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Panasonic GM1 Comparison Review

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that was revealed to the public in October 2013 and is equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. It offers a resolution of 15.8 megapixel.

Is the Panasonic GM1 a good camera? The GM1 has a Camera Elo of 1698. This rating puts the GM1 below average of all mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (Four Thirds cameras), the GM1 ranks among the top 50 percent. Based on its within category standings, the camera earns a 3-star performance rating.

Headline Specifications
Panasonic GM1
Mirrorless system camera
Micro Four Thirds lenses
15.8 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
1080/60i Video
ISO 200 - 25 600
no viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0 LCD, 1036k dots
Fixed touchscreen
5 shutter flaps per second
230 shots per battery charge
99 x 55 x 30 mm, 204 g



Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.

Body comparison with a credit card

An illustration of the physical dimensions of the Panasonic GM1 vis-à-vis a credit card is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Panasonic GM1 vs credit card front
GM1 versus credit card top view
GM1 and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Panasonic GM1 alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side 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 comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Panasonic GM1 99 mm 55 mm 30 mm 204 g 230 n Oct 2013 749i
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 116 mm 74 mm 66 mm 553 g 240 n Feb 2014 799i
 
Olympus E-M10 119 mm 82 mm 46 mm 396 g 320 n Jan 2014 699i
 
Panasonic G7 125 mm 86 mm 77 mm 410 g 350 n May 2015 649i
 
Panasonic FZ1000 137 mm 99 mm 131 mm 831 g 360 n Jun 2014 899i
 
Panasonic GH4 133 mm 93 mm 84 mm 560 g 500 Y Feb 2014 1,499i
 
Panasonic GM5 99 mm 60 mm 36 mm 211 g 220 n Sep 2014 749i
 
Panasonic G6 122 mm 85 mm 71 mm 390 g 340 n Apr 2013 599i
 
Panasonic GX1 116 mm 68 mm 39 mm 318 g 320 n Nov 2011 699i
 
Panasonic GH2 124 mm 90 mm 76 mm 442 g 330 n Sep 2010 899i
 
Ricoh GR 117 mm 61 mm 35 mm 245 g 290 n Apr 2013 799i
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.

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Panasonic GM1 was launched in the US market at a price of $749. 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.

Panasonic GM1:
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Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tent to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

The Panasonic GM1 features a Four Thirds sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Panasonic GM1 among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.

Panasonic GM1 sensor measures

For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
 
Panasonic GM1 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i22.311.766066
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158
 
Olympus E-M10 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.388472
 
Panasonic G7 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p........
 
Panasonic FZ1000 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764
 
Panasonic GH4 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34564K/30p23.212.879174
 
Panasonic GM5 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p22.111.772166
 
Panasonic G6 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.563961
 
Panasonic GX1 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p20.810.670355
 
Panasonic GH2 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60i21.211.365560
 
Ricoh GR APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.613.597278

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The GM1 indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the GM1 can use is 1080/60i.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The following tables report on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Panasonic GM1 and comparable cameras.

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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
 
Panasonic GM1none n 3.0 1036 fixed Y 1/500s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIoptional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2 Y Y
 
Olympus E-M101440 n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic G72360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y n
 
Panasonic FZ10002359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic GH42359 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 1/8000s 12.0 Y n
 
Panasonic GM51166 n 3.0 921 fixed Y 1/500s 5.8 n n
 
Panasonic G61440 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y n
 
Panasonic GX1optional n 3.0 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n
 
Panasonic GH21534 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Ricoh GRoptional n 3.0 1230 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n

One convenient feature of the GM1 is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.

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Connection comparison

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-GM1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Panasonic GM1-stereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIYstereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Olympus E-M10Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Panasonic G7YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--
 
Panasonic FZ1000YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-
 
Panasonic GH4YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-
 
Panasonic GM5Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Panasonic G6YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Panasonic GX1Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Panasonic GH2YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Ricoh GRYmonomono--micro2.0---

It is notable that the GM1 offers wifi support. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

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Expert reviews

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 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. This is why expert reviews are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Panasonic GM1+78/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 749i
 
Canon G1 X Mark II+77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799i
 
Olympus E-M10..80/1005/54.5/55/5 Jan 2014 699i
 
Panasonic G7+ +80/1005/54.5/54.5/5 May 2015 649i
 
Panasonic FZ1000+ +82/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899i
 
Panasonic GH4+ +85/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2014 1,499i
 
Panasonic GM5+77/1005/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 749i
 
Panasonic G6+ +..5/5..4.5/5 Apr 2013 599i
 
Panasonic GX1+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Nov 2011 699i
 
Panasonic GH2+ +79/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Sep 2010 899i
 
Ricoh GR..79/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 799i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Panasonic GM1 FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the GM1.

What type of imaging sensor is used in the GM1?

The camera is build around a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor.

Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?

Panasonic equipped the GM1 with the Venus IX image processor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the GM1?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 125-25600.

What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1?

Panasonic does not publish a shutter rating for the GM1. Yet, shutters in comparable cameras from other manufacturers are said to be good for at least 100 000 actuations. It should be noted, though, that this number represents a Mean Time before Failure. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust an expected shutter life of 100 000 shots over, say, three years, one would have to take about 100 pictures each and every day.

Is completely silent shooting possible with the Panasonic GM1?

The camera has an electronic shutter option, so that it is indeed feasible to capture images without any shutter noise.

Do I need to purchase an external camera trigger to shoot time-lapse sequences?

No, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 has an intervalometer built-in, so that low frequency shooting (for example, flower blooming, sunset, moon rise) can be undertaken without the need to purchase a separate external intervalometer and related software.

Is it difficult to use manual focus lenses with the Panasonic GM1?

The GM1 offers focus peaking as a manual focus aid. This feature works by placing a colored highlight on in-focus zones within the image.

Does the Panasonic GM1 feature an autofocus assist light?

Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.

Does the Panasonic GM1 support the Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus interface for SD cards?

Yes, the camera can indeed use UHS-I cards (data transfer speed of up to 104 MB/s).

Which battery does the GM1 use?

The camera gets its power from the DMW-BLH7 (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

Camera to camera comparisons

In case you are interested in seeing how this camera compares to another one, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Panasonic GM1
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date October 2013
    Launch Price USD 749
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS
    Sensor Format Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 225 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 15.8 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4 592 x 3 448 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.77 μm
    Pixel Density 7.04 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 200 - 25 600 ISO
    ISO Boost 125 - 25 600 ISO
    Image Processor Venus IX
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 66
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.3
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.7
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 660
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type No viewfinder
    LCD Framing Live View
    LCD Size 1036k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peaking
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/500s
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations
    Silent ShootingElectronic Shutter
    Time Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer Built-in
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in
    Body Specs
    Battery Type DMW-BLH7 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)230 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 99 x 55 x 30 mm
    (3.9 x 2.2 x 1.2 in)
    Camera Weight 204 g (7.2 oz)

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