Some Lumix GM1 impressions from SF FireSideCamera/Panasonic event

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Raist3d
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Some Lumix GM1 impressions from SF FireSideCamera/Panasonic event
10 months ago

Hello those interested in the GM1-

Yesterday Panasonic/FireSide camera teamed up here in San Francisco to do a walk about with Giulio  Scioro- a progressional photographer that does a lot of work with GH3 and has done some of the Panasonic promotional shots.

They brought pretty much the whole current Lumix m43/rds line, my main interest was the GM1, but I got some commentary on the other models.

First, huge thanks to Giulio which was a phenomenally nice, approachable guy, and gave me some interesting thoughts about a couple of aspects of a photographer and approaches in dealing with clients and managing expectations. We talked about a couple of very specific things but it was very useful (more on that at the end).

So on to the GM1 - The GM1 as it's known is tiny.  I own both the Pentax Q and Q7, the GM1 is not as small as the Q but almost, the Q7 is just barely bigger, though that size difference goes away once you put the lenses in.

The GM1 kit lens feels pretty well made for what it is. Enough resistance to change its focal length.  The camera feels sturdy.

For some reason Panasonic chose as interface as we know from the pictures the buttons+wheel "Canon powershot" arrangement.  I have to say I am not a fan of this because as you press a button, you are touching that wheel and it just doesn't feel quite right (in general, any camera).

On the GM1, this wheel and button area is *tiny*. Tinier than usual and I felt it was a bit annoying to touch.  Actually on this one the wheel was very hard to turn and I found myself going into white balance a lot when I just wanted to adjust aperture- but this GM1 was a pre-production model and some things may have been not working right, which makes sense.

My only concern here is, if in a real world end model the wheel will eventually become more resistive or "age that way" over time, making for this situation. I hope not because I can say right now that is an instant deal breaker for me.

The Auto Focus with the kit lens is *ridiculously fast*.  Like hyper fast.  In good daylight you can pretty much point, snap and it will have focused and snapped. The only other experience similar to that I remember is the Em5 with the Olympus standard kit lens which is also pretty darn fast.

I was surprised a bit since the lens is so compact but yup, looks like Panasonic did a little gem of a kit lens.  When I looked at the pictures later, they were all pretty darn sharp- another surprise about the optics. Given this, it makes to me the price of the GM1 kit more reasonable. Good lenses cost money, and I will take a better lens any day over something that is so so.

One big question I had is how the Gm1 feel/look if I attached the Panasonic constant F2.8 35-100 lens. The lens is obviously bigger diameter wise than the body- but it did not feel as horrible as I thought it could be, so that's another point.  I am particularly interested in this combination because it's one of the focal ranges I am using the most on the Pentax Q when shooting out there with its 06 tele photo zoom.

The focus with that lens was pretty fast though not the hyper warp fast of the kit lens- but that's fine, not slow at all.

The camera does indeed use a new battery (ugh) and those batteries are pricey.  Will be a bit of time until 3rd party batteries come out.  So another consideration in adding to the price (maybe $100 USD for two batteries).

I knew that Panasonic was working on a telephoto zoom for the GM1 keeping it at roughly the same size of the body, and Giulio told met hat effectively so, there's a prototype or mockup and will be an F3.5 to F5.6 but will have about the same diameter of the other kit lens which is actually pretty small. The range will be a 35-100 which is nice.

Sure, it's F5.6 at the end but it will be small and probably a high quality lens.  Wish Panasonic did a smaller say, 135mm-175mm equivalent range prime at F2.8 if possible while keeping it small.  That would probably convince me pretty quick to consider it.

As it is, I will just wait until it's out and try it again with that wheel. I wished Panasonic had used buttons instead and be clever on where to add another dial.

On other cameras-

Panasonic GH3- was smaller than I expected though I had seen it before behind glass, but does not beat grabbing one.  I have to say it does feel pretty nice.

Panasonic G6- this was a surprise.  It's a small camera but looks real nice and most importantly, holds very nice. I think if I was going to go GM1, I would be tempted to buy something like this, preferably the next revue when they put the GM1/GX7 sensor in it since it's relatively cheap and I would dare to shoot paid work with it due to the way it looks (i..e  not the tiny GM1).

On other subjects -  I came to the event with my Pentax Q7 and it garnered more attention than I expected. Giulio and I were talking about how if I would dare to say shoot a wedding with a GM1 or the Q.  I boiled it down basically to the image I would project to the client if I did that, and I felt I needed a bulkier camera (say GH3, EM-1, K-5, Fuji X) because of the image it would project to them using such small camera.

Which is where it got more interesting. He basically told me "show them your portfolio and go by 'this is what you are hiring me for'- don't bring the camera in.  If you are going to let the client set that expectation you may as well end up buying a Phase One camera back system" (paraphrased).

I was already past the "you would need a big camera" to do that projection- I think I would be fine with a size of Fuji X/EM1/GH3.  In fact I have shot most of my weddings with the Olympus E-420 and E-620 which are fairly small as it is.  But I wasn't at the point of crossing it to a new level of smaller camera like the GM1 or Q7.  There were a couple more aspects to this, and that was interesting.

So watching the Gm1 with interest as the new Panny-Leica pancake + full black body come out. I still like the handling of the Q much better though.

Would be funny to see a GM1 driving one of my 4/3rds (not micro) lenses.

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Raist3d/Ricardo (Photographer, software dev.)- I photograph black cats in coal mines at night...
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KwhyChang
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Re: Some Lumix GM1 impressions from SF FireSideCamera/Panasonic event
In reply to Raist3d, 10 months ago

I really appreciated your comments and thoughts on handling the GM1.

After years of fiddling with smaller digicams I realized I like a camera just slightly bigger, like the Pens and the GX7.

Nonetheless, I was comparing pics of it next to other cameras... it IS really tiny!

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yslee1
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Re: Some Lumix GM1 impressions from SF FireSideCamera/Panasonic event
In reply to Raist3d, 10 months ago

Thanks for the writeup. I am surprised, Guilio has switched to a GH3?

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Raist3d
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Re: Some Lumix GM1 impressions from SF FireSideCamera/Panasonic event
In reply to yslee1, 10 months ago

yslee1 wrote:

Thanks for the writeup. I am surprised, Guilio has switched to a GH3?

Well from a you tube video and what he was talking about he did mention he's mainly switched to a GH3.  What was he using before? I think a while back he was using Canon but I can't quite remember.

The GH3 he had in the bag had the extra grip.

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yslee1
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Re: Some Lumix GM1 impressions from SF FireSideCamera/Panasonic event
In reply to Raist3d, 10 months ago

Raist3d wrote:

yslee1 wrote:

Thanks for the writeup. I am surprised, Guilio has switched to a GH3?

Well from a you tube video and what he was talking about he did mention he's mainly switched to a GH3. What was he using before? I think a while back he was using Canon but I can't quite remember.

The GH3 he had in the bag had the extra grip.

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Raist3d/Ricardo (Photographer, software dev.)- I photograph black cats in coal mines at night...
“The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it.” - George Orwell

Guilio first came to prominence mostly through his post on using m4/3 for professional photography. It was even featured here on DPReview. He switched from Canon to the Olympus E-M5

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Aleo Veuliah
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Re: Some Lumix GM1 impressions from SF FireSideCamera/Panasonic event
In reply to Raist3d, 10 months ago

Thanks for the opinion, and all the information.

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Raist3d
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Re: Some Lumix GM1 impressions from SF FireSideCamera/Panasonic event
In reply to yslee1, 10 months ago

yslee1 wrote:

Raist3d wrote:

yslee1 wrote:

Thanks for the writeup. I am surprised, Guilio has switched to a GH3?

Well from a you tube video and what he was talking about he did mention he's mainly switched to a GH3. What was he using before? I think a while back he was using Canon but I can't quite remember.

The GH3 he had in the bag had the extra grip.

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Raist3d/Ricardo (Photographer, software dev.)- I photograph black cats in coal mines at night...
“The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it.” - George Orwell

Guilio first came to prominence mostly through his post on using m4/3 for professional photography. It was even featured here on DPReview. He switched from Canon to the Olympus E-M5

Ok, so he is definitively using GH3's now.  If I had to guess, because of the video- since he's mixing stills + videos for some of his work.  It all makes sense now.

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G Sciorio
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Re: Some Lumix GM1 impressions from SF FireSideCamera/Panasonic event
In reply to Raist3d, 10 months ago

Thanks for coming to the walk! It's always a pleasure to connect in person with photographers and better yet, to shoot together as well!

Gear is fun but connecting with other artists and sharing knowledge is what its all about.

Every time I have an event I'm seeing more and more small camera shooters and its just awesome. The tide is turning and its people like Raist that's at the forefront of this new and exciting era in photography.

The future of photography is about creativity.

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Hen3ry
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Excellent post, Raist3d
In reply to Raist3d, 10 months ago

The control wheel doesn’t worry me much; I know with the GM1 I will have it set to "P" most of the time, going to A or S once in a while.

I loved hearing about the speed of focus and the sharpness of the little 12-32! Whipping out the little cam and pressing the button is what my use of that cam will be!

I'm also after the G6. Ihave long argued that ts photograph is deceptive; it is actually very slightly smaller than my E-PL3 with the VF2 attached -- which I use professionally all the time.

If camera size is in question -- and despite what Gulio says, it often is -- then take a tip from me -- iuse a silver or white camera. It looks bigger!!! It also doesn’t get as hot here in the tropics and being more noticeable it (oddly) labels you are The Photographer. In addition, thieves now think that black cams are more valuable!

Cheers, geoff

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Geoffrey Heard
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Some Impressions From Seattle Glazer's Hybrid Portrait Workshop Event
In reply to G Sciorio, 10 months ago

Dr Giulio:

You were one busy dude last weekend.

I would encourage anyone who has the opportunity to take this workshop when it comes to town.

It is both fun and informative. It may be transformational. We all take stills. I haven't purposely pushed the red button on the camera. That is about to change. I can see where now I want to add motion & sound to my images. Have to figure how to use editing software.

I am so happy to state I pushed the red button on the GH3 in class for this hybrid image.
http://www.smallcamerabigpicture.com
This is how good a teacher you are. I can't say this is my image.Of course, you set up the lighting, told me what to say to the model and the people handling the lights, then did the post production with another stud3nt. I hope to be able to create something like this in the near future.

Played with the GM1. What a nice machine. Took off the kit lens and put m 25 on it. Nice fit & look. From a size perspective, it isn't much larger than my LX7. Hmmmmm! Also played with and used the GH3. Just placed an order for it from B&H this morning. With the OMD-EM5 I think I have the tools to go out and start shooting hybrid.

Thanks for the workshop. Hope you return soon for more fun in the classroom & maybe on the street.

Marty

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Raist3d
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Re: Excellent post, Raist3d
In reply to Hen3ry, 8 months ago

Hen3ry wrote:

The control wheel doesn’t worry me much; I know with the GM1 I will have it set to "P" most of the time, going to A or S once in a while.

I loved hearing about the speed of focus and the sharpness of the little 12-32! Whipping out the little cam and pressing the button is what my use of that cam will be!

I'm also after the G6. Ihave long argued that ts photograph is deceptive; it is actually very slightly smaller than my E-PL3 with the VF2 attached -- which I use professionally all the time.

If camera size is in question -- and despite what Gulio says, it often is -- then take a tip from me -- iuse a silver or white camera. It looks bigger!!! It also doesn’t get as hot here in the tropics and being more noticeable it (oddly) labels you are The Photographer. In addition, thieves now think that black cams are more valuable!

Haha.  I thought about white cameras before (White Pentax Q), but it's a good way to bring attention to yourself and I do a lot of street photography.

Cheers, geoff

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Geoffrey Heard
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http://pngtimetraveller.blogspot.com/2011/10/return-to-karai-komana_31.html

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Raist3d
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GM1 a 4th time...
In reply to Raist3d, 8 months ago

Update: since my first post I have been able to try a production GM1 three times but never overnight doing what I would like to do with it. A friend kindly loaned me one overnight and I wanted to ad a few impressions. I was walking around with the kit lens and shooting at night.

First, the image quality was a bit better than expected. I could see myself actually shooting some black and whites in some situations all the way up to ISO 25600. The sensor does not seem to band in an obvious way like the previous older Panasonic sensors thought I did see some but it was at the highest ISO and pushing it- so I consider that pretty tough.

The kit lens had like three speeds for AF at night- if you focus on a spot with enough light- hyper fast as it was in daylight. If the light crosses a certain threshold it will start hunting like a typical contrast AF (not slow but not fast). And after one more threshold point, it will be very slow to focus though often it could lock the focus, just slowly.

The "Canon Powershot wheel of death" interface didn't make me hit white balance this time in daylight a lot but at night due to the cold on camera and hands it seems I started to hit it more again. And in walking there and here... I just...

GRR. hated this thing. Again.

Horrible ergonomics, horrible usability. It's too bad because the technology and potential of the whole tech set is pretty good. But I just couldn't stand using it. It felt crampy in a way that the extra grip won't solve, that wheel was giving me issues again, and I just felt like holding a cold piece of metal at night that I had to fight a bit to get things done.

I was considering it again, but it's a no go for me. Those who never found issue here, enjoy. At this point I think the GX7 would be the better match for me for sure.

My hope is Panasonic looks long and hard to their LX3/LX5/LX7 line and makes a either an LX m4/3rds sensored camera or a GM2 that is more like those.

The main reason I am looking at these cameras is not only because they are small, but because of the electronic shutter silent option. IF the Olympus EM10 had such option, I would probably go there.

For now it seems I stick to the Q, a Ricoh GR(new, but I am not really a wide angle guy), and the Fuji. Wish Fuji had that e-shutter option and I would call this also done.

Thinking further about that GX7...

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Raist3d
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Missed this...
In reply to G Sciorio, 8 months ago

G Sciorio wrote:

Thanks for coming to the walk! It's always a pleasure to connect in person with photographers and better yet, to shoot together as well!

Gear is fun but connecting with other artists and sharing knowledge is what its all about.

Every time I have an event I'm seeing more and more small camera shooters and its just awesome. The tide is turning and its people like Raist that's at the forefront of this new and exciting era in photography.

The future of photography is about creativity.

Yes sir! Thanks again for your kind chat at the event.

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Giulio Sciorio
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http://www.smallcamerabigpicture.com
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“The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it.” - George Orwell

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