Handson Review with Panasonic GM5 - Smallest Interchangeable m43 Camera with EVF


wonglp

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#1
It's been week since I had this attractive RED Panasonic GM5 from Panasonic for test and review. When Panasonic GM1 was launched last year , it was slated as the smallest mirror less interchangeable camera. This time, Panasonic has once again up the stakes to the little brother with the new GM5 - smallest interchangeable Micro 43rd camera with EVF, perhaps all mirror less cameras. So this is small & light, but how small?

Here's a shot of how small it is on palm, granted the palm is huge (Spidey89 if anyone had seen him before), but still it is small. If you wish, this is the dimensions W98.5 x H59.5 x D36.1mm off google.



A 50ct coin as reference




Bling bling, it fits great even on lady's hands(My Missus's - & she needs a manicure soon;p)did I mention it's still very small?




GM5 comes in 3 colours, Stealthy Black, Green , Red. I do like the striking Red GM5, although the GM1 colours (orange esp attracts me more), but yeah, it's all about personal preference.
 

wonglp

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#2
First time I got hold of this camera, I looked at the stock strap and it's mostly black, with leathery (pseudo perhaps) finishing and "Lumix G", yeah Red G! Camera of this design should be dressed up, and I mean it, grabbed my Artisan & Artist ACAM 295 and wrist strap it with me all the time. Strap stays in the box. If there's one suggestion to Panasonic for such cameras, thrash the stock strap designs! :devil:

Here's how it looks like with my Red wrist strap :love grin:




You see, even Neymar doesn't use the stock strap :bsmilie:
$panasonic_gm5-1.jpg

jokes aside, even the Red GM5 looks great on a guy, check out this link, Ok it's Neymar but still. Many times, on the street I get stares, from both genders, I am not even sure that's a good thing or not, it possibly helps to distract subjects if I'm shooting them. Oh, did I mention how quiet this camera is? Extremely just like any point and shoot, and I'm not even talking about "silent mode" which mutes the sound (and flash).

The reason for the subtlety is due to the use of electronically-control focal-plane shutter / Electronic shutter. Which also allows it to go 1/16000s, wow, that's better than Olympus Flagship EM1 @ 1/8000s or Nikon D4s, I'm certainly comparing peanuts with apples here.
 

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wonglp

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#3
So what''s the upgrade or main difference from GM1. Quite a bit and hence at the expense of a slightly bigger footprint.


  • GM5 has rear control Dial! This is so useful, especially for those who wants more controls. + 2 function buttons (one for VF, one for Wifi), which can be changed if you wish. There's also a couple more function buttons that's activated by the touchscreen.
  • GM5's EVF 1.16M dots ,100% FOV, magnification of 0.92x (or 0.46x in 35mm equivalent), in most EVF today, the specs doesn't hold up as well as many others. But in practical it's still a lot more useful e.g bright day trying to strain your eyes looking at a 3" 921K dot LCD. And to use it to help to get slower shutter speeds, it's extremely useful.
  • GM5 No flash built in unlike GM1!!! As the EVF had taken the space that used to house the GM1 onboard flash, Panasonic manage to have a hotshoe (which GM1 doesn't)m it does come with a smallish external flash that can be useful (if one remembers to bring).
  • OK this is how cute the flash looks like, it's actually more powerful than the GM1's onboard. GM5 bundled flash has a Guide Number of 7m @ ISO100.




The feel of the camera is very good, quality finishing with leatherette feel.
 

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wonglp

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#4
Being small has it's issues too. There's an optional accessory grip which is shared with GM1 and works on GM5 too (DMW-HGR1), it may helps the balance a little perhaps. Though GM5 is taller than GM1, some m43 lenses are just too huge for it.

All the pancakes and primes up to Olympus 45mm will be nice though even some lenses would cause the camera to lean upwards, as lens barrel are taller than the camera e.g. Lumix 20/1.7 (without the optional grip). The Leica 15mm would actually be a great fit with this camera. Also, there's a 35-100mm retractable telephoto lens, however, it's not available for review this time. Apart from that, I doubt any other tele would balance well on this camera. Not a bad thing though, just not design for those users who needs it. This camera is mean to to be small and casual. A camera you would want to bring out, along a couple of smallish primes to achieve a shallower depth of field. One thing though to note is that Olympus lenses doesn't have optical image stabilisers, hence on Panasonic bodies, this would be a disadvantage. I had to be mindful as a few times I had blur shots.

Here's a couple of shots taken with GM5+45/1.8 @ F1.8. Since it's using m43 sensor, the output is as good as with GX7 or better, since it's 16MP sensor.

Just to show the compatibility & capability with Olympus 45mm F1.8 lens.

ISO800, 1/100s, standard color mode, seems to work well for my preference. OOC jpeg.


ISO1250, 1/100s


ISO200, 1/125s. The colour is very accurate and WB as well. This was shot interior of Smiggle's store which daughter was browsing for children's day gift, it's almost to what I see inside. OOC jpeg.


An outdoor shot. ISO200. 1/1600s. Gloomy and hazy day.
 

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wonglp

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#5
How about the kit lens? Panasonic 12-32 F3.5-5.6 Mega OIS? One thing for sure, it's definitely not too sloppy, else Panasonic would have come up with another version of kit lens (there are many iterations of kit lens from Panasonic already , same as Olympus). But yeah this one is really good, I even swopped my Olympus 14-42 EZ electronic zoom lens with Keithwee for his silver version :) I find this to be sharpest m43 kit lens I've used, although there's some distortion, but it's still manageable. For a kit lens it's impressive. And it's 12mm and so small. :heart: Will share more shots tomorrow of the kit lens performance
 

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rhino123

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#6
Panasonic never failed to amaze me. If the price is right, looks like this GM5 is gonna be a hit.
 

keithwee

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#7
How about the kit lens? Panasonic 12-32 F3.5-5.6 Mega OIS? One thing for sure, it's definitely not too sloppy, else Panasonic would have come up with another version of kit lens (there are many iterations of kit lens from Panasonic already , same as Olympus). But yeah this one is really good, I even swopped my Olympus 14-42 EZ electronic zoom lens with Keithwee for his silver version :) I find this to be sharpest m43 kit lens I've used, although there's some distortion, but it's still manageable. For a kit lens it's impressive. And it's 12mm and so small. :heart: Will share more shots tomorrow of the kit lens performance
Hahaha, thanks for the swop ;)
GM5 and the LX100 both are really gems released by Panasonic.
 

semajm85

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#8
Eagerly awaiting for this to release. The wife decided she wanted the one with view finder. Thanks for the impressions!
 

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#11
Any rumor on the pricing and availability in SG ?
 

wonglp

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#12
Panasonic never failed to amaze me. If the price is right, looks like this GM5 is gonna be a hit.
I think so too, they really makes this system smaller than anyone can. GM5 & amazingly small LX100.

Hahaha, thanks for the swop ;)
GM5 and the LX100 both are really gems released by Panasonic.
So true.

Eagerly awaiting for this to release. The wife decided she wanted the one with view finder. Thanks for the impressions!
Rather limited colours I feel, but the Red is very nice really :)


haha yes nice cam the GM5....i decide to focus on the lx100 (leica version) hehe....GM1 will do for my wife :)
Can you mod into orange if I get it? LOL

Nice review so far, keep posting!
Thanks bro, hope it helps
 

wonglp

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#14
The Kit Lens - Lumix G Vario 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 Mega OIS

It's small, it's light and sharp for a kit lens and it's wide. One thing that's lacking, perhaps to nitpick is the lack of manual focus ring. Though I suppose for GM5's intended target customers, casual and wants a powerful camera that's very portable and stylish, wouldn't be too upset with this. Here's some shots at different focal lengths and 100% crops. All OOC Jpegs.

A gloomy day, F6.3, ISO200, 1/250s. 17mm


100% crop



F6.3, ISO200, 1/200s, 32mm.


100% crop



 

wonglp

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#15
A couple more

Shot with "dramatic monotone" effect, OOC jpeg.

F3.6, 1/60s, ISO250, 13mm


100% crop


F5, 1/200s, ISO200, 12mm


100% crop
 

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wonglp

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#16
A few more with the kit lens


F5.6, 1/200s, ISO200, 12mm, OOC jpeg


100% crop, can see myself (perhaps smiling)


F4.9, 1/13s, ISO200, 22mm. In case anyone is keen, this is kaya ciabatta from Good Morning Nanyang coffee at Grand Turf City. OOC jpeg


F5.6, 1/6s, ISO200, 32mm. Loaded with Kaya. OOC jpeg


F5.6, 1/100s, ISO200,32mm. Straightened and cropped

 

wonglp

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#17
How about night shots, landscape photography?

I tried it with Panasonic 7-14, it looks rather awkward on it but it works.



Here's a shot to show the wideness of 7-14, I actually cropped a little. Slapped on a 6 stops ND filter to achieve a 30s long exposure.
F9.0, ISO100, 30sec, 7mm. Some post processing was done to improve the dynamic range, etc, 2 min job. But the sharpness was not changed.


This shot was done with kit 12-32, waited till the laser show.
F8, 6s, ISO200, 12mm. This is how tight at 12mm, imagine a 14-42 standard kit lens would have cropped the top of MBS. Some post processing done, but again sharpness not changed.


100% crop of the above to show the amount of details possible with the kit lens

Useable for landscapes? I think so, it certainly depends on individual as well. For m43 sensors, the long exposure noise reduction had to be turned ON, meaning after shooting say a shot of 30sec, you must wait another 30s as the camera will take a dark frame to compensate the hot pixels that can appear. I tried turning off and shoot, there's a lot of hot pixels.
 

wonglp

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#18
ISO Tests


All images are of JPEG, as there's no Raw support at this point.

ISO100


ISO200


ISO400


ISO800


ISO1600
 

wonglp

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#19
ISO Test cont'd

ISO3200


ISO6400


ISO12800


ISO25600


 

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wonglp

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#20
Some practical ISO shots to share, just to give a more realistic. All images OOC jpeg

ISO1000, F5.6, 32mm, 1/80s <Kit Lens 12-32>


ISO6400, F2, 25mm, 1/60s, <Olympus 25/1.8>, have a guess what this is ?


ISO2500, 20mm, F1.7, 1/60s. <Panasonic Lumix 20mm/1.7>


ISO1600, 20mm, F2.0, 1/60s, focused on the black bread, <Panasonic Lumix 20mm/1.7>


ISO1600, 20mm, F2.0, 1/60s, Oyster, <Panasonic Lumix 20mm/1.7>


So what you do think?
 

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