Like Panasonic's other compact system cameras (CSCs), the Panasonic G6 is built following the Micro Four Thirds standard.

This means that it has a 17.3 x 13mm (0.68 x 0.51-inch) sensor, which is smaller than the APS-C format sensors in cameras such as the Canon EOS 700D (22.3 x 14.9mm) and Nikon D5200 (23.5 x 15.6mm), which are both DSLRs, and the Sony NEX-5R (23.5 x 15.6mm) and Samsung NX300 (23.5 x 15.7mm), which are CSCs.

However, using the Micro Fours Thirds (MFT) standard means that the Panasonic G6 is compatible with Olympus MFT lenses as well as a growing collection from third party manufacturers such as Sigma.

Panasonic G6 review

Because Panasonic and Olympus were first and second, respectively, into the CSC market, both companies have had time to develop the system, and there's an extensive array of optics available.

Panasonic has used a mini-DSLR style for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6, and unlike many compact system cameras, it has a viewfinder built in, though the mirrorless design naturally means that this is an electronic device.

Like the Panasonic G5 before it, the Panasonic G6's LCD screen is touch-sensitive and is mounted on an articulating joint, so you can twist it around to get a clear view from a range of angles.

Panasonic G6 review

The Panasonic G6 sits below the Panasonic GH3 in the company's CSC lineup, and it's aimed at enthusiast photographers who want to shoot a range of subjects but want a smaller, lighter camera system than the average DSLR kit.

Features

Although Panasonic has stuck with the same 16.05 million pixel Live MOS sensor in the Lumix G6 that it used in the Panasonic G5 (and Panasonic GH2), it has used a new, more powerful Venus Engine, a better touchscreen and an improved electronic viewfinder (EVF).

According to Panasonic, the compact system camera's new processing engine enables the G6 to produce better quality images, and in turn enables a wider extended sensitivity range of ISO 160-25600.

Panasonic G6 review

In addition, the manufacturer says the new engine enables faster autofocusing, especially in low light. It does this by dropping the readout from the sensor from 120fps to 15fps, making it eight times more sensitive. Panasonic has also worked to improve the G6's ability to track moving subjects, as well as boosting the maximum continuous shooting speed to 7fps.

While the Panasonic G5 has a 1,440,00- dot LCD in its electronic viewfinder, the Panasonic G6 has a 1,440,000-dot OLED finder, which is brighter and should provide a clearer view.

Meanwhile, the touchscreen is a capacitive device rather than resistive, so it responds to a touch of a finger rather than requiring a press.

Panasonic G6 review

As on the Panasonic G5, there's a collection of Creative Control modes with options such as Toy Camera and Impressive Art that adjust the processing of the images to give them a particular look. These are accessed via the main mode dial and can be used when shooting raw as well as JPEG files, giving you a 'clean' image as well as one with the effect applied.

Having a raw file as well as a more heavily processed JPEG makes the Creative Control options more attractive to enthusiast photographers who want to option of working on their images post-capture.

The downside to using the Creative Control options is that there's no control over key features such as aperture and shutter speed. However, the Photo Style options Standard, Vivid, Natural, Monochrome, Scenery, Portrait and Custom can be used in any exposure mode (apart from Creative Control) with full control over the camera settings, and they work with raw and JPEG file recording.

Panasonic G6 review

Panasonic has also given the G6 Wi-Fi connectivity, and an NFC chip means that it is possible to connect quickly and easily to other NFC devices such as an Android smartphone or tablet.

As yet Apple hasn't included an NFC chip in its iPhones, but rumours are rife that one will feature in the iPhone 5S/6.

The Panasonic G6 price is £629/US$749.99 (around AU$989) including a 14-42mm kit lens.