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Panasonic GM1 versus Panasonic G6

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in October 2013 and April 2013. Both the GM1 and the G6 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. The GM1 has a resolution of 15.8 megapixel, whereas the G6 provides 15.9 MP.

Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Panasonic GM1 and the Panasonic G6. 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. 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 GM1 – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Panasonic GM1 vs Panasonic G6 front
GM1 versus G6 top view
GM1 and G6 rear side
Body view (GM1 on the left)

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic G6 is considerably larger (90 percent) than the Panasonic GM1. Moreover, the G6 is substantially heavier (91 percent) than the GM1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the GM1 nor the G6 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 find an overview of suitable optics 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 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 comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
Camera Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(y/n)
Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Panasonic GM1 (⇒ rgt) 99 mm 55 mm 30 mm 204 g 230 no 2013 749discont. check
Panasonic G6 (⇒ lft) 122 mm 85 mm 71 mm 390 g 340 no 2013 599discont. check
Canon G1 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) 116 mm 74 mm 66 mm 553 g 240 no 2014 799 latest check
Olympus E-M10 (⇒ lft | rgt) 119 mm 82 mm 46 mm 396 g 320 no 2014 699discont. check
Panasonic GX85 (⇒ lft | rgt) 122 mm 71 mm 44 mm 426 g 290 no 2016 799 latest check
Panasonic G7 (⇒ lft | rgt) 125 mm 86 mm 77 mm 410 g 350 no 2015 649discont. check
Panasonic FZ1000 (⇒ lft | rgt) 137 mm 99 mm 131 mm 831 g 360 no 2014 899discont. check
Panasonic GH4 (⇒ lft | rgt) 133 mm 93 mm 84 mm 560 g 500 YES 2014 1,499discont. check
Panasonic GM5 (⇒ lft | rgt) 99 mm 60 mm 36 mm 211 g 220 no 2014 749discont. check
Panasonic GX7 (⇒ lft | rgt) 123 mm 71 mm 55 mm 402 g 350 no 2013 999discont. check
Panasonic G5 (⇒ lft | rgt) 120 mm 83 mm 71 mm 396 g 320 no 2012 599discont. check
Ricoh GR (⇒ lft | rgt) 117 mm 61 mm 35 mm 245 g 290 no 2013 799discont. check

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The G6 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 20 percent) than the GM1, 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

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. 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.

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 GM1 and Panasonic G6 sensor measures
Sensor size

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the G6 offers a slightly higher resolution of 15.9 megapixel, compared with 15.8 MP of the GM1. This megapixel advantage translates into a 0.3 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the G6 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.76μm versus 3.77μm for the GM1). Moreover, it should be noted, that the GM1 is a somewhat more recent model (by 5 months) than the G6, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of individual pixels.

GM1 versus G6 MP
Sensor resolution

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. 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 review, the GM1 has a notably higher overall DXO score than the G6 (overall score 5 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 1 bits higher color depth, 0.2 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0 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
(Megapixel)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Panasonic GM1 (⇒ rgt) Four Thirds 15.8 4592 3448 1080/60i 22.3 11.7 660 66
Panasonic G6 (⇒ lft) Four Thirds 15.9 4608 3456 1080/60p 21.3 11.5 639 61
Canon G1 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 3120 1080/30p 21.5 10.8 581 58
Olympus E-M10 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 15.9 4608 3456 1080/30p 22.8 12.3 884 72
Panasonic GX85 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 15.8 4592 3448 4K/30p 22.9 12.6 662 71
Panasonic G7 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 15.8 4592 3448 4K/30p - - - -
Panasonic FZ1000 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1-inch 20.0 5472 3648 4K/30p 22.1 11.7 517 64
Panasonic GH4 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 15.9 4608 3456 4K/30p 23.2 12.8 791 74
Panasonic GM5 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 15.8 4592 3448 1080/60p 22.1 11.7 721 66
Panasonic GX7 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 15.8 4592 3448 1080/60p 22.6 12.2 718 70
Panasonic G5 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 15.9 4608 3456 1080/60p - - - -
Ricoh GR (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 16.1 4928 3264 1080/30p 23.6 13.5 972 78

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the G6 provides a faster frame rate than the GM1. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the GM1 is limited to 1080/60i.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the G6 has an electronic viewfinder (1440k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the GM1 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Panasonic GM1, the Panasonic G6, 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
(Y/n)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(Y/n)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(GN)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Panasonic GM1 (⇒ rgt) no no 3.0 1036 fixed YES 500 5.0 4 no
Panasonic G6 (⇒ lft) 1440 no 3.0 1036 swivel YES 4000 7.0 10.5 no
Canon G1 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1040 tilting YES 4000 5.2 6.8 YES
Olympus E-M10 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1440 no 3.0 1037 tilting YES 4000 8.0 5.8 YES
Panasonic GX85 (⇒ lft | rgt) 2765 no 3.0 1040 tilting YES 4000 8.0 6 YES
Panasonic G7 (⇒ lft | rgt) 2360 no 3.0 1040 swivel YES 4000 7.0 9.3 no
Panasonic FZ1000 (⇒ lft | rgt) 2359 no 3.0 921 swivel no 4000 12.0 13.5 YES
Panasonic GH4 (⇒ lft | rgt) 2359 no 3.0 1036 swivel YES 8000 12.0 17 no
Panasonic GM5 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1166 no 3.0 921 fixed YES 500 5.8 no no
Panasonic GX7 (⇒ lft | rgt) 2760 no 3.0 1040 tilting YES 8000 5.0 7 YES
Panasonic G5 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1440 no 3.0 920 swivel YES 4000 6.0 10.5 no
Ricoh GR (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1230 fixed no 4000 4.0 5.4 no

Both the GM1 and the G6 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The G6 was replaced by the Panasonic G7, while the GM1 was followed by the Panasonic GM5.

Summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Panasonic GM1 or the Panasonic G6 – has the upper hand? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1:

  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (5 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (99x55mm vs 122x85mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 186g or 48 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 5 months after the G6).

Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6:

  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p vs 1080/60i).
  • 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.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 500/sec) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (340 versus 230) out of a single battery charge.
  • More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (20 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in April 2013).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the G6 is the clear winner of the contest (8 : 4 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.

GM1 04:08 G6

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the GM1 or the G6. 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. The full reviews are available, respectively, at cameralabs.com, dpreview.com, ephotozine.com, imaging-resource.com, and photographyblog.com.

Review scores
Camera camera
labs
dp
review
ephoto
zine
imaging
resource
photography
blog
Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Panasonic GM1 (⇒ rgt) Rec 78/100 Gold 5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2013 749discont. check
Panasonic G6 (⇒ lft) HiRec - 5/5 - 4.5/5 2013 599discont. check
Canon G1 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec 77/100 Silver 4/5 4/5 4.5/5 2014 799 latest check
Olympus E-M10 (⇒ lft | rgt) - 80/100 Gold 5/5 4.5/5 5/5 2014 699discont. check
Panasonic GX85 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 82/100 Silver 5/5 4.5/5 5/5 2016 799 latest check
Panasonic G7 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 80/100 Silver 5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2015 649discont. check
Panasonic FZ1000 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 82/100 Gold 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2014 899discont. check
Panasonic GH4 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 85/100 Gold 5/5 5/5 5/5 2014 1,499discont. check
Panasonic GM5 (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec 77/100 Silver 5/5 5/5 4.5/5 2014 749discont. check
Panasonic GX7 (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec 79/100 Silver 5/5 4.5/5 5/5 2013 999discont. check
Panasonic G5 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec - 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2012 599discont. check
Ricoh GR (⇒ lft | rgt) - 79/100 Gold 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2013 799discont. check

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. 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 comparisons

In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting. If the camera you are interested in is not available, kindly get in touch, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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