Just out is Panasonic’s new micro 4/3 camera, the Lumix G5, which is bundled with a 14-42mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 zoom (28-84 equivalent in 35mm terms).
Will it be a worthy alternative to the Olympus OM-D E-M5? I suspect lower build quality right off the bat, but the bottom line for some users might be the video quality. And for me, it will be the size/weight/ergonomics and sensor quality.
A few key points:
The Live View Finder (LVF) on the Lumix G5 takes the standard view finder to another dimension. The adjustable eye sensor on the LVF senses the presence of an eye and switches the image output from the LCD screen to the eye piece. It also begins to Auto-focus as soon as it senses an eye, which can save you valuable microseconds when that is all you have to get the shot you want. The LVF is a large, bright 1,440,000-dot equivalent with approximately 100% field of view while the LCD display is a full 920,000-dot high resolution screen with wide-viewing angle and also offers 100% field of view. In addition, the LCD offers touch screen operation for basic shooting and playback and rotates 180º to the side and 270º up and down for easier image composition. Most impressive is that with Touch pad function, both the LCD and LVF can be on at the same time for more intuitive shooting. The lag time from shot to LCD output has been minimized on the G5, so monitoring fast moving subjects is better than ever.
A simple but welcomed advancement on the G5 is the Electronic Shutter mode which allows silent shutter operation for a totally silent capture. The G5 has also updated its physical design to be more ergonomically friendly. The new function lever near the shutter release button can control zoom with some lenses, aperture in manual mode and can magnify images in playback. More so, in combination with the camera's rear dial it can adjust all major shooting settings. This is a huge design improvement that will help all shooters focus on the essentials as opposed to searching for the right button to push.
The Lumix G5 also produces Full HD 1080 60p video and the improvements in sensor and image processing have pay-off for video quality as well. Touch AF in video mode allows selective focusing adjustment during shooting and Tracking AF keeps focus on a subject while it moves. A dedicated video button is the only button needed to start shooting video and while shooting video, simple touch of the shutter release allows for photos to be taken during video capture.