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 – LCD, viewfinder and video
One of the most obvious improvements to the GF6 is its rear LCD screen. The GF5 has a fixed LCD screen, while the screen in the GF6 tilts down 45° and up 180°, which means the screen can be viewed from in front of the camera. This works well for images such as handheld self-portraits. In fact, an auto self-timer is activated when the screen is at its 180° position.
The screen’s trump card is that it is touch-sensitive, with touch AF, metering, shutter and even menu navigation on offer. Panasonic got the functionality of its touchscreens spot on a while back, and the screen enhances the camera’s handling no end. There is no quicker way to use spot metering and focusing than with a responsive touchscreen.
The screen is still 3in, but its resolution has increased to a class-leading 1.04 million dots. Its bright display can be viewed comfortably even in bright light, thanks in part to the minimal use of glass in front of the LED panel. Panasonic has built the touchscreen technology into the screen itself, rather than it being on a separate layer.
Tilting the screen not only broadens the viewing angle – I found it very useful for shooting at high and low-angle shots when in landscape mode – users can also shift its position to reduce reflections for clearer viewing. This is essential because the GF6 does not have a built-in viewfinder, or even the option to add an external unit. Although Lumix DMC-GF2 featured an accesory port for attaching an EVF, I am not surprised by its absence here. The GF6 is a low-cost option and an EVF costs around half the price of the camera, and most owners will probably not want one.
Full HD 1080i video files can be recorded at 50fps with stereo sound, although there is no option to attach an external microphone. A separate menu for video recording makes for easy navigation.