It seems like just last year—wait, it was last July—that I was at California’s Sonoma Raceway for the introduction of the Panasonic Lumix G5. You can read my review of the G5 in the July issue of Shutterbug magazine, which should also be on-line soon. Here I was craving a G5, saving my pennies and Panasonic goes and announces, a key word, the Lumix G6. As I write this I’ve placed an order for the limited number of G6 cameras and new 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 lenses that will be available in the USA sometime around June 21. I’ll update this if my place on the waiting list is high enough to actually get one of these cameras and will write a “First Impressions” post when I do. In the meantime, here’s a brief overview of what to expect:
The big news, for me anyway, is that the G6 has Wi-Fi connectivity with NFC (Near Field Communication) technology, meaning that users can connect the camera to their smartphone/tablet with one-touch, which should makes sharing images easier. It will also be possible to use a smartphone/tablet as a remote shutter. With the G6’s Instant Transfer function, photos are automatically sent to the smartphone/tablet after shooting. All these flexible shooting/browsing/sharing styles are possible when using Panasonic’s Image App for iOS and Android smartphones/tablets.
First and foremost the Lumix G6 is a 16.05 megapixel Micro Four-thirds system camera that has a new Venus Engine image processor with advanced noise reduction that allows shooting at a maximum ISO of 25,600 (at its Extended setting.) The G6 offers burst speed shooting at 7 fps at full resolution and is ready to shoot in only 0.5 seconds after turning it on. The camera has lots of built in features such as Creative Panorama, Time Lapse, Stop Motion Animation and Clear Retouch in addition to 19 filter effects. Stop Motion Animation allows for stop-motion video and the Clear Retouch function lets you erase an unwanted portion of a picture after shooting and both operations can be completed in-camera.
The 1,440K-dot OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) Live View Finder is expected to offer “excellent color reproduction” with a contrast ratio of 10,000:1. A new 3-inch, approximately, 1036K-dot high, monitor rotates 180° to the side and tilts 270° up and down boasting an approx. 100% field of view. The front panel is directly attached to the new In Cell Touch LCD without an air layer in between resulting in fewer reflections. In the USA, the G6 will be offered in basic black but I’ve seen white and silver models for sale on eBay through Japanese retailers.
Video? Lumix cameras have always been video stars and the G6 features full HD 1920×1080, 60p (60 Hz) high quality video recording in AVCHD Progressive and MP4 in stereo. Full-time AF and tracking AF is available in video recording as well. The full-HD 1,920 x 1,080 60p (60 Hz) video can be recorded in MP4 at 28 Mbps, to play back directly on a computer or other portable electronic devices without the need for conversion. I plan to use it to shoot the video for my new Kickstarter (watch for details) book/portfolio project.
So, I’m excited about the creative possibilities and look forward to actually owing a G6. Stay tuned for further updates from Mark Toal and myself…depending on who gets their hands on a Lumix G6 first.