The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5 Digital Camera with Lumix G Vario 14-42 mm f/3.5-5.6 Zoom Lens (Black) is the coming of the next generation in mirrorless ultra-compact interchangeable lens camera. Expanding on their GF3, Panasonic has created a camera with DSLR-like quality and responsiveness in a compact, easy to use form, complete with the latest touchscreen navigation and Full HD video.
A newly developed 12.1 megapixel Live MOS sensor and the Lumix Venus Engine image processor are the foundations on which this advanced yet understandable camera is built. The Micro Four Thirds standard allows this camera to be mirrorless and therefore compact while maintaining high resolution and aspect ratio options. The interchangeable lens system provides a full creative palette to expand shooting capabilities well past the realm of standard compact cameras.
Combining the strengths of its sensor and image processor, the GF5 offers high speed and image quality, particularly noticeable in low light conditions. The noise that shows up as bland, "pixely" shadows and highlights in other cameras has been significantly reduced due to on-chip filters in the sensor and Panasonic's excellent noise reduction system. This system eliminates noise throughout the image processing stages, even at the incredibly higher sensitivity (ISO 12,800) that the GF5 offers. Photodiode and readout circuits and the newly added NR (Noise Reduction) circuit combine with the Venus Engine's 3DNR and MNR to keep images sharp even at high speeds and low light; the optimal balance of high resolution and low noise.
The Live MOS sensor features high sensitivity signal processing and the auto-focus systems have been revamped for improved accuracy and speed. Adopting the Contrast-AF system, the GF5 incorporates full-area focusing and pre-touch focusing. In other words, you can focus on any point in the field of view with a simple tap on the touchscreen and in Quick AF mode, your camera will start focusing before you do. Added advancements include the AF+MF function, which allows manual focus to work with auto-focus for exact precision and Pinpoint AF, which lets you enlarge the focusing area on the LCD to place focus on a point as tiny as a bug on a flower or the pupil of an eye.
The new 3" LCD Touch Display is a significant step-up for the GF5. The 920K-dot high precision display and GUI (Graphic User Interface) transform this camera into a touch responsive system in which focusing and camera operation as well as image management and menu navigation are made simple and clear. Focus and even shutter release can be controlled by a tap on the screen and the GUI is as sophisticated as a smartphone. Animated icons and built-in function definitions on the Touch Q-menu makes this LCD more than just a standard display, it's a learning tool. Simple and practical, the Intelligent LCD function automatically adjusts the display's brightness according to shooting conditions. No more squinting and angling the camera to see the display on a sunny day.
High quality Full HD video (1920 x 1080) is available at the touch of a button and more so, available while you are in photo mode. Thanks to a dedicated video record button, you can instantly begin a video even while shooting photos. No menu navigation, no fumbling to change focal length, just hit the one button and the recording starts. Video is recorded in the AVCHD format which excels for both compression efficiency and playback compatibility and touchscreen auto-focus is available for video as well.
For beginners to the interchangeable lens systems, the GF5 offers both, the New Scene Guide and iA, Intelligent Auto Mode. New Scene Guide is a unique function which offers 23 sample professional photos from which the user can choose and have the camera select the same settings that created the pro photo to shoot their photo. It also displays technical advice, suggested procedures and lens options right on the LCD in order capture the image as you would like. The iA and iA Plus modes offer a variety of shooting-assist functions including Face Recognition, Scene Selection and AF tracking all of which let the camera control its own functions based on your desired results.