Noise and JPEG processing

The GF5 shows some improvement in its noise profile and JPEG processing over the GF3, especially at low ISO sensitivities. It seems to primarily be attributable to a less noisy image coming off the sensor, an expected advancement from one generation to the next. While there's a noticeable jump in noise-reduction artifacts between ISO 400 and ISO 800 in the JPEGs -- most notably smearing -- Panasonic has improved the processing of high-contrast areas. For instance, the gorilla's fur and the rose become quite smeary by ISO 800, but the text doesn't suffer too much. The lens you use makes a big difference as well: while I wouldn't suggest shooting JPEGs past ISO 400 with the 14-42mm PZ kit lens (used for shooting these test samples), for a good prime lens I think I'd bump that to ISO 800.
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Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:

ISO 160 JPEG

While the camera is fast, it's not really optimal for shooting random, speedy subjects like this. However, it's capable of delivering sharp images.

(1/125 sec, f4, spot metering, AWB, ISO 160, Olympus 45mm lens)
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Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:

ISO 400 JPEG

Though it's a little soft and you can see some artifacts (look at the flat surface of the building in the upper right corner and the edges of the illuminated elements of the clock face), the GF5 can resolve detail pretty well with the right lens.

(1/60 sec, f1.8, spot metering, AWB, ISO 400, Olympus 45mm lens)
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Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:

ISO 800 JPEG

This isn't bad for ISO 800, but it's a good example of the artifacts on edges.

(1/125 sec, f2, spot metering, AWB, ISO 800, Olympus 45mm lens)
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Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:

ISO 1600, raw vs. JPEG

You can see how smeary the GF5 gets in the off-focus, shadow areas of JPEGs in high ISO sensitivity images. The brighter, in-focus areas are handled pretty well.

(1/100 sec, f4.5, spot metering, AWB, ISO 1600, Olympus 45mm lens)
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Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:

Color

The GF5 renders bright, saturated colors with pretty good accuracy.
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Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:

Photo Styles

The camera's default color handling (standard) pushes the contrast and saturation a bit, but doesn't introduce serious hue shifts or loss of shadow detail.

(1/125 sec, f7.1, spot metering, AWB, ISO 160, Olympus 45mm lens)
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Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:

Flash

The ability to tilt the flash back to bounce the light (top) makes a huge difference in the quality of some flash shots. It doesn't have enough power to illuminate distance shots, such as group photos, but it's great for close-ups.

(1/100 sec, f1.8, spot metering, AWB, ISO 160, Olympus 45mm lens)
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Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:

Filters

Panasonic lets you dial in the intensity of most of the filters as well as adjust some contextual options. Overall it has the typical set of filters (I don't have examples of the miniature or one-point-color filters).
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Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:

Filters

More filters.
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Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:

Filters

And more filters.
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Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:
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