New Panasonic Lumix GF5 – Super Compact Interchangeable Lens Camera

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New Panasonic Lumix GF5 – Super Compact Interchangeable Lens CameraPanasonic has a new, consumer-friendly Micro Four Thirds camera designed for people looking to step up from a point-and-shoot to their first interchangeable lens camera. With the exception of a new rubberized grip, the Lumix GF5 looks pretty much just like last year’s GF3. In spite of the similar styling, there are some significant changes on the inside of the GF5. It’s got a brand new 12-megapixel Live MOS sensor and redesigned Venus Engine with two kinds of noise reduction and the camera’s sensitivity has been doubled to ISO 12,800. The GF5 has a 3-inch touchscreen display just like the GF3, but Panasonic increased the resolution of the LCD from 460k to 920k. They’ve also improved the auto focus and burst speed, “making it possible to capture even fast moving subjects clearly.” And new Scene Guide allows less experienced photographers choose camera settings by selecting from a range of professionally shot sample photos. And of course, the GF5 also has full HD video.

Panasonic Lumix GF5 - Front & Back

Panasonic Lumix GF5 Key Features & Specs:

  • New 12-megapixel Live MOS sensor
  • Redesigned Venus Engine image processing
  • Sensitivity increased from ISO 6400 to ISO 12,800
  • Built-in pop-up flash
  • 3-inch 920k-dot touchscreen display with Touch AF, Touch Shutter, and Touch Zoom (with Power Zoom lens)
  • 1920 x 1080 60i full HD video in AVCHD
  • iA and iA Plus shooting modes
  • Full manual exposure control
  • New Scene Guide with 23 sample pictures shot by professional photographers
  • Creative Control Mode with 14 options, including Retro, Sepia, Miniature Effect, Soft Focus, Cross Process and Toy Effect
  • 4 frames per second burst at full resolution

Since the Panasonic GF5 body is more or less the same as the GF3, you can check my 2011 PhotoPlus GF3 article for some hands-on impressions (Hands-On With The Panasonic Lumix GF3). Basically, I was surprised and impressed by how small it was for an interchangeable lens camera. Not everyone likes small cameras. But since I do a lot of travel and outdoor action sports photography, I like them light and backpack-friendly and I’ve been a fan of the Micro Four Thirds cameras since they first hit the market. I think they offer the best balance of size, image quality and performance for a travel-friendly interchangeable lens camera. They’re also a very realistic alternative to bulky digital SLRs – especially for people who are used to point-and-shoot cameras.

Panasonic was a little vague about when the GF5 would be available. The press release just said it would be, “later this year.” My guess is they’ll have it in stores before people start their summer travels, since it’s going to make an excellent travel camera. It will come in red, white and black finishes with either the standard 14-42mm zoom lens or Panasonic’s 14-42mm power zoom (recommended for people who want to do a lot of video) for US $599 or $749, respectively.

Panasonic Lumix GF5 Press Release >>

Related Content:
All Panasonic Digital Camera User Reviews
All Compact System Camera User Reviews
Compact System Cameras Forum
More Compact System Cameras News & Articles
More Panasonic Camera News & Articles
Panasonic Digital Cameras Web Site

About the author: Photo-John

Photo-John, a.k.a. John Shafer, is the managing editor of and has been since the site launched back in 1999. He's an avid outdoor enthusiast and spends as much time as possible on his mountain bike, hiking or skiing in the mountains. He's been taking pictures for ever and ever, and never goes anywhere without a camera.

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