Is my G5 working right?

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by Tcroly, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. Tcroly

    Tcroly New to Mu-43

    Mar 19, 2013
    I just purchased a G5 with the 14-42 kit lens and the 45-150 tele on the great deal now being offered for $543. I am moving up to micro 4/3 from a Canon G12 and Panasonic FZ30 both of which have served me well.

    Upon recieving my new G5 I began testing in great excitement to prove the better image quality my new kit would provide. Immediately, I could see the better high ISO performance and overall cleaner, less noisy image produced by the G5. But then I started pixel peeping and looking for better sharpness and resolution and have been severely disappointed.

    In every test I have performed, shooting dozens of differnet test subjects, the images from the G5 look soft when viewed at 1to1 when compared to the images from my G12 and comparable to the my old FZ30. A simple test was to shoot straight down at my grass and the detail of the blades of grass are much much sharper throughout the frame on the G12 compared to the G5.

    Shooting a mountainside landscape from a tripod I again find the pixel peeped images from the 10MP G12 to be more detailed and sharper than those from my new 16MP G5. The FZ30 images are on par with those of the G5.

    Now here is my question. When using the EVF and manual focus on the G5 I get this zoomed in preview to aid in focusing. This image looks razor sharp, but the image that gets recordeded is much softer than this preview and while I cannot say it looks out of focus, it lacks detail and makes this 16MP image look about the same as the 8MP image from my FZ30. So, am I being too critical or should the image captured be as sharp as the zoomed in manual focus preview looks?

    As another example, looking 2 miles up the mountain through the EVF and manual focus aid with the 150mm tele, I can clearly see cows legs standing in the field. Then I click the shutter at 320 f5.6 and the image captured make the cows just look like specks of black against the green field, and trees loose the definition of the branches that I can see while focusing and record as just blobs?

    I really like the features and ergonomics of the G5 and my 53 year old eyes really like the EVF. I want to love this camera, but I truly cannot understand why my G12 is able to surpass it in every image quality measure except noise. Any thoughts to help me here?
  2. svtquattro

    svtquattro Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 24, 2012
    Vancouver, Canada
    Hmm, what settings are you using? JPEG I assume? Which preset? Vivid or Custom with sharpness turned down? iResolution on what setting? So many configurable options!

    That being said, I just got a G5 too, and still am not totally convinced. I have an E-PM2 that gives me gorgeous OOC JPEGs and sharper too (with the same lenses).

    Still messing around with settings to find what I like. Please share some samples, I'm very interested as well!

  3. Tcroly

    Tcroly New to Mu-43

    Mar 19, 2013
    I started off shooting the standard default jpegs and then tried bumping up sharpness to+2 and reducing NR to -2 to see if I could sharpen things up a bit. But that had little affect on the lack of sharpness I am seeing. I haven't really done much with the other modes.
  4. tdekany

    tdekany Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 8, 2011
    Are you sure that the image stabilization is on with the 14-42?
  5. Tcroly

    Tcroly New to Mu-43

    Mar 19, 2013
    Tested with image stabilization on and off, no difference and using electronic shutter with no difference in sharpness. I did learn that you have to turn off electronic shutter if you want to use the flash.
  6. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Try a sharper lens, or shooting raw and sharpening appropriately in post processing. Also, are you stopping down, shooting wide open? Kit lenses in particular tend not to perform best at maximum aperture (wide open)
  7. Tcroly

    Tcroly New to Mu-43

    Mar 19, 2013
    I have no doubt that better lenses would result in sharper images and post processing can result in better images than the in camera jpegs, but my real question is, Shouldn't the camera be able to capture the sharpness I can see in the viewfinder when the manual focus zoom in is activated? It would seem to me, that if the camera is showing me this level of sharpness and resolution in the viewfinder, this is exactly what the sensor is seeing. So why does this image quality not record onto the memory card?
  8. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    No, because your files out-resolve your viewfinder by a large margin. Downresolve anything, and what you get is an apparent increase in shaprness. There may also be some post-processing happening to make focussing easier (aggressive sharpening).

    Posting a few examples would certainly help.
  9. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    I shoot G5 and I was initially disappointed as well since I had to shoot JPEG because I hadn't upgraded to Lightroom 4 at the time. Panasonic is very heavy on NR (noise reduction). If you shoot JPEG turn it way down and turn up sharpness. After adjusting in camera the results were better. I post processed them further and was satisfied with the results.

    <a href="" title="Christmas walk5 by Vincent-F-Tsai, on Flickr"> 8307627803_99094c2fa9_c.jpg "800" height="600" alt="Christmas walk5"></a>
  10. woof

    woof Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 18, 2011
    The present.
    Will you post a couple of samples so that we can see the photos and perhaps check exif, etc? This would allow us potentially to make some suggestions.
  11. Rhelbling

    Rhelbling Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 18, 2013
    I am new to photography and have been loving my G5, however I do agree I would like to increase the sharpness of my images. I shoot jpeg (for now at least), your settings will increase my sharpness?
  12. colinhester

    colinhester Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 17, 2013
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Colin Hester
    Just got my G5 a few days ago. Have not looked at images at 1:1 yet. Have a few hunded test pics to sift thru. Hope images are not soft.....C
  13. Wasabi Bob

    Wasabi Bob Mu-43 All-Pro

    Use TIF

    If you are serious about sharper images and pixel peeping, shoot in RAW and save to TIF. JPG adds tons of compression, which is loss of detail. Personally, I view whole photos. Thank God women don't look at their diamonds under a microscope - think of all the flaws they would see!
    • Like Like x 1
  14. xxjorelxx

    xxjorelxx Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 11, 2012
    MD, USA
    When I still had my G5, this was something I noticed as well but never paid much attention to since the pictures turned out well once I got them off the SD card. For some reason the images I took always looked better on a computer screen than on the G5 LCD screen... Still a great camera though, just have to play around with settings that work for you.