G5 - first impressions

Started Mar 12, 2013 | Discussions thread
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viorel Contributing Member • Posts: 939
G5 - first impressions

Hello people,

I use almost exclusively Olympus gear for some time now but today I get my hands on the recently ordered G5. Packed, new from Adorama, great service by the way (and good deal at 499$ body only, black version).

Well, I was going back and forth between OMD and G5 to replace my aging Epl1 and finally decided (surprising for me as well) for G5. And price difference was not the main reason.

I will not discuss here the IQ difference between OMD and G5, a lot of folks around can give testimony that OMD is slightly better in this department, and I don't intend to argue with this, I am sure they are right. However, I was putt off from OMD by 3 things, that all together were deal breaker for me:

1. ergonomy (without the grip, grip is excellent and makes it a non issue but at the expense of size and price, and I like the thumb rest but not enough to save the day).

2. bigger than decent focus box and when reducing it manually (thus occuying a Fn button) lose info on the screen. Really I am fed up by this with my Epl1.

3. manual focus assist mode which has poorer implementation than Panasonic (magnify in a box, allowing view of surrounding scene so better composition)

So, unwrapped the thing, put the batery on and here it is:

1. size, the same as Epl1, maybe a little thicker (not considering the grip). Ok for me, goes along nice with 17/2.8 in a large pocket.

2. ergonomy. Grip is a God send. Absolutely fabulous after I cramped my fingers with EPL1, a joy to use.

3. Construction (except grip that is very nice) is so-so. Feels solid but not quite to the level of EPL1. Not to say OMD.

4. Very well balanced in my hand (with m4/3 lenses). I put my ZD 11/22 on it with adapter and is very manageable, combo feels quite good. The Epl1 (that still has a sort of grip) is almost no go here.

5. the wheel on  the camera is meh. A pitty...Fells like the worst platic bag I ever touched. It's good is only the wheel...

6. LCD is excellent, although the Epl1 one is  good as well.  Absolutely love the swivel function, but I have the impression the hinge is a little bit flimsy and weak. I suspect it may cause problems with long term use but ...cameras at this price are not supposed to last long especially these days.

7. Viewfinder is good but I believe not so good like OMD one in low ligth (I have looked through it).  I have the VF2 as well and VF 2 may be a litle better but here I may be wrong, I need to do more test in good light as well. Anyway not big difference, I am happy with it

8. great menu system compared with Epl1. I am used with Oly menu system for so many years, and never used other digital camera, but with Panasonic I was really able to set up the camera parameters to my liking in 10 min. Really good job by Panasonic. Q menu looks easy to use and a thoughtfull addition, but I like the Olmpus SCP better.

9. Electronic shutter. One of the reasons I bought this camera, works as advertised (but a pitty you cannot use flash, I understand the reasons anyway...). So, thumbs up here...

10. Buttons are very ok, I like them more than those on OMD, the 3 FN physical buttons are very useful (5 would have been better but....) and the FN digital buttons 4 and 5 surprisingly useful and easy to operate.

11. Shutter sound is way louder than OMD but a little bit mutter than EPL1 (that sounds like breaking glass). Could have been better but there is electronic shutter available (I already assigned it to FN3), a real bonus.

12. AF is blistering, light years away from Epl1, no further comments here. I have the feeling that is better than OMD.

Now the battery is charging and tomorrow I'll have some pictures and perhaps post some here. Meantime I will continue to use my E1 ( great photo device) and Epl1 may find other home....

Thanks for the patience to read up to this point, and happy shooting

al the best,


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 viorel's gear list:viorel's gear list
Fujifilm X100S Olympus E-1 Olympus PEN E-PM2 Sony a7 Olympus Zuiko Digital 11-22mm 1:2.8-3.5
Olympus PEN E-PL1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5
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