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Panasonic G7 vs GM5

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in May 2015 and September 2014. Both the G7 and the GM5 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 15.8 megapixels.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Panasonic G7   Panasonic GM5
Panasonic G7 Panasonic GM5
Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
Micro Four Thirds lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
15.8 MP, Four Thirds Sensor 15.8 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
4K/30p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 160-25600 ISO 200-25600
Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots) Electronic viewfinder (1166k dots)
3.0" LCD, 1040k dots 3.0" LCD, 921k dots
Swivel touchscreen Fixed touchscreen
7 shutter flaps per second 5.8 shutter flaps per second
350 shots per battery charge220 shots per battery charge
125 x 86 x 77 mm, 410 g 99 x 60 x 36 mm, 211 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Panasonic G7 vs GM5

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Panasonic G7 and the Panasonic GM5 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 dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Both cameras are available in two different colors (black, silver).

Size Panasonic G7 vs Panasonic GM5
Compare G7 versus GM5 top
Comparison G7 or GM5 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic GM5 is considerably smaller (45 percent) than the Panasonic G7. Moreover, the GM5 is substantially lighter (49 percent) than the G7. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G7 nor the GM5 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.

Concerning battery life, the G7 gets 350 shots out of its DMW-BLC12 battery, while the GM5 can take 220 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLH7 power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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)
Camera
Model
 
Panasonic G7» 4.9 in 3.4 in 3.0 in 14.5 oz 350 n May 2015 649- i Panasonic G7
 
Panasonic GM5« 3.9 in 2.4 in 1.4 in 7.4 oz 220 n Sep 2014 749- i Panasonic GM5
 
Olympus E-PL7« » 4.5 in 2.6 in 1.5 in 12.6 oz 350 n Aug 2014 599- i Olympus E-PL7
 
Panasonic GF7« » 4.2 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 9.4 oz 230 n Jan 2015 499- i Panasonic GF7
 
Panasonic G6« » 4.8 in 3.3 in 2.8 in 13.8 oz 340 n Apr 2013 599- i Panasonic G6
 
Panasonic GM1« » 3.9 in 2.2 in 1.2 in 7.2 oz 230 n Oct 2013 749- i Panasonic GM1
 
Panasonic G5« » 4.7 in 3.3 in 2.8 in 14.0 oz 320 n Jul 2012 599- i Panasonic G5
 
Panasonic G3« » 4.5 in 3.3 in 1.9 in 11.9 oz 270 n May 2011 599- i Panasonic G3
 
Panasonic GX1« » 4.6 in 2.7 in 1.5 in 11.2 oz 320 n Nov 2011 699- i Panasonic GX1
 
Panasonic G2« » 4.9 in 3.3 in 2.9 in 15.1 oz 360 n Mar 2010 599- i Panasonic G2
 
Panasonic GH2« » 4.9 in 3.5 in 3.0 in 15.6 oz 330 n Sep 2010 899- i Panasonic GH2
 
Panasonic GF1« » 4.7 in 2.8 in 1.4 in 13.6 oz 380 n Sep 2009 749- i Panasonic GF1
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

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 G7 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 13 percent) than the GM5, 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Panasonic G7 vs GM5

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 tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units 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 associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies 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.

Panasonic G7 and Panasonic GM5 sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 15.8 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the G7 and the GM5 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the G7 is a somewhat more recent model (by 8 months) than the GM5, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 160 to ISO 25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5 are ISO 200 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600.

G7 versus GM5 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Panasonic G7» Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p----Panasonic G7
 
Panasonic GM5« Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p22.111.772166Panasonic GM5
 
Olympus E-PL7« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.712.487372Olympus E-PL7
 
Panasonic GF7« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p----Panasonic GF7
 
Panasonic G6« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.563961Panasonic G6
 
Panasonic GM1« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i22.311.766066Panasonic GM1
 
Panasonic G5« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p----Panasonic G5
 
Panasonic G3« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i21.010.666756Panasonic G3
 
Panasonic GX1« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p20.810.670355Panasonic GX1
 
Panasonic G2« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.349353Panasonic G2
 
Panasonic GH2« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60i21.211.365560Panasonic GH2
 
Panasonic GF1« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.351354Panasonic GF1

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 G7 provides a higher video resolution than the GM5. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the GM5 is limited to 1080/60p.

 

Feature comparison: Panasonic G7 vs GM5

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The two cameras under consideration are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the G7 offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the GM5 (2360k vs 1166k dots). The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Panasonic G7, the Panasonic GM5, and comparable cameras.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Panasonic G7»2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y n Panasonic G7
 
Panasonic GM5«1166 n 3.0 921 fixed Y 1/500s 5.8 n n Panasonic GM5
 
Olympus E-PL7« »- n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 n Y Olympus E-PL7
 
Panasonic GF7« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/500s 5.8 Y n Panasonic GF7
 
Panasonic G6« »1440 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y n Panasonic G6
 
Panasonic GM1« »- n 3.0 1036 fixed Y 1/500s 5.0 Y n Panasonic GM1
 
Panasonic G5« »1440 n 3.0 920 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n Panasonic G5
 
Panasonic G3« »1440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 4.0 Y n Panasonic G3
 
Panasonic GX1« »- n 3.0 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n Panasonic GX1
 
Panasonic G2« »1440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 2.6 Y n Panasonic G2
 
Panasonic GH2« »1534 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Panasonic GH2
 
Panasonic GF1« »- n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Panasonic GF1

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The G7 has one, while the GM5 does not. While the built-in flash of the G7 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

The G7 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 GM5 does not have a selfie-screen.

The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, both cameras under consideration feature 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).

The Panasonic G7 and the Panasonic GM5 both have an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the G7 and the GM5 write their files to SDXC cards. The G7 supports UHS-II cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 312 MB/s), while the GM5 can use UHS-I cards (up to 104 MB/s).

 

Connectivity comparison: Panasonic G7 vs GM5

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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Panasonic G7»YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Panasonic G7
 
Panasonic GM5«Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic GM5
 
Olympus E-PL7« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Olympus E-PL7
 
Panasonic GF7« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Panasonic GF7
 
Panasonic G6« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Panasonic G6
 
Panasonic GM1« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic GM1
 
Panasonic G5« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic G5
 
Panasonic G3« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic G3
 
Panasonic GX1« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic GX1
 
Panasonic G2« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic G2
 
Panasonic GH2« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Panasonic GH2
 
Panasonic GF1« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Panasonic GF1

It is notable that the G7 has a microphone port, which is missing on the GM5. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.

Both the G7 and the GM5 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The G7 was replaced by the Panasonic G85, while the GM5 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Panasonic website.


Review summary: Panasonic G7 vs GM5

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Panasonic G7 or the Panasonic GM5 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7:

  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (2360k vs 1166k dots).
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.70x vs 0.46x).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 921k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/500s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7 vs 5.8 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (350 versus 220) on a single battery charge.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Supports a more advanced SD data transfer standard (UHS-II vs UHS-I).
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (13 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 8 months after the GM5).


Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5:

  • More compact: Is smaller (99x60mm vs 125x86mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 199g or 49 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2014).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the G7 is the clear winner of the match-up (14 : 3 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. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

G7 14:03 GM5

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Panasonic G7 and the Panasonic GM5 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

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 G7 or the GM5 perform in practice. 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.

Expert reviews: Panasonic G7 vs GM5

This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Panasonic G7»+ +80/1005/54.5/54.5/5 May 2015 649- i Panasonic G7
 
Panasonic GM5«+77/1005/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 749- i Panasonic GM5
 
Olympus E-PL7« »+-5/54.5/54/5 Aug 2014 599- i Olympus E-PL7
 
Panasonic GF7« »+-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2015 499- i Panasonic GF7
 
Panasonic G6« »+ +-5/5-4.5/5 Apr 2013 599- i Panasonic G6
 
Panasonic GM1« »+78/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 749- i Panasonic GM1
 
Panasonic G5« »+ +-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jul 2012 599- i Panasonic G5
 
Panasonic G3« »+ +75/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2011 599- i Panasonic G3
 
Panasonic GX1« »+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Nov 2011 699- i Panasonic GX1
 
Panasonic G2« »-72/1004/54/54.5/5 Mar 2010 599- i Panasonic G2
 
Panasonic GH2« »+ +79/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Sep 2010 899- i Panasonic GH2
 
Panasonic GF1« »85/10069/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2009 749- i Panasonic GF1
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

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. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, 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.

Panasonic G7:
Check Ebay offers
Panasonic GM5:
Check Ebay offers

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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Panasonic G7 vs Panasonic GM5

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Panasonic G7 Panasonic GM5
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Micro Four Thirds lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date May 2015 September 2014
    Launch Price USD 649 USD 749
    Sensor Specs Panasonic G7 Panasonic GM5
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    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
    Crop Factor 2.0x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 15.8 Megapixels 15.8 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4592 x 3448 pixels 4592 x 3448 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.77 μm 3.77 μm
    Pixel Density 7.04 MP/cm2 7.04 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 4K/30p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 160-25600 ISO 200-25600 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 100-25600 ISO
    Image Processor Venus Venus
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 66
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 22.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 11.7
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 721
    Screen Specs Panasonic G7 Panasonic GM5
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.70x 0.46x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2360k dots 1166k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Panasonic G7 Panasonic GM5
    Autofocus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000/s 1/500/s
    Continuous Shooting 7 shutter flaps/s 5.8 shutter flaps/s
    Electronic Shutterup to 1/16000sup to 1/16000s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inIntervalometer built-in
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-II UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Panasonic G7 Panasonic GM5
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI micro HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port no MIC socket
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Body Specs Panasonic G7 Panasonic GM5
    Battery Type DMW-BLC12 power pack DMW-BLH7 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)350 shots per charge220 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 125 x 86 x 77 mm
    (4.9 x 3.4 x 3.0 in)
    99 x 60 x 36 mm
    (3.9 x 2.4 x 1.4 in)
    Camera Weight 410 g (14.5 oz) 211 g (7.4 oz)

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