Panasonic has outed its latest Micro Four Thirds camera, the LUMIX GF5, a 12.1-megapixel pocket scale shooter that refines the good work of its GF3 predecessor. The GF5 introduces a new Live MOS image sensor along with the latest version of Panasonic's Venus Engine with Multi-process Noise Reduction, together good for maximum 12800 ISO and 0.09s autofocus. It'll also shoot 1080i Full HD video.
On the back is a new, 3-inch 920k dot LCD touchscreen, doubling the resolution of the 469k dot GF3 for higher-quality previews and smoother menus. There's a pop-up flash as before, and the camera can be set to both lock focus and fire off a frame when a point is tapped on the touchscreen.
Various new onboard filter modes are introduced, including Soft Focus, Dynamic Monochrome, Impressive Art, One Point Color, Cross Process, Low Key, Toy Effect and Star Filter, and there are multiple shooting modes - including 4fps full resolution burst photography - alongside Panasonic's usual iA+ automatic mode.
Focusing uses Contrast AF, controlled by the image sensor, and the GF5 introduces full-area focusing to Panasonic's G-Series. There's also Pinpoint AF, which enlarges the point of focus for more accurate selection in the scene; AF tracking can then follow that subject around.
Video, meanwhile, is recorded in MP4 AVCHD format, with Dolby Digital Stereo Creator audio, and there's in-clip Touch AF and a dedicated recording button on the top.
The LUMIX GF5 will go on sale "later this year" in black, white and red, either at $599 with a 14-42mm standard zoom lens, or at $749 with a 14-42mm power zoom lens. If you want to get a feel for the LUMIX GF5 before it goes on sale, Panasonic has released a LUMIX G experience app [iTunes link] for iPad.