Panasonic Lumix G6 Review: A Complete Professionals Package

My G5 and the G6 I was shooting with while in Austin.

My Panasonic Lumix G5 vs. the Panasonic Lumix G6 while in Austin.

When I first found out I’d be traveling to Austin, TX to assist Giulio Sciorio with the Hybrid Advertising Campaign for precision rifle maker Tracking Point, I was excited. When I found out I would be handed the brand new unreleased Panasonic Lumix G6 to use for all the behind the scenes content, I was overjoyed.  The brand new camera model, which is designed for the advanced enthusiast to professional had just been announced about a week or so prior to my leaving.  This was definitely going to be an interesting photographic trip, which would give me plenty of material to bring back here and share with everyone on how this camera performs and where I think it stands as a professional tool.

The camera spoke to me in the way I like to create and it really felt like an extension of my photographic mind for this job.

Steve Lynch shooting with the new Panasonic Lumix G6 on location in Austin, TX.

Steve Lynch shooting with the new Panasonic Lumix G6 on location in Austin, TX.

Panasonic has really done a great job updating their G series of cameras.  Compared to using my G5 (which is my main shooter) jumping over to using the Lumix G6 for the job was not much of a learning curve, but it was a little intimidating.  With it’s 7 function buttons, new bulldog broad shoulder form factor, manual video controls, built in Wi-Fi and even in camera retouching, the G6 is really a whole new animal.  At first I found myself picking it up to use here and there while at the same time using my G5 and GH2, but as we started the 2nd day of shooting I never put the G6 down.  The camera literally spoke to me in the way I like to create and it really felt like an extension of my photographic mind for this job.

 

All In For The Win

There is so many different features that have been added or re-designed with this camera, that I’m not sure I can list everything here. What Panasonic has accomplished  appears to be a new direction from their previous offerings. In the past they have used an approach that limits features in the different cameras as they change price points and model lines. This has worked very well for them, but when a professional decides to pick up one of the other cameras that is not a GH2 or GH3, it can be a little frustrating to adapt to with some of the limited options.  For example, not having manual video controls on anything lower than a GH series camera or not being able to customize some of the specialized looks.

The new Panasonic Lumix G6 with the redesigned 14-42mm lens.

The new Panasonic Lumix G6 with the redesigned 14-42mm lens and new audio input jack location on the front.

Fortunately Panasonic has made the decision to throw everything in and more. We now have manual video controls, a new refined body design, a dedicated panorama mode (which works VERY well!), a 1/8th audio input jack, built in Wi-Fi with NFC Connectivity, Still Frame (claymation) movie mode, multi-exposure, improved performance, and FOCUS PEAKING!  The Panasonic Lumix G6 has had so many features added, that it now equals if not surpasses what the GH3 can do as a still camera. I’ve been told that some of these new features may be exclusive to the G6.

 

Getting The Job Done

Giulio walking the streets of Pioneer Town while searching for interesting backdrop textures.

Giulio walking the streets of Pioneer Town while searching for interesting backdrop textures.

As I’ve stated before, I am very confident in my abilities as a photographer.  I can pick up any camera and capture what needs to be captured to get the job done.  The new Panasonic Lumix G6 was no exception to this, though it was a little intimidating with the new features.  If anything, it improved the camera to photographer relationship, and that is a pretty big deal for any new piece of equipment.  When I wanted to create a certain look, the G6 did not disappoint.  It was simple, easy, and very effective.  I could turn the mode dial over to the Artistic Filters or Panorama Mode, which let me use different filters to create different looks as well for each panorama.  When I needed to have more control over my video settings, manual video mode was right there for the taking.

With it's improved ergonomics, construction, and design the new Panasonic Lumix G6 feels great in the hand

With it’s improved ergonomics, construction, and design the new Panasonic Lumix G6 feels great in the hand

Of course knowing that I would be writing about my experience with the G6 left me trying to find a practical use for every new feature.  That was actually a more difficult task than I thought it would be, but one thing that really stood out in comparison to my experience with my own G5 is that Panasonic has updated the processing power and buffer size of the new camera. It kept paced with almost everything I could throw at it, including shooting RAW+JPEG and multiple frames and video clips one after another.  This is something that my G5 will bog down on, and it is probably the single most negative issue I have with using my camera for my professional work. When I take several photos in a portrait session then want to check the look or show the client, the camera tells me I must wait for it to write. Thankfully with the new improvements to the G6, the camera only made me wait for it less than a handful of times during the entire campaign.

 

Seeing The Whole Wide Picture

I have always had a love / hate relationship with panorama style photographs. On one hand, they are really neat and fun to look at.  The fact that you can create this large landscape that can be zoomed into and scanned across is really quiet fascinating.  On the other hand, trying to combine multiple photographs using photoshop with large file sizes slows down all but the fastest computers. It makes the idea of the panorama photograph nice, but the practical use of it not enjoyable to accomplish. This is where Panasonic has solved this dilemma with the new Panorama mode, which has a dedicated space on the mode dial of the G6.

A nearly 360 degree panorama of the Pioneer frontier town we stopped at to search for backdrops.

A nearly 360 degree panorama of the Pioneer frontier town we stopped at to search for backdrops.

Finally, built right into the camera is the ability to make stunning panorama photographs. The way they have implemented this feature makes it extremely easy to use. In my time with the G6, I was able to make a whole gallery of panoramas that ranged from color, black and white, horizontal, vertical, and even a couple of near 360 degree views. I never needed a tripod, I never needed to use a computer, and the camera spliced it all together right then and there. Unfortunately, it’s had the side effect of making it so I’m continuously looking for that panorama mode on my current cameras and sorely missing it.

See our gallery of panoramas from the Panasonic Lumix G6

 

Creating A Complete Video Package

A photograph of me shooting on the Panasonic Lumix G6 with the attached shotgun microphone.

A photograph of me shooting on the Panasonic Lumix G6 with the attached shotgun microphone.

One of the issues that many photographers have had with the Panasonic cameras is the lack of manual video controls in the models that are lower than the GH series.  With the new Panasonic Lumix G6 this has finally been remedied. On the larger mode dial there is now a dedicated movie mode which offers manual video controls. Previously you could only shoot video alongside any still photo mode, but it would retain full automatic exposure control once the record button was pressed. This worked fairly well for most situations, but it was not the camera for an advanced videographer or film maker. The new manual movie mode is a welcome addition to the G series, but it is still differentiated from the GH series by not incorporating the more advanced recording options like high-bitrate modes, i-frame codecs, and fast and slow motion built in. They may not have given every feature of the advanced cameras, but Panasonic didn’t just stop at manual controls.

While walking the streets of Downtown Austin we came across 2 unicyclists who were eager to stop and take photos and talk.

While walking the streets of Downtown Austin we came across 2 unicyclists who were eager to stop and take photos and talk.

In a first for any Micro Four Thirds camera, the new Lumix G6 has been given Focus Peaking. This is pretty astonishing considering most cameras out there right now do not have this.  Panasonic’s implementation of this feature works very well, it stays out of the way until it’s needed, it’s not gimmicky or distracting like some other brands, and it actually works. In my time with the G6 I mounted several of the older legacy lenses that I have in my kit and I can tell you that it makes using manual focus only glass much more enjoyable. I would not have a problem using this on any job.  The only places where the focus peaking has trouble is in low light environments.  When going to a moderately dimly lit Tex-Mex place for lunch with Giulio, I could not get the focus peaking to assist me while inside. It did not cover the screen in random dots or mislead me at all though, it only acted as if focus peaking was not turned on.  I will remind you that we are using a 0.2 BETA Firmware on this G6 Prototype and the final release version may be improved.  I will be updating this article when we receive a final release version.

Another welcome addition to the G6 is a 1/8th inch audio input jack for an external microphone.  This is another great feature that makes using the camera for video work all the better. While shooting on location in Austin we were often dealing with some windy conditions, especially at the Austin Gun Club. Being able to mount the Panasonic Shotgun Microphone to the G6 was amazing.  I was able to get clean audio from Giulio talking, even with some pretty harsh wind conditions and dust. Thinking about audio is really a necessity when shooting the hybrid style of photography. Now with the improved features to the G6, it is worthy of all but the most advanced film makers who need the extra settings and power of a GH3 or dedicated filmmaking rig.

Is The G6 For Professionals?

Giulio Sciorio, Austin Texas,

Giulio posing for a quick snap for the G6 at Austin City Hall.

I’ve been using it’s predecessor the Panasonic Lumix G5 as my #1 camera in my kit since I switched to using micro four thirds.  It has been a good camera, but it has had some quirks that have made me plan on getting a GH3 at some point in the near future.  After using this new Lumix G6 for over a week, I am convinced this camera is a major step forward as a professional tool. I would not have any problem using it for every type of shooting I do. While in Austin, we frequently discusses just how good the G6 was. We were being pelted by high winds, tons of dust, and the occasional thunderstorm and the G6 never skipped a beat. It is not weather sealed like the GH3, but it is nearly as tough. In fact Giulio had only brought his GH3 and assortment of lenses to shoot this job.  If for some unforeseen reason the GH3 were to stop working, the G6 would have been used as the main camera without a second thought.

The new Panasonic Lumix G6 with the redesigned 14-42mm lens.

The new Panasonic Lumix G6 with the redesigned 14-42mm lens.

For the longest time, micro four thirds has been an enthusiast camera system. Only within the past year or two have professionals started to take notice.  For the most part, Panasonic has focused their energy into the GH series for professionals. With this new Lumix G6, they are really stepping up their game.  Panasonic is going after the Professional Market and we are looking at the future of photography right now. If this is any indication of what’s to come, the next couple of years are going to be very exciting for micro four thirds. For example, the inclusion of 7 changeable function buttons on the G6 makes this camera highly customizable.  It has Wi-Fi with NFC Connectivity built right into the camera so I can drop files straight to my iPad, iPhone, Android or some computers as they are being shot. I have the ability to share on social media almost right as I’m taking the photographs.  It’s built extremely tough with a new body design, higher quality materials, and features that make the G6 worthy of professional use.

Final Verdict

The new Panasonic Lumix G6 with the lance hand strap attached in the wilderness out of Austin

The new Panasonic Lumix G6 with the lance hand strap attached in the wilderness out of Austin

The Panasonic Lumix G6 has not made great strides and leaps in it’s image quality in comparison to it’s predecessor, but the G5 is no slouch. As an entire package though, Panasonic has another hit here with a professional level camera that happens to fit nicely with the advanced enthusiasts as well. The new and improved manual video controls, audio input jack, and focus peaking make this camera an amazing tool for videographers on a budget.  It would work wonderful for electronic news gathering, run and gun situations, and creating whatever imagery you can come up with.  It lacks the advanced film makers options present in the GH series, but if you really don’t know what i-Frame codecs are or need very high bit rate or playback speed manipulation built into the camera, you won’t be missing these features. This camera screams, “Hey look at me, take me out and create!” and that is exactly what I’ll be doing with this camera.  Panasonic is really moving with the Lumix G6, and it’s in the right direction!

 

With the combination of features that the Panasonic Lumix G6 offers, and a price tag of $749 with the redesigned 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 lens bundle (Yes this lens is a big improvement over the first version and comparable to the original 14-45mm), I am expecting there to be a high demand.  Pre-Order yours today by clicking here and save a spot in line so you can receive your new camera as soon it is released. By following our links you are helping to support Small Camera Big Picture so we may bring you more amazing content.

 

View the Panasonic Lumix G6 Sample Gallery From Austin

       

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About Steve Lynch

Steve Lynch is a Commercial Photographer working out of Los Angeles. After returning to professional photography from a year long absence he has made the decision to move away from the heavy DSLR and go completely mirrorless. As a single father of two, making this transition while keeping within a reasonable budget has been one of his greatest goals. Steve has a strong background in the entertainment industry and has been educated in Television Production & Engineering as well as being a musician and an avid technology geek. He has also worked as a photojournalist and Editor of a local online entertainment magazine. You can find him and some of his professional work over at his site www.SteveLynchPhoto.com.

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48 Responses to Panasonic Lumix G6 Review: A Complete Professionals Package

  1. jonjon_yo May 31, 2013 at 5:08 pm #

    Thanks for this review Steve! I think the addition of focus peaking with manual lenses is enough for me to upgrade from my gh2. I use nearly all manual focus lenses for video and that feature alone will be a major time/life saver! I’ve also seen some side by side video comparisons and it seems Panasonic has bettered the gh2′s low light performance with the G6. For the price of this camera I think they’ve hit it out of the ballpark!

    • Steven Lynch May 31, 2013 at 6:18 pm #

      Hi Jonjon you are very welcome. The focus peaking is a really great feature that really makes this camera stand out. I shoot a lot of manual lenses too and know exactly what you mean. For a good example though, I was sitting in the car while Giulio was driving and I used my Canon FD 50mm to take photos while moving of signs and such. The focus peaking really helped me lock on super quick. That was something I normally wouldn’t have even tried with the G5 or GH2 in that situation.

      I would put the G6 at the same or better image quality for low light as the G5 which improved quiet a bit over the GH2. (I own both) and yes it’s definitely noticeable when it comes to dynamic range and color quality at higher ISO. Cheers!

  2. John Rappold June 1, 2013 at 10:53 am #

    The G6 is really compelling, and if I hadn’t bought a GX1 as a second body with my GH3 I’d be really tempted to buy it. I hope Panasonic might roll a few of the G6 features into a GH3 firmware upgrade. I would love to have sweep panorama. I know Panasonic has said in the past that focus peaking can’t be added to the GH3, and I do shoot with a few Nikon lenses, plus the Rokinon fisheye. I guess I’ll stay content with the magnified view for focusing. Since I’m mainly a landscape shooter, it has worked fine for me.

    • Giulio Sciorio June 1, 2013 at 11:16 am #

      I too hope to see some of the G6 features in the GH3. Maybe it will be possible, maybe not. I’m a huge fan of the panorama and focus peaking not to mention some of the awesome new Creative Filter Effects.

  3. Karel June 2, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

    I tried the G5 and returned it. To say the G5 is “no slouch” is ridiculous. Shots at ISO800 look like ISO3200 on the OM-D E-M5. Panasonic keeps using the same recycled 16 MP sensor on all their latest cameras, and it is time they come out with a new sensor with improved overall image quality. Furthermore, almost the same price as the G6, you can pick up a Sony NEX-6 which is better in every aspect as far as stills go, and it still delivers outstanding HD video.

    • William Beebe June 4, 2013 at 7:42 am #

      You know, it’s déjà-vu all over again. I remember all too well charges against Olympus “using the same recycled” 12MP sensor “on all their latest cameras.” Well, I own the E-M5 (great camera) and a GX1 (another great camera). The GX1 16MP sensor is even older than the G5/G6, yet when I compare results between the GX1 and E-M5 I find their outputs a lot closer. I don’t see “ISO800 look like ISO3200″ next to the E-M5, but the E-M5 output under certain harsh conditions is better. This article talks about the entire camera as a system. If all we ever did was chase after sensors, then everybody would buy Nikon D800s and nothing else.

      Sensors reached a level of quality around 2006/2007 where the differences are now irrelevant. What matters is glass, system features, and handling and how they help you as a photographer. As difficult as this may be to understand, if they don’t work for you, it’s your problem, not the camera’s. That’s why there’s variety in the marketplace so you can find the best camera system for you.

    • DoshiParth September 15, 2013 at 1:25 pm #

      Agreed .These company pay a lot to professional to promote cameras.
      G3 is a good camera but still you find so called pro calling it not good just to promote G5

  4. Eskimo Micronian June 2, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

    I bought the G5 as a play-around camera when I bought some Olympus glass for my Panasonic AF100. After using it a few times, I decided to ditch my Nikon full-frame cameras. I traded in my D700 and my 70-200mm for Micro Four-Thirds for fast glass, and will be trading in my D3 for the G6. Yes, the G5 doesn’t approach the high-iso capabilities of the D3/D700 (much less D3s/D4), but I have found I can get the same level of quality due to the versatility of the G5, the fact I have it on me at all times, the cheap fast glass, and a little bit of planning and forethought on my part.
    I do think it is silly the G6 doesn’t have the GH3 sensor, when you consider Olympus has fitted the E-M5 sensor to the E-PM2, the E-PL6 and the EP5; but the old sensor gets the job done. Also, it’s about time Panny cameras below the GH line got manual video controls, cheap DSLRs have them and Panasonic had no excuse to fit them (other than protecting GH sales). I am pleasantly surprised by the inclusion of the microphone jack.
    Ultimately, the G6 is the tool to replace my Panasonic HMC150 (complementing my AF100) and my Nikon full-frame cameras. I will, however, hold onto my D3x and my 24-70mm glass for jobs requiring larger print sizes. Enclosed is a G5 shot done at a local ice rink at the beginning of summer.

    • Steven Lynch June 3, 2013 at 3:35 am #

      Cool shot! I agree with what you are saying there. In my experience, and I have been using the G5 and GH2 as my professional cameras to make a living, the high iso is actually pretty decent. Learning to work within the cameras limitations is always something to keep in mind of course, but I routinely push it into iso 3200 and don’t have an issue. Is it grainy? Yes, but it does a much better job at holding the quality of the noise together than my 5d mk2 and 60d did in some low light situations.

      Not really sure about sensors. There was a time I worried about them and looked at specs, but DxOmark can only tell you so much and these days I’d rather just create photographs that speak to the viewer instead of worry about all those details. The G6 is a great little camera for what they are throwing into. The audio jack is cool and necessary to use the external mics. As long as I’m seeing movement in the right direction from any given photo company I’m happy. Cheers!

    • Alex deLeon June 6, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

      Wow – looks like you’re totally transitioning from Nikon dSLR to Panny mirrorless! I’m about to get back into photography as a hobby (away for many years), so I’m in the market for a great mid-range camera to get back in the saddle. I’m primarily interested in still photography, but of course still want decent video.

      I was looking at several options, and leaning towards either the G5/G6, Nikon D5100, or Canon T3i. When I compared them on snapsport.com it rated the D5100 so much higher than the D5 (100 vs 46!!!). This would lead me to believe that I would be much happier with the quality of the D5100.

      Would you, or anyone else, please provide your experience and feedback on my choice options? Thanks!

      • Steven Lynch June 11, 2013 at 5:19 am #

        Hi Alex! That’s a great question to ask, but it really is going to depend on what you’re planning on shooting. I’ve checked out your link for Snapsport and it appears that it is an Australian Motorsport photography site?? So I’m guessing you must be into fast cars, racing, and other high speed movement photography?

        The mirrorless cameras can sometimes struggle with high speed objects and tracking objects to focus when they are moving away or towards the camera. Usually they fare pretty well with perpendicular motion though. One area these cameras excel in is with mixing video and still photos and talking portraits (video portraits). They have an awesome facial detection algorithm for their auto focus and shooting people is a breeze.

        So if you are getting your rating of g5 vs. d5100 from a sports point of view, that might explain why. I would not call the differences that drastic. There will be some things gained with micro four thirds and some things lacking, but that is the tradeoffs you’re going to find with any camera system / brand. I very much suggest anybody interested in different camera models to go to your local camera shop and handle each of the cameras and see how they feel and perform in your hands. I’m very much a believer in how a camera speaks to me.

        Another excellent point I forgot to mention. The new Lumix G6 has had the refresh rate from it’s sensor output doubled to somewhere around 240fps. This effects shutter lag, EVF lag, auto focus speed (doubling from 120fps of the G5) so that is something to consider as well.

        Cheers!

        • Alex deLeon June 11, 2013 at 5:03 pm #

          Steven,

          Thanks for the response. I plan on shooting mainly stills (portraits, landscapes, macro, sport shots – like swimming and diving, etc.). The Motorsport website just happened to be one that pulled up when I was researching cameras – no real interest there.

          I just was wondering if the comparison on that site meant I could expect twice the image quality on the Nikon D5100 vs. the Lumix G5. But it doesn’t sound like it, especially for stills. So if anyone has any comments or feedback if either of these two would have substantially better still image quality, I’d appreciate the input.

          And since these cameras include good video I will definitely take advantage of this feature as well. I appreciate all your comments.

          Alex

          • Steven Lynch June 11, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

            Hi Alex. You are very welcome Sir!

            I would say in my experience no two cameras are going to be twice as better than each other, unless you are comparing Point & Shoots to dSLRs, or Mirrorless to Medium Format. Any of these systems of course have trade offs in what you get. Size, Weight, Image Quality, Performance, etc.

            If you are not invested into any camera system right now, then getting into Micro Four Thirds would be a good system for you. From the things that you shoot, which is very similar to my own personal and sometimes professional photography, I would say you would not have a problem and will probably find it easier to create the photographs you see when using the Panasonic Lumix cameras.

            When it comes to the Nikon implementation of video, it is not as intuitive and easy to use as Panasonics. (The same applies to any of the dSLRs right now) With Panasonic you are going to get great auto focus in video, a button that you can press and it works very well. You can also take photos in a 16×9 format simultaneously while recording videos. You have the option of a lower resolution photo and continued video recording, or a full resolution photo in which the video cuts out for half a second while the shutter is pressed.

            Hope it helps!
            Cheers

          • Alex deLeon June 17, 2013 at 8:44 am #

            Thanks again Steven! I appreciate all your feedback and guidance. I am not currently invested into any system. I have a couple of 20+ year old Tamron manual lenses but that’s it. If I need o I can get an adapter, but then I won’t have the advantage of the smaller form factor of the mirrorless lenses. So it sounds like I’m getting ready to invest in the mirrorless world ;). Now the question is whether I should wait a few days and buy the G6 or purchase the G5 and spend the difference on more lenses… decisions, decisions.

  5. Eskimo Micronian June 2, 2013 at 6:22 pm #

    Oops, here is the image.

  6. Hyman Roth June 2, 2013 at 11:26 pm #

    The camera “literally spoke” to you? Literally? Is English your first language?

    • William Beebe June 4, 2013 at 7:28 am #

      Yes, I’m sure it did, just like the one you buy will speak American Asshattery to you.

  7. dechoder June 7, 2013 at 2:22 am #

    What is the grip like? As comfortable as the G5 or better?

    • Steven Lynch June 11, 2013 at 5:08 am #

      The grip on the G6 is more comfortable than the G5 in my opinion. Overall the camera has a much nicer feel to it with the textured plastic vs. the smooth of the Lumix cameras previously. The grip is maybe slightly larger than the G5 too, but it just has a nicer feel to it.

  8. tbymrtn June 8, 2013 at 2:12 am #

    How do you monitor audio without a headphone out? Are there level meters onscreen? Is it possible to adjust audio levels on the fly?

    • Steven Lynch June 11, 2013 at 5:00 am #

      To simply answer your question, no there is no monitoring of audio with your ears. I come from a background in video and audio, so I do know exactly where you are coming from with this question. Honestly speaking, Panasonic has a really good automatic gain controller in their cameras and they work very well with regards to controlling the audio.

      There are level displays which you can set to appear on the screen (I usually have mine set up all the time). There is also manual settings, which appear to still use some form of Auto Gain control, but in different levels. For example you know you’re going to a very loud concert, so you change the settings to be level 1 or 2. If I remember right the G5 has something around 3 levels of manual control and the G6 has at least 5 or more. It’s definitely more set up for video use.

      • psychiatryandlaw August 19, 2013 at 8:31 am #

        I am loving my G6. Can you clarify that if using an external mic (Zoom H6, NOT the panasonic), what do I set the microphone levels at on the camera body? Do I effectively shut off the internal mics?

        • Giulio Sciorio August 19, 2013 at 9:39 am #

          I believe you’ll simply plug in the mic and which overrides the internal mic. This is what happens with the GH3 so I’m assuming its the same with the G6. Since you have the G6 I would test to be sure.

  9. Peter Bracher June 9, 2013 at 12:40 am #

    Help! I’m suffering from Delayed Purchase Syndrome (DPS). I’ve been very happy with my Lumix G2 for several years and when the G3 came out I didn’t feel the need to upgrade, then with the G5 I thought perhaps it’s time – but the G6 was announced just before I bought one, so I thought I’d wait for the G6. Now I’m wondering what the G7/8 may have to offer if I wait a bit more. I’ve invested in the Lumix 20mm, 45-200 and the Olympus 45mm f1.8 so want to stick with micro 4/3, and my only concern about the G3 is the blown highlights I sometimes get that I guess may be helped by a newer sensor.
    Is it time to upgrade yet??

    • Giulio Sciorio June 9, 2013 at 1:45 am #

      Hey Peter,

      Sounds like you’re over thinking the purchase. There’s not going to be a major leap from one camera to the next regardless of sensor. The best thing you can do to improve your photography is work at the craft.

      Now if you like the features that the G6 gives you over the G3, and there are plenty, then go for it. You’ll love the G6 but buying a camera because of what you read about its sensor is a decision that might lead to disappointment.

      I’m not sure if the G3 has iDynamic but if it does experiment with that first. Its designed to help with blown out highlights and I find that it works quite well.

      Thanks for reading and commenting. :-)

    • Steven Lynch June 11, 2013 at 5:07 am #

      Hi Peter. I can understand your wanting to upgrade. You’ve done a great job in investing in your lenses, which is where most of us professional photographers know we are really investing in. Camera bodies get updated and changed so much now with the new technology age that you can easily get away with skipping 1 to 3 generations of cameras, but the lenses are always going to be what makes or breaks a shot.

      If money is not a concern, pre-order the G6 and you’re going to be happy with it for the next 2 years or more. If you are just looking for an upgrade to your G2, because you want a much better improved camera for the image quality, then the G5 is going to be a spectacular upgrade for you right now. It’s also got a really great price on it since the G6 is going to start shipping soon. The G6 has the new improved video quality and a handling / performance upgrade, but image quality is going to be similar if not the same as the G5 with any of the lenses you own. As far as blown highlights go, check out the iDynamic settings as Giulio suggested and also watch your exposures while photographing. The G5 / G6 have a joystick that moves left or right on your finger that changes the exposure compensation. It is a very handy tool for controlling highlights, and something I miss when using my GH2.

      Cheers Mate!

  10. Jacqueline Poutasse June 10, 2013 at 7:27 pm #

    I purchased the G5 to “tip my toe” into the world of micro four thirds. I find myself reaching for it a lot more than the D300 these days. One of the cons for me is using the rear dial in manual mode. There is a bump in the body of the camera just under the dial which raises my thumb and I find that my thumb can’t get enough traction to turn the dial without applying some pressure on it and when I do it always switches the aperture and shutter speed to the opposite of the one I was trying to change. It’s very frustrating. Is the dial on the G6 and easier to manipulate?

    • Steven Lynch July 2, 2013 at 3:02 pm #

      Hi Jacqueline. That does tend to be the route a lot of us take getting to mirrorless. For me it was the little Lumix GF3. I really just wanted a take everywhere family camera (was tired of lugging DSLR around) after I got it, and started using my legacy lenses I was hooked. I hardly used the dSLRs anymore for more than a few jobs. I sold every piece of Canon off and went completely mirrorless.

      I’m also not a fan of the rear dial on the G5. I honestly don’t remember if it was any better on the G6, I’m guessing not so much. The GH2 for example has a very lovely tactile feedback and is very easy to change. I have found that after a month or so, it becomes easier to use the rear dial. I’m not sure if its me or the dial being broken in.

      Enjoy your camera. Cheers!

  11. Jon Abrams June 15, 2013 at 11:12 pm #

    When using the GH2 in manual exposure mode there’s a “Constant Preview” option, in the Custom menu, that allows you to constantly preview the effect of shutter/aperture setting changes before taking the picture. Does the G6 have such a feature?

    • Steven Lynch July 2, 2013 at 2:57 pm #

      Hi Jon. Thanks for asking Sir. The only cameras that will currently deliver a constant exposure preview are the GH Series. The G6 like the G5 only has exposure preview when setting this feature to a Fn button. Thus will show you both DOF preview and exposure / shutter speed effect. It’s a useful feature, but not one I use very often. (It’s a bit choppy).

      Love the constant exposure preview on the GH2 though :)

  12. Tony Berch July 21, 2013 at 10:56 am #

    Nice G6 job,we love our lumix but…would using the IOS App make a more interesting approach( using a mini ipad ) We would love to see you write about using it..We are considering jumping from G1′s to G6′s…Tony

  13. Thomas July 25, 2013 at 2:47 pm #

    I’m looking to get into photography and video to earn a little extra cash. I’ve been trying to make a decision about which camera to buy for awhile and in the last 2 months I’ve bought and returned several cameras including a Canon 60D, Panasonic FZ200, and Canon EOS M. None of the cameras were bad per say but they all left me wanting more. More social media integration, more smartphone, video, and creative features. Advanced features like WIFI, time lapse, stop motion, panorama and focus peaking. Not to mention portability, and lens selection. The G6 seems to have it all. I just don’t want to overlook picture quality. I’m happy with the picture quality of the Canon 60D which is really similar across the EOS range.

    Portability is important. I recently went on vacation to Spain in which I took a Canon T3i. It took great photos but it was a bear to carry around for 6-8hrs a day. Plus there was no way to get photos off the camera onto the web. Sounds trivial but sharing photos is important, so is good, flexible video features, and other creative features.

    I’ve always been a high ISO hound so the G6 does give me a little pause since it’s ISO performance above 1600 starts to lag behind any of my Canon’s. However, with fast glass I can gain a few stops back which then makes the G6′s poor high ISO performance moot.

    For professional work how will the camera be perceived? Is it as professional looking as a DSLR? Or will the paying customer even notice or care?

    • Steve Lynch July 25, 2013 at 3:50 pm #

      Hi Thomas, thanks for commenting Sir. I’d be glad to help you out a bit here.

      From reading your list of requirements, I definitely think the G6 would be a good fit for you. I came from a 60d as well, and was just getting tired of the size / weight as well as the lack of high quality lenses designed for the APS-c sensor for Canon. There are some great, expensive L glass from Canon, but its all designed for 35mm sensors…. Makes it kinda funky and tight on the 60d. Anyhow

      When it comes to cameras, there will always be trade offs. With mirrorless cameras like Lumix you are getting a lot of advanced features that you would like (wifi, focus peaking, AF in video, great video quality that’s easy to get) but the image quality might be a little bit under that of a big huge full frame sensor DSLR for the stills. Coming from the 60d, I would say the high iso of the G5 / G6 is compatible. I have shot iso3200 on jobs before with success. I do use primarily prime lenses with 2.8 of faster apertures and that helps a lot. The Pro Zooms from Panasonic are also great for this and the Stabilization on them works amazingly well. When it really matters I will shoot RAW+JPEG, but I normally use JPEG all the time, which also happens to work well for sharing with wifi to social media quickly.

      The GH3 is going to have most of the features you like, but you won’t have focus peaking for now and it’s also a little bit bigger (size of a T3i) but the lenses are still light and small.

      As for public perception of camera… Read Giulios post about using micro-four thirds on professional jobs, its the truth. In my experience I’ve never had an issue with portrait clients or commercial clients. Unless you are shooting for somebody who is a photographer themselves, the majority of people don’t care and realize you know what equipment gets the job done.

      The G6 or GH3 with an iPad make a great solid social media friendly option.

      Hope that helps. Update us with what you decide.

  14. Marhalim Abas October 5, 2013 at 8:11 am #

    I am having problems connecting my Audio Technica shotgun mike to the G6. Does the camera only detect Panasonic mikes?

    • Steve Lynch October 7, 2013 at 11:45 am #

      Hi Marhalim. I do not believe the G6 only works with Panasonic Microphones. Without knowing exactly which model of Audio Technica Mic, I am having a hard time helping you out here.

      The main thing to check for with ANY Shotgun style microphone is your power? If you are using the XLR style shotgun, do you have a device supplying Phantom power and then adapting to the 1/8″ plug for the G6, or if you have the 1/8″ plug shotgun that they have available, are the batteries fresh, do you have the microphone turned on? That would be the main thing to check for if it won’t work for you.

      Let me know some more details and I’ll try and help you out as best I can. Thanks!

  15. julian November 10, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

    Hi!

    I’ve got the G2 and 20mm 1.7, which is a great combination for most situations, but my son has started playing ice hockey and I need something that gets me closer to the action. I need a bigger lens obviously and I can’t decide if I should stay with the M4/3 system or go DSLR. The biggest problem with hockey is the safety net around the rink – trying to shoot through this confuses the autofocus on the G2 so I shoot manual focus mostly. I shoot mostly stills but have also started shooting video so I’d like something that works well for both.

    At some rinks I can be right up against the net but at others I have to stand back a bit or be up in the stands.

    Lens-wise I’m looking at either the Olympus 75mm F1.8 or Panasonic 35-100 F2.8 to get closer to the action.

    Would the G6 or GH3 autofocus better than the G2 when shooting through the net? If I were to upgrade to a Nikon D5200 / D5300 or D7000 / D7100 would this autofocus better? I’d like ot stay with M4/3 for the size advantage but if the DSLR gets focus improvements then this would be a big consideration.

    Thanks, hope you can help!

    Julian

    • Giulio Sciorio November 12, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

      The G6 and GH3 are worlds apart from the G2. You can always use the Pin Point AF and target through the net. Keep in mind that the hockey net will confuse any AF system since they mostly work on contrasting vertical and horizontal lines regardless of manufacture.

      • Julian November 12, 2013 at 10:32 pm #

        Thanks Giulio! I’m glad to hear there is a big improvement between the G2 and the G6 / GH3. Over the weekend I picked up a pair of Yashica lenses at a thrift store – 135mm f2.8 and 28mm f2.8 in excellent condition – for almost nothing. I’ve ordered the CY adapter (and the Canon FD adapter at the same time) and can’t wait to get these on to the camera to try the different focal lengths. I’ll spend a bit more time practicing with these combinations and will probably end up going for the G6 with the 14-42mm kit lens as the next upgrade and then decide if I need the 75mm Oly or the 35-100 Panasonic. If I’m not going to gain any improvements in autofocus through the net from a DSLR then there’s no real reason to switch systems. And if the manual lenses work out for me then a fast 50mm and 85mm Canon FD could be next on the list.

        Thanks again!

  16. Magnus Eriksson November 17, 2013 at 3:13 am #

    Great site for information about the G6, thanks Steve. For me as a amateur and buying the first m4/3 setup as a upgrade from my LX3 that doesn’t have good enough video performance. I have a question about the more common and cheaper 14-42 lens versus the 14-42 power zoom. Is there any difference in the image quality? I will be shooting stills of family and nature and video of my family so the video function is important to me. Thanks again!

  17. chipbutty January 6, 2014 at 8:10 am #

    Interesting review. Just had the opportunity to take my new G6 out and was disappointed to find that the auto focus is noticeably slower than my soon to be departed G3. Tried it with the Sigma 30mm and Panasonic 14mm. I thought it was all in my head so I put the same lenses on the G3 and suddenly I had the familiar instantaneous auto focus. The G6 is now on a par with my X100 on the new v2 firmware when it comes to auto focussing speeds.

    Has anyone else noticed this? Mind you the G3 had incredible auto focus response so maybe this is a trade off with the G6. I gather this is the same sensor as the GH2 so maybe that’s why? I’m quite disappointed.

  18. Dan Keeble January 23, 2014 at 4:31 pm #

    what’s the best picture profile settings for the G6?

    • Giulio Sciorio January 23, 2014 at 4:43 pm #

      There’s no right answer for that. The best profile is the one that works for your particular tastes. You can have a lot of fun experimenting with settings to learn what works and what doesn’t. Experiment and post your results.

      • Dan Keeble January 23, 2014 at 4:59 pm #

        good advice there, thanks. Was really just wondering if ‘noise reduction’ works best at 0 or dialled down to -5

  19. Jo March 12, 2014 at 10:46 am #

    how can I setup external mic to Lumix G6?

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