G5 first impressions and pics

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by Pim, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. Pim

    Pim Mu-43 Regular

    As some of you may know I received my Panasonic G5 last Friday, see https://www.mu-43.com/f43/ordered-my-new-camera-today-surprised-myself-33498/ for the how and why, and as promised hereby my first impressions.

    Ergonomics (important reason for me to pick the G5): very nice indeed, the body is still small but the grip is perfectly formed. Buttons seem to be at the right place, especially the AE lock, and the power switch which is easy to operate with your thumb. All in all I have to say for me it is the best formfactor yet from any Mu43 camera so far. Sure the GH3 wil very likely be nicer still but at a price (size and cost). This is a camera that can work fine with the smaller pancakes, but slightly longer and heavier lenses (such as the upcoming 35-100 2.8) will be nicely balanced still. For me personally no Mu43 camera works really well with bigger lenses without tripod or battery grip, but for those of us who want to have a smallish camera that will handle nicely with the current native lens collection the G5 is definitely a good choice.

    Build: Despite a lot of plastic the camera feels very nicely put together, buttons have a solid feel with a good action (not squishy at all). The body feels solid, at about 400 grams (including battery) it seems to hit a sweet spot, good cross between weight and solidity.

    Interface / menu: Untill now I have not needed to look at the manual at all, the camera seems very logically laid out, menus are pretty much self explaining. With most menu options you get some explanation at the top of the screen, although this scrolls at an annoyingly slow space, still a nice touch.

    Features: The camera offers all the regular features I need for day to day use. Direct contols are readily available (direct ISO & WB button for instance, and 3 fn buttons, although one of those doubles as AE lock, so if you want to keep that one, as I do, you are left with 2, still enough for me actually). The swivel screen is very nice for those non standard shots. Talking about the screen, this is a 920k dot version, very sharp and punchy indeed. The viewfinder is very good, even for me as a glasses wearer it is still easy to see the entire picture, especially if you select the view mode with the information (Aperture, shutter speed etc) underneath the screen rather than inside. One special feature that comes to mind is the electronic shutter, which is supposed to also reduce camera shake. I did not really notice a difference to be honest, but I did not perform a scientific test yet. I can see this feature being very handy though when shooting your kid's schoolplay, or a wedding ceremony, or inside a church etc, as the shutter sound is greatly reduced to an almost inaudible level. One comment, when using the electronic shutter ISO is limited for some reason to 1600.

    Picture quality: Early days of course, as I only had one afternoon of shooting so far, and that in rather dull weather. Still I think I got some very decent shots, also with higher ISO, 6400 looked usable, if processed correctly, but my Lightroom version does not support the G5, so I only shot Jpeg today.

    Anyway, in summary I can say that so far I am very happy with the camera. For me it is a perfect compromise between size and usability, and features and IQ seem to be more than sufficient for me..

    Attached some shots I took today, the color ones are pretty much OoC Jpegs (only resized, some slight adjustments in exposure and contrast due to the dull wetaher today, and a border added), the B&W ones are Jpeg's converted in Silver FX. All pictures taken with the 14-45 kitlens.

    P1000134.

    P1000204-2.

    P10000661.

    P1000189.

    P10001411.

    P1000062.

    P1000103.

    [​IMG]

    P1000102-Edit.

    P1000156-Edit.
     
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  2. Spuff

    Spuff Mu-43 Top Veteran

    652
    Dec 5, 2010
    Berkshire, UK.
    I manage the 100-300 on my EPL1 just fine without any support other than my two hands.

    Anyhow, those photos look very nice.
     
  3. Pim

    Pim Mu-43 Regular

    I guess you are probably a little more stable than me..:) With the larger zooms I prefer some more grip on the camera, but that is personal of course. For me even the 40-150 when zoomed out becomes a bit of a challenge on my E-PL3, maybe I should stop drinking...:)

    I would add that the viewfinder helps for me as well, I find I am more able to hold the camera steady using the viewfinder rather than holding it at arms length. Again, personal preference...
     
  4. Dalton

    Dalton Mu-43 Veteran

    329
    Jan 24, 2010
    Portland, Oregon USA
    Dan Ferrall
    Congratulations!

    You seem to be doing nicely with your new camera. In my experience, the more I internalize the ergonomics with my user habits, the better the results seem to be for OOC jpegs. The results were pretty nice even starting out with my G5, but I am getting used to where things are in the menu system which is different from my Olympus experience.
    Dan
     
  5. Pim

    Pim Mu-43 Regular

    Yes, I think our system has reached a point where all camera's are capable of excellent results, whether they be the small PEN's or the bigger Panasonic GH series (and everything in between), so for me selecting a camera is largely decided by other factors as well, such as viewfinder, ergonomics etc. Those are the things that drove me to the G5, for other people it might be things like weather sealing, burst rate, availability of battery grips etc.. To each his own of course, it is great that we have so many choices nowadays!
     
  6. JoeV

    JoeV Mu-43 Regular

    85
    Aug 22, 2012
    Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
    Joe Van Cleave
    Nice images, Pim. I'm enjoying my G5 also, finding it a nicely balanced and well-engineered system, evidence of much refinement over the preceding 4 years of this format's life.

    Regarding the e-shutter, I did some informal comparison tests while at my local cigar lounge, shooting in dim indoor light, and found I got sharper results handheld with the e-shutter than the mechanical shutter at shutter speeds below 1/100. The results were easy to see by zooming in on the review images on the LCD, they were that obvious. However, in even dimmer lighting I might be tempted to go with the mechanical shutter just to be able to up the ISO to maybe 4000, where the resulting faster shutter speeds might deliver sharper results.

    ~Joe
     
  7. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    You seem to be doing just fine with the JPEGs, but if you want to give RAW a go, Lightroom 4.2 RC (release candidate) is a free download and has support for the G5. Thanks for sharing your impressions,

    DH
     
  8. Zertyvansy

    Zertyvansy New to Mu-43

    i dont own a g5 but from looking this awesome pics i am certainelly looking to have this panasonic camera. just wanna know what is the m,arket price of this camera and any site which provides additional disount on purchasing this camera????
     
  9. BigCTM

    BigCTM Mu-43 Regular

    44
    Feb 16, 2012
    Looks like a great camera...I want one!
     
  10. napilopez

    napilopez Contributing Editor

    826
    Feb 21, 2012
    NYC Area
    Napier Lopez
    Thanks for your impressions! I have a G3 and did not at all expect to want to upgrade, but holding one in store, I was amazed by how perfectly comfortable the camera felt in my hand. I had no issues with G3s firm factor... It just feels like the G5 has perfected it. The 1+ dynamic range improvement is also extremely tempting since I tend to shoot a lot of scenes in harsh lighting.