Panasonic GF5: Entry-level mirrorless camera unveiled, previewed


posted Thursday, April 5, 2012 at 1:00 AM EDT

Panasonic's Lumix DMC-GF5 digital camera. Copyright 2012, Imaging Resource. All rights reserved. Click for our Panasonic GF5 preview!Panasonic has today announced the Lumix DMC-GF5 compact system camera, a new model that revisits the design of its earlier GF3 model, and makes refinements in a number of areas.

Most significantly, the Panasonic GF5 has a new image sensor and processor combo. Sensor resolution is unchanged at twelve megapixels, but the GF5's imager has lower-profile, better-positioned circuitry that should contribute to improved noise performance. The new image processor also plays a part, adding a Multi-stage Noise Reduction function. The GF5's performance also receives a modest improvement both for the already-swift autofocusing, and for burst speed (but sadly, raw shooting burst depth actually falls by one frame.)

Other changes include a new higher-resolution touchscreen LCD display, a revised user interface, and eight more creative filter functions (and the ability to automatically suggest filters in Intelligent Auto mode). The optional Motion JPEG movie mode of the GF3 is replaced by an MP4 mode which is now available even at the highest 1080p resolution, and there's also now a stereo microphone, although both ports are placed close together on the left side of the camera body, and the right port is actually angled camera-left on the side of the flash hump.

The Panasonic Lumix GF5 ships later this year in the US market; no specific launch date was available at press time. Available body colors will include black, white, and red. Two kits will be offered, both including lenses: a 14-42mm standard zoom kit priced at about US$600; and a 14-42mm power zoom kit priced at around US$750.

Much more detail on Panasonic's latest entry-level mirrorless camera can be found in our hands-on Panasonic GF5 preview.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5
Panasonic's Lumix DMC-GF5 digital camera. Copyright 2012, Imaging Resource. All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Camera Type Compact System Camera
Manufacturer North America: GF5
Dimensions 4.2 x 2.6 x 1.4 in.
(108 x 67 x 37 mm)
Weight 9.4 oz (267 g)
Planned Price $749
Image Capture
Sensor Type Panasonic Live MOS
Micro Four Thirds (approx. 0.85 in. diagonal)
13.06 megapixels (total)
12.10 megapixels (effective)
Filter Type RGBG
Focal Length Multiplier 2.00
Aspect Ratio 16:9, 4:3
Image Dimensions 4000 x 3000 (12.0 megapixels)
4000 x 2672 (10.7 megapixels)
4000 x 2248 (9.0 megapixels)
2816 x 2112 (5.9 megapixels)
2816 x 1880 (5.3 megapixels)
2816 x 1584 (4.5 megapixels)
2992 x 2992 (9.0 megapixels)
2112 x 2112 (4.5 megapixels)
2048 x 1536 (3.1 megapixels)
2048 x 1360 (2.8 megapixels)
1920 x 1080 (2.1 megapixels)
1504 x 1504 (2.3 megapixels)
1600 x 1200 (1.9 megapixels)
1600 x 1064 (1.7 megapixels)
1600 x 904 (1.4 megapixels)
1440 x 1440 (2.1 megapixels)
Capture Speed Continuous: 4.0 frames per second
Image Quality 2 levels
Image Preview / Review
Viewfinder No
LCD 3.0 in. diagonal921,600 dots (307,200 px)
Playback Zoom 16.0
Touchscreen Yes
Image Stabilization Yes
Focal Length 14.0 - 42.0mm (actual)
28 - 84mm (35mm equivalent)
Aperture Range f/3.5 (W) / f/5.6 (T) - f/22
Focusing System Contrast detection with Face detect, AF tracking, 23-area, 1 area, Pinpoint
Has AF assist lamp
Manual focus possible
Focusing Range Normal: 8" - infinity (20 cm - infinity)
ISO Sensitivity Auto, 160-6400 in 1/3EV steps, extendable to 12800; Intelligent ISO
Shutter Speed 60 - 1/4000 second
Exposure Modes Aperture, Shutter, Manual
Metering Modes 144-zone Intelligent Multiple, Center-weighted, Spot
Exposure Compensation +/- 3.0EV in 1/3EV increments
White Balance Image Sensor - Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Shade, Incandescent, Flash, White Set 1, White Set 2, Color Temperature Setting
Internal Flash Guide Number: 5
Modes: Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Forced On/Red-eye Reduction, Slow Sync., Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced Off
Range: Lens dependent; GN 6.3 (ISO 160, m)
Flash Exposure Compensation +/- EV
Scene Modes Scene Guide: Clear Portrait, Silky Skin, Backlit Softness, Clear in Backlight, Relaxing Tone, Sweet Child's Face, Distinct Scenery, Bright Blue Sky, Romantic Sunset Glow, Vivid Sunset Glow, Glistening Water, Clear Nightscape, Cool Night Sky, Warm Glowing Nightscape, Artistic Nightscape, Glittering Illuminations, Clear Night Portrait, Soft Image of a Flower, Appetizing Food, Cute Dessert, Freeze Animal Motion, Clear Sports Shot, Monochrome; Creative Control: Expressive, Retro, High Key, Low Key, Sepia, Dynamic Monochrome, Impressive Art, High Dynamic, Cross Process, Toy Effect, Miniature Effect, One Point Color.
Digital Zoom Up to 4x
Self Timer Yes, 2, 10, 10 (3 images) seconds
Movie Format AVCHD (Audio format: Dolby Digital 2 ch) / MP4 (Audio format: AAC 2 ch) with audio
File System Complies with Design Rule for Camera File System (DCF)
File Format RAW, RAW+JPEG, JPEG (EXIF v2.3), MPO
Other Mini HDMI (Type C)
Battery Type Lithium-ion rechargeable
Battery Form Factor Proprietary 7.2v 1010mAh
Product Bundle
Software PHOTOfunSTUDIO 8.2 AE, SILKYPIX Developer Studio 3.1 SE, Super LoiloScope (trial), USB Driver
Battery / Charger 1 x Proprietary Lithium-ion rechargeable battery and charger
Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) compliant Yes
PictBridge Compliant Yes
Internal Microphone Yes
Internal Speaker Yes
Tripod Mount Yes
Remote Control No
Notes Newly developed 12.1-megapixel Live MOS sensor and redesigned Venus Engine. The noise reduction system includes a combination 3DNR (3D Noise Reduction) and MNR (Multi-process Noise Reduction). Available in black, white and red later this year.
More Photos
Panasonic's Lumix DMC-GF5 digital camera. Copyright 2012, Imaging Resource. All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!


Press Release

Panasonic Introduces The LUMIX GF5, A New Ultra Compact Digital Interchangeable Lens System Camera

LUMIX GF5 features a newly developed 12.1-megapixel Live MOS sensor and incorporates a variety of shooting options to enhance photography experience

SECAUCUS, NJ (April 5, 2012) – Panasonic today announced a new digital interchangeable lens system camera, the LUMIX DMC-GF5, which joins Panasonic’s award-winning LUMIX G Series of digital cameras, which are acclaimed for their high image quality with small and compact body and lenses.  The LUMIX GF5 features a newly developed 12.1-megapixel Live MOS sensor and redesigned Venus Engine, helping to ensure true-to-life images through exceptional resolution, image rendering and color reproduction.  Even in low-light situations and at a maximum 12800 high ISO sensitivity, the LUMIX GF5 produces stunning photos and videos.  The noise reduction system includes a combination 3DNR (3D Noise Reduction) and MNR (Multi-process Noise Reduction) allowing for both bright areas and dark areas to be faithfully reproduced with minimal noise in high sensitivity image recording. 

Sporting a sophisticated and stylish design, the LUMIX GF5 features a compact, lightweight body with built-in flash.  A rubberized grip makes it easier for users to comfortably hold the camera in one hand.   Complying with Micro Four Thirds standard, a wide range of interchangeable lenses is offered to expand photographic experience even more broadly at higher level of photo quality.

“Panasonic expects the LUMIX GF5 to please photo enthusiasts and budding photographers that are looking for the next step from the traditional point-and-shoot camera,” said Christopher Rice, Senior Product Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Marketing Company of North America.  “The camera’s host of shooting options makes photography even more artistic, yet easy for users of any experience level. The powerful Venus Engine and sensor allows the camera to achieve exceptional photo quality in a range of shooting environments.”

The LUMIX GF5, like all cameras in the LUMIX G Series, adopts Contrast AF (Auto Focus), so focusing is controlled by the image sensor.  Compared with the Phase difference system AF, Contrast AF boasts higher accuracy, especially when shooting with a bright lens with small F value.  To further advance the Contrast AF, the GF5 incorporates full-area focusing, making it possible to set focus on any point in the field of view. 

Featuring an ultra high-speed Light Speed AF, the LUMIX GF5 can focus in approximately 0.09*1 seconds making it possible to capture even fast moving subjects clearly.  Combined with Touch AF control and high-speed burst shooting at four frames per second in full resolution, it has never been easier to capture fast-moving objects clearly.  Additionally, Pinpoint AF allows for even more precise focus by further enlarging the focus area, assisting, for example, to set focus directly on the pupil of an eye. 

The LUMIX GF5’s large, 3.0-inch 920,000-dot high-precision touch display and Graphic User Interface (GUI) provide users with ease of use and simple operation.  The touch-control system immediately allows users to set focus on a subject just by touching the screen and users can even release the shutter to snap a photo directly from the touch screen.  Once a user locks onto a subject by a touch, the camera will track the subject with the AF tracking function, even if the subject moves.  Touch Zoom is also available when the LUMIX Power Zoom Lens H-PS14042 lens or H-PS45175 is mounted. 

Creative Control Mode has been upgraded from the LUMIX DMC-GF3 by increasing filter options available on the LUMIX GF5 from six options to 14, adding Soft Focus*2, Dynamic Monochrome, Impressive Art, One Point Color, Cross Process and Star Filter, in addition to the conventional Expressive, Retro, High Key, Sepia, Hi Dynamic, Miniature Effect*3 and recently introduced Low Key and Toy Effect modes.  With the new GUI menu tab, switching filter effects is seamless.  A preview of filter effects can be seen on the large LCD screen via Live View mode and the camera intuitively recommends filters depending on the scene that the camera detects in iA (Intelligent Auto) or iA Plus mode. 

For beginner users of interchangeable lens system cameras, the GF5 features a new Scene Guide offering 23 sample pictures shot by professional photographers.  Users can choose the photo closest to the situation that they are shooting and optimal parameters for shooting the scene will be set automatically*4.  Additionally, procedures, technical advice and recommended interchangeable lens options for the scene can be shown to allow users to better understand and learn photography. 

In addition to shooting still photography, the LUMIX GF5 can also record 1920x1080 60i* full-High Definition videos in AVCHD format which excels in both compression efficiency and compatibility with AV equipment for playback.  In addition to practical full-time AF, the Touch AF in video recording also lets the user enjoy professional-like selective focusing which allows the focus to be changed while shooting video.  The LUMIX GF5 features a dedicated video record button on the top of the body so users can instantly start recording videos while shooting photos without having to make setting adjustments.  Along with full-HD video capabilities, the LUMIX GF5 also features high-quality sound, recorded with Dolby® Digital Stereo Creator.  Videos can be recorded in MP4 format for playback on a PC or other portable electronic devices without having to convert the files.

Additional features of the LUMIX GF5 include:

  • iA mode to automatically activate a range of technologies to enhance photos without adjusting settings every time conditions change, including AF Tracking, Intelligent D-range Control, Intelligent Scene Selector, Face Recognition and Intelligent ISO Control. 

  • iA Plus mode allows users to adjust defocusing area in the background, exposure compensation and white balance for more flexible control.

  • A dedicated sensor that automatically determines shooting angle, making it possible to tell whether a photo was taken horizontally or vertically no matter what lens was used.

  • The GUI interface allows users to choose an image and set it as wallpaper for the menu screen.

The LUMIX DMC-GF5 will be available in black, white and red later this year in the following kit options:  Body with 14-42mm standard zoom lens will have a suggested retail price (SRP) of $599; body with 14-42mm power zoom lens will have an SRP of $749. 

For more information about Panasonic LUMIX digital cameras, please visit

*1 Time for focusing on the subject is measured with LUMIX G X VARIO PZ 14-42mm/F3.5-5.6 ASPH./POWER O.I.S (H-PS14042) (bundled lens in DMC-GF5X) to move lens position to “2m” from “infinity” position. The zoom position is in wide end.  Panasonic measurement method.
*2 For photo only
*3 Sound will not be recorded with [MINIATURE EFFECT] in Creative Control Mode and approximately 1/10 of the time period is recorded. (If you record for 10 minutes, the resulting motion picture recording will be approximately 1 minute long)
-Maximum time to record motion pictures continuously with [AVCHD] is 29 minutes 59 seconds in European PAL areas.
-Maximum time to record motion pictures continuously with [MP4] is 29 minutes 59 seconds or up to 4 GB.
-You can check the recordable time on the screen. (For [FHD] in [MP4] format, the file size is large and so the recordable time will drop below 29 minutes 59 seconds.)
*4 Video Recording using scene guide is not possible in some scenes

About Panasonic Consumer Marketing Company of North America
Based in Secaucus, N.J., Panasonic Consumer Marketing Company of North America, a Division of Panasonic Corporation of North America, the principal North American Subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation (NYSE: PC) and the hub of Panasonic’s U.S. marketing, sales, service and R&D operations, offers a wide-range of consumer solutions in the U.S. and Canada.  The Company’s portfolio of innovative consumer products ranges from VIERA Full HD 3D Televisions, Blu-ray players, LUMIX Digital Cameras, Camcorders, Home Audio, Cordless Phones, Home Appliances, Wellness and Personal Care products and more. 

Panasonic is pledged to practice prudent, sustainable use of the earth’s natural resources and protect our environment through the company’s Eco Ideas programs. Panasonic was the only Consumer Electronics company to be listed in the top ten brands on the Interbrand Best Global Green Brands 2011 ranking. Follow Panasonic on Twitter @panasonicdirect, and additional company information for media is available at

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