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Andrew Reid

Panasonic G6 Review - the GH2 Redux

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@xenogears
 
I was wondering the same thing. I came across this from user "woolhats" over on Personal-View:
 

 
http://www.personal-view.com/talks/discussion/6788/panasonic-g6-topic-gh2-replacement-camera/p18

 

As someone who rarely shoots without an HDMI monitor, this is a dealbreaker for me. It does seem like a nice camera otherwise.

Hey, man, that's a real bummer! Specially to work on anamorphic... -.-

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Ps I bought mine from Vitaliy on Personal View .com

Andy, is there recording limit in the version that you bought from Vitaliy? Have you ever recorded an event or something. I am looking for a camera for the charity that I do sometimes volunteer. Finally, have you paid any taxes?

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Thanks for the review, looks like G6 is quite the worthy successor to GH2, I wonder would GH2's used price on ebay will finally going down?

 

But the downside definitely should cause some shooter to concern:

-Shorter Battery life (if shooting on gigs or other long duration event)

-No HDMI out during recording (for monitor through larger screen)

-SD Card slot underneath. (be a problem for rig shooter)

-no MOV. (what happens if u want to shoot 25/30fps but only 20Mbps in MP4)

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I've got the G6 since 3 weeks now and generally i agree with Andrew's review. But there is not only light, there is also shadow.

 

1) I've noticed a dramatic difference between the 25/24p (30/24p) mode and the 50p mode. The 50p mode is less sharp and detailed. Absolutely visible. 

 

25p (Natural) 100%
25ps38hdljka0.jpg

 

50p
50pg3utl1a4y0.jpg

 

Comparing the full screen shots side by side one can see that the 50p image seems to be stretched somehow. This might be the reason for negative reviews of some magazines here in Germany. I guess they made their tests in 50p (Can't tell you 60p mode has got the same problem). 

 

2) The difference between the GH2 footage and the G6 footage is minor, but visible. The GH2 stills wins (under good lighting conditions). But not easy to see when played back on a LCD TV. However at low light the G6 shows less grain. ISO1600 is very clean (comparable to ISO800 at the GH2). From ISO3200 the image is less sharp (compared to ISO1600).

 

ISO3200
g63200pwhtsdolf0.jpg
 
ISO1600
g616004ufkeidvj8.jpg
 
 
And here another low-light comparison between the GH2 and the G6 
GH2 at 3.5, 1/50s (24p, at 25p footage is slightly less grainy)
gh26fbjyqh3e0.jpg
 
G6 at 3.5, 1/50s, 25p
g6gpejr2tasq.jpg

 

3) The preview on the LCD is not always what you see after pressing the record button. The color shift is sometimes more dramatic than it was on the GH2. Also the preview at low light in EX-Tele mode is grainy. After pressing record it is not. It's not easy to judge the image before recording. It is looking like a RAW preview  :)

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Thanks Andrew for this amazing test footage. Can you tell us what video settings you used? 

 

The vignetted handheld parts are all 1080/50p MP4 conformed in post to slow-mo 25p. The locked off tripod shots are with the Olympus 75mm F1.8 mFT and are shot in AVCHD mode at 1080/24p.

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Is there a crop mode on the g6?  I might have to pick this up instead of a BMPCC.  Does it also use the same batteries?

 

 

 

Yes crop mode is in, same as GH2. Great quality.

 

Same batteries as GH2, but life seems extended due to the newer processor and LCD panels being more efficient?

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I shoot a lot of snowboarding (need slowmo) and some interviews.

 

Things I've seen with the GH3 I love :

 

- all the different codecs ([email protected] 50mb/s)

- possibilities to configure fn buttons (a lot !)

- timelapse feature

- great dynamic range

- good low light possibilities

- headphone output

- standard jack input mic

- very good stills capabilities

 

So my question is : do I really need a GH3 or the G6 is the new good camera ?

 

No headphone output on the G6.

 

HDR, timelapse mode, stop motion animation - yes. All there.

 

Standard 3.5mm mic input - yes.

 

Stills quality not quite as good as GH3 but close.

 

Low light is pretty good, very decent noise reduction and it can be dialled down to -5 if you want to do it in post instead.

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So based on my incessant cynicism... we are still in 'Beta' mode. Incremental improvements and some feature losses from one model on to the next.
Nice to know so many can afford 'collections' of beta cameras ;)

 

You are kidding me right? This is the least 'beta' camera in my entire collection. Ultra complete feature set for the price. No bugs.

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Have tested the HDMI now.

 

I'll update the review, and it ain't good news. There's no live HDMI output. Only in playback mode is the HDMI port active.

 

Seems like a clear market segmentation to get professional filmmakers to use the GH3 instead.

 

A little black mark on what is otherwise a stella achievement by Pana.

 

Go easy on them because remember we're talking about a $650 body here with a superb built in monitor, peaking, very good focus assists and zebra. Much less bulky than an external monitor set up.

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Is good to see the improvements of the G6 over the G5, but i think the Nikon D5200 still a better option in that price range (body only).

 

D5200 over G6:

-Low light performance.

-APSC sensor

-24Mbit

-Live Hdmi output

 

G6 over the D5200:

-Size

-1080p @60fps

-Video assists (Peaking, Zebras)

-$50 cheaper

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You are kidding me right? This is the least 'beta' camera in my entire collection. Ultra complete feature set for the price. No bugs.

Live signal out via HDMI ? Clean Uncompressed 4:2:2 stream for external capture via Atomos Ninja2? A bottom insertable card ???
Backsteping bitrate and other capture features from GH3. Why do we need another camera in-between two INBETWEEN cameras?
Yea. SERIOUSLY that's product devolution. But the price is incredible for entry level or even a whole bunch of pro applications. can you spell W E D D I N G S ? I'd buy three and hand them to three shooters to cover an event multicam for way less than others are spending on just one camera.

Panasonic should have hired me but they chose not to ;)

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I got the GH2, long before most people in India even heard about it. It was grossly over-priced, since it was a collector's item here [thanks to lousy demand for Panasonic DSLRs (DSLMs, actually)]. Also, the choice of lenses was lousy, since most lenses had to be brought from abroad. I haven't really used it as much as I would have liked to, but, even then,I must say, a few things, about it:

 

1. The colour profile on the Panasonic is strange. Far too much contrast.

 

2. The green, is a green, unique, to Panasonic.

 

3. I like the AVCHD codec to H.264, any day. Though it uses more processing power (presumably), it does save a lot on disc space. Also, it does have sharper video, for the same bitrate.

 

4. The quality of stills sucked. I could take better pics with most Sony point-and-shoot cameras.

 

5. The articulated touch-screen was a superb feature, which they should have worked on. Also, the LCD has very low resolution, and the colours are far from accurate.

 

6. It cannot handle the shutter, while taking pics. It vibrates on tripods, as well. Especially, if the shutter speed isn't too fast.

 

7. Even though its all plastic, I liked the fact,that its light and compact in size

 

 

Having said this, I noticed a few strange quirks, about the GH3.

 

1. It was only a marginal improvement on the GH2. Most of the improvements, were with regard to hardware, only.

 

2. The whole bit about better colour science, higher dynamic range, and higher ISO were so exaggerated. And the all-i.

 

3. The sensor, was not really worth writing home about.

 

4. Taking pictures is Still very difficult. I have taken some amazing pics, with the GH2. But,the chances of getting them right, is not too high.

 

5. Its nice to have a mic out, to monitor sound.

 

6. The 2.5mm to 3.5mm mic input, though minor, was a good change.

 

 

 

But, the 5D Mark iii, in comparison to the Mark ii, is a Far better camera. It has almost completely removed the moire and the aliasing. The resolution has also gone up, substantially, by atleast 200+ lines. The picture profile are also better.

 

Though, I still feel, that Canon adds an unnecessary premium to its higher end cameras. This is something, which they can, and should, consciously address.

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I also forgot to mention, that the GH2 took the Micro 4/3th platform, to a new high. The entire idea of having far more compact lenses, mirror-less bodies (and thus the idea of absolutely silent, and, theoretically extremely faster shutter) was wasted, on the GH3. 

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