Panasonic G6 — Update
Upate #1.) I happened to notice that the price dropped on my newly arrived Panasonic G6 (Thanksgiving Day) at both Amazon.com and at B&H. I immediately fired off an email to B&H (where I purchase mine) and they promptly and courteously refunded my credit card for the difference — $639 down to $499. Nice to have the $140 back. Of course, I will no doubt reward their good customer service by spending a lot more than the $140 refund on accessories in the near future. Pays to do business with good folks. That's right, $499 for this amazing camera and lens. Not my job to sell you guys on anything, but I just can't help but comment on the capabilities of this camera for the unbelievable price. Just passing on information for anyone who might find it useful.
Update #2.) Today I finally had a chance to print some test images. This morning I went back to the location of my "Popular Editions" print Fallen Log, Rain, Mt. Erie, Fidalgo Island, 2006 that I'd photographed with a Sony DSC-R1 camera in 2006. Same drippy, windy, foggy weather today, so I thought it might be a fun comparison test. All I can say is, WOW. I am blown away by the improvement capabilities in these short 7 years. Rather than describe the differences, I'm making the new image available as a printable, 15" PDF. Download it, print it yourself, and see if you agree that this is a pretty amazing result from a $500 camera.
Speculation addendum: I can only assume that Panasonic has lowered the price on the G6 because they have some inventory to sell before they introduce another, even shinier cutie. Maybe a G7? Whatever it is, it'll probably be even better than the G6. I love upgrading to significant new capabilities, but I must admit that I do shake my head at the rapidity of the never-ending parade of seduction. I try to bring sanity to my life by skipping a bunch of generations until there is practical and visible improvements — which also brings sanity to my wallet by buying at the end of a product life cycle when the prices are reduced. I can't wait to see what Panasonic introduces in the next generation, but I'll likely skip it now that I have this G6. I'm sure I'm not the ideal customer for camera manufacturers who need to sell their latest gear, but I've universally found that I don't need the bleeding edge equipment to make images I can be proud of. Just one man's opinion.