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Panasonic gets a grip on the G5 (pictures)

The G5 has some design tweaks for better usability, including a much deeper grip than the G3's.

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Lori Grunin
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1 of 6 Lori Grunin/CNET

Size

Don't let Josh's big hands fool you -- the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 isn't terribly compact, and in fact is larger than the G3 and is one of the larger full-size ILCs out there. That's partly due to a much deeper grip than its predecessor has.
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2 of 6 Lori Grunin/CNET

Top

Here you can see the Panasonic DMC-G5's dSLR-like grip, which I consider an improvement over the earlier model's. It's not a small camera, so trying to shave dimensions off with a shallow grip is kind of silly. You can also see the zoom lever just behind the shutter button, which is designed to work with Panasonic's Power Zoom line of lenses. I think that's another good idea, since I don't like where the zoom lever sits on the lens.
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3 of 6 Lori Grunin/CNET

Top controls

While the mode dial and Intelligent auto buttons remain the same, Panasonic moved the record button from the back to the top, where I don't like it.
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4 of 6 Lori Grunin/CNET

Articulated display

The new LCD is a bit higher-resolution than the old, but it's otherwise the same flip-and-twist touch screen, with an interface from more recent models.
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5 of 6 Lori Grunin/CNET

Back

Panasonic rearranged the back controls slightly, adding a programmable AE/AF lock button at the top, which is welcome, and giving the thumb rest a more pronounced feel. However, it's also got the etched labels on the four-way-navigation switch, which I find annoyingly invisible.
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6 of 6 Lori Grunin/CNET

Friendlier display

The new menu design offers helpful interface tips.

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