• 4/3 224.9mm2
  • 12.1 megapixels
  • ISO 160 - 6400
  • 1 inch 115.3mm2
  • 14.2 megapixels
  • ISO 200 - 12,800

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Differences

Panasonic GF5 advantages over Nikon S2

  • Lens selection
    Excellent vs Limited
    Better lens selection gives you more options
  • Larger sensor
    4/3 vs 1 inch
    More sensor area. Bigger is (generally) better.
  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 4.33 vs 2.85 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • Touchscreen
    Touch vs No touch
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 330 vs 270 shots
    Capture more photos
  • Higher max flash sync
    1/160 vs 1/60 sec
    Reduce the effect of ambient light in flash shots
  • Higher-res screen
    307k vs 154k pixels
    More detail on the screen lets you judge focus and composition
  • Longer exposure
    60 vs 30 sec
    Long exposures for night shots

Nikon S2 advantages over Panasonic GF5

  • In-camera panoramas
    Yes vs No
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • On-sensor phase detect
    Yes vs No
    Usually improves live view and video AF performance
  • Newer
    5 years vs 7 years old
    Newer cameras often support more advanced features
  • More pixels
    14.2 vs 12.1 megapixels
    Higher resolution photos
  • Bulb shutter
    Bulb vs No bulb
    Hold the shutter open manually for long exposures
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    60.0 fps vs 4.0 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Slow-motion videos
    Yes vs No
    Shoot slow-motion videos
  • Faster shutter
    1/16000 vs 1/4000 sec
    Shoot wide open in bright light

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • Internal flash
    Both provide
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • HDMI out
    Both provide
    Use HDMI output to monitor or review video

Common Weaknesses

  • Tilt-swivel screen
    Neither provide
    Tilt and swivel the screen for maximum shooting flexibility
  • Focus peaking
    Neither provide
    Your camera will highlight what's in focus
  • Eye-level viewfinder
    Neither provide
    You'll be able to frame photos even when the sun is out
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Neither provide
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • Tiltable Screen
    Neither provide
    Tilt the screen for shooting flexbility
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
    Neither provide
    Share your photos wirelessly
  • NFC
    Neither provide
    Simplifies pairing your camera with supported phones
  • Built-in Bluetooth
    Neither provide
    Always-on wireless connectivity
  • Built-in GPS
    Neither provide
    Geotag your photos
  • Top deck display
    Neither provide
    Check settings with a screen on top of the camera
  • External Mic Jack
    Neither provide
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • Hot shoe
    Neither provide
    Off-camera flashes open new possibilities
  • Dual card slots
    Neither provide
    Gives you more storage flexibility
  • Headphone jack
    Neither provide
    Monitor audio recording while you shoot video

User reviews

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Your purchases support this site

Buy the Panasonic GF5

Your purchases support this site

Buy the Nikon S2

Review Excerpt

  • Small body pairs nicely with compact, retractable Power Zoom lens. Extremely fast autofocus. Worthwhile improvements in image quality. Touchscreen overlays can now be hidden.

  • LCD panel is prone to fingerprint smudges. Weak flash, and no hot shoe. Modest burst performance, and very limited buffer for raw shooting. Noise levels and dynamic range still lag competition.

The Competition

Compared to Olympus E-PL3

Panasonic GF5
Olympus E-PL3
  • $474
  • 4/3
  • Touchscreen
  • Fast startup
  • $700
  • 4/3
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Tiltable Screen
Nikon S2
Olympus E-PL3
  • $399
  • 1 inch
  • Less expensive
  • In-camera panoramas
  • $700
  • 4/3
  • Lens selection
  • Larger sensor

Compared to Olympus E-PM1

Panasonic GF5
Olympus E-PM1
  • $474
  • 4/3
  • Touchscreen
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $500
  • 4/3
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Hot shoe
Nikon S2
Olympus E-PM1
  • $399
  • 1 inch
  • In-camera panoramas
  • On-sensor phase detect
  • $500
  • 4/3
  • Lens selection
  • Larger sensor

Compared to Panasonic GF3X

Panasonic GF5
Panasonic GF3X
  • $474
  • 4/3
  • Higher effective ISO
  • More dynamic range
  • $750
  • 4/3
Nikon S2
Panasonic GF3X
  • $399
  • 1 inch
  • Less expensive
  • In-camera panoramas
  • $750
  • 4/3
  • Lens selection
  • Larger sensor

Compared to Pentax Q7

Panasonic GF5
Pentax Q7
  • $474
  • 4/3
  • Lens selection
  • Larger sensor
  • $195
  • 1/1.7 inch
  • Focus peaking
  • Less expensive
Nikon S2
Pentax Q7
  • $399
  • 1 inch
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
  • $195
  • 1/1.7 inch
  • Focus peaking
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization

Compared to Pentax Q-S1

Panasonic GF5
Pentax Q-S1
  • $474
  • 4/3
  • Lens selection
  • Larger sensor
  • $350
  • 1/1.7 inch
  • Focus peaking
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
Nikon S2
Pentax Q-S1
  • $399
  • 1 inch
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
  • $350
  • 1/1.7 inch
  • Focus peaking
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
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