Panasonic GF6 vs Sony A5000
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6 and the Sony Alpha A5000 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in April 2013 and January 2014. Both the GF6 and the A5000 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are based on a Four Thirds (GF6) and an APS-C (A5000) sensor. The Panasonic has a resolution of 15.8 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 19.8 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6 and the Sony Alpha A5000? 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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Panasonic GF6 and the Sony A5000 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The GF6 can be obtained in four different colors (black, brown, red, white), while the A5000 is available in three color-versions (black, silver, white).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A5000 is somewhat smaller (4 percent) than the Panasonic GF6. Moreover, the A5000 is markedly lighter (17 percent) than the GF6. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the GF6 nor the A5000 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. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog (GF6) and the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog (A5000). 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 GF6 gets 340 shots out of its DMW-BLG10 battery, while the A5000 can take 420 images on a single charge of its NP-FW50 power pack. The power pack in the A5000 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
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.
|1.||Panasonic GF6||111 mm||65 mm||38 mm||323 g||340||n||Apr 2013||499|
|2.||Sony A5000||110 mm||63 mm||36 mm||269 g||420||n||Jan 2014||449|
|3.||Canon M10||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||301 g||255||n||Oct 2015||499|
|4.||Nikon D3300||124 mm||98 mm||76 mm||430 g||700||n||Jan 2014||499|
|5.||Panasonic GX850||107 mm||65 mm||33 mm||269 g||210||n||Jan 2017||549|
|6.||Panasonic GF7||107 mm||65 mm||33 mm||266 g||230||n||Jan 2015||499|
|7.||Panasonic G6||122 mm||85 mm||71 mm||390 g||340||n||Apr 2013||599|
|8.||Panasonic G5||120 mm||83 mm||71 mm||396 g||320||n||Jul 2012||599|
|9.||Panasonic GF5||108 mm||67 mm||37 mm||267 g||360||n||Apr 2012||499|
|10.||Panasonic G3||115 mm||84 mm||47 mm||336 g||270||n||May 2011||599|
|11.||Panasonic GX1||116 mm||68 mm||39 mm||318 g||320||n||Nov 2011||699|
|12.||Panasonic G10||124 mm||84 mm||74 mm||388 g||380||n||Mar 2010||499|
|13.||Panasonic GF2||113 mm||68 mm||33 mm||310 g||300||n||Nov 2010||549|
|14.||Panasonic G1||124 mm||84 mm||45 mm||360 g||410||n||Sep 2008||599|
|15.||Sony RX100 IV||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||298 g||280||n||Jun 2015||999|
|16.||Sony A5100||110 mm||63 mm||36 mm||283 g||400||n||Aug 2014||549|
|17.||Sony NEX-3N||110 mm||62 mm||35 mm||269 g||480||n||Feb 2013||499|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The A5000 was somewhat cheaper (by 10 percent) than the GF6 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.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Panasonic GF6 features a Four Thirds sensor and the Sony A5000 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the A5000 is 59 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.0 and 1.5. The sensor in the GF6 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the A5000 offers a 3:2 aspect.
In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.
With 19.8MP, the A5000 offers a higher resolution than the GF6 (15.8MP), but the A5000 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.25μm versus 3.77μm for the GF6) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the A5000 is a somewhat more recent model (by 8 months) than the GF6, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
The resolution advantage of the Sony A5000 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the A5000 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 27.3 x 18.2 inches or 69.3 x 46.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 21.8 x 14.5 inches or 55.4 x 36.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 18.2 x 12.1 inches or 46.2 x 30.8 cm. The corresponding values for the Panasonic GF6 are 23 x 17.2 inches or 58.3 x 43.8 cm for good quality, 18.4 x 13.8 inches or 46.7 x 35 cm for very good quality, and 15.3 x 11.5 inches or 38.9 x 29.2 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 160 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 160-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha A5000 are ISO 100 to ISO 16000 (no boost).
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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. Of the two cameras under consideration, the A5000 offers substantially better image quality than the GF6 (overall score 25 points higher). The advantage is based on 3.1 bits higher color depth, 2.4 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.8 stops in additional 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.
|1.||Panasonic GF6||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||20.7||10.6||622||54|
|5.||Panasonic GX850||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||4K/30p||23.2||13.3||586||73|
|6.||Panasonic GF7||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||22.7||12.3||874||70|
|7.||Panasonic G6||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||21.3||11.5||639||61|
|8.||Panasonic G5||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||22.3||11.9||643||66|
|9.||Panasonic GF5||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60i||21.4||11.6||618||61|
|10.||Panasonic G3||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||21.0||10.6||667||56|
|11.||Panasonic GX1||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||20.8||10.6||703||55|
|12.||Panasonic G10||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.1||411||52|
|13.||Panasonic GF2||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60i||21.2||10.3||506||54|
|14.||Panasonic G1||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||none||21.1||10.3||463||53|
|15.||Sony RX100 IV||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.6||591||70|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60i).
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The GF6 and the A5000 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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Panasonic GF6 and Sony A5000 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|1.||Panasonic GF6||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||4.2/s||Y||n|
|2.||Sony A5000||none||n||3.0 / 461||tilting||n||1/4000s||3.5/s||Y||n|
|3.||Canon M10||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||4.6/s||Y||n|
|4.||Nikon D3300||optical||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|5.||Panasonic GX850||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/500s||10.0/s||Y||n|
|6.||Panasonic GF7||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/500s||5.8/s||Y||n|
|7.||Panasonic G6||1440||n||3.0 / 1036||swivel||Y||1/4000s||7.0/s||Y||n|
|8.||Panasonic G5||1440||n||3.0 / 920||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|9.||Panasonic GF5||none||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.0/s||Y||n|
|10.||Panasonic G3||1440||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||Y||1/4000s||4.0/s||Y||n|
|11.||Panasonic GX1||optional||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.2/s||Y||n|
|12.||Panasonic G10||202||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.6/s||Y||n|
|13.||Panasonic GF2||optional||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||Y||1/4000s||2.6/s||Y||n|
|14.||Panasonic G1||1440||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|15.||Sony RX100 IV||2359||n||3.0 / 1228||tilting||n||1/2000s||16.0/s||Y||Y|
|16.||Sony A5100||none||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|17.||Sony NEX-3N||optional||n||3.0 / 460||tilting||n||1/4000s||4.0/s||Y||n|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The GF6 has a touchscreen, while the A5000 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.Both cameras have an articulated rear screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This feature will be particularly appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies.
The GF6 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the A5000 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.
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-GF6 and Sony Alpha A5000 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Panasonic GF6||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|2.||Sony A5000||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|3.||Canon M10||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|4.||Nikon D3300||Y||mono / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|5.||Panasonic GX850||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|6.||Panasonic GF7||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|7.||Panasonic G6||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|8.||Panasonic G5||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Panasonic GF5||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Panasonic G3||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Panasonic GX1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Panasonic G10||Y||mono / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Panasonic GF2||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Panasonic G1||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Sony RX100 IV||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|16.||Sony A5100||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|17.||Sony NEX-3N||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
Both the GF6 and the A5000 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The GF6 was replaced by the Panasonic GF7, while the A5000 was followed by the Sony A5100. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Panasonic and Sony websites.
So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Panasonic GF6 or the Sony A5000 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6:
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 461k dots).
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (4.2 vs 3.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in April 2013).
Advantages of the Sony Alpha A5000:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (19.8 vs 15.8MP), which boosts linear resolution by 14%.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (25 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (3.1 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (2.4 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.8 stops ISO advantage).
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 54g or 17 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (420 versus 340) out of a single battery charge.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (8 months) more recently.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the A5000 is the clear winner of the contest (9 : 4 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Panasonic GF6 and the Sony A5000 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 GF6 and the A5000 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.
This is why expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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.
|1.||Panasonic GF6||..||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2013||499|
|2.||Sony A5000||3/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2014||449|
|3.||Canon M10||..||..||..||..||..||4/5||Oct 2015||499|
|4.||Nikon D3300||3/5||+||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2014||499|
|5.||Panasonic GX850||..||+||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||549|
|6.||Panasonic GF7||4/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||499|
|7.||Panasonic G6||4/5||+ +||..||..||5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2013||599|
|8.||Panasonic G5||3/5||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||599|
|9.||Panasonic GF5||3/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2012||499|
|10.||Panasonic G3||3/5||+ +||..||75/100||4.5/5||5/5||May 2011||599|
|11.||Panasonic GX1||3/5||+||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Nov 2011||699|
|12.||Panasonic G10||3/5||..||..||70/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2010||499|
|13.||Panasonic GF2||3/5||82/100||..||70/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Nov 2010||549|
|14.||Panasonic G1||..||+ +||..||70/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2008||599|
|15.||Sony RX100 IV||4.5/5||+ +||..||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||999|
|16.||Sony A5100||4.5/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2014||549|
|17.||Sony NEX-3N||3/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2013||499|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
- Canon 4000D vs Sony A5000
- Canon 5D Mark IV vs Sony A5000
- Canon 80D vs Panasonic GF6
- Canon G7 X vs Panasonic GF6
- Leica S3 vs Panasonic GF6
- Leica X Vario vs Sony A5000
- Nikon D600 vs Sony A5000
- Nikon D750 vs Panasonic GF6
- Panasonic G9 vs Panasonic GF6
- Panasonic GF6 vs Panasonic GX9
- Panasonic GH3 vs Sony A5000
- Panasonic L1 vs Sony A5000
Specifications: Panasonic GF6 vs Sony A5000
|Camera Model||Panasonic GF6||Sony A5000|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Micro Four Thirds lenses||Sony E mount lenses|
|Launch Date||April 2013||January 2014|
|Launch Price||USD 499||USD 449|
|Sensor Specs||Panasonic GF6||Sony A5000|
|Sensor Format||Four Thirds Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||17.3 x 13.0 mm||23.2 x 15.4 mm|
|Sensor Area||224.9 mm2||357.28 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||21.6 mm||27.8 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||15.8 Megapixels||19.8 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4592 x 3448 pixels||5456 x 3632 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.77 μm||4.25 μm|
|Pixel Density||7.04 MP/cm2||5.55 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60i Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO Setting||160 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 16,000 ISO|
|ISO Boost||160 - 25,600 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||Venus FHD||BIONZ X|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||54||79|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||20.7||23.8|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.6||13.0|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||622||1089|
|Screen Specs||Panasonic GF6||Sony A5000|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||no viewfinder|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||461k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Panasonic GF6||Sony A5000|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||4.2 shutter flaps/s||3.5 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Panasonic GF6||Sony A5000|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||NFC built-in|
|Body Specs||Panasonic GF6||Sony A5000|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||340 shots per charge||420 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
111 x 65 x 38 mm
(4.4 x 2.6 x 1.5 in)
110 x 63 x 36 mm
(4.3 x 2.5 x 1.4 in)
|Camera Weight||323 g (11.4 oz)||269 g (9.5 oz)|