Lumix G6 User Review by Matt Saunders

matt_saunders_img90 Mirrorless Minutes in Bracknell: A Review of the Lumix G6

How much can you learn about a new camera in 90mins? Are there any decent photo opportunities in Bracknell town centre? And can you get there from Clapham Junction on an Oyster Card? Between accepting Panasonic’s invitation to write a review of the new Lumix G6 and arriving at their head office in Bracknell, these were the questions on my mind. Those of you already on the edge of your seats will be excited to hear that all will be revealed before the end of this review, while everyone else will hopefully find a helpful account of my time with the G6.

A brief introduction to help you put this review into context: My name is Matt and I’ve been taking photographs at an ‘enthusiastic-amateur’ level for about five years. My go-to camera is an aging but reliable Canon DSLR paired with an f/2 35mm prime lens. I find this combination good for street photography and documentary portraiture, which makes up the bulk of my work. I’m 29 and work with computers so I’m fairly digitally savvy, but as a photographer I have always favoured the capture of interesting moments over advanced technical capabilities. For me the essential attributes of a camera are:

  • Is it fast and user-friendly? If I decide to take a picture will it react quickly and intuitively?
  • Is it reliable? Does it focus accurately and work well in low light conditions?
  • Are the images it captures of high quality? Is it good at capturing colour and are noise levels tolerable?

Any other features are obviously very welcome but if a camera fails to deliver in any of these areas then it isn’t suitable for my needs, and I have evaluated the G6 accordingly.

I’m not going to dwell too long on technical specifications in this review because there are plenty of other websites available that do a far better job of this than I could. Amazon in particular has a handy grid that summarises the facts and features if that’s what you’re after – feel free to take a look and pop back later.

See the Lumix G6

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Member Comments

  1. diana posted a comment on 2 March 2014 at 4:01 pm

    I am a keen amateur photographer and recently bought a G6 after enjoying using the G1 for a few years. I am bitterly disappointed in the G6 as it promises noise free images but the pictures I am getting are very very noisy with no clarity to them, maybe I have a faulty camera. I am also finding it frustrating trying to get it to focus on what I want when hand holding but even on manual focus on a tripod the images are very disappointing lacking clarity, detail & sharpness. As for the Panasonic Advertising saying ‘Never miss the shot ‘ I am finding I am ‘Never getting the shot!’ I have missed hundreds of shots particularly flower and insect shots even using my Elmarit 45 Macro lens on the G6 which produces stunning images with the G1 because the camera just refuses to lock on unless I use the touchscreen but I prefer to compose using a viewfinder so its not so easy to use the touchscreen accurately.
    I took some Landscape photos in Stratford last week and although they look brilliant in the viewfinder as do most of the pictures I’ve taken with the G6 they look painterly on the computer! Looking at them using the preview I think ‘Great I’ve got a good shot’ and feel excited but as soon as I zoom in even slightly on the computer the picture starts to pixelate and break up and once again I am left disheartened.
    After using the G1 for years getting stunning pictures I am really frustrated at using the G6. I keep hoping maybe I’m doing something wrong and suddenly I’m going to actually capture pictures I will be proud of and print but after perservering with the G6 for 9mths I think I am just living in hope!
    Has anyone else had the problems Im experiencing? I will be eternally grateful for any advice. Thankyou Diana.

  2. steveferneyhoughphotography posted a comment on 19 May 2014 at 3:27 pm

    I just purchased the G6 plus 12-35mm f2.8 lens and it is fantastic. The AF is fast, the JPEG’s are sharp, colourful and noise free so I am not sure what has happened in your experience. I love the touchscreen which is easy to use and fast to focus. The video quality is also excellent and you can manually select options here too. With AF, don’t forget you need to lock onto something with a bit of contrast-Autofocus will struggle to lock in low light, plain objects/surfaces etc (that applies to any camera). I have customised lots of settings on mine to get optimal performance-and the lens is a stellar performer. Hope this helps a little.

  3. jefrs posted a comment on 27 May 2014 at 6:59 pm

    Whilst Matt made a stalwart effort, I do feel that 90 minutes is not enough to review any camera.
    And that is an accusation one could level at so many professional reviews where they so often simply get their facts wrong. It was certainly not enough time to learn how the optimise the in-camera tools and improve performance and picture quality. Once the capabilities are learnt, the IQ can be stunning.
    The touch screen, once the camera is set up, is much less use to me than real buttons. It quickly gets covered in greasy thumb prints and I do not have fingers as small as those of a Japanese lady – they are not easy to use.
    I have a G5 but my wife has a GX7, the extra tools are nice but the wifi is a mixed blessing. The addition of focus highlighting is very useful for MF but not essential. The GX7 has a few more toys than the G6. What I need is a G5 with the tools of the GX7, and that looks like the GH4.
    Since putting the 12-35 f2/8 on, I don’t think I’ve used any other lens on my G5.

  4. brianpritchard posted a comment on 12 July 2014 at 5:30 am

    Diana, I have a photography business and up until a few weeks ago I was a diehard Canon man. I have now completely gone over to M4/3rds with my latest purchase on the 10th of July, being the G6. The camera had to prove it’s self of the bat, after a short period of familiarisation and setting up it was onto a job. A construction site in the centre of my town. The workers had finished for the weekend so I couldn’t access the site, so I had to shoot through the mesh of a 6ft fence. This is the point where I remembered the swivel screen so I used it single handed above my head to get into the site so to speak. To be honest I had my doubts if the shots would be of any use, and resigned myself to coming back on Monday. On getting home and downloading the shots I was astounded at the quality. I did nothing in post processing apart from straightening the overhead shots and some cropping and emailed them to the Company. I have since heard back from them and they are very satisfied with my efforts. I would say that after using the camera for 9mths you should have it set up just as you would like it. To me it sounds like you do have a faulty camera if it had been mine it would have gone back within 9 hours certainly not to persevere for 9mths. Send it back Diana it’s not well.

  5. charlesnewton posted a comment on 18 July 2014 at 10:59 pm

    Diana, I think you must have a Friday afternoon camera. I’ve only had mine a few days, and spent an hour two this afternoon doing test shots on all the various settings, deciding which ones were for me

    (Program mode, vivid, AFF, area focus but set very small, electronic shutter, multi segment metering, spirit level (otherwise all my shots have a 5 degree list to starboard!), and exposure compensation only on back wheel).

    I have been seriously impressed with the image quality, and can only think you have a duff camera. Have you tried a series of test shots using a tripod?

  6. andrewedwards posted a comment on 27 July 2014 at 9:48 pm

    I think I just got the last G6 in the world , all be it with the 14-42 kit lens . Installed the free software on an i7 laptop and looked at what I’d taken . Well nothing like the reviews I’d read , but ok I’m new to the camera . Coming from an old Nikon D 50 , I had expected better , maybe in time .
    The first raw photo was a mesh of pixels , but then went on an iMac and Aperture 3.5.1 ( don’t like macs). But have now eaten my hat , as most of the raw photos are pretty impressive.
    Just got to get used to it . I checked out video to , looks great on the LCD, just got to figure ,which settings do decent videos on the mac to save . Big learning curve , as I thought the G6 might be , a tad easier , not . The review was pleasant and informative and wow 90mins , ur good . I spent 3hours and was still lost . Must read more , thanks . .

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