The Lumix G5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera with Lumix G Vario 14-42mm Lens (Black) from Panasonic is a recent addition to the Lumix line of Digital Single Lens Mirrorless (DSLM) cameras and brings with it a host of improvements as well as the Lumix commitment to quality optics. A compact design with built-in flash and ergonomically organized controls, the G5, in union with the Lumix G Vario 14-42mm lens, offers powerful photo and video performance resulting in top of the line image quality, sharp details and excellent resolution and color production. If you're interested in "going mirrorless", this is the camera for you.
A redesigned Venus Engine image processor and newly integrated 16.05 MP Live MOS sensor increase performance speed, improve Auto-focus and more so, render crisp and detailed images in both photo and video. The Venus Engine has improved its already advanced signal processing capabilities and with 3DNR and Multi-process NR can detect bright areas as well as smooth areas or edges within in an image and apply a multi-step noise reduction to further increase the sharpness of your photo. High Dynamic Range has been integrated on the G5 and will shoot several identical photos simultaneously in order to overlay them and create one perfectly balanced photo. In all Lumix G series cameras, the image sensor controls the auto focus. Called Contrast AF, it substantially improves focus accuracy, especially at brighter, smaller f-stops. The G5 has incorporated full-area Touch AF, making it possible to set focus on any point within the field of view and Light Speed AF in which focus is locked onto a moving subject. Combine these two elements with a burst rate of 6 frames per second (in full resolution!) and the G5 can shoot fast-moving objects, whether it be a flying bird or a fading smile, with DSLR-like accuracy.
The Live View Finder (LVF) on the Lumix G5 takes the standard view finder to another dimension. The adjustable eye sensor on the LVF senses the presence of an eye and switches the image output from the LCD screen to the eye piece. It also begins to Auto-focus as soon as it senses an eye, which can save you valuable microseconds when that is all you have to get the shot you want. The LVF is a large, bright 1,440,000-dot equivalent with approximately 100% field of view while the LCD display is a full 920,000-dot high resolution screen with wide-viewing angle and also offers 100% field of view. In addition, the LCD offers touch screen operation for basic shooting and playback and rotates 180º to the side and 270º up and down for easier image composition. Most impressive is that with Touch pad function, both the LCD and LVF can be on at the same time for more intuitive shooting. The lag time from shot to LCD output has been minimized on the G5, so monitoring fast moving subjects is better than ever.
A simple but welcomed advancement on the G5 is the Electronic Shutter mode which allows silent shutter operation for a totally silent capture. The G5 has also updated its physical design to be more ergonomically friendly. The new function lever near the shutter release button can control zoom with some lenses, aperture in manual mode and can magnify images in playback. More so, in combination with the camera's rear dial it can adjust all major shooting settings. This is a huge design improvement that will help all shooters focus on the essentials as opposed to searching for the right button to push.
Of course, the Lumix G5 also produces Full HD 1080 60p video and the improvements in sensor and image processing have pay-off for video quality as well. Touch AF in video mode allows selective focusing adjustment during shooting and Tracking AF keeps focus on a subject while it moves. A dedicated video button is the only button needed to start shooting video and while shooting video, simple touch of the shutter release allows for photos to be taken during video capture.
Despite its high performance capability, the G5 also hosts an array of beginner friendly scene guides which allow the user to choose a pre-fabricated scene closest to the one they'd like to shoot and the camera will adjust its settings to accommodate that scene. Now with fourteen Creative Control Mode filters including Soft Focus and One Point Color, the G5 can recommend filters that will enhance your photography. These assistive controls are in addition to the Lumix iA (Intelligent Auto) which will integrate all of its assist functions into one setting and let the camera do all the work. Sometimes that's the best way to get the photo you need.
The Panasonic Lumix G5 will work with the full line of G series lenses but in this case it comes complete with the Lumix G Vario 14-42mm lens. This is a standard zoom lens with the focal lengths to shoot almost any day to day needs, from landscapes and sunsets to friends and family. Its 35mm equivalency is 28-84mm which is very inclusive and aperture runs from f/3.5(wide) to f/22. It is a multicoated lens to eliminate light flares and its Auto-focus and Auto-exposure functions are fully supported in both photo and video modes. It is an ideal lens to start your foray into compact mirrorless shooting with the Lumix G5.