Panasonic has formally announced the much-discussed DMC-GF5. We've had a pre-production GF5 for a couple of days, so we've had a look at what's changed and what the diminutive Micro Four Thirds camera offers to compact camera users looking for better image quality but still wanting the option to simply point and shoot. The 12MP camera is a subtle revision over the GF3, but a higher-res screen, refined user interface and the inclusion of Panasonic's retractable 14-42mm power zoom lens for a list price of $749.99/£579 makes it worth looking at.


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Press Release:

PANASONIC INTRODUCES THE LUMIX GF5, A NEW ULTRA COMPACT DIGITAL INTERCHANGEABLE LENS SYSTEM CAMERA

SECAUCUS, NJ (April 5, 2012) – Panasonic today announced a new digital interchangeable lens system camera, the LUMIX DMC-GF5, which joins Panasonic’s award-winning LUMIX G Series of digital cameras, which are acclaimed for their high image quality with small and compact body and lenses. The LUMIX GF5 features a newly developed 12.1-megapixel Live MOS sensor and redesigned Venus Engine, helping to ensure true-to-life images through exceptional resolution, image rendering and color reproduction. Even in low-light situations and at a maximum 12800 high ISO sensitivity, the LUMIX GF5 produces stunning photos and videos. The noise reduction system includes a combination 3DNR (3D Noise Reduction) and MNR (Multi-process Noise Reduction) allowing for both bright areas and dark areas to be faithfully reproduced with minimal noise in high sensitivity image recording.

Sporting a sophisticated and stylish design, the LUMIX GF5 features a compact, lightweight body with built-in flash. A rubberized grip makes it easier for users to comfortably hold the camera in one hand. Complying with Micro Four Thirds standard, a wide range of interchangeable lenses is offered to expand photographic experience even more broadly at higher level of photo quality.

“Panasonic expects the LUMIX GF5 to please photo enthusiasts and budding photographers that are looking for the next step from the traditional point-and-shoot camera,” said Christopher Rice, Senior Product Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Marketing Company of North America. “The camera’s host of shooting options makes photography even more artistic, yet easy for users of any experience level. The powerful Venus Engine and sensor allows the camera to achieve exceptional photo quality in a range of shooting environments.”

The LUMIX GF5, like all cameras in the LUMIX G Series, adopts Contrast AF (Auto Focus), so focusing is controlled by the image sensor. Compared with the Phase difference system AF, Contrast AF boasts higher accuracy, especially when shooting with a bright lens with small F value. To further advance the Contrast AF, the GF5 incorporates full-area focusing, making it possible to set focus on any point in the field of view.

Featuring an ultra high-speed Light Speed AF, the LUMIX GF5 can focus in approximately 0.09*1 seconds making it possible to capture even fast moving subjects clearly. Combined with Touch AF control and high-speed burst shooting at four frames per second in full resolution, it has never been easier to capture fast-moving objects clearly. Additionally, Pinpoint AF allows for even more precise focus by further enlarging the focus area, assisting, for example, to set focus directly on the pupil of an eye.

The LUMIX GF5’s large, 3.0-inch 920,000-dot high-precision touch display and Graphic User Interface (GUI) provide users with ease of use and simple operation. The touch-control system immediately allows users to set focus on a subject just by touching the screen and users can even release the shutter to snap a photo directly from the touch screen. Once a user locks onto a subject by a touch, the camera will track the subject with the AF tracking function, even if the subject moves. Touch Zoom is also available when the LUMIX Power Zoom Lens H-PS14042 lens or H-PS45175 is mounted.

Creative Control Mode has been upgraded from the LUMIX DMC-GF3 by increasing filter options available on the LUMIX GF5 from six options to 14, adding Soft Focus*2, Dynamic Monochrome, Impressive Art, One Point Color, Cross Process and Star Filter, in addition to the conventional Expressive, Retro, High Key, Sepia, Hi Dynamic, Miniature Effect*3 and recently introduced Low Key and Toy Effect modes. With the new GUI menu tab, switching filter effects is seamless. A preview of filter effects can be seen on the large LCD screen via Live View mode and the camera intuitively recommends filters depending on the scene that the camera detects in iA (Intelligent Auto) or iA Plus mode.

For beginner users of interchangeable lens system cameras, the GF5 features a new Scene Guide offering 23 sample pictures shot by professional photographers. Users can choose the photo closest to the situation that they are shooting and optimal parameters for shooting the scene will be set automatically*4. Additionally, procedures, technical advice and recommended interchangeable lens options for the scene can be shown to allow users to better understand and learn photography.

In addition to shooting still photography, the LUMIX GF5 can also record 1920x1080 60i* full-High Definition videos in AVCHD format which excels in both compression efficiency and compatibility with AV equipment for playback. In addition to practical full-time AF, the Touch AF in video recording also lets the user enjoy professional-like selective focusing which allows the focus to be changed while shooting video. The LUMIX GF5 features a dedicated video record button on the top of the body so users can instantly start recording videos while shooting photos without having to make setting adjustments. Along with full-HD video capabilities, the LUMIX GF5 also features high-quality sound, recorded with Dolby® Digital Stereo Creator. Videos can be recorded in MP4 format for playback on a PC or other portable electronic devices without having to convert the files.

Additional features of the LUMIX GF5 include:

  • iA mode to automatically activate a range of technologies to enhance photos without adjusting settings every time conditions change, including AF Tracking, Intelligent D-range Control, Intelligent Scene Selector, Face Recognition and Intelligent ISO Control.
  • iA Plus mode allows users to adjust defocusing area in the background, exposure compensation and white balance for more flexible control.
  • A dedicated sensor that automatically determines shooting angle, making it possible to tell whether a photo was taken horizontally or vertically no matter what lens was used.
  • The GUI interface allows users to choose an image and set it as wallpaper for the menu screen.

The LUMIX DMC-GF5 will be available in black, white and red later this year in the following kit options: Body with 14-42mm standard zoom lens will have a suggested retail price (SRP) of $599; body with 14-42mm power zoom lens will have an SRP of $749.

For more information about Panasonic LUMIX digital cameras, please visit www.panasonic.com/lumix.

*1 Time for focusing on the subject is measured with LUMIX G X VARIO PZ 14-42mm/F3.5-5.6 ASPH./POWER O.I.S (H-PS14042) (bundled lens in DMC-GF5X) to move lens position to “2m” from “infinity” position. The zoom position is in wide end. Panasonic measurement method.
*2 For photo only
*3 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)
-Maximum time to record motion pictures continuously with [AVCHD] is 29 minutes 59 seconds in European PAL 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.)
*4 Video Recording using scene guide is not possible in some scenes

Panasonic DMC-GF5 specifications

Price
MSRPWith 14-42mm power zoom: US $749, With 14-42mm standard zoom: US $599
Body type
Body typeRangefinder-style mirrorless
Sensor
Max resolution4000 x 3000
Other resolutions4000 x 2672, 4000 x 2248, 2992 x 2992, 2816 x 2112, 2816 x 1880, 2816 x 1584, 2112 x 2112, 2048 x 1536, 2048x1360, 1920 x 1080, 1600 x 1200, 1600 x 1200, 1600 x 1064, 1600 x 904, 1504 x 1504, 1440 x 1440
Image ratio w:h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels12 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors13 megapixels
Sensor sizeFour Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorVenus Engine FHD
Color spacesRGB, Adobe RGB
Image
ISOAuto, 160, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800
White balance presets5
Custom white balanceYes (2)
Image stabilizationOptical
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsFine, Standard
File format
  • RAW
  • RAW + Fine
  • RAW + Standard
  • Fine
  • Standard
  • MPO + Fine
  • MPO + Standard (with 3D lens in Micro Four Thirds System standard)
Optics & Focus
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Touch
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lampYes
Digital zoomYes (2x, 4x)
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points23
Lens mountMicro Four Thirds
Focal length multiplier2×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3
Screen dots920,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT Color LCD with wide-viewing angle
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeNone
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed60 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/4000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Program
  • Aperture Priority
  • Shutter Priority
  • Manual
Scene modes
  • Clear Portrait
  • Silky Skin
  • Backlit Softness
  • Clear in Backlight
  • Relaxing Tone
  • Sweet Child's Face
  • Distinct Scenery
  • Bright Blue Sky
  • Romantic Sunset Glow
  • Vivid Sunset Glow
  • Glistening Water
  • Clear Nightscape
  • Cool Night Sky
  • Warm Glowing Nightscape
  • Artistic Nightscape
  • Glittering Illuminations
  • Clear Night Portrait
  • Soft Image of a Flower
  • Appetizing Food
  • Cute Dessert
  • Freeze Animal Motion
  • Clear Sports Shot
  • Monochrome
Built-in flashYes (Pop-up)
Flash range6.30 m
External flashNo
Flash modesAuto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Slow Sync
Drive modes
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Self-timer
Continuous drive4 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 sec, 10 sec (3 images))
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±3 (at 1/3 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±2 (3, 5 frames at 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes (3 frames in either blue/amber or magenta/green axis)
Videography features
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (60, 50 fps), 1280 x 720p (60, 30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps), 320 x 240 (30 fps)
FormatMPEG-4, AVCHD
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
Storage includedNone
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (mini HDMI TypeC)
Remote controlNo
Physical
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLithium-Ion rechargeable battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)360
Weight (inc. batteries)267 g (0.59 lb / 9.42 oz)
Dimensions108 x 67 x 37 mm (4.25 x 2.64 x 1.46)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingNo
GPSNone

Additional images