Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6
Price as Reviewed:£499.00
Tim Coleman tests the latest compact system camera in Panasonic's entry-level range, which features a 16-million-pixel sensor, a newly designed tilt screen, built-in Wi-Fi and extra controls on its body. Read the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6 review...
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6 review – Dynamic range
Image: In this overcast scene, the evaluative metering has recorded and exposure just right for the midtones. However the limited dynamic range of the camera means that highlight detail has been lost
Featuring the same sensor as the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1, the Lumix DMC-GF6 has a similar dynamic range, which is approaching a rather modest 11EV. Indeed, when shooting in a standard mode without iDynamic or HDR settings applied, the camera struggled to capture a wide range of tones. This was most notable with overcast scenes where the sky was bright white and the landscape dark. In this situation, the sky could appear as a solid white mass (highlight clipping). Systems with a dynamic range closer to 13EV would show some detail.
Applying iDynamic (auto is fine) made some highlight and shadow detail more obvious, and after shooting for a day and then reviewing my images, I opted to keep the iDynamic activated to gain that little extra tonal detail. Of course, HDR mode extends the dynamic range greatly and this now has its own place in the main menu.
It’s available when shooting in JPEG format only and does not offer manual control over its strength. Essentially, it records three consecutive frames and blends them for a wider tonal range. Even though the camera can be heard recording the three frames one after the other, it blends the images together very well and for the most part a tripod is not necessary to achieve crisp results.
As the sensitivity rised, the dynamic range is further compromised, so don’t expect punchy, exciting images when using ISO 800 or above.
- Video: Full HD 1920 x 1080 pixels, 50i AVCHD 25fps (PAL), 1920x1080-pixel MPEG-4 (30fps)
- White Balance: Auto, 5 presets, 2 custom, Kelvin, all with fine-tuning
- Built-in Flash: Yes, GN 6.3m @ ISO 160 (5m @ ISO 100)
- Shutter Type: Focal-plane shutter
- Viewfinder Type: N/A
- Memory Card: SD, SDHC, SDXC
- Output Size: 4592 x 3448 pixels (15.8 million pixels)
- LCD: 3in, 1.04-million-dot touchscreen LCD
- Field of View: 100% on LCD
- AF Points: 23-area and touch-focus anywhere in the frame
- Sensor: 16-million-effective-pixel Live MOS
- White Balance Bracket: 3 frames
- Weight: 280g (body only), 323g (with card and battery)
- Exposure Modes: Program, aperture priority, shutter priority, manual, iA+, 24 scene modes
- Focal Length Mag: 2x
- Max Flash Sync: 1/160sec
- Power: Rechargeable Li-Ion
- Shutter Speeds: 60-1/4000sec, bulb
- File Format: JPEG, RW2 (raw), raw + JPEG, MPO (when attaching 3D lens in micro four thirds-system standard), AVCHD, MPEG-4Compression
- Colour Space: Adobe RGB, sRGB
- Drive Mode: 20fps at 4-million-pixel resolution, 4.2fps with AF, 3fps with live view, 7 continuous shots in raw, unlimited JPEGs
- RRP: £499 with the 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens
- Exposure Comp: ±3EV in 1/3 steps
- Compression: 2-stage JPEG
- Lens Mount: Micro four thirds
- Focusing Modes: Single, continuous, manual, face detection, AF tracking, 23-area, 1-area, pinpoint, touch
- ISO: 160-25,600
- Dimensions: 111.2 x 64.8 x 38.4mm
- DoF Preview: Yes, with shutter speed simulation
- Metering System: 1728-zone, multi-pattern sensing system with options for intelligent multiple, centreweighted, spot
- Connectivity / Interface: Mini HDMI, digital/video out, remote release
- Tested as: Entry-level CSC