New Panasonic GF5 ISO test check. Disappointing?


Yesterday I had a tuff day with the GF5 announcement at 6am in the morning and a full day of work here in Antwerpen (with cold windy shitty weather). I slept 10 hours and now I am ready to take a bit more serious look on the new GF5 image quality perfromance :)

Panaosnic claims that this is a new 12 Megapixel sensor based on the same technology of the 16 Megapixel Panasonic G3 sensor. Does it show any advantage over the older GF2/GF3 cameras?

The polish website Lenstip (Click here) posted an interesting GF5 versus GF3 ISO comparison. I have to say the older Panasonic GF3 looks better! Now, I hope for Panasonic that the polish reviewer made a mistake with the image description and maybe he switched the camera anmes. If that is not a mistake I would say don’t go for the GF5 and buy the cheaperr and now hackable GF3! There are two more ISO tests by Openpn (Click and scroll down) and Fotopolis. Before to start to blame Panasonic let’s wait and see more testing. Maybe some reviewer are not making a correct testing?

Links to current hackable GF cameras:
Panasonic GF3 search links: Amazon, B&H, Adorama, Olympus US store, FocusCamera, eBay.
Panasonic GF2 search links: Amazon, B&H, Adorama, Olympus US store, FocusCamera, eBay.

Links to the new GF5:
Black GF5 with 14-42mm or 14-42mmX lens at Amazon (Click here and choose the lens).
White GF5 with 14-42mm or 14-42mmX lens at Amazon (Click here and choose the lens).
Red GF5 with 14-42mm or 14-42mmX lens at Amazon (Click here and choose the lens).
GF5 at Amazon Japan (Click here).

  • Scotch

    looks like the AA filter has got stronger…

    • MJr

      lol, more like the GF3 had more default sharpening. This isn’t raw we’re looking at.

      • Scotch

        you are right, it’s JPEG, you can’t tell about the AA filter..

        they should standardize the process and show raw..
        but these kind of cam who cares about raw..

        btw, MJr what exactly did you mean by “lol”? are you 12 years old?

        • JF

          You should LOL a bit more, you look nervous !

  • Polish reviewer added a comment, that this is caused by stronger sharpening algorithms in GF3. Both cameras were set to a minimum sharpening level for this JPEG test.

  • Rudolf Remmler

    Who cares about this cam anyway its for girl purses only, so save this poor little camera the spec wars, it will sell well in japan mostly in white

    • MJr
      • Scotch

        come on, you know what Rudolf was trying to say, don’t read comments literally, use your brain

    • frank


    • Bob B.

      Hey…I love white cameras….but anyway… if Panasonic is passing off lower tech in a new camera…kind of like when they replaced the 14-45mm kit zoom with an major downgrade like the 14-42mm kit lens… I like to know about it…That “corporate” mentality can creep into many other

  • Anonymous

    probably no mistake…;-I

  • Jo

    I live close to Antwerp and the weather is normal for april. May be your sensor is somewhat off ;-)

    Another sensor is not functioning too well too I believe: your eyes! If I look at somewhat higher ISO, its clear GF3 loses its colour pretty fast, loses detail but seems to be sharper also. Other JPEG settings? In the colour and noise department the GF5 is visibly better. I do not know what is causing the pic to be less sharp. We’ll have to await RAW for that. And I think the GF5 will be hacked too within a year. If GF3 is really cheap it might be the better option, most of all as a second camera to a GH2 or OM-D.

  • Berbu

    No reason to pay extra for GF5. GF3 is fine.

    • Scotch

      waiting for GF3 with deep discount

  • JF

    Panasonic makes worse sensor at each iteration, they should stop to iterate and keep the old ones !

    • inorog

      lol indeeed :P

  • Nawaf

    I need a paper bag.

    • You should stop drinking so much ;-)

  • Roland

    I’m not surprise, the G3 and GX1 has always been softer than the old trusted 12 MP, you get better high ISO but softer output and this seems to the same case with the GF5 compared to GF3.

    Better Higher ISO or a sharper sensor ?

    Tough choice

    • Miroslav

      GF5 sacrifices low ISO a bit for better high ISO.

  • Pixnat

    Gosh, that’s shocking…
    Each new GF is worse than it’s predecessor…
    Hope this will not be the case for the GH3…

    • Charles

      at low iso gf5 seems a tad softer than gf3, however at high iso it performs better than gf3.

  • Lewis Black

    what a fail.

  • If i look at the pictures the GF5 is clearly better at high iso. The problem is that the GF5 pictures are not sharp.

    This is always a big problem when you compare camera’s. The DP Review camera comparisson app has the same problem.

  • leendert

    It looks like the subject is not in focus?

    • Maley

      Yes, it is not focused properly or too much camera shake.

  • Dossen

    Here’s the english version:

    It clearly says “pre production model of Panasonic Lumix GF5”.

    • safaridon

      Anyone wanting to compare should look at this link as the pictures look different than when viewing the same in the rumor link? In this link the GF5 is clearly far better at ISO 3200 and above and slightly softer less detail below that ISO? I don’t believe Pany is the only one to be following this trend in order to get better high ISO, isn’t that exactly what the competition NEX, EP3, etc have been doing? To get the better high ISO you sacrifice some the lower ISO range? Many of the larger higher MP sensor cameras get there by using a higher MP sensor then applying a lot of noise reduction lowering both detail and resolution some.

      Fact is most cameras can output good low ISO pictures given the appropriate range of sharpening but the differences appear at the high end. With compact small cameras with their slower zoom lenses and Ai operation good high ISO performance is even more important.

  • Yun

    Hopefully this will never happen to G5 or the very highend camera . If this so called very highend Pana camera can’t make it on par with X Pro , I prefer it does not exist at all .

  • marilyn

    LOL the GF3 is better dan the GF5 waaack

  • John Carson

    The GF5 seems better to me. At low ISO, the GF5 appears to have less sharpening but that is easily fixed. At higher ISO, the GF5 has noticeably less noise than the GF3.

    • bilgy_no1

      I agree with the high ISO being improved, but I don’t know if the difference at low ISO is only an effect of sharpening. Could well be.

  • I think the GF3 looks a little better, but only because I prefer kept detail over noise reduction. The GF3 is clearer at lower ISO, with more detail, that’s pretty obvious. As the ISO goes up it becomes less clear-cut, but to my eye the GF3 is better. Either way, there just shouldn’t even be this question. The GF5 *should* be better, unquestionably. If it were 16mp, I could maybe understand them being closer in noise profile, but with both at 12mp, the GF5 should have a much improved sensor. That’s too bad. Let’s hope Panasonic isn’t resting on their laurels and is working hard on a new 16 (or even 18) megapixel sensor.

  • Anonymous

    it’s like DEJA VU ,.from GF1 to its predecessor,..

    welcome to Panasonic world ,..its always downgrade,.every new stuff

    glad “I sold G3 & GX1 ,..I have men E-M5 on my posesion now

    • You’ll sold the E-M5 as well. Newer and newer cameras are coming. Keep the pace with camera fashion!

  • Mizu

    Is this certainly a new sensor? Isn’t it jut marketing and only the backend was changed?

  • hiplnsdrftr

    GF3 + pz 14-42 at $563 is better not even considering minor difference in image quality…

  • safaridon

    Disappointing, really? This test shows just how good the GF3 really is and with the GF5 how can one be disappointed when able to get good pictures even up to ISO 6400?

  • yep

    i hope other mirrorless companies can up their game cause panasonic is milking their lead

  • Ruhayat

    I like the people on 43rumors. We are very funny.

  • safaridon

    If you take a look at the Mobile 01 review in the next 43rumor clip there are examples of the EM5 high ISO towards the back of the review. If anything the high ISO comparisons from this GF5 are better from ISO 6400 up?

  • Julio

    The rumor host should be more carefull with comments. There’s a clear improvement in ISO performance, about one stop in the JPEGs shown by Lenstip.

    I believe the issue with the GF5 low ISO images presented by Lenstip is that they’re not in focus.

  • black_night

    A better place to check new sensor high iso

    Clearly the new sensor is at least one stop or more better. Compare the banknotes at 3200&6400 – huge difference!

  • avds

    Those shots are jpegs. Nothing to do with the sensor. No worry. The sky is not falling. No break throughs either. Exhale.

  • Alan

    Look at the Fotopolis link, the GF5 clearly has a usable 3200 setting, 6400 at a push. The GF3 is out of it’s depth here.

    Hope the sharpening / focus issue is down to human error. Seems unlikely :(

  • safaridon

    Another good hands on review for reference would be that from The pictures posted there are very sharp and they were surprised how sharp and lack of noise equal to 16 mp sensors.

    I wonder why Fotopolis chose to use a Oly wa lens on the GF5 rather than the kit Pany kit lens, strange? Ie a wa lens with its deep depth of field should have been all in focus but apparently not but the differences in lack of noise are apparent at all ISOs even at this reported at this lowest NR level?

  • Not Upgrading

    Well I guess I’m gonna continue to use my old GF1. Hope Canon finally gets in this game and shows everyone how to do it right.

  • Rudolf Remmler

    Make one in pink and barbie branded

  • Ben

    I am so glad I still have my GF1. Panny…, give us an updated m43 version of the LC1!

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