Panasonic Adds GF5 Compact System Camera

By Greg Tarr On Apr 9 2012 - 4:01am

NEW YORK – Panasonic unveiled last week an addition to its expanding line of Lumix G-series Micro Four Thirds compact system cameras.

The Lumix DMC-GF5 ($599 or $749 suggested retails, depending on lens kit option), which slots in next to the current GF3, features a newly developed 12.1-megapixel Live MOS sensor and redesigned Venus Engine, for improved image rendering and color reproduction, even in low-light situations.

The camera boasts an ISO sensitivity range to 12,800 and includes a noise-reduction system using a combination of 3D Noise Reduction (3DNR) and Multi-process Noise Reduction (MNR) for optimal exposures, even in highly bright and dark areas.

The camera includes a compact design with an improved rubberized handgrip and is compatible with Panasonic’s range of Micro Four Thirds camera lenses.

The camera continues to use Contrast AF system, featured in other G-series models, that allows focusing to be controlled by the image sensor. This is said to yield more accurate results (particularly in lenses with small F values) than Phase-based AF systems.

The GF5 also incorporates full-area focusing, making it possible to set focus on any point in the field of view.

The ultra-high-speed Light Speed AF system can focus in approximately 0.09 seconds for optimal fast motion shots.

This is coupled with Touch Panel AF control and provides high-speed burst shooting at 4 fps in full resolution.

The GF5 features a 3-inch 920,000-dot LCD touchpanel display and graphic user interface (GUI) to simplify settings adjustments.

Both the shutter and focus can activated and selected by tapping on the screen. Once a user locks onto a subject by touching it on the screen, the camera will track it and hold focus as it moves around the frame. The shutter can also be released by a tap on the screen.

Touch Zoom is also available when using the Lumix Power Zoom Lens H-PS14042 lens or H-PS45175.

The camera also employs an expanded assortment of Creative Control modes (with up to 14 filters) from the GF3. These include the new: Soft Focus, Dynamic Monochrome, Impressive Art, One Point Color, Cross Process and Star Filter.

Other features include a Scene Guide with 23 sample pictures shot by professional photographers that novice users can explore to find a photo closest to a situation they are shooting to select the optimal parameters.

For video, the Lumix GF5 will capture 1,920 by 1,080/60i HD in AVCHD format. The camera can use the full-time AF and the Touch AF functions for video. A dedicated video record button is included. The camera also records stereo sound. Using the Dolby Digital Stereo Creator, videos can be recorded in MP4 format for playback on a PC or other portable electronic devices without having to convert the files.

The Lumix DMC-GF5 will ship “this summer” in a choice of black, white and red body colors. Panasonic is offering two lens kit options: including the body with a 14-42mm standard zoom lens ($599) and the body with 14-42mm power zoom lens ($749).

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