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Body & Design

At a quick glance the G5 looks very similar to its predecessor but a second look reveals a number of new features and specs - both on the outside and underneath the hood. The camera body has undergone a slight redesign as has the layout of the buttons and controls. Physically, the most obvious change is a new, larger, hand grip, which makes the camera a little more comfortable to hold, and the addition of a control lever behind the shutter button which controls the power zoom on compatible lenses. Alternatively it can be configured to operate exposure compensation or aperture in M-mode. Other, more minor modifications include an aluminium front plate, a redesigned four-way-controller, a larger mode dial and a changed position of the shutter button.

The G5 is an impressively small camera given its specification, and although slightly larger than its predecessor the G3, it forms an extremely portable package when paired with the collapsable 14-42mm PZ lens. The rear of the camera is dominated by a fully articulated 920k-dot LCD screen, which is also touch-sensitive. Panasonic's touch screen implementation is pretty well-established at this point, and like the G3, the G5 takes a 'non mandatory' approach to the touch UI. If you want to use it, it's there for you, but if you prefer buttons and dials, you have that option as well, via a more or less traditional interface of physical controls.

In your hand

The G5's hand-grip is much more substantial than that found on the G3, and the new camera is very comfortable to hold. Existing G-series users will be completely familiar with the control layout, which is largely traditional, with the exception of a new customizable control lever behind the shutter button. By default this controls the zoom on PZ optics like the 14-42mm (pictured).

Body elements

The G5's main top-mounted controls are fairly conventional - shutter release, exposure mode dial, on/off switch. Direct movie recording and 'iA' buttons are positioned on the right, but between them and the shutter release is a new rocker switch control for zooming PZ lenses. It can also be assigned to exposure compensation and aperture adjustment in manual exposure mode.
The G5 features a built-in TTL flash with a respectable guide number of 10.5 (at ISO 160). The flash is released with a mechanical catch on the side of the housing.
On the very top of the G5 you'll find the hotshoe, for mounting external accessories including separate flashguns, in case you need more power than the built-in flash can supply. Just in front of this is the G5's stereo microphone.
Like its predecessor the G3, the G5 features a fully-articulating, touch-sensitive LCD screen. Resolution has been greatly increased though, to 920k-dots (from 460k).

The screen can also be turned in to the back of the camera for protection.
As well as the large rear LCD, the G5 also offers an electronic viewfinder with 1.44 million dots. Coverage is 100% and +/- 4 diopter correction is available. The small dark rectangle beneath the viewfinder is a sensor used to automatically switch between LCD and EVF live view, but the button to the left of the diopter correction wheel can also be used.
The main control on the rear of the G5 is a traditional 4-way controller, at whose cardinal points are direct access buttons for ISO sensitivity, white balance, drive/timer mode, and AF mode. The button beneath this control deletes images in playback mode and can also be customised.
The G5's battery sits alongside a memory card in the base of the camera, inside the hand grip.

First Impressions

We've not had much time yet to shoot with the G5 but our initial impressions are very encouraging. It's an enjoyable camera to shoot with and although it might not be a groundbreaking upgrade to the G3, the new sensor is very promising, and the resolution bump of the rear LCD is very welcome.

The new function lever on the camera's top plate top is useful in combination with a powerzoom lens but even with a standard lens it offers you an alternative method for applying exposure compensation in a quick way. We also spent some time trying out the new touchpad-AF feature. It's something that we haven't seen on any other camera before and while potentially useful it certainly takes some time getting used to. Depending on what eye you are using to peek through the viewfinder it's easy to confuse the system by accidentally touching the screen with your nose. That said, we'll spend some more time looking at this feature when working on our full review and investigate how to make the most of it.

Looking ahead to the review, we are keen to put the camera through our range of image quality tests and view the results next to its peers. Considering the new sensor design we would not only expect better detail at low sensitivities but also improved performance at high ISOs. The updated video specs make the G5 potentially very attractive to video enthusiasts while the new filter options should appeal to compact camera upgraders at the same time.

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Comments

Total comments: 93
12
Luminar

question, when you dont specify if it has external microphone, is because it doesnt have one?

0 upvotes
snegron2

Recently purchased a G5. Fantastic little camera! I wonder why DPreview hasn't reviewed it yet?

0 upvotes
AltairZ

My friends, I'll see a strange problem on my Panasonic G5 cameras:

When I turn on the AVCHD FHP (30p) video I get the video only 30i (interlaced) - I can see this information in a video player, but the instructions should be 30p (progressive) video ???

Check this bug at this can only NTSC version…

Comment edited 28 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
bluejaguar

I have a G5, my first M/43. I am impressed and it's the first camera since way back when I got started (30 years ago) that I really ENJOY using.

It's really strange that dpreview will be among the last, if ever, to review this camera. I used to look to dpreview as my major camera review source. No more. They need to get on the ball in general and to have a video review presence like cameralabs.com.

1 upvote
DukeN

So is there a video limit?

One of the Amazon reviews mentions a 29 minute recording limit.

This can't possibly be true in 2013 can it? This is huge for a lot of people that just like to put a camera on a tripod, start to record and walk away for events like school performances, games, etc.

Thanks!

0 upvotes
MrTaikitso

That's the fascist EU for you, and why Britain wants out! (Import duty on camcorders etc - use Google to learn more.) Sorry, posting this almost a year after your comment, but I'm thinking of buying a G5 with 14-42 and 45-150 for knockdown price in John Lewis and seeing what others think.

0 upvotes
kpadude

Currently, own G2 -seems G5 is partially moving closer to g2 in terms of ergonomics. G2 already has much of the g5 features. I love my camera, and the only thing I'm interested is picture quality and low light.

0 upvotes
Maplefoto

I WANT MY G5 REVIEW!!!!!!!!

3 upvotes
DavidF

I have the G3 and love it. In fact I just bought a second c3 as a backup and replacement. The g5 may be a nice camera but I just don't think the improvements over the g3 justify it being twice the price-- seems like a scam by Panasonic to make more profit.

0 upvotes
Mahmoud Mousef

Nah, that's just normal camera pricing on new models and run-out prices on those being run-out. This practice has been going on for years and with all of the manufacturers.

I agree; the G3 is good value priced as it is now. But a similar thing occurred when the G3 arrived in 2011; G2 was being heavily discounted at similar levels to the G3's price now.

Moral of the story: don't be an early adopter unless you have money to burn :)

0 upvotes
marike6

G5 has a better sensor (see how it did on DxOMark), build quality and LCD.

0 upvotes
Maplefoto

Hands up all those who think five months between a preview and a review is just a little bit too long.
Maybe Lars and Barney would like to comment...

8 upvotes
calisierra

When do you anticipate to post the full review ?

2 upvotes
bluerocklobster

Dpreview, are you planning on doing a full review of this camera before the next generation comes out? Is there a particular reason why the only M4/3 raw comparisons, etc. are ridiculously out of date?

3 upvotes
Greentrees

G5 compared to GH2 ..any body tested them is their any difference negative or positive any comments please help decide as they are now the same price?

0 upvotes
bluerocklobster

I would love to know too. I wonder if dpreview will ever update any of their ancient info on the Panasonic M4/3 system? I am guessing that IQ/ISO is much better on the G5 but the GH2 is a better all round camera in terms of build, functionality, etc.

0 upvotes
Graeme27

Have just come back from a month in Europe, and have to say the new Lumix G5 camera with the 14-42 power lens (I was able to purchase the kit duty-free at Heathrow) is just about the best combination I've ever experienced for travel. It is very fast to start up, has a super fast sensor and good specs. It is almost infinitely customisable with great manual controls and various auto combinations up to fully automatic. Those who wonder about the function control next to the shutter-control have evidently not had to hang on with one hand whilst trying to zoom and take a photo - it was very handy. I rarely felt the need for a larger zoom, and the quality of the finished product is great. I haven’t used the touch screen, still getting used to the HDR (needs a tripod I guess) and still learning other functions but so far brilliant. I had a G1 from early on, which has been good, but this is an even better successor and I can use the legacy lenses, although unfortunately not the battery.

2 upvotes
tom1027

Why would Panasonic only make this camera in a kit with the non-power zoom lens, while the GF5 comes in a kit with the power zoom? This is a higher camera, with the zoom control built into the camera, but they don't make it available with the power lens? I'd be interested in this camera with the power lens, but it is too expensive if you have to buy them separately.

0 upvotes
The Jacal

In France, where I live, it comes in a kit with the powerzoom, €899.

0 upvotes
Vitruvius

What would I need to use the Olympus ED 12-60mm f.2.8-4 lens with this camera and retain all functionality and weather protection of the camera and lens?

Is it the Olympus MMF-3 adpater?

0 upvotes
wuming

come on with the review

:)

9 upvotes
Valiant Thor

Hello, would someone please answer if the Olympus M.Zuiko OM-D lenses can be used with this camera? Thanks in advance.

0 upvotes
Marcin Moscicki
0 upvotes
zavart

Why can't just Panasonic -or for that matter other makers -make TRUE multi aspect sensor i.e words SQUARE ! After all we're just talking about extra 4-5mm (17,3x17,3) or 4,5mm (13,2x13,2 or perhaps slightly bigger) in case of Sony RX100 This would really allow to fully utilize the whole area of the sensor in 1:1 to 16:9 aspect. As a additional benefit You could switch to take photos in either landscape or portait mode without changing the physical position of the camera- just appropiate switch would do. This would be really something with which they could differentiate these types of cameras from DSLR, where due to their use of pentaprism and the size of the sensor this kind of thing is impossible to do!

3 upvotes
Blade Runner RJ

I think exactly the same!!! It's a wast not to do it as a square...

1 upvote
Drofnad

Nit: "Panasonic GF5 specification highlights"
should read "... G5 ... ". (to repeat a prior post's similar alert)

(-;

0 upvotes
Eskilsson

The grip is back. I like it. It`s important for me to have the opportunity to hold my cam with just one hand. That`s why I didn`t get the G3. Thank you Panasonic. Of course the price of G5 now is double against G3. Shame on you Panasonic, but I will buy it anyway...............and just hope it is near OM-D in IQ

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
John Wilkinson

No remote shutter control?

That's an essential feature, to me at least.

1 upvote
John Wilkinson

Specs updated: The G5 has remote shutter control.

2 upvotes
slncezgsi

While I prefer the design of the OM-D, but the G5 has 1.4x (0.7x effective) viewfinder magnification and the OM-D only 1.15x (0.57x effective) - that is a sizable difference.

3 upvotes
skytripper

I thought Panasonic was going in the right direction with the G3's reduced grip. The G5 may be a good performer, but it is one ugly camera—really ugly! What a shame.

0 upvotes
Panasonicus

Not much to tempt me to upgrade from my G3. Give it a year and a big price drop and then, maybe. I agree that the Panasonic 12-35mm 2.8 is too expensive but help may be on the way as Sigma and Tamron begin building DSLM lenses. I moved from a huge and heavy Canon 450d and used a huge and heavy Sigma 17-70mm 2.8-4 and it was a great all round lens. After 6 months with the G3 I am finidng the weight and size together with easy access to movie mode a massive advantage over DSLRs. The only negative I have found with the G3 which the G5 seems to address is the battery life which is appalling on the G3. 150 shots if you are lucky. I believe DSLMs will kill off entry level DSLRs and it is surprising Canon went with a bland viewfinderless offering to try to stop the drift to M43 and the Sony offerings. The market demands a viewfinder due to that bright thing up in the sky!

3 upvotes
redalien

"It sits above the simpler GF5 and below the top-of-the-line and enthusiast models GH2 and GX1."

Considering the price of GX1 and a few of the specs, it is most definitely sitting above the GX1. The business practices of Panasonic are terrible, they are driving the value down on their own products .....

1 upvote
paper1p

Capitalism at its core-best

0 upvotes
peevee1

The G5+Pana 12-35/2.8 would be a killer kit... if the 12-35 would not be so damn overpriced.

2 upvotes
peevee1

Looks like a very, very good camera with one fatal flaw - it is still daylight-only with most m43 lenses, and if there is daylight, almost any modern P&S will suffice these days. They should add IBIS already. And if it is hybrid - combining the effects of IBIS and OIS in Pana zooms - it will be a killer feature.

Comment edited 51 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
peevee1

The 6 fps sequential mode - does it fix focus and exposure, or AF and AE works, just not tracking?

0 upvotes
peevee1

DPR, you have an error in the article:
"Panasonic GF5 specification highlights

16 MP Live MOS sensor
ISO 160-12,800"

It should be G5, not GF5.

0 upvotes
jessicajp

I actually like the looks of the G5 (much more than the G3, G2, G1, GH2 or GH1). Reminds me of the new sony SLT styling (like a compact SLT). And I agree with the comments below, the viewfinder and lens have shifted to the left (like the G3) but still remain in line with each other which is to me perfect.
This one might be the right mix of features to finally convince me to upgrade from my GF1.

1 upvote
OneGuy

Looking forward to comparing the G5 pics with Oly OM-D JPEG-wise, and then moving on to comparisons with intro-level DSLRs. Having a second invader in the DSLR territory, I'll love to see m4/3 go 30+ Mpix (or Merill) on the sensor side while pushing WiFi to the limit (including video conferencing/broadcasting).

Also, improve DR (even locally) and go for improving WB without flash (quick WB rotary set knob).

Using m4/3 size and lens speed advantage, squeeze DSLR's profit margins. But of course, you must have fun doing it.

0 upvotes
BJN

The G5 isn't pretty, but I'll take function over "styling". OM-D, despite its trite homage to real OM cameras deserves credit for weatherproofing, in body stabilization, and I suspect Panasonic still falls short for in-camera jpegs.

0 upvotes
mpgxsvcd

@Richard Butler

Does the G5 allow manual video controls? There is some confusion about whether it does or doesn't.

1 upvote
tombell1

Outside of weatherproofing this looks a more practical tool than the OMD .... for a DSLR with any large lens the OMD grip is a joke

5 upvotes
eltocliousus

The grip makes the OM-D easier/better to hold than the G5, argument invalid.

0 upvotes
qwertyasdf

Any top view comparison of G3 n G5?

1 upvote
Peiasdf

Why is the EVF still aligned to the lens? What sense is that? Move the EVF to the left (viewing from back) so people can use the touch focus thing they added.

1 upvote
Klarno

Even SLRs can have the viewfinder pushed all the way to the left. But they don't do it that way. Having the viewfinder aligned with the lens is the least disturbing way of doing things for macro photography, and is the best ergonomic compromise for right and left eyed users.

5 upvotes
CollBaxter

Also when you take your eye away from the viewfinder and look up, you are seeing what in line with the lens and what the lens basically sees. With wildlife you can use the hot-shoe as a crude sight to find your target and then drop your eye to the viewfinder.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
TheEye

The finder above the lens means as close to a direct line of sight as possible. Do you see any scopes mounted next to a gun's barrel instead on top of it? ;-)

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
igorek7

But the EVF in G3 and G5 is moved to the left(!), even though it is not exactly in the corner, which is great since it's aligned with the lens optical axis.

1 upvote
Timmbits

I guess they needed to justify the extra cost of the articulated LCD... you have to justify a need for it somehow... and imitating canon doesn't cut it.

0 upvotes
Hen3ry

The moment you turn your camera to vertical -- as you often do for portraits, for example -- the VF is on the left (or right) of the lens. So much for the argument about the importance of it being over the lens axis in horizontal mode. Cartier-Bresson's Leicas always had offset VFs and he did OK! :)

I really like the look of the G5 and for my money, neither it nor the 12-35 lens is overpriced.

0 upvotes
SirSeth

Looks ugly to some below, but to me it looks like a very comfortable/practical photographic tool. Doesn't look worse than anything Canon makes. ;) The hand grip as reported is function over form (unlike so many micro grips that are small form over function). Also, for a right eye shooter it looks very nicely sculpted for us. I can even see the touch pad AF working out for right eye shooters. Left eye shooters with LCD out might work too.

What I'll be curious to find out is: 1. what will the street price be? 2. Does it have multi-aspect sensor like GH2? 3. Is the high ISO really better? 4. What battery? 5. How does video compare to GH2.

Should be interesting.

3 upvotes
yabokkie

would say OM-D looks ugly and uncomfortable and it really is. this G5 looks beautiful as a camera, way better than G3. easy to use itself means better performance (I assume the technical performance same as old models?).

3 upvotes
SamKnopf

The battery is the same as the GH2:

http://panasonic.net/avc/lumix/systemcamera/gms/pdf/g_series_system_chart.pdf

0 upvotes
Bob Meyer

Yes, the Panasonic web site doesn't show the same resultions at aspect ratios other than 4:3 that this preview shows. Please clarify. Can you actually confirm the G5 uses the multi-aspect sensor the same was the GH2 does?

1 upvote
Naveed Akhtar

WTH .. if it would have multi aspect, it would be written right under .. top features

1 upvote
bg2b

Yes, you would think so, but dpreview originally listed the resolutions as wider in 3:2 and 16:9, and still says that the sensor is 18MP (like the GH2's). Dpreview has now corrected the resolution specs, so presumably that confirms it's not multi-aspect.

0 upvotes
bg2b

Is the sensor true multi-aspect like the GH2's (as the specs here suggest)? There seems to be some conflict about the resolution in 3:2 and 16:9 modes among different sites.

0 upvotes
ThePhilips

No orientation sensor? Again??

That's ridiculous. Even cheapest P&S have them this days.

4 upvotes
igorek7

Check the official Panasonic web-page:

http://panasonic.net/avc/lumix/systemcamera/gms/g5/specifications.html
LEVEL GAUGE: Yes (Built-in 3 shaft accelerometer sensor)
DIRECTION DETECTION FUNCTION: Yes

8 upvotes
artyone

Does it have a new battery type?
I already have a few bodies that share the G3, GX1 and GF2 battery... was hoping that the G5 has the same battery and therefore avoid carrying extra chargers and more new batteries

Can ADMIN or someone confirm please

1 upvote
John Koch

Very clever of Panasonic to require different proprietary batteries, with maybe only two exceptions, for every G, GF, GX, or GH camera. How catestrophic if the industry were to converge on a few common standards, as in the case of SDHC cards or AA-sized Li-ion.

0 upvotes
igorek7

Look on official specifications and see that G5 is using a standard H-PS14042 or H-FS45150 batteries:
http://panasonic.net/avc/lumix/systemcamera/gms/g5/specifications.html

1 upvote
phototransformations

The H-PS14042 or H-FS45150 refer to lenses, not batteries. It has a 1200mAH battery, so it's probably not the same as the G3/GX battery, which I believe is 1050mAH.

2 upvotes
Bob Meyer

That's the same capacity as the GH2 battery, so *maybe* it uses the same battery as that camera. Which isn't all good, since there are still no chipped 3rd party batteries available for the GH2.

0 upvotes
artyone

Thanks phototransformations for spotting the mAH differnce. It sickens me to have a sea of different batteries to charge in the family. A quick look around the lounge just now reveals 7 cameras using 6 different batteries needing 6 chargers.. what a pain when travelling.
The new standard within the cellphone industry to aim for recharging via standard usb would be great with cameras when traveling. Just plug a mini usb into your camera from the laptop usb or a usb wall charger then charge your batteries... simple :)

0 upvotes
igorek7

I'm sorry, I've made mistake selecting the wrong line in the table, the battery is the same as in GH2: 7.2V, 1,200mAh.

1 upvote
xlynx9

"It sits above the simpler GF5 and below the top-of-the-line and enthusiast models GH2 and GX1."

How is it below the GX1? G5 has:

- digital sensor
- higher output resolution
- newer processor
- EVF
- fully articulating LCD
- 100% higher resolution LCD
- higher flash range
- faster continuous shooting
- creative effects
- more physical controls
- better grip
- touchpad AF

In the side-by-side, the only thing the GX1 wins on is having a built-in orientation sensor.
http://www.dpreview.com/products/compare/side-by-side?products=panasonic_dmcgx1&products=panasonic_dmcg5

DPR, please explain or fix.

9 upvotes
qwertyasdf

Marketing positioning.
FYI: "Marketing" and "BS" are inter-changeable words.

0 upvotes
matt_nnn

The GX-1 has a metal body.

1 upvote
Helen

I agree with MarkInSF - was about to post the same point myself. The G3 definitely has an aluminium front panel, just like the G5 has - far colder than the plastic rear half and top trim. My G3 is early production - unless they altered the build in later ones (unlikely, but not impossible I suppose).

1 upvote
igorek7

Admins, are you sure about lack of a Orientation Sensor in G5?
According to http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/panasonic-g5/panasonic-g5A.HTM

"Also new is the Panasonic Lumix G5's level gauge, based around input from a three-axis accelerometer sensor. This provides a dual-axis (side-to-side roll and front-to-back pitch) level display, helping you get level horizons and prevent converging verticals."

4 upvotes
MarkInSF

The front panel of the G3 is aluminum, not plastic, per your review and many others. The construction of the G5 looks to be essentially the same, aluminum except for the back, including the articulated lcd, and some small bits. Perfectly sensible way of building a mid-priced camera. I'm looking forward to trying one out.

3 upvotes
noegd

One of the most interesting new features vs the G3 is the silent (i.e. electronic) shutter option.

This, combined with all the other improvements (touchpad AF, eye sensor, high bitrate video...), make it a great upgrade to the G3 IMO.

3 upvotes
mpgxsvcd

If all anyone has to complain about is that this camera is not aesthetically pleasing then I think Panasonic has done a great job.

The new features on this camera look great. However, the FZ200 makes me want to rethink the whole interchangeable lens solution. An LX7 and an FZ200 would get me about 90% of what I have with my GH2 and a bag full of lenses.

Nice to have so many choices.

7 upvotes
Bob Meyer

Except for image quality. The much smaller sensors in those cameras will definitely compromise IQ, especially at high ISO or in dim light.

3 upvotes
yabokkie

Bob, you may see it from another perspective that the 4/3 and mf/3 systems don't have good enough lenses. that they won't be able to compete with 24-70/2.8 from Canon and Nikon without 12-35/1.4 ones (of the same aperture size, 24/2.8 = 12/1.4 = 8.5mm). the Pana 12-35/2.8 is equivalent to 24-70/5.6, a real joke.

2 upvotes
Aleo Veuliah

True, but you do mostly video, for stills the G5 is still better than the FZ200 and LX7, but I agree is great to have good choices

0 upvotes
BelePhotography

"The LCD now also comes with a feature that is called 'Touchpad AF'. It allows you to move the AF area across the frame with your finger on the LCD while you're framing the shot through the EVF." - that doesn't sound very practical too me. I imagine my nose being a tad bit in the way when looking through the viewfinder. A touchpad or joystick next to the screen still seems like the more ergonomical solution.

1 upvote
Gesture

GF3 has something like this. It is neat to be able to touch a spot on the LCD and the camera focuses there and takes the exposure. One of the few touch-screen innovations that appeal to me.

1 upvote
BelePhotography

Agree - but not when you use the EVF.

0 upvotes
igorek7

Excellent comparison and the camera! G5 appears to me much more convenient to work with than G3, which I already prefer over EM5. Both the thumb rest and the grip with slanted shutter button show good ergonomics. The Fn1 and QMenu buttons are very well placed. Based on the GF5 reviews, I can expect the same excitement over improved imaging quality (particularly in low-light situations) and excellent video, plus new 920k dot touch-sensitive LCD, etc.
IMHO, G5 is a first serious contender to upgrade from any other previous Micro Four Thirds cameras with built-in EVF.

4 upvotes
axelpix

Am I seeing the Multi-Format sensor finally approaching the G series?

0 upvotes
Peiasdf

No, the camera just don't read from the entire sensor surface. Max image width is still the same regardless of ratio.

1 upvote
Total comments: 93
12