Panasonic Lumix GF6 review

Beginner-friendly compact system camera gets an overhaul

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Editor's Choice

We were initially very impressed by the concept of the Panasonic GF6 when we first saw a pre-production sample, and we hoped that the real deal would live up to our own hype.

Happily, it has done that - and then some. Although the overall size of the Panasonic GF6 has increased fairly dramatically from the Panasonic GF5, it comes with improvements that make the bulk up worthwhile - most notably the tilting touchscreen.

Because there's no viewfinder - and no way to attach one - having a highly flexible and responsive screen is extremely useful and solves the problem of awkward angles preventing you from capturing the shot you want to get. It's also very handy if you want to take self-portraits or film videos of yourself, since you can see exactly what you're doing.

We'd expected image quality to be good, because we've previously been impressed by the sensor onboard the Panasonic GX1, and again we weren't disappointed by the performance the Panasonic GF6 put in. Images are very pleasing, and if you're shooting in good light the majority of time then you'll probably never have any cause for concern with this camera.

In lower light conditions, where you're forced to shoot at higher sensitivities, such as ISO 3200, you might find that images are of a lower quality, but if you're using them at smaller printing sizes then they're still more than useable.

With the largest proprietary lens range available for the Micro Four Thirds system, investing in a camera from Panasonic or Olympus is a more flexible option than their counterparts from Sony, Nikon or Canon. With added flexibility coming from the fact that Olympus and Panasonic both use the same lens mount, anybody who has previously used a camera from either brand before will be able to bring across any optics already acquired.

One of the biggest let downs of the camera is the Wi-Fi functionality. While it should be a nice addition, the operability of sharing images and videos to sites such as Facebook is far fiddlier than it should be. Using your smartphone as a remote control is much easier, but Panasonic should take a look at some of Samsung's products, such as the NX300, to get a better idea of how to successfully incorporate Wi-Fi sharing tools.

We liked

Image quality is excellent, while the flexibility of the screen is useful for capturing images from awkward angles. The fact that there's no viewfinder is almost made up for by this screen, which could only have been improved by being fully articulating. It's a bonus though that it flips up 180-degrees to face forwards for self-portraits.

We disliked

Fortunately there's not too much to dislike about the Panasonic GF6, but the Wi-Fi functionality could seriously be improved to make it much more useful. It would also be nice to be able to use the digital filters while shooting in manual and semi-automatic modes.

Initial verdict

The Panasonic GF6 is one of the best compact system cameras currently on the market, especially for the beginner user.

Although it is the next in line after the Panasonic GF5, it's perhaps elevated slightly above that, being a little more comparable to the Panasonic GX1, with which it shares its sensor.

Image quality is fantastic, while usability, thanks in part to the touchscreen and sensible menu system, makes it one of the more pleasurable cameras to shoot with.

Unfortunately, at the moment its higher price is its only letdown. For a good chunk less than the price of the Panasonic GF6, you can pick up a Sony NEX-3N, so it seems that Panasonic will have a tough job convincing consumers to snap up this camera in bulk.

If however in the next few months, as is prone to happen with cameras, we think this be our top recommendation for those looking for an entry-level compact system camera.

Tech Specs

Product TypeMirrorless Camera with Lens
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Wireless LANYes
Effective Camera Resolution16 Megapixel
Product FamilyLumix
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)
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
Image Sensor Size17.30 mm x 13 mm
Maximum Image Resolution4592 x 3448
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height64.8 mm
Width111.2 mm
Depth38.4 mm
Focal Length14 mm to 42 mm (Lens 1) - 45 mm to 150 mm (Lens 2)
Image FormatsJPEG, MPO, RAW
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
Product ModelDMC-GF6
Product NameDMC-GF6 Compact System Camera
Product LineLumix
Exposure Control
  • Program AE
  • Aperture Priority AE
  • Shutter Priority AE
  • Manual
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberDMCGF6WEBK
Manufacturer Website Address
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.

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
Limited Warranty1 Year