Panasonic Lumix GF5 review

A fast, light and perfectly formed CSC

Panasonic Lumix GF5
Panasonic's 12MP compact system camera produces great images

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Overall, the Panasonic Lumix GF5 is very good. Panasonic has done a great job at building a camera that will appeal very strongly to those looking to step up from compact or bridge models, while keeping enough manual controls to satisfy those looking for more.

Image quality is of course of paramount importance, and it's here that the Panasonic Lumix GF5 really does deliver.

The amount of detail captured is particularly impressive - especially considering the lens being used for the majority of our shots was the supplied kit lens (albeit the more expensive option).

This is a great option for those looking to get started with a compact system camera. Panasonic offers a large number of compatible lenses, should you find you need more than the kit lens (and Olympus and third party Micro Four Thirds lenses are also available) and even more are known to be in development.

We liked

Coupled with the 14-42mm power zoom lens, this is a discreet compact system camera that manages to pack a pretty powerful punch in a tiny body, making it one of the only truly pocketable cameras of its kind.

We disliked

Occasionally the touchscreen became unresponsive, while Olympus has managed to be a bit cleverer with its art modes than Panasonic.

Final verdict

The low price makes the Panasonic GF5 one of the best compromises on the market between compact size and high image quality. It's one of the only cameras that is truly (jacket) pocketable and portable enough to be carried around on a daily basis, while still managing to offer fantastic image quality and a solid feature set.

That said, with a UK price tag of £449 (about $710) or £579 (about $920) with the X kit lens, the Panasonic Lumix GF5 isn't a cheap proposition for the moment, especially for those used to dealing with compact camera prices.

It's also worth bearing in mind the fantastic bargains that can currently be had with the predecessor, the GF3, which can be picked up for around £200 (with standard kit lens) in the UK and $450 in the US, from certain retailers while stocks last.

Amy Davies

Amy has been writing about cameras, photography and associated tech since 2009. Amy was once part of the photography testing team for Future Publishing working across TechRadar, Digital Camera, PhotoPlus, N Photo and Photography Week. For her photography, she has won awards and has been exhibited. She often partakes in unusual projects - including one intense year where she used a different camera every single day. Amy is currently the Features Editor at Amateur Photographer magazine, and in her increasingly little spare time works across a number of high-profile publications including Wired, Stuff, Digital Camera World, Expert Reviews, and just a little off-tangent, PetsRadar.