Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6 review

An accomplished all-rounder that excels for video capture

30 May 2013
Our Rating 
5/5
Price when reviewed 
619
inc VAT
Buy it now for 

Specifications

17.3x13mm 16.0-megapixel sensor, 3.0x zoom (28-84mm equivalent), 564g

IMAGE QUALITY

The biggest challenge for the G6 is its basic ability to take photos. Its predecessors have done well here but they haven't quite matched SLRs for image quality. The G6 had no problems competing in bright conditions. Its 16-megapixel sensor is a little lower than most SLRs at this price, but sharp focus right into the corners of frames and extremely reliable autofocus meant that it compared well for details. There was no hint of noise-reduction artefacts at the base ISO 160 setting, and details looked every bit as natural and lifelike as we'd expect from an SLR.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6 test shot

The G6's lens, sensor and JPEG engine all contribute to supremely crisp, lifelike details in bright light

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6 test shot

The spokes on this wheel are sharp with smooth edges to lines, and there's no hint of noise in the dark textures of the wheel

Noise at fast ISO speeds has been a weak area for Lumix G cameras in the past, but the G6 put in an excellent performance here too. It was just as good as an SLR up to ISO 1600. By ISO 3200 its rivals began to show a slight advantage, but the G6 still turned in usable results at ISO 6400 that were only a little behind the leaders. Choosing a Lumix G camera used to mean having to accept a compromise for low-light image quality, but that's no longer the case.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6 test shot

There's barely any suggestion of noise in this ISO 1600 shot

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6 test shot

Shaded skin tones are a tougher test, but there's still only a light smattering of visible noise, and plenty of detail

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6 test shot

Noise is more pronounced at ISO 3200, but this shot is still good enough to keep

CONCLUSION

The G6 could be seen as a dependable but unremarkable camera. Its ergonomics, controls, performance and photo quality are all above average but not quite class-leading. Its video mode and Wi-Fi implementation are its best features, but these won't be the most important issues for many people.

Another view is that this is a rare instance of a camera that gets pretty much everything right. A lot of SLRs and CSCs' video modes are prone to problems, such as skittish autofocus and aliasing artefacts. We've seen slightly unreliable autofocus for photos in many SLRs at this price, too. All of these problems are notably absent here. The G6 takes reliably excellent photos and videos, and everything else is in place for a great user experience.

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