Panasonic is announcing the next iteration in its entry-level GF line of Micro Four Thirds cameras, and while it probably won’t appease those waiting for the GX2, the GF6 makes some significant improvements over last year’s GF5. The most notable differences are the addition of Wi-Fi and NFC, allowing you to use your mobile device as a remote shutter, or download images to it straight from the camera. NFC has already available on some of Panasonic point and shoots, but the GF6 marks the first jump to an interchangeable lens body.
There's a new zoom lever around the shutter buttonThe camera also includes an improved 16-megapixel sensor (the GF5 was 12.1 megapixels) and Panasonic claims its new processing engine reduces the amount of noise in low-light photos, as well as better low-light autofocus. There’s also a new 3-inch LCD that tilts 180 degrees upward for taking selfies (and some unspecified amount downward for shooting overhead), along with a dedicated hardware mode dial — always welcome additions. Lastly, there’s a new zoom lever around the shutter button, very similar to that of the NEX–3N. According to Digital Photography Review, it can be used to control exposure compensation when the body is used without a zoom lens, which sounds like a great addition.
Otherwise, things remain mostly unchanged. The GF6 still shoots 1080i video at 60fps in AVCHD, or 1080p at 30fps in MP4, and aside from the new screen, mode dial, and zoom lever, the physical design is largely the same. If you're in the market for an inexpensive Micro Four Thirds camera, the GF6 could be worth a look, but so far there’s no word on price or availability.