Entry-Level Mirrorless Camera Roundup (2013)
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6
16MP CMOS Sensor | Tilting 3.0-inch Touch Screen | Wi-Fi with NFC
What we like:
- Tilting touch screen
- Built-in Wi-Fi with NFC
- Good ergonomics
What we don't:
- Messy high ISO JPEGs
- Cheaper build
- No option for viewfinder
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6 offers a 16MP Four Thirds sensor, an articulated 3.0-inch touch screen and Wi-Fi connectivity with NFC. It's a beginner-friendly model, most obviously indicated by its dedicated iAuto mode button for one touch access to full auto shooting. It also includes a built-in pop-up flash and 1080p HD video with full manual control. It's sold as a kit with a 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 II zoom lens.
"Easy access to auto mode with manual controls when they're needed."
Auto exposure and default color are very good, and the stabilized 14-42mm kit lens is a good starter zoom. Those who want the camera to make most of their exposure decisions will find the GF6 happy to do so, and those who want a little more control can make use of an external mode dial, rear compass dial and a customizable function button. When a power zoom lens is attached to the camera the zoom ring around the shutter can be used to operate the lens in a familiar compact camera fashion. The GF6's Wi-Fi allows a user to send photos from the camera to a smartphone and operate the camera remotely, both handy features to have.
Overall the GF6 offers the beginner just about everything he or she could want - easy access to auto mode with manual controls when they're needed. A touch screen helps users of any skill level hone in on a focus point, and Wi-Fi sharing is a nice feature to have that's not necessarily a guaranteed feature in this class.
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