Panasonic Lumix GF5 Review

 
Camera Reviews > Panasonic Lumix Cameras > Lumix Compact System Camera i Review

Not sure which SLR lens to buy?

SLR lens
Visit SLRgear.com for
camera lens reviews, tests, specs & prices
on all major brands of lenses!

Panasonic GF5 Performance


Timing and Performance

Mixed performance for a Compact System Camera.

Startup/Shutdown

Power on
to first shot

~1.4 seconds

Time it takes to turn on and capture a shot.

Shutdown

~2.5 seconds

How long it takes camera to turn off before you can remove the memory card.

Buffer clearing time
1 second after
20 Large/Fine JPEGs*
Worst case buffer clearing time. -- This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card.
6 seconds after
5 RAW files*
6 seconds after
5 RAW+ L/F JPEG files*
*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/sec UHS-1 SDHC card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Startup time wasn't bad for a Compact System Camera, but shutdown was a bit sluggish. Buffer clearing times were very good, but buffers were shallow with RAW files.


Mode Switching

Play to Record,
first shot

~0.6 second

Time until first shot is captured.

Record to Play

~0.3 second

Time to display a large/fine file immediately after capture.

Display
recorded image

~0.3 second

Time to display a large/fine file already on the memory card.

Mode switching was quite fast.


Shutter Response (Lag Time)
Full Autofocus,
Single-area AF mode
0.180 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting. (All AF timing done with the Panasonic 14-42mm X PZ kit lens at approximately 25mm.)
Full Autofocus,
Multi-area AF mode
0.189 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting.
Full Autofocus,
Single-area AF mode,
Flash enabled
0.408 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting, auto flash enabled.
Continuous AF
0.184 second
This mode usually shows no speed increase with our static subject; we have no way to measure performance with moving subjects.
Manual Focus
0.074 second
For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused".

Prefocused

0.066 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

The Panasonic GF5's contrast-detect autofocus was surprisingly fast in our tests, faster than most consumer SLRs. The GF5 produced full-autofocus shutter lag (with the subject at a fixed distance) of only 0.180 second using 1-area (center) AF with the 14-42mm X PZ kit lens. 23-area AF was very slightly slower at 0.189 second, but still very fast. Enabling the flash increased lag quite a bit to 0.408 second, but that's still pretty good. When manually focused, the GF5's lag time dropped to 0.074 second, which is also quite fast. The GF5's prefocused shutter lag time of 0.066 second was also very quick.

To minimize the effect of different lens' focusing speed, we test AF-active shutter lag with the lens already set to the correct focal distance.


Cycle Time (shot to shot)

Single Shot mode
Large/Fine JPEG

0.45 second

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots with no signs of slowing, 1 second to clear*.

Single Shot mode
RAW

0.42 second

Time per shot, averaged over 4 shots, 6 seconds to clear*.

Single Shot mode
RAW + L/F JPEG
0.48 second

Time per shot, averaged over 3 shots, 6 seconds to clear*.

Early shutter
penalty?

No

Some cameras don't snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous H
Large Fine JPEG

0.25 second (4.02 frames per second);
20+ frames total;
1 second to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots, with no signs of slowing.

Continuous H
RAW

0.25 second (4.04 frames per second);
5 frames total;
6 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 5 frames, then slows to an average of 1.08s or 0.93 fps.

Continuous H
RAW + L/F JPEG

0.25 second (4.04 frames per second);
5 frames total;
6 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 5 frames, then slows to an average of about 1.34s or 0.74 fps.

Flash Recycling

4.8 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95 MB/sec UHS-1 SDHC card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Single-shot cycle times were quite fast as well. We measured 0.45 second for Large/Fine JPEGs, 0.42 second for RAW and 0.48 second for RAW+L/F JPEGs.

Continuous H (High speed) mode was however slower than average for a CSC these days, at just over 4 frames per second no matter the file type. Note that Live View is not available during bursts in Continuous H mode. Continuous Medium and Low speed modes offer 3 and 2 frames per second respectively, while supporting Live View.

Full resolution buffer depths were generous for Large/Fine JPEGs, at over 20 frames (we suspect there is no limit with a fast card), but when shooting RAW or RAW+JPEG files, buffer depth dropped to only 5 frames. Buffer clearing was pretty fast, though.

The flash recycled after a full discharge in 4.8 seconds, which is a bit slow for such a small flash.


Download Speed

Windows Computer, USB 2.0

9,693 KBytes/sec

Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-769=USB 2.0 Low;
Above 770=USB 2.0 High

Download speeds were fast, quick enough that you probably won't feel the need for a separate card reader, even with large memory cards. (Note that this test was performed with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/sec UHS-1 SD card: Slower cards would likely show slower transfer times.)


Bottom line, the Panasonic GF5's performance is mixed. Autofocus is extremely fast, mode switching is quick, but full-resolution burst speed is pedestrian and buffer sizes shallow when shooting RAW.

Battery Life

About average battery life for a Compact System Camera.

Operating Mode Battery Life
Still Capture, CIPA standard
(H-PS14042 X PZ lens)
330 shots
Still Capture, CIPA standard
(H-FS014042 lens)
320 shots
Still Capture, CIPA standard
(H-H014 lens)
360 shots

The Panasonic GF5 uses a custom rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack for power, and comes with both a single battery and charger. The CIPA rated 320-360 shots per charge depending on the lens is about average for a Compact System Camera, but much lower than a typical digital SLR when using the SLR's optical viewfinder. We strongly recommend getting a second battery for your GF5 if you plan any extended outings.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on a fully-charged rechargeable battery), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

 

Print the perform page for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5 digital camera reviewPrint this Page

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.

Follow Imaging Resource

Purchase memory card for Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5 digital camera
Enter this month to win:

1 $300 Adorama Gift Certificate

2 $200 Adorama Gift Certificate

3 $100 Adorama Gift Certificate