Just a couple of preliminary remarks on the GM1

Started 9 months ago | User reviews thread
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Hen3ry
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Just a couple of preliminary remarks on the GM1
9 months ago

I will try to do a more detailed review later.

My first impressions are:

  • This camera is a tiny delight. It makes me smile just to see it sitting on the table waiting to be taken for a walk!
  • In use, the camera is just as small and compact as I imagined it would be and as it looked in the store.
  • The controls are small but I have no difficulty using them with my big and somewhat arthriticky fingers. They are adequate and very sensible; the movement of the dials, etc. is solid. Accidental settings are unlikely.
  • The pop-up flash is more robust than I expected it to be, but I will still treat it with kid gloves.
  • Both flash and non-flash auto exposure is very good.
  • Start-up is very quick.
  • The little zoom is nice and sharp. Not quite long enough? You have a high quality 16MPX image to crop a piece out of. At some time in the distant future there is the potential for the movement from retracted to minimum zoom to become sloppy (you twist against a resistance rather than have a button as Oly has in its retracting lenses) but who knows -- I might have dropped off the twig and handed in my lunch pail by then.
  • The lens has significant barrel distortion at the 12mm end and there might be a little pincushion distortion at the 32mm end, but in normal use, they are not a problem. (Nobody has sent in sample shots to ePaperpress for PTLens correction as yet, it seems -- I might just do so myself if I can get time and the lighting right in the next few days.)
  • I have discarded the strap that came with it and fitted it with a broad, black elastic sling so it hangs down in front of me ready for instant use.
  • The JPEGs the camera produces are very nice; excellent colors both indoors and out, not overcooked at all, and with a nice tonal range. All the pictures below are "natural" mode (I think) except for the last two, which are "vivid".
  • The LCD screen is very good but in use, there will be times when my framing will be a bit guess and by god when the reflections on my glasses are added to the reflections on the screen in bright light.
  • The camera's response is very fast, the train shot, with the train still traveling at about 30kph, is virtually exactly as I framed it on the LCD.
  • I am going to miss an articulated screen and an EVF. Too bad -- I have these on the G6. With the GM1, adding them would add weight and size, defeating the whole purpose of this camera.
  • Small as the camera is, it handles well with the Panny 40-150 attached. It is not a toy.

A couple of pix -- well three, and all of them OOC except for downsizing:

The Childe Jessica. And to think SHE tells off her nephews for making silly faces when SHE wants to take a picture!

Oh no! Not a brick wall. Well, it was there! You can see the barrel distortion.

But the barrel distortion is generally immaterial in general picture taking. I won’t give it a thought.

The ratings below are a bit of a trick. I've tagged stuff I haven't done so far.

Kids: Yes, definitely, both because it looks less like a "real" camera than my G6 which will make them less defensive, and also because of the GM1's quick response.

Action/sports: What does that mean? A local football match? The GM1 will be not much chop. Bowls? Yep, it will be fine. Road cycling? Yep again. And so on and so forth.

Landscapes: No worries. Maybe excellent, although surprisingly, which it has HDR built-in, it appears that it does not do panoramas as the G6 does.

Portraits: Yes, it is good. And if we are talking spontaneous stuff, it could be rated very good.

Low light: The sensor has the capability; faster lenses can be fitted. Focusing in low light is excellent.

Flash: Social stuff -- yes, fine.

Studio: I put it down as "acceptable" at first. In fact, one thing I will do with this camera is quick and dirty food shots. Then I thought I would just demonstrate that, so I set up a Q&D still life with a bit of cheese and an apricot. The results -- OOC except for resizing:

Set on "natural" using diffused window light. The pic is a little over-exposed. I could have reduced it 1 stop/1 EV (but I haven't worked out how, yet, in P mode. I will do that at once.

Having returned the cheese to the fridge, I bethought me that it might be nice to try "vivid" mode. So I did on the apricot. Stronger coloring; note the color change in the board. Same exposure as the "natural".

Then I thought to stick in a 100% crop. Note that this is at the camera's self-selected 3200 ISO. Pretty darned good, eh? it prompted me to upgrade the low light performance.

This outcome, of course, is in continuous light; you wouldn't be using this camera with a studio flash set up. So I have put it down as "good", but maybe "okay" is a better rating, just as I am sure the rating for kids and pets is going to go to excellent when I get down to photographing the grandchildren (but not pets -- I don't have any and can't be bothered!)

Cheers, geoff

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Geoffrey Heard
Down and out in Rabaul in the South Pacific
http://pngtimetraveller.blogspot.com/2011/10/return-to-karai-komana_31.html

 Hen3ry's gear list:Hen3ry's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm 1:4.0-5.6 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F4-5.6 OIS Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8 Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8 +4 more
Hen3ry's score
4.5
Average community score
4.2
bad for good for
Kids / pets
good
Action / sports
acceptable
Landscapes / scenery
good
Portraits
good
Low light (without flash)
good
Flash photography (social)
great
Studio / still life
good
= community average
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1
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