Panasonic announces mirrorless G5

Panasonic has announced August release of its latest mirrorless interchangeable model, the Lumix DMC-G5 and October availability of a new 45 – 150mm lens.

The DMC-G5 will be available in Australia in late August. Pricing and lens kits will be announced ‘closer to the release date’. (US pricing is US$799 with a 14-42mm lens. The new lens, available October, has a US street price of US$299.)

Unedited press releases follow: Panasonic’s latest Micro Four Thirds camera offers all the hallmarks of the G Series, delivering high-quality images with true-to-life detail through excellent resolution, image rendering and colour reproduction.

The new DMC-G5 achieves even higher resolution with the advanced image processing engine driven on a new algorithm. Fast, responsive shooting is provided by the Precision Contrast AF system in conjunction with the “Light Speed AF” high speed AF system. Consecutive shooting has also been improved to 6 fps in 16.05-megapixel full resolution.

Taking advantage of the 16.05 megapixel Live MOS sensor and Venus Engine, the DMC-G5 is also capable of recording 1,920 x 1,080/50p full HD video in AVCHD Progressive with stereo sound. Panasonic’s advanced AF system including practical full-time AF and tracking AF is available in video recording so that every photographer can enjoy high quality video recording with ease.

The DMC-G5 offers high mobility with a compact, lightweight body and built-in flash (GN10.5 equivalent ISO160). The camera design includes resins and elastomers that make it easy and tactile to hold, an aluminium body and finely crafted mode dials and control buttons for intuitive use. The camera will be available in black and silver.

The Live View Finder includes an eye sensor and can be used with the LCD at the same time thanks to the new Touch Pad function. The ‘Level Gauge’ feature has also been adopted for precision framing.

Alistair Robins, Group Marketing Manager, LUMIX – Panasonic Australia said: “The hallmarks of this camera are precise, high-speed shooting and category-leading image quality. It incorporates all the premium G Series features that enthusiasts expect, from the Live View Finder to 50p video recording; as well as introducing some innovations for streamlined shooting such as a convenient zoom lever and eye sensor; and ‘Scene Guide’ with a selection of images to assist the less experienced photographer.”

The DMC-G5 will be available in Australia in late August. Pricing and lens kits will be announced closer to the release date.

Higher Image Quality with 16.05-Megapixel Digital Live MOS Sensor and the Venus Engine

The LUMIX G Micro System realises high-quality images with true-to-life detail through excellent resolution, image rendering and colour reproduction.

The high-grade lens and precision AF achieves high resolution; optimal balance of resolution and noise reduction achieves lifelike image rendering; and high precision auto exposure and white balance with live light metering results in faithful colour reproduction.

To the newly integrated 16.05-megapixel Live MOS Sensor, Panasonic adds its original pixel mix technology, in addition to the high speed processing which is an advantage of the CMOS sensor. This design minimises noise generation. The fine wiring around the photodiode achieves a high aperture ratio, which results in high resolution and an excellent signal to noise (S/N) ratio, while the high performance transistor encourages high speed signal processing.

The Venus Engine has been redesigned and features exceptionally advanced signal processing capabilities to render clear, crisp images in both still and video recording. The 3DNR can adjust noise reduction in different sections of an image as required; while Multi-process NR quickly detects brightness in each part of a picture and applies optimum noise reduction in multiple steps. Also, the four CPUs excel in processing a large amount of digital signals at high speed to support the advanced noise reduction system, 1920 x 1080 full HD progressive video recording and high speed burst shooting.

The DMC-G5 also incorporates Panasonic’s High Dynamic Range (HDR). When photographing scenes with very high contrast such as a bright landscape on a sunny day, detail can be lost in the highlights and shadows. In HDR mode, the camera takes several shots at different exposure levels and then automatically combines them to produce an image that faithfully represents the scene and preserves detail in the highlights, midtones and shadows for a clear, sharp shot.

High Speed Response for Fleeting Photo Opportunities

The DMC-G5 offers a precise and fast Contrast AF System. Compared with Phase Difference AF, Contrast AF boasts higher accuracy especially when shooting with a bright lens at a small F value. For example at F1.4 the accuracy of Contrast AF is approximately 90 per cent while Phase difference AF is approximately 60 per cent.

The DMC-G5 features ultra-fast “Light Speed AF”, which reduces the detection time for focusing, with a drive speed of 120fps[i] – an accuracy and speed that rivals the performance of high-end DSLRs. Combined with the Full-area Touch AF, it is possible to set focus on any point in the field of view which realises quick and intuitive focusing with free frame composition.

The DMC-G5 offers consecutive shooting at 6 fps in 16.05-megapixel full resolution using the mechanical shutter, and high-speed burst shooting at 20fps is available using the electronic shutter. Compatibility with the UHS-I (Ultra High Speed I) SDXC/SDHC Memory Card allows faster data writing even in RAW recording mode.

Full HD 1920 x 1080 Progressive High Quality Video Recording with Stereo Sound

The DMC-G5 records high-resolution Full HD 1920 x 1080/50p video in AVCHD Progressive (MPEG-4 / H.264) format. With the Full HD recording capability updated from interlaced to progressive, subjects with fast motion or fine details are reproduced even more clearly. High quality sound can be recorded with Dolby® Digital Stereo Creator. A Wind Cut function is also available to block out most of the unwanted noise from background wind.

The Touch AF in video recording also lets users enjoy professional-like rack focusing. A dedicated button on the top of the camera lets the user instantly start recording videos while shooting photos without having to make any extra settings. The DMC-G5 can also capture still images while recording video just by pressing the shutter button. Videos can also be recorded in MP4 format for playback directly on a PC or other portable electronic devices without the need to convert files.

Ergonomic layout and operation

The DMC-G5 offers a range of intuitive controls. The function lever offers direct adjustment of zoom[ii], exposure and aperture[iii], as well as operating magnification in playback mode, and page flip in menu. In combination with the turn-and-push rear dial, major shooting settings can be controlled, accelerating simple, intuitive operation.

The large, bright 1,440,000-dot equivalent LVF (Live View Finder) features approximately 100% field of view for outstanding viewability. The 60 fps Live View is made possible by the Live MOS sensor which takes signals directly from the image sensor and sends them continuously to the LCD in real time. The LCD also provides approximately 100 per cent field of view.

The LVF on the DMC-G5 incorporates an eye sensor. The image output between the LVF and the LCD is switched automatically with the eye sensor on the LVF, which features options of sensitivity – high, low and off – to reduce false operation. This eye sensor also works for the new Eye Sensor AF that automatically starts focusing when the photographer looks into the EVF, to capture spur-of-the-moment shots.

The large, 920,000-dot high resolution LCD with wide viewing angle rotates 180° to the side and tilts 270° up and down for approximately 100 per cent of field of view. The time lag of image output is minimised by around 18 per cent compared to its predecessor, the DMC-G3, making it easier to monitor fast-moving subjects.

The free-angle LCD with touch-screen operation excels not only for shooting but also for playing back images with outstanding visibility. The new Touch Pad function uses both LVF and LCD simultaneously to encourage more intuitive shooting. Plus, in the Custom setting, user can set ON/OFF for each touch control such as touch shutter, touch AF, touch display to make the camera easier to operate.

The DMC-G5 incorporates ‘Level Gauge’ which detects the horizontal/vertical angle of view while shooting and displays this on-screen, as well as sensing if the camera is tilted forwards or back. This is very useful in ensuring shots such as those of buildings and landscapes are straight so they do not have to be edited later. Photos shot in a portrait aspect will be automatically displayed vertically whatever lens is used. The newly added Electronic Shutter mode allows silent operation which is helpful in shooting recitals, school plays, or using in museums.

Creative Control and Scene Guide to Enjoy and Learn Photography

Panasonic’s popular Creative Control mode has 14 filters, with Soft Focus, Dynamic Monochrome, Impressive Art, One Point Colour, Cross Process, Low Key, Toy Effect and Star Filter added to the Expressive, Retro, High Key, Sepia, High Dynamic and Miniature Effect modes.[iv]

The effect parameter of each mode is also adjustable. With the new Graphical User Interface (GUI) and menu tab, switching the filter effect is extremely easy and can be previewed via Live View. Also, recommended filters are suggested depending on the scene that the camera detects in iA or iA Plus mode.

In iA mode, the camera does all the work, leaving the photographer free to capture key moments. With the iA Plus mode, the defocusing area, exposure compensation and white balance can be adjusted in scenes where a slight manual adjustment may achieve a better result. Additional convenient iA features include AF Tracking, Intelligent ISO Control, Intelligent D-range Control, Face Recognition and Intelligent Scene Selector.

For less experienced users, ‘Scene Guide’ offers 23 sample pictures shot by professional photographers. Users can choose the one closest to the situation they are going to shoot and optimum parameters for shooting the scene will be automatically set. Furthermore, the shooting procedure, technical advice and the recommended interchangeable lens for the scene can be shown, so the novice user can learn more about photography.

RELEASE 2:

Panasonic announces new compact and lightweight G Series Telephoto Zoom Lens: LUMIX G VARIO 45-150 mm / F4.0-5.6 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S.

Panasonic Australia has announced a new telephoto zoom interchangeable lens for the LUMIX G Micro System that complies with the Micro Four Thirds System standard.

The new LUMIX G VARIO 45-150 mm / F4.0-5.6 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S. lens offers a versatile zoom range of 45-150 mm (35 mm camera equivalent: 90-300 mm) and a rich depth of field, suitable for impressive telephoto shots of sporting action or capturing close range shots of animals in the wild.   

Alistair Robins, Group Marketing Manager, LUMIX – Panasonic Australia – said: “This new addition to the G Series lens line-up offers the user high mobility thanks to its light weight and ultra-compact size. Panasonic’s Optical Image Stabilisation system (O.I.S) ensures blur-free results when zooming to distant subjects.”

The H-FS45150 lens will be available in Australia in October. Pricing will be announced closer to the release date. 

The lens is comprised of 12 elements in nine groups, one UHR (Ultra High Refractive Index) lens and two aspherical lenses, achieving uniform performance from the centre to the corners for outstanding optics while maintaining its compact size.

The superior inner focus system enables excellent resolution and contrast from full life-size magnification to infinity. The inclusion of a stepping motor makes the focusing action smooth and silent for use in both photo and video recording. When the lens is mounted on LUMIX G Micro System cameras, users can take advantage of the high-speed, high-precision Contrast AF system.

The seven aperture blades have a circular aperture diaphragm which produces an attractive smoothness in out-of-focus areas even when shooting at large aperture. The new lens system uses multi-coated lens elements that reduce ghosts and flare to an absolute minimum, helping deliver high optical performance.

The new LUMIX G VARIO 45-150mm / F4.0-5.6 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S. has a stylish metal design in black or silver to match the LUMIX G Micro System camera range.

Footnotes: 

[i] With H-PS14042 lens.

[ii] When used with Power Zoom lenses H-PS14042 or H-PS45175.

[iii] In M(Manual) mode.

[iv] Video recording using Scene Guide is not possible in some scenes. Star Filter is available for still images only. Sound will not be recorded with Miniature Effect in Creative Control Mode and approximately 1/10 of the time period is recorded. (If you record for 10 minutes, the resulting motion picture recording will be approximately one minute long).

NOTE: Apologies to readers about the ‘too much information’ approach here, but having requested simple 400-word overview press releases from Panasonic a number of times over the past few years without any response, the alternative was to run nothing or whack it all down ‘as is’. We have opted for the latter approach to maintain Photo Counter as the ‘publication of record’ for the photo industry and for archival purposes. Editing this stuff to greater readability and about one-fifth of the word count doesn’t leave any time to smell the roses! 


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