Before going into this review, I’ve held the opinion of not necessarily endorsing point and shoot intended cameras moving into the realm of the DSLR. In fact I find the notion to be quite absurd considering the price you pay for the camera when you could get a budget SLR for less. Does the Panasonic Lumix GF6 change my opinion? Lets find out.
The GF6 is the latest offering in Panasonic’s Lumix series. It’s a mirrorless entry level camera which features a 16 MP sensor with a 3 inch touchscreen that tilts 180 degree tilt and comes with Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity. Out of the box, it comes packed in with a 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 lens with optical image stabilisation and a butterfly lens hood. It also features a wide array of filters and the option of applying it to panorama pictures.
- 16 megapixel Live MOS Micro Four Thirds sensor
- 3-inch 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
Unlike its predecessor, the GF6 comes packed with a lot of neat tools in the camera that make it a rather versatile camera for the less professional shooter. There’s a noticeable improvement where the AF performs and it does reasonably well even during low light situations. While I preferred to try to see how comfortable it is while shooting manually, it still was a major comfort to get the focus that I wanted. You can also shift focus with the display and moving the focus around with your finger.
Handling and Ergonomics
The Panasonic Lumix GF6 comes with a mode dial that allows you to swap to various modes with ease. Around the shutter is the power zoom control that doubles up as the exposure adjustment. Also to the side is the intelligent auto setting and the video mode record button. There are grips to hold in front and a thumb grip at the back which is ideal for shooting with one hand. The Lumix GF6 also comes with the usual scroll wheel, playback, menu/set, Quality Menu and two function buttons at your disposal. and has a tripod mount as well as an in-built flash.
The camera handled well enough but being a force of habit of mine to use two hands while shooting, I found myself lifting the display so I don’t end up touching the screen just before a shot.
WiFi and NFC
The Lumix GF6 comes with built in Wi-Fi that gives you the ability to remotely link it with any device running Android or iOS via an app. I tried it with the IPad but I found the connection to have a certain amount of lag at times- however it gets the job done. You can remotely shoot using your tablet which gives you access to the basic options for shooting including stop motion and you can also view your images on your camera. GPS logging is also enabled.
Even though the camera says it can go up to 256000, I wouldn’t recommend crossing beyond 3200. The noise doesn’t do so well, which is my main complaint when shooting low light areas in the automatic mode. Here’s the panorama I clicked testing this feature out.
There are 19 digital filters that can be used in real time while clicking the photo styles allow you to play with contrast and saturation and some can be customized as well. Here were a few shots I clicked.
The Lumix GF6 records video in full HD as either AVCHD or MP4 and the video quality on this camera is pretty good especially when you can interchange your lens and get some nice depth. The Lumix GF6 can also make stop motion and convert it into a video for you. I had a bit of trouble using the stop motion especially when I used it with a Lexar Class 4 memory card. I’m not aware of any issues about this and it appears to be on just mine.
The Lumix GF6 really comes with everything you need with what could be a very versatile semi SLR camera. It doesn’t have a hotshoe otherwise this would have been a very serious competitor in its class considering it comes along with the 14-42m lens. Image quality gives some really nice colours with detail and the intelligent auto mode comes in handy although the high ISO noise doesn’t make the Lumix GF6 an ideal companion for low-light shots. While the user interface is pretty good, it’s something to get used to when shooting remotely via Wi-Fi or NFC but that still gives a plethora of options to use. It could be an affordable tool to use for budding short film makers who are working with a tight budget.