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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

The first thing you notice about the Panasonic GF6, when compared with its predecessor, is its chunkier exterior. This enables it to fit in the mode dial at the top of the camera and the flip screen at the back of the camera.

Some may appreciate these added benefits, but it does mean you'll need extra space in your pocket. Because it comes with a standard 14-42mm zoom, rather than last year's ultra slim power zoom, this camera looks more similar to the Panasonic GX1 than the Panasonic GF5.

However, the addition of this extra dial on the top of the camera makes it much easier to access the different modes of the Panasonic GF6. Previously you needed to venture into the menu in order to gain access to different shooting parameters.

Panasonic Lumix GF6 review

To activate fully automatic mode, there's a dedicated button just next to the shutter release. This makes it quick to switch from the more complicated modes to fully automatic, and has the added bonus of activating a blue LED light around the button to make sure you're aware that you're in the correct mode.

The mode dial features fully automatic mode, semi-automatic modes (such as aperture priority and shutter priority), scene modes and digital filters mode. There's also space for up to two groups of custom settings, which is useful if you often find yourself shooting with one particular setting, such as high sensitivity or monochrome.

Panasonic has expanded the range of digital filters available on the GF6. Unfortunately, however, these can only be accessed via the dedicated filter mode, meaning you lose control over other shooting elements such as aperture or shutter speed. Olympus cameras enable you to use art filters with P/A/S/M modes, which is a more flexible option.

Panasonic GF6 review

On the plus side, however, digital filters can be used while shooting in raw format, meaning you can keep a 'clean' version of the file if you change your mind down the line.

Like the Panasonic GF5, the Panasonic GF6 features a touchscreen, and this can be used for a variety of functions including navigating through the various settings and handily changing the autofocus point and firing off the shutter release if you want it to.

As with the other G series of compact system cameras, most of the commonly used settings can be accessed via a Quick Menu. Here you have the choice to use either the touchscreen to navigate through the different settings, or, for those who prefer it, the arrow keys on the back of the camera.

Panasonic GF6 review

Panasonic has also found room to add an additional function button at the back of the camera, which you can assign a number of different parameters to.

Much of the rest of the navigation of the camera remains the same as previous GF series cameras, with a sensibly laid out menu that's easy to scroll through to find the options you need.

The front of the camera has a grip attached to it, which is moulded to the shape of a finger gripping it. This makes it feel very comfortable and secure in the hand, especially when shooting one-handed.

Panasonic GF6 review

At the time of launch, the Panasonic GF6 is the only interchangeable lens camera to feature NFCconnectivity. This means that you can touch the camera to an NFC-compatible device - such as some smartphones or tablets - to have images and videos instantly transfer across. You can also use a smartphone or tablet as a remote control in this way.

As it stands, Apple doesn't have any products equipped with NFC, but the Samsung Galaxy S3 - the world's best-selling smartphone - does.

One of the most appealing features of the Panasonic GF6 is its new flip screen. Although it doesn't offer the same flexibility as a fully articulating device (such as the one on the Panasonic G5), it does keep the overall size down. When the screen is flipped 180 degrees to face the front, it is useful for self-portraits, and by doing this to the screen, the camera will automatically activate self-portrait mode.

Panasonic GF6 review

Self portrait mode basically activates the self-timer, and enables the Soft Skin function, although you can turn this off if you'd prefer. Another option for switching on the touch shutter appears on the screen too while in Self Portrait mode.

The Panasonic GF6 will come bundled with a new 14-42mm optic, which is smaller than the old manual 14-42mm lens that used to come packaged with G series cameras. It keeps the overall size of the camera down, but if you've got extra money to spare, we'd suggest you think about investing in the X power zoom lens, to make this closer to being a pocketable device.

One of the new features of the Panasonic GF6 is the introduction of Wi-Fi functionality. This gives you a number of useful options including the ability to remote control the camera via your iOS or Android smartphone or tablet, and upload images to various web services, such as Facebook.

Panasonic GF6 review

Setting up the Wi-Fi to use with your smartphone or tablet is relatively pain-free, while the free app that is downloadable for iOS and Android devices is easy to use. However, if you want to upload images straight to web services from the camera itself, you might find yourself quickly becoming frustrated with the device.

In order to upload directly to Facebook, Twitter and the rest from the Panasonic GF6, you need a Lumix Club account, which you can sign up for from the camera itself. However, you then need to access the Lumix Club website separately to activate various social media accounts.

Once you have done this, there's very limited functionality for uploading - for instance, you can't include a caption and there is a tendency for portrait orientation images to be uploaded in horizontal format.

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
Flash ModesAuto Flash, Flash ON, Flash OFF, Red-eye Reduction, Slow Sync, Front Curtain Sync
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