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Canon G1 X versus Panasonic GM1

The Canon PowerShot G1 X and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in January 2012 and October 2013. The G1X is a fixed lens compact, while the GM1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an 1.5-inch (G1X) and a Four Thirds (GM1) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 14.2 megapixel, whereas the Panasonic provides 15.8 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Canon G1 X vs Panasonic GM1

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon G1 X and the Panasonic GM1. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also toggle the display to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the G1X – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Canon G1 X vs Panasonic GM1
Compare G1X versus GM1 top
Compare G1X and GM1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic GM1 is considerably smaller (43 percent) than the Canon G1 X. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G1X nor the GM1 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the G1X has a lens build in, whereas the GM1 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can find an overview of optics for the GM1 and their specifications in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the G1X gets 250 shots out of its NB-10L battery, while the GM1 can take 230 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLH7 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Canon G1 X» 4.6 in 3.2 in 2.6 in 18.8 oz 250 n Jan 2012 799- i
Panasonic GM1« 3.9 in 2.2 in 1.2 in 7.2 oz 230 n Oct 2013 749- i
Canon T6i« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 440 n Feb 2015 749- i
Canon G1 X Mark II« » 4.6 in 2.9 in 2.6 in 19.5 oz 240 n Feb 2014 799 i i
Canon G16« » 4.3 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.6 oz 360 n Aug 2013 549 i i
Canon T4i« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 n Jun 2012 849- i
Canon SX50« » 4.8 in 3.4 in 4.2 in 21.0 oz 315 n Sep 2012 429- i
Canon T3« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 17.5 oz 700 n Feb 2011 449- i
Canon T1i« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.3 oz 400 n Mar 2009 799- i
Canon XSi« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.5 oz 500 n Jan 2008 799- i
Leica V-LUX 4« » 4.9 in 3.4 in 4.3 in 20.7 oz 540 n Sep 2012 949- i
Leica V-LUX 3« » 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.7 in 19.0 oz 410 n Dec 2011 949- i
Olympus E-M10« » 4.7 in 3.2 in 1.8 in 14.0 oz 320 n Jan 2014 699- i
Panasonic GM5« » 3.9 in 2.4 in 1.4 in 7.4 oz 220 n Sep 2014 749- i
Panasonic G6« » 4.8 in 3.3 in 2.8 in 13.8 oz 340 n Apr 2013 599- i
Ricoh GR« » 4.6 in 2.4 in 1.4 in 8.6 oz 290 n Apr 2013 799- i

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon G1 X vs Panasonic GM1

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon G1 X features an 1.5-inch sensor and the Panasonic GM1 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the GM1 is 14 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.85 and 2.0. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Canon G1 X and Panasonic GM1 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the GM1 offers a higher resolution of 15.8 megapixel, compared with 14.2 MP of the G1X. This megapixel advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.77μm versus 4.30μm for the G1X). However, it should be noted that the GM1 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 9 months) than the G1X, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that partly offset its pixel-size disadvantage.

G1X versus GM1 MP

For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. Of the two cameras under consideration, the GM1 has a markedly higher DXO score than the G1X (overall score 6 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.6 bits higher color depth, 0.9 EV in additional dynamic range, and -0 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Canon G1 X» 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
Panasonic GM1« Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i22.311.766066
Canon T6i« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p22.712.091971
Canon G1 X Mark II« » 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158
Canon G16« » 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
Canon T4i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
Canon SX50« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
Canon T3« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
Canon T1i« » APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
Canon XSi« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848-21.910.869261
Leica V-LUX 4« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p----
Leica V-LUX 3« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p----
Olympus E-M10« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.388472
Panasonic GM5« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p22.111.772166
Panasonic G6« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.563961
Ricoh GR« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.613.597278

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the GM1 provides a faster frame rate than the G1X. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60i, while the Canon is limited to 1080/24p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon G1 X vs Panasonic GM1

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the G1X has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the GM1 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon G1 X and Panasonic GM1 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Canon G1 X»optical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 4000 1.9 Y Y
Panasonic GM1«- n 3.0 1036 fixed Y 500 5.0 Y n
Canon T6i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon G1 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 5.2 Y Y
Canon G16« »optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 4000 2.2 Y Y
Canon T4i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon SX50« »202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 2000 2.2 Y Y
Canon T3« »optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Canon T1i« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.4 Y n
Canon XSi« »optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 3.5 Y n
Leica V-LUX 4« »1312 n 3.0 460 swivel n 4000 12.0 Y Y
Leica V-LUX 3« »202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 2000 12.0 Y Y
Olympus E-M10« »1440 n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y Y
Panasonic GM5« »1166 n 3.0 921 fixed Y 500 5.8 n n
Panasonic G6« »1440 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 4000 7.0 Y n
Ricoh GR« »- n 3.0 1230 fixed n 4000 4.0 Y n

Both the G1X and the GM1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The G1X was replaced by the Canon G1X Mark II, while the GM1 was followed by the Panasonic GM5.

Review summary: Canon G1 X vs Panasonic GM1

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon G1 X better than the Panasonic GM1 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Advantages of the Canon PowerShot G1 X:

  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 500/sec) to freeze action.
  • Ready to shoot: Has a lens build-in, whereas the GM1 requires a separate lens.
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization build-in.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in January 2012).

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Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (15.8 vs 14.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 6%.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (6 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (0.9 EV of extra DR).
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60i versus 1080/24p).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1036k vs 922k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 1.9 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
  • More compact: Is smaller (99x55mm vs 117x81mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 9 months) more recently.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the GM1 is the clear winner of the contest (10 : 5 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera.

G1X 05:10 GM1

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the G1X or the GM1 handle or perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Canon G1 X»Rec76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799- i
Panasonic GM1«Rec78/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 749- i
Canon T6i« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749- i
Canon G1 X Mark II« »Rec77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799 i i
Canon G16« »Rec-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i i
Canon T4i« »HiRec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849- i
Canon SX50« »HiRec72/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Sep 2012 429- i
Canon T3« »80/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449- i
Canon T1i« »HiRec74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799- i
Canon XSi« »HiRecHiRec4/55/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799- i
Leica V-LUX 4« »----- Sep 2012 949- i
Leica V-LUX 3« »----- Dec 2011 949- i
Olympus E-M10« »-80/1005/54.5/55/5 Jan 2014 699- i
Panasonic GM5« »Rec77/1005/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 749- i
Panasonic G6« »HiRec-5/5-4.5/5 Apr 2013 599- i
Ricoh GR« »-79/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 799- i

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when refering to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored. If you do not see the camera that you are looking for, kindly get in touch, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

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