Some thoughts after renting a G6

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by ajm80031, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. ajm80031

    ajm80031 Mu-43 Regular

    I just shipped a Panasonic G6 back to LensRentals after having it for several days. I suspect I was the first person to rent that particular camera as it was in pristine condition and the strap hadn't even been put on yet. Some thoughts after using it:

    - While I shot RAW+jpg, I haven't been able to do anything with the RAW files as neither Mac OS (I'm on the most recent version of 10.7) nor Adobe Lightroom 4 support the RAW files from it yet. As I normally shoot RAW, and all the shots I'd saved from other cameras I'm considering are in RAW format, it's not possible to draw firm conclusions about the still image quality (especially as jpeg rendering hasn't necessarily been a strength of Panasonic in the past). I'm holding on to the G6 RAW files in hopes that support for them will show up before I make my buying decision.

    Since the G6 has essentially the same sensor as the GH2/G5, one would expect it to have a bit less dynamic range than cameras using the newer Sony sensors. The jpegs seem to back that up (compared to OMD-EM5, GH3, and NEX) but again with jpegs the in-camera processing has a lot to do with it and what I'm seeing may not apply in RAW. Overall the images do look a bit more like higher-resolution versions of the ones from my old GH1 than from the other 16MP cameras I've rented.

    - Video-wise, it's quite good. I shot the G6 (in 60p AVCHD mode) at a location I've found is very challenging for video cameras -- lots of foliage (trees and grass) with a lot of fine detail, as well as some rough brick. In this situation, both when held still and while panning, the G6 did an excellent job of maintaining detail and having good color reproduction. When panning, the detail didn't fall apart like it does with many other cameras. Straight out of the camera, to my eyes it looked just as good as video from a GH3 shot at a much higher bitrate. I expect the GH3 footage would hold up to color grading and the like better in post-production, but otherwise there doesn't look to be much to choose between them as far as video in good lighting conditions.

    The video was much better than an OMD-EM5 (which suffered from jerky movement, didn't seem to reproduce colors as well, and produced a fair amount of "mud" in high detail areas) or from an NEX-6/7 (which had some serious moire problems with the brick and also didn't produce colors that were as pleasing).

    - The touch screen is very handy. From what I'd read I had thought that I should be able to use to touch screen to set the focus/exposure point even when looking through the viewfinder, but that functionality only seemed to work when viewing the touch screen. Is there some option I needed to enable to make this work?

    - Size is more similar to the GH1/2 than the GH3.

    - Handling seems to be a good compromise. There's less room to place dedicated buttons on that the GH3, but the G6 provides more external controls than my old GH1. The menus are logically laid out, and very quick to navigate with the touchscreen.

    Some people have referred to the G6 as the "GH2.5" and I think that's deserved. While it lacks a few of the top-end features of the GH line, it straddles the stills/video line in a similar manner to the GH cameras. As a reasonably-priced upgrade to my GH1 it fills the bill very nicely. The issue for me is that my wife found the NEX cameras much more pleasing to use (as, even though they have larger sensors, the bodies are thinner/lighter than Micro 4:3 bodies -- at least those that include viewfinders -- and some of the Sony e-mount zooms are also surprisingly small & light), and she'd be much more inclined to use the camera if I switched to those.
  2. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 4, 2011
    Kyiv, Ukraine
  3. madogvelkor

    madogvelkor Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 22, 2013
  4. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 4, 2011
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    According to the manual, you have to enable the [Touch Pad AF] option. It's located in the [Custom] -> [Touch settings] menu.
  5. ajm80031

    ajm80031 Mu-43 Regular

    Hmmm, interesting, I thought I had the the OS completely up-to-date but I'll go check for updates. It certainly would be nice to be comparing apples to apples (or RAW to RAW).
  6. ajm80031

    ajm80031 Mu-43 Regular

    I'd seen that in the menu settings, but when I selected it there were two settings available that I didn't understand so I skipped over it. Too late now, unfortunately, as I've already shipped the camera back but good to know the option exists.
  7. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    You don't need the latest version of Lightroom. You just need the latest version Adobe DNG Converter. It will convert the RAW file into a .DNG RAW file that LR4 can work with.
  8. ajm80031

    ajm80031 Mu-43 Regular

    Thanks for the suggestion. I did that and compared the G6 RAW files with those taken with several other cameras (GH3, OMD-EM5, Sony A58, NEX-6/7). The older sensor is indeed giving up something vs. the newer :43: sensors and the APS-C sensors in the Sonys. It doesn't affect all photos, obviously, but the difference is apparent.

    In a separate thread I posted a high-ISO comparison shot between my GH1 and the G6:

    At high ISO it looks like the G6 has improved some of the characteristics of the noise but the overall noise level is pretty similar.

    So, while the G6 would be an upgrade for me in some ways, stills image quality (especially when viewed on a screen or at the print sizes I commonly make) is very similar to my existing GH1. I'm not sold at this point.
  9. dejongj

    dejongj Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 3, 2013
    Whipsnade, UK
    It is 10.8.2+ only...Since you are on 10.7....
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