Panasonic G5 - Review and User Experience - Part 1



I wondered about getting the G5. Even though I've had 2 G3's, I've always been somewhat disappointed with that model with regard to handling. However I can report that the G5 is a great improvement as far as I'm concerned. I thought I would like the new shape and the remodelled grip, and I do. Panasonic have finally realised that photographers have fingers and they can be quite useful in holding and operating a camera.

Here's a few other comparisons with the G3.

Overall the body is somewhat "chunkier". Its slightly bigger in all directions, which is moving in the right way as far as I'm concerned. 

Screen looks sharper and brighter to me and the menus have been redesigned.

There has been some repositioning of buttons, including a new rocker switch which functions like a wheel. Most of this seems better, but I'll have to try it in practice. There is also yet another battery, bigger than the G3's. So yet another charger. Ho-Hum!!

Overall I like the body a lot better in ergonomic terms, but then it wouldn't have been difficult to improve on the G3.


I won't spend much time on this as its virtually identical to the G3 and GX1. 

So up to now a decent upgrade. But for me the killer feature is what I mentioned yesterday. The speed of the AF and the electronic shutter, making ultra-fast, ultra-quiet photography possible. Now unless I've missed something the electronic shutter only works up to ISO 1600. I will have to check this, but if that is so then it makes it somewhat less useful. However, it is a real example of good useful technology rather than this toy / gadget / gizmo nonsense that we often get presented with, and are expected to salivate over.

So initial impressions are very good. I'll go more into how the camera works in the real world in the coming days and I suspect I'm going to have to make a video to show the shutter and AF in action.

All of this of course bodes well for the upcoming GH3, which with its rumoured weather sealed body should be another step forward. For me the G5 is moving in the right direction, away from the miniturisation wars that Panasonic seemed to be having with Sony. OK the GH3 is apparently going to have "apps" and "android" and some such fluff, but so long as it doesn't interfere with the picture taking, thats OK. Plus I'm sure it can be turned off.

So another step forward for m4/3 I think and overall I'm pretty pleased about recent developments. 

Finally no-one will be particularly surprised that I've re-bought an OM-D.

Because of various deals and the time factor I bought this for pretty much what I sold my first one for. At the time I did need to raise some money for the D800's I bought but I really did get rid of my OM-D E-M5 too early and I've regretted it since. Long time regular readers also can't have failed to notice this heavy investment in m4/3 gear and will probably be suspecting that I may be on the verge of doing what I've wanted to do for the last three years. However they will also suspect that I'm pretty impulsive about things like this and everything may change very quickly. However I am planning to do what I've always wanted, if I can get this little voice in my head to shut up about "not enough pixels" but I'll say no more because it hasn't happened yet.

So I'll be doing more on the G5 plus I've got some Sony and Nikon stuff to finish off, so expect a lot of posts in the next few days.

CLICK HERE for my ongoing Review and User Experience with the G5

N.B. to see more on the cameras and lenses featured in this post click on the relevant labels (tags and keywords) below.
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