Panasonic Lumix G6 Review

May 9, 2013 | Mark Goldstein | |

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 16 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 6Mb.

The Panasonic Lumix G6 produced images of excellent quality during the review period. It produces noise-free images at ISO 100 to 800, with limited noise starting to appear at ISO 1600. ISO 3200 exhibits quite visible noise and loss of fine detail, and the faster settings of ISO 6400 and 12800 are even noisier but still usable for small prints and web use. We'd avoid using the headline-grabbing ISO 25,600 setting though.

The images were a little soft straight out of the camera at the default sharpening level and ideally require further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, or you can change the in-camera setting if you don't like the default results. The various Creative Controls and Photo Styles allow you to quickly and easily customise the look of the camera's JPEG images. The pop-up flash worked well indoors, with no red-eye and good overall exposure.

The night photograph was excellent, with the maximum shutter speed of 60 seconds allowing you to capture plenty of light. We struggled to see any differences between the Intelligent Resolution settings, but Intelligent D-range and the HDR mode are effective features for capturing more detail in the shadows and highlights.

Noise

There are 9 ISO settings available on the Panasonic Lumix G6. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting:

JPEG

RAW

ISO 160 (100% Crop)

ISO 160 (100% Crop)

iso160.jpg iso160raw.jpg
   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

iso200.jpg iso200raw.jpg
   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

iso400.jpg iso400raw.jpg
   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

iso800.jpg iso800raw.jpg
   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

iso1600.jpg iso1600raw.jpg
   

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

iso3200.jpg iso3200raw.jpg
   

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

iso6400.jpg iso6400raw.jpg
   

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

iso12800.jpg iso12800raw.jpg
   

ISO 25600 (100% Crop)

ISO 25600 (100% Crop)

iso25600.jpg iso25600raw.jpg

File Quality

The Panasonic Lumix G6 has 2 different JPEG image quality settings available, with Fine being the highest quality option. Here are some 100% crops which show the quality of the various options, with the file size shown in brackets.

Fine (6.62Mb) (100% Crop)

Standard (2.95Mb) (100% Crop)

quality_fine.jpg quality_standard.jpg
   

RAW (18.9Mb) (100% Crop)

 
quality_raw.jpg  

Sharpening

Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are a little soft at the default sharpening setting, and benefit from further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. You can also change the in-camera sharpening level by tweaking the Film Mode, with five different settings available.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

sharpen1.jpg sharpen1a.jpg
   
sharpen2.jpg sharpen2a.jpg

Flash

The flash settings on the Panasonic Lumix G6 are Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Forced Flash On, Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction and Forced Flash Off. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Flash Off (28mm)

Flash On (28mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Flash Off (84mm)

Flash On (84mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots. As you can see, neither the Flash On setting or the Red-Eye Reduction option caused any amount of red-eye.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)
flash_on.jpg flash_on1.jpg
   

Red-eye Reduction

Red-eye Reduction (100% Crop)

flash_redeye.jpg flash_redeye1.jpg

Night

The Panasonic Lumix G6 maximum shutter speed is 60 seconds and there's also a Bulb option for exposures up to 4 minutes long, which is excellent news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 15 seconds at ISO 160. The camera takes the same amount of time again to apply noise reduction, so for example at the 15 second setting the actual exposure takes 30 seconds.

Night

Night (100% Crop)

night1.jpg night1a.jpg

Image Stabilisation

The Panasonic Lumix G6 has an antishake mechanism supplied via its lenses which allows you to take sharp photos at slower shutter speeds than other digital cameras. To test this, we took 2 handheld shots of the same subject with the same settings. The first shot was taken with the stabilizer turned off, the second with it turned on. Here is a 100% crop of the image to show the results. As you can see, with image stabilisation turned on (via the menu system option for the 14-42mm kit lens), the images are sharper than when it's turned off.

Shutter Speed / Focal Length

Image Stabilisation Off (100% Crop)

Image Stabilisation On (100% Crop)

1/15th / 28mm antishake1.jpg antishake1a.jpg
     
1/13th / 84mm antishake2.jpg antishake2a.jpg

Intelligent Resolution

The Panasonic Lumix G6's Intelligent Resolution feature identifies outlines, texture areas and soft gradation areas of the image and then automatically optimizes the edges and detailed texture areas while using noise reduction to make the soft gradation areas smoother. There are four available strengths - low, standard, high and extended.

Off

Low

intelligent_resolution_off.jpg intelligent_resolution_1.jpg
   

Standard

High

intelligent_resolution_2.jpg intelligent_resolution_3.jpg
   
Extended  
intelligent_resolution_4.jpg  

HDR

The Panasonic Lumix G6's HDR mode combines three pictures taken at different exposures to create one image with greater dynamic range than a single shot.

Off

+1EV

hdr_off.jpg hdr_01.jpg
   

+2EV

+3EV

hdr_02.jpg hdr_03.jpg

Intelligent D-Range

The Panasonic Lumix G6's Intelligent D-range setting adjusts the exposure setting to record more detail in the highlights and shadows, with three strengths available - low, standard and high.

Off

Low

intelligent_drange_off.jpg intelligent_drange_01.jpg
   

Standard

High

intelligent_drange_02.jpg intelligent_drange_03.jpg

Photo Styles

The Panasonic Lumix G6 has 6 preset Photo Styles, with Standard as the default setting. The contrast, sharpness, saturation and noise reduction can be individually set for each picture style, and there is also a Custom style so that you can create your own look.

Standard

Vivid

photo_style_1.jpg photo_style_2.jpg
   

Natural

Monochrome

photo_style_3.jpg photo_style_4.jpg
   

Scenery

Portrait

photo_style_5.jpg photo_style_6.jpg

Creative Controls

The Panasonic Lumix G6 has an extensive range of Creative Controls, denoted by an artist's palette on the shooting mode dial, with 19 different options on offer.

Expressive

Retro

creative_control_01.jpg creative_control_02.jpg
   

Old Days

High Key

creative_control_03.jpg creative_control_04.jpg
   

Low Key

Sepia

creative_control_05.jpg creative_control_06.jpg
   

Dynamic Monochrome

Impressive Art

creative_control_07.jpg creative_control_08.jpg
   

High Dynamic

Cross Process

creative_control_09.jpg creative_control_10.jpg
   

Toy Effect

Toy Pop

creative_control_11.jpg creative_control_12.jpg
   

Bleach Bypass

Miniature Effect

creative_control_13.jpg creative_control_14.jpg
   

Soft Focus

Fantasy

creative_control_15.jpg creative_control_16.jpg
   

Star Filter

One Point Color

creative_control_17.jpg creative_control_18.jpg
   

Sunshine

 
creative_control_19.jpg  

Panoramas

The Panasonic Lumix G6 allows you to take panoramic images very easily, by 'sweeping' with the camera while keeping the shutter release depressed. The camera does all the processing and stitching and even successfully compensates for moving subjects.

panorama1.jpg