Design & Operation

The G6 looks a lot like its predecessor, minus some of the rounded edges. In fact, from the front, the high-shouldered G6 rather reminds us of a miniaturized Leica S2, of all things. From the front, the only real difference between the G6 and its predecessor are the higher shoulders of the new model, but meaningful changes have been made on the rear, and the G6 now boasts five customizable 'Fn' buttons, bringing it into line with the higher-end GH3.

Despite positively sprouting Fn buttons, the G6 only has one additional control point on its rear, and this is the Wi-Fi/Fn 4 button, right at the lower left of the rear control cluster. This is used to set up Wi-Fi (using NFC with suitable devices), or alternatively as a customizable function button during shooting.

The G6's touch-sensitive rear screen dominates the back of the camera. Like the G5 it's a fully articulated screen but now uses capacitive technology as used on smartphones, rather than being pressure sensitive. The screen responds very positively to touch, and setting things like focus point in live view mode and navigating menus are quick and easy using a fingertip. Flipping through images is slightly laggy though, and certain operations still feel more natural when initiated by a hard button press.

A built-in flash pops up out of the 'pentaprism' (or rather EVF) hump, and a standard hotshoe sits at its center, alongside apertures for the camera's stereo microphones.

Top of camera

From the top, the G6 offers almost exactly the same control layout as the G5. Things are kept pretty simple, and the only controls are a compact camera-style zoom rocker switch just behind the shutter button, a red movie record button and the iA button for entering Panasonic's useful 'intelligent Auto' mode. The only difference to button layout compared to the G5 is the new position of the G6's mechanical flash button, which can now be found on the upper left of the camera's rear, rather than on the top plate as it was before.

In your hand

The G6 is impressively small, but pleasantly chunky thanks to a large contoured hand grip. Oddly, the camera's high 'shoulders' aid this impression of compactness, although objectively the G6 is not really all that different in size to its predecessor the G5.

Body elements

The G6 features a 1.44 million dot OLED electronic viewfinder, with diopter correction. An automatic switch turns the EVF on when you hold your eye to the camera, and you can also switch between EVF and LCD manually, using a dedicated button.
On the rear of the G6 you'll find a 1.04 million-dot capacitive touch-sensitive LCD screen. It's fully articulated, which is handy for awkward high/low-level shooting, movie recording and, of course, self portraits.
The G6 gains an extra physical function button, in addition to two added to the pull-out tab on its touchscreen.

By default this enables Wi-Fi.
Once Wi-Fi is engaged, tapping the hotspot of an NFC-compatible device on this symbol on the side of the camera will start the process of establising a connection (your aim has to be pretty precise, as the 'N' in NFC really does mean near).

If your smartphone doesn't support NFC you can copy a password from the screen of the camera into your Wi-Fi settings, which isn't that much slower.
The G6's 1000mAh battery offers up to 7.2Wh of power, and shares a bay with the SD memory card, accessible from a hatch on the base of the camera.
A DSLR-style pop-up flash sits above the EVF, directly in line with the lens axis.

Five Function Buttons!

The G6 has an impressive five 'Fn' customizable buttons, which can be assigned to the following options:

Options that can be applied to the Fn buttons:
• Wi-Fi
• Q.Menu
• AF/AE Lock
• LVF/Monitor Switch
• One Push AE
• Touch AE
• DoF Preview
• Level Gauge
• Focus Area Set
• PhotoStyle
• Aspect Ratio
• Picture Size
• Quality
• Metering Mode
• Focus Mode
• i.Dynamic
• i.Resolution
• Electronic Shutter
• Flash Mode
• Flash Adjust
• Ex Tele Conv.
• Digital Zoom
• Stabilizer
• Motion Pic Set
• Picture Mode
• Histogram
• Guide Line
• REC Area
• Sensitivity
• Function Lever
• Step Zoom
• Zoom Speed
• ISO Sensitivity
• White Balance
• AF Mode
• Drive Mode