It is nice to see companies really innovating and the latest Micro 4/3 or Interchangeable Lens Camera (ILC) from Panasonic does just that. The headline feature here is an NFC/Wifi combo that on paper looks pretty snazzy. NFC is near field communication, it allows devices to talk to each other at very close distances, so close they might almost be touching. This is fairly secure and in this case provides a user with quick setup of wireless. You touch your NFC enabled smartphone/tablet to the camera and they share the Wifi connection information. Start shooting and you can receive the images on your smartphone, you can also set the camera up to send straight to a computer or various online accounts through the Panasonic pipes (my term, not theirs). Android and iOS apps also let you remotely control the camera to varying degrees.I don't spend a ton of time talking about 4/3 cameras but only because I am so busy focusing on DSLRs. More than a few times in the past months I have had folks that assume a DSLR is the only choice when moving up from a P&S and the 4/3 offer a very viable alternative. You do sacrifice some low light performance with these smaller sensors but you gain better video recording focus, smaller more portable bodies and innovative features, like the built in Wifi sharing.[gallery columns="2" link="file" ids="3454,3455"]I hope to share more information about the GF6 soon. And I'd love to hear your thoughts. How often do you head out of the house without a DSLR because you don't feel like dealing with the weight/bulk? I wonder how successful the SL1 will be compared.
Full Press Release - Panasonic GF6
April 9, 2013: Panasonic is proud to introduce a new Digital Single Lens Mirrorless Camera DMC-GF6 from the stylish, most compact GF series of LUMIX G. The new 16.00–megapixel Live MOS Sensor achieves high-resolution, high sensitivity image recording. The Venus Engine is also newly developed for DMC-GF6 to attain high-performance signal processing and the advanced noise reduction system minimizes noise and even achieves shooting at max. ISO 25600(Extended) high sensitivity taking best advantage of the new sensor.The DMC-GF6 boasts high-speed, high precision Light Speed AF system including practical full-time AF and tracking AF is available in video recording. Newly integrated Low Light AF enables quick, accurate focusing on the target subject even in low-lit situations. Getting ready to shoot in only 0.5 sec after start-up, the DMC-GF6 never misses fleeting shooting opportunities.The DMC-GF6 is not just an interchangeable lens camera but a creative magic box full of wide-ranging attractive features including the new Self Shot, Creative Panorama and Stop Motion Animation in addition to the popular Creative Control mode with a total of 19 fascinating filter effects. The Stop Motion Animation allows producing unique stop motion video and the Clear Retouch function enables to erase unwanted part of a picture after shooting – both operations completes with stunning ease in camera.With the Wi-Fi® connectivity featuring NFC (Near Field Communication) technology, users can connect the camera to their smartphone/tablet anywhere at one-touch, which makes sharing images much easier. It is also possible to use a smartphone/tablet as a multi-capable remote shutter with a monitor. With the Instant Transfer function, photos are automatically sent to the smartphone/tablet right after shooting. On the other hand, both photo and video can be archived to the registered digital equipment such as PC automatically via the wireless access point (router) at home.The DMC-GF6 records 1920 x 1080 at 60i (NTSC) / 50i (PAL) full-HD video in AVCHD with high quality stereo sound. The P/A/S/M mode in video recording is also available for more expressive creation of motion picture footage.Despite its sleek, compact profile, the DMC-GF6 is a practically reliable digital camera with a built-in flash(GN6.3 ISO160･m / GN5.0 ISO100･m) and 3.0-inch large approx.180°tiltable monitor. Dressed in stylish colors - black, white, brown and red, the DMC-GF6 brings new opportunities to enjoy shooting higher quality image with cutting-edge digital technologies.New 16.00-Megapixel Live MOS Sensor and Venus Engine for Superb Picture QualityThe DMC-GF6 integrates new 16.00-megapixel Live MOS sensor which enables high resolution and high sensitivity image recording while minimizing generation of noise. The image processor Venus Engine is also newly developed to feature its advanced noise reduction systems. By extending the control level of noise, controllable area of noise is expanded by approx.64x in size. This makes it possible to remove large block of noise which was formally hard to detect and helps produce clear, smooth image especially for the nighttime scenery. In addition, the Multi-process NR (Noise Reduction) works in two separate steps allowing even finer control over noise level. The texture of noise itself, regardless of the noise size, is improved with this deliberate control, which is resulting in the reproduction of smooth human skin even in high sensitivity recording.Furthermore, the optimum design of newly adopted Detail Reproduction Filter Process enhances the limit resolution by max. 3% and the contrast of middle to high range by max. 5%. Plus, the advanced Intelligent D-range Control offers wider dynamic range while maintaining the smooth gradation thanks to the higher-precision signal processing performed by the redesigned signal processing circuit. Suppressing both blocked shadows and blown highlights, every part of an image – from dark to bright – is faithfully reproduced.The combination of the new Live MOS Sensor and the Venus Engine achieves ISO3200 (Auto) and max. ISO 25600 (Extended). The Low Light AF in DMC-GF6 gains higher performance in such as moonlight even without AF assist lamp to set focus on the subject more quickly and more precisely.Pursuing Even Higher Speed Response and MobilityThe DMC-GF6 boasts even higher response. It takes only approx.0.5 sec to shoot photo after startup (CIPA). Not only its intuitive touch controllability on the rear monitor, the optimum layout of operation devices makes the camera control smooth and easy. The newly added function lever allows direct adjustment of allotted function - zoom*1, exposure or aperture*2 control, which works for magnification in playback mode and page flip in menu. The mode dial has come back for this new DMC-GF6.All cameras of LUMIX G adopt Contrast AF for its focus system. Compared with the Phase difference system AF, the Contrast AF boasts higher accuracy especially in shooting with bright lens with small F value. The DMC-GF6 also boasts high-speed Light Speed AF making it possible to capture fast-moving subjects clearly. Also, AF Tracking enables consecutive shooting to capture moving subject in sharp focus.Combined with the Full-area Touch AF, it is possible to set focus on any point in the field of view which realizes quick and intuitive focusing operation with free frame composition. In addition, the newly adopted Touch AE (Auto Exposure) function allows setting focus and exposure at a single touch on the subject displayed on the monitor.A Variety of Shooting Functions for Artwork CreationThe DMC-GF6 is not just a high quality camera but an advanced photographic tool enhancing shooting experience with wide variety of options.With the new Self Shot mode, users can shoot their own portraits by stretching an arm to hold the camera with the rear monitor flipped approx.180°vertically to get in a frame properly. A variety of options such as Creative Control can be applied on this self-portrait, too.The popular Creative Control mode is upgraded by increasing its filter option from 14 (for DMC-GF5) to 19 (for DMC-GF6) adding new Old Days, Sunshine*3, Bleach Bypass, Toy Pop, Fantasy in addition to the conventional Expressive, Retro, High Key, Sepia, High Dynamic, Soft Focus*3, Dynamic Monochrome, Impressive Art, One Point Color, Cross Process, Low Key, Toy Effect and Star Filter*3 and Miniature Effect*4 mode. Effect parameter of each mode is also adjustable. With the new Creative Panorama function, it is possible to shoot a horizontal / vertical panoramic image with consequent shots taken by overlaying the previous picture and to put on a filter effect of Creative Control*5.The new Stop Motion Animation function enables producing a stop motion (stop frame) video in camera with the pictures that are sequentially shot while moving the object by degrees. This effect makes the object appear as if it is moving by itself.Another new in-camera function is Clear Retouch, which makes it is possible to erase unwanted objects or figures in an image by just tracing over them on monitor with a fingertip. They naturally disappear without destroying the image.*3 For photo only *4 Sound will not be recorded with [MINIATURE EFFECT] in Creative Control Mode and approximately 1/10 of the time period is recorded. (If you record for 10 minutes, the resulting motion picture recording will be approximately 1 minute long) *5 Some filters of Creative Control cannot be used in Creative Panorama mode.Wireless Connectivity for One-Touch Picture Sharing & Remote Shooting via Wi-Fi® / NFC with SmartphonesThe DMC-GF6 integrates Wi-Fi® connectivity (IEEE 802.11 b/g/n) with NFC (Near Field Communication) technology camera to offer more flexible shooting experience and instant image sharing with compliant smartphone/tablet. All these flexible shooting / browsing / sharing style are made possible with the DMC-GF6 and the Panasonic's dedicated application software Panasonic Image App for iOS / Android smartphones/tablets.Users can connect the camera with a smartphone/tablet by just bringing them together. What is new is that the setup is extremely quick and easy, making it possible to pair the camera directly to the smartphone/tablet without connection procedure of information input for authorization.Remote shooting of both photo and video*6 is available by using the smartphone/tablet for a remote shutter with a monitor which displayed live at smooth 30 fps. Not only releasing a shutter, zooming*7, focusing and settings of shutter speed, aperture, exposure compensation are all controllable with a smartphone/tablet.The Instant Transfer function allows the camera to transfer the photo data to the designated electronic devices automatically whenever shutter is released. In playback mode, users can also touch the image displayed on the camera to transfer it directly to the smartphone/tablet right on the spot. In addition, it is possible to tag the location information to the image by utilizing the GPS (Global Positioning System) log of a smartphone / tablet.Archiving images becomes easy. DMC-GF6 transfers the data to PC or other compliant electronic devices automatically via the wireless access point (router) at home. Also, with Panasonic's exclusive cloud service “LUMIX CLUB”, DMC-GF6 can automatically synchronize images via internet with the designated devices and web services like Facebook™, Flickr™, Picasa™, Twitter™ or YouTube™.The Wi-Fi Direct™ function allows direct playback of images on the DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) – compliant VIERA HDTV*8.
Other Attractive Features for DMC-GF6
High Quality 1920 x 1080 Full-HD Video with Stereo SoundThe DMC-GF6 records 1920 x 1080 at 60i (NTSC) / 50i (PAL) full HD videos with full-time AF and high quality stereo sound in the AVCHD format which excels in both compression efficiency and compatibility with AV equipment for playback. With a dedicated video record button on the top, users can instantly start recording videos while shooting photos without any having to make any extra setting adjustments. In addition, the P/A/S/M mode also lets users enjoy professional-like expressive video recording. Videos can also be recorded in MP4 format for playback on a PC or other portable electronic devices without having to convert the files.- Maximum time to record motion pictures continuously with [AVCHD] is 29 minutes 59 seconds in Europe and some Asian areas.- Maximum time to record motion pictures continuously with [MP4] is 29 minutes 59 seconds or up to 4 GB.- You can check the recordable time on the screen. (For [FHD] in [MP4] format, the file size is large and so the recordable time will drop below 29 minutes 59 seconds.)Compact, Stylish Design with a variety of Color SelectionThe DMC-GF6 features ultimate compactness in sleek, stylish design despite its incorporation of useful built-in flash(GN6.3 ISO160･m / GN5.0 ISO100･m). The design dispels impression for conventional big, heavy and colorless DSLRs. Fashionably dressed in black, white, brown or red, the DMC-GF6 matches any style and fashion regardless of gender. In addition, new power zoom digital interchangeable lens in white H-PS14042-W is specially bundled in the white camera kit as DMC-GF6X-W.New Approx.1040K-dot 180゜Tiltable Touch DisplayThe new large, approx.1040K-dot high resolution monitor boasts approx. 100% of field of view, andit tilts up approx. 180°. The front panel is directly attached to the new In Cell Touch LCD without containing air layer in between. The result is that the reflection of external light is dramatically suppressed. Together with the increased resolution by approx.13% and improved color reproduction by approx.20%, the monitor for DMC-GF6 secures higher visibility than ever. Plus, attenuation of transmitting backlight is minimized to achieve wide angle of view and by 25% of power saving.The touch-control system immediately lets users to set focus to the subject by just touching it on the screen and you can even release the shutter. It is free and easy to enlarge the target point with fingertips to set precise focus.Advanced iA+ (Intelligent Auto Plus Mode) and Scene Guide for BeginnersFor beginners of Digital Single Lens Mirrorless cameras, iA (Intelligent Auto) mode supports taking beautiful pictures with a variety of shooting-assist functions including AF Tracking, Intelligent D-range Control, Intelligent Scene Selector, Face Recognition and Intelligent ISO Control. The Intelligent Scene Selector now integrates Food Recognition mode. It detects food on the dish and captures it to look delicious. The iA Plus mode lets users adjust defocusing area in the background, exposure compensation and white balance for more flexible control.The Scene Guide*9 offers 23 sample pictures shot by professional photographers. Users can choose the one closer to the situation they are going to shoot and optimum parameters for shooting the scene will be automatically set. Furthermore, shooting procedure, technical advice and recommended interchangeable lens for the scene can be shown for users to learn photography.*1 When used with Power Zoom lenses H-PS14042 or H-PS45175.*2 In M (Manual) mode.*3 For photo only *4 Sound will not be recorded with [MINIATURE EFFECT] in Creative Control Mode and approximately 1/10 of the time period is recorded. (If you record for 10 minutes, the resulting motion picture recording will be approximately 1 minute long) *5 Some filters of Creative Control cannot be used in Creative Panorama mode.*6 For remote shooting of video, start/stop recording is available over smartphone/tablet control *7With LUMIX G Power Zoom Lens H-PS14042 or H-PS45175. *8 Using [Playback on TV] of the Wi-Fi function, you can display images on a TV that supports the Digital Media Renderer (DMR) function of the DLNA standard. Please check the following website about the compatible devices for details. http://panasonic.jp/support/global/cs/dsc/*9 Video recording using Scene Guide is not possible in some scenes.