Panasonic skips a number, goes straight to the GF5

Panasonic has launched a new model in its Micro Four Thirds range of cameras, but instead of following up the GF3 with a suitable “4” model, the next camera will actually be the GF5.

Last year, when Panasonic unveiled its GF3, we had a play with it and loved what Panasonic had done, effectively making a compact and versatile interchangeable lens shooter. Less than one year later, the refresh is here, bringing with it a few updates and a redesigned sensor.

Similar to last year’s model, the GF5 will feature a 12.1 megapixel LiveMOS sensor, redeveloped for better low light capabilities and featuring what Panasonic claims is minimal noise even at ISO 12800.

Panasonic still loves its touchscreen technology in the GF5, and while the 3inch size hasn’t changed, you will get a clearer screen in the new model. Focusing can still be handled by touching the subject on the screen, and the GF5 will even offer 4 fps burst shooting.

Most notably, Panasonic has added more creative modes – monochrome, low key, toy effects – and a scene guide showing you different shots by professional photographers to nail the closest settings to what you’re after. This mode will also offer advice and suggestions on the lenses needed to accomplish what’s being asked, essentially giving you a seasoned photography teacher in the palm of your hands.

Sadly, Panasonic hasn’t sent word of a price yet, but we do know that it will be available in July, one year after it released the GF3.

You may have noticed that the new model isn’t a GF4, a name you may expect after last year’s 3-themed model. It’s not unusual for Asian companies to jump over the number four in its products thanks to the number being severely unlucky thanks to its resemblance with the word “death”.

Canon skipped over the fourth product entry in its G series of advanced compact shooters, and we’re not surprised to see Panasonic do the same with the GF5.