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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.
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
- Retouch mode
- Available in black or white
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.
Wi-Fi - 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.
Speed - 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||0.15|
|Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response||0.15|
|Switch on Time to Taking a Photo||0.9|
|Shot to Shot without Flash||0.35|
|Shot to Shot with Flash||1.1|
Continuous Shooting - JPEG
(shots before slow down)
|4fps (30 shots)|
|Continuous Shooting - Flash||N/A|
|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.
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Panasonic Lumix GF6 Sample Photos
Drive iDynamic Off | 1/400 sec | f/7.1 | 14.0 mm | ISO 160
iDynamic Standard | 1/500 sec | f/7.1 | 14.0 mm | ISO 160
Drive HDR (Multi Shot) | 1/400 sec | f/7.1 | 14.0 mm | ISO 160
Thoresby Hall | 1/320 sec | f/9.0 | 20.0 mm | ISO 160
Audi S Line | 1/800 sec | f/6.3 | 150.0 mm | ISO 200
Light | 1/100 sec | f/3.5 | 14.0 mm | ISO 160
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
Wide | 1/500 sec | f/8.0 | 14.0 mm | ISO 160
Zoom 1/400 sec | f/10.0 | 42.0 mm | ISO 160
Trees | 1/160 sec | f/5.0 | 14.0 mm | ISO 160
Macro Watch | 1/80 sec | f/5.6 | 42.0 mm | ISO 200
Lens Performance - 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
1/8 sec | f/5.6 | 42.0 mm | ISO 160
1/10 sec | f/5.6 | 42.0 mm | ISO 200
1/20 sec | f/5.6 | 42.0 mm | ISO 400
1/40 sec | f/5.6 | 42.0 mm | ISO 800
1/80 sec | f/5.6 | 42.0 mm | ISO 1600
1/160 sec | f/5.6 | 42.0 mm | ISO 3200
1/200 sec | f/7.1 | 42.0 mm | ISO 6400
1/320 sec | f/8.0 | 42.0 mm | ISO 12800
1/400 sec | f/10.0 | 42.0 mm | ISO 25600
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
AWB Tung | 1/10 sec | f/5.6 | 22.0 mm | ISO 160
Tungsten Preset | 1/10 sec | f/5.6 | 22.0 mm | ISO 160
AWB Fluorescent | 0.3 sec | f/5.6 | 22.0 mm | ISO 160
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
Panorama mode - 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
Miniature | 1/320 sec | f/8.0 | 42.0 mm | ISO 160
Bleach Bypass | 1/500 sec | f/7.1 | 14.0 mm | ISO 160
Cross Process | 1/500 sec | f/7.1 | 14.0 mm | ISO 160
Dynamic Monochrome| 1/500 sec | f/8.0 | 14.0 mm | ISO 160
Expressive | 1/400 sec | f/7.1 | 14.0 mm | ISO 160
Fantasy | 1/400 sec | f/7.1 | 14.0 mm | ISO 160
High Dynamic | 1/640 sec | f/8.0 | 14.0 mm | ISO 640
High Key | 1/250 sec | f/5.6 | 14.0 mm | ISO 160
Impressive Art | 1/500 sec | f/8.0 | 14.0 mm | ISO 160
Low Key | 1/640 sec | f/8.0 | 14.0 mm | ISO 160
Old Days | 1/400 sec | f/8.0 | 14.0 mm | ISO 160
One Point Colour Blue | 1/400 sec | f/8.0 | 14.0 mm | ISO 160
One Point Colour Green | 1/400 sec | f/8.0 | 14.0 mm | ISO 160
Retro | 1/400 sec | f/7.1 | 14.0 mm | ISO 160
Sepia | 1/400 sec | f/8.0 | 14.0 mm | ISO 160
Soft Focus | 1/400 sec | f/7.1 | 14.0 mm | ISO 160
Star Filter | 1/500 sec | f/7.1 | 14.0 mm | ISO 160
Sunshine | 1/400 sec | f/8.0 | 14.0 mm | ISO 160
Toy Effect | 1/320 sec | f/7.1 | 14.0 mm | ISO 160
Toy Pop | 1/320 sec | f/7.1 | 14.0 mm | ISO 160
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.
Video - 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 MoneyThe 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
Sony NEX-5R - 16mp, tilting touch screen, Wi-Fi, £529 with 16-50mm lens
Samsung NX300 - 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 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.
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|The Panasonic Lumix GF6 packs a wealth of great features into a compact body, and delivers excellent images.|
Panasonic Lumix GF6 ProsWi-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 ConsNo 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|
|Shutter speeds shortest||1/4000sec|
|Shutter speeds longest||30sec|
|ISO sensitivity||160 - 25600|
|Exposure Comp||No Data|
|Viewfinder Resolution||No Data|
|Video FPS||30fps, 25fps|
|Optical Zoom with Video||Yes|
|Battery Type||Lithium Ion|
|Box Contents||No Data|