Panasonic G5 versus Fujifilm X-M1
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 and the Fujifilm X-M1 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in July 2012 and June 2013. Both the G5 and the X-M1 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are based on a Four Thirds (G5) and an APS-C (X-M1) sensor. The Panasonic has a resolution of 15.9 megapixel, whereas the Fujifilm provides 16 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: Panasonic G5 vs Fujifilm X-M1
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Panasonic G5 and the Fujifilm X-M1 is provided in the side-by-side display below. 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 use the toggle button 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 G5 – represents 100 percent 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 Fujifilm X-M1 is notably smaller (21 percent) than the Panasonic G5. Moreover, the X-M1 is markedly lighter (17 percent) than the G5. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G5 nor the X-M1 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. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can find an overview of optics for the two cameras in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog (G5) and the Fujinon X Lens Catalog (X-M1). 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|
|Panasonic G5»||4.7 in||3.3 in||2.8 in||14.0 oz||320||n||Jul 2012||599||-|
|Fujifilm X-M1«||4.6 in||2.6 in||1.5 in||11.6 oz||350||n||Jun 2013||699|
|Fujifilm X70« »||4.4 in||2.5 in||1.7 in||12.0 oz||330||n||Jan 2016||799|
|Fujifilm X-E2S« »||5.1 in||3.0 in||1.5 in||12.3 oz||350||n||Jan 2016||699||-|
|Fujifilm X-T10« »||4.6 in||3.3 in||1.6 in||13.4 oz||350||n||May 2015||799||-|
|Fujifilm X20« »||4.6 in||2.8 in||2.2 in||12.5 oz||270||n||Jan 2013||599||-|
|Fujifilm X-E2« »||5.1 in||3.0 in||1.5 in||12.3 oz||350||n||Oct 2013||999||-|
|Panasonic GX850« »||4.2 in||2.6 in||1.3 in||9.5 oz||210||n||Jan 2017||549|
|Panasonic G7« »||4.9 in||3.4 in||3.0 in||14.5 oz||350||n||May 2015||649||-|
|Panasonic GF6« »||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.5 in||11.4 oz||340||n||Apr 2013||499||-|
|Panasonic G6« »||4.8 in||3.3 in||2.8 in||13.8 oz||340||n||Apr 2013||599||-|
|Panasonic GM1« »||3.9 in||2.2 in||1.2 in||7.2 oz||230||n||Oct 2013||749||-|
|Panasonic GX7« »||4.8 in||2.8 in||2.2 in||14.2 oz||350||n||Aug 2013||999||-|
|Panasonic G3« »||4.5 in||3.3 in||1.9 in||11.9 oz||270||n||May 2011||599||-|
|Panasonic GX1« »||4.6 in||2.7 in||1.5 in||11.2 oz||320||n||Nov 2011||949||-|
|Panasonic GH2« »||4.9 in||3.5 in||3.0 in||15.6 oz||330||n||Sep 2010||1,499||-|
|Panasonic G2« »||4.9 in||3.3 in||2.9 in||15.1 oz||360||n||Mar 2010||599||-|
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 G5 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 14 percent) than the X-M1, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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: Panasonic G5 vs Fujifilm X-M1
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Panasonic G5 features a Four Thirds sensor and the Fujifilm X-M1 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the X-M1 is 64 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.0 and 1.5. The sensor in the G5 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the X-M1 offers a 3:2 aspect.
With 16MP, the X-M1 offers a higher resolution than the G5 (15.9MP), but the X-M1 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.80μm versus 3.76μm for the G5) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the X-M1 is a somewhat more recent model (by 11 months) than the G5, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the X-M1 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Panasonic G5»||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||-||-||-||-|
|Fujifilm X70« »||APS-C||16.0||4896||3264||1080/60p||-||-||-||-|
|Fujifilm X-E2S« »||APS-C||16.0||4896||3264||1080/60p||-||-||-||-|
|Fujifilm X-T10« »||APS-C||16.0||4896||3264||1080/60p||-||-||-||-|
|Fujifilm X20« »||2/3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||-||-||-||-|
|Fujifilm X-E2« »||APS-C||16.0||4896||3264||1080/60p||-||-||-||-|
|Panasonic GX850« »||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||4K/30p||23.2||13.3||586||73|
|Panasonic G7« »||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||4K/30p||-||-||-||-|
|Panasonic GF6« »||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||20.7||10.6||622||54|
|Panasonic G6« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||21.3||11.5||639||61|
|Panasonic GM1« »||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||22.3||11.7||660||66|
|Panasonic GX7« »||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||22.6||12.2||718||70|
|Panasonic G3« »||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||21.0||10.6||667||56|
|Panasonic GX1« »||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||20.8||10.6||703||55|
|Panasonic GH2« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60i||21.2||11.3||655||60|
|Panasonic G2« »||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.3||493||53|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the G5 provides a higher frame rate than the X-M1. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60p, while the Fujifilm is limited to 1080/30p.
Feature comparison: Panasonic G5 vs Fujifilm X-M1
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the G5 has an electronic viewfinder (1440k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the X-M1 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Panasonic G5 and Fujifilm X-M1 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.
|Fujifilm X70« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||8.0||Y||n|
|Fujifilm X-E2S« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||fixed||n||4000||7.0||Y||n|
|Fujifilm X-T10« »||2360||n||3.0||920||tilting||n||4000||8.0||Y||n|
|Fujifilm X20« »||optical||n||2.8||460||fixed||n||4000||12.0||Y||Y|
|Fujifilm X-E2« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||fixed||n||4000||7.0||Y||n|
|Panasonic GX850« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||500||10.0||Y||n|
|Panasonic G7« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||7.0||Y||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 GM1« »||-||n||3.0||1036||fixed||Y||500||5.0||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|
|Panasonic GH2« »||1534||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||4000||3.0||Y||n|
|Panasonic G2« »||1440||n||3.0||460||swivel||Y||4000||2.6||Y||n|
The X-M1 is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the G5 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the G5 was succeeded by the Panasonic G6.
Review summary: Panasonic G5 vs Fujifilm X-M1
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Panasonic G5 better than the Fujifilm X-M1 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
- More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (14 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in July 2012).
Reasons to prefer the Fujifilm X-M1:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better image quality: Is equipped with a larger and more technologically advanced sensor.
- More compact: Is smaller (117x67mm vs 120x83mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 66g or 17 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (11 months) more recently.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the G5 emerges as the winner of the contest (7 : 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.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the G5 or the X-M1. 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. This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Panasonic G5»||HiRec||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||599||-|
|Fujifilm X-M1«||Rec||77/100||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Jun 2013||699|
|Fujifilm X70« »||-||76/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2016||799|
|Fujifilm X-E2S« »||-||77/100||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Jan 2016||699||-|
|Fujifilm X-T10« »||HiRec||80/100||5/5||4/5||5/5||May 2015||799||-|
|Fujifilm X20« »||HiRec||77/100||4.5/5||-||5/5||Jan 2013||599||-|
|Fujifilm X-E2« »||-||80/100||4.5/5||-||5/5||Oct 2013||999||-|
|Panasonic GX850« »||Rec||76/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||549|
|Panasonic G7« »||HiRec||80/100||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||May 2015||649||-|
|Panasonic GF6« »||HiRec||-||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Apr 2013||499||-|
|Panasonic G6« »||HiRec||-||5/5||-||4.5/5||Apr 2013||599||-|
|Panasonic GM1« »||Rec||78/100||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||749||-|
|Panasonic GX7« »||Rec||79/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2013||999||-|
|Panasonic G3« »||HiRec||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||May 2011||599||-|
|Panasonic GX1« »||Rec||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Nov 2011||949||-|
|Panasonic GH2« »||HiRec||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Sep 2010||1,499||-|
|Panasonic G2« »||-||72/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Mar 2010||599||-|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price 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.
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