Panasonic Lumix G6 Review

 
Camera Reviews / Panasonic Lumix Cameras / Lumix Compact System Camera i Initial Test

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Panasonic G6 Performance


Timing and Performance

Generally good performance for a Compact System Camera.

Startup/Shutdown

Power on
to first shot

~0.9 second

Time it takes to turn on and capture a shot.

Shutdown

~2.4 seconds

How long it takes camera to turn off before you can remove the memory card.

Buffer clearing time
3 seconds after
20 Large/Fine JPEGs*
Worst case buffer clearing time. -- This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card.
3 seconds after
7 RAW files*
5 seconds after
7 RAW+ L/F JPEG files*
*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/sec UHS-1 SDHC card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Startup time was a little faster than average for a Compact System Camera, but shutdown was a bit sluggish. Buffer clearing times were fast with a fast UHS-1 95MB/s card.

Mode Switching

Play to Record,
first shot

~0.7 second

Time until first shot is captured.

Record to Play

~0.9 second

Time to display a large/fine file immediately after capture.

Display
recorded image

~0.6 second

Time to display a large/fine file already on the memory card.

Mode switching was quite fast.

Shutter Response (Lag Time)
Full Autofocus,
Single-area AF mode
0.216 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting. (All AF timing done with the Panasonic 14-42mm II H-FS1442A kit lens at approximately 25mm.)
Full Autofocus,
Multi-area AF mode
0.236 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting.
Full Autofocus,
Single-area AF mode,
Flash enabled
0.392 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting, auto flash enabled.
Continuous AF
0.209 second
This mode usually shows no speed increase with our static subject; we have no way to measure performance with moving subjects.
Manual Focus
0.082 second
For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused".

Prefocused

0.071 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

The Panasonic G6's contrast-detect autofocus is quick, faster than most consumer SLRs and CSCs. The G6's full-autofocus shutter lag (with the subject at a fixed distance) was only 0.216 second using single-area (center) AF with the 14-42mm II kit lens in our test. 23-area AF was slightly slower at 0.236 second. Enabling the flash increased lag quite a bit to 0.392 second, but that's still pretty good. When manually focused, the G6's lag time dropped to 0.082 second, which is quite good. The G6's prefocused shutter lag time of 0.071 second was good.

To minimize the effect of different lens' focusing speed, we test AF-active shutter lag with the lens already set to the correct focal distance.


Cycle Time (shot to shot)

Single Shot mode
Large/Fine JPEG

0.49 second

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots with no signs of slowing, 2 seconds to clear*.

Single Shot mode
RAW

0.65 second

Time per shot, averaged over 15 shots, 3 seconds to clear*.

Single Shot mode
RAW + L/F JPEG
0.69 second

Time per shot, averaged over 10 shots, 3 seconds to clear*.

Early shutter
penalty?

No

Some cameras don't snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous H
Large Fine JPEG

0.16 second (6.19 frames per second);
20+ frames total;
3 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots with no signs of slowing.

Continuous H
RAW

0.19 second (5.26 frames per second);
7 frames total;
3 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 7 frames, then slows to an average of 0.53s or 1.90 fps.

Continuous H
RAW + L/F JPEG

0.19 second (5.26 frames per second);
7 frames total;
5 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 7 frames, then slows to an average of about 1.06s or 0.95 fps.

Flash Recycling

4.1 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95 MB/sec UHS-1 SDHC card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Single-shot cycle times are quite good. We measured 0.49 second for Large/Fine JPEGs, 0.65 second for RAW and 0.69 second for RAW+L/F JPEGs, though if you only shoot two or three shots, RAW and RAW+JPEG cycle times are closer to JPEG.

Continuous H (High Speed) mode is pretty fast at 6.2 frames per second when shooting full-resolution JPEGs, though this is a bit short of Panasonic's 7 fps claim. This drops to about 5.3 frames per second with RAW files, though. Note that Live View is not available during bursts in Continuous H mode. Continuous Medium and Low speed modes offer up to 4 and 2 frames per second respectively, while supporting Live View.

Full resolution buffer depth was excellent for Large/Fine JPEGs, at over 20 frames (we suspect there is no limit with typical scenes and a fast card -- our test scene is designed to be difficult to compress). However, when shooting RAW or RAW+JPEG files, buffer depth dropped to 7 frames. Buffer clearing times were quick, though, ranging from 3 to 5 seconds with our fast card.

The flash recycled after a full discharge in an average of 4.1 seconds, a little slower than average.


Download Speed

Windows Computer, USB 2.0

11,499 KBytes/sec

Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-769=USB 2.0 Low;
Above 770=USB 2.0 High

Download speeds were quite fast, quick enough that you probably won't feel the need for a separate card reader, even with large memory cards. (Note that this test was performed with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/sec UHS-1 SD card: Slower cards would likely show slower transfer times.)


Bottom line, the Panasonic G6's performance is generally good for a CSC. Startup time is good, autofocus is fast, cycle times and burst speeds are good, and buffer clearing was quick with a fast 95MB/s UHS-1 card. Our only real complaints are buffer depths are a little shallow for its class when shooting RAW files, and Live View is not available in Continuous H mode.

Battery Life

Average battery life for a Compact System Camera.

Operating Mode Battery Life
Still Capture, CIPA standard
(LCD, H-FS1442A kit lens)
350 shots
Still Capture, CIPA standard
(EVF, H-FS1442A kit lens)
330 shots

The Panasonic G6 uses a custom rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack for power, and comes with both a single battery and a dedicated charger. The CIPA rated 330-350 shots per charge depending on whether the LCD Monitor or EVF is used is about average for a Compact System Camera, but much lower than a typical digital SLR when using the SLR's optical viewfinder. We strongly recommend getting a second battery for your G6 if you plan any extended outings.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on a fully-charged rechargeable battery), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

 

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Note: For details, test results, and analysis of the many tests done with this camera, please click on the tabs at the beginning of the review or below.

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