The Panasonic Lumnix G5: The perfect “peoples” camera?

Some reviews are now available for Panasonic’s latest m4/3rd DSLR esq camera the Panasonic Lumix G5.

The one that caught my eye was the one published by Amateur Photographer Magazine, a publication that prides itself on its precise testing and evaluation of photographic equipment. Bottom line, they liked the new G5.

And that’s no surprise really because Panasonic have taken the core G3 specifications, refined and updated them, added some additional features and produced what is to my mind probably likely to be the best overall entry level compact camera system out there, eclipsing Panasonic’s m4/3rd Partner, Olympus in the process (although Oly’s OMD EM5 is by far my personal m4/3rd favourite).

By combining the 16mp sensor from the range topping Panasonic GH2 with the new Venus 7 II HD processor, adding some GF5 touch screen capacity, introducing an eye sensor, increasing the rear screen resolution (now 921k dots), upgrading HD video capture, increasing frame capture rate (and thereby introducing genuine HDR multi frame capture) and subtly tweaking the body shape (improving handling and allowing a bigger battery to be used) Panasonic have produced a fabulous user friendly but adaptable camera.
Throw in a plethora of really high grade optics from both Panasonic (7-14mm wide telephoto, 25mm F1.4, 14mm F2.5 & 20mm F1.7) and Olympus (45mm F1.8, 12mm F2 & 75mm F1.8) and you have a winner by any measure. A quick glance at published test images reveals noticeably improved low light capture, and wonderfully detailed images that display pleasing colour reproduction.

I wouldn’t hesitate for one second in recommending the new Panasonic G5 to anyone looking to entry the world of compact camera systems (CCS’s) for the first time nor someone looking to upgrade from a compact. Heaven knows how good the new yet to be announced Panasonic GH3 will be?

Mark Baynham (August 2012)

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