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Kodak S-1 versus Panasonic GM1

The Kodak PIXPRO S-1 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in January 2012 and October 2013. Both the S-1 and the GM1 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. The Kodak has a resolution of 16.1 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: Kodak S-1 vs Panasonic GM1

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Kodak S-1 and the Panasonic GM1 is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the S-1 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Kodak S-1 vs Panasonic GM1
Compare S-1 versus GM1 top
Compare S-1 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 (31 percent) than the Kodak S-1. Moreover, the GM1 is markedly lighter (30 percent) than the S-1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the S-1 nor the GM1 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can find an overview of suitable optics in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog. Mirrorless cameras, such as the two under consideration, have the additional advantage of having a short flange to focal plane distance, which makes it possible to mount many lenses from other systems onto the camera via adapters.

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)
Kodak S-1» 4.6 in 2.7 in 1.4 in 10.2 oz 410 n Jan 2012 299 i i
Panasonic GM1« 3.9 in 2.2 in 1.2 in 7.2 oz 230 n Oct 2013 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
Olympus E-M10« » 4.7 in 3.2 in 1.8 in 14.0 oz 320 n Jan 2014 699- i
Olympus E-PL6« » 4.4 in 2.5 in 1.5 in 11.5 oz 360 n May 2013 599- i
Olympus E-P5« » 4.8 in 2.7 in 1.5 in 14.8 oz 330 n May 2013 999- i
Olympus E-PM2« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.3 in 9.5 oz 360 n Sep 2012 499- i
Olympus E-PL5« » 4.4 in 2.5 in 1.5 in 11.5 oz 360 n Sep 2012 599- i
Olympus E-PM1« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.3 in 9.3 oz 330 n Jun 2011 499- i
Olympus E-PL3« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.5 in 11.0 oz 300 n Jun 2011 599- i
Panasonic GM5« » 3.9 in 2.4 in 1.4 in 7.4 oz 220 n Sep 2014 749- i
Panasonic GF6« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.5 in 11.4 oz 340 n Apr 2013 499- i
Panasonic G6« » 4.8 in 3.3 in 2.8 in 13.8 oz 340 n Apr 2013 599- i
Panasonic GX7« » 4.8 in 2.8 in 2.2 in 14.2 oz 350 n Aug 2013 999- i
Panasonic G3« » 4.5 in 3.3 in 1.9 in 11.9 oz 270 n May 2011 599- i
Panasonic GX1« » 4.6 in 2.7 in 1.5 in 11.2 oz 320 n Nov 2011 949- 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. The S-1 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 60 percent) than the GM1, which puts it into a different market segment. 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: Kodak S-1 vs Panasonic GM1

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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.

Both cameras under consideration feature a Four Thirds sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Kodak S-1 and Panasonic GM1 sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the S-1 offers a slightly higher resolution of 16.1 megapixel, compared with 15.8 MP of the GM1. This megapixel advantage translates into a 1 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the S-1 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.74μm versus 3.77μm for the GM1). Moreover, it should be noted that the GM1 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 8 months) than the S-1, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of individual pixels.

S-1 versus GM1 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Kodak S-1» Four Thirds 16.1 4640 34801080/30p----
Panasonic GM1« Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i22.311.766066
Canon G1 X Mark II« » 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158
Olympus E-M10« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.388472
Olympus E-PL6« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p----
Olympus E-P5« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.489572
Olympus E-PM2« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.712.293272
Olympus E-PL5« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.388972
Olympus E-PM1« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 30241080/60i21.010.349952
Olympus E-PL3« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 30241080/60i20.910.349952
Panasonic GM5« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p22.111.772166
Panasonic GF6« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i20.710.662254
Panasonic G6« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.563961
Panasonic GX7« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p22.612.271870
Panasonic G3« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i21.010.666756
Panasonic GX1« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p20.810.670355
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 S-1. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60i, while the Kodak is limited to 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Kodak S-1 vs Panasonic GM1

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The S-1 and the GM1 are similar in the sense that neither of the two has a viewfinder. The images are, thus, framed using live view on the rear LCD. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Kodak S-1 and Panasonic GM1 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.

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
Kodak S-1»- n 3.0 920 tilting n 4000 4.0 n Y
Panasonic GM1«- n 3.0 1036 fixed Y 500 5.0 Y n
Canon G1 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 5.2 Y Y
Olympus E-M10« »1440 n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y Y
Olympus E-PL6« »- n 3.0 460 tilting Y 4000 8.0 n Y
Olympus E-P5« »- n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 8000 9.0 Y Y
Olympus E-PM2« »- n 3.0 460 fixed Y 4000 8.0 n Y
Olympus E-PL5« »- n 3.0 460 tilting Y 4000 8.0 n Y
Olympus E-PM1« »- n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 5.5 n Y
Olympus E-PL3« »- n 3.0 460 tilting n 4000 5.5 n Y
Panasonic GM5« »1166 n 3.0 921 fixed Y 500 5.8 n n
Panasonic GF6« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.2 Y n
Panasonic G6« »1440 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 4000 7.0 Y n
Panasonic GX7« »2760 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 8000 5.0 Y Y
Panasonic G3« »1440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 4000 4.0 Y n
Panasonic GX1« »- n 3.0 460 fixed Y 4000 4.2 Y n
Ricoh GR« »- n 3.0 1230 fixed n 4000 4.0 Y n

The S-1 is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the GM1 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the GM1 was succeeded by the Panasonic GM5.

Review summary: Kodak S-1 vs Panasonic GM1

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Kodak S-1 and the Panasonic GM1? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Reasons to prefer the Kodak PIXPRO S-1:

  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 500/sec) to freeze action.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (410 versus 230) on a single battery charge.
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization build-in.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (60 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in January 2012).

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Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1:

  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60i versus 1080/30p).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1036k vs 920k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (99x55mm vs 116x68mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 86g or 30 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 8 months) more recently.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the GM1 emerges as the winner of the match-up (8 : 6 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera.

S-1 06:08 GM1

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the S-1 or the GM1. 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)
Kodak S-1»--4/5-4/5 Jan 2012 299 i i
Panasonic GM1«Rec78/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 749- i
Canon G1 X Mark II« »Rec77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799 i i
Olympus E-M10« »-80/1005/54.5/55/5 Jan 2014 699- i
Olympus E-PL6« »----- May 2013 599- i
Olympus E-P5« »HiRec78/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2013 999- i
Olympus E-PM2« »-77/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499- i
Olympus E-PL5« »HiRec-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 599- i
Olympus E-PM1« »86/10071/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jun 2011 499- i
Olympus E-PL3« »HiRec72/1004.5/5-4/5 Jun 2011 599- i
Panasonic GM5« »Rec77/1005/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 749- i
Panasonic GF6« »HiRec-4.5/5-4.5/5 Apr 2013 499- i
Panasonic G6« »HiRec-5/5-4.5/5 Apr 2013 599- i
Panasonic GX7« »Rec79/1005/54.5/55/5 Aug 2013 999- i
Panasonic G3« »HiRec75/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2011 599- i
Panasonic GX1« »Rec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Nov 2011 949- i
Ricoh GR« »-79/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 799- i

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

 

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, please send me an email, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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