Opinion on upgrade decision (g5 vs. e-pl5)

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by tpitch14, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. tpitch14

    tpitch14 Mu-43 Regular

    156
    Mar 31, 2010
    PA
    Greetings forum,

    I'm a "new" user (coming back after a long hiatus) looking for some opinions on my next camera body. I was an early adopter to :43:, picking up an E-PL1 that has served me well over the past few years. It was a step up for me from the point and shoot world- I'm still a novice but am really interested in advancing my photographic skills. With that said, I had assembled a kit that includes the Oly 45-150 and the Pana 20 to go along with my kit lens, and have had decent success along the way.

    Now I'd like to move into a new generation of the technology, and have narrowed my choices to the G5 and the e-pl5. I have scoured the internet, looking at reviews, reading up on this forum, and have now finally got to have a hands on with both. The following is what I've discovered:

    - For the G5, I love the ergonomics, the user friendly interface, and the great detail the LCD provides. The free angle swivel is nice, but will take a bit of getting used to as a semi "camcorder" mode. I'm not 100% on having to have the built in flash and VF, they are simply nice to have for me. Some concerns I have with it are: the battery life, as I've read it's pretty poor. I also find that the touch focusing is a bit worse here than on the Oly (both are slow and noisy with the Pana 20 of course). Another thing, I don't know how much of an effect the lens OIS will have an effect on an amateur such as myself, vs. having the IBIS I've come to get used to. I've heard that it shouldn't affect the 20 too much due to the shorter focal length? Lastly, I'm curious as to what the real difference is in sensor capability between the two- is the G5 an appreciable drop off from the e-pl5, something that an untrained eye would find blatantly obvious disadvantages in?

    Now to the flipside:

    - For the e-pl5, I love the touch responsiveness of the screen in touch to focus. It seems to be quite fast compared to the G5 fitted with a similar kit lens. I've found the ergonomics to be quite cramped for my large hands/thin fingers, especially with the included grip. I have tried it with the e-p3 grip, and found that to be pretty close to what I experience on the e-pl1. I both love and hate the small size at the same time. I also find that the screen folding can be quite awkward, though useable. Speaking of the screen, there's obviously a noticeable difference in resolution, but coming from the e-pl1, anything's an improvement :biggrin:. I do find it odd not using all of the screen's real estate, but it appears to pan much more smoothly in lower light, vs the G5 which is very delayed and somewhat blurry. Of course, I know all about digging through the menu system as well on Oly's, so the SCP once accessed can provide an okay experience, but not nearly as easy as the G5.

    I guess what I'm wondering is if anyone else has gone through the same decision, and perhaps if you have any valuable input to add as a factor to my decision making process? Or owners of either can comment as well... any input is good input! I'm finding it much more difficult than I anticipated!
     
  2. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
    Ehud
    If you want to keep the O40-145 stay with the olympus.
    Otherwise i would recommend get the G5.
    Camera is not only sensor and IBIS it is also handling. The G5 is ergonomically superb probably one of the best ever built, it is very fast to focus and its IQ is very good. In real life you would not see a great difference in IQ between the Olympus Sony sensor and the G5.
    Once you have an EVF you will appreciate it.
     
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  3. tpitch14

    tpitch14 Mu-43 Regular

    156
    Mar 31, 2010
    PA
    I should also mention: I've been looking into picking up the 45 1.8 to complement either one of these. And, if I end up with the G5, probably going to the power zoom.

    I would like to shoot a variety of subjects, including: my day hiking trips, my (soon to be) newborn, my dog, family events, landscapes and vacations, etc etc. So I'm definitely wanting an all around experience.
     
  4. tpitch14

    tpitch14 Mu-43 Regular

    156
    Mar 31, 2010
    PA
    Thanks for the quick reply! If I go with the G5, I would be selling the Oly 45-150 and moving to the Pana version for sure. Keeping the 20mm though. Comparing them side by side though, I found the touch focus to lag compared to the e-pl5, and I could see myself utilizing that feature a lot... that's definitely interesting about the sensor comparison though, that's part of what I was hoping people could elaborate on for me, along with the effect of a novice used to IBIS moving away from it and onto the Pana system.
     
  5. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
    Ehud
    The OIS on the lenses, especially the POWER O.I.S on the P45-175 is very good and comparable to the OMD IBIS. The E-PL5 has a lesser IBIS then the OMD.
    Additional advantage of EVF is that it gives you more stability when using it. For hiking in a nice day you will see that you get more keepers when shooting with EVF. If you want to shot brick walls or test sheets, then pay attention to the slight advantage that the Sony sensor have, in real life the IQ difference is very small. Just look at photos submitted by people shooting with the G5 on Flicker. If these cameras are sold for the same price, then pick the G5 it gives more feature and usability.
     
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  6. tpitch14

    tpitch14 Mu-43 Regular

    156
    Mar 31, 2010
    PA
    Interesting... thanks for the feedback on the power lenses! So as far as IQ, it seems both are pretty clean up to what, 3200?
     
  7. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
    Ehud
    Another small note, image stabilization helps when you shot bellow twice the focal shutter speed. For the 20mm you need it when you shot bellow 1/40 second shutter speed. It is assumed that it gives you an extra stop for a 150mm lens you can shot safely at 1/150 instead of 1/300. If you have steady hands and using EVF, you can even get without stabilization down to 1/75 with 150mm. Or 1/25 with 50mm as the shot in the bottom.

    In the example bellow I shot with OM 135 at shutter of 1/125 without support.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ehudlavon/8298799527/" title="An old portrait by Ehud Lavon, on Flickr"> 8298799527_25edc96f89_b. "768" height="1024" alt="An old portrait"></a>

    This one with OM 50mm at 1/25

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ehudlavon/8373023069/" title="St. Peter's - Michelangelo's Pietà by Ehud Lavon, on Flickr"> 8373023069_af95c0ca69_b. "1024" height="767" alt="St. Peter's - Michelangelo's Pietà"></a>
     
  8. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
    Ehud
    The G5 is extremely clean up to ISO 3200 it is much cleaner then the G2 at ISO 800. It is also very easy to clean the RAW file in LR4, you just need to work on the white noise. Since I have this camera i have stopped cleaning the noise it is very subtle at 3200. You can notice it only at 1:1 enlargement.
     
  9. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    John Griggs
    IBIS is real important to me -- but I do love the G cameras. My daughter wanted a G1 back when they came out and that's what I got her even though I was shooting Nikon and I've been a fan ever since. I wasn't ready to change or anything, but I really liked the camera.

    I don't think you can go far wrong -- or maybe at all wrong, lol -- with either camera.

    I have an E-M5 and E-PL5 and love both. The G5's build in viewfinder would be something that might sway me if I didn't already have a VF-2 from my old E-P2 to use on the E-PL5.

    I wouldn't agonize too much. Whichever one your gut tells you is right just get it and go make pictures!
     
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  10. suntoryjim

    suntoryjim Mu-43 Regular

    111
    Feb 6, 2013
    I was recently in the same boat until I placed my order for the E-PL5 body yesterday.

    I currently own an E-PL2, which I think is an incredible camera so long as you expose to the right, shoot RAW, then use plenty of highlight recovery in LightRoom to make sure you are squeezing out every last bit of dynamic range from the little camera. I find that I no longer need to shoot bracketed HDR.

    I was also considering the G5, but chose not to for the following reasons:

    1.) Size. I need a small travel camera for an upcoming 2-week trip to Asia. The slimmer E-PL5 with body cap lens will go in a pocket quite easily. The Pany 20 f/1.7 will go on when the shooting conditions get more serious.

    2.) Dynamic range. I recently had a 2-week stint with a refurb OM-D and I was amazed at the camera's ability to handle contrasty landscape scenes. I would say on-par with my Nikon D5100. Seeing how the E-PL5 has the same OM-D sensor but in a PEN body, the choice was clear.

    Granted that I have not had the chance to test the dynamic range of the G5 for myself, I can only go with what I know.

    I am aware that the controls of the E-PL5 will leave much to be desired, but I also know that with compactness come steep tradeoffs. If I did not have the above requirements, I probably would've gone with the G5, as it has a viewfinder and a control layout that matches the muscle memory I have from my Nikon DSLR. :smile:

    What it all comes down to for me at this point in time is compactness with excellent image quality. The ideal M43 camera is still a few generations away, and by that time I will be ready to upgrade away from the E-PL5.
     
  11. tpitch14

    tpitch14 Mu-43 Regular

    156
    Mar 31, 2010
    PA
    Thanks for the feedback John! Kennett Square, eh? Not too far from me :thumbup: I wouldn't say I'm agonizing, haha, just trying to round up as much information as possible. Either one will be a massive step up from the e-pl1 I am currently using. I definitely wonder how much of an impact the viewfinder will have on me- I've never really used one save for back before my digital days.

    @Elavon- I wonder, is there a significant impact on battery life using the 'X' lenses?
     
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  12. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
    Ehud
    The ideal :43: camera will always be a few generation away. :smile:
     
  13. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    John Griggs
    Well we should get together and go shoot sometime!

    A viewfinder is great in bright light, and it makes a "3 point" connection with your body when held to your eye in both hands and I find I can take much steadier shots than using the screen.

    With both, you can use whatever suits you -- choices like that are good.
     
  14. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
    Ehud
    I don't know the impact on battery life. I use the camera with a mixture of OIS and legacy lenses and usually the battery lasts for a day out approx 300-400 pictures. I always carry with me a spare battery, I got one from eBay for about 10$. Battery is always the first accessory I get for a new camera. If you want to go on hiking trip for a few days, get more batteries they are relatively cheap.
     
  15. woof

    woof Mu-43 Top Veteran

    511
    Oct 18, 2011
    The present.
    G5 @ ISO 1600, f/4.0, 45mm at 1/50th or so (P 45-150mm) Absolutely no noise reduction, JPG out of the camera, slightly sharpened for print and converted to B&W. I am not showing this because I think it is a great piece of work, but rather the opposite. I shot this off the cuff under standard overhead light bulbs (60 watt) using the LCD. Draw your own conclusions, but the G5 works for me. Looking at how I can improve this further. Raw is one obvious way.

    I will say "Big improvement overall in the area of handling over the various PENs I have owned." Pretty close to putting the EM5 up for sale frankly since I have a lot of OIS glass.

    p1462788346-5.

    woof!
     
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  16. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    Is this just the difference between Panasonic's resistive touchscreen and Olympus's capacitive touchscreen [see the technical differences]? Other than the touchscreen response, does the Panasonic's interface seem equally "snappy"? What I'm getting at is whether the performance difference is due to the touchscreen technology or the processor. Does anyone with experience with both of these cameras have any insight?
     
  17. tpitch14

    tpitch14 Mu-43 Regular

    156
    Mar 31, 2010
    PA
    That would be fun, probably a great learning experience for me... will keep you in mind in the future!
     
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  18. tpitch14

    tpitch14 Mu-43 Regular

    156
    Mar 31, 2010
    PA
    Great point re: screen technology... I'm not sure I even realized that the Pana was resistive and the Oly capacitive... that explains a lot to me, such as why I found myself borderline mashing on the screen to change focus points :rolleyes: But interested to hear if any others have opinions as well...
     
  19. tpitch14

    tpitch14 Mu-43 Regular

    156
    Mar 31, 2010
    PA
    Also, to this point, thanks everyone for a great conversation! Very helpful thus far
     
  20. woof

    woof Mu-43 Top Veteran

    511
    Oct 18, 2011
    The present.
    I have both.

    Yes, the Panasonic takes more pressure. Quite a bit more, and if I was annoyed at it, this would be where... but only because for video this is sub-optimal. Overall this difference probably does contribute most to the feeling that the G5 is slower. I have not really tested this, but impressionisticly, once the interface HAS been activated, the focus operation really feels no slower. Remember too that this will also be a function of the lens, the amount of throw, how far out of focus it is, etc. There are a lot of factors.

    In general use I just have to remember to mash a little more on the Panny.

    woof!