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Compact

About the same size as the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3, the DMC-GF5 looks and feels like a traditional compact point-and-shoot.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
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Grippier

One of the main physical differences between the GF3 and GF5 is the improved grip. It's larger and less slippery.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
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GF3 vs. GF5

Here you can see the grips and relative body sizes of the two cameras.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Lori Grunin/CNET
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Redesigned controls

The scroll wheel and buttons remain the same, but Panasonic has made the QMenu/Fn buttons larger and added a button for controlling the information display. The new buttons are a little flat and difficult to feel, but no worse than any small camera's.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
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Top

The only change here is the update from a mono to stereo microphone -- those two tiny dots on the left shoulder. The rest is the same, including Panasonic's veteran illuminating iA (intelligent auto) button for quick trips in and out of automatic mode.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
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Tilting flash

As on the GF3, you can tilt the flash back and hold it with your finger to bounce or diffuse the light.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
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Updated interface

Although the interface's layout and operation haven't changed, Panasonic redesigned the look to take advantage of the higher-resolution LCD. You can also set a background image, if you're into that sort of thing.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
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Hints

The camera now offers hints and interface guidance.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
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Touch-screen interface

Like the GF3, the GF5 has a very well-designed touch-screen interface. And you can still bypass it entirely if you want.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
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Flyout menu

The GF5 adopts the flyout tab options that debuted in the DMC-GX1.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
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Lens

The camera will come in a few kits, one with the relatively new 14-42mm HD power zoom lens. I still have trouble with the positioning of the zoom and manual focus switches on this lens; I frequently mistake the focus switch for the zoom.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
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