Customer Review

33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice little camera at a good price, 11 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: Panasonic DMC-GF6KEB-K Lumix G Compact System Digital Camera - Black (16MP, 14-42mm Interchangeable Lens) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)
I got the GF6 with the 14-42 II kit.

First about the lens: This lens, as of today, is meant to be one of the strongest zoom kit lenses available. And after having used it I am pretty happy with its sharpness, focal range, and overall feel. It also came with the lens hood which is welcome (I hate having to buy a piece of plastic for a 500% markup as many other camera manufacturers force you to do). Both the zoom and focus rings are easy to find and feel nice to use. It is rubberized so no slipping. This isn't a power zoom (which I knew/expected). My only SLIGHT complaint is that with the lens hood on the lens in the reversed/storage position you cannot use the zoom ring, but that might be an unavoidable issue given the len's small size.

The camera: The screen is wonderful, in terms of its image quality, flip range (forward, down, and up a little), and also in terms of its touch sensitivity. I also really enjoy the feel of the "main" wheel on the back, and the on/off switch is well positioned. Overall while this isn't a particularly ergonomical camera the controls it does have it makes good use of. The fact it has a real mode selector on the top is a big plus compared to other cameras of this size/price.

The "auto" button on the top which overrides your current mode is great as an emergency "get out of jail free" card. The only downside is that it isn't always obvious when you're in auto-mode. I often found myself turning the camera on, switching into a mode, and then got confused why the camera was seemingly ignoring me. Only to then remember I used "auto" earlier in the day. There is a light on the auto button but it is invisible in strong daylight and annoying at night.

I think Panasonic really did try to squeeze a little too much into this camera even to the point of inappropriateness. For example, there are four configurable function buttons, but two of those "buttons" are actually on-screen controls which is kind of redundant with the quick menu. They added lot's of things like that, but at some point you have to wonder if "less is more" wouldn't have been a better approach to take? There are lot's of features which are really niche but kind of clutter the thing up (both onscreen and in the menus).

I found the A and S modes useable but "annoying." You can change the aperture or shutter speed pretty fast, but you better be comfortable with auto-ISO because there is no effective way of changing the ISO manually in those modes (i.e. without a menu). The exposure comp' also shares a button with power zooms, so that is something to keep in mind. If you try to use a power zoom then you'll have to use a menu for that too.

I am not really into using them but I found both creative and scene mode really enjoyable to use. I love the live preview in creative mode in particular. I'm almost tempted to use them even though I could do exactly the same stuff in photoshop later. I guess the live feedback is tempting.

The "creative" panorama mode is terrible. Worst sweep panorama I've used. I'd go as far as to say it is not functional. I'm not sure why they added creative filters when the basic sweeping was so terrible? On paper I like the fact it can do vertical or horizontal but the damn thing is so finicky about camera speed and likes to stop too early it is too frustrating to even try to use. If you need this feature get a Sony.

The flash is adequate. I like the fact it doesn't even try to fire unless you manually push the button (i.e. "opt in" rather than "opt out" as with other cameras). No hot shoe but I knew that getting into it. I believe the onboard can be used as a remote trigger for many other flashes however.

As far as weight and size: It is a little heavier than I expected. I knew the stats getting into it, but in real life for something of this size if feels "heavy." In fact it is as heavy with the kit lens as my 500D with 50mm 1.8 is (maybe a little heavier). It is obviously smaller than the 500D and you get a much more diverse lens than a prime, so I am not comparing apples with apples.

Price is the real killer feature. The lens alone is worth 1/2 of the total camera's price (well worth it). Similar cameras by other manufacturers are 50% more expensive than this, and while the IQ/IBIS on those cameras is superior, the lens on those cameras is worse and they lack a pop-up flash. If I exclude the price of the lens from the price of the camera this camera is a real bargain, you get a lot of camera for not a lot of money. It is imperfect, but still a darn sight better than a P&S.

If you're looking for a camera to use in auto or with the creative/scene mode then this is for you. If you just want the lens and a spare camera this is also for you. If you want to use stitch panorama then run away screaming.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 16 Jul 2014 13:52:25 BDT
skinnyfatman says:
Great review - very helpful and made me alight out loud at the end!
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J
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Location: GOSPORT, United Kingdom

Top Reviewer Ranking: 93,448