TODO alt text
Editor's Choice

Panasonic Lumix GF6 review

Beginner-friendly compact system camera gets an overhaul

Our Verdict

For

  • Excellent screen
  • Digital filters
  • Built in Wi-Fi

Against

  • Tricky to use Wi-Fi
  • Can't use filters in PASM
  • Bulkier than predecessor

Panasonic is known for quickly refreshing its cameras lineup, especially those at the budget end of the range. The GF series, which is the company's beginner option, was last upgraded roughly 12 months ago, so it's no surprise to see the replacement Panasonic GF6 making an appearance now.

However, Panasonic says that although the GF1 was incredibly popular, the GF series hasn't seen the same level of popularity with the GF3 and GF5. Perhaps this is due to increased competition both within the company - from the likes of the Panasonic GX1 - and outside it, with more companies now entering the compact system camera (CSC) market.

On the other hand, perhaps it's because the GF line never really found its audience, being a little too simple for the more advanced photographer, and too complicated for those stepping up from a compact camera.

Panasonic Lumix GF6 review

Panasonic has therefore given the new Lumix GF6 a more complete overhaul than it has given to other cameras on previous upgrades.

It now includes a 16 million pixel sensor, which is the same device that we found in the Panasonic GX1. The GX1 is scheduled to carry on for the foreseeable future, which may be a disappointment to those who had expected to see a replacement by now.

Along with the sensor is a brand new Venus engine, and most noticeably a new tilting 180-degree touchscreen and a mode dial on the top of the camera.

Panasonic GF6 review

The Panasonic GF6 includes inbuilt Wi-Fi technology, something that only the high-end GH series had featured previously. Furthermore, it is the first Panasonic interchangeable lens camera to include Near Field Communications (NFC) - a technology that looks set to be making an appearance on more devices in the next few months.

This is the same technology that you currently find in contactless payment systems and in several smartphones and tablets (Apple is conspicuous by its absence). It enables you to touch two devices together to instantly share images/videos, without the need to add in passwords or other laborious means.

Keen to appeal to the beginner audience, the camera includes even more digital filters than before. These are likely to find favour with the Instagram crowd, boosting the GF6's offering up to 19 different effects.

Panasonic Lumix GF6 review

Interestingly, these filters are now also available on Creative Panorama shooting mode - a feature that first made its appearance on Panasonic's latest set of compacts, and now finds its way onto its compact system cameras.

A new retouch function enables you to do some editing-in camera, with the ability to remove distracting elements such as branches or strangers in the background.

Like other cameras in Panasonic's lineup, the GF6 boasts "Light Speed AF". Both Panasonic and Olympus, its Micro Four Thirds cohort, have claimed the quickest AF speeds in the past, but it's likely to be microseconds of difference. Either way, the contrast detect system that the GF6 uses claims to provide near-instant autofocusing speeds.

Panasonic GF6 review

Although the Panasonic GF5 also had a capacitive touchscreen, that was a fixed device, unlike the Panasonic GF6's 180-degree tilting option. Although not fully articulated, it's been designed to help with shooting from awkward angles, while Self Shot mode comes into play with the screen tipped to the full 180 degrees to face forwards.

All of these improvements don't come at a price premium, launching at £494.99 / US$599.99 (around AU$630) with the new 14-42mm kit lens. This is significantly cheaper than the £579 / US$749 / AU$849 asking price that the Panasonic GF5 launched with, although it's worth pointing out that the standard kit lens included here is not a power zoom, but instead a new manual zoom option.

Tech Specs

Product TypeMirrorless Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
TouchscreenYes
Effective Camera Resolution16 Megapixel
GPSNo
USBYes
PictBridgeYes
Product FamilyLumix
Image StabilizationOptical
Optical Zoom3x, 3x (Lens 1) - 3.3x (Lens 2)
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NamePanasonic
FeaturesFace Detection, Live View, Continuous Shooting Mode
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsAVCHD, MP4
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)280.1 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityREACH
Maximum Image Resolution4592 x 3448
Maximum Frame Rate30 fps
Number of Batteries Supported1
Battery Built-inNo
Battery RechargeableYes
Battery IncludedYes
Display Screen TypeLCD
Image Sensor TypeLive MOS
Total Camera Resolution16.7 Megapixel
HDMIYes
Camera AssemblyBody with Lens Kit
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC UHS-I), Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC UHS-I), Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Height64.8 mm
Width111.2 mm
Depth38.4 mm
Autofocus Points23
Focal Length14 mm to 42 mm (Lens 1) - 45 mm to 150 mm (Lens 2)
Image FormatsJPEG, MPO, RAW
Audio FormatsAAC
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerPanasonic
Product ModelDMC-GF6
Product NameDMC-GF6 Compact System Camera
Product LineLumix
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberDMCGF6WEBK
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.panasonic.co.uk
Marketing Information

LUMIX G Micro System Digital Camera GF6 - The New Sleek, Stylish Digital Single Lens Mirrorless Camera Featuring High Picture Quality and Easy Sharing

The DMC-GF6 integrates new 16.00-megapixel Live MOS Sensor and Venus Engine featuring its advanced noise reduction systems. By extending the control level of noise, controllable area of noise is expanded by approx.64x in size and large block of noise is removed. The Multi-process NR works in two separate steps allowing even finer control over noise level. In addition, the limit resolution is enhanced thanks to the precise detail reproduction and advanced Intelligent D-range Control ensures beautiful gradation with wider dynamic range than ever.

The DMC-GF6 boasts quick start-up and high-speed Light Speed AF making it possible to capture fast-moving subjects clearly. Also, AF Tracking enables consecutive shooting to capture moving subject in sharp focus. Combined with the Full-area Touch AF, it is possible to set focus on any point in the field of view which realizes quick and intuitive focusing operation. In addition, the LowLight AF gains higher performance in such as moonlight even without AF assist lamp to set focus on the subject more quickly and more precisely.

The Creative Control with 19 filter effects gives you the expressive power to turn ordinary situations into highly special scenes. The Creative Panorama function lets you apply filter effects to a dynamic vertical/horizontal panoramic image. With the Self Shot mode, you can shoot your own portraits by stretching an arm to hold the camera with the monitor flipped approx.180°vertically. The Clear Retouch makes it is possible to erase unwanted objects or figures in an image by just tracing over them on monitor with a fingertip.

With the Wi-Fi® connectivity with NFC technology, you can connect the camera to your smartphone/tablet anywhere at one-touch, which makes sharing images much easier. It is also possible to use a smartphone/tablet as a multi-capable remote shutter with a monitor. With the Instant Transfer function, photos are automatically sent to the smartphone/tablet right after shooting. On the other hand, both photo and video can be archived to the registered digital equipment such as PC automatically via the wireless access point (router) at home.

Battery Life340 Shot
Package Contents
  • DMC-GF6 Compact System Camera
  • H-FS1442A Interchangeable Lens
  • H-FS45150 Interchangeable Lens
  • Battery Pack
  • Battery Charger
  • USB Connection Cable
  • Shoulder Strap
  • Software CD-ROM
  • Lens Cap
  • Lens Hood
  • Lens Rear Cap
Display Resolution1040000 Pixel
Limited Warranty1 Year
Built-in DevicesMicrophone, Speaker