Panasonic has announced a new addition to its Lumix G series of compact system cameras, the Panasonic Lumix GF6.

The Panasonic Lumix GF6 brings some noticeable advances over the previous model, the GF5, with the addition of a mode dial on the top, which will be welcomed by those wanting faster access to the main shooting modes.

Panasonic told us that feedback on the GF3 and GF5 models in Europe and the US had suggested they were "too simple", which has prompted the changes in the GF6. As well as that mode dial, there’s also a high-resolution vari-angle touch display on the rear, for more flexibility in composing shots.

There’s a new sensor at the heart of this camera too. Taking the sensor from the Lumix GX1, the 16-megapixel Live MOS sensor promises better performance than previous GF cameras, with less noise at higher ISO sensitivities, as well as faster image processing from the Venus engine and even faster autofocusing. 

But these evolutions are the sort of thing we’d expect from a next-generation Lumix compact system camera. To make the Lumix GF6 stand-out, and help you get your photos out, the camera is equipped with NFC and Wi-Fi, so you’ll be able to connect your smartphone and share those high-quality shots.

Seen recently on the Lumix FT5 tough camera, it looks like NFC is on the agenda for Panasonic. Touching the camera against a tablet or smartphone will enable the transfer of images, as well as enabling remote shooting controls, using the compatible apps. We've seen it demoed on Android, although the system was rather basic: with this looking like a focus for Panasonic, we expect more refinement will come.

In addition to full manual controls and all the normal shooting priority modes, the Lumix GF6 has 19 filter effects, so you can get some of that Instagram magic straight from the camera. These effects can now be used in panorama, there's stop animation available and the ability to retouch images in the camera.

The Panasonic Lumix GF6 will be available with the new compact 14-42mm lens (not the power zoom lens pictured here) for £499, from late April. It will be available in black or white in the UK, although red and brown bodies will also be available.

READ: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6 pictures and hands-on