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First Impressions of Panasonic GM5 (coming from OMD EM5)

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by hazwing, Mar 13, 2015.

  1. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    Australia
    I've had my Olympus OMD EM5 for a couple of years, I've enjoyed using it but there have been some quirks about it that bothered me and I was looking forward to the EM5 II. When the specs for the EM5 II came out, I didn't see a huge reason to upgrade and instead decided to consider a smaller second body.

    I guess it doesn't come any smaller than the Panasonic GM range, so it was a toss up between the GM1 and the GM5. The GM1 has been going second hand for a pretty good price and includes an inbuilt bounceable flash (albeit only at a max flash speed 1/50s). But in the end I decided to pony up the extra money for the GM5... I could see the benefits of the extra buttons, dials and EVF.

    Here are my first impressions after having the camera for two days. Hopefully I can update my thoughts as I use this camera more.

    -This camera is small. I makes the 17mm and 45mm lenses look big in comparison
    -The camera is so small, I'm still trying to figure out a way to hold the camera comfortably.
    -I'm still going through the panasonic menus, getting used to the panasonic UI, learning to customise the camera. But so far customisability has been good. I like the customised Q menu and the extra soft touch Fn buttons on the screen. Gives you fairly quick access to everything you need. The olympus SCP is arguably better, because it gives you access to more settings, easily. However I found there were really only a few settings that I would regularly access in the SCP anyway.
    -Would be good if the movie record button is customisable as well, but it isn't.
    -The C mode on the dial is great! Coming from Olympus Mysets that you need to menu dive to get to, it's a huge improvement.
    -I'm having fun with the Wi-Fi feature. It was quick and painless to setup. I can see myself using it to upload photos to social media (via my phone). Using the remote function saves needing to bring a shutter release. And dare I say it, it can be handy for selfies.
    -I'm finding the dials a little stiff. Hopefully I will get used to it.
    -The EVF is there - it's not great, and I prefer to use the LCD. But it's there for the times when it too bright to use the LCD. Also I find I get more stability using a EVF.
    -I think I will miss the IBIS in the EM5. Now my Oly lenses are unstabilised :(
    -I'm glad they have auto ISO in Manual mode. For me that was a downside of the panasonic GX7
    -Never used a camera with focus peaking before. I don't tend to use manual focus much, but I guess it's good to have. It's sorta hard to see the focus peaking sometimes, but I changed the focus peaking colour to bright green and I'm finding that colour easier to see now
    -I was playing around with the manual focus mode. It's good that you can still get it to autofocus in the focus box by pressing the soft touch button on the LCD. I can see this being a potential focus lock/back button focus technique. If someone could tell me how to do proper back button focus that would be great.
    -Would be great if they could fit in the small bounceable flash that is in the GM1, but I guess there is only so much room available in the small body. I don't see myself bothering to use the included flash attachment.
    -Has a panoramic mode which seems fairly standard these days. However my EM5 didn't have this feature.
    -I can see AFF (instead of AFS) mode being useful. I've currently switch over to see how well it works. On the EM5 I would only be using AFS mode.
    -I don't get AFC mode... It just causes my 17/45mm lenses to jitter back and forth. Will test with other lenses to see how it goes

    Still some features and menu options I'm not sure what they mean... will need to dig into the manual to figure out what they actually do.

    I have a few other questions if anyone can help.
    -One thing I miss is the live highlight/shadows alert in the EM5. Is the zebra pattern a similar thing, but only shows highlights?
    -I have the Oly 17mm 1.8 with manual clutch mechanism. When I activate the manual clutch the focus peaking automatically activates, but the enlargement box doesn't. Is there a way to get the enlargement box to also auto activate?
    -I haven't been able to figure out how the AEL lock yet. Probably simple, but I'm just missing it atm.
    -Is there meant to be an auto HDR mode in this camera? Can't seem to find it atm
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2015
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  2. DaveInPA

    DaveInPA Mu-43 Regular

    57
    May 2, 2012
    Bucks County, PA, USA
    Dave
    hazwing,

    I made the same decision as you. I was looking forward to the EM5II...but didn't see a reason to upgrade my EM5. I have a Canon EOS-M that I have been using as a "walk around" camera...but when Canon announced they weren't bringing the new EOS-M3 to the US, I decided to sell it (and my Pentax Q7 system) and get the GM5 so I have one lens system to invest in.

    The silent shutter mode on the GM5 is pretty good. It allows you to take pictures with no focus assist light or shutter sound. This will work well for sneaking pictures of my daughter without her knowing she's being photographed...easier to get natural expressions that way.

    I did pick up a custom grip from Richard Franiec: http://www.kleptography.com/rf/#camera_lumixgm1. It really helps with handling...I like it alot.

    I'm also trying to figure out if there is a live highlight/shadows alert. I'll post again here if I find anything on it.

    Dave
     
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  3. gravijaflare

    gravijaflare Mu-43 Veteran

    218
    Aug 28, 2014
    A planet called Gaia
    same here. decided to get the gm5 instead of the e-m5 II to have a small setup (gm5 + 15mm) i can bring when the e-m5 + 12-40mm seem excessive for the day's photographic needs. :)

    i was also interested in making use of the 15mm's aperture ring, and it's a good thing the gm5 has auto iso, unlike my other option, the gx7.
     
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  4. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    The lack of auto ISO in M mode seems to bother some people but I can't understand why. I only use M mode for bulb/live time/comp shooting and in those circumstances auto ISO is the last thing I want.
     
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  5. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    Australia
    Auto ISo in manual mode allows you to 1. set the aperture for desired amount of DOF 2. set the shutter speed to avoid subject movement 3. allows the camera's metering to automatically decide what ISO you need to be at, to get the "correct" exposure. It's almost like using aperture priority mode mode, but ALSO allowing you to control the shutter speed as well (instead of allowing the camera to decide).

    Some people also want exposure compensation with auto iso in M mode. The reason for this is because sometimes the camera metering does not get it right (or what you think is right), and you want to +/- exposure compensation to control this. E.g. if it's an overcast day and the camera consistently underexposes due to the white sky, you might want to add exposure compensation.
    Personally I think if you can access ISO easily (e.g. to a third dial) - adjusting your ISO is like adjusting your exposure compensation, so exposure compensation feature (in M mode) while nice is not as critical to me.

    It was this article that first introduced me to the idea of auto ISO in M mode:
    http://www.dpreview.com/articles/0206161199/an-in-depth-discussion-of-m-auto-iso-for-canon-slrs
     
  6. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    Australia
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  7. My problem also. Any solution?
     
  8. proximal

    proximal Mu-43 Regular

    28
    Jun 28, 2011
    I picked up a GM1 this week to go along with my EM10 so we're kind of in the same boat.

    It's worth noting that Panasonic's focus peaking implentation is much better than Olympus's is at the moment. Olympus only uses black or white as a peaking color (this is changing in the new EM5 II/EM1 firmware update, iirc) and it's much more difficult to see. Also, pulling the focus ring to manual on the 17 mm lens won't automatically bring up peaking on the Olympus like it does on the Panasonic. Really bizarre, since the 12-40 2.8 has the same type of manual focus ring and it does bring up peaking on Olympus bodies.

    The HDR mode is only available if you are shooting jpg only (not raw + jpg). This is different from Olympus, where HDR is applied to the jpg but a normal raw file is also recorded.
     
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  9. siftu

    siftu Mu-43 Top Veteran

    633
    Mar 26, 2015
    Bay Area, CA
    siftu
    Just FYI I have the em5 ii with the current firmware and you can change the color for peaking to white/black/red/yellow. You can also have MF assist mode where you can automatically turn on peaking and magnify when you use the focus ring. This was also possible on the em10 which I have but yes it's peaking color is limited to black/white
     
  10. proximal

    proximal Mu-43 Regular

    28
    Jun 28, 2011
    Yes it does, if you use the AF+MF setting where you rotate the focus ring while the camera and lens are in AF mode. I'm talking about putting the lens into full MF mode by pulling the focus ring back. With the 17 mm, pulling the focus ring to manual doesn't automatically bring up the MF assist mode. It does come up with the 12 mm and 12-40 mm; there are discussions about it here and here.
     
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  11. siftu

    siftu Mu-43 Top Veteran

    633
    Mar 26, 2015
    Bay Area, CA
    siftu
    ok fair point. I just have the 12-40 out of those listed and knew it worked on that. Back to the normal thread :)
     
  12. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    Try something like the Richard Franiec grip for the GM1/GM5, they're great.

    http://www.kleptography.com/rf/#camera_lumixgm1
     
  13. D MATIC

    D MATIC Mu-43 Regular

    144
    Jul 18, 2012
  14. JoFT

    JoFT Mu-43 Veteran

    360
    Nov 11, 2014
    Stuttgart
    Johannes
  15. D MATIC

    D MATIC Mu-43 Regular

    144
    Jul 18, 2012
  16. JoFT

    JoFT Mu-43 Veteran

    360
    Nov 11, 2014
    Stuttgart
    Johannes
    One sample for shooting off camera flash with the GM5: p1227974083-6.

    But the problem with the limitation of 1/50s shutter speed is obvious. you cannot blur the background...

    The shots were taken for the following blog: www.vorld.tv
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2015
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  17. JoFT

    JoFT Mu-43 Veteran

    360
    Nov 11, 2014
    Stuttgart
    Johannes
    unfortunately not, but i posted one shot using the setup below. Another one from this series is the following: p1227986873-6.

    I do not carry flashes with me. Normally but in some cases I do. In this case: It was the 560 EXIII which I recommend because the RC controller is build in which is very handy. The "IV" does not make sense - the TX controller is much smarter - due to my taste...
     
  18. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    Australia
    I posted this a while, back... I've been using the GM5 a little more lately, maybe I can post some updated thoughts

    In answer to your question, I couldn't find shadow alerts in live view. You can use the zebra function to show highlight alerts. I set my zebra function so there's only one zebra (100%) instead for two (default). It means less button presses to toggle.
    You can also turn on a highlight alerts that flash black/white on the playback screen.
     
  19. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    Australia
    I still haven't jumped on any grips yet, keep meaning to though. Still trying to decide which one would work best for me.

    Do you find the having the grips result in less accidental touchscreen activation? I find I often accidentally brush the screen and set focus point some where I don't want.
     
  20. battleaxe

    battleaxe Mu-43 Top Veteran

    I didn't realize the GM5 had panoramic mode. I thought like the GM1 it lacked that feature. Now, I am a bit irked the GM1 lacks it, seeing as firmware update could possibly give the GM1 such feature?