Panasonic GM5 Performance


Timing and Performance

Generally good to excellent speed for a Compact System Camera.

Startup/Play to Record

Power on
to first shot

~1.0 second

Time it takes to turn on and capture a shot.

Play to Record,
first shot

~0.8 second

Time until first shot is captured.

Startup time was faster-than-average and switching from Play to Record and taking a shot was pretty quick.


Shutter Response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus,
Single-area AF mode

0.220 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 bundled Panasonic 12-32mm kit lens.)

Full Autofocus
Single-area AF mode
Flash enabled

TBD second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture. Auto Flash enabled.

Manual Focus

0.134 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

0.123 second

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

The Panasonic GM5's autofocus was very fast in our tests, especially for a camera that uses contrast detection only. The GM5 produced full-autofocus shutter lag (with the subject at a fixed distance) of 0.220 second using 1-area (center) AF with the 12-32mm kit lens. That's faster than most CSCs, and faster than consumer DSLRs as well, though oddly slightly slower than the GM1 which managed 0.187 second. When manually focused, the GM5's lag time dropped to 0.134 second, also slightly slower than the GM1's 0.101 second result. The GM5's prefocused shutter lag time of 0.123 second, again slower than the 0.087 second result we got from the GM1.

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

0.59 second

Time per shot, averaged over a few frames (we no longer test for buffer depths in single-shot mode).

Single Shot mode
RAW + L/F JPEG

0.55 second

Time per shot, averaged over a few frames (we no longer test for buffer depths in single-shot mode).

Early shutter
penalty?

No

Some cameras refuse to 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

0.17 second (5.73 frames per second);
56 frames total;
3 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 56 shots, then slows to an average of 0.22s or 4.59fps.

Continuous H
Electronic Shutter
Large Fine JPEG

0.09 second (10.7 frames per second);
7 frames total;
3 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 7 frames, then slows to an average of 0.23s or 4.44fps with a lot of variation.

Continuous H
RAW

0.21 second (4.88 frames per second);
7 frames total;
4 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 8 frames, then slows to an average of 0.52s or 1.91fps.

Continuous H
RAW + L/F JPEG

0.21 second (4.88 frames per second);
7 frames total;
7 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 7 frames, then slows to an average of about 1.03s or 0.97fps.

Super HS mode
4-megapixel JPEG

0.02 second (40.6 frames per second);
40 frames total;
6 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer size of 40 shots.

Flash Recycling

TBD

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/sec UHS-I 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 very good. We measured 0.59 second for large/fine JPEGs and 0.55 second for RAW+L/F JPEGs. (We no longer test single-shot mode with just RAW files, as the result is usually somewhere in between.)

Continuous High Speed "H" mode burst rate was good at 5.7 frames per second for best quality JPEGs, a noticeable improvement over the GM1's 4.5 frames per second when shooting with the hybrid shutter. When shooting RAW or RAW+JPEG files, the frame rate dropped to 4.9 fps, also improved over the GM1's 4 frames per second. Please note that Live View is not available during a burst in H mode.

The GM5 also has an all-electronic shutter mode which boosted the full-resolution frame rate to 10.7 fps, though buffer depth was only 7 frames no matter the file type.

In Super HS mode, the GM5 managed just over 40 frames-per-second, though resolution is only 4 megapixels in that mode.

Full-resolution buffer depths were generous for Large/Fine JPEGs at 56 frames, but when shooting RAW files buffer size dropped to 7 frames. Buffer depth in Super HS mode was a very generous 40 frames.

Buffer clearing was very quick for full-res images, ranging from 3 to 7 seconds depending on the file type and mode, and clearing 40 4-megapixel frames took only 6 seconds.

We'll try to add bundled flash timing when we have a chance.


Bottom line, the Panasonic GM5's performance is pretty good overall for a CSC. Startup is relatively fast, mode switching is fast, and autofocus is fast, though oddly slightly slower than the GM1. Full resolution burst speed with the mechanical second curtain shutter is improved over the GM1, though. Buffer depths are very good with JPEGs, though remain somewhat shallow with RAW files.

Battery Life

Below average battery life for a Compact System Camera.

Operating Mode Battery Life
Still Capture, CIPA standard
(H-FS12032 lens, LCD)
210 shots
Still Capture, CIPA standard
(H-FS12032 lens, EVF)
220 shots

The Panasonic GM5 uses a custom rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack for power, and comes with both a single battery and dedicated charger. The CIPA-rated 210 shots per charge with the LCD and 220 shots with the EVF when using the 12-32mm kit lens is well below average for a Compact System Camera (thanks to its small size), and much lower than a typical DSLR when using an optical viewfinder. (Note that test ratings include 50% of shots taken with the bundled flash; without flash, numbers increase to 250 and 260 respectively.) Still, we strongly recommend getting a second battery for your GM5 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))

 

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