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Kodak S-1 versus Panasonic GX7

The Kodak PIXPRO S-1 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in January 2012 and August 2013. Both the S-1 and the GX7 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 GX7

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Kodak S-1 and the Panasonic GX7 is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. 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 S-1 – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Kodak S-1 vs Panasonic GX7
Compare S-1 versus GX7 top
Compare S-1 and GX7 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic GX7 is notably larger (11 percent) than the Kodak S-1. Moreover, the GX7 is substantially heavier (39 percent) than the S-1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the S-1 nor the GX7 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 GX7« 4.8 in 2.8 in 2.2 in 14.2 oz 350 n Aug 2013 999- i
Olympus E-PL7« » 4.5 in 2.6 in 1.5 in 12.6 oz 350 n Aug 2014 599- 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 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 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

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 70 percent) than the GX7, 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 GX7

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to 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 GX7 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 GX7. 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 GX7). Moreover, it should be noted that the GX7 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 6 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 GX7 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). 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
Kodak S-1» Four Thirds 16.1 4640 34801080/30p----
Panasonic GX7« Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p22.612.271870
Olympus E-PL7« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.712.487372
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 GF6« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i20.710.662254
Panasonic G6« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.563961
Panasonic G3« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i21.010.666756
Panasonic GX1« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p20.810.670355

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the GX7 provides a faster frame rate than the S-1. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Kodak is limited to 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Kodak S-1 vs Panasonic GX7

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the GX7 has an electronic viewfinder (2760k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the S-1 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Kodak S-1 and Panasonic GX7 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
Kodak S-1»- n 3.0 920 tilting n 4000 4.0 n Y
Panasonic GX7«2760 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 8000 5.0 Y Y
Olympus E-PL7« »- n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 4000 8.0 n 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 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 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

The S-1 is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the GX7 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the GX7 was succeeded by the Panasonic GX85.

Review summary: Kodak S-1 vs Panasonic GX7

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Kodak S-1 or the Panasonic GX7 – has the upper hand? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Reasons to prefer the Kodak PIXPRO S-1:

  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 112g or 28 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (410 versus 350) on a single battery charge.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (70 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in January 2012).

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Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7:

  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 920k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 6 months) more recently.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the GX7 is the clear winner of the contest (8 : 4 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.

S-1 04:08 GX7

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the S-1 and the GX7 in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is where reviews by experts come in. 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 detailed reviews can be accessed 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 GX7«Rec79/1005/54.5/55/5 Aug 2013 999- i
Olympus E-PL7« »Rec-5/54.5/54/5 Aug 2014 599- 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 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 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

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. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. 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 make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool. If you do not see the camera that you are looking for, please send me an email, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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