A few months ago I purchased a Panasonic G5 with two lenses (14-42mm and 45-150mm). I was eager to give Panasonic a try because I have been happy with several other Lumix cameras I have owned (FZ50, LX3, TS1, TS3). Great craftsmanship, durable, reliable cameras; very nice IQ from the LX3. All good reasons to dive into the m4/3 world via Panasonic.
I'm not 100% happy with the images I'm getting with the G5 though. The learning curve with the G5 has been much more difficult than I anticipated. While the G5 feels great in my hand (size and weight are perfect for travel), I can't seem to get an image I'm happy with. Main issues are lack of detail (NR is set to off, shooting in low ISO), WB is hardly ever accurate and focusing is cumbersome (pointing to a focus area on the LCD doesn't get me sharp focus shots, neither does selecting the focal point with the rear cursor button). The images I get with my old D200 and even with my LX3 are sharper, show more accurate WB, show more detail and show better tonal range than what I get from my G5.
My frustration is starting to turn to disappointment. I am contemplating either selling the G5 kit (replacing it with a Lumix LX7 for travel), or keeping it as a novelty camera knowing that I can't count on it to get important images.
I'm starting to think M4/3 was not meant for me. About two or three years ago I purchased a new Olympus EPL2 with kit lens. I was extremely disappointed with not only the lackluster image quality but with the poor workmanship of the camera as well. Day 2 of owning the EPL2 the battery overheated, grip began to come unglued. It turned me off regarding m4/3 until I decided to take the plunge with this new G5.
This post is not meant to troll in any way. I'm just simply disappointed and frustrated with the results I'm getting. Maybe there is a "magic formula" setting that will let me get better images from my G5. I will continue to search for that "magic setting" but with less enthusiasm (and hope).
p.s. I don't think optics has anything to do with it at this point. I have used my manual focus Nikon 105mm 2.5 AIS, 50mm 1.8 AIS, 50mm 1.4 AIS and several others. The image being recorded on the sensor is simply unimpressive no matter what lens I use.
#1. "RE: M4/3 not meant for me?" | In response to Reply # 0Larry E30 Nikonian since 27th May 2009Tue 13-Aug-13 01:28 AM
Wow - I been the opposite.
But first , I'd say ;
Sell your G5 and two lenses - YOU need to be happy with your set up/IQ etc.
I had a LX3 and regretted selling it.
I have a GF3 with 8mm and a 14mm. - Happy with that this or that on the GF3.
I have a GH1 with 7-14mm which both are better than sliced bread.Possably - better than the "Wheel".
(Also I have a LC1 I'm happy with).
Years ago - one of the only cameras I ever brang back was a Panasonic about an 8MP larger lens P+S.
Now - if you know me here,you guys know I use and try ,and test and review MANY cameras ...and I now have a collection of about 23 useable digital cameras...
My # 1 vote for BEST out of camera = Canon S90.Beats Panasonic LX3,and even the GH1...those are great but need PP.
I just sent back ,and am ordering another ...Sigma DP1s ...which I love #1 for color and #2 for IQ. But,even this camera begs PP.
Anyway - Photography is for joy.Sell what's not for you and find what is !!! .
#2. "RE: M4/3 not meant for me?" | In response to Reply # 0JPJ Nikonian since 19th Aug 2009Tue 13-Aug-13 02:08 AM
I am actually contemplating purchasing a small kit. When I shot DX it was not small enough for me to be considered portable and therefore I was without my camera in many situations when I wished I had one on me. I moved to FX to maximize image quality and because I gave up on Nikon ever paying any attention to the DX lens line. Since my move I have longed even more for something small enough to carry with me 90% of the time as the bigger, heavier equipment makes me want to haul it around for long periods even less. Don't get me wrong, if someone tried to take my D700/800e from me I would fight to the death and I love shooting them...I just don't love carrying them on the chance I will be shooting them.
After exhaustive research it seems the small interchangeable lens camera race has 4 horses (not counting crazy options like an M9)
1. Fuji XPRO-1/XE-1
2. Sony NEX7/NEX6
3. Olympus OM-D/EP-5
4. Panasonic GX7 (release date mid-September, currently taking pre-orders)
Honestly despite its foibles (some of which have been corrected by firmware updates), that have been well documented, the camera that gets the most rave reviews for flat out picture quality are the Fuji's, and my view from looking at hundreds is not over a thousand samples is that the praise is well deserved. Sony's NEX6/7 are likely next with their 24 MP sensor recording great detail (but quickly losing it as you increase ISO), followed closely by the Olympus OM-D/EP-5. The Panny GX7 is a little unknown at this point (there are a few picture samples on the web) but Panasonic went out and claimed image quality comparable to the OM-D which may be disappointing to some as the GX7 is brand new and the OM-D is likely due to be refreshed.
Not surprisingly the 2 cameras I note with the best image quality are both actually APS-C cameras in small form factors. The Fuji, whether due to a better image processor or the 16 MP's has noticeably better ISO performance, being good right through 6400 (usable). The Fuji's images are really nice imo and that type of quality may indeed be worth the growing pains this system has gone through.
The other 2 are micro 4/3rds. Perhaps the really impressive cameras here are the current Olympus ones that, to my eyes, provide great images - certainly through ISO 800-1600. Some would use 3200 for small prints/web. 6400 is pretty unusable to me. The image processor is quite good providing very pleasing rendering to my eyes anyway.
My big problem with micro 4/3rds having tried it out before is getting proper shallow DOF in many types of photos is very tricky. As I would use my smaller camera to likely shoot a lot of street portraits, this is a huge issue for me - I really need something to blur out the busy background of the street while keeping me close enough to the subject to prevent people from walking between us repeatedly.
Of course cost is likely an issue so that has to be factored in. For me, I am very near pulling the trigger on a XPRO-1. There is a learning curve, but the convenience and image quality strike a near perfect balance for me.
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#3. "RE: M4/3 not meant for me?" | In response to Reply # 0nwcs Registered since 15th Jan 2006Tue 13-Aug-13 10:15 AM
A lot of it is a learning curve where you need to stick to one body for a good while to get over its quirks. I traded in my D800 for a Fuji X-E1 and I've certainly had some rough patches handling it. Focus is different, feel is different, even putting on lens hoods requires me looking and experimenting. Eventually I'll get there, though, where it's muscle memory.
That said, these various systems aren't for everyone. Ergonomics, menus, options, lenses, handling, all have to work together to get the results you need.
I'd recommend to keep at it and try fun shots that work towards your strengths instead of shots other people get.
#4. "RE: M4/3 not meant for me?" | In response to Reply # 0Floridian Nikonian since 11th Feb 2007Tue 13-Aug-13 10:17 AM
I have been happy with the images I've been getting with my Olympus OM-D E-M5, a different camera from yours I know. Detail in the images seems very good. I'm on a trip right now, and have it with me instead of my D300 that was my travel camera for many years. I wanted a smaller system, which is what attracted me to M4/3, and felt the E-M5 was the best fit among the many M4/3 cameras available.
I was looking at the Fuji X-E1 also, but it is a bit more expensive (lenses moreso than the camera), doesn't have as good a selection of lenses at the moment, and also is a larger system, again more because the lenses are larger than that the camera is. I'll still say the Fuji looks very attractive, even though I chose the Olympus.
I'm not saying you're wrong in your evaluation of the G5, or even M4/3. Different systems and cameras appeal to the desires of individual users. I've found (after owning it about four months) that M4/3 gives impressive quality and DSLR functionality in a smaller system.
#5. "RE: M4/3 not meant for me?" | In response to Reply # 4sabbey51 Nikonian since 10th Jan 2010Wed 14-Aug-13 12:29 AM | edited Wed 14-Aug-13 12:32 AM by sabbey51
I'm also traveling with an E-M5 kit after years with DX. The biggest thing I feel I've given up is a few pounds of gear. I do miss the IR remote and dual SD cards of the D7000
The DoF argument, in my opinion, is more theoretical than real. First of all, it's only 1.3x compared to DX. Second, in my case, I now carry the 12-35/2.8 instead of the 16-85/3.5-5.6, so I'm often seeing shallower DoF than I used to. And the m43 lens is only 10 oz (it obviously doesn't go quite as long, but I don't miss that much either). For a longer lens, I'm currently shooting with a 40-150/4.0-5.6, so I don't make up the difference there, but I keep looking at the 35-100/2.8, which is only 12 oz. I never carry my 80-200/2.8 anymore because of the weight (it's a bunch lighter than the 70-200/2.8 VR), opting instead for the 70-300.
I went out this morning for a photo walk with the E-M5, 12-35/2.8, 9-18/4.00-5.6, 40-150/4.0-5.6, extra battery, CP filter and adaptor rings, cleaning clothes, SD cards, etc in a TT Hubba Hubba Hiney bag - all weighing about 3 lbs.
Of course, the proof is in the images - and I think both the E-M5 and the D7000 offer more capability than I'm able to extract So far, I'm very pleased with my results.
These were all taken in Westerly, RI. First and last with 9-18, second with 40-150, on the E-M5.
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#6. "RE: M4/3 not meant for me?" | In response to Reply # 0
I am really sorry to hear that you and your G5 and not meshing well. I am assuming that you are shooting RAW, and post-processing with reasonable software. If so, then selling the kit or making another attempt to work with the camera's focus system seem like the best courses of action. With my G3, I usually use the pinpoint focus with manual focus override. It is probably worth one more attempt before selling.