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Lumix GF5 review (12 MP hybrid Panasonic digital camera)

Updated on July 9, 2013

Panasonic Lumix GF5 Review - Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Good image quality (attending its market positioning)
  • Rear display with image adjustment
  • Good use of the touchscreen

Cons:

  • Slow performance: rendering, AF and continuous shooting
  • Frustrating manual controls
  • Poor construction

Lumix GF5 review

This hybrid camera touchscreen allows the photographer to select focus points with a simple touch. This action is very useful and similar to smartphone cameras. Image quality is above average, but its optical stabilizer does not deals well with longer exposures, as it happens in night shots. This model is not the fastest one also on recording images and focus adjustment. Videos are recorded in full HD at 30 frames per second.

GF3´s successor comes with improvements, both in appearance and system. On the outside, the main difference is the salience that helps when gripping. Inside, sensor and processor have improved resulting in better quality photos.

Lumix DMC-GF5 sensor is still 12 Mega Pixels, which is not exactly a failure, but there are now smartphones with more than that. Lumix GF5 images are very good, even failing in detail, the problems are surmountable. The colors are not very reliable, especially the warm ones, but they do not introduce distortion. Lumix GF5 sensor´s main problem is related to image system stabilization: in dark scenes, which require longer exposure, there are several blots.

The ISO sensitivity goes from 600 to 12800. It´s very resistant to noise, but from ISO 800, there are noticed problems in image detail. At 1250, the noise is widespread.

Its 3x optical zoom is standard for this category, but its image distortions are not: barrel effect arises in great plan and it does not take much effort to notice it. But along focal length it ends up disappearing.

When filming, it´s possible to shoot 1920x1080, 1280x720 or 640x480 pixels videos, all at 30 FPS. Video format is MP4 and the quality is similar to photos.

Lumix DMC-GF5 controls divide between the physical and the virtual ones, on its 3-inch LCD screen. Physical control buttons have been described by some engineers as being poorly located, with poorly signalized functions and round options button fails a lot of times, besides being very small. As for LCD controls, their main role is to control focus with a touch, as we do on smartphones.

Still speaking of Lumix GF5 screen, by default, it displays all the information as well as data file format and date. By touching the screen, you can change histogram positions and guide lines. Despite not being market´s best LCD, you can make adjustments like brightness, contrast and color levels to bring it as much close as possible to the actual scene.

Unfortunately, we need to struggle to understand the Panasonic´s iconography displayed on the screen. Another problem is casual delay; sometimes it took about half a second until it has shown changes that were being made.

Moreover, speed is not a reason of pride for DMC-GF5 digital camera: rendering image, autofocus and continuous shooting are below average.

About exposure modes, nothing new beyond the creative control that allows you to choose color and image filters. Besides that, Lumix GF5 features: automatic mode, automatic with compensation and scenes: monochrome, sports, animals, food, dessert, flower, night portrait, bright lights, night scene with long exposure, night scene lit, night sky, reflective water, sunset, saturated sunset, blue sky, saturated blue sky, child portrait, soft photo, backlighting and soft portrait. It may take time to learn the best situations to select each one, but the task should not be unpleasant for those who love photography.

Scores

Features
Score (0-9)
Image
8
Speed
7.5
Screen
7
Design
8

Lumix GF5 Review - Final words

Lumix DMC-GF5 is available in black, white /silver and other colors.

Despite not being very pretty (visually speaking), DMC-GF5 fulfills very well the task of being small and easy to carry: its dimensions are 10.7 x 6.7 x 3.8 cm and it weighs 265 grams.

Lumix GF5 faces some problems, although it has a reasonable price for what it offers and its image quality is unquestionably good.

Now, to finish this Lumix GF5 review, I can say that it can be an interesting option for amateur photographers, as it compensates for its good image quality and price.

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    • Ceres Schwarz profile image

      Ceres Schwarz 

      5 years ago

      Good review of the Panasonic Lumix GF5. This will be useful for those that are into photography or are looking to buy a camera and are wondering if they should go with the Lumix GF5. The table with the scores and the pros and cons of this camera would further help readers decide if they should buy this camera or not.

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