Giving up on my G5.

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by snegron, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. snegron

    snegron Mu-43 Regular

    May 9, 2013
    SW Florida
    Disclaimer: I am not a troll. I am simply a frustrated (soon to be) ex-G5 user who has lost his will to use his "more-complicated-than-necessary" G5. I have absolutely no intention of hurting anyone's feelings.

    I have had my G5 for about 3 months now. I have come to the conclusion that it is not for me. I have owned several Panasonic cameras in the past (FZ-50, LX3, TS-1, TS-3) and I have been happy with all of them. Unfortunately I can't say the same about the G5.

    I have tried to get a sharp picture but it has been impossible. Yes, I have two kit lenses (14-42 and 45-150). I also have the adapter to fit Nikon lenses and I have used several of my classic Nikon manual focus prime lenses without success.

    These are my problems:

    - The digital manual provided by Panasonic has to be the worst design I have seen in years. I have experience being frustrated with poorly written, anti-user friendly manuals, but Panasonic takes the cake with this one. A camera with so many (too many) features should at least have an index or a search function. Panasonic lets you click on to a select few items from its table of contents, but you have to scroll through every page in the hopes of finding what your looking for (good luck trying to find out anything about "iDynamic"). Would it really have killed an actual forest had they chosen to print a detailed instruction manual ? Did they really save any money hiring some amateur to do their electronic manual? Was it worth saving a few pennies yet creating a frustrating experience for the end users (namely me)?

    - It is impossible to get a sharp picture from my G5 (straight out of the camera without the need for PP). The jpegs are soft. They shouldn't be. I get sharper results from my much cheaper Panasonic TS3; the sharpness of my LX3 jpegs really blow my G5 out of the water by a long shot. I have tried adjusting settings including lessening NR, increasing sharpness, etc., but the sharpness of my images pale vastly in comparison to my old LX3. I shouldn't have to shoot RAW to get a sharp jpeg.

    - The whole argument over how I'm getting soft images because I'm using cheap kit lenses makes no sense to me. Unless these lenses came with petroleum jelly smeared on one of its inside elements, they should be able to produce sharp results at some aperture. I tried all apertures; all the results were soft. I tried shooting with my manual focus Nikon lenses (24mm 2.8 AIS, 35mm 2.0 AIS, 50mm 1.4 AIS, 50mm 1.8 AIS, 105mm 2.5 AIS, etc. ) and the results were the same. I was considering getting another (better?) lens like the Panasonic 20mm, but I am not motivated to spend any more money on this system.

    - This camera would be perfect if had two things; less features and better IQ. The G5 feels great in my hands; it is the perfect size for the perfect travel/daily use camera. While I know many tech-minded folks like to play with lots of features, I think Panasonic went overboard with the G5. Had they focused (no pun intended) on a simpler camera with less functions/sharper images straight out of the camera it would have been the perfect camera. Again, this goes back to my gripe about the instruction manual. If you are going to make a complicated camera with a zillion functions, why not make a truly detailed instructional manual to go with it? Frustrated folks (like me) won't spend anymore money on future Panasonic products because I don't have the time or energy to decipher a cryptic instruction manual.

    - WB is also inaccurate. If there is any type of mixed lighting, my G5 produces extreme color differences. That pretty much kills low light shooting for me.

    - Selecting AF is a slow process. It's not that the G5 is slow to focus; the problem is selecting the focal point. It is equally frustrating to select AF point through rear touch screen than through the viewfinder using the rear selector button.

    - I really wanted to like the G5. Really, I did. I did my research and decided the G5 was the way to go. I now find myself with a complicated camera which is frustrating to use, impossible to get sharp images.

    I appreciate all the help everyone here has offered throughout my previous posts. I wish there was some way to get this camera to work the way I had hoped it would. Unfortunately the more I use it the more frustrated I get. At this point I'm debating whether to sell my G5 with its two lenses and Nikon lens adapter or tossing it in a drawer and wait to see if my kids ever develop an interest in using it someday. :frown:
  2. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Real Name:
    Sorry to hear you are very dissatisfied with your G5. I agree the G5's JPEGs look horrible. I have no idea what Panasonic did to it but my old G2's JPEGs blow it out of the water. I shoot RAW so it does not affect me and am in fact extremely happy with my G5. If you shoot JPEG you are really at the mercy of the manufacturer.

    Have you considered Olympus? Everybody talks about how great Olympus JPEGs are.
  3. snegron

    snegron Mu-43 Regular

    May 9, 2013
    SW Florida

    A few years ago I tried an Olympus EPL2. I ended up returning it because it had some serious issues (battery overheated, front grip peeled off, images were soft).

    I'm going to do some more research for my next camera. I'm looking into Fuji, maybe give up and go with a Nikon D7100.

    My problem with shooting RAW with my G5 at this time is that I'm using an older OS (XP) and an old version of PP (CS2). The only ACR update available for CS2 does not include G5 RAW files; I would have to get a newer version of Photoshop. To do that I would have to upgrade to Windows 7. That would be too much of an expense for me at this time.

    I have ACDSee Pro6, but it is cumbersome to use; very unintuitive, also freezes up and crashes XP frequently. I also have a newer version of DNG converter that works with G5 RAW files and CS2, but it takes hours to download a few files.
  4. DoofClenas

    DoofClenas Who needs a Mirror!

    Nov 9, 2012
    Traverse City, MI
    Real Name:
    Why not use the free raw converter to dng so that you can still use cs2? I know it's an extra strep but...
  5. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 1, 2013
    Try out lightroom, its free and there are great videos on how to use it. It will change your photography more than any camera.

    *Disclaimer - I HATE Adobe :)
  6. afrat

    afrat Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 21, 2013
    Los Angeles
    I recently purchased a G5 from Amazon and the first few images I took were JPG's, and they were soft and smudgy. I switched it to RAW and they have been tack sharp. I actually like the way the noise is rendered in high ISO's too. I am using the 14mm prime, but just purchased the 14-45mm and hope to see the same results. I would say the issue is with shooting JPG's. I haven't shot JPG's since I bought my D70 over 8 years ago.
  7. snegron

    snegron Mu-43 Regular

    May 9, 2013
    SW Florida
    Actually, that is how I was able to open RAW G5 files with CS2. It is painfully slow though! I wish there was a way to select individual images within a folder instead of having to select the entire folder for RAW to DNG conversion.
  8. snegron

    snegron Mu-43 Regular

    May 9, 2013
    SW Florida

    Thanks! Unfortunately I need Windows 7 to run the new version of LR. I'm currently using XP.
  9. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    Since when has lightroom been free?
  10. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    Real Name:
    To unleash the full potential of the G5, or Panasonic in general, is to use RAW. If you are looking at out of the box jpeg - Fuji is the way to go. IMHO.
  11. Dalton

    Dalton Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 24, 2010
    Portland, Oregon USA
    Real Name:
    Dan Ferrall
    Not my experience...

    I owned a G5 for about a year and had no such issues. My jpegs were very sharp and if I used the custom white balance the colors were quite good. I had no problem with the menu navigation. I tweaked the in camera jpeg settings and got very nice image IQ.

    The only reason I went with a newer model Olympus was because I wanted better DR at higher ISO settings.

    You also said you had soft jpegs from a M4/3 Olympus model.

    Your frustration is not consistent with what I have seen from other users of the cameras you are so unhappy with. I think that perhaps you should move on from the M4/3 world and take a run at some other camera system altogether.

  12. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Real Name:
    It's a total pain when a camera just frustrates you.

    I would suggest you might try the free Adobe DNG converter. That should get you to a point where ACR will open them. If you have some funds the current version of Photoshop Elements runs on XP and has the current ACR engine. There may even be a trial so you can have 30 days to see if it works for you.

    I can say the current Olympus cameras make some lovely files (jpeg and raw) with a big step up in sensor quality from what you have now. The Fuji x series cameras are also excellent. I've just picked up an X-E1 and so far, so good.

  13. snegron

    snegron Mu-43 Regular

    May 9, 2013
    SW Florida

    Prior to m4/3 I have been using Nikon DSLR's for years (D1X, D70, D70s, D200). While I shoot only RAW with my D1x and D200, I shot jpegs with my D70 and D70s. There was a notable difference between the two; the jpegs of my D70s were much sharper than the ones I got from my older D70.

    I don't know if m4/3 is the problem or not. I get sharper results from cameras with smaller sensors (LX3, TS3) and also from larger sensors like the ones in my Nikon DSLR's. I'm guessing these m4/3 cameras I have used have not been designed for optimal jpeg shooting. That would be a shame because their smaller size makes them perfect travel/daily use cameras.

    I'm reluctantly leaning toward going with a Nikon D7100. Problem is I believe there has to be a way to get sharp jpegs straight out of the camera with my G5.
  14. psycho-squirrel

    psycho-squirrel Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 17, 2012
    Vancouver Canada
    Real Name:
    I am very happy with my G5, no problem at all getting sharp photos. Sorry about your difficulties but maybe there is a better camera for you, that fits your tastes and works for you. The best camera is the one that gets used, so no worries if you have to dump the G5 for something else. Just make sure that whatever you pick next suits your style & needs.
  15. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 1, 2013
    Nothing wrong with Lightroom 3, though you'll have to use a DNG converter though.

    Free to try, its how they get ya, I should have been more clear!
  16. redington

    redington Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 28, 2012
    Can you post some examples? I'm tempted by the G5 and I'm curious what your soft pics look like. Sorry for your hassles. I'm on an EPM1, my experiences are a bit inconsistent (some good, some bad) with that camera.
  17. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    Sorry to hear that. I don't know if there's something wrong with your particular camera example. As a former LX3 user I will say that looking back on LX3 images I am still very impressed with their sharpness. I think LX3 will easily outdo most DSLR kit zooms like the 14-42. Again, I don't know if that was the issue in your case, but it's usually not a fair comparison.
  18. Nevski

    Nevski Mu-43 Rookie

    Jul 20, 2013
    I'm having similar issues with my G5 with same 14-42 and 45-150 kit lenses.

    Major issues is not sharp pictures. Another is hot pixels during long shutter exposure during night photography (60 seconds)

    Positives are great ergonomics, great minutes, great features - if it wasn't for washed out pictures it'd be almost a perfect entry model.

    WB is inaccurate, but that can be worked around.
  19. DeoreDX

    DeoreDX Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 13, 2013
    I find this interesting. I found using the LCD as a touch pad the fastest and easiest way to select an AF point with your eye on the viewfinder on any camera I've ever used. One of the best features of the camera IMHO and would love to see that implemented on my nikon bodies in the future. Different strokes for different folks I supposed.
  20. burdickjp

    burdickjp Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 25, 2013
    My wife has the G5 and is having user interface issues. The thing is just not terribly intuitive for her. I'm normally rather good at picking anything up and figuring it out on the spot, and I have trouble with it as well.
    There's also a few things with it I just don't at all understand.
    A good example: arbitrary auto ISO limits. Why can't I set the ISO limit any higher than an arbitrary number when the camera is capable of higher?

    Not that I'm saying it's any better, but I think she'd be happier with an OM-D E-M5. It at least operates like a camera.