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Panasonic Lumix GF6 review

Beginner-friendly compact system camera gets an overhaul

Since the Panasonic GF6 features the same sensor as found on the Panasonic GX1, we had pretty high hopes for Panasonic's entry-level CSC. It's good to see the company using technology from higher up its range to boost the appeal of its beginner cameras.

Considering that the sensor is matched with an improved Venus engine, performance from the Panasonic GF6 should be better than from the Panasonic GX1. The fact that it has 16 million pixels also makes it more competitive with the likes of the Sony NEX-3N.

Happily, we've been very impressed by the image output of the Panasonic GF6. Images are full of detail, while colours are bright and punchy without being overly vibrant.

Panasonic GF6 review

Automatic white balance does a very good job of accurately judging the scene to provide spot-on colours, even when shooting in mixed or under artificial lighting. Similarly, all-purpose metering is a good performer, helping to produce balanced exposures in the majority of conditions - even when confronted with a high contrast situation.

One of the most appealing things about both Olympus and Panasonic cameras is the speed at which they are able to focus. Luckily, the Panasonic GF6 is no different, very quickly and accurately locking onto the relevant subject with ease. The fact that the screen is touch-sensitive is also a huge bonus, since it means you can speedily change the point you want to use.

Speaking of the touchscreen, it is very responsive to use, being a capacitive device, and soon becomes an integral part of how you use the camera. That said, if you prefer physical buttons, the Panasonic GF6 has enough of those to keep you satisfied too.

Panasonic Lumix GF6 review

Because the camera has a new Venus engine, one of the key improvements we were looking for was in low light performance. Although noise does begin to appear at mid-range sensitivities, such as ISO 800, it is very fine noise and not too intrusive on pictures, unless you're viewing them at 100%.

As the sensitivity range increases, naturally, more noise starts to creep in, but again images remain useable up to around ISO 3200. After this point, image quality does start to reduce significantly, but it's certainly better than not being able to get the shot at all, and if you're keeping images to very small printing or web sizes, then you can still use them pretty adequately.

The Panasonic GF6 is bundled with Panasonic's SilkyPix software, which enables you to get more out of raw format images, should you need to. Although this program is not as flexible or useful as others, including Canon's Digital Photo Professional, it is useful to use if you want to apply your own noise reduction, for instance if you're shooting something with a fine texture.

Panasonic GF6 review

As standard, a 14-42mm manual zoom lens is bundled with the Panasonic GF6, as opposed to the Power Zoom X kit lens that came with the Panasonic GF5. This does increase the overall size of the camera somewhat, but also helps to keep the cost down.

The 14-42mm lens is a new version of the old kit lens, which is smaller than the previous version. With an equivalent focal length of 28-84mm, there's plenty of flexibility here for shooting a wide variety of subjects.

By shooting at mid-range apertures, such as f/8, we can assess the sharpness of the lens and how it performs with the Panasonic GF6's sensor. One of the claims that Panasonic makes about its Micro Four Thirds range of cameras is that edge-to-edge sharpness is better than from APS-C equivalents.

Panasonic GF6 review

Happily, those claims seem to be well-founded, since our images show a good level of sharpness right the way across the frame, even in the far corners. This is evident even when shooting with the standard kit lens.

For the Panasonic GF6, and Panasonic G6, the manufacturer has introduced some new digital filters that will likely further appeal to the likes of the Instagram generation. New filters include Bleach Bypass and Sunlight mode.

While some of the filters are of course better than others - mostly down to personal preference - we think that Panasonic now has the best range of filters currently available on the market. If only you could shoot these filters while in manual or semi-automatic modes, we'd be extremely pleased.

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