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Panasonic GM5 Comparison Review

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that was announced in September 2014 and is equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. It offers a resolution of 15.8 megapixel.

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Is the Panasonic GM5 a good camera? The GM5 has a Camera Elo of 1781. This rating puts the GM5 below average of all mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (Four Thirds cameras), the GM5 also ranks below average. – Well, the Panasonic GM5 is more than 5 years old, and there have been many other good digital cameras released since 2014.

Headline Specifications
Panasonic GM5
Mirrorless system camera
Micro Four Thirds lenses
15.8 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
1080/60p Video
ISO 200-25600
Electronic viewfinder (1166k dots)
3.0" LCD, 921k dots
Fixed touchscreen
5.8 shutter flaps per second
220 shots per battery charge
99 x 60 x 36 mm, 211 g


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Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.

Body comparison with a credit card

An illustration of the physical dimensions of the Panasonic GM5 vis-à-vis a credit card is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Panasonic GM5 vs credit card front
GM5 versus credit card top view
GM5 and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Panasonic GM5 alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side 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
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 GM5 3.9 in 2.4 in 1.4 in 7.4 oz 220 n Sep 2014 749- i Panasonic GM5
 
Panasonic GX85« » 4.8 in 2.8 in 1.7 in 15.0 oz 290 n Apr 2016 799 i i Panasonic GX85
 
Panasonic G7« » 4.9 in 3.4 in 3.0 in 14.5 oz 350 n May 2015 649- i Panasonic G7
 
Panasonic GH4« » 5.2 in 3.7 in 3.3 in 19.8 oz 500 Y Feb 2014 1,499- i Panasonic GH4
 
Panasonic LX100« » 4.5 in 2.6 in 2.2 in 13.9 oz 300 n Sep 2014 899 i i Panasonic LX100
 
Panasonic G6« » 4.8 in 3.3 in 2.8 in 13.8 oz 340 n Apr 2013 599- i Panasonic G6
 
Panasonic GM1« » 3.9 in 2.2 in 1.2 in 7.2 oz 230 n Oct 2013 749- i Panasonic GM1
 
Panasonic GX1« » 4.6 in 2.7 in 1.5 in 11.2 oz 320 n Nov 2011 699- i Panasonic GX1
 
Panasonic GH2« » 4.9 in 3.5 in 3.0 in 15.6 oz 330 n Sep 2010 899- i Panasonic GH2
 
Ricoh GR II« » 4.6 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 8.9 oz 320 n Jun 2015 699 i i Ricoh GR II
 
Ricoh GR« » 4.6 in 2.4 in 1.4 in 8.6 oz 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.

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Panasonic GM5 was launched in the US market at a price of $749. 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.

Panasonic GM5:
Check Ebay offers

Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tent to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

The Panasonic GM5 features a Four Thirds sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Panasonic GM5 among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.

Panasonic GM5 sensor measures

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"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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 GM5 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p22.111.772166Panasonic GM5
 
Panasonic GX85« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p22.912.666271Panasonic GX85
 
Panasonic G7« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p----Panasonic G7
 
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
 
Panasonic GM1« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i22.311.766066Panasonic GM1
 
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 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 cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The GM5 indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the GM5 can use is 1080/60p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the GM5 has an electronic viewfinder with a resolution of 1166k dots. The viewfinder offers a field of view of 100% and a magnification of 0.46x. The adjacent tables list some of the other core features of the Panasonic GM5 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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 GM51166 n 3.0 921 fixed Y 1/500s 5.8 n n Panasonic GM5
 
Panasonic GX85« »2765 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y Panasonic GX85
 
Panasonic G7« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y n Panasonic G7
 
Panasonic GH4« »2359 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 1/8000s 12.0 Y n Panasonic GH4
 
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 GM1« »- n 3.0 1036 fixed Y 1/500s 5.0 Y n Panasonic GM1
 
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 II« »- n 3.0 1230 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n Ricoh GR II
 
Ricoh GR« »- n 3.0 1230 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n Ricoh GR

It is worthwhile pointing out that the GM5 has a touchscreen. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, when trying to adjust the focus point.

 

Connection comparison

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-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 GM5Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic GM5
 
Panasonic GX85« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic GX85
 
Panasonic G7« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Panasonic G7
 
Panasonic GH4« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Panasonic GH4
 
Panasonic LX100« »Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-Panasonic LX100
 
Panasonic G6« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Panasonic G6
 
Panasonic GM1« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic GM1
 
Panasonic GX1« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic GX1
 
Panasonic GH2« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Panasonic GH2
 
Ricoh GR II« »Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-Ricoh GR II
 
Ricoh GR« »Ymonomono--micro2.0---Ricoh GR

It is notable that the GM5 offers wifi support. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

 

Expert reviews

While the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the GM5. 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 where reviews by experts come in. 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).

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 GM5+77/1005/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 749- i Panasonic GM5
 
Panasonic GX85« »+ +82/1005/54.5/55/5 Apr 2016 799 i i Panasonic GX85
 
Panasonic G7« »+ +80/1005/54.5/54.5/5 May 2015 649- i Panasonic G7
 
Panasonic GH4« »+ +85/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2014 1,499- i Panasonic GH4
 
Panasonic LX100« »+ +85/1005/54/55/5 Sep 2014 899 i i Panasonic LX100
 
Panasonic G6« »+ +-5/5-4.5/5 Apr 2013 599- i Panasonic G6
 
Panasonic GM1« »+78/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 749- i Panasonic GM1
 
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 II« »--4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 699 i i Ricoh GR II
 
Ricoh GR« »-79/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 799- i Ricoh GR
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

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.

Panasonic GM5 FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the GM5.

What is the technology behind the imaging sensor in the GM5?

The camera has a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor at its core.

Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?

Panasonic equipped the GM5 with the Venus image processor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the GM5?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600.

What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5?

Panasonic does not publish a shutter rating for the GM5. Yet, shutters in comparable cameras from other manufacturers are said to be good for at least 100 000 actuations. It should be noted, though, that this number represents a Mean Time before Failure. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust an expected shutter life of 100 000 shots over, say, three years, one would have to take about 100 pictures each and every day.

Is completely silent shooting possible with the Panasonic GM5?

The camera has an electronic shutter option, so that it is indeed feasible to capture images without any shutter noise.

Do I need to purchase an external camera trigger to shoot time-lapse sequences?

No, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5 has an intervalometer built-in, so that low frequency shooting (for example, flower blooming, sunset, moon rise) can be undertaken without the need to purchase a separate external intervalometer and related software.

Is it difficult to use manual focus lenses with the Panasonic GM5?

The GM5 offers focus peaking as a manual focus aid. This feature works by placing a colored highlight on in-focus zones within the image.

Does the Panasonic GM5 feature an autofocus assist light?

Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.

What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with flash?

The GM5's flash sync speed is 1/50 sec.

Does the Panasonic GM5 support the Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus interface for SD cards?

Yes, the camera can indeed use UHS-I cards (data transfer speed of up to 104 MB/s).

Which battery does the GM5 use?

The camera gets its power from the DMW-BLH7 (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

Camera to camera comparisons

If you would like to see a side-by-side review of this and another camera, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Panasonic GM5
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date September 2014
    Launch Price USD 749
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS
    Sensor Format Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 15.8 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4592 x 3448 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.77 μm
    Pixel Density 7.04 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 200-25600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100-25600 ISO
    Image Processor Venus
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 66
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.7
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 721
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.46x
    Viewfinder Resolution 1166k dots
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs
    Autofocus System Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peaking
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/500s
    Continuous Shooting 5.8 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations
    Silent ShootingElectronic Shutter
    Time Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer Built-in
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in
    Body Specs
    Battery Type DMW-BLH7 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)220 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 99 x 60 x 36 mm
    (3.9 x 2.4 x 1.4 in)
    Camera Weight 211 g (7.4 oz)

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