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Panasonic GM1 versus Panasonic 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 megapixel. 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 Panasonic 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. 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 the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Panasonic GM1 vs Panasonic GM5
Compare GM1 versus GM5 top
Compare GM1 and 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 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 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 GX80« » 122 mm 71 mm 44 mm 426 g 290 n Apr 2016 799 i i Panasonic GX80
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 LX100« » 115 mm 66 mm 55 mm 393 g 300 n Sep 2014 899 i i Panasonic LX100
Panasonic G6« » 122 mm 85 mm 71 mm 390 g 340 n Apr 2013 599- i Panasonic G6
Ricoh GR II« » 117 mm 63 mm 35 mm 251 g 320 n Jun 2015 699- i Ricoh GR II
Ricoh GR« » 117 mm 61 mm 35 mm 245 g 290 n Apr 2013 799- i Ricoh GR

The camera’s price is obviously a critical decision-making factor. 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 Panasonic 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 megapixel. 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.

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 image quality. 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 GX80« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p22.912.666271Panasonic GX80
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 LX100« » Four Thirds 12.7 4112 30884K/30p22.312.555367Panasonic LX100
Panasonic G6« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.563961Panasonic G6
Ricoh GR II« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.613.7107880Ricoh GR II
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 Panasonic 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. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.

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)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Panasonic GM1»- n 3.0 1036 fixed Y 500 5.0 Y n Panasonic GM1
Panasonic GM5«1166 n 3.0 921 fixed Y 500 5.8 n n Panasonic GM5
Canon G1 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 5.2 Y Y Canon G1 X Mark II
Olympus E-M10« »1440 n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y Y Olympus E-M10
Panasonic GX80« »2765 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y Y Panasonic GX80
Panasonic G7« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 7.0 Y n Panasonic G7
Panasonic FZ1000« »2359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 4000 12.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ1000
Panasonic GH4« »2359 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 8000 12.0 Y n Panasonic GH4
Panasonic LX100« »2764 n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 11.0 n Y Panasonic LX100
Panasonic G6« »1440 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 4000 7.0 Y n Panasonic G6
Ricoh GR II« »- n 3.0 1230 fixed n 4000 4.0 Y n Ricoh GR II
Ricoh GR« »- n 3.0 1230 fixed n 4000 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 build-in flash of the GM1 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

The reported shutter speed and shutter burst refer to the use of the mechanical shutter. In addition, both cameras feature an electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (flickering).

Both the GM1 and the GM5 write their imaging data to SDXC cards.

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 GX80« »Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-Panasonic GX80
Panasonic G7« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Panasonic G7
Panasonic FZ1000« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-Panasonic FZ1000
Panasonic GH4« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Panasonic GH4
Panasonic LX100« »Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-Panasonic LX100
Panasonic G6« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Panasonic G6
Ricoh GR II« »Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-Ricoh GR II
Ricoh GR« »Ymonomono--micro2.0---Ricoh GR

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 was followed by the ...

Review summary: Panasonic GM1 vs Panasonic GM5

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Panasonic GM1 or the Panasonic GM5 – 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:

  • 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.

GM1 03:05 GM5

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 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. This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

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»Rec78/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 749- i Panasonic GM1
Panasonic GM5«Rec77/1005/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 749- i Panasonic GM5
Canon G1 X Mark II« »Rec77/1004/54/54.5/5 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 GX80« »HiRec82/1005/54.5/55/5 Apr 2016 799 i i Panasonic GX80
Panasonic G7« »HiRec80/1005/54.5/54.5/5 May 2015 649- i Panasonic G7
Panasonic FZ1000« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899- i Panasonic FZ1000
Panasonic GH4« »HiRec85/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2014 1,499- i Panasonic GH4
Panasonic LX100« »HiRec85/1005/54/55/5 Sep 2014 899 i i Panasonic LX100
Panasonic G6« »HiRec-5/5-4.5/5 Apr 2013 599- i Panasonic G6
Ricoh GR II« »--4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 699- i Ricoh GR II
Ricoh GR« »-79/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 799- i Ricoh GR

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.

 

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. If you do not see the camera that you are looking for, kindly get in touch, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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