© The Author(s) 2015. Published by ECS. The defect structure of HVPE-GaN crystals is examined using synchrotron white-beam X-ray topography (SWXRT) and topography results are interpreted and discussed in comparison to reciprocal lattice point broadening from high resolution X-ray diffraction (HRXRD) measurements. Two as-received commercial HVPE-GaN wafers from two different vendors and one HVPE-GaN which was grown on an ammonothermal GaN-seed are investigated in this study. To our knowledge SWXRT large area back-reflection analysis of HVPE-GaN grown on an ammonothermal GaN seed has been performed for the first time. From large-area topography the formation of a cellular defect network is identified for the commercial HVPE-GaN. Large differences in the crystal lattice misorientation deformation (mosaicity) are determined for the different samples by transmission section topography. For the HVPEGaN grown on an ammonothermal GaN-seed a very low defect density was ascertained. From the contrasts of the topography threading screw-type dislocations and threading mixed-type dislocations were identified. The X-ray topography analysis shows clearly and for the first time that the nature of the defect structure and the low density of ammonothermal GaN seeds can be transferred by HVPE growth of GaN.