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Panasonic GF5 vs GF6

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in April 2012 and April 2013. Both the GF5 and the GF6 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. The GF5 has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the GF6 provides 15.8 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Panasonic GF5   Panasonic GF6
Panasonic GF5 Panasonic GF6
Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
Micro Four Thirds lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
12 MP, Four Thirds Sensor 15.8 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
1080/60i Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 160-6400 (160-12800) ISO 160-12800 (160-25600)
No viewfinder, LCD framing No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0" LCD, 920k dots 3.0" LCD, 1040k dots
Fixed touchscreen Tilting touchscreen
4 shutter flaps per second 4.2 shutter flaps per second
360 shots per battery charge340 shots per battery charge
108 x 67 x 37 mm, 267 g 111 x 65 x 38 mm, 323 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6? 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 side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Panasonic GF5 and the Panasonic GF6. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The GF5 can be obtained in three different colors (black, red, white), while the GF6 is available in four color-versions (black, brown, red, white).

Size Panasonic GF5 vs Panasonic GF6
Compare GF5 versus GF6 top
Comparison GF5 or GF6 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic GF5 and the Panasonic GF6 are of equal size. However, the GF6 is markedly heavier (21 percent) than the GF5. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the GF5 nor the GF6 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 GF5 gets 360 shots out of its DMW-BLE9 battery, while the GF6 can take 340 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLG10 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, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras 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)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Panasonic GF5» 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.5 in 9.4 oz 360 n Apr 2012 499- i Panasonic GF5
 
Panasonic GF6« 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.5 in 11.4 oz 340 n Apr 2013 499- i Panasonic GF6
 
Olympus E-PL3« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.5 in 11.0 oz 300 n Jun 2011 599- i Olympus E-PL3
 
Olympus E-PM1« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.3 in 9.3 oz 330 n Jun 2011 499- i Olympus E-PM1
 
Panasonic GF7« » 4.2 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 9.4 oz 230 n Jan 2015 499- i Panasonic GF7
 
Panasonic G6« » 4.8 in 3.3 in 2.8 in 13.8 oz 340 n Apr 2013 599- i Panasonic G6
 
Panasonic LX7« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.8 in 10.5 oz 330 n Jul 2012 499- i Panasonic LX7
 
Panasonic G3« » 4.5 in 3.3 in 1.9 in 11.9 oz 270 n May 2011 599- i Panasonic G3
 
Panasonic GF3« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 9.3 oz 300 n Jun 2011 549- i Panasonic GF3
 
Panasonic G10« » 4.9 in 3.3 in 2.9 in 13.7 oz 380 n Mar 2010 499- i Panasonic G10
 
Panasonic G2« » 4.9 in 3.3 in 2.9 in 15.1 oz 360 n Mar 2010 599- i Panasonic G2
 
Panasonic GF2« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.3 in 10.9 oz 300 n Nov 2010 549- i Panasonic GF2
 
Panasonic G1« » 4.9 in 3.3 in 1.8 in 12.7 oz 410 n Sep 2008 599- i Panasonic G1
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The two cameras under review were launched at the same price and fall into the same market segment. 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.

 

Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and 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 GF5 and Panasonic GF6 sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the GF6 offers a higher resolution of 15.8 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 GF6 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.77μm versus 4.33μm for the GF5). However, it should be noted that the GF6 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year) 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 GF6 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the GF6 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 23 x 17.2 inch or 58.3 x 43.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 18.4 x 13.8 inch or 46.7 x 35 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 15.3 x 11.5 inch or 38.9 x 29.2 cm. The corresponding values for the Panasonic GF5 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-GF5 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 160 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 160-12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6 are ISO 160 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 160-25600.

GF5 versus GF6 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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"). Of the two cameras under review, the GF5 has a notably higher overall DXO score than the GF6 (overall score 7 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.7 bits higher color depth, 1 EV in additional dynamic range, and -0 stops of reduced low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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 GF5» Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i21.411.661861Panasonic GF5
 
Panasonic GF6« Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i20.710.662254Panasonic GF6
 
Olympus E-PL3« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 30241080/60i20.910.349952Olympus E-PL3
 
Olympus E-PM1« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 30241080/60i21.010.349952Olympus E-PM1
 
Panasonic GF7« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p----Panasonic GF7
 
Panasonic G6« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.563961Panasonic G6
 
Panasonic LX7« » 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p20.711.714750Panasonic LX7
 
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 G10« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.141152Panasonic G10
 
Panasonic G2« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.349353Panasonic G2
 
Panasonic GF2« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i21.210.350654Panasonic GF2
 
Panasonic G1« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000-21.110.346353Panasonic G1

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60i).

 

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The GF5 and the GF6 are similar in the sense that neither of the two has a viewfinder. The images are, thus, framed using live view on the rear LCD. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Panasonic GF5, the Panasonic GF6, and comparable cameras.

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 GF5»- n 3.0 920 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.0 Y n Panasonic GF5
 
Panasonic GF6«- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n Panasonic GF6
 
Olympus E-PL3« »- n 3.0 460 tilting n 1/4000s 5.5 n Y Olympus E-PL3
 
Olympus E-PM1« »- n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 5.5 n Y Olympus E-PM1
 
Panasonic GF7« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/500s 5.8 Y n Panasonic GF7
 
Panasonic G6« »1440 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y n Panasonic G6
 
Panasonic LX7« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0 Y Y Panasonic LX7
 
Panasonic G3« »1440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 4.0 Y n Panasonic G3
 
Panasonic GF3« »- n 3.0 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 3.2 Y n Panasonic GF3
 
Panasonic G10« »202 n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.6 Y n Panasonic G10
 
Panasonic G2« »1440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 2.6 Y n Panasonic G2
 
Panasonic GF2« »- n 3.0 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 2.6 Y n Panasonic GF2
 
Panasonic G1« »1440 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Panasonic G1
The GF6 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the GF5 does not have a selfie-screen.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the GF5 and the GF6 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-GF5 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6 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
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Panasonic GF5»-stereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic GF5
 
Panasonic GF6«-stereomono--mini2.0YY-Panasonic GF6
 
Olympus E-PL3« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Olympus E-PL3
 
Olympus E-PM1« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Olympus E-PM1
 
Panasonic GF7« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Panasonic GF7
 
Panasonic G6« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Panasonic G6
 
Panasonic LX7« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic LX7
 
Panasonic G3« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic G3
 
Panasonic GF3« »-stereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic GF3
 
Panasonic G10« »Ymono---mini2.0---Panasonic G10
 
Panasonic G2« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic G2
 
Panasonic GF2« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic GF2
 
Panasonic G1« »Y----mini2.0---Panasonic G1

It is notable that the GF6 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the GF5 does not offer wifi capability.

Both the GF5 and the GF6 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The GF5 was replaced by the Panasonic GF6, while the GF6 was followed by the Panasonic GF7. 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 what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Panasonic GF5 and the Panasonic GF6? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5:

  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (7 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (1 EV of extra DR).
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 56g or 17 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in April 2012).


Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (15.8 vs 12MP), which boosts linear resolution by 15%.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 920k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year) more recently.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the GF6 emerges as the winner of the match-up (7 : 4 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision 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.

GF5 04:07 GF6

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Panasonic GF5 and the Panasonic GF6 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 technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the GF5 or the GF6 perform in practice. 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 why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Panasonic GF5»--4.5/54/54.5/5 Apr 2012 499- i Panasonic GF5
 
Panasonic GF6«+ +-4.5/5-4.5/5 Apr 2013 499- i Panasonic GF6
 
Olympus E-PL3« »+ +72/1004.5/5-4/5 Jun 2011 599- i Olympus E-PL3
 
Olympus E-PM1« »86/10071/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jun 2011 499- i Olympus E-PM1
 
Panasonic GF7« »+-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2015 499- i Panasonic GF7
 
Panasonic G6« »+ +-5/5-4.5/5 Apr 2013 599- i Panasonic G6
 
Panasonic LX7« »+ +75/1004/55/54.5/5 Jul 2012 499- i Panasonic LX7
 
Panasonic G3« »+ +75/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2011 599- i Panasonic G3
 
Panasonic GF3« »82/10071/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Jun 2011 549- i Panasonic GF3
 
Panasonic G10« »-70/1004/5-4/5 Mar 2010 499- i Panasonic G10
 
Panasonic G2« »-72/1004/54/54.5/5 Mar 2010 599- i Panasonic G2
 
Panasonic GF2« »82/10070/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Nov 2010 549- i Panasonic GF2
 
Panasonic G1« »+ +70/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2008 599- i Panasonic G1
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Panasonic GF5:
Check Ebay offers
Panasonic GF6:
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 GF5 vs Panasonic GF6

    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 GF5 Panasonic GF6
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Micro Four Thirds lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date April 2012 April 2013
    Launch Price USD 499 USD 499
    Sensor Specs Panasonic GF5 Panasonic GF6
    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 12 Megapixels 15.8 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4000 x 3000 pixels 4592 x 3448 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.33 μm 3.77 μm
    Pixel Density 5.34 MP/cm2 7.04 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60i Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 160-6400 ISO 160-12800 ISO
    ISO Boost 160-12800 ISO 160-25600 ISO
    Image Processor Venus FHD Venus FHD
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 61 54
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.4 20.7
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.6 10.6
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 618 622
    Screen Specs Panasonic GF5 Panasonic GF6
    Viewfinder Type No viewfinder No viewfinder
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 920k dots 1040k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Panasonic GF5 Panasonic GF6
    Autofocus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 4 shutter flaps/s 4.2 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 UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Panasonic GF5 Panasonic GF6
    External Flash no Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication no NFC NFC built-in
    Body Specs Panasonic GF5 Panasonic GF6
    Battery Type DMW-BLE9 DMW-BLG10
    Battery Life (CIPA)360 shots per charge340 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 108 x 67 x 37 mm
    (4.3 x 2.6 x 1.5 in)
    111 x 65 x 38 mm
    (4.4 x 2.6 x 1.5 in)
    Camera Weight 267 g (9.4 oz) 323 g (11.4 oz)

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