The Panasonic Lumix GF6 is the latest entry level mirrorless camera from Panasonic, and features a 16 megapixel sensor, 3inch tilting touch screen and built in Wi-Fi as well as NFC. It's available with the new 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 lens
with Mega optical image stabilisation.
Panasonic Lumix GF6 Features
The Panasonic Lumix GF6 replaces the Panasonic Lumix GF5
, and is a new camera with 16 megapixel sensor rather than a 12 megapixel sensor, as well a high resolution 3 inch tilting touch screen on the rear. Other upgrades include a new Venus image processing engine, improved AF performance, with a new low-light mode for improved focus. There are 19 filter effects, as well as a new panoramic shooting mode, with the option of applying filters to the panoramic shot.
Wi-Fi is built in, as well as NFC (Near-Field Communication) to allow setup of Wi-Fi connections with smartphones. The smartphone can be used as a remote shutter control, or setup for instant transfer so that photos will automatically transfer to the smartphone after shooting. Wi-Fi can also be used to setup auto backup of photos and video to your computer.
16 megapixel Live MOS Micro Four Thirds sensor
3inch tilting 1040k dot touch-screen
New Venus Engine
Improved AF performance, with new low-light mode
19 filter effects, Panoramic shooting
Full HD Video, stereo sound
ISO160 - 25600 (extended)
4.2fps continuous shooting
Wi-Fi connectivity, NFC
Available in black or white
Panasonic Lumix GF6 Handling
- The top of the camera is where you'll find the re-introduction of the mode dial, which should make selecting modes easy, as well as the introduction of a sweep panoramic mode, that will automatically stitch the photos together as you pan the camera. Surrounding the shutter release button is a zoom control which can be used with the power zoom lenses, or in playback to zoom into photos. At the front is the textured front grip, which gives a good level of resistance as it is made out of rubber.
On the rear the camera has a thumb grip, as well as the playback, display, scroll wheel, menu/set, Q Menu / Fn1 and Fn1 buttons and the tilting touch screen, which features a 1040k dot resolution and tilts to 180 degrees. The camera also features improved AF performance, with a new low-light focusing mode that is automatically activated in low-light and greatly improves low light focusing performance, although focus does become slower when this mode is activated.
Underneath the camera has the usual metal tripod socket and battery / memory compartment, and battery life is rated at 330 shots according to Panasonic / CIPA standards, which is the same as the previous model, the Panasonic Lumix GF5
, which is to be discontinued. In playback mode, a new retouch feature lets you edit out areas of the photo and remove objects using the touch screen.
- The built in Wi-Fi gives the Panasonic Lumix GF6 a number of features, including the ability to connect it to a smartphone or tablet running Android or iOS. First you need to install the Panasonic Image App from the app store, and then you're able to connect to the camera via Wi-Fi, or using NFC to setup the connection if your phone has it. The app gives three main modes of operation, the first as a remote control for the camera, giving you access to a number of options and settings, including the Q. menu, touch focus and shutter release, as well as stop motion animation. The second mode, is playback, lets you can view images, as well as transfer them to the phone or delete them. The third mode is the GPS logging option, to let you record your location, and then it's possible to add GPS location information to photos.
Panasonic Image App Remote
Panasonic Image App Playback
Panasonic Image App Gps Log
Apart from the Panasonic Image App, there are also a number of other Wi-Fi features built in to the camera, letting you automatically transfer images to the smartphone after shooting, backup to your computer, or share to social network sites. Although sharing to social network sites requires setup of the Lumix gateway account, which does require some PC use to then enable the Facebook (or other website) connection.
- We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo
Shot to Shot without Flash
Shot to Shot with Flash
Continuous Shooting - JPEG
(shots before slow down)
4fps (30 shots)
Continuous Shooting - Flash
Continuous Shooting - RAW
4fps (8 shots)
Continuous shooting is decent at 4fps, with up to 30 shots possible before slowdown when shooting JPEG images. Focus and shutter response is excellent and shot to shot times are particularly impressive.
Panasonic Lumix GF6 Performance
Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database
, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.
Panasonic Lumix GF6 Sample Photos
- The camera has reliable exposure, and to extend dynamic range you can use the iDynamic or HDR options, as shown above. There is a good level of detail in photos, and when using flash for portrait shots, there are no signs of red-eye.
Panasonic Lumix GF6 Lens test images
- The 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 lens
performs well giving detailed and sharp photos, with optical image stabilisation helping in low-light. The lens is one of the latest lenses in the Micro Four Thirds range, with a number of lenses available from both Panasonic and Olympus, as well as third parties such as Sigma, giving one of the biggest ranges of lenses available for Mirrorless cameras. Macro performance is a little disappointing, and for better macro shots a different lens is recommended. Purple fringing and chromatic aberrations are low, with the camera correcting this in camera. Exposure is reliable, with the camera coping well in a variety of situations. The built in HDR mode, or iDynamic option will help give better dynamic range if required, and the provided deep petal shaped hood gives good protection against lens flare.
Panasonic Lumix GF6 ISO test images
ISO Noise Performance
- ISO ranges from ISO160 up to ISO12800, and extends to ISO25600. Noise is low at ISO160, and ISO200, with some signs of chroma noise at ISO400. There is a slight drop in detail at ISO800, although noise is still low. At ISO1600 there is again, another drop in detail, and noise becomes more obvious. At ISO3200 and ISO6400 noise is quite strong, and when viewing images at full size it's easy to see that images lack detail, although these could provide usable images if resized. ISO12800 images are soft, but again may provide usable images if resized. ISO25600 shows the most noise, and least detail, with strong colour loss, so this setting is best avoided.
Panasonic Lumix GF6 White-balance test images
White Balance Performance
- Auto White Balance (AWB) performs well under tungsten light giving a slightly warm result, with the tungsten preset giving a more accurate result. AWB performs well under fluorescent lighting, and there are no fluorescent presets available. For more accurate results manual white balance settings are available.
Panoramic | 1/320 sec | f/8.0 | 14.0 mm | ISO 160
- The panoramic mode automatically stitches the photo together as you pan the camera from one side to another. You also have the choice of 15 filter effects, an example of "Impressive Art" is shown below.
Impressive Art Panoramic | 1/500 sec | f/11.0 | 14.0 mm | ISO 160
Panasonic Lumix GF6 Digital filters
Digital Filters -
There are 19 digital filters available, with examples shown above. A number of them can be customised, and the new "Sunshine" mode lets you set the position and size of the light, as well as giving you the choice of three different colours for the effect. There are also a number of photo styles, where you can customise contrast, sharpness, saturation, and noise reduction.
- The camera records full HD as AVCHD, or MP4, and gives a number of options including manual controls, ISO160-3200, mic level adjustments, silent operation (using the touch screen), and wind cut are just some of the options. Stop motion animation can be used to create timelapse videos within the camera, an example can be viewed here
Value For Money
The Panasonic Lumix GF6 is available for £499 with the new, more compact 14-42mm IS kit lens
as shown, making it good value for money, priced in the same region as other mirrorless cameras with tilting touch-screens, with the following cameras offering similar features:
Olympus PEN Lite E-PL5
- 16mp, tilting touch screen, Wi-Fi option, £499 with 14-42mm lens
- 16mp, tilting touch screen, Wi-Fi, £529 with 16-50mm lens
- 20mp, tilting touch screen, Wi-Fi, £599 with 20-50mm lens (without IS)
You'll also need to buy a memory card
and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags
Panasonic Lumix GF6 Verdict
The Panasonic Lumix GF6 was introduced by Panasonic as a completely new camera when compared to the previous mode, the Panasonic Lumix GF5
, and after testing the camera we can see why. The camera comes with a new sensor, built in Wi-Fi, tilting touch screen, mode dial, panoramic mode and many more new features that we've been asking for. This makes the GF6 a much more appealing camera to not just beginners, but also the enthusiast looking for a high quality mirrorless camera.
With an introduction price of £499 with the new 14-42mm IS kit lens, the camera is priced very competitively with similar models, and with the kit lens delivering excellent image quality, we feel that the camera offers very good value for money. Provided with a deep lens hood, premium neck strap, and a wealth of creative effects, as well as panoramic effects, the camera is packed with features, making it a fun camera to use, with a wealth of features to play with.
The Panasonic Lumix GF6 offers almost everything you could want from a mirrorless camera, with the most likely complaint about it likely to be the lack of flash hot-shoe, making it less appealing to the more serious photographer. For the majority of people having a built in flash will be preferable, and the re-introduction of the mode dial will make the camera easier to use for every level of photographer. Image quality is very good, with the camera delivering sharp detailed photos with good colour, and low levels of noise, although not as low as results from the Olympus PEN Lite E-PL5
, due to use of a different sensor. The Wi-Fi implementation is very good, giving remote control and numerous shooting options straight from your smartphone or tablet. There are a few, very minor niggles, but we can very happily highly recommend the camera.
Panasonic Lumix GF6 Pros
Wi-Fi built in - remote operation
Great image quality
Lens hood provided with new kit lens
High resolution tilting touch-screen
Fast operation, focus, shot to shot
Access to a wide range of Micro Four Thirds lenses
Mode dial re-introduced
Stop motion animation
Panasonic Lumix GF6 Cons
No flash hot-shoe
Loud shutter (compared to other mirrorless cameras)
Would be nice if Wi-Fi supported direct uploads to social media sites, rather than going via Lumix logon
VALUE FOR MONEY
Panasonic Lumix GF6 Specifications
|CCD pixels||16Mp (Megapixels)|
|Sensor Type||Live MOS Sensor|
|Sensor Size||Micro / Four Thirds|
|Sensor Size (width)||17.3mm|
|Sensor Size (height)||13mm|
|Screen resolution||1040k dots|
- Face Detection
- AF Tracking
- Touch AF
|Shutter speeds shortest||1/4000sec|
|Shutter speeds longest||30sec|
- Scene modes
- Program Variable
- Centre-weighted - Average
- Multi Pattern
|ISO sensitivity||160 - 25600|
|Exposure Comp||No Data|
|Viewfinder Resolution||No Data|
- 1280x720 720p
- 640x480 VGA
|Video FPS||30fps, 25fps|
|Optical Zoom with Video||Yes|
|Battery Type||Lithium Ion|
|Box Contents||No Data|
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