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Panasonic GX1 Comparison Review

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that was announced in November 2011 and is equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. It offers a resolution of 15.8 megapixel.

camera

Is the Panasonic GX1 a good camera? The GX1 has a Camera Elo of 1525. This rating puts the GX1 below average of all mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (Four Thirds cameras), the GX1 also ranks below average. – Well, the Panasonic GX1 is more than 9 years old, and there have been many other good digital cameras released since 2011.

Headline Specifications
Panasonic GX1
Mirrorless system camera
Micro Four Thirds lenses
15.8 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
1080/60p Video
ISO 160 - 12 800
Viewfinder optional
3.0 LCD, 460k dots
Fixed touchscreen
4.2 shutter flaps per second
320 shots per battery charge
116 x 68 x 39 mm, 318 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

The physical dimensions of the Panasonic GX1 relative to a credit card are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Panasonic GX1 vs credit card front
GX1 versus credit card top view
GX1 and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Panasonic GX1 alongside a set of similar cameras. If you want to review a particular camera pair side-by-side, just move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Panasonic GX1 116 mm 68 mm 39 mm 318 g 320 n Nov 2011 699i
2.
 
Panasonic G6 122 mm 85 mm 71 mm 390 g 340 n Apr 2013 599i
3.
 
Panasonic GM1 99 mm 55 mm 30 mm 204 g 230 n Oct 2013 749i
4.
 
Panasonic G5 120 mm 83 mm 71 mm 396 g 320 n Jul 2012 599i
5.
 
Panasonic GF5 108 mm 67 mm 37 mm 267 g 360 n Apr 2012 499i
6.
 
Panasonic G3 115 mm 84 mm 47 mm 336 g 270 n May 2011 599i
7.
 
Panasonic GF3 108 mm 67 mm 32 mm 264 g 300 n Jun 2011 549i
8.
 
Panasonic G2 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 428 g 360 n Mar 2010 599i
9.
 
Panasonic GF2 113 mm 68 mm 33 mm 310 g 300 n Nov 2010 549i
10.
 
Panasonic GH2 124 mm 90 mm 76 mm 442 g 330 n Sep 2010 899i
11.
 
Panasonic GF1 119 mm 71 mm 36 mm 385 g 380 n Sep 2009 749i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or 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 GX1 was launched in the US market at a price of $699. 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 GX1:
Check Ebay offers

Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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. 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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

The Panasonic GX1 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 GX1 among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.

Panasonic GX1 sensor measures

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Panasonic GX1 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p20.810.670355
2.
 
Panasonic G6 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.563961
3.
 
Panasonic GM1 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i22.311.766066
4.
 
Panasonic G5 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p........
5.
 
Panasonic GF5 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i21.411.661861
6.
 
Panasonic G3 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i21.010.666756
7.
 
Panasonic GF3 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i20.610.045849
8.
 
Panasonic G2 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.349353
9.
 
Panasonic GF2 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i21.210.350654
10.
 
Panasonic GH2 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60i21.211.365560
11.
 
Panasonic GF1 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.351354

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The GX1 indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the GX1 can use is 1080/60p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The tables below summarize some of the other core capabilities of the Panasonic GX1 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/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
1.
 
Panasonic GX1optional n3.0 / 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n
2.
 
Panasonic G61440 n3.0 / 1036 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y n
3.
 
Panasonic GM1none n3.0 / 1036 fixed Y 1/500s 5.0 Y n
4.
 
Panasonic G51440 n3.0 / 920 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
5.
 
Panasonic GF5none n3.0 / 920 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
6.
 
Panasonic G31440 n3.0 / 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
7.
 
Panasonic GF3none n3.0 / 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 3.2 Y n
8.
 
Panasonic G21440 n3.0 / 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 2.6 Y n
9.
 
Panasonic GF2optional n3.0 / 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 2.6 Y n
10.
 
Panasonic GH21534 n3.0 / 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
11.
 
Panasonic GF1optional n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n

One convenient feature of the GX1 is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.

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-GX1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Panasonic GX1Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
2.
 
Panasonic G6Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
3.
 
Panasonic GM1-stereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
4.
 
Panasonic G5Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
5.
 
Panasonic GF5-stereo / mono--mini2.0---
6.
 
Panasonic G3Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Panasonic GF3-stereo / mono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Panasonic G2Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Panasonic GF2Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
10.
 
Panasonic GH2Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0---
11.
 
Panasonic GF1Ymono / mono--mini2.0---

Expert reviews

While the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the GX1. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased. 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 (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]).

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Review Scores
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Panasonic GX13/5+..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Nov 2011 699i
2.
 
Panasonic G64/5+ +....5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 599i
3.
 
Panasonic GM13/5+..78/1005/54.5/5 Oct 2013 749i
4.
 
Panasonic G53/5+ +....4.5/54.5/5 Jul 2012 599i
5.
 
Panasonic GF53/5......4.5/54.5/5 Apr 2012 499i
6.
 
Panasonic G33/5+ +..75/1004.5/55/5 May 2011 599i
7.
 
Panasonic GF33/582/100..71/1004.5/54/5 Jun 2011 549i
8.
 
Panasonic G2......72/1004/54.5/5 Mar 2010 599i
9.
 
Panasonic GF23/582/100..70/1004.5/54.5/5 Nov 2010 549i
10.
 
Panasonic GH25/5+ +..79/1004.5/55/5 Sep 2010 899i
11.
 
Panasonic GF1..85/100..69/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2009 749i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date 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 GX1 FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the GX1.

What type of imaging sensor is used in the GX1?

The camera is build around a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor.

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 GX1 with the Venus FHD image processor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the GX1?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 160 to ISO 12800.

Can the camera be equipped with an optional viewfinder?

Yes, Panasonic provides the DMW-LVF2 as an accessory (here on amazon) that can be mounted on the hotshoe.

What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1?

Panasonic does not publish a shutter rating for the GX1. 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.

How do I find the shutter count on my GX1?

Panasonic embeds the number of shutter actuations in hidden menus. You can check the number of shots that your GX1 has taken up to now by carefully following the steps described on the Panasonic GX1 shutter count page.

Is it difficult to use manual focus lenses with the Panasonic GX1?

The GX1 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 GX1 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 GX1's flash sync speed is 1/160 sec.

Does the Panasonic GX1 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 GX1 use?

The camera gets its power from the DMW-BLD10 (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

Camera to camera comparisons

In case you are interested in seeing how this camera compares to another one, just make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Panasonic GX1
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date November 2011
    Launch Price USD 699
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS
    Sensor Format Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 225 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 15.8 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4 592 x 3 448 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.77 μm
    Pixel Density 7.04 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 160 - 12 800 ISO
    Image Processor Venus FHD
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 55
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 20.8
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.6
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 703
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Viewfinder optional
    Top-Level Screen no Top Display
    LCD Framing Live View
    LCD Size 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen
    V-logging Friendliness No front-flip
    Touch Input Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peaking
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 4.2 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations
    Silent Shootingno E-Shutter
    Time Lapse Photographyno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash Built-in 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 mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi
    Body Specs
    Battery Type DMW-BLD10 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)320 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 116 x 68 x 39 mm
    (4.6 x 2.7 x 1.5 in)
    Camera Weight 318 g (11.2 oz)

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