Panasonic GM1 vs Ricoh GR
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 and the Ricoh GR are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in October 2013 and April 2013. The GM1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the GR is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on a Four Thirds (GM1) and an APS-C (GR) sensor. The Panasonic has a resolution of 15.8 megapixels, whereas the Ricoh provides 16.1 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Panasonic GM1||Ricoh GR|
|Mirrorless system camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Micro Four Thirds lenses||28mm f/2.8|
|15.8 MP, Four Thirds Sensor||16.1 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|1080/60i Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO 200-25600||ISO 100-25600|
|No viewfinder, LCD framing||Viewfinder optional|
|3.0" LCD, 1036k dots||3.0" LCD, 1230k dots|
|Fixed touchscreen||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|5 shutter flaps per second||4 shutter flaps per second|
|230 shots per battery charge||290 shots per battery charge|
|99 x 55 x 30 mm, 204 g||117 x 61 x 35 mm, 245 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 and the Ricoh GR? 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.
The physical size and weight of the Panasonic GM1 and the Ricoh GR are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. 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 GR is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Ricoh GR is notably larger (31 percent) than the Panasonic GM1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the GM1 nor the GR are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the GR has a lens built 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 compare the optics available 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 GR can take 290 images on a single charge of its DB65 power pack. The power pack in the GR can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
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.
|Panasonic GM1»||3.9 in||2.2 in||1.2 in||7.2 oz||230||n||Oct 2013||749||Panasonic GM1|
|Ricoh GR«||4.6 in||2.4 in||1.4 in||8.6 oz||290||n||Apr 2013||799||Ricoh GR|
|Nikon Coolpix A« »||4.4 in||2.5 in||1.6 in||10.5 oz||230||n||Mar 2013||1,099||Nikon Coolpix A|
|Panasonic GM5« »||3.9 in||2.4 in||1.4 in||7.4 oz||220||n||Sep 2014||749||Panasonic GM5|
|Panasonic LX100« »||4.5 in||2.6 in||2.2 in||13.9 oz||300||n||Sep 2014||899||Panasonic LX100|
|Panasonic G6« »||4.8 in||3.3 in||2.8 in||13.8 oz||340||n||Apr 2013||599||Panasonic G6|
|Panasonic GX7« »||4.8 in||2.8 in||2.2 in||14.2 oz||350||n||Aug 2013||999||Panasonic GX7|
|Panasonic G5« »||4.7 in||3.3 in||2.8 in||14.0 oz||320||n||Jul 2012||599||Panasonic G5|
|Panasonic GH3« »||5.2 in||3.7 in||3.2 in||19.4 oz||540||Y||Sep 2012||1,299||Panasonic GH3|
|Panasonic G3« »||4.5 in||3.3 in||1.9 in||11.9 oz||270||n||May 2011||599||Panasonic G3|
|Panasonic GX1« »||4.6 in||2.7 in||1.5 in||11.2 oz||320||n||Nov 2011||699||Panasonic GX1|
|Panasonic GH2« »||4.9 in||3.5 in||3.0 in||15.6 oz||330||n||Sep 2010||899||Panasonic GH2|
|Ricoh GR II« »||4.6 in||2.5 in||1.4 in||8.9 oz||320||n||Jun 2015||699||Ricoh GR II|
|Sony RX100 II« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.5 in||9.9 oz||350||n||Jun 2013||749||Sony RX100 II|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. 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. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. 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 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 Ricoh GR an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the GR is 64 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.0 and 1.5. The sensor in the GM1 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the GR offers a 3:2 aspect.
With 16.1MP, the GR offers a higher resolution than the GM1 (15.8MP), but the GR nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.79μm versus 3.77μm for the GM1) due to its larger sensor. However, the GM1 is a somewhat more recent model (by 6 months) than the GR, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the GR has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
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 Ricoh GR are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 consideration, the GR offers substantially better image quality than the GM1 (overall score 12 points higher). The advantage is based on 1.3 bits higher color depth, 1.8 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.6 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Panasonic GM1||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||22.3||11.7||660||66||Panasonic GM1|
|Ricoh GR||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.6||13.5||972||78||Ricoh GR|
|Nikon Coolpix A||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.4||13.8||1164||80||Nikon Coolpix A|
|Panasonic GM5||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||22.1||11.7||721||66||Panasonic GM5|
|Panasonic LX100||Four Thirds||12.7||4112||3088||4K/30p||22.3||12.5||553||67||Panasonic LX100|
|Panasonic G6||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||21.3||11.5||639||61||Panasonic G6|
|Panasonic GX7||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||22.6||12.2||718||70||Panasonic GX7|
|Panasonic G5||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Panasonic G5|
|Panasonic GH3||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||22.7||12.4||812||71||Panasonic GH3|
|Panasonic G3||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||21.0||10.6||667||56||Panasonic G3|
|Panasonic GX1||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||20.8||10.6||703||55||Panasonic GX1|
|Panasonic GH2||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60i||21.2||11.3||655||60||Panasonic GH2|
|Ricoh GR II||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.6||13.7||1078||80||Ricoh GR II|
|Sony RX100 II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.5||12.4||483||67||Sony RX100 II|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the GM1 provides a higher frame rate than the GR. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60i, while the Ricoh is limited to 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The GM1 and the GR 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. That said, the GR can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the GV-1. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Panasonic GM1, the Ricoh GR, and comparable cameras.
|Panasonic GM1||none||n||3.0||1036||fixed||Y||1/500s||5.0||Y||n||Panasonic GM1|
|Ricoh GR||optional||n||3.0||1230||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n||Ricoh GR|
|Nikon Coolpix A||optional||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/2000s||4.0||Y||n||Nikon Coolpix A|
|Panasonic GM5||1166||n||3.0||921||fixed||Y||1/500s||5.8||n||n||Panasonic GM5|
|Panasonic LX100||2764||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/4000s||11.0||n||Y||Panasonic LX100|
|Panasonic G6||1440||n||3.0||1036||swivel||Y||1/4000s||7.0||Y||n||Panasonic G6|
|Panasonic GX7||2760||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/8000s||5.0||Y||Y||Panasonic GX7|
|Panasonic G5||1440||n||3.0||920||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n||Panasonic G5|
|Panasonic GH3||1746||n||3.0||614||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n||Panasonic GH3|
|Panasonic G3||1440||n||3.0||460||swivel||Y||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n||Panasonic G3|
|Panasonic GX1||optional||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 II||optional||n||3.0||1230||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n||Ricoh GR II|
|Sony RX100 II||optional||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Sony RX100 II|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The GM1 has a touchscreen, while the GR has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.
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, the GM1 is one of those camera that have an additional 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 Ricoh GR 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 GR 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.
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 Ricoh GR and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Panasonic GM1||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic GM1|
|Ricoh GR||Y||mono||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-||Ricoh GR|
|Nikon Coolpix A||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon Coolpix A|
|Panasonic GM5||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic GM5|
|Panasonic LX100||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Panasonic LX100|
|Panasonic G6||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Panasonic G6|
|Panasonic GX7||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Panasonic GX7|
|Panasonic G5||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic G5|
|Panasonic GH3||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic GH3|
|Panasonic G3||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic G3|
|Panasonic GX1||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic GX1|
|Panasonic GH2||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic GH2|
|Ricoh GR II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Ricoh GR II|
|Sony RX100 II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX100 II|
It is notable that the GM1 offers wifi support, while the GR does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
Both the GM1 and the GR have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The GR was replaced by the Ricoh GR II, while the GM1 was followed by the Panasonic GM5. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Panasonic and Ricoh websites.
So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Panasonic GM1 or the Ricoh GR – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60i versus 1080/30p).
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
- More compact: Is smaller (99x55mm vs 117x61mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 6 months after the GR).
Arguments in favor of the Ricoh GR:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (12 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.3 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.8 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.6 stops ISO advantage).
- More framing options: Can be equipped with a hotshoe-mounted accessory-viewfinder.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1230k vs 1036k dots).
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/500s) to freeze action.
- Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the GM1 necessitates an extra lens.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (290 versus 230) out of a single battery charge.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in April 2013).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the GR emerges as the winner of the match-up (12 : 9 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. 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Panasonic GM1 and the Ricoh GR place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best Prime Lens Compact Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the GM1 and the GR in practical situations. 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 adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular 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.
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, 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? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
- Canon 1000D vs Panasonic GM1
- Canon M10 vs Ricoh GR
- Canon M10 vs Ricoh GR III
- Canon M5 vs Panasonic GM1
- Canon T3i vs Ricoh GR II
- Canon XS vs Panasonic GM1
- Nikon B500 vs Ricoh GR II
- Nikon D2H vs Panasonic GM1
- Nikon D70 vs Ricoh GR II
- Panasonic GH3 vs Ricoh GR
- Panasonic LX5 vs Ricoh GR III
- Ricoh GR vs Sony NEX-5T
Specifications: Panasonic GM1 vs Ricoh GR
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 Model||Panasonic GM1||Ricoh GR|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Micro Four Thirds lenses||28mm f/2.8|
|Launch Date||October 2013||April 2013|
|Launch Price||USD 749||USD 799|
|Sensor Specs||Panasonic GM1||Ricoh GR|
|Sensor Format||Four Thirds Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||17.3 x 13.0 mm||23.7 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||224.9 mm2||369.72 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||21.6 mm||28.4 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||15.8 Megapixels||16.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4592 x 3448 pixels||4928 x 3264 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.77 μm||4.79 μm|
|Pixel Density||7.04 MP/cm2||4.35 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60i Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||200-25600 ISO||100-25600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||125-25600 ISO||no Enhancement|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||66||78|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.3||23.6|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.7||13.5|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||660||972|
|Screen Specs||Panasonic GM1||Ricoh GR|
|Viewfinder Type||No viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||1036k dots||1230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Panasonic GM1||Ricoh GR|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||No Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s||4 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/16000s||no E-Shutter|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in 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||Ricoh GR|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Panasonic GM1||Ricoh GR|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||230 shots per charge||290 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
99 x 55 x 30 mm
(3.9 x 2.2 x 1.2 in)
117 x 61 x 35 mm
(4.6 x 2.4 x 1.4 in)
|Camera Weight||204 g (7.2 oz)||245 g (8.6 oz)|
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