getting used to G5 after E-PL1 (ease my doubts!)

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by kingduct, Oct 12, 2013.

  1. kingduct

    kingduct Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 12, 2013
    About 2 years ago I picked up a cheap Olympus E-PL1 and was wowed by how good digital cameras had become. I later bought the pair of 19mm and 30mm Sigma lenses when they were really cheap in January and loved them as well.

    Last month, I sold my camera and the kit lens and, on a limited budget, I just bought a G5 with the 14-42 kit lens and the 45-150 zoom. I knew that the G5 had some disadvantages vs the E-PL5 in terms of image quality in low light, lack of camera body image stabilization, camera jpegs, and size, but I also knew that dollar for dollar it had a lot of extras that the Olympus didn't (for $400, I got the camera with the two lenses, and of course there's also the viewfinder, the built-in flash, the screen, and the nice grip). By my accounting, even though I felt I wouldn't like the G5 as much as I would an E-PL5, it should definitely please me more than the E-PL1 did.

    Some of the tradeoffs in this have worked out OK for me. The size of the camera is fine -- besides the grip and the viewfinder, the camera is basically the same size as the old E-PL1, and that's plenty small enough for me. Also, while the image stabilization would be really nice, I find that if I combine usage of the electronic shutter and the viewfinder, I'm able to eliminate a fair amount of the movement when I use my Sigma lenses. I also have Lightroom and got the Huelight colors, so the jpeg issue seems like it shouldn't be a problem.

    The thing is, I still just don't have the warm feelings about the photos I'm getting out of the G5. I'm not sure if it's just psychological or not. I do know that the sensor should be somewhat better than the old camera's, but the pictures don't seem as nice as the E-PL1's, especially at low light. I'm also not as excited about the colors, even after getting the Huelight profile.

    I guess I have a few questions:
    1) I'm new to Lightroom. Should I expect to have to tinker much with each photo to get colors right? I'm fine with post-processing, but not if it means a lot more work than doing it in the camera. Essentially, I want to be able to import my RAW files, have Lightroom do the heavy lifting, and I might tweak a photo now and then (as I used to do with my E-PL1 jpegs).

    2) Anybody else make this switch from the E-PL1 to the G5 and have similar doubts? Did they go away with time?

    3) When using a non-OIS lens like the Sigma 30mm indoors, are people able to take sharp pictures with the G5? Do the electronic shutter and the viewfinder help with this enough?

    Thanks and hello to everybody. I hope to be on here from time to time, though I'm usually a lurker (I've been reading all about various configurations people have for their G5s).
  2. dadadude

    dadadude Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 12, 2013
    San Carlos, CA
    Well I don't have the E-PL1 but I do have the EP-2 and a G5. IMO there is no comparison. The G5 is so much easier to use. The G5 EVF is light years better than the Olympus VF-2 that I have. The menu system is far easier to navigate. Manual focus is way easier also. As far as image quality I think the G5 is far better with higher ISO settings than the Oly. On the other hand regular daylight shots come out beautiful with the standard settings on the EP-2 and have a warmth and richness that is lacking at times on my G5. Obviously the Olympus EP-2 metal body feels far more sturdy than the the plastic G5. That being said I reach for my G5 most of the time. Just stay at it and I'm sure you will come to enjoy it.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. jhawk1000

    jhawk1000 Mu-43 Rookie

    Jun 30, 2013
    I have both the E-PL1 and the G5. I like so many things of the G5 such as the EVF, the articulated screen, the menu but I do not like the straight out of the camera jpegs. The Olympus has really great jpegs and the G5 does not. I have started using RAW on the G5 which is kind of a problem since I do not like the converter with the Panasonic and although I have and use Lightroom, it is not my first choice as a RAW converter. I am liking the G5 more and more as I use it more.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    As I own both a G5 and an E-PL5 with a VF-2, I have to take issue with the comment that the EVF of the G5 is light years better than the VF-2. IMHO, the VF-2 is slightly superior to the G5 in terms of image, and the fact that it's tilt-able and interchangeable onto other cameras makes it superior from my perspective. I do prefer the shooting ergonomics of the G5, but certainly that's NOT because the viewfinder is better, it's because the grip and the controls are better. One thing is, Olympus' JPEGs straight out of the camera are superior to Panasonics. I suggest that you tweak the settings and see what strikes you best. For RAW image quality, the G5 is superior to the earlier sensor Olympus cameras.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. M4/3

    M4/3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 24, 2011
    Alot of us (including me) have learned the hard way not to buy a camera based on "good specs" alone. Real world output is what counts and some of us feel the real world output of the E-PL1 is very, very appealing despite its low price and lowly "specs".
    • Like Like x 1
  6. kingduct

    kingduct Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 12, 2013
    Thanks all, thus far. I do like the disagreements. One thing I certainly think that's happening with me is that before using the E-PL1, I was using a Fuji F10 compact camera, a nice camera for its size and time, but the difference between the two was night and day. Obviously, the difference between the E-PL1 and the G5 is not startling in that way and I think that's a part of my lack of enthusiasm thus far.

    M4/3, while I agree with your statement, some of the specs certainly do have value -- the G5's size is fine, the EVF is really nice, the focus speed is definitely better, the screen is way better, etc. Those all have real value because while they may not make the camera's output better, they help me do a better job in the first place as a photographer.

    At the same time, there is a certain feel to any tool that is hard to evaluate without using the tool for a while. And is there really any way to do that without buying? I suppose you can rent or borrow, but that's about it. I was with a musician friend yesterday and he agreed, discussing how you can get a new instrument that objectively sounds better, but it takes time using it before the musician is as comfortable and performs as well. I believe I'm in that phase right now with the G5.

    I do still wonder about how much work people really put into post-processing.
  7. M4/3

    M4/3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 24, 2011
    The only alternative to renting or borrowing that I know of is to take an SD card with you to a camera store and use it to shoot some RAW and jpeg photos of a camera model you are interested in and then take the card home to spend time reviewing the images on your computer.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 5, 2013
    I started out with the E-PM1 and think that the Oly had very nice OOC jpegs. I was not happy with the handling nor focus ability of the E-PM1, however, and when the G5 was on firesale on eBay, I picked one up very cheap. I have read so many posts about people not being pleased with the G5, but I have to say I am loving mine. I have hardly touched the E-PM1 since I got the G5. In fact, I made myself take the E-PM1 out to shoot with it today and wished I had the G5 while I was out because I was trying to take some photos of some moving objects and the G5 just handles those things so much better.

    As far as taking sharp pictures indoors, I have never tried the electronic shutter. I took this recently with the O45 indoors, no flash, and actually used the LCD instead of VF because the angle was just much easier. It is sharp enough for me.

    <a href="" title="P1010598 by dynasportfxdx, on Flickr"> 10126017845_026b19be99_b. "1024" height="768" alt="P1010598"></a>

    And another
    <a href="" title="P1010597 by dynasportfxdx, on Flickr"> 10126155713_5a0a609da1_b. "1024" height="904" alt="P1010597"></a>

    And I am only shooting JPEGs. I do sometimes boost saturation in PP because I like more saturated colors than most. I probably ought to check out boosting the saturation in the camera settings, but so far I am just doing it in iPhoto. I use iPhoto because I have it and I am lazy when it comes to PP. So, while I do tweak the jpegs out of the G5 more than I did out of the E-PM1, it is not much and doesn't take much time at all and sometimes I don't even bother with that.

    But I have learned that different people have different standards and tastes, and what I am happy with others may not like.
    • Like Like x 2
  9. kingduct

    kingduct Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 12, 2013
    sample images

    Again, I'm just trying to figure things out. Here are a couple of photos I've taken with the Sigma lenses. You may notice that one of my issues is that I have speedy subjects!

    The indoor baby photo is with the G5, Sigma 19mm at f/2.8, ISO 1250.
    The outdoor doggy photo (in the shade) is with the G5, Sigma 30mm at f/3.2, ISO 160.

    Other than a bit of adjustment of the tones and contrast, I've done nothing to the pictures (though obviously they're exported at small sizes for upload here).

    Oh, and the take the SD card to the store is a good idea -- maybe next time. Of course, my local camera store doesn't even carry Panasonic :( .

    Attached Files:

  10. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    I don't have a G3, I have a G5 ... and an e-pL1 ... and some other stuff, plus the Sigma 30mm.
    For indoors the e-pL1 will destroy the G3/G5 for the simple bounceable flash in the e-pL1. For non-flash my e-pL1 is destroyed by its awful high-ISO noise ... choices, eh?

    Match that bounce flash with the Sigma 30mm which in my experience is the fastest-focusing lens in dim indoor conditions that I own. Bingo.

    Outdoors the e-pL1 Jpegs have lovely colour,
    my G3 is nice too but I let it take RAWs too for the nice highlight ceiling.

    The EVF in my G3 is nice and so is my VF-2.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. kingduct

    kingduct Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 12, 2013
    The camera is growing on me. I wonder, anybody got good suggestions for default sharpening of G5 raw files in LR? It seems like that may be a big part of my problem here (since I'm pretty happy with the Huelight colors typically and don't have problems with exposure).
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