Movie mode

The GM1 offers a good level of control in its movie mode. Movies can be recorded in any exposure mode by pressing the dedicated video start/stop button, but selecting the movie option on the mode dial brings up full exposure controls and quick access to things like audio level adjustments. Here are the GM1's video specs:

AVCHD
  • 1920x1080 (60i/50i): 17 Mbps
  • 1920x1080 (30p/25p): 24 Mbps
  • 1920x1080 (24p): 24 Mbps
  • 1280x720 (60p/50p): 17 Mbps
MP4
  • 1920x1080 (30p/25p): 20 Mbps
  • 1280x720 (30p/25p): 10 Mbps
  • 640x480 (30p/25p): 4 Mbps
Audio AVCHD: Dolby Digital 2ch; MP4: Audio format AAC 2ch

Along with full exposure controls and four levels of audio control, the GM1 provides focus peaking and overexposure warnings. Manual focus can be used but as with stills, the kit lens must be focused using the touch screen. All of the camera's processing modes can be applied to videos, and some of the creative filters can be applied, though they're accessed through the mode dial, not the video mode menu.

As expected, we saw some rolling shutter effect when put to a sort of 'torture test' of fast horizontal panning across a scene with vertical lines, but it's not likely to be a problem in everyday video shooting. Missing from the GM1's video portfolio is a port for external audio recording and a full 1080 60p mode (the GX7 has one), though the ergonomics of the camera don't lend it well to serious video recording.

Video Quality

We wouldn't expect the GM1 to produce amazing video, since its video spec falls short of the best in the class, but it produces reasonably good quality video. Using the touch screen to pull focus introduces a nice creative application, and those who are so inclined can record video with Creative Control filters for a little fun.

The GM1 has no sensor-shift stabilization, instead relying on stabilization built into Panasonic's Micro Four Thirds lenses. The kit lens offers Mega O.I.S. to compensate for camera shake. The samples below were all handheld and show slight jittering toward the edges of the frame, a result of slight rotation around the lens axis, but the in-lens stabilizer does a good job of neutralizing much of the shake you'd expect to see from handheld video. All clips were recorded in AVCHD at 1080 30p.

Sample 1

This first sample shows early evening traffic flow from a bridge above Western Avenue in Seattle. The motion of the vehicles is relatively smooth, and despite the fading light there's little noise across the scene.

1920x1080 30p, 12 sec, 29.2 MB Click here to download original file

Sample 2

This sample, recorded at the kit lens' full telephoto extension, shows a little more jittering as would be expected. There's also some noticeable noise in the shadowy shoreline in the background, but in the dim conditions it's not unexpected.

1920x1080 30p, 20 sec, 68.5 MB Click here to download original file

Sample 3

Again, in this sample there's more visible grain in the darker parts of the image, but that's to be expected. The overall exposure is nice, capturing the oranges and pinks of the sunset and rendering the waves somewhat smoothly. There's a little jerkiness as the camera pans back toward the shore.

1920x1080 30p, 20 sec, 68.5 MB Click here to download original file