Olympus E-PL6 vs Panasonic GM1
The Olympus PEN E-PL6 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in May 2013 and October 2013. Both the E-PL6 and the GM1 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. The Olympus has a resolution of 15.9 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 15.8 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
|Olympus E-PL6||Panasonic GM1|
|Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Micro Four Thirds lenses||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|15.9 MP, Four Thirds Sensor||15.8 MP, Four Thirds Sensor|
|1080/30p Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO 200-25600||ISO 200-25600|
|Viewfinder optional||No viewfinder, LCD framing|
|3.0" LCD, 460k dots||3.0" LCD, 1036k dots|
|Tilting touchscreen||Fixed touchscreen|
|8 shutter flaps per second||5 shutter flaps per second|
|In-body stabilization||Lens stabilization only|
|360 shots per battery charge||230 shots per battery charge|
|111 x 64 x 38 mm, 325 g||99 x 55 x 30 mm, 204 g|
Body comparison: Olympus E-PL6 vs Panasonic GM1
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Olympus E-PL6 and the Panasonic GM1 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures 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 side – the E-PL6 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic GM1 is notably smaller (23 percent) than the Olympus E-PL6. Moreover, the GM1 is substantially lighter (37 percent) than the E-PL6. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the E-PL6 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 compare the optics available 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 adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.
|Olympus E-PL6»||111 mm||64 mm||38 mm||325 g||360||n||May 2013||599||-||Olympus E-PL6|
|Panasonic GM1«||99 mm||55 mm||30 mm||204 g||230||n||Oct 2013||749||-||Panasonic GM1|
|Canon G1 X Mark II« »||116 mm||74 mm||66 mm||553 g||240||n||Feb 2014||799||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Olympus E-PL9« »||117 mm||68 mm||39 mm||380 g||350||n||Feb 2018||549||Olympus E-PL9|
|Olympus E-M10 III« »||122 mm||84 mm||50 mm||410 g||330||n||Aug 2017||649||Olympus E-M10 III|
|Olympus E-PL8« »||115 mm||67 mm||38 mm||357 g||350||n||Sep 2016||549||-||Olympus E-PL8|
|Olympus E-M10 II« »||120 mm||83 mm||47 mm||390 g||320||n||Aug 2015||799||-||Olympus E-M10 II|
|Olympus E-M10« »||119 mm||82 mm||46 mm||396 g||320||n||Jan 2014||699||-||Olympus E-M10|
|Olympus E-PL7« »||115 mm||67 mm||38 mm||357 g||350||n||Aug 2014||599||-||Olympus E-PL7|
|Olympus E-P5« »||122 mm||69 mm||37 mm||420 g||330||n||May 2013||999||-||Olympus E-P5|
|Olympus E-PL5« »||111 mm||64 mm||38 mm||325 g||360||n||Sep 2012||599||-||Olympus E-PL5|
|Olympus E-PM2« »||110 mm||64 mm||34 mm||269 g||360||n||Sep 2012||499||-||Olympus E-PM2|
|Panasonic GM5« »||99 mm||60 mm||36 mm||211 g||220||n||Sep 2014||749||-||Panasonic GM5|
|Panasonic G6« »||122 mm||85 mm||71 mm||390 g||340||n||Apr 2013||599||-||Panasonic G6|
|Ricoh GR« »||117 mm||61 mm||35 mm||245 g||290||n||Apr 2013||799||-||Ricoh GR|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The E-PL6 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 20 percent) than the GM1, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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: Olympus E-PL6 vs Panasonic GM1
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the 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.
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the E-PL6 offers a slightly higher resolution of 15.9 megapixels, compared with 15.8 MP of the GM1. This megapixels advantage translates into a 0.3 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the E-PL6 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.76μm versus 3.77μm for the GM1). Moreover, it should be noted that the GM1 is a somewhat more recent model (by 5 months) than the E-PL6, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of individual pixels.
The Olympus PEN E-PL6 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 are ISO 200 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 125-25600..
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Olympus E-PL6»||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||-||-||-||-||Olympus E-PL6|
|Panasonic GM1«||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||22.3||11.7||660||66||Panasonic GM1|
|Canon G1 X Mark II« »||1.5-inch||13.0||4160||3120||1080/30p||21.5||10.8||581||58||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Olympus E-PL9« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Olympus E-PL9|
|Olympus E-M10 III« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Olympus E-M10 III|
|Olympus E-PL8« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||-||-||-||-||Olympus E-PL8|
|Olympus E-M10 II« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||23.1||12.5||842||73||Olympus E-M10 II|
|Olympus E-M10« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.8||12.3||884||72||Olympus E-M10|
|Olympus E-PL7« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.7||12.4||873||72||Olympus E-PL7|
|Olympus E-P5« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.8||12.4||895||72||Olympus E-P5|
|Olympus E-PL5« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.8||12.3||889||72||Olympus E-PL5|
|Olympus E-PM2« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.7||12.2||932||72||Olympus E-PM2|
|Panasonic GM5« »||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||22.1||11.7||721||66||Panasonic GM5|
|Panasonic G6« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||21.3||11.5||639||61||Panasonic G6|
|Ricoh GR« »||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.6||13.5||972||78||Ricoh GR|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. 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 E-PL6. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60i, while the Olympus is limited to 1080/30p.
Feature comparison: Olympus E-PL6 vs Panasonic GM1
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The E-PL6 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. That said, the E-PL6 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the VF-3. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Olympus E-PL6 and Panasonic GM1 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Olympus E-PL6»||-||n||3.0||460||tilting||Y||4000||8.0||n||Y||Olympus E-PL6|
|Panasonic GM1«||-||n||3.0||1036||fixed||Y||500||5.0||Y||n||Panasonic GM1|
|Canon G1 X Mark II« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||5.2||Y||Y||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Olympus E-PL9« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||8.6||Y||Y||Olympus E-PL9|
|Olympus E-M10 III« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||8.6||Y||Y||Olympus E-M10 III|
|Olympus E-PL8« »||-||n||3.0||1037||tilting||Y||4000||8.0||n||Y||Olympus E-PL8|
|Olympus E-M10 II« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||8.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-M10 II|
|Olympus E-M10« »||1440||n||3.0||1037||tilting||Y||4000||8.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-M10|
|Olympus E-PL7« »||-||n||3.0||1037||tilting||Y||4000||8.0||n||Y||Olympus E-PL7|
|Olympus E-P5« »||-||n||3.0||1037||tilting||Y||8000||9.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-P5|
|Olympus E-PL5« »||-||n||3.0||460||tilting||Y||4000||8.0||n||Y||Olympus E-PL5|
|Olympus E-PM2« »||-||n||3.0||460||fixed||Y||4000||8.0||n||Y||Olympus E-PM2|
|Panasonic GM5« »||1166||n||3.0||921||fixed||Y||500||5.8||n||n||Panasonic GM5|
|Panasonic G6« »||1440||n||3.0||1036||swivel||Y||4000||7.0||Y||n||Panasonic G6|
|Ricoh GR« »||-||n||3.0||1230||fixed||n||4000||4.0||Y||n||Ricoh GR|
One feature that differentiates the E-PL6 and the GM1 is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The E-PL6 reduces the risk of handshake-induced blur with all attached lenses, while the GM1 has to rely on optical image stabilization in OIS-equipped lenses to achieve the same effect.The E-PL6 has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the GM1 does not have a selfie-screen.
The reported shutter speed and shutter burst refer to the use of the mechanical shutter. In addition, the GM1 features an electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the E-PL6 and the GM1 write their files to SDXC cards.
Connectivity comparison: Olympus E-PL6 vs Panasonic GM1
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Olympus PEN E-PL6 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Olympus E-PL6»||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-PL6|
|Panasonic GM1«||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic GM1|
|Canon G1 X Mark II« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Olympus E-PL9« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Olympus E-PL9|
|Olympus E-M10 III« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Olympus E-M10 III|
|Olympus E-PL8« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Olympus E-PL8|
|Olympus E-M10 II« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Olympus E-M10 II|
|Olympus E-M10« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Olympus E-M10|
|Olympus E-PL7« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Olympus E-PL7|
|Olympus E-P5« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Olympus E-P5|
|Olympus E-PL5« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-PL5|
|Olympus E-PM2« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-PM2|
|Panasonic GM5« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic GM5|
|Panasonic G6« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Panasonic G6|
|Ricoh GR« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-||Ricoh GR|
It is notable that the E-PL6 has a hotshoe, while the GM1 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
Both the E-PL6 and the GM1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The E-PL6 was replaced by the Olympus E-PL7, while the GM1 was followed by the Panasonic GM5.
Review summary: Olympus E-PL6 vs Panasonic GM1
So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Olympus E-PL6 and the Panasonic GM1? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Reasons to prefer the Olympus PEN E-PL6:
- More framing options: Can be equipped with a hotshoe-mounted accessory-viewfinder.
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 500/sec) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (360 versus 230) on a single battery charge.
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (20 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in May 2013).
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 460k dots).
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- More compact: Is smaller (99x55mm vs 111x64mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 121g or 37 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (5 months) more recently.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the E-PL6 emerges as the winner of the contest (10 : 8 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the E-PL6 or the GM1 handle or perform in practice. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.
Expert reviews: Olympus E-PL6 vs Panasonic GM1
This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Olympus E-PL6»||-||-||-||-||-||May 2013||599||-||Olympus E-PL6|
|Panasonic GM1«||Rec||78/100||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||749||-||Panasonic GM1|
|Canon G1 X Mark II« »||Rec||77/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||799||Canon G1 X Mark II|
|Olympus E-PL9« »||Rec||-||4.5/5||-||4/5||Feb 2018||549||Olympus E-PL9|
|Olympus E-M10 III« »||Rec||80/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2017||649||Olympus E-M10 III|
|Olympus E-PL8« »||-||-||4.5/5||-||4/5||Sep 2016||549||-||Olympus E-PL8|
|Olympus E-M10 II« »||HiRec||80/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Aug 2015||799||-||Olympus E-M10 II|
|Olympus E-M10« »||-||80/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2014||699||-||Olympus E-M10|
|Olympus E-PL7« »||Rec||-||5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2014||599||-||Olympus E-PL7|
|Olympus E-P5« »||HiRec||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||May 2013||999||-||Olympus E-P5|
|Olympus E-PL5« »||HiRec||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||599||-||Olympus E-PL5|
|Olympus E-PM2« »||-||77/100||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||499||-||Olympus E-PM2|
|Panasonic GM5« »||Rec||77/100||5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||749||-||Panasonic GM5|
|Panasonic G6« »||HiRec||-||5/5||-||4.5/5||Apr 2013||599||-||Panasonic G6|
|Ricoh GR« »||-||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2013||799||-||Ricoh GR|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu 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.
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Specifications: Olympus E-PL6 vs Panasonic GM1
|Camera Model||Olympus E-PL6||Panasonic GM1|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Micro Four Thirds lenses||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||May 2013||October 2013|
|Launch Price||USD 599||USD 749|
|Sensor Format||Four Thirds Sensor||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||17.3 x 13.0 mm||17.3 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||224.9 mm2||224.9 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||21.6 mm||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||15.9 Megapixels||15.8 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4608 x 3456 pixels||4592 x 3448 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.76 μm||3.77 μm|
|Pixel Density||7.08 MP/cm2||7.04 MP/cm2|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO Setting||200-25600 ISO||200-25600 ISO|
|Image Processor||TruePic VI||Venus IX|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional||No viewfinder|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||460k dots||1036k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Fixed screen|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000s||1/500s|
|Continuous Shooting||8 shutter flaps/s||5 shutter flaps/s|
|Silent Shooting||no E-Shutter||Electronic Shutter|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization||Lens stabilization only|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Battery Type||BLS-5 power pack||DMW-BLH7 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||360 shots per charge||230 shots per charge|
111 x 64 x 38 mm
(4.4 x 2.5 x 1.5 in)
99 x 55 x 30 mm
(3.9 x 2.2 x 1.2 in)
|Camera Weight||325 g (11.5 oz)||204 g (7.2 oz)|
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