Panasonic G6 14-140mm kit - Part 2 - Differences from G5 and 14-140mm (Mark 1)

G6 additions and 'improvements' from G5

OLED viewfinder 
Faster focusing (apparently)
More movie options 
External microphone input 
Focus peaking
Interval timer
Time-lapse movies 
Auto-stitched panoramas
More touchscreen functionality

 From CNET Asia

 Differences between 14-140mm lenses (Mark 1 and Mark 2)


Weight - 265g as compared to 460g

So those are the bare bones of the differences. The camera body is a restyling, but the important differences are inside. For me the significant changes are the OLED viewfinder, focus peaking and the external microphone socket. The extra movie options are also welcome. I have no G5 anymore to compare it with, but I feel safe in saying there is little difference in image quality and high ISO performance. In fact it would be surprising if there was. m4/3 sensor performance is remarkable for the similarities in output rather than differences. Slight tweaks here and there, but everytime I've compared models, they are pretty much the same. Each new model manages slight improvements in noise levels at high ISO, but at the lower ISO settings they are virtually indistinguishable.

The real shock is how much smaller and lighter the new 14-140mm zoom is. My Initial test shots suggest it produces slightly sharper images, is more consistent across the frame and yet is significantly lighter and smaller. I wrote yesterday about picking the camera / lens combination up and noticing straight away how light the whole package is. 265g for a 10x zoom is pretty remarkable and Panasonics engineers should be complemented on this, considering that from initial results there is no compromise whatsoever in image quality. Plus I would mention I did a very brief hand-held video test as well yesterday and the OIS in the lens looks remarkably good. I may have all kinds of objections to the miniturisation of camera bodies but I'm 100% in favour of making superzoom lenses smaller and lighter. If you have the original 14-140mm, I do recommend you try the new one. I think you will be impressed.

I liked the G5. I did a review of it here. But I think I'm going to like the G6 a lot more. I know I'm going to like the lens.

Now this is what I think Panasonic are really good at. Light, highly specified travel and outdoor cameras. Which is, of course, exactly how they promote cameras in the G series. (G3, G5, G6) The GH3 obviously has a few more features (Though no focus peaking) and is a much more video orientated camera, but if you are looking for a lightweight, reasonably small, high quality all in one travel kit, I doubt there is anything on the market to rival the G6 + new 14-140mm. Fuji don't even have a lens like this, nor seem to planning one, for the X series, Samsung NX and Sony NEX do, but they are big and heavy as indeed is the Nikon 1 10-100 PD zoom. Even the non-PD 10-100mm zoom for Nikon 1 is actually also heavier than this Panasonic lens at 298g. which is a remarkable statistic.

This demonstrates just why I was so keen to get the 14-140mm kit. I will admit that when I opened up the box, I thought I had been sent the 14-42mm kit by mistake, as the zoom was much smaller than I was expecting, even after having checked it out on the internet. It obviously extends out further, but in its non zoomed state, it does look remarkably similar to the standard 'kit' lens. Now this is the kind of size reduction that appeals to me, since the smaller lens size actually improves the handling of the combination for me and I know that my back and other muscles are going to be very appreciative of this.

So one year on from the G5 and for me, some significant improvements. I was wondering if I would ever go back to m4/3, but the G6 + new 14-140mm made such a compelling case that I just couldn't resist. Now all I need is some sunshine to try it out for real.


All original material on this blog is © Soundimageplus.