Panasonic Lumix G6: Review
Panasonic Lumix G6 is an excellent mirrorless camera with 16 megapixel sensor, 7 fps burst, Full HD video and a large technological equipment. A few weeks ago, we reviewed the Panasonic Lumix GF6, ultra-compact camera with interchangeable dedicated to the public consumer. Now it is the turn of her elder sister.
The Panasonic Lumix G6 is designed specifically for amateur photographers looking for a tool with a very compact size, but can be replaced in all respects a traditional SLR, from design and ergonomics (offering, for example, pronounced front handle for maximum ease of use), to the inclusion of an integrated electronic viewfinder (OLED 1.44 million points).
The rest of the technological Lumix G6 reflects its ambitions: we have a 16 megapixel sensor actual (4:3), an excellent maximum gust to 7 fps (5 fps with continuous AF), one swiveling LCD screen and capacitive touch 3″ and 1,036,000 points, the ability to record Full HD 50p with stereo sound, the inclusion of technologies such as Wi-Fi, NFC and finally, the presence of a dual-axis electronic level.
Panasonic Lumix G6: Design
In terms of build quality, the Panasonic Lumix G6 is extremely well made, sturdy, enough and pleasant to grip, thanks to the use of quality materials and well thought out ergonomics. Despite the diminutive size, the grip offered by the handle and rubberized texture is excellent, and plenty of physical control on the camera body is truly remarkable (we even 5 programmable keys fn).
The design is not perfect. First, instead of the usual front ring, there is a zoom lever (for target’s power zoom compatible), which, basically, is assigned to the exposure compensation. Well, it is all too easy to accidentally hit it and therefore, it is not uncommon to shoot, unknowingly, with the machine set to -1 / 3 stop and the like.
There are, then, to mention a mode dial too hard to lift and the fact that many of the buttons (including the one shooting) are so collimating with the camera body does not offer virtually no tactile sensation: find them blindly, while the eye is engaged in the viewfinder is not easy.
For our tastes, even the ring back is slightly too moved down and to the right shoulder of the camera, so it is not convenient to reach, but this is a factor that can change from hand to hand. Beyond these minor flaws, the Panasonic Lumix G6 is globally well-designed and enjoyable to use.
Panasonic Lumix G6: Performance
Regarding performance fully meets the Lumix G6. Both the screen (adjustable and multitouch) and the viewfinder are of excellent quality and allow you to compose your shots in an appropriate manner, providing a smoother picture and update values of color and contrast generally good, except in the hardest scenes.
The ignition speed is great (less than half a second the camera is ready to shoot) and the reactivity of the shutter button even while the AF is quick and accurate in most conditions, providing the inevitable advanced features such as facial recognition, tracking of the movement, the focus using the touch screen, etc….
As expected, the AF tends to slow in low light, but especially suffers particularly in the absence of vertical detail: in the latter condition, it is not uncommon to see him focus when focus for a moment and then throw in the towel completely. A problem common to many cameras, which is the experience of the photographer solve, finding in an area with a vertical contrast scenes to help with the task of AF.
You lovers of manual focus, though, that Panasonic has given an interesting novelty: the inclusion of technology called focus peaking in the Panasonic Lumix G6, which highlights the areas of the greatest contrast (peak) of the image through a light blue outline, allowing to get an idea of what is visually very clear in focus and what is not.
Everything works great, especially if you choose to employ AF to focus faster and then finish the task manually, using the convenient ring placed on the lens: in this way, you can always have the utmost of control over their focus, something really valuable in many situations.
Impressive is also the ability to burst, which offers up to 7 frames per second with Single AF, 5 fps with continuous AF and, finally, a mode for about 20 fps with electronic shutter and reduced resolution, all for about 40 consecutive Jpeg first that the buffer fills up and slows you down. With similar performance, the Panasonic Lumix G6 certainly does not disappoint for sports photography or to freeze the movement, taking perhaps the best expression of the subject.
The 16 megapixel sensor’s actual Panasonic Lumix G6 (formerly also used in the former flagship GH2) captures images from the good yield, both in terms of definition of colors and contrasts. The white balance is generally well-balanced and there are the usual multitude of pre-set image, creative modes, scenes, etc.., To enable you to develop Jpeg looking favorite.
The limitations of the Micro 4:3 format they show: the sensor is considerably smaller than those that adopt the traditional APS-C format, and the most immediate consequences are fewer dynamic range (which is slightly compressed in some situations) and a capacity of collection of light less. The images captured by the Panasonic Lumix G6 are good and rich in detail down to the threshold of about 800 ISO, but already are considerably more mixed when you reach 1,600, while the value of 3.200 is recommended only in cases of absolute necessity.
The camera body incorporates a stereo microphone, but it’s also a 3.5mm jack for connecting external microphones for that seeking maximum performance and versatility of the audio. The quality of the video captured is really very good, among the best currently observable in a camera, and thanks to the good work of the stabilizer to the electronic viewfinder, and operations focus relatively fast and accurate. You can use the Panasonic Lumix G6 to capture movies really satisfactory, which cannot always be said of a camera.
Overall, the Panasonic Lumix G6 is an excellent mirrorless camera, perfectly able to replace a traditional SLR in most shooting situations and for the vast majority of amateur photographers. The pure image quality does not reach that of the best APS-C sensors, but the Lumix G6 compensates with extraordinary technical equipment, a fast burst, a video mode unattainable for many competing tools, the valuable addition of peaking focus and, ultimately, with its ultra-compact size. Only for lovers of display pixels at 100% and the extreme size prints advice on the purchase of tools to orient the sensor more efficient.
Where to Buy Panasonic Lumix G6
PROS : Impressive technological equipment, Qust to 7 fps, Excellent video quality, Well built.CONS : Image quality good but not stellar, Improved ergonomics of some controls.