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Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5

Estimated Street Price: $519 (with 14-42mm power zoom)


The replacement for Panasonic’s GF3 entry-level “pocket” Micro Four Thirds model, the new GF5 improves on its predecessor in a number of ways, including a higher-resolution LCD, higher ISO capability, more effects filters, an improved grip and additional video capabilities with a built-in stereo microphone. Sharing its predecessor’s 12.1-megapixel resolution, the GF5 nonetheless features a new Live MOS sensor that does better at higher ISO settings (which now go to 12,800), along with a revamped Venus Engine processor with improved noise-reduction capabilities. Panasonic’s quick and accurate Light Speed contrast-based AF is enhanced by touch-screen control with the 3-inch LCD monitor.

Less experienced users will love iA (Intelligent Auto) Plus mode, which automatically sets everything for best results with a wide range of scenes. You also can adjust the settings, if desired, and apply a variety of styles and effects. The touch-screen LCD makes it easy to set camera functions, focus, zoom power-zoom lenses and even trip the shutter.

While the GF3 could only do AVCHD video, the GF5 also can do MP4. A new stereo microphone replaces the GF3’s mono mic. The GF5 offers both continuous AF and touch AF for video shooting.

STANDOUT FEATURE: A good feature set in a very pocketable package.

1. The built-in EVF provides eye-level viewing for still and video recording.

2. The 3-inch LCD monitor tilts and swivels for easy odd-angle shooting.

3. While the card slot accepts SD, SDHC and SDXC cards, best performance comes with the fastest, most recent cards.

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