Reported by Dan Chung and Mat Gallagher:
No line of video capable cameras seems to divide online opinion more than the Panasonic micro 4/3 range. The cameras do have a following among some news and documentary shooters, such as Sky News shooter Andy Porch.
Today sees the launch of the new Lumix G6. The model is from the mid-range G line but has much better specs than the previous G5 model and is now much closer to GH models for video. While the DSLR revolution may have passed, the lower end offerings are getting much better for video – with cameras such as the Nikon D5200 – and this is good news for budget-conscious shooters.
The smaller than 35mm sensor and the active hacking community around the older GH2 continue to rouse strong opinions. The G6 features the same 16.05MP sensor as the GH2 but in an updated body. It’s not clear at this stage whether it uses the same anti-alias filter and how the image quality will compare, though it is likely that the new Venus Engine processor is likely to deliver improved low-light performance and certainly promises better high ISO and AF performance.
The ergonomics have been improved over both the GH2 and the G5, with a higher shouldered design, an improved touch screen TFT and 1.44m dot equivalent OLED EVF. Like the GH3 it gains 3.5mm audio jack – instead of the 2.5mm on the GH2. As with the G5, it allows touch screen AF in video, though previously this has not been very effective.
Panasonic continue to region cripple these cameras. Video shooters wanting multi-region and the higher bitrates that the GH2 hack offers are probably better off with that model. Especially now that GH2’s are more readily available used or discounted.
The G6 does seem to offer many of the improvements of the GH3 for a lower price. As far as I can see, the major advantage for video now with the GH3 is its better build quality and higher capacity batteries.
So in short, the G6 looks interesting but not revolutionary, and if you are considering buying one, it’s probably worth a look at a GH2 first.
* 16.05-megapixel Live MOS Sensor and Venus Engine
* Fast, Accurate Light Speed AF
* New 1440K-dot Equivalent OLED LVF (Live View Finder)
* P/S/A/M Manual Control and 50p(50Hz)/24p Full HD Video
* Easy Wireless Connectivity via Wi-Fi® / NFC with Smartphones
* Creative Panorama and Creative Control with 19 Filter Effects
This from Panasonic:
The new powerful Venus Engine coupled with the LUMIX DMC-G6’s 16.05M Live MOS Sensor enable users to demonstrate the true image quality achievable with a DSLM camera. Furthermore the camera has an improved ISO range from 160 ISO all the way up to 25,600 ISO (extended) allowing photographs to be captured in spite of very little light in some environments.
Boasting a high speed AF system, ‘Accurate AF’ and ‘Low Light AF’ for shooting in low-light conditions, you’ll never miss the perfect moment with the LUMIX DMC-G6. A wide range of AF modes are available, including multiple-area AF, Face Detection, and AF Tracking resulting in the LUMIX DMC-G6 being able to lock onto any subject and keep it in focus even if it moves. Additionally, the LUMIX DMC-G6’s rapid burst shooting capability – at seven Frames per Second (FPS) in full resolution, can capture multiple shots of fast-moving subjects with stunning clarity.
The quality advances of the LUMIX DMC-G6 are not restricted to still images. A 24p video mode has been added enabling users to capture moving images and play them back with a dedicated ‘film like’ appearance. The sensor and Venus Engine enable the camera to record in Full HD 1080/50p, with stereo sound, producing professional movie quality with minimal noise. With outputs in both AVCHD progressive and MP4, the LUMIX DMC-G6 provides wide compression and compatibility options. The long recording times, instant access controls, advanced AF system and LUMIX G lenses specifically designed for movie shooting, means the LUMIX DMC-G6 is the perfect option for capturing beautiful movies with ease.
Giving photographers an enhanced view and faster operation
The LUMIX DMC-G6 benefits from an OLED viewfinder which is not only brighter than a traditional LCD viewfinder but is also faster to display images, offers better visibility outdoors in bright sunlight and increases battery life due to lower power consumption. With a choice of using either the Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) with eye sensor, or the high resolution, 3.0-inch free-angle monitor to compose your shots and movies, you can capture the moment as the situation demands. Meanwhile, the revolutionary touch control shooting – including full-area touch focusing where the focus can be set immediately to the subject, or to the background, by just one touch of the large monitor even when using the EVF – gives you the control to compose and create stunning images.
Cable-free Connectivity with Wi-Fi and NFC
Introduced into the LUMIX G range with the LUMIX DMC-GF6, the LUMIX DMC-G6 also features integrated Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity offering a more flexible shooting experience and easy image sharing from an interchangeable lens camera. After the initial setup, tablets and smartphones for remote shooting can be connected with a simple touch without having to re-enter authorisation details every time.