Price when reviewed:
?649 (with 14-42mm objectief)
- Petite and lightweight vormgeving
- Prompt autofocus (including pinpoint mode)
- Good overall photo quality
- Better materials choice than GM1
- Viewfinder scale
- Poor battery life
- JPEG processing can be overzealous
- GX7 similarities and improving high-end compacts pose questions
Panasonic rules the roost when it comes to dinky klein system cameras, with 2013’s Lumix GM1 establishing a strong position ter the market.
How to update such a seemingly ideal pocketable interchangeable objectief camera? Plonk a viewfinder te it and add a hotshoe, that’s how, which is exactly what wij get te the Panasonic Lumix GM5, a camera designed for the more requesting photographer.
But the toegevoegd tech means the GM5 brings with it a thicker footprint than its predecessor. At very first glance the front-on face looks similar to the original, and it could idiot you into thinking it’s a klein camera – indeed it’s dimensions are smaller than the high-end Panasonic Lumix LX100.
With all that te mind, is the Lumix GM5 still a mini yet mighty suggesting for those seeking top-end picture quality on a smaller scale? Wij’ve bot shooting with the Lumix GM5 for a few weeks to see whether it connects spil astoundingly spil the original, or feels outdone by its rivals, both klein and klein system.
Don’t overdo the objectief
For this review wij received the GM5 with the 12-35mm f/Two.8 objectief (te among some others), which frankly felt at odds with the camera. Very first, the objectief ter this example is the more expensive component than the figure, 2nd the scale of such an optic dwarfs the assets and makes it feel a bit like one doesn’t belong with the other. They do, of course, which is part of the point of having an interchangeable objectief Micro Four Thirds camera.
However, spil with the original GM1, speelgoedpop the 12-32mm kolenkit objectief on, which is far smaller, and there’s a sense of klein camera about the GM5 that’s indeed superb. Indeed, wij suspect many of its owners will never interchange out the objectief, or perhaps instead opt for a small-scale prime (there is a ?899 15mm Leica lijm option), despite the utter spectrum of Micro Four Thirds optics being available.
Puny is desirable, but the GM5 is close to the limit of what works. To the rear the four-way d-pad – which has ditched its embedded rotational dial control, now with a separate thumbwheel to the rear, making use of the extra height ter the vormgeving – is placed rather close to the LCD screen. Playback and function buttons sat next to the fresh thumbwheel are better spaced exclusief, but are still designed for petite fingers.
Despite squeezing an electronic viewfinder into the mix, the GM5 is still a camera that fits te the palm of a palm. It successfully pairs touchscreen controls with a physical mode dial and drive mode dial, each tweaked compared to their respective GM1 equivalents. The only kwestie with the touchscreen is the same wij had with the GM1: the buttons are so close to screen’s edge that some accidental presses aren’t always out of the question.
All ter all, the size difference inbetween original GM1 and then GM5 isn’t hugely significant. The viewfinder protrusion adds Five.7mm to make a 36mm depth, while the height increases by Five.4mm to 59.5mm ter total, and given those figures the 211g weight without a objectief linked – a mere 7g more than the GM1 – is outstanding.
Given that the GM5 is still smaller than the fixed-lens LX100, it’s a camera that positions itself spil a viable alternative to that very klein camera. Even the Fujifilm X30 is chunkier.
The faux leather finish of the GM1 – which wij’ve slated before and often squeal about similar materials te Samsung smartphone products – is now a thing of the past. The GM5’s subtle texture to the gevelbreedte is a far more appealing and sophisticated look.
Finding its place
The inclusion of a viewfinder is a logical addition to the GM family, but sometimes logical doesn’t always feel absolutely right. Wij didn’t often use the finder, spil its 0.46x (omschrijving) magnification doesn’t produce the largest of preview screens out there. The 1,166k-dot resolution is up to scrape, however, and the eye-level sensor can be set to automate inbetween finder and screen preview, yet ter low-light there is visible ghosting lagen which is a distraction.
Within the same footprint Panasonic could have added the hotshoe for a viewfinder accessory option and added a slender tilt-angle screen instead, which might have appealed even more. Or perhaps that’s the half-way GM3 that wij just created ter our minds. The point is, wij suppose, it’s about choice: if you want petite with a finder then the GM5 makes sense, but it backs itself into a bit of a corner spil the older and now cheaper Lumix GX7 is a similar specimen on a larger scale. The GM5’s finder isn’t the out-and-out success wij had perhaps thought it wasgoed on day one.
The 3-inch, 921k-dot LCD screen to the rear of the GM5 is by far and away how wij used the camera most. Albeit that’s taken a resolution cut compared to the GM1’s 1,040k-dot panel, presumably for the sake of the viewfinder, which isn’t a very welcome switch overall. However, the display is 50 vanaf cent brighter than before, which just about redresses the balance.
Wij also had our very first review sample GM5’s viewfinder get bruised ter the overhead locker of an aeroplane, its exterior finder panel getting knocked off, which is something wij’ve not had toebijten to a camera before. Bad luck, but the GM5 doesn’t like to take a knock.
Mini yet still mighty
Petite ter scale, yet with slew of show depth and speed, the GM5 is a capable little camera. A top favourite of ours is the Pinpoint autofocus mode, which zooms te to the concentrate area to 100 vanaf cent scale so you can see that accurate concentrate has bot made exactly where you want it. Does what it says on the tin.
Paired with the touchscreen it’s a ideal companion and something wij used often to snap elk, deer and a multitude of animals, including a peacock that took it upon itself to peer through the window on Christmas Day 2014, while on holiday. The only downside is that the outer edges of the screen aren’t available for autofocus, which can feel limited ter its centralised treatment.
The already speedy GM1 suggested a 120 frames vanaf 2nd refresh rate, that’s 120 instances te any given 2nd to derive concentrate. The GM5 doubles that to 240fps, therefore being yet more insider to quickly zip a given subject into concentrate. Panasonic claims 0.06-seconds (with the 14-140mm and 14-42mm lenses) but, frankly, it’s so quick that anybody would fight to notice the difference inbetween the two. Set to single autofocus the Panasonic system is up there with the best when te terms of speed. It’s near instant to concentrate.
Dim conditions pose no issues either. Wij’ve bot able to shoot at night, assuming some degree of a light source present, however subtle that may be. Set to ISO 6400, the interior building of a fire-lit lodge wasgoed no problem for the GM5.
The exception to autofocus capability, spil with so many klein system cameras, is when shifting the top dial to continuous autofocus (AF-C), which sees the camera a little slow te updating its current concentrate position. Wij still can’t name a single klein system camera that can take on a quality DSLR and track a subject te real time with spil much success, albeit the Samsung NX1 and Panasonic GH4 are attempting to close that gap.
The other downer is battery life. It’s an ongoing kwestie te petite cameras such spil this, but with the addition of a viewfinder to cope with the draw on battery sees around 200-shots vanaf charge spil far spil the GM5 will get you. And that’s at a spread. The official stance is 220 vanaf charge, but wij can’t help but thumb through photos on card and fiddle around with settings during use, all of which influence battery life and witnessed us shooting under 150 shots ter a single charge.
Panasonic seems to have lodged on the sensor found ter the GX7 spil its go-to 16-megapixel suggesting, spil that’s what shows up te both the GM1 and GM5, among other models. There may be tweaks and adjustments at play – there has to be given the Venus Engine and its 240fps refresh, spil touched upon earlier – but if you have practice of the GM1 then it’s much the same to be found here.
Which is no bad thing. Wij’re not talking total imaging perfection, spil the colours are sometimes a little on the cool side and metering has a tendency to slide towards slight underexposure ter our practice (this is likely due to overcast skies and icy ground colours throwing proceedings off the odor), but it’s a generally good all-round vertoning.
With the 12-24mm f/Two.8 objectief wij didn’t feel spil tho’ wij were using a klein camera, but the results from this optic impress, more so than the 35-100mm f/Four.0-5.6 tele zoom wij also utilised for a duo of days. When the GM1 wasgoed launched wij felt its 12-32mm kleefstof objectief made it comparable to a high-end klein camera, and while still true to a degree the f/Three.5-5.6 maximum aperture of that optic can’t stand shoulder to shoulder with some of the swifter lenses found te the latest top-end compacts out there, such spil the Sony RX100 III.
But less about lenses, more about the pics themselves. At the lowest ISO 100 and ISO 200 sensitivities – used when lots of light is available, for best pic quality – the raw files exhibit a light grain and a good level of detail, which is slightly muted ter the JPEG forms due to processing, but which you will only notice if using pictures at any zuigeling of scale. The presence of any colour noise is absent at thesis settings.
Panasonic Lumix GM5 review – sample pic at ISO 800 – click for utter size JPEG crop | raw crop
Shove sensitivity a little further and the results are still admirable. A slok of a cat-featured cushion at ISO 800 shows the level of detail possible from this camera, again with the raw verkeersopstopping providing that toegevoegd dash of detail (despite less sharpening present).
Budge into four-figure ISO territory and results are typically welgevoeglijk, but it’s here that some odd processing starts to toebijten. A snap of an elk friend on the roadside taken at ISO 1000 shows grain te the raw opstopping, but exhibits blotches ter the JPEG omschrijving, with patches of purple/magenta/green more visible te the antlers than ter the raw opstopping. The overall result is the zuigeling of thing wij would expect to see at higher ISO levels than this level. Best advice: stick to the raw files.
There’s other image-based trickery that can be performed in-camera, including a stack of processing options, such spil the Creative Control option on the main mode dial. Here it’s possible to select monochrome, isolated colour and a multitude of other pre-set visuals – including classic “retro” filmrolletje looks – straight into your shots. Each shows up ter real-time during preview too, so you’ll know exactly what you’re getting.
Meantime movie mode gets a boost to 1080p, a welcome improvement from the interlaced capture available on the GM1. Quality is good, touchscreen controls work well, but movie mode does dig a deeper crevice ter battery life.
?649 (with 14-42mm objectief)
The Panasonic Lumix GM5 is an interesting and accomplished system camera, but while the GM1 arrived at a time when it could slot into the market and outshine many high-end compacts, the more tech-laden GM5 exists ter a different setting. The advance of high-end compacts being one point, the existing (and larger) Lumix GX7 being another. Both those alternatives may bite into this particular viewfinder-featured system camera’s potential.
Telling that, the GM5 builds from many of the highs of the earlier GM1, and if you select the right objectief and stick with it – which may sound like an odd comment to make about an interchangeable objectief camera – then the GM5 is placed to hit high-end compacts at a similar price point.
The responsive touchscreen controls, super-fast autofocus system and ge overall pic quality are also definite highs. It’s just a shame the limited battery life remains a low point and the viewfinder isn’t the best on offerande.
If you want a camera with an occasional-use viewfinder to take everywhere then the GM5 is man enough for the job, and paired with a prime objectief its petite scale should make it the ideal. Disregarding the chosen objectief’ protrusion, this Panasonic is smaller than a Fujifilm X30 klein, which will speak volumes to some. It’s not spil standout spil the original GM1, but the GM5 has its moments and that makes it a mini miracle.