GM5 Impressions

Discussion in 'Panasonic' started by MiguelATF, Jul 2, 2016.

  1. It's taken me awhile to start warming to the (lightly used) GM5 I picked up a month or two back. Have been doing a lot of writing lately and that hasn't left me for much time for photography...apart from the ubiquitous iPhone that is always in my pocket (and which is a surprisingly powerful photographic tool in its own right).

    But in the last few weeks I've started playing more with the GM5 and the results are ... encouraging.

    A few quick impressions and observations.

    The tiny EVF is quite usable.

    The dinky rear LCD screen - chopped down to approx 2.3" from the original GM1's 3" - originally seemed stupidly small to me but repeated use has gotten me to the point where now it's almost not bad.

    But the most surprising discoveries of all have been in using the cleverly implemented and almost intuitive touch screen controls which if I'm not mistaken the GM5 shares with its sibling the GM1. Touch screen focusing is in general stupidly quick and surprisingly accurate. It doesn't hunt for focus forever in low-light interiors like the Ricoh GR (one of my main Ricoh complaints).

    Last but not least the RAW files seem, on initial playing around with, to be every bit as good as those from my now slightly-dated GX7 .... which means they are rich, manipulable, and very fine indeed.

    And finally it also mates beautifully with the diminutive Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 pancake lens (I have the original iteration) - which, in spite of its occasional reputation for being slow on auto-focus, seems crazy fast on the GM5 to me.

    A few shots. All taken with the 20mm pancake lens.

    Taken in our local small-town coffee shop -

    Caster wheel in Café
    by MiguelATF, on ipernity

    On my writing desk

    the corner of his eye
    by MiguelATF, on ipernity

    Also on my writing desk, after taking off my glasses to rest my eyes -

    Glasses with Keyboard
    by MiguelATF, on ipernity

    My coffee cup perched dangerously atop my printer -

    Death before Decaf
    by MiguelATF, on ipernity

    A friend and fellow-photographer showing me a tiny digital camera -

    by MiguelATF, on ipernity

    And asymetrical portrait in the relatively dim lighting of a local eatery -

    Michele at the Standing Stone
    by MiguelATF, on ipernity

    The final two are lightly tweaked JPEG's taken using the in-camera 'Creative Control' aka Art filters - first a suburban exterior

    Suburban encroachment
    by MiguelATF, on ipernity

    And finally a slightly impressionistic interior shot - a door-handle in my writing studio - taken using the in-camera 'Dynamic Monochrome' setting

    Door handle
    by MiguelATF, on ipernity

    As I said, it's taken me more time than I thought to warm up to this tiny, tiny (did I mention that it's small?) tiny little camera. But I'm starting to like it.
    • Like Like x 7
  2. dalethorn

    dalethorn Guest

    That's really a great lens. I used the 12-32 for a year, which had a nice rendering in most cases, but I should have tried the prime.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. I agree, Dale - it IS a great lens. But I have also seen quite a few fantastic images produced by the 12-32 which, though it's slightly slower than a prime, nonetheless seems like it has some outstanding qualities, not the least of which is its minuscule size.
  4. One more to add to this particular group of GM5 images - taken on my front porch this morning -

    Eyes see You
    by MiguelATF, on ipernity
    • Like Like x 4
  5. dalethorn

    dalethorn Guest

    The GM1 that I had was the smallest mirrorless camera I could shoot easily with one hand.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. The size and IQ of this tiny tiny tiny camera are turning it into....a take-everywhere camera. Two more shots of the same subject - a piece of whacked-out automotive art in a neighboring southern Oregon town - both taken with the 20mm Panasonic pancake lens - the first in black-and-white -

    Chopped Buick Riviera
    by MiguelATF, on ipernity

    The second in color -

    Clean Air Station
    by MiguelATF, on ipernity
    • Like Like x 3
    • Like Like x 4
  7. GM5 + the 20mm panasonic pancake ... evolving into what for me is a fine combination for many kinds of photographs -

    Gnawing playpen
    by MiguelATF, on ipernity
    • Like Like x 5
  8. davidzvi

    davidzvi Veteran

    Apr 18, 2014
    Have you added a grip to the GM5? If not the Richard Franiec is probably the best without changing the size, alternatively the Sony RX100 grips also work very nicely and are much cheaper. I did try one of the flipbac grips but did not like it. The other two work I think because they use the curve of the body so the finger hold is closer to the edge while the flipbac needs the flat part of the body.

    Also while the screen is smaller I found that the smaller screen and placement of the thumb grip meant I was wasn't accidentally hitting the screen as often as I did on my GM1.
  9. john m flores

    john m flores All-Pro

    Aug 13, 2012
    My brother told me that Richard Franiec has retired.
  10. dalethorn

    dalethorn Guest

    The eBay price just took a jump.
  11. davidzvi

    davidzvi Veteran

    Apr 18, 2014
    Looks like you can still order it from his site, but who knows with something that's "Individually 3D CNC machined from high-grade aluminum alloy". I guess he could make then if he wants.

    But the Sony grips works well too.
  12. I bought a Franiec grip from Richard himself several months ago and it has enhanced the handle-ability of this small camera by leaps and bounds. One of those rare cases where a simple, elegant product not only lives up to the hype but actually surpasses it ;)
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. theoldsmithy

    theoldsmithy All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 7, 2013
    Herefordshire, England
    Martin Connolly
    Yes, I've bought several grips from Richard F. They each massively improved the handling of the original camera. His website doesn't seem to suggest that he has retired, though...?
  14. if anyone is wondering, here is what the (oh-so-cleverly-designed and functional) Franiec grip looks like on my GM5

    • Like Like x 2