Panasonic Lumix GF5 Review

 
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Panasonic GF5 Image Quality


Color

Saturation & Hue Accuracy
Typical saturation levels over most of the spectrum. Some issues with hue accuracy, primarily in orange through yellows.

ISO Sensitivity
In the diagram above, the squares show the original color, and the circles show the color that the camera captured. More saturated colors are located toward the periphery of the graph. Hue changes as you travel around the center. Thus, hue-accurate, highly saturated colors appear as lines radiating from the center. Mouse over the links to compare results at different ISOs.
Saturation. The Panasonic GF5 produces typical saturation levels at default settings. Like many cameras, the GF5 pushes dark red and dark green very slightly, and darker blues a fair bit, while slightly undersaturating yellow and cyan. Average saturation is 110% ( 10% oversaturated) at base ISO, which remains fairly constant across the ISO range except at the highest ISO where it drops off a bit. That's typical for recent cameras we've tested. Most consumer digital cameras produce color that's more highly saturated (more intense) than found in the original subjects. This is simply because most people like their color a bit brighter than life.

Skin tones. Here, the Panasonic GF5 does fairly well, producing natural-looking Caucasian skin tones with a noticeable push towards pink, giving a healthy appearance. Darker skin tones have a small nudge toward orange and red, but overall results are pretty good here. Where oversaturation is most problematic is on Caucasian skin tones, as it's very easy for these "memory colors" to be seen as too bright, too pink, too yellow, etc.

Hue. The Panasonic GF5 struggles a bit with hue accuracy, pushing cyan toward blue, red toward orange, orange toward yellow and yellow toward green. As is often the case with Panasonic models, the yellow through orange shifts are especially apparent in the yarn of our Still Life test image. The camera's average "delta-C" color error after correction for saturation is 6.43 for JPEGs at base ISO, which is below average. As we've seen with other Panasonic models, the orange-yellow shifts are significantly mitigated by shooting in raw format and using a good-quality raw converter. The bundled SilkyPix software as well as Adobe Camera Raw do much better with hue accuracy than JPEGs produced in-camera. Click here to see a Adobe Camera Raw conversion of the same Still Life shot. Hue is "what color" the color is.

Saturation Adjustment
The Panasonic GF5 lets you adjust image saturation, contrast, and sharpness in five steps each. As can be seen below, the saturation adjustment was very subtle, and worked mainly on reds, as we've seen with prior models. At least contrast isn't affected.

Saturation Adjustment Examples
-2 0 +2

The table above shows results with the default as well as the two "extreme" saturation settings. Click on any thumbnail above, then click again to see the full-sized image.

See full set of test images with explanations
See thumbnails of all test and gallery images

Sensor

Exposure and White Balance

Indoors, incandescent lighting
Better than average color with Auto white balance, but very warm with the Incandescent setting. Best color balance with the Manual setting, a little too cool with 2,600 Kelvin. Average positive exposure compensation required.

Auto White Balance
+0.3 EV
Incandescent White Balance
+0.3 EV
Manual White Balance
+0.3 EV
2,600 Kelvin
+0.3 EV

Indoors, under normal incandescent lighting, color balance is just slightly warm with the Auto white balance setting, though the Panasonic GF5 does much better than most cameras in this regard. (While slightly warm results with the Auto setting are quite acceptable, many users in fact may prefer a slightly warm look in situations like this, to better represent the mood of the original lighting.) Results with the Incandescent setting are much too warm for our tastes, with a strong orange-yellow cast. The Manual setting produced the most accurate results, just a touch cool, while the 2,600 Kelvin setting which should match our lights is a bit too cool with a bluish cast. The Panasonic GF5 required +0.3 EV exposure compensation here, which is about average for this shot. (Our test lighting for this shot is a mixture of 60 and 100 watt household incandescent bulbs, a pretty yellow light source, but a very common one in typical home settings here in the U.S.)

Outdoors, daylight
Slightly cool colors overall, with a tendency toward high contrast under harsh lighting. About average exposure accuracy.

Auto White Balance,
+0.7 EV
Auto White Balance,
Auto Exposure

Outdoors, the Panasonic GF5 performed pretty well, with good though slightly cool color in the Far-field shot. Skin-tones are reasonably realistic in our "Sunlit" Portrait shot, with a healthy-looking push of pinks and reds which is preferable to too flat or yellow. Exposure accuracy was about average, as the camera required +0.7 EV compensation for our "Sunlit" Portrait shot to keep facial tones reasonably bright. That's average for this shot, but it led to some blown highlights while leaving some dark shadows. The default exposure is a little dim for the Far-field shot, but there are very few blown highlights, though some shadows are very dark and noisy. Default contrast is on the high side, but that's how most consumers prefer their photos.

See full set of test images with explanations
See thumbnails of all test and gallery images

Resolution
High resolution, 1,900 ~ 2,000 lines of strong detail.

Strong detail to
~2,000 lines horizontal
Camera JPEG
Strong detail to
~1,900 lines vertical
Camera JPEG
Strong detail to
~2,000 lines horizontal
ACR converted raw
Strong detail to
~1,900 lines vertical
ACR converted raw

In camera JPEGs, our laboratory resolution chart revealed sharp, distinct line patterns to about 2,000 lines per picture height horizontally, and about 1,900 lines in the vertical direction. (Some might argue for higher, but aliasing artifacts begin to appear before that.) Complete extinction of the pattern didn't occur until about 2,700 horizontally and to 2,600 lines vertically. We weren't able to extract significantly more high-contrast resolution by processing the Panasonic GF5's RW2 file using Adobe Camera Raw 6.7, and the ACR conversion also showed significantly more color moiré than the camera JPEG.

Use these numbers to compare with other cameras of similar resolution, or use them to see just what higher resolution can mean in terms of potential detail.

See full set of test images with explanations
See thumbnails of all test and gallery images

Sharpness & Detail
Very good sharpness overall, though with visible edge-enhancement artifacts on high-contrast subjects. Moderate noise suppression visible in the shadows even at base ISO.

Good definition of high-contrast
elements, though some visible
sharpening artifacts.
Subtle detail: Hair
Noise suppression tends to blur
detail in areas of subtle contrast.

Sharpness. The Panasonic GF5 captures sharp, detailed images overall, though edge enhancement artifacts are quite visible on high-contrast subjects such as the "halos" along the thicker branches and pin cones in the crop above left. The sharpening isn't nearly as evident on lower-contrast elements, such as the pine needles and smaller branches. Given its target market, the default sharpening applied is probably appropriate, as we think most users printing camera JPEGs would be pleased with the results. And of course, you can always tweak the sharpness setting to your liking, or shoot raw and sharpen for yourself. Edge enhancement creates the illusion of sharpness by enhancing colors and tones right at the edge of a rapid transition in color or tone.

Detail. The crop above right shows the effect of noise suppression in the form of smudging of individual strands together in the darker areas of the model's hair, as well as in areas with low local contrast. The GF5 seems to perform about the same here as the GF3 at base ISO, which did fairly well, but not quite as well as competing models from Olympus using a similar if not identical sensor. Processing raw files with a good raw converter can produce much improved detail and can also reduce noise reduction and demosaicing artifacts, as can be seen in the ACR converted raw crop at right. (Mouse over the links to compare.) Noise-suppression systems in digital cameras tend to flatten-out detail in areas of subtle contrast. The effects can often be seen in shots of human hair, where the individual strands are lost and an almost "watercolor" look appears.

Intelligent Resolution
The Panasonic GF5 offers four levels of "Intelligent Resolution," which essentially sharpens fine detail and outlines, while reducing noise in areas with little or no detail (such as a cloudless sky). To see how well it works, compare the crops below at each setting.

In the table above, mousing over a link at the bottom will load the corresponding crop in the area above, and clicking on the link will load the full resolution image.

As you can see, fine detail contained in and around the lettering on the bottle has progressively stronger local sharpening applied as the setting is increased, while noise in flatter areas that would normally be emphasized with standard, global sharpening is actually reduced. Sharpening halos are however more visible at higher settings. According to Panasonic, the Extended setting is designed to produce more natural results when making large prints.

Raw vs In-Camera JPEGs
As noted above, the Panasonic GF5 produces sharp in-camera JPEGs with good detail, though default noise reduction is a bit high at base ISO. As is almost always the case, quite a bit more detail can be obtained from carefully processing raw files than can be seen in the in-camera JPEGs, with fewer sharpening artifacts to boot. Take a look below, to see what we mean:

In the table above, mousing over a link at the bottom will load the corresponding crop in the area above, and clicking on the link will load the full resolution image.

The first crop on the left is from an in-camera Fine JPEG at default settings. The second is a raw file converted with SilkyPix 3.1 SE (the raw converter Panasonic bundles with their raw-capable cameras), using default settings. The third crop is also a raw conversion done with SilkyPix but with noise reduction and sharpening set as low as they go within the editor, and then sharpened using SilkyPix's output unsharp masking feature set to 250%, a radius of 0.3 pixels, and a threshold of 0. Adobe Camera Raw 6.7 was used for the ACR conversion at right. Default settings were used for conversion, though no sharpening was applied in ACR. The image was then sharpened in Photoshop using the same sharpening settings as we used with SilkyPix.

As you can see, the in-camera JPEG contains pretty good fine detail. SilkyPix however had trouble with the pine needles, flattening them out and making them look reminiscent of a watercolor painting. It's likely doing some noise reduction under the hood which can't be disabled. The results we got using SilkyPix were a bit disappointing, but we must confess we didn't experiment with different settings for very long, so you may be able to do better. The ACR conversion extracted the most detail, but also shows more noise, especially in areas with little detail such as the sky. You can always turn up the luminance noise reduction (default of zero was used here), or process the files in your favorite noise reduction program or plugin if you find the noise objectionable. Bottom line: as is usually the case, shooting in raw mode provides better detail, color, and control than in-camera JPEGs when using a good raw converter.

ISO & Noise Performance
Good detail to ISO 400, but with noticeable smudging from noise reduction even at base ISO.

Default Noise Reduction
ISO 160 ISO 200 ISO 400
ISO 800 ISO 1,600 ISO 3,200
ISO 6,400 ISO 12,800

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5's images are pretty clean at ISOs 160 and 200, with only minor luminance and chrominance noise visible in the shadows, but as mentioned previously, there is already some smudging visible from slightly over-zealous default noise reduction.  The effects of noise reduction become stronger as ISO increases, and a moderate amount of detail is already lost at ISO 400, where there is more visible chroma noise as well. The effects of noise reduction are more evident at ISO 800 where there's additional blurring, though stronger chroma noise reduction has kicked-in, removing a lot of color noise. At ISO 1,600 we see additional detail loss and stronger luminance noise, though chroma noise is still well controlled. At ISO 3,200, fine detail takes a bigger hit, with shadow areas taking on a stronger purple tint. Sharpening artifacts around noisier pixels are also much more noticeable. Noise gets quite ugly at ISO 6,400 and especially 12,800: there's very little fine detail left, strong color blotches, and the camera's noise reduction coupled with sharpening artifacts produce a peppering effect. Overall, high ISO performance has improved only slightly over the GF3 here. Our Still Life ISO series shows a more noticeable improvement.

We're of course pixel-peeping to an extraordinary extent here, since 1:1 images on an LCD screen have little to do with how those same images will appear when printed. See the Print Quality section below for our evaluation of maximum print sizes at each ISO setting.

A note about focus for this shot: We shoot this image at f/4, usually using one of three very sharp reference lenses (70mm Sigma f/2.8 macro for most cameras, 60mm f/2.8 Nikkor macro for Nikon bodies without a drive motor, and Olympus Zuiko 50mm f/2.0 for Four Thirds and Micro Four Thirds bodies). To insure that the hair detail we use for making critical judgements about camera noise processing and detail rendering is in sharp focus at the relatively wide aperture we're shooting at, the focus target at the center of the scene is on a movable stand. This lets us compensate for front- or back-focus by different camera bodies, even those that lack micro-focus adjustments. This does mean, though, that the focus target itself may appear soft or slightly out of focus for bodies that front- or back-focused with the reference lens. We know this; if you click to view the full-size image for one of these shots and notice that the focus target is fuzzy, you don't need to email and tell us. :-) The focus target position will have been adjusted to insure that the rest of the scene is focused properly.

Extremes: Sunlit, dynamic range and low light tests
Somewhat high default contrast and limited dynamic range. Good low-light performance.

+0.3 EV +0.7 EV +1.0 EV

Sunlight. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5 struggled a bit with the deliberately harsh lighting of this test. Contrast is a little high at its default setting, and dynamic range limited, with quite a few blown-out highlights in the mannequin's shirt and flowers and deep, somewhat noisy shadows. Although skin tones around the eyes are a bit dark at +0.7 EV exposure, we prefer it to the +1.0 EV exposure overall, because there are fewer clipped highlights. It's really the photographer's choice here as to which direction to go in. For those Panasonic GF5 owners that are going to want to just print an image with little or no tweaking, the +1.0 image would probably produce a better-looking face uncorrected. The bottom line though, is that the Panasonic GF5 had difficulty with the wide dynamic range of this shot, at least with its default settings.

Because digital cameras are more like slide film than negative film (in that they tend to have a more limited tonal range), we test them in the harshest situations to see how they handle scenes with bright highlights and dark shadows, as well as what kind of sensitivity they have in low light. The shot above is designed to mimic the very harsh, contrasty effect of direct noonday sunlight, a very tough challenge for most digital cameras. (You can read details of this test here.)

Dynamic Range Analysis
A key parameter in a digital camera is its Dynamic Range, the range of brightness that can be faithfully recorded. At the upper end of the tonal scale, dynamic range is dictated by the point at which the RGB data "saturates" at values of 255, 255, 255. At the lower end of the tonal scale, dynamic range is determined by the point at which there ceases to be any useful difference between adjacent tonal steps. Note the use of the qualifier "useful" in there: While it's tempting to evaluate dynamic range as the maximum number of tonal steps that can be discerned at all, that measure of dynamic range has very little relevance to real-world photography. What we care about as photographers is how much detail we can pull out of the shadows before image noise becomes too objectionable. This, of course, is a very subjective matter, and will vary with the application and even the subject matter in question. (Noise will be much more visible in subjects with large areas of flat tints and subtle shading than it would in subjects with strong, highly contrasting surface texture.)

What makes most sense then, is to specify useful dynamic range in terms of the point at which image noise reaches some agreed-upon threshold. To this end, Imatest computes a number of different dynamic range measurements, based on a variety of image noise thresholds. The noise thresholds are specified in terms of f-stops of equivalent luminance variation in the final image file, and dynamic range is computed for noise thresholds of 1.0 (low image quality), 0.5 (medium image quality), 0.25 (medium-high image quality) and 0.1 (high image quality). For most photographers and most applications, the noise thresholds of 0.5 and 0.25 f-stops are probably the most relevant to the production of acceptable-quality finished images, but many noise-sensitive shooters will insist on the 0.1 f-stop limit for their most critical work. A full discussion of all the data Imatest produces is really beyond the scope of this review: Visit the Imatest website for details of what the program measures, how it performs its computations, and how to interpret its output.

JPEG. The graph at right (click for a larger version) was generated using Imatest's dynamic range analysis for an in-camera Panasonic GF5 JPEG file with a nominally-exposed density step target (Stouffer 4110). At default settings and base ISO of 160, the results show 11.7 f-stops of total dynamic range, with only 5.92 f-stops at the "High" quality level. From the graph at top left, we can see gradation tapers-off fairly smoothly in both the highlight and shadow ends. Although total dynamic range is pretty good, the score at the highest quality level is below average, even for a Micro Four Thirds model. The culprit is higher than average noise levels, as shown in the bottom left graph. Note, that this measurement has a margin of error of about 1/3 f-stop, so differences of less than 0.33 can be ignored when comparing results to other models.

Raw. The graph at right is from the same Stouffer 4110 stepchart image captured as a raw (.RW2) file, processed with Adobe Camera Raw using the Auto setting, then tweaked from there for best results. As can be seen, the score at the highest quality level actually went down slightly compared to the in-camera JPEG, at 5.81 vs 5.92 f-stops, while total dynamic range remained the same at 11.7 f-stops. Again, the results at the highest quality level are below average for Micro Four Thirds, and much lower than most APS-C sensors. It's worth noting here is that ACR's default noise reduction settings normally reduce overall noise somewhat (see the plot in the lower left-hand corner) relative to the levels in the in-camera JPEG, which would tend to boost the dynamic range numbers for the higher quality thresholds, however ACR did not reduce noise lower than the matching JPEG in shadow areas.

Contrast Adjustment
The camera's contrast adjustment was at least some help in handling the harsh lighting.

Minimum Contrast
Contrast set to lowest,
+0.7 EV
Contrast set to lowest,
Auto Exposure

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5's lowest contrast setting does a good job bringing out detail in the shadows and darker midtones, but it does little did little to preserve clipped highlight detail in the Sunlit Portrait shot. (The default Far-field shot had few highlights clipped to begin with.) Overall, the camera's limited dynamic range makes it perform below average in this situation.

Contrast Adjustment Examples
-2 0 +2

The table above shows results with the default as well as the two "extreme" contrast settings. Click on any thumbnail above, then click again to see the full-sized image. The control for contrast was not quite as subtle as saturation was in its effect, though it appears to leave the strongest highlights at about the same values, then applies a proportional boost to tones as it moved down the tone curve. To make the most of it in a shot like this, you'll want to expose for the highlights and apply a good amount of contrast reduction (probably the maximum).

The Panasonic GF5's contrast adjustment doesn't help with strong highlights here, and we'd really like to see more steps, covering a slightly greater range. Even with the lowest contrast setting, the dynamic range isn't very impressive.

Outdoor Portrait Intelligent Dynamic Range
iD-Range
Setting:


Off
(Default)



Low


Standard


High

Panasonic's Intelligent Dynamic Range
The above shots are examples of Panasonic's Intelligent Dynamic Range Control (or iD-Range) at work, with no exposure compensation. iD-Range appears to be a more advanced version of iExposure found on older models, capable of boosting shadows and preserving highlights, whereas iExposure worked mostly on shadows. Note that the camera does not take multiple shots and merge as some cameras' high dynamic range modes do. It's a system that adjusts local contrast and exposure more akin to Nikon's Active D-lighting, Canon's Automatic Lighting Optimization or Sony's Dynamic Range Optimization.

There are three levels of iD-Range available on the Panasonic GF5: Low, Standard and High, plus Off. It's automatically invoked in iAuto and some scene modes and manually selectable in PASM modes. For our Sunlit Portrait shot, all three settings are an improvement over the Off setting, lightening shadows and delivering a better exposure overall, while doing a very good job at holding on to highlight detail. (The histogram does a good job at showing how shadows were boosted while highlights were kept roughly the same.) However, noise is more visible in the shadows (as expected when boosting them), and the higher settings look a little unnatural, at least in these portrait shots. Still, iD-Range can provide a useful extension to the practical dynamic range of the Panasonic GF5. (It's not likely increasing the technically defined dynamic range of the sensor any, but it can make for much more usable/printable images when working under tough lighting conditions.)


Face Detection
Aperture Priority, 0 EV, f/8
Face Detection Off
Aperture Priority, 0 EV, f/8
Face Detection On
iAuto, 0 EV, f/2.2

Face Detection
Like most cameras these days, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5 has the ability to detect faces (up to 15 in a scene), and adjust exposure and focus accordingly. The GF5 does it automatically in Intelligent Auto (iAuto) and iAuto Plus modes, when Portrait scene mode is selected, or when Face Detection AF mode is enabled. As you can see from the examples above, face detection made a slight difference in Aperture Priority at f/8, but iAuto mode really performed well where the camera had control over aperture and also automatically applied Intelligent D-range Correction.

  1 fc
11 lux
1/2 fc
5.5 lux
1/4 fc
2.7 lux
1/8 fc
1.3 lux
1/16 fc
0.67 lux
1/16fc
No NR
ISO
160
Click to see GF5LL001603.JPG
1.3 s
f2.8
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2.5 s
f2.8
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5 s
f2.8
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10 s
f2.8
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20 s
f2.8
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20 s
f2.8
ISO
200
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1 s
f2.8
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2 s
f2.8
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4 s
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8 s
f2.8
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15 s
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15 s
f2.8
ISO
400
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0.5 s
f2.8
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f2.8
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2 s
f2.8
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4 s
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8 s
f2.8
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8 s
f2.8
ISO
800
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1/4 s
f2.8
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f2.8
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1 s
f2.8
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2 s
f2.8
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f2.8
ISO
1600
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1/10 s
f2.8
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f2.8
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f2.8
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1.6 s
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1.6 s
f2.8
ISO
3200
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1/20 s
f2.8
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0.4 s
f2.8
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0.8 s
f2.8
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0.8 s
f2.8
ISO
6400
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1/40 s
f2.8
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f2.8
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f2.8
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0.4 s
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0.4 s
f2.8
ISO
12800
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1/80 s
f2.8
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1/40 s
f2.8
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1/20 s
f2.8
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1/10 s
f2.8
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1/5 s
f2.8
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1/5 s
f2.8

Low Light. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5 performed fairly well in our low light test, able to capture bright images down to the lowest light level we test at, at all ISO settings, though exposure varied a bit. The darkest level equates to about 1/16 the brightness of average city street lighting at night, so the Panasonic GF5 should be able to take well-exposed photos in almost any environment in which you can see well enough to walk around in.

Using default noise reduction setting, noise is low fairly up to ISO 800. At ISOs 1,600 and above, noise is a little higher at lower light levels compared to most recent cameras with APS-C sensors, but not bad for a MFT model. Some minor horizontal banding is visible in the shadows at higher ISOs and lower light levels, but nothing unusual. We didn't notice any issues with hot or stuck pixels. There's also a hint of some very minor heat blooming along the bottom of images at very high ISOs, but again, that's not unusual. Automatic color balance was pretty good (just slightly cool), something that's not a given at such low light levels.

The camera's autofocus system was able to focus on the subject down to about the 1/16 foot-candle light level unassisted with an f/2.8 lens which is excellent, especially for a camera with contrast-detect autofocus. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5 does have a focus-assist light option which allows it to autofocus in total darkness, as long as the subject is within range and has sufficient contrast.

How bright is this? The one foot-candle light level that this test begins at roughly corresponds to the brightness of typical city street-lighting at night. Cameras performing well at that level should be able to snap good-looking photos of street-lit scenes.

NOTE: This low light test is conducted with a stationary subject, and the camera mounted on a sturdy tripod. Most digital cameras will fail miserably when faced with a moving subject in dim lighting. (For example, a child's ballet recital or a holiday pageant in a gymnasium.) Thanks to their phase-detect AF systems, digital SLRs tend to do much better than point & shoots, but you still shouldn't expect a quick autofocus lock with moving subjects. The GF5 uses contrast-detect autofocus, as is found in most point & shoot cameras, so its low-light focusing ability is less than that of some SLRs with phase-detect systems. That said, though, the larger, more sensitive pixels of the GF5's sensor do better under dim lighting than do the tiny pixels of most point & shoots, (A useful trick is to just prop the camera on a convenient surface, and use its self-timer to release the shutter. This avoids any jiggling from your finger pressing the shutter button, and can work quite well when you don't have a tripod handy.)

Output Quality

Print Quality

Great, crisp 16 x 20s from ISO 160 to 400 with good color; ISO 3,200 makes a good 8 x 10; ISO 12,800 just makes a so-so 4 x 6.

ISO 160 shots are a little soft printed at 20 x 30 inches, but sharpen up nicely when printed at 16 x 20, which is just what we said of the GF3.

ISO 200 shots also look better printed at 16 x 20 inches.

ISO 400 images look great printed at 16 x 20.

ISO 800 images exhibit the first noticeable loss of detail in the red areas, and there's also a slight fading of color. We prefer the 13 x 19-inch prints.

ISO 1,600 prints have decent detail at 13 x 19, but shadows become blotchy, and color continues to fade to greenish gray, particularly yellows. Printing at 11 x 14 helps detail and minimizes blotches.

ISO 3,200 shots have decent detail at 11 x 14, but shadows take on a strange appearance, which mars the image until print size is reduced to 8 x 10. Some reds are completely blurred at ISO 3,200.

ISO 6,400 images are better printed at 5 x 7.

ISO 12,800 images are usable at 4 x 6, but not as good as we'd like, with mottled color that looks like you're looking at the image through a shower door.

We expected to see an improvement from the GF5, but it tracks about the same as the GF3 did. Though it has a higher top ISO setting, it's only good for a blurry 4 x 6, so better to stay at 6,400 or below. While there wasn't a noticeable improvement, we think the print quality from the GF5 is pretty good.

Testing hundreds of digital cameras, we've found that you can only tell just so much about a camera's image quality by viewing its images on-screen. Ultimately, there's no substitute for printing a lot of images and examining them closely. For this reason, we now routinely print sample images from the cameras we test on our Canon Pro9000 Mark II studio printer, and on the Canon Pixma MP610 here in the office. (See the Canon Pixma Pro9000 Mark II review for details on that model.)

 

The images above were taken from our standardized test shots. For a collection of more pictorial photos, see our Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5 Photo Gallery.

Recommended Software: Rescue your Photos!

Just as important as an extra memory card is a tool to rescue your images when one of your cards fails at some point in the future. We get a lot of email from readers who've lost photos due to a corrupted memory card. Memory card corruption can happen with any card type and any camera manufacturer, nobody's immune. A lot of "lost" images can be recovered with an inexpensive, easy to use piece of software though. Given the amount of email I've gotten on the topic, I now include this paragraph in all my digital camera reviews. The program you need is called PhotoRescue, by DataRescue SA. Read our review of it if you'd like, but download the program now, so you'll have it. It doesn't cost a penny until you need it, and even then it's only $29, with a money back guarantee. So download PhotoRescue for Windows or PhotoRescue for Mac while you're thinking of it. (While you're at it, download the PDF manual and quickstart guide as well.) Stash the file in a safe place and it'll be there when you need it. Trust me, needing this is not a matter of if, but when... PhotoRescue is about the best and easiest tool for recovering digital photos I've seen. (Disclosure: IR gets a small commission from sales of the product, but I'd highly recommend the program even if we didn't.) OK, now back to our regularly scheduled review...

Not sure which camera to buy? Let your eyes be the ultimate judge! Visit our Comparometer(tm) to compare images from the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5 with those from other cameras you may be considering. The proof is in the pictures, so let your own eyes decide which you like best!

Panasonic GF5

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Note: For details, test results, and analysis of the many tests done with this camera, please click on the tabs at the beginning of the review or below.

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