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Panasonic G5 vs GF2

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in July 2012 and November 2010. Both the G5 and the GF2 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. The G5 has a resolution of 15.9 megapixels, whereas the GF2 provides 12 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Panasonic G5 VS Panasonic GF2
Panasonic G5 Panasonic GF2
Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
Micro Four Thirds lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
15.9 MP, Four Thirds Sensor 12 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
1080/60p Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 160-12800 ISO 100-6400
Electronic viewfinder (1440k dots) Viewfinder optional
3.0" LCD, 920k dots 3.0" LCD, 460k dots
Swivel touchscreen Fixed touchscreen
6 shutter flaps per second 2.6 shutter flaps per second
320 shots per battery charge300 shots per battery charge
120 x 83 x 71 mm, 396 g 113 x 68 x 33 mm, 310 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

The physical size and weight of the Panasonic G5 and the Panasonic GF2 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The G5 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the GF2 is available in four color-versions (black, silver, red, white).

Size Panasonic G5 vs Panasonic GF2
Compare G5 versus GF2 top
Comparison G5 or GF2 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic GF2 is notably smaller (23 percent) than the Panasonic G5. Moreover, the GF2 is markedly lighter (22 percent) than the G5. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G5 nor the GF2 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog. Mirrorless cameras, such as the two under consideration, have the additional advantage of having a short flange to focal plane distance, which makes it possible to mount many lenses from other systems onto the camera via adapters.

Concerning battery life, the G5 gets 320 shots out of its DMW-BLC12 battery, while the GF2 can take 300 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLD10 power pack.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Panasonic G5» 4.7 in 3.3 in 2.8 in 14.0 oz 320 n Jul 2012 599iPanasonic G5
 
Panasonic GF2« 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.3 in 10.9 oz 300 n Nov 2010 549iPanasonic GF2
 
Olympus E-PL6« » 4.4 in 2.5 in 1.5 in 11.5 oz 360 n May 2013 599iOlympus E-PL6
 
Olympus E-PL5« » 4.4 in 2.5 in 1.5 in 11.5 oz 360 n Sep 2012 599iOlympus E-PL5
 
Panasonic G7« » 4.9 in 3.4 in 3.0 in 14.5 oz 350 n May 2015 649iPanasonic G7
 
Panasonic G6« » 4.8 in 3.3 in 2.8 in 13.8 oz 340 n Apr 2013 599iPanasonic G6
 
Panasonic GF6« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.5 in 11.4 oz 340 n Apr 2013 499iPanasonic GF6
 
Panasonic GF5« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.5 in 9.4 oz 360 n Apr 2012 499iPanasonic GF5
 
Panasonic G3« » 4.5 in 3.3 in 1.9 in 11.9 oz 270 n May 2011 599iPanasonic G3
 
Panasonic GF3« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 9.3 oz 300 n Jun 2011 549iPanasonic GF3
 
Panasonic GX1« » 4.6 in 2.7 in 1.5 in 11.2 oz 320 n Nov 2011 699iPanasonic GX1
 
Panasonic G10« » 4.9 in 3.3 in 2.9 in 13.7 oz 380 n Mar 2010 499iPanasonic G10
 
Panasonic G2« » 4.9 in 3.3 in 2.9 in 15.1 oz 360 n Mar 2010 599iPanasonic G2
 
Panasonic GF1« » 4.7 in 2.8 in 1.4 in 13.6 oz 380 n Sep 2009 749iPanasonic GF1
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The GF2 was somewhat cheaper (by 8 percent) than the G5 at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature a Four Thirds sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Panasonic G5 and Panasonic GF2 sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the G5 offers a higher resolution of 15.9 megapixels, compared with 12 MP of the GF2. This megapixels advantage translates into a 15 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the G5 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.76μm versus 4.33μm for the GF2). In this context, it should be noted, however, that the G5 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 8 months) than the GF2, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size.

The resolution advantage of the Panasonic G5 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the G5 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 23 x 17.3 inch or 58.5 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 18.4 x 13.8 inch or 46.8 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 15.4 x 11.5 inch or 39 x 29.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Panasonic GF2 are 20 x 15 inch or 50.8 x 38.1 cm for good quality, 16 x 12 inch or 40.6 x 30.5 cm for very good quality, and 13.3 x 10 inch or 33.9 x 25.4 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 160 to ISO 12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 are ISO 100 to ISO 6400 (no boost).

G5 versus GF2 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Panasonic G5 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p........Panasonic G5
 
Panasonic GF2 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i21.210.350654Panasonic GF2
 
Olympus E-PL6 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........Olympus E-PL6
 
Olympus E-PL5 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.388972Olympus E-PL5
 
Panasonic G7 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p........Panasonic G7
 
Panasonic G6 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.563961Panasonic G6
 
Panasonic GF6 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i20.710.662254Panasonic GF6
 
Panasonic GF5 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i21.411.661861Panasonic GF5
 
Panasonic G3 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i21.010.666756Panasonic G3
 
Panasonic GF3 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i20.610.045849Panasonic GF3
 
Panasonic GX1 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p20.810.670355Panasonic GX1
 
Panasonic G10 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.141152Panasonic G10
 
Panasonic G2 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.349353Panasonic G2
 
Panasonic GF1 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.351354Panasonic GF1

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the G5 provides a higher frame rate than the GF2. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60p, while the GF2 is limited to 1080/60i.

 

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the G5 has an electronic viewfinder (1440k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the GF2 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the GF2 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the DMW-LVF1. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Panasonic G5 and Panasonic GF2 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Panasonic G51440 n 3.0 920 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n Panasonic G5
 
Panasonic GF2optional n 3.0 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 2.6 Y n Panasonic GF2
 
Olympus E-PL6optional n 3.0 460 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 n Y Olympus E-PL6
 
Olympus E-PL5optional n 3.0 460 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 n Y Olympus E-PL5
 
Panasonic G72360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y n Panasonic G7
 
Panasonic G61440 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y n Panasonic G6
 
Panasonic GF6none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n Panasonic GF6
 
Panasonic GF5none n 3.0 920 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.0 Y n Panasonic GF5
 
Panasonic G31440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 4.0 Y n Panasonic G3
 
Panasonic GF3none n 3.0 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 3.2 Y n Panasonic GF3
 
Panasonic GX1optional n 3.0 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n Panasonic GX1
 
Panasonic G10202 n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.6 Y n Panasonic G10
 
Panasonic G21440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 2.6 Y n Panasonic G2
 
Panasonic GF1optional n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Panasonic GF1
The G5 has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the GF2 does not have a selfie-screen.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the G5 and the GF2 write their files to SDXC cards. The G5 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the GF2 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

 

Connectivity comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Panasonic G5Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic G5
 
Panasonic GF2Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic GF2
 
Olympus E-PL6Ystereomono--mini2.0---Olympus E-PL6
 
Olympus E-PL5Ystereomono--mini2.0---Olympus E-PL5
 
Panasonic G7YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Panasonic G7
 
Panasonic G6YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Panasonic G6
 
Panasonic GF6-stereomono--mini2.0YY-Panasonic GF6
 
Panasonic GF5-stereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic GF5
 
Panasonic G3Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic G3
 
Panasonic GF3-stereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic GF3
 
Panasonic GX1Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic GX1
 
Panasonic G10Ymononone--mini2.0---Panasonic G10
 
Panasonic G2Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic G2
 
Panasonic GF1Ymonomono--mini2.0---Panasonic GF1

Both the G5 and the GF2 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The GF2 was replaced by the Panasonic GF3, while the G5 was followed by the Panasonic G6. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Panasonic website.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Panasonic G5 and the Panasonic GF2? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (15.9 vs 12MP) with a 15% higher linear resolution.
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/60i).
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 460k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6 vs 2.6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 8 months after the GF2).


Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2:

  • More compact: Is smaller (113x68mm vs 120x83mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 86g or 22 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in November 2010).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the G5 is the clear winner of the match-up (9 : 3 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

G5 09:03 GF2

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Panasonic G5 and the Panasonic GF2 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the G5 or the GF2 perform in practice. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cam
era
  labs  
dp
re
  view  
e
photo
  zine  
ima
ging
resource
photo
graphy
  blog  
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Panasonic G5+ +..4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jul 2012 599iPanasonic G5
 
Panasonic GF282/10070/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Nov 2010 549iPanasonic GF2
 
Olympus E-PL6.......... May 2013 599iOlympus E-PL6
 
Olympus E-PL5+ +..4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 599iOlympus E-PL5
 
Panasonic G7+ +80/1005/54.5/54.5/5 May 2015 649iPanasonic G7
 
Panasonic G6+ +..5/5..4.5/5 Apr 2013 599iPanasonic G6
 
Panasonic GF6+ +..4.5/5..4.5/5 Apr 2013 499iPanasonic GF6
 
Panasonic GF5....4.5/54/54.5/5 Apr 2012 499iPanasonic GF5
 
Panasonic G3+ +75/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2011 599iPanasonic G3
 
Panasonic GF382/10071/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Jun 2011 549iPanasonic GF3
 
Panasonic GX1+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Nov 2011 699iPanasonic GX1
 
Panasonic G10..70/1004/5..4/5 Mar 2010 499iPanasonic G10
 
Panasonic G2..72/1004/54/54.5/5 Mar 2010 599iPanasonic G2
 
Panasonic GF185/10069/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2009 749iPanasonic GF1
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Panasonic G5:
Check Ebay offers
Panasonic GF2:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Panasonic G5 vs Panasonic GF2

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Panasonic G5 Panasonic GF2
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Micro Four Thirds lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date July 2012 November 2010
    Launch Price USD 599 USD 549
    Sensor Specs Panasonic G5 Panasonic GF2
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Four Thirds Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 17.3 x 13.0 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 224.9 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 21.6 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 2.0x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 15.9 Megapixels 12 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4608 x 3456 pixels 4000 x 3000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.76 μm 4.33 μm
    Pixel Density 7.08 MP/cm2 5.34 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 160-12800 ISO 100-6400 ISO
    Image Processor Venus VII FHD Venus FHD
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 54
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 21.2
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 10.3
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 506
    Screen Specs Panasonic G5 Panasonic GF2
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.70x
    Viewfinder Resolution 1440k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 920k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Panasonic G5 Panasonic GF2
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 6 shutter flaps/s 2.6 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I no
    Connectivity Specs Panasonic G5 Panasonic GF2
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Panasonic G5 Panasonic GF2
    Battery Type DMW-BLC12 DMW-BLD10
    Battery Life (CIPA)320 shots per charge300 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 120 x 83 x 71 mm
    (4.7 x 3.3 x 2.8 in)
    113 x 68 x 33 mm
    (4.4 x 2.7 x 1.3 in)
    Camera Weight 396 g (14.0 oz) 310 g (10.9 oz)

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