Impressive Panasonic Lumix G6 Builds on GH2 Sensor, Adds 1080/60p and Focus Peaking

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The Panasonic Lumix GH2 has been one of the most celebrated cameras of the last few years, and it’s spectacular capabilities in video mode have given the GH2 a cult-like following among indie and enthusiast video producers.  One thing is certain, even though the capabilities of the GH2’s sensor wasn’t fully realized for still images, the camera can produce crazy brilliant image quality in video mode (especially after it was hacked).  When the Lumix G5 came out last year, complete with a GH2 sensor inside, the superb image quality for which the sensor is famous was finally realized in still photos mode.

Now, the Lumix G6 is getting even more out of that GH2 sensor.  With an updated Venus Processing Engine, the G6 takes the great IQ of it’s predecessor and adds faster autofocus to the mix, wifi, NFC, focus peaking and greatly enhanced video capabilities – up to 1080/60p and stereo audio complete with a mic input.  Indeed, the Lumix G6 looks like an affordable Hybrid Powerhouse and the new camera is beginning to attract attention.

The folks over at EOSHD are also well awayre of what the GH2 sensor can do and are among the many professionals who have been impressed by what they’ve seen so far from the G6, calling it “a bit of a surprise”, and stating that the G6 is “quite possibly taking video to new levels on a mid-range camera.”

Here’s more of EOSHD’s take on the new Panasonic Lumix G6

The G6 is based around the GH2′s multi-aspect sensor (18MP total, 16MP effective), the sensor is larger than the one in the GH3 (1.86x crop vs 2x), the new camera updates the AVCHD codec (adding 1080/60p) and even focus peaking, something the GH3 doesn’t (yet) have!

The G6 contains a number of other improvements over it’s predecessor, the G5:

  • A 3.5mm mic socket, now on the front of the camera so not to block the articulated screen
  • A new stop motion animation mode
  • Timelapse video mode
  • Progressive AVCHD 2.0, 1080/60p
  • 24p and full manual control in video
  • Focus peaking
  • Zoom rocker switch near the shutter release
  • OLED EVF
  • 40fps burst mode (and rumours of a 4K / 8MP burst mode at 20fps)

The Venus Engine seems to have had an update over even the GH3. There’s a lot of innovative new stuff in there such as the ability to touch objects in a photo and erase them with a content-aware fill (a ‘gesture based heal tool’).

EOSHD Concludes…

I’m really impressed with what the G6 offers for the entry level price point and it’s great to see the re-birth of the GH2′s sensor, which was capable of such insane detail in video mode with no real moire issues. Whether that has carried over into the new camera remains to be confirmed, but it looks likely it will build upon the image quality offered in video mode by the GH2. I will be very curious to see how it compares to the GH3.

Panasonic have really stepped up the fight with Canon and their Rebel line here, offering far more features for the price (and not just video features). I’m sure to be buying this one and seeing how it compares to the GH3.  (Read full article on EOSHD)

My 2 Cents

I’ve personally been shooting with both a Lumix GH2 and a Lumix G5 for quite a while now, skewing towards the GH2 for video and the G5 for stills, and I’ve often mused to myself that it would be great if they could combine those two cameras into one at a midrange price.  It’s too early to tell if the Lumix G6 will be the realization of my musings, but from all early indications, it looks like it will at least come close.  I plan on picking one up as soon as possible, so look for more on the G6 in this space in the near future.  For now though, it looks like the Lumix G6 could very well be the camera that makes high quality hybrid photography accessible to the masses. Stay Tuned!

Buy the Panasonic Lumix G6 on Amazon Here

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