Panasonic GF5 vs GM1
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in April 2012 and October 2013. Both the GF5 and the GM1 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. The GF5 has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the GM1 provides 15.8 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Panasonic GF5||Panasonic GM1|
|Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Micro Four Thirds lenses||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|12 MP, Four Thirds Sensor||15.8 MP, Four Thirds Sensor|
|1080/60i Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO 160-6,400 (160 - 12,800)||ISO 200-25,600|
|No viewfinder, LCD framing||No viewfinder, LCD framing|
|3.0 LCD, 920k dots||3.0 LCD, 1036k dots|
|Fixed touchscreen||Fixed touchscreen|
|4 shutter flaps per second||5 shutter flaps per second|
|360 shots per battery charge||230 shots per battery charge|
|108 x 67 x 37 mm, 267 g||99 x 55 x 30 mm, 204 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1? 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.
The physical size and weight of the Panasonic GF5 and the Panasonic GM1 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The GF5 can be obtained in three different colors (black, red, white), while the GM1 is also available in three color-versions, but different ones (black, silver, red).
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 (25 percent) than the Panasonic GF5. Moreover, the GM1 is markedly lighter (24 percent) than the GF5. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the GF5 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 following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.
|Panasonic GF5||108 mm||67 mm||37 mm||267 g||360||n||Apr 2012||499|
|Panasonic GM1||99 mm||55 mm||30 mm||204 g||230||n||Oct 2013||749|
|Olympus E-PM1||110 mm||64 mm||34 mm||265 g||330||n||Jun 2011||499|
|Panasonic GX800||107 mm||65 mm||33 mm||269 g||210||n||Jan 2017||549|
|Panasonic GM5||99 mm||60 mm||36 mm||211 g||220||n||Sep 2014||749|
|Panasonic G6||122 mm||85 mm||71 mm||390 g||340||n||Apr 2013||599|
|Panasonic GF6||111 mm||65 mm||38 mm||323 g||340||n||Apr 2013||499|
|Panasonic LX7||111 mm||68 mm||46 mm||298 g||330||n||Jul 2012||499|
|Panasonic G3||115 mm||84 mm||47 mm||336 g||270||n||May 2011||599|
|Panasonic GF3||108 mm||67 mm||32 mm||264 g||300||n||Jun 2011||549|
|Panasonic GX1||116 mm||68 mm||39 mm||318 g||320||n||Nov 2011||699|
|Panasonic G10||124 mm||84 mm||74 mm||388 g||380||n||Mar 2010||499|
|Panasonic GF2||113 mm||68 mm||33 mm||310 g||300||n||Nov 2010||549|
|Panasonic GH2||124 mm||90 mm||76 mm||442 g||330||n||Sep 2010||899|
|Ricoh GR||117 mm||61 mm||35 mm||245 g||290||n||Apr 2013||799|
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The GF5 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 33 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.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the 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.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the GM1 offers a higher resolution of 15.8 megapixels, compared with 12 MP of the GF5. This megapixels advantage translates into a 15 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the GM1 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.77μm versus 4.33μm for the GF5). However, it should be noted that the GM1 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 6 months) than the GF5, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size.
The resolution advantage of the Panasonic GM1 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the GM1 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 23 x 17.2 inches or 58.3 x 43.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 18.4 x 13.8 inches or 46.7 x 35 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 15.3 x 11.5 inches or 38.9 x 29.2 cm. The corresponding values for the Panasonic GF5 are 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm for good quality, 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm for very good quality, and 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 160 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 160-12800. 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.
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"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the GM1 has a markedly higher DXO score than the GF5 (overall score 5 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.9 bits higher color depth, 0.1 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.1 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Panasonic GF5||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60i||21.4||11.6||618||61|
|Panasonic GM1||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||22.3||11.7||660||66|
|Olympus E-PM1||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||1080/60i||21.0||10.3||499||52|
|Panasonic GX800||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||4K/30p||23.2||13.3||586||73|
|Panasonic GM5||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||22.1||11.7||721||66|
|Panasonic G6||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||21.3||11.5||639||61|
|Panasonic GF6||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||20.7||10.6||622||54|
|Panasonic G3||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||21.0||10.6||667||56|
|Panasonic GF3||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60i||20.6||10.0||458||49|
|Panasonic GX1||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||20.8||10.6||703||55|
|Panasonic G10||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.1||411||52|
|Panasonic GF2||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60i||21.2||10.3||506||54|
|Panasonic GH2||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60i||21.2||11.3||655||60|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60i).
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The GF5 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 Panasonic GF5 and Panasonic GM1 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
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, the GM1 is one of those camera that have an additional 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 GM1 has 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 GF5 and the GM1 write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.
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-GF5 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
It is notable that the GM1 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the GF5 does not provide wifi capability.
Both the GF5 and the GM1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The GF5 was replaced by the Panasonic GF6, while the GM1 was followed by the Panasonic GM5. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Panasonic website.
So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Panasonic GF5 and the Panasonic GM1? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5:
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/500s) to freeze action.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (360 versus 230) on a single battery charge.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (33 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in April 2012).
Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (15.8 vs 12MP), which boosts linear resolution by 15%.
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (5 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1036k vs 920k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- More compact: Is smaller (99x55mm vs 108x67mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 63g or 24 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- 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 GM1 is the clear winner of the contest (10 : 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. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Panasonic GF5 and the Panasonic GM1 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 GF5 or the GM1 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.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular 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.
|Panasonic GF5||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Apr 2012||499|
|Panasonic GM1||+||78/100||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||749|
|Olympus E-PM1||86/100||71/100||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Jun 2011||499|
|Panasonic GX800||+||76/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||549|
|Panasonic GM5||+||77/100||5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||749|
|Panasonic G6||+ +||..||5/5||..||4.5/5||Apr 2013||599|
|Panasonic GF6||+ +||..||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Apr 2013||499|
|Panasonic LX7||+ +||75/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||499|
|Panasonic G3||+ +||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||May 2011||599|
|Panasonic GF3||82/100||71/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2011||549|
|Panasonic GX1||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Nov 2011||699|
|Panasonic G10||..||70/100||4/5||..||4/5||Mar 2010||499|
|Panasonic GF2||82/100||70/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Nov 2010||549|
|Panasonic GH2||+ +||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Sep 2010||899|
|Ricoh GR||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2013||799|
|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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon 1300D vs Panasonic GM1
- Canon 250D vs Panasonic GF5
- Canon 760D vs Panasonic GF5
- Canon M3 vs Panasonic GM1
- Fujifilm X-A3 vs Panasonic GF5
- Nikon D3000 vs Panasonic GM1
- Olympus E-PM1 vs Panasonic GM1
- Panasonic GF1 vs Panasonic GF5
- Panasonic GF1 vs Panasonic GM1
- Panasonic GF5 vs Sony A6300
- Panasonic GM1 vs Ricoh GR
- Panasonic GM1 vs Sony NEX-3N
Specifications: Panasonic GF5 vs Panasonic GM1
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 Model||Panasonic GF5||Panasonic GM1|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Micro Four Thirds lenses||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||April 2012||October 2013|
|Launch Price||USD 499||USD 749|
|Sensor Specs||Panasonic GF5||Panasonic GM1|
|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||12 Megapixels||15.8 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4000 x 3000 pixels||4592 x 3448 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.33 μm||3.77 μm|
|Pixel Density||5.34 MP/cm2||7.04 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60i Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO Setting||160 - 6,400 ISO||200 - 25,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||160 - 12,800 ISO||125 - 25,600 ISO|
|Image Processor||Venus FHD||Venus IX|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||61||66|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.4||22.3|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.6||11.7|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||618||660|
|Screen Specs||Panasonic GF5||Panasonic GM1|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||no viewfinder|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||920k dots||1036k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Panasonic GF5||Panasonic GM1|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/500s|
|Continuous Shooting||4 shutter flaps/s||5 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||no E-Shutter||up to 1/16000s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Panasonic GF5||Panasonic GM1|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Body Specs||Panasonic GF5||Panasonic GM1|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||360 shots per charge||230 shots per charge|
108 x 67 x 37 mm
(4.3 x 2.6 x 1.5 in)
99 x 55 x 30 mm
(3.9 x 2.2 x 1.2 in)
|Camera Weight||267 g (9.4 oz)||204 g (7.2 oz)|
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