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Panasonic G5 vs GF5

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in July 2012 and April 2012. Both the G5 and the GF5 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. The G5 has a resolution of 15.9 megapixels, whereas the GF5 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
versus
Panasonic GF5
Panasonic G5   Panasonic GF5
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 160-12,800 ISO 160-6,400 (160 - 12,800)
Electronic viewfinder (1440k dots) No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0" LCD – 920k dots 3.0" LCD – 920k dots
Swivel touchscreen Fixed touchscreen
6 shutter flaps per second 4 shutter flaps per second
320 shots per battery charge360 shots per battery charge
120 x 83 x 71 mm, 396 g 108 x 67 x 37 mm, 267 g
Panasonic G5:
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Panasonic GF5:
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Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5? 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

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Panasonic G5 and the Panasonic GF5 is provided 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 GF5 is available in three color-versions (black, red, white).

Size Panasonic G5 vs Panasonic GF5
Compare G5 versus GF5 top
Comparison G5 or GF5 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic GF5 is notably smaller (27 percent) than the Panasonic G5. Moreover, the GF5 is markedly lighter (33 percent) than the G5. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G5 nor the GF5 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 GF5 can take 360 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLE9 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Panasonic G5 120 mm 83 mm 71 mm 396 g 320 n Jul 2012 599i
2.
 
Panasonic GF5 108 mm 67 mm 37 mm 267 g 360 n Apr 2012 499i
3.
 
Olympus E-PL6 111 mm 64 mm 38 mm 325 g 360 n May 2013 599i
4.
 
Olympus E-PL5 111 mm 64 mm 38 mm 325 g 360 n Sep 2012 599i
5.
 
Panasonic G7 125 mm 86 mm 77 mm 410 g 350 n May 2015 649i
6.
 
Panasonic G6 122 mm 85 mm 71 mm 390 g 340 n Apr 2013 599i
7.
 
Panasonic GF6 111 mm 65 mm 38 mm 323 g 340 n Apr 2013 499i
8.
 
Panasonic G3 115 mm 84 mm 47 mm 336 g 270 n May 2011 599i
9.
 
Panasonic GF3 108 mm 67 mm 32 mm 264 g 300 n Jun 2011 549i
10.
 
Panasonic GX1 116 mm 68 mm 39 mm 318 g 320 n Nov 2011 699i
11.
 
Panasonic G10 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 388 g 380 n Mar 2010 499i
12.
 
Panasonic G2 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 428 g 360 n Mar 2010 599i
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The GF5 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 17 percent) than the G5, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. 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.

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Sensor comparison

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies 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 GF5 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 GF5. 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 GF5). In this context, it should be noted, however, that the G5 is a somewhat more recent model (by 3 months) than the GF5, 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 inches or 58.5 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 18.4 x 13.8 inches or 46.8 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 15.4 x 11.5 inches or 39 x 29.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Panasonic GF5 are 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm for good quality, 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm for very good quality, and 13.3 x 10 inches 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-GF5 are ISO 160 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 160-12800.

G5 versus GF5 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Panasonic G5 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p22.311.964366
2.
 
Panasonic GF5 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i21.411.661861
3.
 
Olympus E-PL6 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.512.071768
4.
 
Olympus E-PL5 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.388972
5.
 
Panasonic G7 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p22.812.490471
6.
 
Panasonic G6 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.563961
7.
 
Panasonic GF6 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i20.710.662254
8.
 
Panasonic G3 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i21.010.666756
9.
 
Panasonic GF3 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i20.610.045849
10.
 
Panasonic GX1 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p20.810.670355
11.
 
Panasonic G10 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.141152
12.
 
Panasonic G2 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.349353
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the G5 provides a higher frame rate than the GF5. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60p, while the GF5 is limited to 1080/60i.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range 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 GF5 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Panasonic G5 and Panasonic GF5 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Panasonic G51440 n3.0 / 920 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0/s Y n
2.
 
Panasonic GF5none n3.0 / 920 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.0/s Y n
3.
 
Olympus E-PL6optional n3.0 / 460 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0/s n Y
4.
 
Olympus E-PL5optional n3.0 / 460 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0/s n Y
5.
 
Panasonic G72360 n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.0/s Y n
6.
 
Panasonic G61440 n3.0 / 1036 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.0/s Y n
7.
 
Panasonic GF6none n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.2/s Y n
8.
 
Panasonic G31440 n3.0 / 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 4.0/s Y n
9.
 
Panasonic GF3none n3.0 / 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 3.2/s Y n
10.
 
Panasonic GX1optional n3.0 / 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.2/s Y n
11.
 
Panasonic G10202 n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.6/s Y n
12.
 
Panasonic G21440 n3.0 / 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 2.6/s Y n
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.
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 GF5 does not have a selfie-screen.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the G5 and the GF5 write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.

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-GF5 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Panasonic G5Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
2.
 
Panasonic GF5-stereo / mono--mini2.0---
3.
 
Olympus E-PL6Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
4.
 
Olympus E-PL5Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
5.
 
Panasonic G7Ystereo / monoY-micro2.0Y--
6.
 
Panasonic G6Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
7.
 
Panasonic GF6-stereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
8.
 
Panasonic G3Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Panasonic GF3-stereo / mono--mini2.0---
10.
 
Panasonic GX1Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
11.
 
Panasonic G10Ymono / ---mini2.0---
12.
 
Panasonic G2Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---

It is notable that the G5 has a hotshoe, while the GF5 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.

Both the G5 and the GF5 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The GF5 was replaced by the Panasonic GF6, 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.

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Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Panasonic G5 and the Panasonic GF5? 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 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 4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 3 months after the GF5).


Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5:

  • More compact: Is smaller (108x67mm vs 120x83mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 129g or 33 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (360 versus 320) out of a single battery charge.
  • More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (17 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in April 2012).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the G5 emerges as the winner of the contest (8 : 5 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 sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

G5 08:05 GF5

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Panasonic G5 and the Panasonic GF5 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 comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the G5 and the GF5 in practical situations. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). 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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Panasonic G53/5+ +....4.5/54.5/5 Jul 2012 599i
2.
 
Panasonic GF53/5......4.5/54.5/5 Apr 2012 499i
3.
 
Olympus E-PL6............ May 2013 599i
4.
 
Olympus E-PL53/5+ +....4.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 599i
5.
 
Panasonic G74/5+ +..80/1005/54.5/5 May 2015 649i
6.
 
Panasonic G64/5+ +....5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 599i
7.
 
Panasonic GF6..+ +....4.5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 499i
8.
 
Panasonic G33/5+ +..75/1004.5/55/5 May 2011 599i
9.
 
Panasonic GF33/582/100..71/1004.5/54/5 Jun 2011 549i
10.
 
Panasonic GX13/5+..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Nov 2011 699i
11.
 
Panasonic G103/5....70/1004/54/5 Mar 2010 499i
12.
 
Panasonic G2......72/1004/54.5/5 Mar 2010 599i
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. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Panasonic G5:
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Panasonic GF5:
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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 make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Panasonic G5 vs Panasonic GF5

    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 GF5
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Micro Four Thirds lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date July 2012 April 2012
    Launch Price USD 599 USD 499
    Sensor Specs Panasonic G5 Panasonic GF5
    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 - 12,800 ISO 160 - 6,400 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 160 - 12,800 ISO
    Image Processor Venus VII FHD Venus FHD
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 61
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 21.4
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 11.6
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 618
    Screen Specs Panasonic G5 Panasonic GF5
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.70x
    Viewfinder Resolution 1440k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 920k dots 920k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Panasonic G5 Panasonic GF5
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 6 shutter flaps/s 4 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Panasonic G5 Panasonic GF5
    External Flash Hotshoe no 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 GF5
    Battery Type DMW-BLC12 DMW-BLE9
    Battery Life (CIPA)320 shots per charge360 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 120 x 83 x 71 mm
    (4.7 x 3.3 x 2.8 in)
    108 x 67 x 37 mm
    (4.3 x 2.6 x 1.5 in)
    Camera Weight 396 g (14.0 oz) 267 g (9.4 oz)
    Panasonic G5:
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    Panasonic GF5:
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