Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 review

LCD, live view and video

The rear LCD screen on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 is a big improvement over the G3 version, bringing the resolution from 460,000 up to 921,000 dots. Like the previous unit, it still retains its touchscreen capability for menu access, image review and shooting control, including touch AF and touch shutter.

This feature - which allows the user to simply press the screen and take the shot - and touch focus are handy when the camera is mounted on a tripod. The ability to use the screen for focus when composing with the EVF takes this one stage further, though. Touch is generally responsive, but at times takes a more firm press than is needed with smartphones. The quality of the screen is impressive, though, and provides plenty of detail for reviewing image sharpness, aided by the 16x zoom function.

The electronic viewfinder offers a 1.44-million-dot resolution, which is the same as that on the previous model. While the latest Sony cameras feature nearly double this number of dots, the frame rate and brightness of the G5's screen still deliver excellent results. It might not fool anyone into believing it is an optical device, but the benefits of the on-screen information and advantages over
using just a rear LCD are undeniable.

Panasonic has increased the video ability on the G5 to deliver full HD 1080 capture at 60/50p rather than the 60/50i that has been available previously in the GF5 and even the flagship video model, the GH2. This uses the AVCHD format, but MPEG-4 capture is also available in 1080 25p. What this camera lacks for video fans, however, is the 2.5mm mic input of the GH2. Instead, stereo mic inputs are built into the top of the body. In the menu, however, there are controls for mic levels and wind-cut to improve sound performance.