Home Fun StuffTechnology Panasonic Lumix G5 – Losing the Bulk But Not the Quality #Lumix

Panasonic Lumix G5 – Losing the Bulk But Not the Quality #Lumix

by TerriAnn

When I first got word that a Panasonic Lumix G5 was coming my way, I was a bit puzzled. I really didn’t understand how it was any different from other cameras currently on the market. The Lumix G5 comes complete with a lens, software (which I haven’t used yet), charger, USB cable, strap, and a sun hood. We had to buy a sun hood for our other camera separately so I was pleased to see the Lumix had one included.


After taking the camera out of the box and playing with it a bit, my husband and I immediately noticed how light the camera was. Even with the lens attached, the Lumix G5 weighed much less than some cameras we had in the past. This was such a welcome feature. When I have to go to events, it’s such a pain to lug a heavy camera around the whole time just to get a couple decent photos. The lighter plastic material felt a bit ‘cheapy’ to my husband but, to me, it made the camera seem a lot less fragile.

It’s also super fast. The auto-focus is almost instant and right after you shoot one picture it’s ready for another. No more missing great photo ops because the camera is still processing! I’m a bit bummed that we haven’t had the opportunity to take some nice videos yet. The filming speed can create smooth visuals while the left/right microphones on top would deliver robust sound in stereo.

My daughter likes the LCD touchscreen, in particular, since it allows her to easily change filter options and scroll though settings. While the LCD screen is great for my daughter, I’ve become accustomed to using a traditional viewfinder and am glad the Lumix G5 has one.

Speaking of my daughter, she’s become quite fond of the Lumix G5. The weight and size make it more comfortable for her to handle. As she’s not at the stage of editing photos on the computer, the 14 creative filters have added a whole new dimension of photography for her. Here are a few photos she recently shot. I was very impressed with the one she took of the iPad cases – so clever!




The Lumix G5 is a DSLM (Digital Single Lens Mirrorless). That ‘mirrorless’ part is what’s noteworthy. The mirrorless technology is also used in point-and-shoot cameras to make them smaller and lighter. This, however, is NOT a point-and-shoot camera. The photo quality is much higher, thanks to the large sensor (professional photographers will know what that is as I don’t), and there are a slew of interchangeable lenses that can be used. Photos come out very clear and with true colors. I did notice that the camera has to be extremely still in low light to prevent blurring.

It’s hard to really understand how the absence of a mirror can impact the camera unless you see it. Below are a few comparison shots of the Lumix G5 and a Nikon 5100. We obviously have a larger lens on the Nikon but you can still see clearly that the Lumix is smaller overall and lighter (the lens itself does not weigh a full pound).

I have to admit that we are still getting used to this DSLM and trying to figure out the different settings. There are several ‘scene’ modes from portraits to sports to various landscape options that we haven’t been able to test out yet. More advanced photographers will appreciate the ability to adjust aperture and shutter speed, concepts I’m still struggling to grasp.

We really enjoy the Lumix G5. The speed and weight really score high in my book and, due to the build, I feel more comfortable letting my daughter use it. Plus, the auto features are great for those transitioning from a basic point-and-shoot. For everyday, casual photography this camera is great. To feel confident in making this my primary camera will still take some time as I learn the ins and outs of what the Panasonic Lumix G5 is actually capable of.

For more photos we took with this camera, see here.

I wrote this post as part of my participation in a blog tour with Burst Media. I received the Panasonic Lumix G5 camera free of charge for my 100% honest review.

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Robin @ Mom Foodie December 4, 2012 - 4:46 am

I’ve wanted to try a Lumix DSLR for awhile now. I had a nice P&S from them that caught light like a champ, until I dropped & killed it 🙁

TerriAnn van Gosliga December 10, 2012 - 7:47 am

That’s good to know though as it’s always nice to have a little P&S around. Let me know if you end up getting one!

Befreebies.com December 20, 2012 - 11:06 pm

Sorry about your camera. 🙁 I am considering a Lumix DSLR, too, and glad I found this really nice review.

Alison December 4, 2012 - 11:09 pm

I love the pictures this camera takes! It’s great!!

TerriAnn van Gosliga December 10, 2012 - 7:47 am

Agreed – and it’s so easy too!

Kelly @ A Girl Worth Saving December 7, 2012 - 11:30 am

I love the filters on this camera. It’s nice that it weighs less too.

TerriAnn van Gosliga December 10, 2012 - 7:48 am

That definitely makes a huge difference. My daughter was loving the filter choices and preview of them with current shots.

Lynn December 17, 2012 - 11:13 pm

That camera doesn’t look too bad. I have a Nikon D200 which is a professional model. If you have adjustable settings, like f stops and changeable speeds, yours is a “professional” type camera as opposed to a point and shoot. Don’t be afraid of damaging the camera by messing with the manual settings. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the control you have over the camera (unlike point and shoots) once you know what you’re doing. F stops adjust how open or closed the iris is on the camera. This controls how much light is getting to the sensor. It’s very similar to the way the iris in our own eye opens and closes. The sensor is the “film” in a digital camera and a large one is better than a small one because you can capture a larger image. I’m still learning about this aspect since most of my photography (starting from around age five) was with old school film, not digital. In professional video equipment, you’ll have three CCDs (charge coupled devicees). One for each color. I don’t know if your camera is like that or not. Probably not. The shutter speed controls how LONG the shutter remains open (NOT how open or closed it is). Fast shutter speeds (maybe 1/250 of a second or more) are great for stopping action, like a track meet or a football game. Try it sometime. The slower speeds can do some really interesting things like photograph lightning. One of my favorite subjects. Definitely experiment around with that camera of yours and if you have any questions, get on my Facebook page and send me a message. My name on there is “lynnjmagnuson”. I also have “stormscapephotography” on Facebook as well. Most importantly … have a ball with that new rig. You deserve it!

Lynn in New Orleans, LA.

TerriAnn van Gosliga December 18, 2012 - 8:34 am

Thanks for the tips. I’m still trying to keep the whole shutter speed and aperture thing straight in my mind. I’ll definitely keep referring to this comment until I do 🙂

Michael December 18, 2012 - 3:31 pm

I too picked up a G5 this month but for entirely different reasons. I normally shoot with full frame Canon DSLRs. Lately, I have been shooting weddings, funerals and other events where ANY shutter click would be heard. I had 5 criteria for the ideal camera in these situations: 1) Quiet 2) Interchangeable lens ability 3) Fast shooting speed (frames per second) 4) The ability to shoot by looking through the viewfinder OR from the rear LCD 5) Be able to shoot in RAW.

The one feature which is noteworthy, is the mirrorless and shutterless design. If the Electonic Shutter is enabled in the setup menu and then the Sound is set to off, the camera is completely silent when shooting! This camera is capable of shooting at 6 frames per second. The only problem I have is that I don’t know how many shots were fired since I can’t hear anything! The articulating viewfinder also allows me to shoot without attracting attention to myself. This is great for candid shots. I think I did my research thoroughly and this is the only camera that has exactly the features I need for this type of photography. The next time you attend a weeding, you will be able to shoot during the ceremony!

TerriAnn van Gosliga December 19, 2012 - 12:09 am

Wow, those are factors I never even thought about. I can imagine how the shutter sound could detract from the occasion or eliminate the surprise. I’m definitely keeping this in mind. Before this camera, I never even bothered to research the pros and cons of the mirrorless cameras. I’m glad it’s worked out so well for you thus far, despite accidentally taking a million photos on continuous since you can’t hear it 😛

cwj December 19, 2012 - 1:08 am

I feel the urge to point out that having manual controls does not make one’s camera “professional”. It leads one more so down the path of “hobbyist” instead of “casual” photogrpahy, but there are plenty amateur range bodies with manual controls.

“Professional” really refers more to bodies with systems (lenses/accessories), cutting edge features (whatever the marketing name is for the latest split-second-faster method of focusing is), and the quality of the imaging sensor (quality meaning a whole RANGE of different things).

That said, a P&S camera can take an award winning photo.
A Nikon D3 can take a refrigerator picture.

The more you know about the decisions the camera is making for you, the more you understand how to manipulate the dials to get a desired effect.

(You’d be surprised how many of those fancy effects you can cause on your camera once you start reading about and experimenting with aperture, shutter speed, and sensitivity)

Be brave, have fun. Keep at least one film camera around and shoot at least one film roll a year.



Troy Hendrickson December 23, 2012 - 10:48 pm

The biggest drawback to the G5 is the proprietary lenses limits you to what Panasonic offers which is no where near the range as Canon and Nikon, both of which offer superior entry level levl systems at that price break and offer far more versatile paths to expansion and upgrades down the road.

Or is it you actually get paid to write your so called reviews and my opinion, as a published professional photographer, will never be seen by your readers?

TerriAnn van Gosliga December 24, 2012 - 7:55 am

I agree that the Panasonic lenses are more expensive – so upgrading may not be as attractive to newer photographer. I appreciate your comment and opinion, but please keep it nice 🙂

Troy Hendrickson December 26, 2012 - 11:15 am

The cost of the lenses is moot, the quality and range is what I’m talking about. A better quality lens in Canon or Nikon mount can be had for less in fact I’d wager, the body itself is over priced compared to actual DSLRS and in reality offers no advantages over them.

I notice you didn’t deny getting paid for your reviews. So here’s your chance, do you receive any form of compensation for your reviews?

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