Panasonic GM1 vs Sony RX1
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in October 2013 and September 2012. The GM1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the RX1 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on a Four Thirds (GM1) and a full frame (RX1) sensor. The Panasonic has a resolution of 15.8 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 24 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
|Panasonic GM1||Sony RX1|
|Mirrorless system camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Micro Four Thirds lenses||35mm f/2.0|
|15.8 MP, Four Thirds Sensor||24 MP, Full Frame Sensor|
|1080/60i Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO 200-25600||ISO 100-25600 (50-102400)|
|No viewfinder, LCD framing||Viewfinder optional|
|3.0" LCD, 1036k dots||3.0" LCD, 1229k dots|
|Fixed touchscreen||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|5 shutter flaps per second||5 shutter flaps per second|
|230 shots per battery charge||270 shots per battery charge|
|99 x 55 x 30 mm, 204 g||113 x 65 x 70 mm, 482 g|
Body comparison: Panasonic GM1 vs Sony RX1
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Panasonic GM1 and the Sony RX1 is provided 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 dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony RX1 is notably larger (35 percent) than the Panasonic GM1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the GM1 nor the RX1 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the RX1 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 RX1 can take 270 images on a single charge of its NP-BX1 power pack. The power pack in the RX1 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.
|Panasonic GM1»||3.9 in||2.2 in||1.2 in||7.2 oz||230||n||Oct 2013||749||-||Panasonic GM1|
|Sony RX1«||4.4 in||2.6 in||2.8 in||17.0 oz||270||n||Sep 2012||2,799||-||Sony RX1|
|Nikon D5300« »||4.9 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||16.9 oz||600||n||Oct 2013||799||-||Nikon D5300|
|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 GF6« »||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.5 in||11.4 oz||340||n||Apr 2013||499||-||Panasonic GF6|
|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 GF5« »||4.3 in||2.6 in||1.5 in||9.4 oz||360||n||Apr 2012||499||-||Panasonic GF5|
|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|
|Ricoh GR« »||4.6 in||2.4 in||1.4 in||8.6 oz||290||n||Apr 2013||799||-||Ricoh GR|
|Sony RX1R II« »||4.4 in||2.6 in||2.8 in||17.9 oz||220||n||Oct 2015||3,299||Sony RX1R II|
|Sony A3000« »||5.0 in||3.6 in||3.3 in||14.5 oz||470||n||Aug 2013||329||-||Sony A3000|
|Sony RX1R« »||4.4 in||2.6 in||2.8 in||17.0 oz||270||n||Jun 2013||2,799||-||Sony RX1R|
|Sony NEX-7« »||4.7 in||2.6 in||1.7 in||14.1 oz||430||n||Aug 2011||1,349||-||Sony NEX-7|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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. 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.
Sensor comparison: Panasonic GM1 vs Sony RX1
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Panasonic GM1 features a Four Thirds sensor and the Sony RX1 a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the RX1 is 279 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.0 and 1.0. The sensor in the GM1 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the RX1 offers a 3:2 aspect.
With 24MP, the RX1 offers a higher resolution than the GM1 (15.8MP), but the RX1 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.96μm versus 3.77μm for the GM1) due to its larger sensor. However, the GM1 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 1 month) than the RX1, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
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 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-102400..
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the RX1 offers substantially better image quality than the GM1 (overall score 27 points higher). The advantage is based on 2.8 bits higher color depth, 2.6 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.9 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Panasonic GM1»||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||22.3||11.7||660||66||Panasonic GM1|
|Sony RX1«||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||25.1||14.3||2534||93||Sony RX1|
|Nikon D5300« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.0||13.9||1338||83||Nikon D5300|
|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 GF6« »||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||20.7||10.6||622||54||Panasonic GF6|
|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 GF5« »||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60i||21.4||11.6||618||61||Panasonic GF5|
|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|
|Ricoh GR« »||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.6||13.5||972||78||Ricoh GR|
|Sony RX1R II« »||Full Frame||42.2||7952||5304||1080/60p||25.8||13.9||3204||97||Sony RX1R II|
|Sony A3000« »||APS-C||19.8||5456||3632||1080/60i||23.7||12.8||1068||78||Sony A3000|
|Sony RX1R« »||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||25.0||13.6||2537||91||Sony RX1R|
|Sony NEX-7« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60i||24.1||13.4||1016||81||Sony NEX-7|
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 RX1 provides a faster frame rate than the GM1. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Panasonic is limited to 1080/60i.
Feature comparison: Panasonic GM1 vs Sony RX1
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The GM1 and the RX1 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 RX1 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the FDA-EV1MK. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Panasonic GM1, the Sony RX1, and comparable cameras.
|Panasonic GM1»||-||n||3.0||1036||fixed||Y||500||5.0||Y||n||Panasonic GM1|
|Sony RX1«||-||n||3.0||1229||fixed||n||4000||5.0||Y||n||Sony RX1|
|Nikon D5300« »||optical||n||3.2||1037||swivel||n||4000||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D5300|
|Panasonic GM5« »||1166||n||3.0||921||fixed||Y||500||5.8||n||n||Panasonic GM5|
|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|
|Panasonic GF6« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||4.2||Y||n||Panasonic GF6|
|Panasonic GX7« »||2760||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||8000||5.0||Y||Y||Panasonic GX7|
|Panasonic G5« »||1440||n||3.0||920||swivel||Y||4000||6.0||Y||n||Panasonic G5|
|Panasonic GF5« »||-||n||3.0||920||fixed||Y||4000||4.0||Y||n||Panasonic GF5|
|Panasonic GH3« »||1746||n||3.0||614||swivel||Y||4000||6.0||Y||n||Panasonic GH3|
|Panasonic G3« »||1440||n||3.0||460||swivel||Y||4000||4.0||Y||n||Panasonic G3|
|Ricoh GR« »||-||n||3.0||1230||fixed||n||4000||4.0||Y||n||Ricoh GR|
|Sony RX1R II« »||2360||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||4000||5.0||n||n||Sony RX1R II|
|Sony A3000« »||202||n||3.0||230||fixed||n||4000||2.5||Y||n||Sony A3000|
|Sony RX1R« »||-||n||3.0||1229||fixed||n||4000||5.0||Y||n||Sony RX1R|
|Sony NEX-7« »||2359||n||3.0||921||tilting||n||4000||10.0||Y||n||Sony NEX-7|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The GM1 has a touchscreen, while the RX1 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.
The reported shutter speed and shutter burst refer to the use of the mechanical shutter. In addition, the GM1 features 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 GM1 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the RX1 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards.
Connectivity comparison: Panasonic GM1 vs Sony RX1
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 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1 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|
|Sony RX1«||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony RX1|
|Nikon D5300« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Nikon D5300|
|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 GF6« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Panasonic GF6|
|Panasonic GX7« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Panasonic GX7|
|Panasonic G5« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic G5|
|Panasonic GF5« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic GF5|
|Panasonic GH3« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic GH3|
|Panasonic G3« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic G3|
|Ricoh GR« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-||Ricoh GR|
|Sony RX1R II« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX1R II|
|Sony A3000« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony A3000|
|Sony RX1R« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony RX1R|
|Sony NEX-7« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony NEX-7|
It is notable that the GM1 offers wifi support, while the RX1 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
Both the GM1 and the RX1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The RX1 was replaced by the Sony RX1R, while the GM1 was followed by the Panasonic GM5.
Review summary: Panasonic GM1 vs Sony RX1
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Panasonic GM1 and the Sony RX1? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1:
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- 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 113x65mm) 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 1 year and 1 month after the RX1).
Reasons to prefer the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 15.8MP), which boosts linear resolution by 26%.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (27 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (2.8 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (2.6 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (1.9 stops ISO advantage).
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/60i).
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- More framing options: Can be equipped with a hotshoe-mounted accessory-viewfinder.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 1036k dots).
- 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.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (270 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 September 2012).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the RX1 is the clear winner of the contest (14 : 6 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the GM1 and the RX1 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.
Expert reviews: Panasonic GM1 vs Sony RX1
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular 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.
|Panasonic GM1»||Rec||78/100||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||749||-||Panasonic GM1|
|Sony RX1«||-||79/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||2,799||-||Sony RX1|
|Nikon D5300« »||HiRec||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||799||-||Nikon D5300|
|Panasonic GM5« »||Rec||77/100||5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||749||-||Panasonic GM5|
|Panasonic LX100« »||HiRec||85/100||5/5||4/5||5/5||Sep 2014||899||Panasonic LX100|
|Panasonic G6« »||HiRec||-||5/5||-||4.5/5||Apr 2013||599||-||Panasonic G6|
|Panasonic GF6« »||HiRec||-||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Apr 2013||499||-||Panasonic GF6|
|Panasonic GX7« »||Rec||79/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2013||999||-||Panasonic GX7|
|Panasonic G5« »||HiRec||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||599||-||Panasonic G5|
|Panasonic GF5« »||-||-||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Apr 2012||499||-||Panasonic GF5|
|Panasonic GH3« »||HiRec||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||1,299||-||Panasonic GH3|
|Panasonic G3« »||HiRec||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||May 2011||599||-||Panasonic G3|
|Ricoh GR« »||-||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2013||799||-||Ricoh GR|
|Sony RX1R II« »||-||82/100||-||rev||4.5/5||Oct 2015||3,299||Sony RX1R II|
|Sony A3000« »||Rec||-||4/5||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2013||329||-||Sony A3000|
|Sony RX1R« »||-||-||4/5||rev||4.5/5||Jun 2013||2,799||-||Sony RX1R|
|Sony NEX-7« »||HiRec||81/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Aug 2011||1,349||-||Sony NEX-7|
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. 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, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
Specifications: Panasonic GM1 vs Sony RX1
|Camera Model||Panasonic GM1||Sony RX1|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Micro Four Thirds lenses||35mm f/2.0|
|Launch Date||October 2013||September 2012|
|Launch Price||USD 749||USD 2799|
|Sensor Format||Four Thirds Sensor||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||17.3 x 13.0 mm||35.8 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||224.9 mm2||852.04 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||21.6 mm||43 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||15.8 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4592 x 3448 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.77 μm||5.96 μm|
|Pixel Density||7.04 MP/cm2||2.82 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60i Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||200-25600 ISO||100-25600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||125-25600 ISO||50-102400 ISO|
|Image Processor||Venus IX||BIONZ X|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||66||93|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.3||25.1|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.7||14.3|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||660||2534|
|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||1229k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Autofocus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/500s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s||5 shutter flaps/s|
|Silent Shooting||Electronic Shutter||no E-Shutter|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Battery Type||DMW-BLH7 power pack||NP-BX1 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||230 shots per charge||270 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)
113 x 65 x 70 mm
(4.4 x 2.6 x 2.8 in)
|Camera Weight||204 g (7.2 oz)||482 g (17.0 oz)|
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