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Panasonic Lumix GF5 review

A fast, light and perfectly formed CSC

Our Verdict

For

  • Small size
  • Low noise images
  • Metal buttons

Against

  • No manual control in Creative Control mode
  • Slightly unresponsive touchscreen
  • Auto white balance inaccuracies

Overall, the Panasonic Lumix GF5 is very good. Panasonic has done a great job at building a camera that will appeal very strongly to those looking to step up from compact or bridge models, while keeping enough manual controls to satisfy those looking for more.

Image quality is of course of paramount importance, and it's here that the Panasonic Lumix GF5 really does deliver.

The amount of detail captured is particularly impressive - especially considering the lens being used for the majority of our shots was the supplied kit lens (albeit the more expensive option).

This is a great option for those looking to get started with a compact system camera. Panasonic offers a large number of compatible lenses, should you find you need more than the kit lens (and Olympus and third party Micro Four Thirds lenses are also available) and even more are known to be in development.

We liked

Coupled with the 14-42mm power zoom lens, this is a discreet compact system camera that manages to pack a pretty powerful punch in a tiny body, making it one of the only truly pocketable cameras of its kind.

We disliked

Occasionally the touchscreen became unresponsive, while Olympus has managed to be a bit cleverer with its art modes than Panasonic.

Final verdict

The low price makes the Panasonic GF5 one of the best compromises on the market between compact size and high image quality. It's one of the only cameras that is truly (jacket) pocketable and portable enough to be carried around on a daily basis, while still managing to offer fantastic image quality and a solid feature set.

That said, with a UK price tag of £449 (about $710) or £579 (about $920) with the X kit lens, the Panasonic Lumix GF5 isn't a cheap proposition for the moment, especially for those used to dealing with compact camera prices.

It's also worth bearing in mind the fantastic bargains that can currently be had with the predecessor, the GF3, which can be picked up for around £200 (with standard kit lens) in the UK and $450 in the US, from certain retailers while stocks last.

Tech Specs

Product TypeMirrorless Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
TouchscreenYes
Effective Camera Resolution12.1 Megapixel
GPSNo
USBYes
PictBridgeYes
Product FamilyLumix G
Image StabilizationNo
ColourBlack
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NamePanasonic
FeaturesFace Detection, Live View, Orientation Sensor, Self-timer, Continuous Shooting Mode
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsAVCHD, MP4
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)225 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityREACH
Flash Memory CapacityNo
Maximum Image Resolution4000 x 3000
Maximum Frame Rate60 fps
Number of Batteries Supported1
Battery Built-inNo
Battery RechargeableYes
Battery IncludedYes
Display Screen TypeLCD
Image Sensor TypeLive MOS
Total Camera Resolution13.1 Megapixel
HDMIYes
Camera AssemblyBody Only
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Height66.5 mm
Width107.7 mm
Depth36.8 mm
Autofocus Points23
Product SeriesG
Image FormatsMPO, JPEG, RAW
Audio FormatsAAC
Flash ModesAuto Flash, Flash OFF, Flash ON, Red-eye Reduction, Slow Sync, Front Curtain Sync
Focus ModesManual, Auto
ManufacturerPanasonic
Product ModelDMC-GF5
Product NameDMC-GF5 Compact System Camera
Product LineLumix
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberDMC-GF5EB-K
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.panasonic.co.uk
Marketing Information

A combination of the 12.1-megapixel Live MOS sensor and the Venus Engine achieves higher image quality. With the dedicated circuit, which reads out signals with minimum noise, the level of noise is significantly suppressed and S/N (Signal-to-Noise) value is improved in shooting at high ISO setting. The Multi-step Noise Reduction applies optimum noise reduction according to the brightness of the part of the image. Images recorded in low-lit situations are now dramatically clear.

The DMC-GF5 features outstanding compactness and ease of operation while pursuing high image quality. Panasonic did not compromise in the equipment of camera such as built-in flash. It embraces beautiful stylish round-form body design featuring buttons with glossy finish, ergonomically studied grip and high-resolution 920K-dot LCD. The DMC-GF5 is based on the Micro Four Thirds System that lets you use the versatile lineup of Micro Four Thirds System standard lenses, including the LUMIX G / LEICA DG lenses.

Battery Life330 Shot
Package Contents
  • DMC-GF5 Compact System Camera
  • Battery Charger
  • Battery Pack
  • USB Connection Cable
  • Shoulder Strap
  • Software CD-ROM
Display Resolution920000 Pixel
Limited Warranty1 Year
Built-in DevicesMicrophone, Speaker