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Panasonic G5 Comparison Review

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that was revealed to the public in July 2012 and is equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. It offers a resolution of 15.9 megapixel.

camera

Is the Panasonic G5 a good camera? The G5 has a Camera Elo of 1711. This rating puts the G5 below average of all mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (Four Thirds cameras), the G5 also ranks below average. Based on its within category standings, the camera earns a 2.5-star performance rating. – Well, the Panasonic G5 is more than 10 years old, and there have been many other good digital cameras released since 2012.

Headline Specifications
Panasonic G5
Mirrorless system camera
Micro Four Thirds lenses
15.9 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
1080/60p Video
ISO 160 - 12 800
Electronic viewfinder (1440k dots)
3.0 LCD, 920k dots
Swivel touchscreen
6 shutter flaps per second
320 shots per battery charge
120 x 83 x 71 mm, 396 g

Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.

Body comparison with a credit card

An illustration of the physical dimensions of the Panasonic G5 vis-à-vis a credit card is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Panasonic G5 vs credit card front
G5 versus credit card top view
G5 and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Panasonic G5 alongside a set of similar cameras. If you want to review a particular camera pair side-by-side, just move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Panasonic G5 120 mm 83 mm 71 mm 396 g 320 n Jul 2012 599ebay.com
2.
 
Olympus E-PL6 111 mm 64 mm 38 mm 325 g 360 n May 2013 599ebay.com
3.
 
Olympus E-PL5 111 mm 64 mm 38 mm 325 g 360 n Sep 2012 599ebay.com
4.
 
Panasonic G7 125 mm 86 mm 77 mm 410 g 350 n May 2015 649ebay.com
5.
 
Panasonic G6 122 mm 85 mm 71 mm 390 g 340 n Apr 2013 599ebay.com
6.
 
Panasonic GF6 111 mm 65 mm 38 mm 323 g 340 n Apr 2013 499ebay.com
7.
 
Panasonic GF5 108 mm 67 mm 37 mm 267 g 360 n Apr 2012 499ebay.com
8.
 
Panasonic G3 115 mm 84 mm 47 mm 336 g 270 n May 2011 599ebay.com
9.
 
Panasonic GF3 108 mm 67 mm 32 mm 264 g 300 n Jun 2011 549ebay.com
10.
 
Panasonic GX1 116 mm 68 mm 39 mm 318 g 320 n Nov 2011 699ebay.com
11.
 
Panasonic G10 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 388 g 380 n Mar 2010 499ebay.com
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Panasonic G5 was launched in the US market at a price of $599. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

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Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

The Panasonic G5 features a Four Thirds sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Panasonic G5 among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.

Panasonic G5 sensor measures

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of alternative cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Panasonic G5 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p22.311.964366
2.
 
Olympus E-PL6 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.512.071768
3.
 
Olympus E-PL5 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.388972
4.
 
Panasonic G7 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p22.812.490471
5.
 
Panasonic G6 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.563961
6.
 
Panasonic GF6 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i20.710.662254
7.
 
Panasonic GF5 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i21.411.661861
8.
 
Panasonic G3 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i21.010.666756
9.
 
Panasonic GF3 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i20.610.045849
10.
 
Panasonic GX1 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p20.810.670355
11.
 
Panasonic G10 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.141152
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The G5 indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the G5 can use is 1080/60p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the G5 has an electronic viewfinder with a resolution of 1440k dots. The viewfinder offers a field of view of 100% and a magnification of 0.70x. The tables below summarize some of the other core capabilities of the Panasonic G5 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Panasonic G51440 n3.0 / 920 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0/s Y n
2.
 
Olympus E-PL6optional n3.0 / 460 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0/s n Y
3.
 
Olympus E-PL5optional n3.0 / 460 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0/s n Y
4.
 
Panasonic G72360 n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.0/s Y n
5.
 
Panasonic G61440 n3.0 / 1036 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.0/s Y n
6.
 
Panasonic GF6none n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.2/s Y n
7.
 
Panasonic GF5none n3.0 / 920 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.0/s Y n
8.
 
Panasonic G31440 n3.0 / 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 4.0/s Y n
9.
 
Panasonic GF3none n3.0 / 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 3.2/s Y n
10.
 
Panasonic GX1optional n3.0 / 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.2/s Y n
11.
 
Panasonic G10202 n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.6/s Y n
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

The LCD screen on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 is flexibly attached to the body. In particular, the LCD is hinged on the side and can be flipped out for odd-angle shots in both portrait and landscape orientation. Also, this fully articulated, swivel type of LCD attachment is often appreciated by videographers for its flexibility. Moreover, v-loggers like the design because the screen can be turned to be front-facing.

articulated screen
Flexible screen on the G5

One convenient feature of the G5 is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.

Connection comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Panasonic G5Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
2.
 
Olympus E-PL6Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
3.
 
Olympus E-PL5Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
4.
 
Panasonic G7Ystereo / monoY-micro2.0Y--
5.
 
Panasonic G6Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
6.
 
Panasonic GF6-stereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
7.
 
Panasonic GF5-stereo / mono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Panasonic G3Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Panasonic GF3-stereo / mono--mini2.0---
10.
 
Panasonic GX1Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
11.
 
Panasonic G10Ymono / ---mini2.0---

Further information on the features and operation of the G5 can be found in the free online Panasonic G5 Manual or on the Panasonic support site.

Expert reviews

While the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the G5 in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased. This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]).

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Review Scores
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Panasonic G53/5+ +....4.5/54.5/5 Jul 2012 599ebay.com
2.
 
Olympus E-PL6............ May 2013 599ebay.com
3.
 
Olympus E-PL53/5+ +....4.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 599ebay.com
4.
 
Panasonic G74/5+ +..80/1005/54.5/5 May 2015 649ebay.com
5.
 
Panasonic G64/5+ +....5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 599ebay.com
6.
 
Panasonic GF6..+ +....4.5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 499ebay.com
7.
 
Panasonic GF53/5......4.5/54.5/5 Apr 2012 499ebay.com
8.
 
Panasonic G33/5+ +..75/1004.5/55/5 May 2011 599ebay.com
9.
 
Panasonic GF33/582/100..71/1004.5/54/5 Jun 2011 549ebay.com
10.
 
Panasonic GX13/5+..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Nov 2011 699ebay.com
11.
 
Panasonic G103/5....70/1004/54/5 Mar 2010 499ebay.com
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

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Panasonic G5 FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the G5.

What type of imaging sensor is used in the G5?

The camera is build around a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor.

Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?

Panasonic equipped the G5 with the Venus VII FHD image processor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the G5?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 160 to ISO 12800.

Does the camera have a selfie-friendly screen?

Yes, the LCD-screen of the G5 is flexible and can be turned to be front-facing for capturing selfies.

What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5?

Panasonic does not publish a shutter rating for the G5. Yet, shutters in comparable cameras from other manufacturers are said to be good for at least 100 000 actuations. It should be noted, though, that this number represents a Mean Time before Failure. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust an expected shutter life of 100 000 shots over, say, three years, one would have to take about 100 pictures each and every day.

How do I find the shutter count on my G5?

Panasonic embeds the number of shutter actuations in hidden menus. You can check the number of shots that your G5 has taken up to now by carefully following the steps described on the Panasonic G5 shutter count page.

Does the Panasonic G5 feature an autofocus assist light?

Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.

What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with flash?

The G5's flash sync speed is 1/160 sec.

Does the Panasonic G5 support the Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus interface for SD cards?

Yes, the camera can indeed use UHS-I cards (data transfer speed of up to 104 MB/s).

Which battery does the G5 use?

The camera gets its power from the DMW-BLC12 (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

Camera to camera comparisons

In case you are interested in seeing how this camera compares to another one, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Panasonic G5
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date July 2012
    Launch Price USD 599
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS
    Sensor Format Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 225 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 15.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4 608 x 3 456 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.76 μm
    Pixel Density 7.08 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 160 - 12 800 ISO
    Image Processor Venus VII FHD
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.70x
    Viewfinder Resolution 1440k dots
    Top-Level Screen no Top Display
    LCD Framing Live View
    LCD Size 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 920k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen
    V-logging Friendliness Front-flip possible
    Touch Input Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking Feature
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 6 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations
    Silent Shootingno E-Shutter
    Time Lapse Photographyno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi
    Body Specs
    Battery Type DMW-BLC12 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)320 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 120 x 83 x 71 mm
    (4.7 x 3.3 x 2.8 in)
    Camera Weight 396 g (14.0 oz)

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