Top critical review
3 people found this helpful
Good camera but not perfect
on 29 April 2014
I recently got one of these cameras from Amazon and I had read many good things about the G5 in reviews and I wanted one as I currently have a GF6, which is a great camera but it doesn't have a viewfinder and I've been finding shooting into direct sunlight a bit of a pain, as the sun obviously produces strong glare onto the LCD monitor, which makes it difficult to get the correct exposure for shots.
So I gave the G5 a go and its a nice camera and its very well built and doesn't feel cheap and its quite comfortable to hold as well, the buttons are all pretty well laid out and despite one or two reviewers complaining of accidentally triggering the white balance button I didn't have this problem at all. Its also quite neat that it takes the shape of a smaller DSLR which makes it more appealing as well for anyone looking to break into using a DSLR styled camera but doesn't want to go all the way into getting one. The camera also feels surprisingly lightweight as well given its build, which is definite plus that goes in its favour. The tilt swivel screen is also really good and its great how you can turn it fully around or have it swivelled out to the side.
As for the image quality well its actually very good as the photos I had taken were crisp with good detail although I did feel the colours were a bit muted in comparison to those of the GF6, which are that bit more vivid. The 14-42mm lens that comes with the camera is overall a pretty good lens however it is quite bulky and its not quite as up to scratch as the H-FS1442A lens, which is more compact and delivers even sharper images. But overall the G5 produces very good quality photos which are comparable to what the GF6 produces so I'd say they are both on about the same par as one another for image quality.
Now in regards to the niggles of the camera, well the reasons I've given it three stars is mainly to do with the electronic viewfinder, which I have to say I found pretty frustrating to use. Having used digital compact cameras mostly up until my first CSC with the GF6 I've been accustomed to using the LCD monitor, however the EVF here I found after some usage caused me some serious eye strain and I had take a long break before using it again after this time my eye strain resurfaced. I'd imagine this isn't helped by the flickering you get on the EVF and also it doesn't really perform that well in low light (but I heard most of them don't) and the image through the EVF is also pretty pale and desaturated, even though it seemed to cope fairly well with direct sunlight. And I have briefly used DSLR camera optical viewfinders and found eyestrain was not an issue at all (of course because its glass and not electronic!). So the upshot here is I won't be using an EVF camera again as my first experience with them hasn't been that pleasant!
Another issue is to do with the rather low resolution LCD screen, which makes the images look oversaturated colour wise and again on the LCD monitor produces some rather untidy jagged lines on certain patterns (say on railing structures or striped patterns). Again the GF6 has a much improved LCD monitor screen as apparently does the G6. The camera could have also done with the inclusion of Wi-Fi for uploading files wirelessly and instead you need to use the USB cable supplied to transfer the files, but again the G6 has included this feature as well, as well as the inclusion Optical Image Stabilisation, which is again absent here, although most of the Panasonic lenses have OIS bult in.
So in summary is the G5 worth buying???? Yes and no, for me the EVF was the dealbreaker but that probably boils down to personal preference as it just didn't suit my needs. It is a well built camera, takes excellent photos, so if you can hack using the EVF and also take onboard its other foibles then its certainly worth considering and perhaps the G6 has resolved some of these issues. However if you're not a fan of EVFs then this camera is sure not to turn you around to using them and personally I'd opt to step up to a DSLR if you want to use a camera for all seasons.