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Just Posted: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6 hands-on preview

By dpreview staff on Apr 9, 2013 at 04:00 GMT
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Just Posted: Our hands-on Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6 preview. The GF6 expands the capabilities of Panasonic's GF series away from the point-and-shoot focus that it had increasingly pursued. The latest model adds a more sophisticated touch-screen and additional control points that will benefit a range of users but it's the NFC-mediated Wi-Fi system that we found really interesting. Add this on top of the 16MP sensor from the GX1 and you have a compelling combination of features.

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6

Comments

Total comments: 83
Aleo Veuliah
By Aleo Veuliah (Apr 11, 2013)

This camera is better than I though at a first sight.

For those who like it small and with good IQ and lot's of features it is really good.

I am waiting to see what Panasonic Lumix have done with the G6, it will be launched later this month.

1 upvote
originalhype
By originalhype (Apr 13, 2013)

smaller? it's a bit thicker than the e-pl5 and e-pl5 uses the omd sensor and this uses the gx1 sensor. e-pl5 is much better in everyway except wifi and nfc

0 upvotes
happypoppeye
By happypoppeye (Apr 29, 2013)

Yes ...because no one in the world wants a built in flash or hte myriad of different options this has over the epl-5.

Add to that, the camera isn't even released yet and you are still stating the epl-5 is better in everyway except two options.

Opinion fail.

0 upvotes
OneGuy
By OneGuy (Apr 10, 2013)

I have GF1 w/20mm 1.7 and I like it very much. Got a polarizing filter that makes the lens very dark (and very cool). I have no cover/bag for it because I don't want to hide any of it (and so far it's holding up well).

I am not looking for another lens but for another body to go with the 20mm lens. I routinely get high quality 30x40 cm (usually family) prints and that to me is the wow factor. Looking to upgrade means getting 40x60 high quality prints (again, routinely). GX1 didn't do it, mainly because I did not read anything about large format printing. I was ready to go with GF5 but it isn't available as body-only. I am tickled by Oly OMD EM5 but my eyes roll at 1k body-only price.

So here comes GF6. Hope springs eternal. Nice curve. One down, few to go.

0 upvotes
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (Apr 11, 2013)

> GX1 didn't do it, mainly because I did not read anything about large format printing

What does that even mean? The GX1 is certainly better than the GF1 for large format printing due to higher resolution and better noise.

1 upvote
OneGuy
By OneGuy (Apr 11, 2013)

GX1 didn't do it for me. I did not get 'warm and nice' about large format GX1 printing except the theoreticals like yours.

0 upvotes
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (Apr 12, 2013)

I own both the G1 (same sensor as the GF1) and the GX1, the GX1 image quality is a noticeable improvement over the G1 sensor, how could it possibly print worse?

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
originalhype
By originalhype (Apr 13, 2013)

I don't think one guy knows what he's talking about. gf6 uses the same sensor as GX1 but uses diff. processor.

2 upvotes
zinedi
By zinedi (Apr 10, 2013)

Another viewfinderless pack of ...nese electronics.Demonstration of viewfinderlessness. Be happy Fuji, blindness is infectious and not protected by copyright. The bigger is the pile of similar electronic packs, the more briliant shines your idea of photographic camera.

1 upvote
chadley_chad
By chadley_chad (Apr 10, 2013)

Wanna repeat that again in English!!!!!!

3 upvotes
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Apr 10, 2013)

"I work for Fuji"

4 upvotes
agentul
By agentul (Apr 10, 2013)

"another crappy japanese camera made in china. my fuji camera is the best because it's made in america"

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Apr 10, 2013)

those who are looking for a viewfinder have poor vision of photography. those who are looking for retro design have poor understanding of camera.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
MJ Jones
By MJ Jones (Apr 10, 2013)

Sure, viewfinders so far haven'^t given the detail of their ancestors but they adapt according to the settings chosen. So, pardon me, but I strongly believe that for an ordinary human being, it's an improvement in this respect.
As for the retro design, I don't give a damn. Would rate quality, sturdiness, evolutivity of the body or better of the whole camera.

0 upvotes
lenseye
By lenseye (Apr 10, 2013)

I quit buying Panasonic right after GF1. Reason: they come up with so many models so fast that you can never keep track and the support for your model stops! Hardly get any firmware updates, etc.! It's a joke!

2 upvotes
the reason
By the reason (Apr 10, 2013)

and canon doesnt churn out a rebel every 3 months? everybody does it

2 upvotes
agentul
By agentul (Apr 10, 2013)

so you would rather have a broken initial firmware that you have to update every month?

0 upvotes
chadley_chad
By chadley_chad (Apr 10, 2013)

So what if updates come thick and fast; just because they do it doesn't mean you have to change your camera does it. As nice as having the latest model of anything would be, on the scale of things would you really benefit from upgrading?

I kept my S95 for some time without being tempted to the latest models; before upgrading to the Sony NX100. I wont upgrade to the NX200 as I doubt it'll give me anything to warrant the extra 'x' hundreds of pounds it would cost to upgrade. I also still have my NEX-C3 because as much as I'd love a NEX 6, I cant justify spending another £400 just to get a few extra benefits which wont in all honesty improve my images to that degree.

2 upvotes
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (Apr 10, 2013)

What firmware updates are you expecting? Is there a single known firmware bug that hasn't been fixed?

2 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Apr 10, 2013)

think Pana's cameras are okay, only their sensors are low res and their lens apertures are small.

0 upvotes
Andrew Booth
By Andrew Booth (Apr 10, 2013)

I have a GX1 and like it, although I find the sensor dynamic range noticeably poor.

Disappointing that Panasonic continue to use this same sensor for another year - even though they have better ones available (and Olympus has much better sensors).

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (Apr 10, 2013)

They don't have better ones available. Sony does, at higher cost.

0 upvotes
originalhype
By originalhype (Apr 10, 2013)

^^^ yet the e-pl5 has OMD sensor.

0 upvotes
agentul
By agentul (Apr 10, 2013)

so the E-PL5 is a panasonic camera now?

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Apr 10, 2013)

The Panasonic GH3 has identical sensor performance to the OMD so how you figure "Olympus has much better sensors"?

If you need better DR, the G5 improved on the GX1 in popular online sensor testing, so perhaps the GF6 will also.

1 upvote
chadley_chad
By chadley_chad (Apr 10, 2013)

I dabbled with 4/3rds for a while with a GF3 and Panny 1.7 lens but was never impressed - mainly with dynamic range. I settled on a NEX in the end and never looked back - I just cant understand the draw of 4/3rds when the NEX range is so small and soooo good!

(and before people talk about available lens choice, how many people who buy 4/3rds take advantage; most having just 3 lenses in their bags ... and those wanting more ... well surely they'd be more pro and as such, use more pro camera models?)

0 upvotes
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (Apr 10, 2013)

This is not the GX2, the GF is a budget model so of course they'll use last-year's mid-range sensor in it.

If the GX2 still has the same sensor you can complain about it then.

0 upvotes
BJN
By BJN (Apr 10, 2013)

@chadleychad: It's not just the selection of lenses, it's the relative size and weight of the system in your camera bag. Some of us indeed carry several lenses; flexibility still being the point of an interchangeable lens system. I jump over APS-C to full frame to get the advantages of a larger format with 4X the sensor area.

Comment edited 53 seconds after posting
1 upvote
RStyga
By RStyga (Apr 9, 2013)

From the preview I'm happy to welcome not the rather indifferent GF6 but the new compact, without being collapsible (at last!!), 14-42mm lens. Looks like a winner lens!

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
iderren
By iderren (Apr 9, 2013)

Looks a great camera but let down by no phase/contrast AF combo

1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Apr 9, 2013)

How well do those tend to work, would you say?

6 upvotes
MDGColorado
By MDGColorado (Apr 9, 2013)

And I've owned 4 cameras with hotshoes in my life and never bought a flash.

0 upvotes
Andreas Stuebs
By Andreas Stuebs (Apr 9, 2013)

I use the hot shoe also fo a spirit level or alternately for wireless remote - I also do not own a hot shoe mounted flash

1 upvote
MJ Jones
By MJ Jones (Apr 10, 2013)

I agree, it'd cost pretty next to nothing to provide a standard hotshoe with a "sexy curved cover" to cover it up... and make it available for people to care for it. Same for external sound input and optional viewfinder whose cost covers up for the multi-use hotshoe.

0 upvotes
MDGColorado
By MDGColorado (Apr 9, 2013)

Panasonic got this camera just right. GF6 looks simple enough for a beginner to take high-quality images, but not oversimplified. It has a mode dial and physical buttons. If the screen works OK outdoors, I could live without an EVF.

0 upvotes
MJ Jones
By MJ Jones (Apr 10, 2013)

At the same time, is it clever business decision to prevent customers spending on the EVF option?

0 upvotes
Tim F 101
By Tim F 101 (Apr 9, 2013)

It reflects the relative health of m4/3, and NEX, that both systems have bodies (and lenses) for everyone from a semi-pro to point-shooters who want to update their Facebook wall. That said, for me, no hotshoe no sale. It makes no sense that Panasonic has bodies with no hotshoe but Olympus has the wireless off-camera flash protocol. The GF series would make so much more sense if they had that.

Comment edited 18 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Vlad S
By Vlad S (Apr 9, 2013)

The GF series makes perfect sense. It is for those who want a P&S operation with micro 4/3 sensor and lenses. If you need a hot shoe in a small form factor you should get a GX camera, that's all.

7 upvotes
Mike Ronesia
By Mike Ronesia (Apr 9, 2013)

I read somewhere it does work with one of the remote flashes from Panasonic. I never had an EVF for my GF1 and got by just fine for what it is.

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Apr 10, 2013)

NEX does not have neither semi-pro bodies nor semi-pro lenses. Sorry.

0 upvotes
Rob Sims
By Rob Sims (Apr 10, 2013)

"NEX does not have neither semi-pro bodies nor semi-pro lenses. Sorry."
Strictly speaking, your double negative infers that Sony has both semi-pro bodies and semi-pro lenses. Not sure if that's the message you wanted to put across.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Apr 10, 2013)

> NEX does not have neither semi-pro bodies nor semi-pro lenses. Sorry.

they have super-pro prices.

2 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Apr 9, 2013)

so they will still need another version with a flash shoe?

a pop-up takes more room and makes the camera bulky.

a pop-up also gives an impression the camera is light challenged.

0 upvotes
originalhype
By originalhype (Apr 10, 2013)

the nex-6 is thinner than gf6 and e-pl6 and has a flash, VF and APSC sensor, so what are you saying?

Look at the lx7, has a flash ad hotshoe.

0 upvotes
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (Apr 10, 2013)

> so they will still need another version with a flash shoe?

That will be the GX2

0 upvotes
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Apr 9, 2013)

I don't get wifi in this class of camera, unless you also give it a keyboard. Just don't get it. In phones, sure.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Apr 9, 2013)

You don't think the ability to grab images off the camera to your smartphone (which also tend not to have keyboards) might be useful for some people?

4 upvotes
AndyGM
By AndyGM (Apr 9, 2013)

The WiFi is just for connecting to your smartphone, not for connecting directly to a hotspot. Panasonic have written an app for iOS and Android, and for Android devices, the peer to peer WiFi setup is done by NFC, start the app, tap your phone against the camera and you are done.

1 upvote
Geekapoo
By Geekapoo (Apr 9, 2013)

RB,

No, I would not seek out a camera because of the wifi feature...I'd still go with the GF3 or GF5

1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Apr 10, 2013)

Geekapoo - that's fair enough. I don't think it'll appeal to everyone. But, if well implemented, it can be handy - especially if you hate taking phones with your phonecam.

1 upvote
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Apr 10, 2013)

@RButler

You're right, of course. I'm not as connected as some. Maybe that's why I don't see the utility...

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (Apr 10, 2013)

"You don't think the ability to grab images off the camera to your smartphone (which also tend not to have keyboards) might be useful for some people?"

Very marginal usefulness (due to slow transfer speed, requirement to keep both devices on and huge battery drain on those tiny batteries of both compact cameras and smartphones), and can be achieved by an EyeFi or similar card.

Still, it is a little bit useful. Sometimes. About a thousand to ten thousand less useful on a camera than having a physical aspect ratio switch or exposure compensation dial.

1 upvote
BJN
By BJN (Apr 10, 2013)

You don't really need a keyboard/pad since there are several ways to use the Lumix WiFi to share image files. You can simply pick and upload images to a variety of hosts - then go back as needed to title and tag files. You can share files with your own computers and tablets. And there are the wifi remote control capabilities. Why not wifi?

0 upvotes
TacticDesigns
By TacticDesigns (Apr 11, 2013)

WiFi on this camera is one of the things that I find very interesting.

This is the kind of thing I've been looking for when we go camping.

We're gone for a week. I take pictures, but their stuck on my cameras until we get back.

So . . . my wife takes pictures with our cellphone to post to Facebook. (But our cellphone doesn't take very good pictures.)

This just seems like a better solution. A better camera, that's more fun to use, with the option to transfer the pictures for upload to Facebook as well. (Whether you are near a computer or not.)

For me, with how I want to use the camera, it makes a lot of sense.

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
mrmiguel
By mrmiguel (Apr 12, 2013)

Not only WiFi, but NFC as well. A really neat feature for those that have Android phones. I use my EyeFi all the time on the OM-D E-M5 and prob. do 80% of my editing in snapseed for quick edits and sharing. Love it.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Naveed Akhtar
By Naveed Akhtar (Apr 9, 2013)

I heard on cameralabs.com that it got a panoramic mode like sony nex cams!! Does it got multishot HDR mode, like gh3?

0 upvotes
cinemascope
By cinemascope (Apr 9, 2013)

The product photos on your previews always feel like they were shot for a military fashion show, or by a german meticulous perfectionist...
How about chilling out a bit?
Do we really need a 100% precise topview or a close-up glimpse at the USB and HDMI ports?
Check out the photos on photography blog... Much more pleasing and easy on the eye...

1 upvote
wetsleet
By wetsleet (Apr 9, 2013)

I guess it has become an unquestioned house style. I say 'unquestioned' because, I assume, nobody at DPR ever asked themselves 'why?', beyond the circular "this is how we do it here".

For me, the flat-on-face shots seem to be calculated to give the minimum visual information. They are the answer to the question "How can I take a picture of this object that tells the viewer the least about it?" It specifically removes any sense of 3D.

1 upvote
Samuel Dilworth
By Samuel Dilworth (Apr 9, 2013)

Well, I feel I should strongly support DPReview’s product photos when they’re criticised like this, since I find them infinitely more valuable than the loose and badly lit snapshots found on so many tech websites.

I find the perpendicular record shots from all angles very useful for comparing the controls of one camera to another. In fact, I often use Google Images to quickly find these DPReview product shots for two cameras I wish to compare. And the detailed shots and accompanying descriptions of the various controls and ports, such as the buttons, battery door, etc. are more useful than ever now that it’s so hard to play with cameras in high-street shops (largely because the shops don’t exist).

I wouldn’t object to additional three-quarter views, but please keep the precise perpendicular product photos.

11 upvotes
wetsleet
By wetsleet (Apr 9, 2013)

"...I find them infinitely more valuable than the loose and badly lit snapshots..."
Well, yes, if you put it like that. You can defend anything by comparing it to something even worse.
I have no argument with the detail close up shots, and if the perpendicular shots serve a purpose then keep them.

But to illustrate what the device really looks and 'feels' like, I'll agree with you on more 3/4 shots please. After all, that is more how you would look at one in a shop, to continue your story.

0 upvotes
Camediadude
By Camediadude (Apr 9, 2013)

If there is one thing I can never fault here, it is the photography of the cameras. The precision with which Dpreview has it down to a science is awesome to me, and something that I hope they never change. It is one of the (greatly beneficial) hallmarks of this site.

14 upvotes
alfredo_tomato
By alfredo_tomato (Apr 9, 2013)

There's a difference between art and information. A top down shot gives information about the front and back that you don't get from a simple front/back image. The side images give you info about what you can't see from the front and top. The bottom shot give info on the bottom, and another perspective on the top shot.

DPreview gives the information, the art is up to you.

8 upvotes
wetsleet
By wetsleet (Apr 10, 2013)

@alfredo_tomato
Odd - I understand what you are saying, but I see it as the polar opposite. I see the DPR perpendiular images as 'art' - they are a very specific, even iconic, minimalist house style of DPR. But in their very minimalism they give the minimum of visual information, they exclude any sense of solidity, of 3D. You have to mentally stitch together the various views to try to get the full picture of what the camera looks like in the round.
Clearly there can be room for both, I would like to see a few more 'off-axis' shots.

0 upvotes
TacticDesigns
By TacticDesigns (Apr 11, 2013)

I guess more is better. But don't change what is there.

I look at the straight on pictures a lot when trying to figure out if I'm interested in a camera or not. I want to see where the displays are, where the controls are.

I don't like sites that only post a 3/4 or front view of the camera. It is missing the important information to me. Show me the controls so I can figure out if I can use this camera.

I don't really care what the camera looks like. I just want to know where everything is so I can decide if I think I can use it.

:)

2 upvotes
VidJa
By VidJa (Apr 9, 2013)

looks kind of nice, but in this field it is really really hard to decide what one needs to buy. All models are converging to the same box that barely fits your hands.

2 upvotes
Camediadude
By Camediadude (Apr 9, 2013)

If the ergonomics concern you, then perhaps a body like a GH3 is best suited for you ( I do think I would love one myself ... Maybe someday in the not too distant future, we shall see..)

3 upvotes
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Apr 9, 2013)

Agreed. The bigger style is better in m43.

2 upvotes
alfredo_tomato
By alfredo_tomato (Apr 9, 2013)

The G5 appears to satisfy us who like a beefy grip.

1 upvote
Naveed Akhtar
By Naveed Akhtar (Apr 9, 2013)

Why GX1 sensor? why not GH3 or atleast G5 sensor?

6 upvotes
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (Apr 9, 2013)

The GH3 sensor? Why would try to put the expensive GH3 sensor in a cheap consumer body? It would double the price.

Wait for the GX2 for a small body with higher-end sensor.

1 upvote
Revenant
By Revenant (Apr 9, 2013)

Olympus put the E-M5 sensor (which probably is the same as the one in GH3), in their consumer bodies E-PM2 and E-PL5. Those cameras don't cost twice as much as their 12 MP predecessors.

16 upvotes
Infared
By Infared (Apr 9, 2013)

Revenant. +100!

1 upvote
Naveed Akhtar
By Naveed Akhtar (Apr 9, 2013)

exactly .. sensor cost should not be a big issue!

plus my question was still .. atleast G5 sensor? why not?
or if G5 and GX1 got the same sensor??

1 upvote
Revenant
By Revenant (Apr 9, 2013)

GX1 and G3 have the same sensor. G5 has the GH2 sensor (but without taking advantage of its larger size to provide "true" multi-aspect ratios like GH2 does).

If the GH3 and E-M5 in fact use the same sensor, and if both companies turned to Sony for it (which seems likely), then perhaps Panasonic don't want to use it in all their models, because after all, they still have their own sensor business.
Olympus, otoh, take the best they can get. And it's probably cheaper for them to use the same sensor in all models, rather than buying smaller volumes of different sensors from different vendors.
But why not the G5/GH2 sensor? Who knows? Maybe it will be used in G6 or GX2, and Panasonic wants to differentiate their product lines with different sensors. Or maybe it's harder to fit it into a more compact body? It's oversized, after all, although I don't think it's that much bigger.

3 upvotes
bloodycape
By bloodycape (Apr 10, 2013)

Revenant has a good point, but there are some key difference there that Panasonic can't implement. You have to remember the OMD has a 5-axis IS system while the lower end models have a more standard IS, which gives the pricier OMD still an advantage. Panasonic can't really do that as they use OIS. They can't really take away other features or else it would be less competitive vs the competition. But, I could be off here.

1 upvote
Camediadude
By Camediadude (Apr 9, 2013)

Looks good so far, impressive screen and good controls ... but as always, I get dismayed when they come out with new models that won't accept the accessory EVF's. Being able to plug in an EVF is a significant plus for me. But I know, many don't want or need one .. and I realize that one can use those specialized loupes to view the screen with like a viewfinder, but it is not the same.. It is definitely nice to have both. I'm sure this won't deter many from eagerly buying it though, as I seem to be in the minority.

8 upvotes
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (Apr 9, 2013)

Don't worry the GX2 will still have an EVF, this model is for people who don't need/want one.

4 upvotes
Camediadude
By Camediadude (Apr 9, 2013)

I agree. Still, it pains my heart a bit each time I see a viewfinder less camera! I am weird that way.

2 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Apr 9, 2013)

I think the EVF is for some weird amateurs.
it isn't a natural way to take photos.
why we needed it was because of our techinical incapability,
which is none issue for digital cameras.

0 upvotes
Mahmoud Mousef
By Mahmoud Mousef (Apr 9, 2013)

I'm technically incapable of blocking out the sun, so I want a viewfinder.

3 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Apr 10, 2013)

what you need is a sunshade that evf comes with by default.

0 upvotes
MJ Jones
By MJ Jones (Apr 10, 2013)

GX2?? What makes you assume there will be one? If so it's 6 months late... Therefore technologically dicey given the narrowing gap between the 4 Pana M4/3 lines.
As far as I'm concerned a GF/GX different line is not necessary. an accessory line should make up for it.

0 upvotes
MJ Jones
By MJ Jones (Apr 10, 2013)

... but it's good news that the GF6 has a decent 1 Megapixel+ tiltable and touchable LCD screen.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 83