Panasonic G5 First Impressions.

So, I received a new Panasonic G5 in the post yesterday. The story behind this is that there was an amazing offer that I picked up via the DPreview  forums for a body at £419. This isn’t much more than a G3 sells for new so I jumped at the chance. I really want it as a backup to my E-M5, with proximate image quality.

My verdict, I’m impressed and disappointed in equal measure. Inevitable really if you are coming from a different brand you like to one you’ve never used. So the biggest compliment I will give the G5 is that it feels exactly like my old Sony A55, which was a great camera in most circumstances.

The body feels cheaper than the E-M5 but more expensive feeling than the G3 I handled a few months back in store. Ergonomically it is an improvement over the E-M5, no doubt, even with the grip. I hate the screen (personal preference) and I much prefer the tilt screen on the E-M5, which is easier to use for street shooting. Contrary to the general view I hated the panny menu system which seemed to have been designed for an eight year old compared to the (some would say over complex, I would say superior) Oly menu. I would note that I was unable (due to user error) to work out the level gauge so many of these pictures are slanted. I apologise, but it’s a bit late now!

What really impressed me, and I cannot really demonstrate through the photos I have here because they are all jpegs (RAW support is still in progress), is the image quality and the in body CA correction. Lightroom users (including me) may rave about the CA correction it offers but one less mouseclick is one less mouseclick as far as I am concerned.

I was significantly more impressed with the output from the 12-35mm panasonic lens on the G5 versus the E-M5 (OOC) – it now feels much more worthwhile. Equally the output from the 7-14 blows my mind on a Panny body. Wow. No awful CA and this lens looks worth a thousand pounds. Really.

As an experiment I tried my Oly 75mm on the G5 and it didn’t disappoint really. I sense (as you would expect) the lack of IBIS means that you get fewer keepers and sometimes imagers are softer than the E-M5. Nonetheless, in good light the 75 and G5 are a good match (its just that the E-M5 and 75 are a better match).

I hesitate to be too judgmental on the G5 yet. I want RAW support to get a true comparison. What I would saw is that on balance I am impressed and I know what I would recommend if someone told me they were on a budget (the GF3… just kidding). It blows me away for what I paid for it.

Anyway, some pictures:

12-35mm

7-14mm

75mm

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