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Ergonomics and use of the G5 much Improved

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by Robstar1963, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. Robstar1963

    Robstar1963 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 10, 2011
    Isle of Wight England UK
    Robert (Rob)
    Went out today to use my G5 for the first time
    The camera is a considerable improvement on the G3 in terms of Ergonomics IMO
    The grip is much more tactile and being larger and contoured is much more comfortable and secure in the hand.
    The shutter button is much more comfortably placed at an angle on top of the grip
    It falls nicely under the index finger with your hand being able to stay comfortably on the grip without having to twist your index finger backwards slightly to put that finger on the shutter button as you had to on the G3.

    The video button is in a far better position behind the rocker switch and your index finger falls easily and naturally onto it

    The touchpad facility is superb especially whilst using the camera for Macro photos today
    With the screen folded out to the left of the camera and looking through the viewfinder you guide the focus tracking window around the screen using you thumb of your left hand
    With insects and other moving macro subjects today I was able to track their movements and highlight my focus point quite easily and accurately with this facility - manual focussing and swaying back and forth to get the subject in focus now seems to be unnecessary although close focussing with the Leica 45mm lens was a bit hit and miss with low contrast subjects - the system refusing to lock onto some close subjects rather than those in the background - so there will still be a place for alternative methods of focussing
    The touchpad provides the ability to move from one focus point to another quickly and accurately from one subject to another or part of a subject to another

    I went out today on default settings and haven't had a chance to explore the more detailed settings as yet. Pinpoint focussing using the touchpad would seem to be ideal for macro and will try that as soon as I get the chance again
    • Like Like x 2
  2. nagual

    nagual Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 25, 2012
    Looking so forward to mine sometime in october. How do you find the battery life so far?
  3. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    thanks for sharing the experience

    looking forward to seeing your works!

    could you provide some shots showing the multi-aspects feature?
  4. carpandean

    carpandean Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 29, 2010
    Western NY
    Have you ever tried a GH2? If so, how does the G5 grip compare with it? I actually found the GH2 grip to be a little too narrow where your fingers wrap around it.
  5. gcogger

    gcogger Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    May 25, 2010
    I guess it depends on the individual but, for me, the G5 grip is nicer to hold than the GH2. It's a little wider, and shaped to fit the fingers better than the GH2.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. napilopez

    napilopez Contributing Editor

    Feb 21, 2012
    NYC Area
    Napier Lopez
    I feel like the Touchpad AF feature has been seriously underappreciated. Granted, I haven't used it yet, but to me this is actually the most exciting feature!
  7. Kiwi Paul

    Kiwi Paul Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 15, 2011
    Aberdeen Scotland
    One thing I can't understand is why Pany don't adopt the AEL/AFL lock function Oly and other brands use where you 1/2 press the shutter to lock, recompose and the camera displays the settings then you click to shoot, with Pany you have to press a function button to AEL/AFL lock then half press the shutter to set exposure or focus then press to shoot, just seems an extra step for no reason or more awkward than it needs to be.

    • Like Like x 1
  8. Robstar1963

    Robstar1963 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 10, 2011
    Isle of Wight England UK
    Robert (Rob)
    I agree absolutely
    This is the feature that sold the camera to me after trying one in a store when it was released and is the one feature I wished the G3 had
    I was very lucky to get one at a very special price otherwise I would have had to wait for the price to drop
    Used it some more today. It is so easy to change focus points with the touchpad. Being able to do so looking through the VF is so instant and accurate !
    I appreciate that you could do all this with the LCD on the G3 and other similar cameras but to be able to do so whilst looking through the viewfinder is such a revelation especially if like me your eyes are deteriorating a little.
    There was no way that I could make effective use of the touchscreen focussing ability of the previous Panasonics as I could not see the images and focussing points effectively or pearly enough on an LCD
    I would urge anyone considering a new M4/3 body to try this camera and this new feature out if you get the chance
    It is the one feature included so far that stops me bouncing from Panasonic to Olympus and back again because Olympus has IS versus the features of Panasonics
    This has outweighed for me the concern at not having ICIS and for once I am happy to commit to one camera (but only untill the GH3 comes out perhaps ?)
  9. Robstar1963

    Robstar1963 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 10, 2011
    Isle of Wight England UK
    Robert (Rob)
    I have a GH1 and had a GH2 for a while and find that the grip on the G5 is far more comfortable.
    This is because the grip is contoured and much more tactile
    The grip on the GH1 and 2 always felt too hard / rigid and somehow cramped
    The shutter release being on top of he grip at an angle also contributes to the increased comfort and feel as it falls much more naturally to hand as your index finger has to be lifted back less to hit the shutter button compared to the G3
    As I've already mentioned on other threads the video button is also vastly improved from the G3 being behind the rocker switch and again falls much more naturally to hand
    I would urge anyone who liked the G3 and who is considering the upgrade to consider trying one out
    Re battery life - I'm not sure how much better it is yet but I will try to note the longevity
    The larger battery (from the GH2) should be better
    Re the 'multi aspect sensor question - the sensor is not multi aspect - when you switch aspects the mps drop from 16mp for 4 by 3 to 14 and 12 (I think) when changed to 3 by 2 and 16 by 9 respectively
    • Like Like x 2
  10. napilopez

    napilopez Contributing Editor

    Feb 21, 2012
    NYC Area
    Napier Lopez
    This is not completelyyy accurate, but I understand your complaints, as I had them as well. The thing is Panasonic cams do lock exposure in addition to focus with a half-shutter-press. At least my G3 does The difference between the G3 and my old E-PL1 is that the E-PL1 actually showed you the exposure preview, whereas the G3 does no such thing unless you use a dedicated exposure lock button. Why they don't at least have an option to make this work as you'd expect, I have no clue.

    Indeed. While I fortunately have great eyesight, I still use viewfinder most of the time; I just like it more. The touchpad AF sounds a great way to set your focus point almost as fast as you could by just tapping on the screen normally. It's one of those small "why didn't I think of that!" genius strokes.
  11. foxtail1

    foxtail1 Science geek & photo nut Subscribing Member

    Dec 30, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    I agree that the ergonomics are much improved on the G5 (compared to my G3), and I'm getting used to the changed button locations.

    But I have a small gripe. The little door that says HDMI has a tab that sticks out right on the back edge of the camera:

    View attachment 227241
    tab by foxtail_1, on Flickr

    When I grip the G5, with my finger in the indent, that tab sticks into my palm! It really bothered my hand while I was out shooting this afternoon.

    I checked my G3, and, although the tab is there, it didn't bother me. The problem with the G5 is the improved grip — it shifts that tab so it's right where it rubs my hand. With the G3, it tended to hit where my hand was bent around the camera, if that makes sense. Anyway, I never noticed it on the G3.

    I imagine that this is due to my smaller hand size (though my hands are not all that small), and I'll deal with it. I think it's going to mean that I'll have to hold the camera a little lower, with my hand at more of an angle. Since I'm having to adjust already (to get used to the new shutter position), I'll just have to train myself to hold it differently. (Or, sand the tab down flush with the camera body:cool: )
  12. arad85

    arad85 Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 16, 2012
    Huh... It works as expected here. Half press the shutter button, exposure and focus are locked and I can move the camera elsewhere and they are fixed. Same on a G3 too...

    What annoys me is that aperture and shutter speed aren't memorised in the custom modes when I've saved them from a fully manual mode - grrrrrr....
  13. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
  14. foxtail1

    foxtail1 Science geek & photo nut Subscribing Member

    Dec 30, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Chuck, it's an Op/Tech SLR wrist strap OP/TECH USA SLR Wrist Strap. I prefer a wrist strap, though I do have the Utility strap OP/TECH USA Utility Strap - Sling — with the connectors, it's easy to switch from one to the other. My only problem with it is that the neoprene can get hot on my wrist, but I prefer that to risking a dropped camera.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Kiwi Paul

    Kiwi Paul Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 15, 2011
    Aberdeen Scotland
    AFL means only the focus is locked initially you can then recompose and the exposure is set once you are ready, AEL is the same but locks the exposure initially, the way you are describing means both focus and exposure are locked at the same time.
    I use it a lot so I can focus on something in the foreground then set the exposure for the whole scene.

  16. arad85

    arad85 Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 16, 2012
    I have the AFL/AEL button on the G5 (yes, it's in exactly the right place on this camera!) set as AEL only. If I want to set the exposure, I press the AFL/AEL button when the image is framed correctly for the exposure I want. I keep it held and can then focus with the shutter button whilst keeping the exposure fixed. I can focus/recompose as much as I want - the exposure is fixed whilst I have the button held.

    I'm not sure what more functionality you'd want (other than to be able to focus first, select exposure second which you can do by selecting the AFL/AEL button to be AFL only)?
  17. Uberkul

    Uberkul Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 15, 2012
    Wilseyville, CA
    A few observations from another G5 user.

    I have worked with the G5 long enough now that I can hopefully add to this discussion. I haven't seen a "what I want the G6 to be" thread so a little is added here as well.

    The camera seems perfectly capable as a general use still photo tool. For sports I would still go DSLR. I don't shoot much video since it takes so darn long to edit well and post.

    Right hand ergonomics are foiled by the shooters palm placement. White balance being the most affected. Recess those controls or even better make the camera a little bigger to accept a bare area for the palm well. It appears the GH3 went with a raised palm pad to eliminate this issue.

    While we are making the camera bigger lets get some camera body available below the rear screen to allow for a camera plate with anti-twist lips. Really Right Stuff won’t make a model specific plate for the G5 for this reason. Looks like the GH3 will have this issue as well.

    Flash sync faster than 160th of a second please.

    Make the horizontal control dial harder to press in to change functions. Exposure compensation is very difficult to adjust without going into the second adjustment when in aperture or shutter priority mode. The front toggle (for X lens focus) is a more precise way, until you put a X lens on it.

    Three button pushes and a toggle to delete a picture. How about just two trash can button pushes?

    SD card formatting without having to dive so far into the menu. Make it an assignable function or quick menu item.

    This camera needs to be bigger. The GF and GX can fill the need for a pocket-able camera. The G and GH series need to fill the pro, semi pro and enthusiast niche.

    Please let me know if you have a work-around for any of these issues.
  18. RichA

    RichA Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 28, 2012
    GH2 grip is unervingly slippery

    Compared to the finish grip on the older G1 and G2's. Just one reason I switched to the OM-D.
  19. woof

    woof Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 18, 2011
    The present.
    Paul, I think I know what you are after, because this is exactly my use case.

    It can be done. The setting names are sub-optimal, but you set it up this way:

    1. Setup menu: AF/AE Lock - "AF"
    2. Setup Menu: AF/AE Hold - "ON" (optional... AF becomes sticky until AF/AE button released
    3. Setup menu: Fn Button Set => Fn1 - "AE One Push AE"

    The naming for item 3 stinks, because it AE here is a misnomer.

    My testing shows that under this configuration, you take the following actions.

    A. Place center point on subject
    b. Press Fn1 to focus (locks focus)
    c. Recompose. Exposure is NOT locked and changes as you recompose.
    d. (Optional) Half press to lock exposure (as when averaging or just giving yourself some flexibility where exposure different enough that you want to compensate).
    d. Shoot...

    This has already become second nature.

    Method 2 is far less fluid, but you can simply use the touch focus or touchpad to get the same outcome. I've gotten good enough with the touchpad to be dangerous here.

    The real use case for this method however is where you are on a tripod and do not want to use the recompose method. Works fine in this situation, and the AE/AF lock button in that case is also helpful in that you can lock down focus but meter for the scene.

    Hope this helps.

  20. harry_s

    harry_s Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 19, 2011
    Wiltshire, UK
    So glad I read this, I have the exact same issues with the G5, they're almost a deal breaker for me.

    A recessed 4-way controller and the option to switch off the 'press to change exposure' on the rear dial would make all the difference (although the dial itself could be improved, it's a pretty poor effort.

    The best workaround I have for the controller is to switch it to AF priority, at least then the AF point just moves when you brush the controller, not a range of WB settings etc.
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