Panasonic G5 vs Sony A5000
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 and the Sony Alpha A5000 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in July 2012 and January 2014. Both the G5 and the A5000 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are based on a Four Thirds (G5) and an APS-C (A5000) sensor. The Panasonic has a resolution of 15.9 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 19.8 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 and the Sony Alpha A5000? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Panasonic G5 and the Sony A5000 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The G5 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the A5000 is available in three color-versions (black, silver, white).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A5000 is considerably smaller (30 percent) than the Panasonic G5. Moreover, the A5000 is markedly lighter (32 percent) than the G5. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G5 nor the A5000 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog (G5) and the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog (A5000). Mirrorless cameras, such as the two under consideration, have the additional advantage of having a short flange to focal plane distance, which makes it possible to mount many lenses from other systems onto the camera via adapters.
Concerning battery life, the G5 gets 320 shots out of its DMW-BLC12 battery, while the A5000 can take 420 images on a single charge of its NP-FW50 power pack. The power pack in the A5000 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Panasonic G5||120 mm||83 mm||71 mm||396 g||320||n||Jul 2012||599|
|2.||Sony A5000||110 mm||63 mm||36 mm||269 g||420||n||Jan 2014||449|
|3.||Canon M10||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||301 g||255||n||Oct 2015||499|
|4.||Canon 100D||117 mm||91 mm||69 mm||407 g||380||n||Mar 2013||549|
|5.||Fujifilm X-M1||117 mm||67 mm||39 mm||330 g||350||n||Jun 2013||699|
|6.||Panasonic GX800||107 mm||65 mm||33 mm||269 g||210||n||Jan 2017||549|
|7.||Panasonic G7||125 mm||86 mm||77 mm||410 g||350||n||May 2015||649|
|8.||Panasonic G6||122 mm||85 mm||71 mm||390 g||340||n||Apr 2013||599|
|9.||Panasonic GF6||111 mm||65 mm||38 mm||323 g||340||n||Apr 2013||499|
|10.||Panasonic GM1||99 mm||55 mm||30 mm||204 g||230||n||Oct 2013||749|
|11.||Panasonic GX7||123 mm||71 mm||55 mm||402 g||350||n||Aug 2013||999|
|12.||Panasonic G3||115 mm||84 mm||47 mm||336 g||270||n||May 2011||599|
|13.||Panasonic GX1||116 mm||68 mm||39 mm||318 g||320||n||Nov 2011||699|
|14.||Sony RX100 IV||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||298 g||280||n||Jun 2015||999|
|15.||Sony A5100||110 mm||63 mm||36 mm||283 g||400||n||Aug 2014||549|
|16.||Sony A6000||120 mm||67 mm||45 mm||344 g||360||n||Feb 2014||599|
|17.||Sony NEX-3N||110 mm||62 mm||35 mm||269 g||480||n||Feb 2013||499|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The A5000 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 25 percent) than the G5, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Panasonic G5 features a Four Thirds sensor and the Sony A5000 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the A5000 is 59 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.0 and 1.5. The sensor in the G5 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the A5000 offers a 3:2 aspect.
With 19.8MP, the A5000 offers a higher resolution than the G5 (15.9MP), but the A5000 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.25μm versus 3.76μm for the G5) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the A5000 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 5 months) than the G5, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
The resolution advantage of the Sony A5000 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the A5000 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 27.3 x 18.2 inches or 69.3 x 46.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 21.8 x 14.5 inches or 55.4 x 36.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 18.2 x 12.1 inches or 46.2 x 30.8 cm. The corresponding values for the Panasonic G5 are 23 x 17.3 inches or 58.5 x 43.9 cm for good quality, 18.4 x 13.8 inches or 46.8 x 35.1 cm for very good quality, and 15.4 x 11.5 inches or 39 x 29.3 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 160 to ISO 12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha A5000 are ISO 100 to ISO 16000 (no boost).
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|1.||Panasonic G5||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||22.3||11.9||643||66|
|6.||Panasonic GX800||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||4K/30p||23.2||13.3||586||73|
|7.||Panasonic G7||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||4K/30p||22.8||12.4||904||71|
|8.||Panasonic G6||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||21.3||11.5||639||61|
|9.||Panasonic GF6||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||20.7||10.6||622||54|
|10.||Panasonic GM1||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||22.3||11.7||660||66|
|11.||Panasonic GX7||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||22.6||12.2||718||70|
|12.||Panasonic G3||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||21.0||10.6||667||56|
|13.||Panasonic GX1||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||20.8||10.6||703||55|
|14.||Sony RX100 IV||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.6||591||70|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the G5 provides a higher frame rate than the A5000. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60p, while the Sony is limited to 1080/60i.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the G5 has an electronic viewfinder (1440k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the A5000 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Panasonic G5, the Sony A5000, and comparable cameras.
|1.||Panasonic G5||1440||n||3.0 / 920||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n|
|2.||Sony A5000||none||n||3.0 / 461||tilting||n||1/4000s||3.5||Y||n|
|3.||Canon M10||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||4.6||Y||n|
|4.||Canon 100D||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.9||Y||n|
|5.||Fujifilm X-M1||none||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.6||Y||n|
|6.||Panasonic GX800||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/500s||10.0||Y||n|
|7.||Panasonic G7||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||7.0||Y||n|
|8.||Panasonic G6||1440||n||3.0 / 1036||swivel||Y||1/4000s||7.0||Y||n|
|9.||Panasonic GF6||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||4.2||Y||n|
|10.||Panasonic GM1||none||n||3.0 / 1036||fixed||Y||1/500s||5.0||Y||n|
|11.||Panasonic GX7||2760||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/8000s||5.0||Y||Y|
|12.||Panasonic G3||1440||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||Y||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n|
|13.||Panasonic GX1||optional||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.2||Y||n|
|14.||Sony RX100 IV||2359||n||3.0 / 1228||tilting||n||1/2000s||16.0||Y||Y|
|15.||Sony A5100||none||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n|
|16.||Sony A6000||1440||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/4000s||11.0||Y||n|
|17.||Sony NEX-3N||optional||n||3.0 / 460||tilting||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The G5 has a touchscreen, while the A5000 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.Both cameras have an articulated rear screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This feature will be particularly appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies.
The G5 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the A5000 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.
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 Sony Alpha A5000 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Panasonic G5||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Sony A5000||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|3.||Canon M10||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|4.||Canon 100D||Y||mono / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|5.||Fujifilm X-M1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|6.||Panasonic GX800||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|7.||Panasonic G7||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|8.||Panasonic G6||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|9.||Panasonic GF6||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|10.||Panasonic GM1||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|11.||Panasonic GX7||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|12.||Panasonic G3||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Panasonic GX1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Sony RX100 IV||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|15.||Sony A5100||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|16.||Sony A6000||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|17.||Sony NEX-3N||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the G5 has a hotshoe, while the A5000 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
Both the G5 and the A5000 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The G5 was replaced by the Panasonic G6, while the A5000 was followed by the Sony A5100. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Panasonic and Sony websites.
So what is the bottom line? Is the Panasonic G5 better than the Sony A5000 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5:
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/60i).
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 461k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6 vs 3.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in July 2012).
Arguments in favor of the Sony Alpha A5000:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (19.8 vs 15.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 14%.
- Better image quality: Is equipped with a larger and more technologically advanced sensor.
- Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
- More compact: Is smaller (110x63mm vs 120x83mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 127g or 32 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (420 versus 320) out of a single battery charge.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (25 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 5 months) more recently.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the A5000 is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 8 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Panasonic G5 and the Sony A5000 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the G5 and the A5000 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 why expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Panasonic G5||3/5||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||599|
|2.||Sony A5000||3/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2014||449|
|3.||Canon M10||..||..||..||..||..||4/5||Oct 2015||499|
|4.||Canon 100D||4/5||+||..||78/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2013||549|
|5.||Fujifilm X-M1||3/5||+||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||699|
|6.||Panasonic GX800||..||+||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||549|
|7.||Panasonic G7||4/5||+ +||..||80/100||5/5||4.5/5||May 2015||649|
|8.||Panasonic G6||4/5||+ +||..||..||5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2013||599|
|9.||Panasonic GF6||..||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2013||499|
|10.||Panasonic GM1||3/5||+||..||78/100||5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||749|
|11.||Panasonic GX7||4/5||+||..||79/100||5/5||5/5||Aug 2013||999|
|12.||Panasonic G3||3/5||+ +||..||75/100||4.5/5||5/5||May 2011||599|
|13.||Panasonic GX1||3/5||+||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Nov 2011||699|
|14.||Sony RX100 IV||4.5/5||+ +||..||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||999|
|15.||Sony A5100||4.5/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2014||549|
|16.||Sony A6000||5/5||+||4.5/5||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||Feb 2014||599|
|17.||Sony NEX-3N||3/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2013||499|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, 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.
- Fujifilm X-H1 vs Panasonic G5
- Hasselblad X1D II vs Panasonic G5
- Hasselblad X1D vs Panasonic G5
- Nikon D5300 vs Sony A5000
- Nikon D7100 vs Sony A5000
- Olympus E-M10 III vs Panasonic G5
- Panasonic FZ150 vs Sony A5000
- Panasonic FZ80 vs Panasonic G5
- Panasonic G3 vs Sony A5000
- Panasonic G5 vs Pentax MX-1
- Sony A5000 vs Sony HX95
- Sony A5000 vs Sony RX0 II
Specifications: Panasonic G5 vs Sony A5000
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Panasonic G5||Sony A5000|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Micro Four Thirds lenses||Sony E mount lenses|
|Launch Date||July 2012||January 2014|
|Launch Price||USD 599||USD 449|
|Sensor Specs||Panasonic G5||Sony A5000|
|Sensor Format||Four Thirds Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||17.3 x 13.0 mm||23.2 x 15.4 mm|
|Sensor Area||224.9 mm2||357.28 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||21.6 mm||27.8 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||15.9 Megapixels||19.8 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4608 x 3456 pixels||5456 x 3632 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.76 μm||4.25 μm|
|Pixel Density||7.08 MP/cm2||5.55 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO Setting||160 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 16,000 ISO|
|Image Processor||Venus VII FHD||BIONZ X|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||79|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||23.8|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||13.0|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||1089|
|Screen Specs||Panasonic G5||Sony A5000|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||no viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||1440k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||920k dots||461k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Panasonic G5||Sony A5000|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||6 shutter flaps/s||3.5 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Panasonic G5||Sony A5000|
|External Flash||Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Body Specs||Panasonic G5||Sony A5000|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||320 shots per charge||420 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
120 x 83 x 71 mm
(4.7 x 3.3 x 2.8 in)
110 x 63 x 36 mm
(4.3 x 2.5 x 1.4 in)
|Camera Weight||396 g (14.0 oz)||269 g (9.5 oz)|
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