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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Panasonic Lumix G5- Full Review

Panasonic Lumix G5- Full Review
August 2013, Carl Garrard
Panasonic Lumix G5- Full Review: Panasonic's Lumix G5 has been out for quite some time but represents excellent value for the dollar. It sports the same sensor in its high end GH2 camera with 16 megapixels, and has most of the features that it's newest cameras have as well. The kicker is the price, down to $300.00 body only at Amazon and a couple of other online retailers. On paper the Lumix G5 represents the best deal going for m4/3 users so if you've been waiting to try out a micro four thirds camera set up, the Lumix G5 just may be your affordable ticket into the show. Like I said, the Panasonic Lumix G5 is loaded with features and my review will attempt to cover how this camera performs from my usual photographer first perspective.

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Panasonic Lumix G5- Full Review: Body Tour

The images below represent a visual tour of the Lumix G5, pretty much self explanatory here. Like many other Lumix cameras, the G5 has a lot of external controls and a full compliment of features to go along with those controls. Lets take a look. There isn't much the G5 doesn't have in terms of controls, and has one switch behind the shutter release that serves as a zoom for its power zoom lenses (and/or EV control and more).

Panasonic Lumix G5- Full Review: Early Impressions

Lets do things a bit different and get my first impression niggles out of the way. In the first few minutes of using the G5, I noticed a couple of them worth reporting. First, the HDMI door sits right on the palm and a portion of it is raised with a hard edge- that somehow doesn't seem to be the right design decision for a door that sits directly on your shooting hand. The grip, while better than the G3's by far (the camera it replaces, feels a bit shallow and I found myself constantly trying to get a more firm grip with it - i.e. not a very comfortable design, but not the worst I've used by far. 
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You can see the HDMI door sticking out, as well as the metal next strap lug, right on the grip.

And lastly, the neck strap eyelet sticks out far enough to push into the shooting hand as well, luckily it's not the post type, but still ... someone at Panasonic needs to get the message and make a flush design where the hand goes, nothing should just out into the shooting hand- ever. Now with the quirks out of the way, this camera feels much more comfortable to use than the G1 I reviewed some time ago, and also better than the G3 before it- so the G series is improving, albeit slowly. 

Now lets on with the long term report.

Panasonic Lumix G5- Full Review: Handling
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The Lumix G5 was much smaller than I had imagined, a very compact body considering its rather large EVF housing and 16:9 format LCD screen, and thus, does feel a bit cramped. But it's the good kind of cramped - full of stuff you'll use. The AEL lock button is in the perfect position, the thumb rest while tight, is comfortable, and the shutter release falls to hand very nicely. I like the rocker switch behind the shutter release too, it's a perfect place to put something to adjust your exposure value- or other items of choice. Personally I'd switch the Q.Menu button with the DISP button on the back side, as that change would seem more intuitive.

The turn and push rear dial is my favorite type, but the G5's is a bit stiff, plasticy, and oddly placed. But, it works.
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Handling the G5 overall is pretty nice for such a small camera, and quite nice when the 14-42mm II kit lens is attached and using both hands. In fact, so much so, that I think the engineers designed the body of the G5 to be used two handed with the kit lens (arguing that most buyers will only ever use that lens with this body). I like how the two pair up, the camera becomes soft and precise in hand, giving gentle but direct feedback. Using a pancake prime lens such as the 17mm f/2.8 or 20mm f/1.7 just doesn't seem as comfortable because the quirks I mentioned are magnified when using this camera one handed. 

Still it remains comfortable overall, don't let my niggles get you too down here, even with a small prime lens. Both the EVF and LCD screen are excellent - both large and detailed and bright. The anti-smudge coating on the touch screen LCD works like a charm, too. This camera is very impressive for its price point and the screens you get. The fact that you get a rotating screen and a very very nice EVF makes for an extremely versatile camera for many shooting positions. And, it's so light that one handed shooting will leave very little fatigue on the wrist even for all day shooting (granted you don't have a gigantic lens attached to it).

Using the EVF is the best experience in a Panasonic camera I've tried yet for one main reason: the auto switching eye sensor. The size and resolution are just fine, but the eye sensor takes away the cumbersome process of having to remember to switch from LCD to EVF while shooting. The delay is minimal at best, and the whole experience is rather how it should be on all cameras using EVF's these days. Shame on Panasonic on not using one for all previous cameras that had EVF's.

Panasonic Lumix G5- Full Review: Performance
Auto focusing with the G5 is very snappy, arguably one of the fastest contrast detect type autofocusing cameras I've used to date. Even in low light the G5 doesn't seem challenged. In fact its an exceptional low light camera in this regard, still very fast, and I'm even tempted to believe it doesn't need the aid of its dedicated AF assist lamp. Yet it still uses its amber illuminated AF assist quite a bit more than I'm used too seeing with digital cameras (this is a good thing in my opinion). Panasonic makes a lot of claims about the autofocus- and whatever on that marketing nomenclature- but there seems to be some real life translation of those claims. The G5 is fast.
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Panasonic is into theoretical marketing here, but I find contrast AF to be more accurate than Phase type having used hundreds of cameras of both types.

I particularly like the sound of the shutter, it's just snappy- clean and eager sounding, but also relatively quiet. No whining or slop or weird noises- you know you've just made a photograph with its crisp mechanical release. The sound is akin to what the rangefinder film cameras I've used in the past sound like, so it is a bit nostalgic in that regard and how I prefer them to sound like. This trait alone endears the G5 to me quite a bit actually, to me its the small attention to details that count.

Overall the G5 operates quickly, it wasn't notably slow in any function of its performance that I recall. On and Off speed is really fast, it beats the pants off of the NEX6 and NEX7 by far, and in some circumstances that can be a life saver to grab an image quickly. Modern day cameras should never take more than a second to turn on, so anything otherwise gets a frown depending on how badly it performs. The NEX6 for example takes 3-6 seconds to fully power on and be ready (full display etc) which is abhorrently unacceptable to me. The G5 can be powered on focused and shot made even in dim light in under a second, that's great.

Battery life is good to very good, not excellent but certainly not dismal either. The Li-ion battery is a decent sized 7.2V 1200mAh 8.7Wh unit, and even during its break in period allowed for all day shooting (typically 200-400 shots is the average all day shooting) without needing a re-charge. My standard for good battery performance is being able to shoot all day and not have to worry about the battery going dead on me when I need it most- usually at the end of the day. So the G5 gets a pass here.

Panasonic Lumix G5- Full Review: Features

The G5 is packed with, well, a lot of goodies. It's apparent to me that Panasonic are trying to appeal to a very wide ranging audience. In that respect its almost too loaded with stuff for someone like me who just likes to make still images most of the time. But I did say almost. The G5 will require a learning curve because all the "stuff" isn't a totally cohesive organized affair. At least, the G5 doesn't give me the impression that it is. The good side to the G5 though is that it doesn't leave you wishing it had more items, options, or features very much- if at all. Other than not having an optical finder, I can't recall one thing I wish the G5 had been loaded with.
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It's touch operated multi-angle screen is one of the many star attractions of this camera.

I'm not a fan of the icons you see in the menu system (as soon as you press the main menu button). It reminded me of the NEX menu system which is completely horrendous. However, I did say reminds me of it, I did not say it uses the same way. Although the sight of those icons frightened me (Friday the 13th sound byte here), after I started to navigate the menus I found them pretty easy to navigate and use. What is behind the icons is far and away more organized and helpful than what Sony did with the NEX menu system, and there are plenty of choices for enthusiasts here. Beginners may feel a bit intimidated until they realize they can change the background color of the menu system to 4 different smile stimulating color backgrounds.

Panasonic Lumix G5- Full Review: Notable Highlights

Silent and Still. The G5 can be set to use an electronic shutter if you prefer, and this has at least a couple of advantages. First, its silent, so if you turn off all the beeps and noises in the G5's menu, then activate its electronic shutter, this camera is just as quiet, if not quieter than digicams such as the G15. Shooting sleeping daughters or sons, cats or dogs, just doesn't get any more stealthy. The G5 is probably the quietest camera I've ever used to date when the above preferences are made in the menu, impressively quiet.

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The second main advantage with the electronic shutter is the complete lack of shutter vibrations during certain exposure times. This has major advantages for those who shoot still subjects on a tripod or with large telephoto lenses since there is absolutely zero vibration caused by the camera in this mode.  This will also eliminate vibrations that occur in certain shutter speeds that you normally hand hold a camera for.

Just remember that using the electronic shutter means that it's sequential, all of the pixels do not turn on and off at the exact same time so shooting moving subjects will give you weird looking images. You can assign the electronic shutter to any of the custom FN buttons in the menu too. I have it assigned to the FN 2 button. Also, and this is a biggie, your ISO is limited to ISO 1600 max with the e-shutter.

Panasonic Lumix G5- Full Review: Customization

Speaking of customization, Panasonic are very keen to give users a lot of customization in this camera. There are five custom FN buttons on the G5 to get it set up however you prefer which gives the user a lot of freedom- kudos Panasonic. But what sets apart the G5 from other cameras with "customization" is the amount of choices you actually have for each customizable buttons. Panasonic gives you 32 options for each FN setting, not one or two or even 5 choices. No, that simply will not do for Panasonic.

To me, this is the level of customization that users should have and Panasonic should be commended highly for including this. The only other company that I know of that offers this level of extreme customization is Ricoh, and maybe Olympus (but it depends greatly on the camera).  Here is Panasonic's list of items that can be added to the custom buttons:

• One Push AE
• Preview
• Level Gauge
• Focus Area Set
• Photo Style
• Aspect Ratio
• Picture Size
• Quality
• Focus Mode
• Metering Mode
• Flash
• Flash Adjust.
• I. Resolution
• I. Dynamic
• EX. Tele Conv.
• Digital Zoom
• Electronic Shutter
• Stabilizer
• Motion Pic. Set
• Picture Mode
• Function Lever
• Histogram
• Guide Line
• Step Zoom
• Zoom Speed
• Rec Area
• Sensitivity
• White Balance
• AF Mode
• Drive Mode
• Playback

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Like I said, that's quite a list. Not your typical list of customization options I'd say, and probably the best out there in terms of sheer choice. The G5 is one of those cameras that makes you rethink about how to use your camera beyond your typical comfortable arrangement that you normally prefer. 

But the list of customizations doesn't stop here, bordering on the ridiculous. You can even specify the shape of your grid line overlay and placement of your histogram on your LCD screen. And don't get me started on the art filters or scene modes or this review will simply become a book. I doubt the G5 will leave a user eager for something left out of it.

Panasonic Lumix G5- Full Review: Image Quality
Here I take a look at the Jpeg and Raw quality using the same scene. All sharpening and noise reduction was reduced to zero for Raw files to get an idea of the starting point for processing, and to see what Panasonic are doing to the Jpegs with the Venus processing engine.

Jpeg Image Quality
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Overall Jpegs are probably good enough for the average consumer, but I have a couple of niggles that I think enthusiasts will also agree with. Noise reduction is one, and although the range of noise reduction you can choose in camera seems wide ranging, it's not. Panasonic are too aggressive with noise reduction at all ISO levels here, and their sharpening algorithms only add odd artifacts. Plus the type of noise reduction they use isn't very refined- if I can do a better job in Raw files then Panasonic needs to step it up here. The two niggles simply add insult to injury to one another. Of course this opinion is based around 100% viewing, but both will show on prints as well.  Lets take a look.

200 ISO Jpeg
400 ISO Jpeg
800 ISO Jpeg
1600 ISO Jpeg
3200 ISO Jpeg
6400 ISO Jpeg
12800 ISO Jpeg

Notice in the test above how there is a lack of color (blue) shift in 6400/12800 ISO levels. This is due to heavy NR. However, you can see a tinge of hue shifts in the other colors which for me, negates the G5 for color use for 3200 and above ISO's. The type of NR and the artifacts introduced also spoil the show for me- I prefer to get the sensors best performance with Raw data unless Jpegs are really good (like Olympus Jpegs).

Color saturation is conservative which I tend to prefer, but there are some odd hue shifts with Panasonic's blue channel that have always been there- it's a Panasonic trademark. Blues tend to be too light and under saturated for my taste. You can change settings in the camera to compensate some, but the fingerprint is always there. So basically the question is, would I use Panasonic's Jpegs? The answer is yes and no, but more no than yes. I tend to prefer Olympus's Jpegs many times over for example, so I will rely on Jpegs on occasion. With Panasonic my preference is simply to use Raw for color images, and even for some monochrome ones.

I will however use the Jpegs at times when having fun with the art filters or monochrome modes as I do like what Panasonic do with monochrome images (even sepia) in camera. But I limit my use to ISO 2500 or less for Jpeg simply because of the overreaching aggressive noise removal that Panasonic incorporate. 

Rant On- Panasonic need to know that this has hurt their reputation by becoming it, and if I were in charge I'd have a talk with whoever is in charge of making the final decision for image output and change it ASAP. When catering to enthusiasts, they are going to be your biggest voice and most critical and you can be assured they are looking at this aspect of performance every single time.

Raw Image Quality
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Enough about Jpegs lets talk about raw.  Overall I'm very happy with the raw files from the G5 considering its size and price. Bigger cameras have bigger expectations with me, and I think that is a fair way to evaluate image quality. So lets take a look at this scene, low artificial light, to look for the noise grain pattern here.  I did not include 160 ISO because the difference for this kind of test is next to nothing from ISO 200. This is not a measure of details. This is a measure only of noise patterns and how they differ from the Jpegs above. Compare shadows to highlight areas.

200 great, as expected
400 very little additional noise

800 more noise but not much
1600 looks great still here

3200 no color shift or banding, my limit for color prints

6400 some color banding, barely, hot pixels.

12,800 color shift, color banding, some hot pixels shown

It's fair to say that I'd rely on the G5 from base ISO to 1600 ISO for just about any scene up to a 16x20 prints, larger for base ISO. For smaller prints (8x10) 3200 would be my limit in color, and 6400 and 12,800 I'd use primarily for 8x10 or smaller prints in monochrome only.  This doesn't mean that ISO 6400 and up cannot be used by anyone for color photography, it just means that I prefer not to rely on it because of the specific issues mentioned. If the G5 is armed with a fast lens, its unlikely that you'd need to go above ISO 3200 for most scenes anyways. Translation- As far as noise is concerned the G5 is limited in comparison to its rivals, but is only about a stop or so behind APS-C competitors and about a half stop behind the 16mp Sony chip found in the EM5.

Dynamic range is another story. It's about a full stop behind the EM5 and up to two stops behind some APS-C competitors. In real life though this doesn't make a huge difference if you get your exposure right- there's plenty of DR to use for all but the most extreme lighting scenes, in which its competitors can recall more data from its raw files (highlight and shadow detail with more DR at every ISO). For the sunset scene, I honestly would have preferred to have another full stop of latitude to work with, it would have saved the highlights, allowed more color depth, and shadow range.

The paragraph above pretty much sums up all m4/3 sensors until the EM5 came out with its Sony based unit. They are decent enough for most work, and don't give you as much latitude as their rivals. Those who defend this sensor (used in many cameras) probably know the limitations and have adapted to it- which is what photographers should always do no matter how good or inferior the equipment.

Free Hand/Real Life Samples
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Now lets take a look at some outdoor real life shots, both Jpeg and processed by yours truly in Photoshop ACR. These shots are for pleasure, not meant to be critical analysis here. These shots sort of  give readers an idea of what I can do with the G5 both with out of camera and processed results. What's interesting is how real life shots sort of bring studio comparison shots back down to earth. Overall the G5 gets a pass on what I'd consider good enough image quality for critical evaluation and professional service.

160 ISO ACR processed
ISO 160 ACR processed
160 ISO ACR 100% Crop of the image below, good detail even with a cheapo kit lens!
Cropping is important isn't it? Yep I took this while driving in traffic, one handed without looking!
160 ISO ACR (I get up high and wait for good light)- 1 stop more DR in the raw file would have been great for this image

ISO 800 out of camera, auto white balance
ISO 800, very conservative color almost desaturated
ISO 1600 Standard Color factory settings.
ISO 160 AWB Wild Buckwheat
Dynamic Monochrome Art Filter (good contrast yet still shows shadow variations)

As you can see, still life studio style tests don't ever tell the real life story- they are there to give indication of minor differences in a cameras performance in a few key areas only. The G5 is quite capable to make beautiful images, just stay away from some of the higher ISO settings if you want some clean useable images (think 160-3200 and you'll probably be ok).

Panasonic Lumix G5- Full Review: Conclusion
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The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 surprised me a bit. This is the first m4/3 from Panasonic that I've actually enjoyed using and would endorse to other users. Be it known that I haven't used them all, but I've tried plenty of them. It doesn't come without some quirky design decisions but overall is a very mature product that offers a shooter on a budget a massive array of tools to make images and videos alike. It does so with fast performance, and very good image quality overall. My time with the G5 has overall been pleasant.

This is a camera that you could explore for quite some time and still find new ways to tweak modes or customize a good couple years after first purchase. It's that loaded. I have to commend the writers of the firmware for offering so many features that exhibit very few bugs or road blocks to actually using what is advertised- what is advertised doesn't always work the way manufacturers claim.

For what you can get a G5 for these days, this is a no brainer camera for those wanting to save a buck, or wanting a well featured camera they will use for years.

It is without hesitation that I highly recommend the G5 (with few reservations). Check out the latest price here:  Panasonic Lumix G5 Body Only Price (Instant Search)

As always, be safe and happy shooting.

-Carl Garrard
Keep the reviews coming, use the mouse!

  • Excellent sounding shutter
  • Optional electronic shutter*
  • Super quiet w/electronic shutter engaged and beeps turned off
  • Excellent raw image quality to ISO 3200
  • Conservative color saturation in both Jpegs and Raw files
  • Excellent evf and lcd screen
  • Really fast autofocus (eager to lock as well)
  • Many customizable buttons
  • Thorough menu lots of customization and options
  • Lots of fun art filters that are well implemented
  • Excellent video and options (even though I'm no videographer)
  • Good amount of resolution
  • Good enough dynamic range (from raw files) for critical work
  • Dedicated AF assist lamp works very well, great low light AF performance
  • Good internal flash w/mechanical release (my preference)
  • Small compact size (smaller than pictures make it seem)
  • Lots of features both still and video in one small body (almost too many)
  • Good overall handling, good amount of external controls**
  • Excellent dust reduction system (just like Olympus)
  • Excellent price these days

  • ISO limited to 1600 w/electronic shutter*
  • Questionable uncomfortable design decisions around grip area (strap eyelet and hdmi door)**
  • LCD screen takes up a lot of rear space (3:2 format would have been better)
  • Rear control wheel a bit tough to turn
  • Hot pixels show at higher ISO's in shadow areas, even with High ISO NR enabled
  • Chroma noise too intrusive above 6400 ISO (and will band in extreme shadows)
  • Jpeg engine could use improving (olympus have it right) 
  • Sensor beaten by newest rivals (yet still remains very capable) 

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 Full Review: Full Specifications
TYPE Type Digital Single Lens Mirrorless camera
Recording Media SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card, SDXC Memory Card (Compatible with UHS-I standard SDHC / SDXC Memory Cards)
Image Sensor Size 17.3 x 13.0 mm (in 4:3 aspect ratio)
Lens Mount Micro Four Thirds mount
Total Pixels 18.31 Megapixels
Camera Effective Pixels 16.05 Megapixels
Color Filter Primary color filter
Dust Reduction System Supersonic wave filter
RECORDING SYSTEM Recording File Format
Still Image: JPEG (DCF, Exif 2.3), RAW
MPO (When attaching 3D lens in Micro Four Thirds System standard)
Motion Image: AVCHD (Audio format: Dolby Digital 2ch) / MP4 (Audio format AAC 2ch)
Aspect Ratio 4:3, 3:2, 16:9, 1:1
Image Quality RAW, RAW+Fine, RAW+Standard, Fine, Standard
MPO+Fine, MPO+Standard (When attaching 3D lens in Micro Four Thirds System standard)
Color Space sRGB, Adobe RGB
File Size (Pixels) Still Image [4:3] 4,608 x 3,456 (L), 3,264 x 2,448 (M), 2,336 x 1,752 (S), 1,824 x 1,368 (When attaching 3D lens in Micro Four Thirds System standard)
[3:2] 4,608 x 3,072 (L), 3,264 x 2,176 (M), 2,336 x 1,560 (S), 1,824 x 1,216 (When attaching 3D lens in Micro Four Thirds System standard)
[16:9] 4,608 x 2,592 (L), 3,264 x 1,840 (M), 1,920 x 1,080 (S), 1,824 x 1,024 (When attaching 3D lens in Micro Four Thirds System standard)
[1:1] 3,456 x 3,456 (L), 2,448 x 2,448 (M), 1,744 x 1,744 (S), 1,712 x 1,712 (When attaching 3D lens in Micro Four Thirds System standard)
Motion Image MP4 NTSC [Full HD] 1,920 x 1,080 (sensor output is 30p)
[HD] 1,280 x 720 (sensor output is 30p)
[VGA] 640 x 480 (sensor output is 30p)
PAL [Full HD] 1,920 x 1,080 (sensor output is 25p)
[HD] 1,280 x 720 (sensor output is 25p)
[VGA] 640 x 480 (sensor output is 25p)
AVCHD Progressive NTSC [Full HD] 1,920 x 1,080, 60p (sensor output is 60p) (PSH: 28 Mbps)
PAL [Full HD] 1,920 x 1,080, 50p (sensor output is 50p) (PSH: 28 Mbps)
AVCHD NTSC [Full HD] 1,920 x 1,080, 60i (sensor output is 60p) (FSH: 17 Mbps)
[Full HD] 1,920 x 1,080, 30p (sensor output is 60p) (FPH: 17 Mbps)
[HD] 1,280 x 720, 60p (sensor output is 60p) (SH: 17 Mbps)
PAL [Full HD] 1,920 x 1,080, 50i (sensor output is 50p) (FSH: 17 Mbps)
[Full HD] 1,920 x 1,080, 25p (sensor output is 50p) (FPH: 17 Mbps)
[HD] 1,280 x 720, 50p (sensor output is 50p) (SH: 17 Mbps)
Continuous Recordable Time (Motion Image)* AVCHD with picture quality set to [FSH]: Approx. 140 min with H-FS014042 / Approx. 150 min with H-PS14042 or H-FS45150
Actual Recordable Time
(Motion Image)*
AVCHD with picture quality set to [FSH]: Approx. 70 min with H-FS014042 / Approx. 75 min with H-PS14042 or H-FS45150
Flicker Reduction [1/50] [1/60] [1/100] [1/120] / OFF
VIEWFINDER Type Live View Finder (1,440,000 dots equivalent)
Field of View Approx. 100%
Magnification Approx. 1.4x / 0.7x (35 mm camera equivalent) with 50 mm lens at infinity; -1.0 m-1
Eye Point Approx. 17.5 mm from eyepiece lens
Diopter Adjustment -4.0 - +4.0 (dpt)
Eye Sensor Yes
Eye Sensor Adjustment High / Low
FOCUS Type Contrast AF system
Focus Mode AFS (Single) / AFF (Flexible) / AFC (Continuous) / MF
AF Mode Face detection / AF Tracking / 23-area-focusing / 1-area-focusing / Pinpoint
AF Detective Range EV 0 - 18 (ISO100 equivalent)
AF Assist Lamp YES
AF Lock Set the Fn button in custom menu to AF lock
Others Quick AF, Continuous AF (during motion image recording), AF+MF, Eye Sensor AF, Touch AF, Touch Pad AF, Touch shutter, Touch MF Assist
EXPOSURE CONTROL Light Metering System 144-zone multi-pattern sensing system
Light Metering Mode Intelligent Multiple / Center Weighted / Spot
Metering Range EV 0 - 18 (F2.0 lens, ISO100 equivalent)
Exposure Mode Program AE / Aperture Priority AE / Shutter Priority AE / Manual
ISO Sensitivity
(Standard Output Sensitivity)
Auto / Intelligent ISO / 160 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600 / 3200 / 6400 / 12800
(Changeable to 1/3 EV step)
Exposure Compensation 1/3 EV Step, ±5 EV
AE Lock Set the Fn button in custom menu to AE lock
AE Bracket 3, 5, 7 frames, in 1/3, 2/3 or 1 EV Step, ±3 EV
WHITE BALANCE White Balance Auto / Daylight / Cloudy / Shade / Incandescent / Flash / White Set 1, 2 / Color temperature setting
White Balance Adjustment Blue/amber bias, Magenta/green bias
Color Temperature Setting 2,500 K - 10,000 K in 100 K
White Balance Bracket 3 exposures in blue/amber axis or in magenta/green axis
SHUTTER Type Focal-plane shutter
Shutter Speed Still Images: Bulb (Max. 120 seconds), 1/4,000 - 60
Motion Images: 1/16,000 - 1/30 (NTSC), 1/16,000 - 1/25 (PAL)
Self Timer 10 sec, 3 images / 2 sec / 10 sec
SCENE GUIDE Still Image Clear Portrait / Silky Skin / Backlit Softness / Clear in Backlight / Relaxing Tone / Sweet Child's Face / Distinct Scenery / Bright Blue Sky / Romantic Sunset Glow / Vivid Sunset Glow / Glistening Water / Clear Nightscape / Cool Night Sky / Warm Glowing Nightscape / Artistic Nightscape / Glittering Illuminations / Clear Night Portrait / Soft Image of a Flower / Appetizing Food / Cute Dessert / Freeze Animal Motion / Clear Sports Shot / Monochrome
Motion Image Clear Portrait / Silky Skin / Backlit Softness / Clear in Backlight / Relaxing Tone / Sweet Child's Face / Distinct Scenery / Bright Blue Sky / Romantic Sunset Glow / Vivid Sunset Glow / Clear Nightscape / Cool Night Sky / Warm Glowing Nightscape / Artistic Nightscape / Clear Night Portrait / Appetizing Food / Cute Dessert / Freeze Animal Motion / Clear Sports Shot / Monochrome
BURST SHOOTING Burst Speed SH: 20 frames/sec (4M), H: 6.0 frames/sec (with AFS), M: 3.7 frames/sec (with Live View), L: 2.0 frames/sec (with Live View)
Number of Recordable Images 9 images (when there are RAW files with the particular speed)
Unlimited consecutive shooting (when there are no RAW files)
(depending on memory card size, battery power, picture size, and compression)
BUILT-IN-FLASH Type TTL Built-in-Flash, GN8.3 equivalent (ISO100 · m), GN10.5 equivalent (ISO160 · m), Built-in Pop-up
Flash Mode Auto, Auto / Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Forced On / Red-eye Reduction, Slow Sync., Slow Sync. / Red-eye Reduction, Forced Off
Synchronization Speed Less than 1/160 second
Flash Synchronization 1st Curtain Sync., 2nd Curtain Sync.
LCD MONITOR Type TFT LCD with Touch panel
Monitor Size Free-angle 3.0 inch (7.5 cm) / 3:2 Aspect / Wide-viewing angle
Pixels 920K dots
Field of View Approx. 100%
Monitor Adjustment Brightness (7 levels), Contrast and Saturation (7 levels), Red tint (7 levels), Blue tint (7 levels)
LIVE VIEW Digital Zoom 2x, 4x
Extra Tele Conversion Still Image: Max. 2x (Aspect ratio sets at 4:3. Not effective with L size recording. Magnification ratio depends on the recording pixels and aspect ratio.)
Motion Image: 2.4x (PSH, FSH in AVCHD and FHD in MP4), 3.6x (SH in AVCHD and HD in MP4), 4.8x (VGA in MP4)
Other Functions Guide Lines (3 patterns)
Real-time Histogram
LEVEL GAUGE Yes (Built-in 3 shaft accelerometer sensor)
FUNCTION BUTTON Fn1, Fn2, Fn3, Fn4, Fn5 One Push AE / Preview / Level Gauge / Focus Area Set / Photo Style / Aspect Ratio / Picture Size / Quality / Focus Mode / Metering Mode / HDR / Flash / Flash Adjust. / I. Resolution / I. Dynamic / EX. Tele Conv. / Digital Zoom / Electronic Shutter / Stabilizer / Motion Pic. Set / Picture Mode / Histogram / Guide Line / Step Zoom / Zoom Speed / Rec Area / Sensitivity / White Balance / AF Mode / Drive Mode / Playback
FUNCTION LEVER Yes (Auto / Zoom / Exp.)
CREATIVE CONTROL Still Image Expressive / Retro / High Key / Low Key / Sepia / Dynamic Monochrome / Impressive Art / High Dynamic / Cross Process / Toy Effect / Miniature Effect / Soft Focus / Star Filter / One Point Color
Motion Image Expressive / Retro / High Key / Low Key / Sepia / Dynamic Monochrome / Impressive Art / High Dynamic / Cross Process / Toy Effect / Miniature Effect / One Point Color
PLAYBACK Playback Mode Normal playback, 30-thumbnail display, 12-thumbnail display, Calendar display, Zoomed playback (Max. 16x), Slideshow (duration & effect is selectable), Playback Mode (Normal / Picture / Video / 3D Play / Category / Favorite), Title Edit, Text Stamp, Video Divide, Resize, Cropping, Rotate, Favorite, DPOF Print Set, Protect, Face Recognition Edit
IMAGE PROTECTION / ERASE Protection Single / Multi, Cancel
Erase Single / Multi / All / Except Favorite
PRINT Direct Print PictBridge compatible (Print size, Layout and Date settings are selectable)
HDMI mini HDMI TypeC
Video: Auto / 1080p / 1080i / 480p (576p in PAL system)
Audio: Stereo
Audio Video Output Monaural Type, NTSC / PAL, NTSC only for North America
* Check the website of the Panasonic sales company in your country or region for details on the products that are available in your market.
Microphone Stereo, Wind-cut: Off / Auto
Microphone level adjustable: Lv1 / Lv2 / Lv3 / Lv4
Speaker Monaural
LANGUAGE OSD Language English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Russian, Chinese (Traditional), Chinese (Simplified), Dutch, Thai, Korean, Turkish, Portuguese, Arabic, Persian, Japanese, Swedish, Danish, Finnish, Greek, Vietnamese
* Check the website of Panasonic sales company in your country / region or ask customer support for details of the OSD language available on the products sold in your country / region.
POWER Battery Li-ion Battery Pack (7.2V, 1,200mAh) (Included)
Battery Charger
Battery Life (CIPA Standard)** Approx. 310 images with H-FS014042
Approx. 320 images with H-PS14042 or H-FS45150
DIMENSIONS / WEIGHT Dimensions (W x H x D) 119.9 x 83.2 x 70.8 mm / 4.72 x 3.28 x 2.79 inch (excluding protrusions)
Weight Approx. 396 g / 0.87 lb (SD card, Battery, Body)
Approx. 346 g / 0.76 lb (Body only)
Approx. 491 g / 1.08 lb (SD card, Battery, H-PS14042 lens included)
Approx. 561 g / 1.24 lb (SD card, Battery, H-FS014042 lens included)
Approx. 596 g / 1.31 lb (SD card, Battery, H-FS45150 lens included)
OPERATING ENVIRONMENT Operating Temperature 0 °C to 40 °C (32 °F to 104 °F)
Operating Humidity 10%RH to 80%RH


  1. FYI, the LCD display (at least its pixel resolution/layout) is actually 3:2, rather than 16:9. The EVF is 4:3.

  2. Hi Carl,
    thanks for the great Review. I'm using a G5 since several month, ans you nailed exactly my own Cons in your Review.

    One extra Cons belonging to all m43 Panasonic Cameras I know is, that you aren't able to judge the sharpness of a taken picture by replay and magnifying it. In 8x and 16x magnitude the displayed photo is very soft in the EVF and on LCD, much softer then looking on the PC.