Spoiled by a sensor....(G5 vs GH3 (and GH2))

Started Apr 13, 2013 | Discussions thread
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jalywol Veteran Member • Posts: 9,296
Spoiled by a sensor....(G5 vs GH3 (and GH2))

I've had the GH3 for a couple of months now, and, due to this interminable winter, I have not had a chance to get out and really give it a useful workout.  So far, there have been things about the IQ that I have found remarkable, but I'm still tweaking the settings to get the jpgs exactly right (I use RAW + JPG, so I do like the JPGS to be very good OOC.)  I can't wait for there to be some colors outside other than brown, white, and grey to work with.... This process took me several weeks with the GH2, and I expect it to take much less time with the GH3 since the color rendition is much better overall OOC than the GH2s was.

That being said, I decided last week to get a G5 as my second/small body. Since I really still liked my GH2, but had sold it while the market was good, I thought the G5 two lens kit on special made some sense to get.

Well, after evaluating the G5, I realized that, while it is a very, very nice camera in many ways, it was not going to work for me.  I've already been spoiled by the capabilities of the GH3 sensor...High ISO and lower light color retention is remarkably better on the GH3, and the DR difference in dark areas of the photos is not insignificant.  This is not to say the G5 is a bad camera; it's actually quite competent and has excellent native color rendition to boot.  However, the GH3 sensor is just that much better that I found, after using the GH3 for a while, I was expecting more from the G5 than it could give.

Other pluses and minuses of the G5:  EVF is good; seems to be very much like the one in the G3.  The one in the GH2 was a bit better (less rainbow effect).  Rear LCD was quite nice, although after using the capacitive one in the GH3, the resistive one in the G5 felt a little old-school.  However, it was nicely responsive, and bright with good color rendition (far better than the LCD on the GH2).

G5 focus speed was remarkably fast; it was a very zippy performer overall.  No complaints whatsoever there.

The G5 grip was a pleasure to hold.  I have small hands, and while I find the ergonomics of the GH3 pretty impressive, I wish the grip on it were just a hair less wide.  The G5 had a very enjoyable grip for me, and I would score this as a plus for this camera.

Coming from the GH2 and GH3, I found that I wanted a few more direct controls on the G5.  However, there were enough programmable buttons that I could have adapted to this very quickly.

There was one single ergonomic problem for me, however, that trumped all of the other positives of the camera, and that was the thumb wheel action.  I've been used to the GH2 thumbwheel (click to shift between aperture and exposure compensation adjustment).  I had really taken to that method of camera operation, and found the two wheel setup on the GH3 a big adjustment as a result, so I was looking forward to using it again on the G5.  Unfortunately, where the click wheel is located on the G5, it is very difficult to keep a good grip on the camera while moving your thumb all the way to the right to change the settings, AND the wheel is very stiff.  What this does, at least on the camera I had, is requires you to push a bit on the wheel to both hold on to the camera AND turn the wheel at the same time.  No problem right?  Well unfortunately, if you apply pressure to the wheel when you turn it, you end up clicking it into the other mode...Now, I might have had a particularly sticky/stiff to turn wheel, but I found this to be unuseable for me.   IF they had had a way to shut off the push-to-switch-mode action, I could have lived with it, but I was finding that every time I went to change aperture, I would end up clicking it into exposure compensation instead...and swearing at the camera as a result.   Sure the little exposure compensation lever they put behind the shutter is an excellent option, but if only they had made the click wheel function able to be shut off and used strictly for aperture (or shutter speed) control, it would have solved all the problems with the click wheel operation.

So, the long and short of it is, the G5 is a very nice little camera which just did not work for me.

I'm going to wait and see what they come out with down the road (maybe a rangefinder style with the GH3 sensor?....that would be PERFECT).

YMMV, as always.


Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3
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