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Which battery does the Panasonic GM1 take?

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 is a digital mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that features a 15.8MP sensor. It is powered by the Panasonic DMW-BLH7, which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery pack. Lithium-Ion batteries offer a high energy density and low self-discharge, and are nowadays found in many portable electronic devices.

Battery Pack

The DMW-BLH7 operates at a voltage of 7.2V and has a capacity of 680mAh. It can be charged from a standard electrical outlet via the Panasonic DE-A99B charger (that can be purchased separately, for example, at amazon). The battery pack measures 42mm in width, 11mm in height, and 36mm in depth. It weighs 32g. The DMW-BLH7 has been on the market since October 2013 and sells at good camera retailers, such as amazon, for about $60. Generic alternatives (see below) that are compatible with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 can be obtained at substantially lower cost.

How many shots can I take with a fully charged DMW-BLH7?

The number of shots that one can get out of a battery pack depends heavily on the style and imaging practice of the photographer. For example, the extended use of the LCD screen for framing or reviewing will result in reduced battery performance.

DMW-BLH7

The Camera & Imaging Products Association (CIPA) has established guidelines (click here to download the pdf-document) that manufacturers are supposed to respect when reporting the battery life of their cameras. According to this CIPA-rating, the Panasonic GM1 can take 230 images on a single charge. Given the relatively demanding energy usage of the CIPA procedures, this rated number should be achievable or be surpassed in most practical situations. However, if the environment is cold, the LCD screen is used heavily, or the camera is turned on and off frequently, battery mileage might drop below the rating. Also, as the battery pack ages, its performance will tend to deteriorate.

 

What about generic battery packs?

Panasonic sells the original DMW-BLH7 pack at quite a steep price. This premium pricing strategy has left room in the market for third party suppliers to offer fully compatible battery packs at much lower prices. Savings from buying generic replacement batteries can amount up to 70 percent of the price of the genuine battery pack.

Panasonic DMW-BLH7 Specifications

Battery type: Rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack
Compatibility: Panasonic GM1 & other selected Panasonic cameras
Voltage: 7.2V DC
Capacity: 680mAh or 230 shots (CIPA) with the Panasonic GM1
Dimensions (W x H x D): 42 x 11 x 36mm
Weight: 32g

Indeed, one can easily find a variety of competitively-priced DMW-BLH7 replacements from different vendors at major online platforms (see, for example, here on eBay). All these generic alternatives should work fine with your Panasonic GM1. So why would anybody then buy the more expensive original battery? Well, below are some arguments in favor of the genuine DMW-BLH7, which can perhaps be summarized as "peace of mind".

  • Assurance that the warranty of the camera will not be rendered void if a battery-related failure occurs;
  • Assurance that the battery pack will indeed have the stated capacity;
  • Assurance that the battery will have low self-discharge rates and, thus, will hold its charge even when not in use;
  • Assurance that the power unit will not trigger any warning messages on the camera and can be effectively charged with the standard charger;
  • Assurance that the manufacturing process has respected the safety guidelines for Lithium-Ion batteries;
 

If you can live without these assurances, then you are in for some nice savings from buying generic replacements for the DMW-BLH7. Unfortunately, the market for generic battery packs is rather fluid, with new trade names popping up regularly while others disappear. Hence it is difficult to keep track of all the suppliers and the quality of their products. That said, in North America, battery packs from Wasabi have gained a good reputation, while in Europe, replacement power packs from Patona have received many favorable reviews. In any case, the existing comparisons tend to find that the cheapest of the generic replacement packs score worse in terms of achieving their rated capacity, holding their charge over time, or allowing for a large number of charge-discharge cycles than somewhat pricier battery packs (or the genuine Panasonic offer). Thus, the old adage, "If the price sounds too low to be true, it probably is" has some merit with respect to camera batteries also. You can check the current offers and prices for the original DMW-BLH7 and its clones by using the buttons below.

amazon ebay

Which other cameras use the Panasonic DMW-BLH7?

The Panasonic GM1 is not alone in using the DMW-BLH7. Several other cameras from Panasonic are powered by the same type of lithium-ion pack. The adjacent table lists some of them along with a selection of their headline specifications.

Cameras using the DMW-BLH7
Camera
Model
Battery
(name)
Battery life
(CIPA)
Sensor Size
(type)
Resolution
(MP)
Weight
(g)
Camera Launch
(announcement)
Launch Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Panasonic GF7 DMW-BLH7 230 Four Thirds 15.8 266 Jan 2015 499- i Panasonic GF7
Panasonic GM1 DMW-BLH7 230 Four Thirds 15.8 204 Oct 2013 749- i Panasonic GM1
Panasonic GM5 DMW-BLH7 220 Four Thirds 15.8 211 Sep 2014 749- i Panasonic GM5
Panasonic GX800 DMW-BLH7 210 Four Thirds 15.8 269 Jan 2017 549 i i Panasonic GX800
Panasonic GX850 DMW-BLH7 210 Four Thirds 15.8 269 Jan 2017 549 i i Panasonic GX850
Panasonic LX10 DMW-BLH7 260 1-inch 20.0 310 Sep 2016 699 i i Panasonic LX10
Panasonic LX15 DMW-BLH7 260 1-inch 20.0 310 Sep 2016 699 i i Panasonic LX15

Panasonic DMW-BLH7 FAQ

The DMW-BLH7 is the standard power source for the Panasonic GM1. As such it is an indispensable camera accessory. Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular aspects of the battery pack and Lithium-Ion power units more generally.

Is there a car charger available for the DMW-BLH7?

Panasonic does not offer a travel charger, but third party suppliers do (see here on eBay).

Is the DMW-BLH7 available in colors other than black?

No, Panasonic supplies this battery pack only in black. However, some generic alternatives from third party providers might be available in other colors.

Can I use the DMW-BLH7 in any of my other electronic devices?

No, the battery is specifically designed for use in the Panasonic GM1 and other selected cameras from Panasonic.

How should the DMW-BLH7 be stored?

Lithium-ion batteries can hold a charge for a long time. However, these battery packs have a safety mechanism build-in that disables any re-charge if the voltage drops below a certain minimum level. To avoid this safety-trigger to be activated, the battery pack should be charged at least once every few months.

How should I discard my old battery pack?

The contents of Lithium-Ion batteries is under pressure and the packs can explode if exposed to extreme heat. Lithium-Ion battery units should therefore never be incinerated and should not be thrown into the household trash, but put into the recycling stream. Most places that sell camera batteries will also accept them back for recycling.

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