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Last year's Panasonic Lumix GH5 II was just the appetizer: for aspiring filmmakers looking for a small camera with big creative potential, the Panasonic Lumix GH6 is the real main course.

And what a delight it is: the new flagship of Panasonic's Lumix G range of mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras based on the Micro Four Thirds mount, the 6MP GH25.2 packs a dizzying array of cinematic chops into its compact casing. There's 5.7K 60fps video and Apple ProRes 422 HQ recording, 7.5 stops of in-body image stabilization, 4-channel XLR audio recording, and a monitor that can be tilted in almost any direction.

(Image credit: future)

With full-frame cameras currently popular with filmmakers, some might wonder if a Micro Four Thirds camera like the GH6 is still an attractive proposition. To us, their appeal is clear: while full-frame sensors can perform better in low light, make it easier to get shallow depth of field in shots, and offer a wider dynamic range, Micro Four Thirds cameras are generally smaller, lighter and more affordable. And because the sensor is smaller, it's easier to stabilize it more effectively.

  • Panasonic GH6 on Amazon for €1,697.99 (opens in a new tab)

All of the above applies to the GH6, and its thoughtful design, excellent handling and the wealth of video options on offer make it suitable for all but the most demanding mirrorless filmmakers. It's no slouch when it comes to still photography, either: its contrast-based autofocus performance (although still not quite as impressive as some mirrorless systems from Panasonic's rivals) seems much better compared to the GH5. II, and little touches like the double dot lights and the record buttons make a difference too.

After a few weeks with the GH6, there's no doubt that it's Panasonic's most powerful Micro Four Thirds camera to date and the best MFT camera for filmmakers. It is also one of the best cameras on YouTube and definitely one of the best video cameras.

Price and release date

The Panasonic Lumix GH6 is available to buy now for a body-only price of €2,199 / £1,999 / AU$3,699. If you don't have Micro Four Thirds lenses to begin with, you can also get a 12-60mm Zoom Lens Kit for $2,799 / £2,199 / AU$4,799.

That makes the GH6 slightly more expensive than the Panasonic Lumix GH5 II, another video-focused mirrorless Micro Four Thirds model. This camera costs €1499 / AU$2499 body only or €1699 / AU$2699 with the same 12-60mm lens.

The GH6 is also more expensive than the full-frame Panasonic Lumix S5, an L-mount mirrorless model that costs €1,999 / €1,799 / AU €3,199. It's not Panasonic's most expensive video-centric mirrorless camera, though: the Netflix-approved Panasonic Lumix S1H L-mount camera launched for $3,999 / £3,599 / AU$5,999 (body only).

The Panasonic Lumix GH6 on a blue background

(Image credit: Panasonic)

In terms of rivals, the GH6 is in a similar range to the Sony A7 IV (€2499 / €2400 / AU €4299), the Canon EOS R6 (€2499 / €2499 / AU €4499) and the Nikon Z6. II (€2600 / €2549 / AU €4,399) but, depending on where you live, slightly cheaper than all three.

The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro ($2495 / £2254 / AU$3935) is also a worthwhile alternative given that it can record Apple ProRe as well, but it lacks many amenities (such as continuous-tracking autofocus and a mode still image capture function) provided by the GH6.

Your decision to go for the Panasonic Lumix GH6 or one of its many rivals could also depend on the discounts we see on upcoming Black Friday camera deals. While the GH6 is a relatively new camera, we did see the Lumix GH5 II get impressive discounts in Amazon's Prime Day sales earlier this year. So if you're undecided, we recommend you wait and see what the Black Friday deals bring.

Design and handling

The GH6's body shape is immediately familiar: it's that DSLR-inspired design used by most of Panasonic's Lumix G-series. It may not be particularly original, but it works: there's a large textured grip to wrap around your right hand while your left holds the lens, and a nice, clear 3.68 million-dot OLED electronic viewfinder for composing, previewing and reviewing your photos no matter what. how bright the weather conditions are.

Speaking of weather conditions, the body is sealed against dust and water (as far as we can tell, it doesn't have an official IP rating, but Panasonic calls it "dust and splash resistant") and is built on a sturdy frame. Magnesium alloy for toughness. It will also work in temperatures as low as -10ºC/14ºF.

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Panasonic GH6 camera on a tripod(Image credit: future)Panasonic GH6 camera on a table(Image credit: future)Panasonic GH6 camera on a table(Image credit: future)

Physical buttons, wheels and dials are carefully placed and as frequent GH5 II users we've found the GH6 to be pleasantly familiar to control and use. Panasonic has cleverly placed a second video record button on the front of the camera (the first is on the top plate), which is really handy for vlogging and other self-recording work. There are also indicator lights on the front and rear to clearly indicate when you're recording, which is not the case on the GH5 II.

The 3-inch touchscreen is the best we've seen on a recent Panasonic Lumix GH model, with a super-flexible design: it doesn't just swivel and rotate, it also tilts, just like Panasonic's full-frame Lumix display. S1H. Not only does this give you greater ability to shoot at unusual angles, but it also allows you to connect a USB cable and full-size HDMI cable to the GH6 without blocking your view of the screen.

The body itself is light and compact given its impressive range of specs, a key benefit of its image sensor's small physical size. Without a lens but with an SD card and battery inserted, the GH6 weighs just 823g and measures 138,4 x 100,3 x 99,6mm, making it only slightly larger than the GH5 II. The extra bulk here seems to come from the new fan-forced cooling system, which inflates the screen slightly from the rear. But it's still a pretty neat package overall, with maneuverability that makes it a joy to use in the vast majority of situations.

Features and autofocus

Being a video-first hybrid, the GH6's connectivity seems to have taken a lot of thought.

There's a full-size HDMI Type-A that can output video up to C4K 4:2:2 10-bit 60fps, headphone and microphone ports, and XLR microphone support (via optional DMW-XLR1 accessory), while the USB-C port with a transfer rate of 10 Gbps that can also be used as a constant power supply, battery charger and (after a recent firmware update) for direct recording to an external 2TB SSD.

There are two card slots, one for standard SD cards and one for CFexpress Type B cards (a first for a Lumix G camera and vital for video recording in some of the more demanding formats like ProRes). CFexpress cards are expensive, so keep that in mind when budgeting.

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Panasonic GH6 camera on a table(Image credit: future)Panasonic GH6 camera on a table(Image credit: future)Panasonic GH6 camera on a table(Image credit: future)

Contrast-based DFD autofocus settings are similar to those of the GH5 II, with a wide range of options available, including auto-tracking of moving objects and detection settings that will recognize and track human, animal and eye/face subjects. . Tracking generally works well, much better than on previous Panasonic cameras we think, but a "pulse" is sometimes noticeable as the AF system searches for a lock.

It just seems like a side effect of contrast detection, and one that users will have to come to terms with, but the GH6 looks noticeably better here than the GH5 II. A useful way to avoid hunting too much here is to use the new autofocus limiter option, which allows you to set a range for the AF - it won't try to focus on anything other than this; Useful if you are shooting a subject that is not moving much.

Many filmmakers use manual focus, of course, and the GH6 is impressive here, too: when you start turning the lens ring to focus, the screen or viewfinder displays a magnified preview of your subject to help you get things just right. , and you can also rotate at peak focus to identify the sharpest areas in a contrasting color.

Last but not least, the GH5's 6-axis image stabilization system has received an algorithmic upgrade over the GH5 II, and Panasonic claims it now offers up to 7.5 stops of correction, to the point where you can take a picture. 100MP handheld camera. -res image stacker (previously required a tripod).

We tried this and it worked great, but it's also great for video: whether you want to vlog the camera while walking, or capture moving subjects with camera-like stability. As a gimbal, the GH6's stabilization makes it one of the best cameras we've seen for smoothing motion in a way that feels natural.

Video and image quality

There's a truly mind-boggling level of video personalization here. We were impressed with the GH5 II's wealth of formats, resolutions and frame rates, but the GH6 takes things a step further.

The long list of video options may seem like overkill to the casual user, but filmmakers will rub their hands at the creative possibilities offered by Apple ProRes, 5.8K anamorphic, 5.7K resolutions and variable frame rate recording, as well as the fact that almost all recording modes are 10-bit instead of 8-bit.

At launch, ProRes 422 and 422 HQ are only available for 5,7K recording (at 60/50/24 fps), but a future firmware update should add options to use it at lower resolutions, including Full HD and Cinema 4K ProRes. Now you can also record 4K at up to 120 fps and Full HD at up to 240 fps (great for slow-motion playback and speed boost) and Cinema 4K 4:2:2 10-bit up to 60 fps.

Panasonic has included a wide range of picture profiles (called “photo styles” here)…

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