Panasonic are well known for making some good cameras, standing near the top of the ladder with the likes of Canon and Olympus. As a complete newbie to photography (with the exception of taking pictures for new employees on their photo-passes), I thought I’d finally invest in a real camera which I could use to take to conventions and events with me.
I’ve spent a few weeks with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 now and I thought I’d give you my own style of tech-review: This is a review of the Panasonic Lumic DMC-G5 to a complete newbie and what we’d care about initially.
About the Lumix DMC-G5
This is a CSC (Compact System Camera) which mimics the style of a DSLR (Digital Single-Lens Reflex) camera.
What this means to someone uninitiated with cameras is that it’s got the style of one of those nice big ol’ lens cameras that you see professionals use. The price I got mine for was around the £230 mark, which is much better value than a good DSLR/SLR camera. So, due to its cheap pricing and the fact it’s an imitator, you’d think the photo quality on this would be pretty poor, wouldn’t you?
A good starters lens
The Lumix DMC-G5 can be bought either as just the body, or you can get it with the lens. Mine came with the standard lens at the £230 price range. Considering this camera came out a couple of years ago (2012, in fact) the price range and the lens as well as the body for the price I paid for it – It’s nothing short of a bargain.
The lens has produced some awesome pictures for me and the fact the camera does some pretty fancy work by itself is nothing short of a saviour for someone like me.
There is even an Intelligent Auto feature, which tries to make the best pictures possible for you. The above picture was taken with the intelligent auto mode, which as you can see has done a very good job of a picture that could have potentially been quite noisy due to the closeness.
The picture was taken within 1 second of the pose being struck, mostly because it was amusing at the time. When we looked at the picture, we were stunned at the quality of such a quick shot.
The Lumix also came with its own strap which for me was an important piece of kit. How else would I carry it around? It didn’t come with a case, but I simply popped to my local camera shop who allowed me to try several cases before settling with a fair sized case for £20.
This is a 16 megapixel camera which does get noisy when you start to focus on range rather than close ups. With this said, as most people within photography would tell you: It’s not the body that does all the work: It’s the lens.
Yet, I feel inclined to talk more about the body.
As well as everything mentioned above, the camera body itself is easy to grip and hold. It’s weighted nicely and doesn’t feel unbalanced at all. The choice of material means it’s good to hold as well and you never feel out of control with it; which may seem like an odd thing to say, but I’ve held cameras which have been a pain to hold previously.
One point I’d like to make is that in the settings, you can actually change to a mode which has a “spirit level” feature. I am sure this is standard of all cameras, but let me tell you: it’s amazing! If you’re the king of uneven pictures (like me), then you’ll know how much of a godsend this is.
The memory cards the camera can take are: SD memory cards, SDHC memory cards and SDXC memory cards. I had an 8GB SDHC memory card floating around and each picture takes between 6mb-7mb at the standard settings. The camera also does video, which I hope to be showing off soon as it does some amazing High Definition videos for a camera that’s not a dedicated camcorder!
With a good viewfinder and great features, the DMC-G5 is an amazing model.
Speaking of great features: I’ve not told you about the screen on the back, have I?
Whilst I don’t have any pictures of this, I do have a bit of information about it to share with you all.
The screen is actually a touch-screen as well as the usual arrows and okay button to operate. This camera pulled out all the stops to be as easy to use as possible, as well as being compact enough to carry, yet still large enough to pull off some amazing shots.
The screen can rotate and be pulled to the side, so that you can show people other than yourself or just use it as a screen to look at when taking pictures. It has a high resolution screen which works nicely with most lighting conditions although the first night of use which was the last pub meet for GeekOut South-West, we pulled off some terrible shots. I blame the guy who was fiddling with the settings although it was likely my fault for being such an amateur!
I honestly think as far as cameras go, I have picked the best I could have. You can find these cameras on eBay and the usual places. I was originally going to buy this from Jessops, however just as I went to purchase, they stopped stocking it. Typical!
I’ll give this camera a very respectable 4.5/5. I am sure there are many ways this can be improved and the lens isn’t the best in the world: But for the price and everything combined, this truly is the best way to start a potential hobby in photography. After all; they say a good camera will last you for many years and becomes your favourite camera. Let’s hope that’s the case!
What do you think about the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5? Do you have a camera that’s close to your heart? Drop us a comment if you thought this review was at all useful, as if people like these little snips of technology, we’ll bring more your way… Not necessarily just cameras, mind you!