Panasonic G5: don't like it

Started Jul 14, 2013 | Discussions thread
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sigala1
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Panasonic G5: don't like it
Jul 14, 2013

A photo taken with the Panasonic G5 and included kit lens. Click through to see full size original. Did not use any sharpening.

This is a review of the G5 I obtained yesterday.

Before I am accused of being biased against Olympus, let me point out the G5’s good points:

  • A lot easier to hold than any other m43 camera.
  • The strap lugs don’t get in the way and aren’t annoying
  • I like the focusing system a lot better. The 23-area focus shows you multiple area that are in focus, which helps you better understand what the camera is focusing on. And the spot-auto focus is a great implementation as well.
  • You can view a histogram and level at the same time in the viewfinder.
  • Kit lens is very sharp (if you are lucky to get a good one)
  • NO PURPLE FRINGING! As Anders W figured out, Panasonic has figured out how to make purple fringing go away by using a very strong internal UV filter (equivalent to Wratten 2E) covering the sensor. And that also prevents purple flare.

But besides those good points, this camera sucks.

  • First of all, it looks and feels like a DSLR. This violates the spirit of m43 which is smaller and less conspicuous cameras. You could use a Rebel SL1 and get a real optical viewfinder.
  • Kit lens feels really cheap; has the worst-feeling zoom ring of any lens I have ever used in the history of photography.
  • The shutter is the loudest of any m43 camera I have used. The E-M5 is the softest. (I know that there’s an electronic shutter option on the G5, and maybe the loud shutter is why they had to put it there, but a rolling shutter will ruin photos in which anything is moving.)
  • The touch “sensitivity” of the LCD sucks compared to Olympus cameras. (OK, I know that Panasonic fixed this with the GF5 and G6, but it’s a reason for why the G5 sucks.)
  • Also, the fully articulating LCD may SOUND like an advantage, and it is for studio photography using a tripod, for when you are wearing the camera around your neck, the Olympus swiveling approach is actually a lot easier to use.
  • MISSING LIVE-VIEW SHADOW & HIGHLIGHT BLINKIES. This is the best part of Olympus cameras, and makes it easy to avoid blown-out highlights.
  • The thumb-wheel sucks. Very hard to turn. The wheels on the Olympus E-M5 are “A” quality wheels, Panasonic has an “F” quality wheel. I like the wheel on the back of the E-PM2 over the G5 wheel that sucks.
  • I don’t like the buttons on the G5 either. I’m not a fan of the mushy buttons on the E-M5, but Olympus had to make those buttons mushy in order to be weather-sealed. What’s Panasonic’s excuse? The E-PM2, Olympus’ cheapest camera, has better buttons.

I assume that the G5 can take great photos if you can get the correct exposure, but it’s not an enjoyable or as easy a camera to use compared to Olympus. And the big DSLR-style body makes it a lot more conspicuous if you are taking pictures in places where you’d rather not be conspicuous, such as bad neighborhoods or where there are officious security guards nearby.

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