In this Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6 review, Ian Burley tests the company's fifth-generation mirrorless, 16-million-pixel CSC, which has an articulated capacitive touchscreen, OLED EVF, Wi-Fi and NFC, plus improved low-light autofocus
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6 review: Build and handling
Pick up a Lumix DMC-G6 and it is immediately apparent just how light its sub-400g body is. Micro four thirds lenses are also smaller and lighter than equivalents for APS-C-format cameras. Although the G6 is, on paper, larger than the G5, it remains a compact design, especially when compared with most DSLRs. The body is almost entirely of polycarbonate so there is no getting away from the plasticky feel to the camera. On the other hand, the mouldings are of a very high standard and nothing creaks. The G6 feels featherweight for a camera of its size, but solid, and the casing surface is textured enough for a secure grip.
There are plenty of external controls, including 11 buttons – not counting the pop-up flash release or four-way pad – five of which are function controls. One problem with the buttons is that they are flush with the body and it’s difficult to feel them. The G6, like the G5, features a slightly unusual rocker-switch adjustment control behind the shutter release, which Panasonic calls a function lever. Unlike some cameras in this class that only offer a single adjustment control, the function lever is supplemented by a wheel on the rear corner of the body. This has a dual function, which can be toggled by pressing it. On the G5, this wheel was too exposed and at risk of accidental operation, so to rectify this Panasonic has made it recessed on the G6.
Unfortunately, it’s still too easy to alter some camera settings accidentally. The function lever is easily knocked, resulting in unwanted changes to exposure settings. The four-way controller, especially on the right-hand side near the handgrip, can be easily pressed unintentionally and cause some very strange white balance settings. A partial solution is to modify your grip on the camera, but that’s not ideal.
Also, like the function buttons, the outline of the shutter release is difficult to feel,. It can sometimes be a struggle, without removing your eye from the viewfinder, to find where to press – especially if you are using one of the function buttons at the same time, like the auto-exposure lock.