Panasonic G5 gone to new home - Final Evaluation


I sold my Panasonic G5 recently, and as I said I would, I'm writing a little farewell piece to it. The only problem with the G5 is the GH3, which tended to steal its thunder very shortly after it came out. However it is a decent little camera. It has the GH2 sensor, so not quite the latest, but the IQ was excellent, particularly at low ISO's. It also saw the return of the eye sensor that switches between EVF and screen that was somewhat meanly removed from the G3. Plus it has a revised design with an excellent grip (unlike the G3 again) and also has two great Panasonic features, spot focusing and an electronic shutter. At half the price of the GH3 it is a very useful little camera. Video is somewhat unnecessarily restricted, but as a stills camera its actually pretty good.

I guess Panasonic will continue with this line, following in the tradition of the ground breaking and revolutionary G1 which started the whole Mirrorless / E.V.I.L / CSC ball rolling. We now take these cameras for granted, but when the G1 first appeared the fact that something that small with its smaller sensor could produce sharper results than a Nikon D4 at low ISO's was something of a surprise. The G5 is the 4th. of the line (5th. if you include the G10) as the 'second tier' of Panasonic cameras. The GH series has always been where they have put all their top range features, but these G's have always been very capable cameras.

It is good however that most of the inadequacies of the G3 (and there were quite a few) have been adressed. The G5 is a much nicer camera to handle and the moment I picked it up I liked it. However to be honest, I never really used it that much. My Olympus OM-D or one of my NEX cameras always seemed to get the nod if I was going out shooting with a mirrorless camera. But don't let my camera extravagance put you off. It is really an excellent little picture taking machine and its fast and responsive. Its apparently due to be replaced this year according the rumour sites, but to be honest I don't really see why. I suppose the new sensor will turn up in the upgrade, but this one is actually excellent, so I'm not sure why Panasonic don't let the camera run a longer course than they seem inclined to do.

In fact I don't know why all companies don't do that. When you consider that cameras like the Olympus E-P3, via discounts, are selling like hot cakes I believe that there is a lot more life in cameras than manufacturers seem to assume. There is talk of an upgraded NEX-7, but as far as I'm concerned there is not much wrong with the current one. This does seem to be an electronics company thing, but I would suggest that cameras aren't like other tech. stuff. These aren't mobile phones for heavens sake which seem to be out of date the moment you leave the shop with them. The G5 will continue to take excellent pictures for years to come (assuming you can still buy one of course) so why these upgrades come thick and fast strikes me as somewhat unecessary. 

However, final conclusion is that the G5 is an execellent camera and if you don't want or need all the GH3 bells and whistles it could be just what you want. And you do of course get to use that wonderful, totally silent, instant response electronic shutter.



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