Size and weight are big decision factors when you are trying to find the ideal camera for your needs.
In this section, we are going to illustrate the Nikon L31 and Panasonic GF5 side-by-side from the front, back and top in their relative dimensions. Nikon L31 has external dimensions of 96 x 59 x 29 mm (3.78 x 2.32 x 1.14″) and weighs 160 g (0.35 lb / 5.64 oz) (including batteries). Panasonic GF5 has external dimensions of 108 x 67 x 37 mm (4.25 x 2.64 x 1.46″) and weighs 267 g (0.59 lb / 9.42 oz) (including batteries).
Below you can see the front-view size comparison of the Nikon L31 and the Panasonic GF5. Nikon L31 is clearly the smaller of the two cameras. Its body is 12mm narrower, 8mm shorter and 8mm thinner than Panasonic GF5. As you can tell, actually this is not a fair size comparison since Nikon L31 has a built-in lens but Panasonic GF5 doesn't. Once you put a lens on GF5, its thickness will increase significantly.
Now lets look at the top view comparison of Nikon L31 and Panasonic GF5.
Weight is another important factor, especially when deciding on a camera that you want to carry with you all day.
Nikon L31 is significantly lighter (107g ) than the Panasonic GF5 which may become a big advantage especially on long walking trips.
Again, this comparison may not be very useful in real life as we are comparing the weight of a camera with a built-in lens to the body-only weight of an interchangeable lens camera. Once you put a lens on GF5, the total kit will weigh much higher.
Unfortunately neither the Nikon Coolpix L31 nor Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5 provides any type of weather sealing in their bodies, so you have to give extra care especially when you are shooting outdoors. If weather sealing is a must-have feature for you, check these sections: Top Compact Cameras with Weather Sealing Top Mirrorless Cameras with Weather Sealing
LCD Screen Size and Features
Panasonic GF5's 3.00" LCD screen is slightly larger than Nikon L31's 2.7" screen.
Unfortunately, both cameras has fixed screens so they don't tilt or flip in directions.