Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5 Hands-on Preview
The GF5 is the fourth in Panasonic's range of small-bodied 'GF' Micro Four Thirds cameras, and sits below the G3 in the current lineup. The differences between the GF5 and its predecessor are relatively few, and we doubt they'll prove significant enough to tempt any GF3 users to upgrade. But they do combine to make the new camera a more attractive proposition to compact upgraders than the GF3.
The GF3 wasn't well terribly well received by photo enthusiasts at launch. In part this was because it continued the process of repositioning the GF series as a super-point-and-shoot, rather than a GF1-style enthusiast's camera. Since then, however, those needs have fulfilled by the GX1, while the arrival of Olympus' PEN Mini and Nikon's 1 J1 have made it clear that Panasonic isn't alone in believing there's a market for a small, simple and inexpensive mirrorless camera. With the benefit of this context, the GF5's role is clear - to put large-sensor image quality into the hands of people looking to upgrade from their compact camera.
With this in mind, Panasonic is pushing a kit that bundles the GF5 with its extremely compact retractable X Vario PZ 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS power zoom lens. The combination is impressively small for a camera that offers near-DSLR capabilities and is the closest any mirrorless camera comes to being pocketable when combined with a zoom lens.
Physically, the most obvious change is a new rubber hand grip, which improves on the rather slick, uncoated grip of the GF3, and a new texture to the body shell. Under the hood, the GF5's newly developed 12MP CMOS sensor is an evolution of the one used in the GF3, but with improved circuitry that doesn't block as much light entering the photosite, giving better low light performance. The image processor is also different, and Panasonic promises that the latest version of its Venus Engine will deliver improved noise performance. These factors, combined with a noise reduction system that treats highlights and shadows differently (since the dominant cause of the noise differs between the two regions), has emboldened Panasonic to offer a boost to the camera's ISO range, with it now being extendable to 12800, rather than the GF3's 6400.
Also slightly improved is the GF5's continuous shooting rate, from 3.8 fps to 4 fps, but more significant are a major bump in resolution for the touch-sensitive rear LCD, and change of video file format offered. With the GF5, you have the option to shoot in the MP4 format, as well as the now-standard (for Panasonic) AVCHD. Video clips shot in the MP4 format are easier to work with, because they're created as a single file, rather than a being split across a complex file structure, separate from your stills. MPEG 4 files are far more widely compatible when it comes to playback. As such, we think MP4 makes a lot more sense for an entry-level camera.
Improved touch screen
The GF5's rear LCD is now 920,000 dots, which matches the best-in class, and means that everything from menu navigation to image composition and review just looks that little bit sharper. The touch-screen interface has also been tweaked and improved. The addition of a hard button for 'Display' on the back of the camera, for instance, means the GF5 doesn't need to have any virtual buttons impeding your view as you shoot.
Other improvements are more subtle - the GF5 gains eight new filter options in its Creative Control Mode (namely Soft Focus, Dynamic Monochrome, Impressive Art, One Point Color, Cross Process and Star Filter) and filter effects can be previewed before they are applied. A further refinement for filter fans comes when the GF5 is set to intelligent Auto or intelligent Auto Plus mode. The camera will now suggest filter effects that it thinks might enhance your photo, based on analysis of the scene.
Panasonic's press release talks excitedly about a selection of professional photographs used to illustrate the types of photo the camera can be set to take, but the reality is a fairly standard icon-based interface for selecting between scene modes. These do at least include a couple of shooting tips and an explanation of what the mode is actually doing to the camera's settings.
Panasonic GF5 specification highlights
- 12.1MP Live MOS sensor
- ISO 160-6400 (extendable to 12800)
- '3DNR' three-dimensional noise reduction system
- 3.0", 920k dot touch-sensitive LCD
- Full AVCHD 1080/60i video (from 30fps sensor output) with MP4 recording option
- Stereo microphones
- Built-in orientation sensor
- 14 Creative Control filter effects options
- Scene Guide mode with 23 modes
Differences between the GF5 and the GF3
- Top ISO of 12800 (vs 6400)
- MP4 video recording option (vs AVCHD only)
- Built-in stereo microphones (vs. Mono)
- Orientation sensor (not dependent on lens IS unit)
- 3in, 920k-dot LCD screen (vs 460k-dots)
- New 'Scene Guide' mode
- 14 filter options in Creative Control Mode (vs six)
- Redesigned, rubber hand grip
- New body texture
|First, Let me check its expiry date. by rajeev22675|
from Best Photo of the Week
|Dairy Way by BodkinsBest|
from Best Astrophotography Landscape #4
Harvard is facing a lawsuit over profiting from 19th century daguerreotypes that captured the portrait of a slave and his daughter on a South Carolina plantation.
From the detailed textures in rural landscapes to the incredible lighting inside futuristic buildings, the photorealism of Unreal Engine 4 is blurring the lines between fiction and reality...you know...aside from the spaceship.
According to a report from The Informant, a number of Instagram users' passwords were shared as plaintext in URLs used to download their data.
We've added Panasonic's new Lumix S1 and S1R full-frame mirrorless cameras to three of our buying guides. If you're looking for a quick summary of each model, then have a read.
YouTube channel Photoshop Cafe has shared a video detailing ten tips and tricks you can do to both fix and speed up Photoshop when it's running slow and sluggish.
It's not going to be the banger of the year, but it'll get a few laughs.
DJI has confirmed its drones won't be affected by the GPS 2019 week rollover.
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery has teamed up with Kodak to release a beer that's capable of doubling as a film developer.
The Diana Instant Square is a retro-inspired camera with manual controls that's fun to shoot in good light, but largely unpredictable in its operation.
Residents of a Paris street plagued by Instagrammers, selfie takers and music video crews are asking the city government for a weekend and evening ban to give them some peace.
The adapter plugs into the Osmo Pocket's USB Type-C port and features a 3.5mm TRS jack to plug in various external microphones.
Checkout allows Instagram users to select products for purchase and make payments directly in the app.
GauGAN as it's known, can create photorealistic images from basic drawings using the power of artificial intelligence.
The EOS RP is Canon's latest full-frame mirrorless camera, with diminutive dimensions and a diminutive price. Find out how it stacks up and get our thoughts in our early review.
Montana judge Dana L. Christensen has ruled the Republican National Committee did not infringe upon the copyright of photographer Erika Peterman after they took a photo from a Democratic candidate's Facebook page without permission and altered it to use in a derogatory promotional mailer.
Nikon has launched updates for three of its programs to address various bugs and glitches that could cause crashes and unwanted results.
LEE Filters has launched the LEE100, its next-generation filter holder that improves the design and looks in all the right places.
With the arrival of some much-needed sunshine and final production firmware for the Panasonic S1, we've been able to get outside and really start putting the camera through its paces.
Importing, culling and tagging photos is about to get a whole lot faster and look a whole lot better with the impending arrival of Photo Mechanic 6.
On its own, the FTZ adapter retails for $250 and when bundled it dropped the cost to just $150. Now, Nikon is offering it for free with all Z6, Z7 purchases in the United States.
Profoto said it spoke with Godox back at Photokina 2018 and continues to contact Godox in an effort to stop it from marketing its V1 light.
Product renders in Italian publication Notebook Italia show an unusual design that conceals all cameras with the help of a slider mechanism.
Canon says its new EF 400mm F2.8L IS III and EF 600mm F4L IS III lenses can suffer from an intermittent flickering when shooting video in M or Av modes with certain cameras.
Leica recently announced the Q2, a digital rangefinder with a fixed 28mm F1.7 lens. It's a heck of a lot of fun to shoot with, but is it right for you? Based on our time with the camera, and its specifications, we've examined how well-suited it is for common photography use-cases.
Now that our Panasonic Lumix S1R has final firmware, we couldn't wait to get out shooting with it - and we also tried the high-res mode, which combines files to get 187 megapixel images. Because sometimes, 47 megapixels just isn't enough.
In this article, travel and landscape photographer Mitch Green encourages us to spend more time in the the field.
the lens lacks any electronics whatsoever and is constructed entirely of glass and metal. Of course, that comes at the expense of weight — this thing weighs in at 1.1kg / 2.43lbs.
Drones can be useful tools in urban areas, where they're utilized for everything from news reporting to building inspections, but flying in these areas requires careful preparation. Here's what you need to know to do so safely.
Hasselblad has released a new cable release and USB double battery charger for its X1D medium format camera .
After a report published by NBC News, Flickr has taken heat for allegedly letting IBM 'scrape' photos for use in its facial recognition datasets. But the problem isn't what it seems on the surface.