast Michael Sechler recently shot a Hurricane Irma photo that went viral and was used by media all over the world… so why didn't he make dime for his work?
Nissin claims the new Super Light Stand LS-50C is the lightest light stand in the world. Weighing in at just 575g/1.2lbs, it can still hold up to 1.5kg/3.3lb.
The new seamless Granite and Limestone backgrounds join Lastolite's nascent panoramic background range, measuring in at 4m wide.