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Panasonic GM1 vs GM5

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in October 2013 and September 2014. Both the GM1 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 GM1   Panasonic GM5
Panasonic GM1 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
1080/60i Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 200-25600 ISO 200-25600
No viewfinder, LCD framing Electronic viewfinder (1166k dots)
3.0" LCD, 1036k dots 3.0" LCD, 921k dots
Fixed touchscreen Fixed touchscreen
5 shutter flaps per second 5.8 shutter flaps per second
230 shots per battery charge220 shots per battery charge
99 x 55 x 30 mm, 204 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-GM1 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 GM1 vs GM5

The physical size and weight of the Panasonic GM1 and the Panasonic GM5 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 GM1 can be obtained in three different colors (black, silver, red), while the GM5 is available in two color-versions (black, silver).

Size Panasonic GM1 vs Panasonic GM5
Compare GM1 versus GM5 top
Comparison GM1 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 notably larger (9 percent) than the Panasonic GM1. Moreover, the GM5 is slightly heavier (3 percent) than the GM1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the GM1 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.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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.

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 GM1» 99 mm 55 mm 30 mm 204 g 230 n Oct 2013 749- i Panasonic GM1
 
Panasonic GM5« 99 mm 60 mm 36 mm 211 g 220 n Sep 2014 749- i Panasonic GM5
 
Canon G1 X Mark II« » 116 mm 74 mm 66 mm 553 g 240 n Feb 2014 799 i i Canon G1 X Mark II
 
Olympus E-M10« » 119 mm 82 mm 46 mm 396 g 320 n Jan 2014 699- i Olympus E-M10
 
Panasonic G7« » 125 mm 86 mm 77 mm 410 g 350 n May 2015 649- i Panasonic G7
 
Panasonic FZ1000« » 137 mm 99 mm 131 mm 831 g 360 n Jun 2014 899- i Panasonic FZ1000
 
Panasonic GH4« » 133 mm 93 mm 84 mm 560 g 500 Y Feb 2014 1,499- i Panasonic GH4
 
Panasonic G6« » 122 mm 85 mm 71 mm 390 g 340 n Apr 2013 599- i Panasonic G6
 
Panasonic GX1« » 116 mm 68 mm 39 mm 318 g 320 n Nov 2011 699- i Panasonic GX1
 
Panasonic GH2« » 124 mm 90 mm 76 mm 442 g 330 n Sep 2010 899- i Panasonic GH2
 
Ricoh GR« » 117 mm 61 mm 35 mm 245 g 290 n Apr 2013 799- i Ricoh GR
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. 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 two cameras under review were launched at the same price and fall into the same 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Panasonic GM1 vs GM5

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. 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 GM1 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 GM1 and the GM5 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the GM5 is a somewhat more recent model (by 10 months) than the GM1, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 125-25600. 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.

GM1 versus GM5 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many 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. The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. 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 GM1» Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i22.311.766066Panasonic GM1
 
Panasonic GM5« Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p22.111.772166Panasonic GM5
 
Canon G1 X Mark II« » 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158Canon G1 X Mark II
 
Olympus E-M10« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.388472Olympus E-M10
 
Panasonic G7« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p----Panasonic G7
 
Panasonic FZ1000« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764Panasonic FZ1000
 
Panasonic GH4« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34564K/30p23.212.879174Panasonic GH4
 
Panasonic G6« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.563961Panasonic G6
 
Panasonic GX1« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p20.810.670355Panasonic GX1
 
Panasonic GH2« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60i21.211.365560Panasonic GH2
 
Ricoh GR« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.613.597278Ricoh GR

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the GM5 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: Panasonic GM1 vs GM5

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the GM5 has an electronic viewfinder (1166k 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 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 GM1»- n 3.0 1036 fixed Y 1/500s 5.0 Y n Panasonic GM1
 
Panasonic GM5«1166 n 3.0 921 fixed Y 1/500s 5.8 n n Panasonic GM5
 
Canon G1 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2 Y Y Canon G1 X Mark II
 
Olympus E-M10« »1440 n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y Olympus E-M10
 
Panasonic G7« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y n Panasonic G7
 
Panasonic FZ1000« »2359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ1000
 
Panasonic GH4« »2359 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 1/8000s 12.0 Y n Panasonic GH4
 
Panasonic G6« »1440 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y n Panasonic G6
 
Panasonic GX1« »- n 3.0 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n Panasonic GX1
 
Panasonic GH2« »1534 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Panasonic GH2
 
Ricoh GR« »- n 3.0 1230 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n Ricoh GR

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The GM1 has one, while the GM5 does not. While the built-in flash of the GM1 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

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 GM1 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 GM1 and the GM5 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.

 

Connectivity comparison: Panasonic GM1 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-GM1 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 GM1»-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic GM1
 
Panasonic GM5«Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic GM5
 
Canon G1 X Mark II« »Ystereomono--mini2.0YY-Canon G1 X Mark II
 
Olympus E-M10« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Olympus E-M10
 
Panasonic G7« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Panasonic G7
 
Panasonic FZ1000« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-Panasonic FZ1000
 
Panasonic GH4« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Panasonic GH4
 
Panasonic G6« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Panasonic G6
 
Panasonic GX1« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic GX1
 
Panasonic GH2« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Panasonic GH2
 
Ricoh GR« »Ymonomono--micro2.0---Ricoh GR

It is notable that the GM5 has a hotshoe, which makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun. The GM1 does not feature such an accessory-socket.

Both the GM1 and the GM5 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The GM1 was replaced by the Panasonic GM5, 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 GM1 vs GM5

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Panasonic GM1 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.


Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1:

  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1036k vs 921k dots).
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in October 2013).


Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5:

  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/60i).
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5.8 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (10 months) more recently.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the GM5 emerges as the winner of the match-up (5 : 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 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.

GM1 03:05 GM5

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Panasonic GM1 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 specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the GM1 or the GM5. 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 GM1 vs GM5

This is why expert reviews are important. 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 GM1»+78/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 749- i Panasonic GM1
 
Panasonic GM5«+77/1005/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 749- i Panasonic GM5
 
Canon G1 X Mark II« »+77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799 i i Canon G1 X Mark II
 
Olympus E-M10« »-80/1005/54.5/55/5 Jan 2014 699- i Olympus E-M10
 
Panasonic G7« »+ +80/1005/54.5/54.5/5 May 2015 649- i Panasonic G7
 
Panasonic FZ1000« »+ +82/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899- i Panasonic FZ1000
 
Panasonic GH4« »+ +85/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2014 1,499- i Panasonic GH4
 
Panasonic G6« »+ +-5/5-4.5/5 Apr 2013 599- i Panasonic G6
 
Panasonic GX1« »+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Nov 2011 699- i Panasonic GX1
 
Panasonic GH2« »+ +79/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Sep 2010 899- i Panasonic GH2
 
Ricoh GR« »-79/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 799- i Ricoh GR
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Panasonic GM1:
Check Ebay offers
Panasonic GM5:
Check Ebay offers

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.

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    Specifications: Panasonic GM1 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 GM1 Panasonic GM5
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Micro Four Thirds lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date October 2013 September 2014
    Launch Price USD 749 USD 749
    Sensor Specs Panasonic GM1 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 1080/60i Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 200-25600 ISO 200-25600 ISO
    ISO Boost 125-25600 ISO 100-25600 ISO
    Image Processor Venus IX Venus
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 66 66
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.3 22.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.7 11.7
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 660 721
    Screen Specs Panasonic GM1 Panasonic GM5
    Viewfinder Type No viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.46x
    Viewfinder Resolution 1166k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 1036k dots 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Panasonic GM1 Panasonic GM5
    Autofocus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/500/s 1/500/s
    Continuous Shooting 5 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-I UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Panasonic GM1 Panasonic GM5
    External Flash no Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Body Specs Panasonic GM1 Panasonic GM5
    Battery Type DMW-BLH7 power pack DMW-BLH7 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)230 shots per charge220 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 99 x 55 x 30 mm
    (3.9 x 2.2 x 1.2 in)
    99 x 60 x 36 mm
    (3.9 x 2.4 x 1.4 in)
    Camera Weight 204 g (7.2 oz) 211 g (7.4 oz)

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