Panasonic GF6 Performance


Timing and Performance

Mixed performance for a Compact System Camera.

Startup/Shutdown

Power on
to first shot

~0.8 second

Time it takes to turn on and capture a shot.

Shutdown

~2.2 seconds

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

Buffer clearing time
3 seconds after
28 Large/Fine JPEGs*
Worst case buffer clearing time. -- This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card.
7 seconds after
8 RAW files*
11 seconds after
10 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 good for a Compact System Camera, but shutdown was a bit sluggish. Buffer clearing times were good, but buffers were somewhat shallow with RAW files.


Mode Switching

Play to Record,
first shot

~0.8 second

Time until first shot is captured.

Record to Play

~1.0 second

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

Display
recorded image

~0.5 second

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

Mode switching performance was pretty good.


Shutter Response (Lag Time)
Full Autofocus,
Single-area AF mode
0.267 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 H-FS1442A 14-42mm II kit lens at approximately 25mm.)
Full Autofocus,
Multi-area AF mode
0.277 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
0.395 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
0.248 second
This mode usually shows no speed increase with our static subject; we have no way to measure performance with moving subjects.
Manual Focus
0.092 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

0.072 second

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

The Panasonic GF6's contrast-detect autofocus was a bit faster than average for a CSC in our tests, though a touch slower than most consumer DSLRs. The GF6 produced full-autofocus shutter lag (with the subject at a fixed distance) of 0.267 second using 1-area (center) AF with the 14-42mm II kit lens. 23-area AF was very slightly slower at 0.277 second, but still relatively fast. Enabling the flash increased lag quite a bit to 0.395 second, but that's still pretty good. When manually focused, the GF6's lag time dropped to 0.092 second, which is quite fast. The GF6's prefocused shutter lag time of 0.072 second is also quick.

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

0.58 second

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

Single Shot mode
RAW

0.62 second

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

Single Shot mode
RAW + L/F JPEG
0.60 second

Time per shot, averaged over 9 shots, 4 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

0.24 second (4.24 frames per second);
28 frames total;
3 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 28 frames, then slows to an average of 0.5s or 2.01fps when buffer is full.

Continuous H
RAW

0.26 second (3.91 frames per second);
8 frames total;
7 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 8 frames, then slows to an average of 1.05s or 0.96fps when buffer is full.

Continuous H
RAW + L/F JPEG

0.25 second (3.95 frames per second);
10 frames total;
11 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 10 frames, then slows to an average of about 0.52s or 1.92fps when buffer is full.

Continuous SH
4MP Small JPEG

0.05 second (20.0 frames per second);
39 frames total;
7 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over fixed buffer length of 39 frames.

Flash Recycling

3.6 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 were quite fast as well. We measured 0.58 second for Large/Fine JPEGs, 0.62 second for RAW and 0.60 second for RAW+L/F JPEGs.

Continuous H (High speed) mode was however slower than average for a CSC these days, at 4.24 frames per second for Large/Fine JPEGS, 3.91 seconds for RAW and 3.95 frames per second for RAW+JPEG. Note that Live View is not available during bursts in Continuous H mode. Continuous Medium and Low speed modes offer 3 and 2 frames per second respectively, while supporting Live View.

A Super High Speed mode is available which captured 39 frames at 20 frames per second, though the images are low resolution (4MP) JPEGs only.

Full resolution buffer depths were generous for Large/Fine JPEGs at 28 frames, but when shooting RAW buffer depth dropped to 8 frames. Interestingly, buffer depth increased to 10 frames when shooting RAW+JPEG files. Buffer clearing was fast, ranging from 3 to 7 seconds.

The flash recycled after a full discharge in 3.6 seconds, which is fair for such a small flash.


Download Speed

Windows Computer, USB 2.0

11,350 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 decent, 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 GF6's performance is mixed. Autofocus is fairly quick, mode switching is generally good, single-shot cycle times are good, but full-resolution burst speed is pedestrian and buffer sizes are a bit shallow when shooting RAW. Still, not bad for an entry-level model.

Battery Life

About average battery life for a Compact System Camera.

Operating Mode Battery Life
Still Capture, CIPA standard
(H-FS1442A kit lens)
340 shots
Still Capture, CIPA standard
(H-PS14042 lens)
330 shots

The Panasonic GF6 uses a custom rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack for power, and comes with both a single battery and charger. The CIPA rated 330-340 shots per charge depending on the lens 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 GF6 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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