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Panasonic GM1 versus Canon G1 X Mark II

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 and the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in October 2013 and February 2014. The GM1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the G1X Mark II is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on a Four Thirds (GM1) and an 1.5-inch (G1X Mark II) sensor. The Panasonic has a resolution of 15.8 megapixel, whereas the Canon provides 13 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 GM1 vs Canon G1 X Mark II

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Panasonic GM1 and the Canon G1 X Mark II 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 dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the GM1 – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Panasonic GM1 vs Canon G1 X Mark II
Compare GM1 versus G1X Mark II top
Compare GM1 and G1X Mark II rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon G1 X Mark II is considerably larger (58 percent) than the Panasonic GM1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the GM1 nor the G1X Mark II are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the G1X Mark II has a lens build in, whereas the GM1 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can find an overview of optics for the GM1 and their specifications in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the GM1 gets 230 shots out of its DMW-BLH7 battery, while the G1X Mark II can take 240 images on a single charge of its NB-12L power pack.

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
  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)
Panasonic GM1» 3.9 in 2.2 in 1.2 in 7.2 oz 230 n Oct 2013 749- i
Canon G1 X Mark II« 4.6 in 2.9 in 2.6 in 19.5 oz 240 n Feb 2014 799 i i
Canon G16« » 4.3 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.6 oz 360 n Aug 2013 549 i i
Canon G1 X« » 4.6 in 3.2 in 2.6 in 18.8 oz 250 n Jan 2012 799- i
Canon T1i« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.3 oz 400 n Mar 2009 799- i
Canon XSi« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.5 oz 500 n Jan 2008 799- i
Olympus E-M10« » 4.7 in 3.2 in 1.8 in 14.0 oz 320 n Jan 2014 699- i
Panasonic GX85« » 4.8 in 2.8 in 1.7 in 15.0 oz 290 n Apr 2016 799 i i
Panasonic G7« » 4.9 in 3.4 in 3.0 in 14.5 oz 350 n May 2015 649- i
Panasonic FZ1000« » 5.4 in 3.9 in 5.2 in 29.3 oz 360 n Jun 2014 899- i
Panasonic GH4« » 5.2 in 3.7 in 3.3 in 19.8 oz 500 Y Feb 2014 1,499- i
Panasonic GM5« » 3.9 in 2.4 in 1.4 in 7.4 oz 220 n Sep 2014 749- i
Panasonic LX100« » 4.5 in 2.6 in 2.2 in 13.9 oz 300 n Sep 2014 899 i i
Panasonic G6« » 4.8 in 3.3 in 2.8 in 13.8 oz 340 n Apr 2013 599- i
Panasonic GX7« » 4.8 in 2.8 in 2.2 in 14.2 oz 350 n Aug 2013 999- i
Ricoh GR« » 4.6 in 2.4 in 1.4 in 8.6 oz 290 n Apr 2013 799- i

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. 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 GM1 vs Canon G1 X Mark II

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. 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.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Panasonic GM1 features a Four Thirds sensor and the Canon G1 X Mark II an 1.5-inch sensor. The sensor area in the G1X Mark II is 16 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.0 and 1.85. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Panasonic GM1 and Canon G1 X Mark II sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Panasonic GM1 offers a higher resolution of 15.8 megapixel, compared with 13 MP of the Canon G1 X Mark II. This megapixel advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.77μm versus 4.49μm for the G1X Mark II). Moreover, it should be noted that the G1X Mark II is a somewhat more recent model (by 3 months) than the GM1, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

GM1 versus G1X Mark II MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most 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. Of the two cameras under review, the GM1 has a notably higher overall DXO score than the G1X Mark II (overall score 8 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.8 bits higher color depth, 0.9 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.2 stops in additional low light sensitivity. 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 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
Canon G16« » 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
Canon G1 X« » 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
Canon T1i« » APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
Canon XSi« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848-21.910.869261
Olympus E-M10« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.388472
Panasonic GX85« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p22.912.666271
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 LX100« » Four Thirds 12.7 4112 30884K/30p22.312.555367
Panasonic G6« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.563961
Panasonic GX7« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p22.612.271870
Ricoh GR« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.613.597278

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the GM1 provides a higher frame rate than the G1X Mark II. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60i, while the Canon is limited to 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Panasonic GM1 vs Canon G1 X Mark II

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The GM1 and the G1X Mark II 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Panasonic GM1, the Canon G1 X Mark II, and comparable cameras. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Panasonic GM1»- n 3.0 1036 fixed Y 500 5.0 Y n
Canon G1 X Mark II«- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 5.2 Y Y
Canon G16« »optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 4000 2.2 Y Y
Canon G1 X« »optical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 4000 1.9 Y Y
Canon T1i« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.4 Y n
Canon XSi« »optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 3.5 Y n
Olympus E-M10« »1440 n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y Y
Panasonic GX85« »2765 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y Y
Panasonic G7« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 7.0 Y n
Panasonic FZ1000« »2359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 4000 12.0 Y Y
Panasonic GH4« »2359 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 8000 12.0 Y n
Panasonic GM5« »1166 n 3.0 921 fixed Y 500 5.8 n n
Panasonic LX100« »2764 n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 11.0 n Y
Panasonic G6« »1440 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 4000 7.0 Y n
Panasonic GX7« »2760 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 8000 5.0 Y Y
Ricoh GR« »- n 3.0 1230 fixed n 4000 4.0 Y n

The G1X Mark II is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the GM1 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the GM1 was succeeded by the Panasonic GM5.

Review summary: Panasonic GM1 vs Canon G1 X Mark II

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Panasonic GM1 and the Canon G1 X Mark II? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (15.8 vs 13MP) with a 10% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (8 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (0.9 EV of extra DR).
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60i versus 1080/30p).
  • More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
  • More compact: Is smaller (99x55mm vs 116x74mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in October 2013).

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Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II:

  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 500/sec) to freeze action.
  • Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the GM1 necessitates an extra lens.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology build-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (3 months) more recently.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the GM1 emerges as the winner of the contest (7 : 5 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera.

GM1 07:05 G1X Mark II

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the GM1 or the G1X Mark II handle or perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased. 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 detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Panasonic GM1»Rec78/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 749- i
Canon G1 X Mark II«Rec77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799 i i
Canon G16« »Rec-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i i
Canon G1 X« »Rec76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799- i
Canon T1i« »HiRec74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799- i
Canon XSi« »HiRecHiRec4/55/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799- i
Olympus E-M10« »-80/1005/54.5/55/5 Jan 2014 699- i
Panasonic GX85« »HiRec82/1005/54.5/55/5 Apr 2016 799 i i
Panasonic G7« »HiRec80/1005/54.5/54.5/5 May 2015 649- i
Panasonic FZ1000« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899- i
Panasonic GH4« »HiRec85/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2014 1,499- i
Panasonic GM5« »Rec77/1005/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 749- i
Panasonic LX100« »HiRec85/1005/54/55/5 Sep 2014 899 i i
Panasonic G6« »HiRec-5/5-4.5/5 Apr 2013 599- i
Panasonic GX7« »Rec79/1005/54.5/55/5 Aug 2013 999- i
Ricoh GR« »-79/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 799- i

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. 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, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

 

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. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored. If you do not see the camera that you are looking for, please contact me, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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