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Panasonic G6 versus Panasonic GX850

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX850 (called GX800 in some regions) are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in April 2013 and January 2017. Both the G6 and the GX850 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. The G6 has a resolution of 15.9 megapixel, whereas the GX850 provides 15.8 MP.

Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Panasonic G6 and the Panasonic GX850. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the G6 – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Panasonic G6 vs Panasonic GX850 front
G6 versus GX850 top view
G6 and GX850 rear side
Body view (G6 on the left)

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic GX850 is notably smaller (33 percent) than the Panasonic G6. Moreover, the GX850 is markedly lighter (31 percent) than the G6. Cameras that are aimed at professionals or semi-pros tend to be a bit bulkier in order to give them the necessary environmental and shock resistance. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G6 nor the GX850 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can find an overview of suitable optics in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog. Mirrorless cameras, such as the two under consideration, have the additional advantage of having a short flange to focal plane distance, which makes it possible to mount many lenses from other systems onto the camera via adapters.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
Camera Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(y/n)
Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Panasonic G6 (⇒ rgt) 4.8 in 3.3 in 2.8 in 13.8 oz 340 no 2013 599discont. check
Panasonic GX850 (⇒ lft) 4.2 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 9.5 oz 210 no 2017 549 latest check
Canon T5i (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.5 oz 440 no 2013 649discont. check
Canon SL1 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.6 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 14.4 oz 380 no 2013 549discont. check
Olympus E-M10 III (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.8 in 3.3 in 2.0 in 14.5 oz 330 no 2017 649 latest check
Olympus E-M10 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.7 in 3.2 in 1.8 in 14.0 oz 320 no 2014 699discont. check
Panasonic G7 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.9 in 3.4 in 3.0 in 14.5 oz 350 no 2015 649discont. check
Panasonic GH4 (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.2 in 3.7 in 3.3 in 19.8 oz 500 YES 2014 1,499discont. check
Panasonic GM5 (⇒ lft | rgt) 3.9 in 2.4 in 1.4 in 7.4 oz 220 no 2014 749discont. check
Panasonic GM1 (⇒ lft | rgt) 3.9 in 2.2 in 1.2 in 7.2 oz 230 no 2013 749discont. check
Panasonic G5 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.7 in 3.3 in 2.8 in 14.0 oz 320 no 2012 599discont. check
Panasonic G3 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.5 in 3.3 in 1.9 in 11.9 oz .. no 2011 599discont. check

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The GX850 was somewhat cheaper (by 8 percent) than the G6 at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature a Four Thirds sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Panasonic G6 and Panasonic GX850 sensor measures
Sensor size

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the G6 offers a higher resolution of 15.9 megapixel, compared with 15.8 MP of the GX850. This megapixel advantage translates into a 0 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the G6 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.75μm versus 3.77μm for the GX850). However, it should be noted that the GX850 is much more recent (by 3 years and 8 months) than the G6, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of individual pixels. Coming back sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the GX850 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

G6 versus GX850 MP
Sensor resolution

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(Megapixel)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Panasonic G6 (⇒ rgt) Four Thirds 15.9 4608 3456 1080/60p 21.3 11.5 639 61
Panasonic GX850 (⇒ lft) Four Thirds 15.8 4592 3448 4K/30p .. .. .. ..
Canon T5i (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 17.9 5184 3456 1080/30p 21.7 11.2 681 61
Canon SL1 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 17.9 5184 3456 1080/30p 21.8 11.3 843 63
Olympus E-M10 III (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 15.9 4608 3456 4K/30p .. .. .. ..
Olympus E-M10 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 15.9 4608 3456 1080/30p 22.8 12.3 884 72
Panasonic G7 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 15.8 4592 3448 4K/30p - - - -
Panasonic GH4 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 15.9 4608 3456 4K/30p 23.2 12.8 791 74
Panasonic GM5 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 15.8 4592 3448 1080/60p 22.1 11.7 721 66
Panasonic GM1 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 15.8 4592 3448 1080/60i 22.3 11.7 660 66
Panasonic G5 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 15.9 4608 3456 1080/60p - - - -
Panasonic G3 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 15.8 4592 3448 1080/60i 21 10.6 667 56

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the GX850 provides a better video resolution than the G6. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the G6 is limited to 1080/60p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the G6 has an electronic viewfinder (1440k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the GX850 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Panasonic G6 and Panasonic GX850 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.

Core Features
Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(Y/n)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(Y/n)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(GN)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Panasonic G6 (⇒ rgt) 1440 no 3.0 1036 swivel YES 4000 7.0 10.5 no
Panasonic GX850 (⇒ lft) no no 3.0 1040 tilting YES 500 10.0 4 no
Canon T5i (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 1040 swivel YES 4000 5.0 13 no
Canon SL1 (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 1040 fixed YES 4000 4.9 9.4 no
Olympus E-M10 III (⇒ lft | rgt) 2360 no 3.0 1040 tilting YES 4000 8.6 5.8 YES
Olympus E-M10 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1440 no 3.0 1037 tilting YES 4000 8.0 5.8 YES
Panasonic G7 (⇒ lft | rgt) 2360 no 3.0 1040 swivel YES 4000 7.0 9.3 no
Panasonic GH4 (⇒ lft | rgt) 2359 no 3.0 1036 swivel YES 8000 12.0 17 no
Panasonic GM5 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1166 no 3.0 921 fixed YES 500 5.8 no no
Panasonic GM1 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1036 fixed YES 500 5.0 4 no
Panasonic G5 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1440 no 3.0 920 swivel YES 4000 6.0 10.5 no
Panasonic G3 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1440 no 3.0 460 swivel YES 4000 4.0 11 no

The GX850 is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the G6 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on ebay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the G6 was succeeded by the Panasonic G7.

Summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Panasonic G6 or the Panasonic GX850 – has the upper hand? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Faster shutter: Has a higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 500/sec) to freeze action.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (340 versus 210) on a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in April 2013).

Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX850:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 7 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (107x65mm vs 122x85mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 121g or 31 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years and 8 months of technical progress since the G6 launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the match-up finishes in a tie (6 points each). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs.

G6 06:06 GX850

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the G6 or the GX850 handle or perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased. This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites. The full reviews are available, respectively, at cameralabs.com, dpreview.com, ephotozine.com, imaging-resource.com, and photographyblog.com.

Review scores
Camera camera
labs
dp
review
ephoto
zine
imaging
resource
photography
blog
Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Panasonic G6 (⇒ rgt) HiRec - 5/5 - 4.5/5 2013 599discont. check
Panasonic GX850 (⇒ lft) Rec 76/100 4.5/5 - 4.5/5 2017 549 latest check
Canon T5i (⇒ lft | rgt) - 76/100 Silver 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2013 649discont. check
Canon SL1 (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec 78/100 Gold 4/5 4/5 4/5 2013 549discont. check
Olympus E-M10 III (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec 80/100 4.5/5 .. 4.5/5 2017 649 latest check
Olympus E-M10 (⇒ lft | rgt) - 80/100 Gold 5/5 4.5/5 5/5 2014 699discont. check
Panasonic G7 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 80/100 Silver 5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2015 649discont. check
Panasonic GH4 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 85/100 Gold 5/5 5/5 5/5 2014 1,499discont. check
Panasonic GM5 (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec 77/100 Silver 5/5 5/5 4.5/5 2014 749discont. check
Panasonic GM1 (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec 78/100 Gold 5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2013 749discont. check
Panasonic G5 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec - 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2012 599discont. check
Panasonic G3 (⇒ lft | rgt) 88/100 HiRec 75/100 Silver 4.5/5 4.5/5 5/5 2011 599discont. check

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Other comparisons

In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored. If the camera you are interested in is not available, please send me an email, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

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