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Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5 Review
The market for small cameras which have easy to swap lenses is growing really fast and for good reason. Fitting the best features of a dSLR into a small point and shoot camera is a sure shot way of delivering to the customer a product which has the best of each segment.
Panasonic recently announced the DMC-GF5 which is likely to push the boundaries even further. Out in June, the £500 camera will see the launch of a new sensor in a light and neat body, available with a wide array of lenses.
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We got hold of a pre-production piece and put it on test.
Features of Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5
The camera is very compact and it comes with a new grip, which is similar to the one seen on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1. This makes holding the GF5 very comfortable when it comes to long shooting sessions. The dimensions of the camera, excluding the flash, lens and the grip are 10.8cmx6.7cmx3.7cm, which makes it remarkably compact.
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Despite having an aluminum body, the camera still weighs 267g. This will increase further once you add the lens of your choice. The GF-5 comes with a in-built flash but there is no optical viewfinder. You can have one as it is available on the options list. However, it might not be necessary as the liquid crystal display (LCD) is quite bright to be seen in almost all the conditions.
The Panasonic DMC-GF5 gives sharp results and bright colors with the lens which comes standard with the camera. Take note that whenever you put your money down for a interchangeable lens camera you are buying a platform and not a single model. So, whatever lens you buy now, can be used for the next shooter and that is reason enough to invest in a range, which gives you the widest number of choices.
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At present, Panasonic’s range has 14 lenses including specialist, macro, manual and powered telephoto. This automatically makes the GF-5 a part of the well-established platform and make the path to up-gradation that much smoother.
Straight after buying the camera, owners can enhance its capabilities by selecting from a wide array of lenses on the options list. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5 can be had in four colors, including white and black, and has a 920,000-pixel 3” liquid crystal display. Many of the main functions like firing the shutter, zooming and focusing is controlled by just tapping on the LCD screen. If you don’t like working on the screen there are metal buttons to fall back on.
The fine-grained and bright screen has touch-screen user-interface and gives the user access to lot of functions.
The GF5 has 23 different scene modes, including food, kids and blue skies which come with simple instructions on how to use the particular mode to the full extent of its capabilities and not just aim and shoot. These modes are backed by 14 effects, which add effects like vintage finish to your sharp and perfect pictures.
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In burst shooting mode, you will get up to 4 frames per second, however clicking in simultaneous JPEG and RAW mode with the pixels set at the highest level the buffer was filled after just three shots.
According to Panasonic claims the auto-focus on the DMC-GF5 is the fastest of any camera in the world needing just 0.09 seconds to lock on to a subject. Though we aren’t sure of this time, yet it seemed to be much faster than other point and shoot cameras we tested previously.
The DMC-GF5 has a resolution of 12MP just like its predecessor the DMC-GF3, but it is fitted with a new sensor which, according to Panasonic, gives performance equivalent to a 16MP snapper.
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Sum Up & Price
The results put out by the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5 are impressive with very fine detailing, vibrant colors and superb performance in low-light conditions.
The DMC-GF5 will hit the shelves in June and will replace the GF3, which has been around for less than a year. A variant of the GF5, the GF5X with a powered 14-42mm lens will retail for £579. The GF5K will instead get a manual unit of the same focal length for £449.
If you think two months is a long wait, then consider the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1, which uses the same lenses and was given a 5-star rating when we reviewed it in November last year. It is in the same price bracket, with the manual lens kit, selling for £500.
The DMC-GF5 is a very tempting piece of kit, having versatility and performance of a dSLR in a frame which is not that bigger than a regular point and shoot camera. The icing on the cake is the price it will be offered at and the manual lens which are bundled with the camera makes it excellent value.