The Panasonic G5 Micro 4/3 mirrorless camera has hit the clearance racks—only $299 with lens. The 14–42mm stabilized kit lens, that is.
[UPDATE Saturday 6:10 p.m.: The price of the kit at Amazon has risen to $498 and they have only 3 left, and the price of the body only has risen from $249 to $299 with 14 left in stock.
But B&H Photo, which says "No longer available" for the body-only, still has the body + lens kit at $299.]
[UPDATE #2, Midnight: ...And they're all gone. —Mike]
In writing this post I found myself calling the camera "Very capable but quite bland but very capable."
Okay, made meself laugh again. But actually that does about nail it, once I stop to think about it. It's not much of a toy, but it is a tool—a neat, attractive, easy-to-use tool.
Just passing the word along.
(Thanks to several readers)
ADDENDUM: A friend tells me that there is something special about the G5: it's the cheapest current large-sensor camera that's completely silent. He emphasized several times: not "quiet"; silent. The GX7 also has this mode, and reportedly the Panasonics' electronic shutter produces artifacts in certain situations. However, my first friend says he has successfully photographed in church with the camera only inches away from someone's ear, and, as long as his lens is wide open (the closing down of the aperture makes a tiny click), he still goes unheard and unnoticed.
So there's that.
Original contents copyright 2013 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved. Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
Steve G, Mendocino: "Some time ago, you posted a similar closeout sale on the Panasonic G3 (body only, I think) and I got one. I was so happy with it that I sought out and bought a second body used but in like-new condition from B&H. The G series is a bit Dangerfieldian—gets no respect—but they're fine picture takers. An excellent match for the 20mm ƒ/1.7 Panasonic lens in weight and balance.
"I also have the equally underrated 14–45mm Panasonic IS lens, which was the first GH kit lens. An excellently sharp lens at moderate apertures through its focal length range.
"Spend some time working through the setup menus (in my case, mainly turning things off...) and you have a fine simple camera. Mine is set to aperture priority, at which point the thumb wheel toggles between setting aperture and exposure compensation. ISO is right below that, so it's easy to reset without taking my eye from the (only OK quality, but 100% accurate) finder. When the screen is folded closed, the EVF is active. Open the screen, and it switches to that. Movie button is disabled, so no long, dark films of the inside of my shoulder bag. Highly recommended."
mbka: "I switched directly from G1 to G5. The G5 totally works. 'Bland' never crossed my mind. It just works. Image quality is noticeably better than the G1 and the body coating is more pleasant. My G1 had gotten sticky over time. Bonus, with the G5 I actually manage to take usable night photos, starry skies included. Usable doesn't mean perfect. There is some noise that needs cleaning up in LR or such. The long exposure quality cutoff seems to be about 30 secs. Above that, half the stars are produced by the sensor. Either way, one of my night pics now works as my desktop background, meaning in fullscreen mode on a monitor it is good enough to please. But seriously. The G5 works. The only half-serious issue I can think of is the overly contrasty EVF. On mine I haven't managed to find a setting that I really like. It might be sample spread."