Advertisement

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Advertisement

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6 review

Ben Pitt
30 May 2013
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
619
inc VAT

An accomplished all-rounder that excels for video capture

Advertisement

Specifications

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

VIDEO AND WI-FI

Responsive, smooth autofocus is also available when recording videos. That's not the only advantage the G6's video mode has over its rivals. Video details were sharper and smoother than any other CSC or SLR bar the Panasonic GH3, with barely any moiré interference and none of the blocky or soft details that rival cameras exhibit. The GH3 delivered punchier contrast that helped to bring out subtle details, but there wasn't a huge amount to choose between them for video quality.

The best news for keen videographers is that the G6 supports the full complement of priority and manual exposure modes for video capture – something Panasonic has previously reserved for its flagship GH cameras. Shutter speed, aperture and ISO speed can be adjusted while recording, and doing so via the touchscreen avoids spoiling the soundtrack.

MPEG-4 encoding is at 25 or 50fps at 1080p. Switching to AVCHD format adds 24p and 50i to the options, but details weren't as crisp in this format. Encoding is at up to 28Mbit/s – there's no 50Mbit/s or 72Mbit/s recording as per the GH3 here – but we didn't see any evidence of compression artefacts. A bigger disappointment for ambitious filmmakers is that the HDMI output is disabled while recording.

That's probably enough to protect sales of the GH3. However, in two respects the G6 is an even better video camera than the GH3. Its peaking focus mode is a huge benefit for video, making it easier to adjust the manual focus while recording. It also supports remote video capture over Wi-Fi from the accompanying iOS and Android apps, so a tablet can be used as a wireless monitor. These features will probably be added to the GH3 sooner or later, but Panasonic wasn't able to confirm.

The app also includes comprehensive control over camera settings, although sadly it's not possible to adjust them while recording. The camera can even stream recorded videos to an Android device for instant playback, but this isn't supported in the iOS app.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6 app

Use your tablet as a wireless video monitor, and tweak setting between shots

Photo capture benefits greatly from the Wi-Fi features too, with elegant photo transfers, including the ability to transfer as you shoot, plus comprehensive remote control. The autofocus point can be moved by touching the phone or tablet's screen, and it's even possible to adjust the autofocus point's size with a pinching action.

Back in the camera, there are lots of other great extras, including HDR, panorama stitching and creative filters. A Clear Retouch feature can be used to erase blemishes from JPEGs by automatically cloning from other areas of the photo. The results were somewhat hit-and-miss but it could be handy on the odd occasion. A stop-motion mode captures a sequence of photos, either according to a timer for time-lapse effects or on demand with the shutter release button. The screen overlays the previous frame to help keep track of movement in the animation, and the camera can convert the sequence of photos into a video file at a choice of frame rates.

Read more

Reviews