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Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 Review

December 2013 | By Allison Johnson
Buy on GearShop$748.006 deals

Not quite a day after Sony made its announcement of two mirrorless cameras with full frame sensors, Panasonic unveiled something of a very different shape: the Lumix DMC-GM1, a pocketable camera with a 16 megapixel Four Thirds sensor. It uses the same Micro Four Thirds mount that its much larger Olympus and Panasonic siblings have been using for years, but at introduction will be sold with a specially designed 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 kit zoom sporting a smaller diameter for the GM1's especially diminutive form.

Panasonic GM1 specification highlights

  • 16MP Live MOS sensor
  • Built-in Wi-Fi (no NFC)
  • 3.0-inch, 1036K dot touch-sensitive LCD
  • 1080 HD video recording at 60i/30p
  • Built-in pop-up flash
  • 1/16,000 maximum shutter speed (with all-electronic shutter)
  • Focus peaking
  • Picture-in-picture magnification for manual focus
  • Micro HDMI output
  • Magnesium-alloy shell with aluminum top and bottom plates

Micro Four Thirds made its debut in 2008 with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1. The G1 was DSLR-shaped, with a handgrip and built-in viewfinder, but smaller and lighter than its other interchangeable lens peers at the time. Not long afterwards Olympus joined the party with the PEN E-P1, which was smaller and rangefinder-shaped. From there, the Micro Four Thirds platform split into roughly two camera styles - those that looked like DSLRs (mostly the preserve of Panasonic) and those that didn't (mostly those made by Olympus).

Understandably, in those early days neither manufacturer seemed entirely sure whether the platform would catch on more to step-up beginners or more advanced photographers looking for a lighter second camera, so they tried to appeal to both. Panasonic's first rangefinder-style model, the GF1, was a hit with enthusiasts, but Panasonic engineers quickly steered succeeding models away from that crowd toward the beginner set with simplistic control layouts and easy access to automatic exposure settings. The introduction of the button-and-dial-encrusted-GX1 marked a renewed focus on the enthusiast crowd, but by that time other manufacturers had a lot to offer that segment of the market.

So what's the 'State of Mirrorless' today? Rangefinder-style mirrorless cameras have enjoyed some popularity among enthusiasts, and the Olympus OM-D E-M5 and E-M1 have proven MFT cameras have real potential as serious alternatives to mid-range and semi-pro DSLRs. Their smallness as compared to DSLRs is no longer Micro Four Third's sole selling point - they've just become really good cameras that happen to be smaller and lighter. At the same time, compact enthusiast cameras with large sensors are becoming popular too. A fixed zoom lens no longer denotes a major sacrifice in image quality in a post-Cyber-shot RX100 world.

This is the enthusiast camera market that the Panasonic Lumix GM1 enters, donning the title of smallest interchangeable lens camera to date (by Panasonic's reckoning). It boasts the same 16 megapixel CMOS sensor as the GX7, with muted retro design cues borrowed from the same camera. The GM1 uses the familiar Micro Four Thirds mount and it is introduced alongside a new 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 with a retractable design that is specifically designed with a small enough diameter to fit neatly onto the camera body, which is barely taller than the lens mount itself.

It would draw obvious comparisons to the Pentax Q-series, the other miniature interchangeable lens system, but the Q7 uses a definitely compact-camera-sized 1/1.7" type sensor. The GM1 could also be compared to the Sony Cyber-shot RX00 II, both priced at $750 US at introduction and targeting roughly the same group of users. That camera offers a 1" type sensor that's big for a compact but nowhere near the size of a Micro Four Thirds sensor, as well as a fixed zoom lens. However, the Q7 and RX100 II seem most similar to the GM1 in terms of size and target audience, despite their smaller sensors.

Specifications compared to Pentax Q7 and Sony RX100 II

  Panasonic GM1 Pentax Q7 Sony RX100 II
Sensor 16MP, Four Thirds 12MP, 1/1.7" BSI CMOS 20MP, 1"-type BSI CMOS
Sensor size (mm2) 225mm2 42mm2 116mm2
Lens Mount Micro Four Thirds Pentax Q Fixed
Zoom range (kit or fixed, 35mm equiv.) 24-64mm 23-69mm 28-100mm
LCD 3.0-inch 1036K-dot fixed touch screen 3.0-inch 460K-dot fixed 3.0-inch 1229K-dot tilting
Viewfinder option None OVF accessory EVF accessory
Raw shooting Yes Yes Yes
Connectivity Wi-Fi None Wi-Fi with NFC
Video capture max. resolution 1080 60i, 30p 1080 30p 1080 60p, 60i
Stabilization In lens - Mega O.I.S. Sensor-shift IS Optical Steady Shot
Dimensions 98.5 x 54.9 x 30.4 mm (3.88 x 2.16 x 1.20") 102 x 58 x 34 mm (4.02 x 2.28 x 1.34″) 102 x 58 x 38 mm (4.00 x 2.29 x 1.51″)
Weight 274 g (0.60 lb / 9.60 oz) 200 g (0.44 lb / 7.05 oz) 281 g (0.62 lb / 9.91 oz)

There are any number of ways to slice and dice the information in the table above. In some respects, the GM1 seems to be miles ahead of the cameras we're comparing it against but in other ways there's an advantage to the Sony or the Pentax. The GM1 offers compatibility with a great many lenses (the Pentax Q 'system' is small and arguably not very 'serious' and the RX100 II's lens is fixed), but it lacks an accessory port or hot shoe. It offers 1080 HD video, but the specification falls short of the RX100's 60p offering. Such is the nature of the current enthusiast market - lots of options, and no clear leader in any single respect. And depending on how you look at it, the GM1 is poised to really shake things up.

The above chart shows just where the GM1 stands in terms of sensor size. Its Four Thirds sensor is head and shoulders above the Pentax Q7, and larger than the RX100 II's 1" type chip.

Enthusiasts also tend to be interested not just in the maximum aperture of a camera's lens, but also the size of its sensor, as depth of field control will depend on those two characteristics. Though the GM1 has a larger sensor than the Sony RX100 II, it doesn't really offer better depth of field control, and the RX100 II's ability to zoom out to a 100mm equivalent focal length gives it a little bit of an advantage in blurring backgrounds.

The chart above shows each camera's corresponding kit lens (or fixed lens) and its equivalent maximum aperture at wide and telephoto. Equivalent apertures tell you how the lens compares to a full frame lens with similar characteristics - much as the more familiar 'equivalent focal length' does.

It is certainly true that the GM1 represents a new feat in Micro Four Thirds - not just smaller and lighter than a DSLR but truly pocketable. Does that dramatic size reduction compared to previous M43 offerings come at the expense of features or performance? And does the GM1 come up short in handling and user experience just to nab the title of 'world's smallest'? Read on to find out.


If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

Images which can be viewed at a larger size have a small magnifying glass icon in the bottom right corner of the image, clicking on the image will display a larger (typically VGA) image in a new window.

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DPReview calibrate their monitors using Color Vision OptiCal at the (fairly well accepted) PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the (computer generated) grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally A,B and C.

This article is Copyright 2013 and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author.

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1

Comments

Total comments: 327
123
Rowland Scherman
By Rowland Scherman (4 hours ago)

Is there a way to sync a GX1 to studio strobe? It has a hot shoe, but Panasonic doesn't make a strobe connector for it!! At least that's what Panasonic told me.

0 upvotes
Waqas1
By Waqas1 (2 weeks ago)

With GM1, Panasonic not only designed an impressive camera, but it also demonstrated an impressive range of choices within the Micro Four Thirds system.

1 upvote
tennjed
By tennjed (4 weeks ago)

I own the Gx1 ($299 new) and the Gx7 ($749 new) and cannot figure the purpose of this particular camera.

When all is considered, the GM1, with kit lens, is smaller than the GX1; but it is really no more "pocketable" than the GX1 with the 14 2.8. The Gx1 is far and away the most convenient small camera I have ever owned. It is as if Panasonic hit the mark dead center when it comes to access of every important control a photographer could ever want. It's brilliant.

I had an opportunity to examine and try the GM1 at a local camera shop and came away wondering why Panasonic did not spend the development money/time on adding a few desirable features to the Gx1. For instance: an electronic shutter; a tilting LCD; a better LCD; a front control dial; WIFI connectivity. Instead, we get a smaller- but not small enough- camera that is missing important features.

If you are considering this camera, and are attracted to it for portability, I recommend you hunt down a GX1.

0 upvotes
JoshHikes
By JoshHikes (1 week ago)

It is for weight. Gram per pixel it is pretty darn good. Appeals to us backpacking types, but otherwise I tend to agree with you. What is half a pound out in the everyday world? Shoe choice alone can vary this much.

0 upvotes
Galbertson
By Galbertson (1 month ago)

If connected to iPad via NFC, will Voice Over speak data reflected on LCD?

0 upvotes
SamTruax
By SamTruax (1 month ago)

I don't think the iPad has NFC.

0 upvotes
Galbertson
By Galbertson (1 month ago)

Yes, but thought it still can be used, cannot do automatically just touching camera/iPad together, would need to go into settings to manually join network...well, that is what ive read somewhere. I am mostly blind, this help me immensely use camera.

0 upvotes
Duke Gledhill
By Duke Gledhill (3 weeks ago)

Galbertson, you are correct that you can still connect over wifi without the use of NFC using manual connection. But regarding Voice Over, I have no idea. I have an iPad and the GM1, I shall turn on Voice Over and see what happens. I shall report back in a couple of days.

0 upvotes
oluv
By oluv (1 month ago)

there seems to be a frustrating bug with saving-procedure on the GM1:

after power-on the first frame always takes too long to write, so when shooting 5 frames, the camera is blocked for another 15 seconds until you can take another shot.
not only the buffer is too small taking only 5 shots (raw+jpeg) the saving seems to be screwed up as well. after the first frame was written, all other frames are saved much faster.

have a look where i tried to demonstrate the problem:
http://youtu.be/wwLDBUFVJuc

0 upvotes
mediocut
By mediocut (1 month ago)

I like this little amazing camera.
For everyone who is interrested, i have shot some lowlight and night videoshots in Hamburg Harbour. Combined with the internal timelapse function.

Check out
http://youtu.be/rFBWz3zjClU

Mode: Portrait
Luminaz: -3
Sharpnes: -3
Colour:0
NR:-5
1080p25 with 1/50 Shutter
720p50 with 1/100 Shutter, because the camera record with 1/50 only 25p and for rendering slomo i need 50p. So i take 1/100 and it works fine, but it coasts me more light. This is a big bug from Panasonic.
Manuel aperature, manuel time and Auto Iso.

1 upvote
Johno23
By Johno23 (1 month ago)

This Camera seems pretty decent, it would definately suit anyone who would be interested in buying it. The video quality is great!
But there's another camera which has not been compared with it yet and that's the new Panasonic Lumix GH4 model with 4K high quality video and New auto focus technology! :)
Check out my review!
http://1stdigitalcamerasreviews.blogspot.com.au

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
spidercho
By spidercho (1 month ago)

The electronic shutter has problem at luminescent light.
The image gets dark and light lines/areas as when you shoot at a CRT screen.
I have this problem with G5 and with GM1. In the second case/camera it's fatal, because of real shutter 1/800 limitation. That's why I didn't buy one.

Does Panasonic knows about this issue? Do they care?

2 upvotes
chj
By chj (1 month ago)

I agree the mechanical shutter limitation is a drawback but it can be worked around by using a filter in bright light.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
deechnz
By deechnz (2 months ago)

Just tried out the constant preview on my newly arrived GM1. When set to "on" and I change either aperture or SS, there is a clicking noise which sounds like it's coming from the lens. Do other people also find this? Is it some mechanism necessary to create the constant preview each time I change an exposure setting? Is it creating extra wear on the camera which it otherwise wouldn't if I didn't turn constant preview on?

0 upvotes
chj
By chj (1 month ago)

yes the clicking noise happens when you use manual mode with constant preview

0 upvotes
Jesse Bright
By Jesse Bright (2 months ago)

Where can I get the "handle" for the GMC GM1 that attaches to the base?

0 upvotes
Artistico
By Artistico (2 months ago)

I'm impressed with Panasonic finally putting the "Micro" in Micro four thirds with their latest iteration. When I ditched my Canon 5D in favour of a Panasonic G1 some years ago, one of the most appealing qualities of the new system was being able to travel lighter.

I tried a Sony RX100 last year, but couldn't see what all the fuss was about. The quality from the 1" sensor was disappointing. I did like the size, though, and sold it a bit reluctantly as I did want to have a bring-everywhere camera that I could live with.

I've been tidying my kit over the last week, selling off lenses I hardly use, and I was considering getting the Oly 12-40mm f/2.8 as my do-all lens for my E-M5, but when I considered my options, I went for the GM-1 instead. I think it's right for me. It reminds me of the days when I went everywhere with just a Fuji F30. My holidays and walks were so much more enjoyable when I brought a camera but couldn't feel its weight.

5 upvotes
Lindajh
By Lindajh (3 months ago)

If you search online you will find you can download a comprehensive PDF user manual. I am currently working my way through this! Am happy with it. I agree the little booklet that comes with the DMC GM1 is VERY brief and does not answer the questions you need answered.

Comment edited 33 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
W4YNE 1
By W4YNE 1 (3 months ago)

Beth, did the camera not come with a CD that can be downloaded onto a PC? this is the full manual which can be printed off if wished, or you can go to the Panasonic website and it is on there. see below.

http://www.panasonic.eu/Downloads/en_GB/popup.html

0 upvotes
BethFreeman
By BethFreeman (3 months ago)

Hi all,
Are there any books out there about lumix cameras that have same/similar features to dmc-gm1?

I have found the manual that comes with the camera woefully lacking in information. For instance, there hardly anything about the various focusing modes; what kind of focus system the camera uses (vertical, horizontal, cross?). I've also found no information on tips on exposure / focus and how to manage that in the various modes.

Some kind of book/online training/video course on this camera (or a similar lumix camera) would be SO helpful.

Let me know if you've found anything… thanks!!!

0 upvotes
Ben O Connor
By Ben O Connor (3 months ago)

Two questions to Dpreview

1) do we have to visit yours Full website to compare cameras ?

2) Do we have to open our computers to add a single Picture to our gallery on Dpreview ?

0 upvotes
LarryLatchkey
By LarryLatchkey (3 months ago)

I'm really impressed. go to the bottom left green square patch, choose top right corner. ISO 200/200/400. The EP-5 swallows all fine texture while GM1 is crisp and detailed. On the hair Olympus does well though.

Does Olympus cameras have an issue with green? Is that possible? I always read only praise about their jpeg processing but somehow recently it seems panasonic has really caught up. even OM-D appears over-processed to my eyes.

0 upvotes
jtimouri
By jtimouri (3 months ago)

Why is the charger almost as large as the camera itself? Didn't that put the reviewer off?

1 upvote
chadley_chad
By chadley_chad (1 month ago)

Yeah, because I always buy my cameras based on the size of the supplied charger.

2 upvotes
compay
By compay (3 months ago)

in my opinion, this is the way a micro 4/3/aps camera's should look like, Small, silent, capable, light.

I have seen too many quite big micro 4/3 camera's with very loud shutters. People who own these camera's laugh at big full frame dslr's and instead they buy a less capable but still quite big micro 4/3 camera with those long ugly slow zoom lenses.

I have a canon 5d mark3 and with the 40 2.8 it's a great combo….i want a really small camera beside that…have the sony rx100 now…and quality is "great" and camera is small….but with the lens out it's still very visible….such a pity that there are no aps or 4/3 camera's with a fixed fast lens.

this panasonic gm-1 comes really close to what i want.

1 upvote
TN Args
By TN Args (3 months ago)

A Canon 5D3 with 40f2.8 doesn't come at all close to 'what I want'. It still weighs 1100g (good grief), looks like an ugly heavyweight fighter who had his nose punched in backwards, and people in the street still reel back from it and scowl like it is going to steal their souls.

A cheap Olympus PM2 with Panasonic 20f1.7 lens simply murders what you described for practicality, street-acceptance and price $500 not $3000, and a half-smart photographer can use it in ways that sacrifice nothing in IQ without pixel peeping. Oh, and it weighs 350g.

Get this -- for $200 you can add one of those 'long ugly slow zoom lenses' in your jacket pocket (ugly? have you seen the 5D3??) say the elegant silky black Panasonic 45-150, which is less than 3" long (73mm) and weighs - get this - 200g!! So now you have a*kit weight* of only 550g and an outlay of $700, making the 5D3 look too silly (and ugly) to be true.

Yeah, the GM1 can do this too. And, like you say, silent to boot.

1 upvote
compay
By compay (3 months ago)

Hello TN

i am talking about my opinion..
and i describe what i want besides a big dslr….
in my opinion a 4/3 or aps camera should be really small
that should be the advantage…and silent!

i have taken a look at many olympus camera's and i really do not like the shutter sounds of these camera's…far too loud…if those were silent you are right with a 20 1.7 a great combo

i am not so interested in the esthetics….and then i would prefer the looks of a fuji x20….and also then the 5dmark3 really looks solid and round..and holds nice in my hands…all this is written by my opinion…

2 upvotes
Ellsass
By Ellsass (3 months ago)

The Fuji X100S, among others, offers a fixed lens with APS-C sensor. Admittedly it's a good bit heftier than the GM1, but they're on the right track as it's relatively flat (no lens jutting out).

1 upvote
jeffinchiangmai1
By jeffinchiangmai1 (3 months ago)

I absolutely love this camera. I don't know why there was criticism of small dials etc. I don't find anything small, except the camera itself. I don't know how controls can be accidentally pressed.
I also love the GX7 (which is a great camera) but only use this little camera now.
When I go out and take good quality pictures, it doesn't take long to connect to my mobile and start sending them around the world using LINE or Whatsapp.

Comment edited 48 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
Geodesiq
By Geodesiq (3 months ago)

So now Panny has 3 lines of lenses??? One with OIS, one without and a miniaturized one for the GM1? Seems kind of schizophrenic. They can't seem to decide which way to go.

1 upvote
Sabatia
By Sabatia (3 months ago)

The mirrorless interchangeable lens camera is a new and evolving development and all the manufacturers are exploring its capabilities and limits.

0 upvotes
chj
By chj (3 months ago)

As I said before, at night with the 20mm/f1.7, the GM1 is a great camera, but with the slow kit lens, my Canon S100 outperforms it.

But I'm going to qualify my review again. After a few nights with the GM1/20mm, I'll say it's the BEST camera/lens for going out at night. Many reviews have mentioned, it focuses in low light better than any other. Add the touchscreen focusing and intelligent ISO and capturing shots is incredibly fast and discreet. Good luck getting candid shots with a viewfinder in a restaurant/bar. The second you put it to your eye, your subject will break into a smile and pose. You can also eat, drink and dance with the GM1+neckstrap ready for the next shot.

The 20mm (40mm eq) will shoot your date across the table and the person across the room. With the fast aperture, there is no flash needed. The GM1+20mm allows everyone (including you) to enjoy the evening and taking photos never gets in the way.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 13 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
chj
By chj (3 months ago)

bah, another qualification, the 20mm/f1.7 is flawed for night photos. In high iso photos with black areas, really nasty bands often show up. It's a known problem mentioned in many m4/3rds forums. It mainly shows up in very dark situations, so if you don't take dark photos, the 20mm/1.7 is still the perfect companion to the GM1.

But I love dark night photos, so I got the 25mm/1.4. Performance wise, it is superior in every respect to the 17mm/1.7. It allows for continuous autofocus, and it's sharper and faster (and more expensive). Unfortunately the larger size takes away from the GM1's main advantage, compact size.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Nerkdergler
By Nerkdergler (3 months ago)

God points, but can't shake the mental image of you on the dance floor with a camera hanging around your neck. Are you wearing Bernuda shorts in this scene? :-)

2 upvotes
BethFreeman
By BethFreeman (3 months ago)

When you're looking for lenses to work with dark skies, what do you look for? How do you know which ones will work better in different light situations? (thanks from a newbie :-)).

0 upvotes
chj
By chj (1 month ago)

@nerkdergler, lol, it's really so small that it may be the only camera you'd be willing to hit the dance floor with that can actually get a decent shot. I really have done it, but it was too cold for Bermuda shorts ;D

Although it sounds geeky, the camera actually got a positive reaction, people were TRYING to get me to shoot them.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/chee917/12145324834/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/chee917/12164982875/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/chee917/12127474036/

Comment edited 7 times, last edit 13 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
MMS
By MMS (3 months ago)

Why does the GM1 get a Gold Award with 78% but the Sony RX100M2 gets a Silver Award with 79%???

Comment edited 18 seconds after posting
1 upvote
InTheMist
By InTheMist (3 months ago)

And the Dƒ got no award at all with a score of 81%.

The "award" is subjective: they "like" it. Or not.
The scores are more methodology. It's been explained many times.

1 upvote
MMS
By MMS (3 months ago)

For lack of better words....that's LAME!

1 upvote
chadley_chad
By chadley_chad (1 month ago)

So are most of DP's reviews!

0 upvotes
binauralbeats
By binauralbeats (3 months ago)

Seems to be sold out at most retailers in the USA. It took several years, but pany has finally designed a camera that lives up to the name "micro four thirds".

3 upvotes
shademaster
By shademaster (4 months ago)

Hey, DPreview…

why don't you guys make the horizontal scale also logarithmic like the vertical axis in these "effective aperture" charts? It would emphasize the fact that 24mm equiv is noticeably wider than 28mm and de-emphasize 100mm being bigger than 70mm. 100 would squeeze back in to where 75 is now.

Just a suggestion...

2 upvotes
chj
By chj (4 months ago)

I have to quality my earlier glowing review of the GM1. At night with the 20mm/f1.7, it's a great camera. But with the kit lens in daylight/low light, my Canon S100 totally outperforms it. Faster shutter speed at lower iso with better zoom and more portability. To make the GM1 competitive, you'd have to buy a faster zoom, which puts the price of the GM1 well into the 1000+ range, and it would no longer be portable at all.

Comment edited 5 times, last edit 14 minutes after posting
1 upvote
BarnET
By BarnET (3 months ago)

you sir are full of *&$$#.
The S100 has a tiny 1/1.7 sensor that doesn't even come close at the same ISO's

1 upvote
Richt2000
By Richt2000 (3 months ago)

I have a GM1 and an RX100 and at ISO 200 in good daylight the RX100 beats the GM1 and kit lens hands down at all focal lengths

However pop the 12/2, 17/1.8, 20/1.7, 25/1.4, 45/1.8 or 75/1.8 on and its a different story!!!

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
chj
By chj (3 months ago)

@BarnET
The S100's fastest aperture is 2.0, the GM1 kits lens' fastest aperture is 3.5, both of them slow down considerably when you zoom. Despite the GM1's larger sensor, at all focal lengths, the S100 is faster than the GM1 kit lens, because the GM1 kit lens has such slow aperture.

I have no reason to lie. I love the GM1, but I shoot street subjects so I never use the kit lens, it sucks. If you don't take low light photos of moving subjects, maybe you'll be fine with the kit lens, but in poor light, the S100 (or the RX100) will outperform it.

As @Richt2000 said, pop a fast prime on the GM1 and it's a totally different story (and a totally different price tag).

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 10 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
chj
By chj (3 months ago)

from Camera Labs http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Panasonic_Lumix_DMC_GM1/verdict.shtml

"if you're using the 12-32mm kit zoom, the camera will be forced to use higher ISOs than the RX100 II or S120. The reason being the 12-32mm kit zoom is typically one to two stops slower in aperture than the Sony and Canon at the same focal lengths, allowing them to deploy lower sensitivities under the same conditions."

0 upvotes
PatsyK
By PatsyK (2 months ago)

Why just mention the s100 or s120, what about giving some love to Pan LX7 ?? F\1.4-2.3 !!!

1 upvote
Menova
By Menova (4 months ago)

I'm after a camera that allows me to take high quality portrait shots. I'm weighing up the Sony Cybershot RX-100 II or the Panasonic Lumix DMC GM1. Both are small and sound like they will yield gorgeous results even in low light and are small enough to come with me wherever I go...BUT I think I need a lens that will allow me to take candid shots while standing further away from my subject. Thoughts?

0 upvotes
Mike Ronesia
By Mike Ronesia (4 months ago)

If you check in my galleries you should see the GM1 with the Oly 45 1.8 mounted to it. I think it would fit your needs nicely and it's a good looking combo as well. Panny will also be launching the new long lens with the smaller form factor for this body as well at some point, but it won't be as fast as the Oly.

http://g2.img-dpreview.com/270302ECDDE84C088E1AC7FED5032686.jpg

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
felicity
By felicity (4 months ago)

I bought the same combo. So far, I have been using it only with the kit lens but the Oly was on sale at the time and I knew it was the right long term solution for my needs, so I bought it. I love the Sony (I still want the articulated screen) but I think over time the GM1 will be a better bet with the greater lens flexibility and larger sensor.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 50 seconds after posting
1 upvote
chadley_chad
By chadley_chad (1 month ago)

Get the RX100 if you want a pocketable camera. If you're not fussed about pocketability then get the GM1 ... although with that being the case, why not just save a fortune and go for the vastly superior Sony NEX!

0 upvotes
Mike Ronesia
By Mike Ronesia (4 months ago)

Just got mine yesterday and so far I love it!

1 upvote
David Fell
By David Fell (4 months ago)

Me too, puts the fun back into photography and really impressed with the IQ (LX2 & GF1 - glad I waited)

0 upvotes
OneGuy
By OneGuy (3 months ago)

I'm still waiting (GF1). Have no clear tradeoffs for my 20mm/1.7 lens

0 upvotes
Prime_Lens
By Prime_Lens (4 months ago)

I really don't get DPR's rating and award system..
How does one award gold and silver?
I see rating of 78% getting gold award, yet 83% get silver award.
How come?

1 upvote
bluevellet
By bluevellet (4 months ago)

Reviews are subjective.

I think they have some kind of internal point system. A camera can tick many points on features alone, earning it a high score, but still have a crippling flaw that prevents it from getting whatever award. Whichever reviewer with a camera decides it all.

0 upvotes
JJ Rodin
By JJ Rodin (4 months ago)

A single reviewer? That's criminal & unacceptable! No, several ppl must review or at least use enough to form an 'intelligent' opinion.

I do believe DPR does not really know fully how to judge video performance, or maybe most of their reviewers - seems they think bit rate is the main criteria - silly again!!

I expect better DPR!!

1 upvote
jtimouri
By jtimouri (4 months ago)

I bought the camera, but returned it.
1) Camera is tiny, but surprisingly "sticky" to grip.
2) My Lumix point and shoot has an On/Off switch that easily shifts to On when it is in a pocket. The GM1 On/Off switch looks like it is better in this regard. A person commented here though that at least one other switch was too easy to turn on.
3) I returned the camera for two reasons. First, I bought the all black version. I did not like the build quality looking down at the top of the camera. It did not look as nice as my old point and shoot Lumix F100. Second, it is great to produce a tiny camera, but I don't see the point if the battery charger is almost the same size as the camera. This is especially true if battery life is an issue. I am sure there is a good reason for that, but it just turned me off.
4) Having a traditional lens cap on the GM1 makes it less suitable for sticking in a pocket for quick access. A lever on the lens to manually control lens protection would be great.

0 upvotes
JJ Rodin
By JJ Rodin (4 months ago)

The size of the battery charger matters? Why? Unlike Sony, at least it has one NOT having to use a stupid USB ONLY!

Not very substantive reasons to return - sure you just did not fall out of love?

8 upvotes
LarryLatchkey
By LarryLatchkey (3 months ago)

Lol!

0 upvotes
NZ Scott
By NZ Scott (3 months ago)

I can sympathise with his viewpoint about the battery charger. I do a lot of travelling, and a bulky charger can almost double the amount of space a camera takes up in your luggage.

I travel with an Olympus E-P3, and in my opinion the charger (a box-type charger with detachable cable) takes up too much space. M43 manufacturers should make their chargers as small as possible, with folding plug-prongs built into the charger box.

My old Canon Ixus 40 had a tiny charger. Of course, it was charging a smaller battery, but the size of the charger relative to the battery was much smaller than most M43 chargers.

The main advantage of M43 over DSLRs is size and weight. Panasonic and Olympus should be trying to maximise this advantage not only with regards to cameras and lenses, but also with the chargers and other accessories.

1 upvote
Demon Cleaner
By Demon Cleaner (4 months ago)

"Though the GM1 has a larger sensor than the Sony RX100 II, it doesn't really offer better depth of field control."

So if I attach one of the fast primes or constant aperture zooms I'll pretty much get similar depth of field to that of the RX100 II?

4 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (4 months ago)

They mean with the 12-32 kit lens. Of course with 20/1.7 or 25/1.4 or 45/1.8 or 75/1.8 etc you will beat ... everything... out of RX100 II.

1 upvote
Demon Cleaner
By Demon Cleaner (4 months ago)

@peevee "They mean with the 12-32 kit lens."

Well that's kind of an important caveat to omit. The main differentiating feature, sensor size aside, is that one is an ILC with over 30 native lenses available.

Making blanket statements that depth of field is similar is dreadfully misleading.

Comment edited 16 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
JJ Rodin
By JJ Rodin (4 months ago)

I have seen so many 'shallow' camera reviews over the years - they only use the kit lens, only auto settings, only default, etc - to judge a camera, which HONESTLY is incredibly naive and silly - a reviewer should review a camera as if he/she is the owner and set things accordingly and use diff lens - talking about DOF with a f3.5 lens is silly.

Not a review with any real depth if the reviewer does not!

But then maybe DPR reviewers think readers of DPR are more 'informed' than they are ? ;)

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
BarnET
By BarnET (3 months ago)

No you only get similar depth of field with the 12-35mm. With primes it will beat the crap out of the Sony. But it becomes an larger package. So if you only use the 12-35 the Sony RX100 may have an small edge (slightly smaller and bigger zoomrange)

If you don't mind carrying an 20mm F1.7 and 45mm F1.8 in your other coat pocket the GM1 wins hands down.

2 upvotes
joshxiv
By joshxiv (4 months ago)

Price keeps dropping on this one, so I'll most likely spring for one. GX7 sensor in a small package is a biggie for me.

The only possible deal breaker is the Powershot-like back dial, like on the Oly E-PL series. If the Pentax Q can incorporate a proper back dial, I don't see why they couldn't do one here.

1 upvote
videofame
By videofame (4 months ago)

Is the M.Zuiko ED 12-40mm f2.8 PRO fully compatible with Lumix DMC-GM1?

0 upvotes
bluevellet
By bluevellet (4 months ago)

Yes and no. Everything works as it should except for the customizable fn button on the lens.

But if you're so deadset on using a big lens on a tiny camera, maybe the Panasonic 12-35 f2.8 lens would be better, slightly smaller and has OIS since the GM1 has no IBIS of any kind.

2 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (4 months ago)

it's not weight balance but a firm grip should help a lot.

0 upvotes
BarnET
By BarnET (3 months ago)

It is except for the button. But it makes no sense on this small body.
The GM-1 has no IBIS. so you don't get stabilisation with the 12-40.
The Panasonic GX& would be an better ciompanion with this lens

0 upvotes
00112233
By 00112233 (4 months ago)

In Conclusion, you should include a field called "flash performance", of the in camera popup flash, specially in small format cameras that are often used in snapshot environments like in personal photos in dark interiors often taken at random and in rush. Flash photos taken with the in camera flash is often the reason why many customers buy these type of cameras. Why should anyone want to take a dark selfie?

0 upvotes
doctor digi
By doctor digi (4 months ago)

I bought one and it would be a truly great camera except for some annoying "features". Such a shame it always sets the flash off twice when you take a picture - there is no purpose for the initial flash if the camera is not set to red-eye reduction and the camera is in manual mode with a pre-determined white balance. So that makes using slave flashes almost useless.

The wifi app too would be great if it actually followed the settings on the camera. No grid lines displayed? No ability to force the view to be fixed instead of following camera orientation?

Bah! Who writes the firmware for these things?!

Oh - and no Android API or SDK, so I can't write my own replacement for the app. Almost tempted to use wireshark and reverse engineer it.

3 upvotes
mfj197
By mfj197 (3 months ago)

The first flash is for assessing the flash power / exposure requirements, and most digital cameras do it - it's called pre-flash. As for slave flashes, any with an optical trigger should also have a setting to ignore the pre-flash and only trigger on the main exposure flash.

Michael

0 upvotes
doctor digi
By doctor digi (2 months ago)

Yes, I know about pre-flash. It isn't required for manual exposure - as I stated.

It's a design flaw in the camera.

0 upvotes
Gadgety
By Gadgety (4 months ago)

It's amazingly small. The hand grip not having a through hole for the tripod is not a deal breaker, but provides third party providers with a market. The one thing I would still want is a flash hot shoe, though.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (4 months ago)

I'd design it as a conformal battery grip. the hot shoe could be on the grip (maybe another version for it has to be a really big one compared with the camera).

Comment edited 59 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
thegenie
By thegenie (4 months ago)

after reading the full review. i realized the grip IS mentioned and not as ergonomically beneficial as i thought it would be, not to mention battery, mounting and memory card hassles. thanks for the review. with such a small camera you would have thought panasonic would not have blown grip accessory.

0 upvotes
thegenie
By thegenie (4 months ago)

that hand grip is interesting, seen only in the above photo, elsewhere from the stores to your full review shows no grip on the gm1. not even on panasonic's accessory page for the camera. please elaborate, i hink the grip would be an improvement.

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (4 months ago)

DPR wrote: "but taking into account that certain lenses can't use AF-C"

Which are those? Pana 20mm?

0 upvotes
Naveed Akhtar
By Naveed Akhtar (4 months ago)

GM1 and GX7 if you compare it here in RAW, shows they are essentially the same sensor, no visible difference at all. But if you look at silly DxoMark score there is a visible difference. Any ideas?

0 upvotes
kpaddler
By kpaddler (4 months ago)

For me it comes to what form factor does the job. IQ of these things in real life are so close that "what model" becomes irrelevant. I print on epson 3880 and am 100% satisfied with, M9, gx7. d700, coolscan 5000, and for super light trips LX7 gets the job done. I really don't wonder about models and brands anymore. Now, it's like kind of Velvia/Kodachrome era. If the pics aren't good, it is you! stop blaming the photo lab for bad exposures and the extra toe in the corner....

3 upvotes
Naveed Akhtar
By Naveed Akhtar (4 months ago)

@kpaddler .. I agree to that IQ is sufficient term. Was just wondering why the scores are different on dxoMark? while essentially its the same sensor. DxoMark doesn't count form factor or any other usability features, but just picture quality. If you don't know, take no pressure to answer.

0 upvotes
chj
By chj (4 months ago)

Just got the GM1 and 20mm f/1.7. LOVE IT. Anyone asking for a viewfinder or hotshoe is really missing the point. It's SO small and easy to carry around. The touchscreen and fast autofocus is an awesome combination. You can catch so many shots that you would have missed with another camera. For street shooting, it's just about ideal (weather sealing would make it ideal). My only complaint is mentioned in the review, you have to be careful when turning the control dial so you don't accidently press it and bring up a different setting adjustment.

8 upvotes
Naveed Akhtar
By Naveed Akhtar (4 months ago)

perhaps, you would like to add your full user review with photos?
thanks for sharing your experience here!!

0 upvotes
BJN
By BJN (4 months ago)

I got a GM1 and the multifunction dial is terrible. The other thing I found is that the slide lock for the flash is too easy to move accidentally. In a fleece jacket pocket (unlined) I had the flash pop up accidentally and that flimsy mechanism would be easy to break. I predict this will be a common point of damage for GM1 users. Pretty much any other MFT body I've used handles better. There are many compromises to make this camera tiny, and I wouldn't want it as my primary MFT body. I plan to fly it on a quad copter...there are some things the tiny size makes possible (at a pretty hefty pricetag).

0 upvotes
mauijohn
By mauijohn (4 months ago)

It still bulky for my levis jean's pocket and not as compact as the s100 canon camera and priced way too high.

1 upvote
chj
By chj (4 months ago)

@ maujohn I have a S100 also, the capability of the GM1 is far superior (with the 20mm f/1.7). It's considerably more expensive, but night photos at 1/125 shutter speed is no problem. The S100 can't do it, you have to settle for less than 1/20 at high iso and pray it's not a blur. In daylight, the S100 is great. But daylight ANY modern camera performs well. As for a jean pocket, it won't fit. I've always been a camera case person, but for the GM1 I use the neckband. It's actually better. You're always ready for a shot. Plus, it's a great looking camera, so it doubles as an accessory ;D. Seriously, it has helped start conversations.

@ BJN Haven't had a problem with the flash, because I use the neckband, trust me you'll love it. But, the multifunction dial is definitely its weakpoint. It could use another button or dial. I have to press too many buttons to adjust iso.

@Naveed Akhtar for photos check chee917 on Flickr. I should have a few from my first nite with the GM1 up soon.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Gadgety
By Gadgety (4 months ago)

"Anyone asking for a viewfinder or hotshoe is really missing the point." Yes, I miss the point of true versatility. Adding a couple of millimeters or so in height would make it a solid buy. I'll wait for the GM1 II.

1 upvote
Nader Erfani
By Nader Erfani (4 months ago)

Yes, a few mm higher, better battery life, weather sealed AND in camera IS, delivered with 20mm 1.7 !
I would buy for sure.

0 upvotes
chj
By chj (4 months ago)

I have to quality my earlier glowing review of the GM1. At night with the 20mm/f1.7, it's a great camera. But with the kit lens the Canon S100 totally outperforms it. Faster shutter speed at lower iso with better zoom and more portability. To make the GM1 competitive, you'd have to buy a faster zoom, which puts the price of the GM1 well into the 1000+ range, and it would no longer be portable at all.

I think I have to hold out for a mirrorless APS-C with touchscreen and small primes to really get the camera I'm looking for.

0 upvotes
JJ Rodin
By JJ Rodin (4 months ago)

EOSHD said the video was essentially superior to the GH3 by a small margin, and only short of the BMCC/PPCC in rendering shadows. So equal or better than GH3 which we all know is only inferior to 5DIII & BMCC/PCC is a solid statement for its video.

So either DPR or EOSHD are not judging well.

The GM1 sensor is a new Panasonic built one, unlike the Sony sensor in GH3, some believe the GM1 foretells what to be expected for GH4 but full 4k video, &/or full sensor scans downcasting! Likely just good 4k video.

Good that Pan did not cripple GM1 like many other cam makers likely would! Good price considering.

4 upvotes
Demon Cleaner
By Demon Cleaner (4 months ago)

Yes the video review section is amateurish in many respects. They write from the perspective of a consumer who would just as readily use their mobile phone for video purposes, but will use the camera if they have it with them.

I wish they'd just leave the video section out entirely if they're not going to bother doing it competently.

3 upvotes
inorogNL
By inorogNL (4 months ago)

I'll quote eoshd on it "The GM1 is a surprise in low light. At ISO 3200 the GH3 has a lot of brown noise crawling over the image and detail begins to smudge. The GM1 here outperforms the GH3 with a much cleaner image with less noise and richer colour. It’s actually on par with the best Super 35mm cameras for video like the Nikon D5200 for low light. But it resolves more fine detail than the Nikon and has more features, despite being the size of a compact camera."

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (4 months ago)

who said Sony sensor is used in GH3 or any 4/3" camera?

0 upvotes
kpaddler
By kpaddler (4 months ago)

I don't know about the sensor. But I heard they are using a Mastercraft screwdriver to tighten the bottom screws...

1 upvote
biomed
By biomed (4 months ago)

The GH3 has a Sony sensor like the OMD EM-5. So do most of the other Olympus u4/3 cameras.

1 upvote
JJ Rodin
By JJ Rodin (4 months ago)

This new studio scene is really pathetic! No real portions to test & show resolution easily!

Why not 'video' this scene and offer FHD compares vs all other video capable cams?

The scene needs components that will show moire and aliasing but suspect none are here!

This studio scene NEEDS desparately to be redone/enhanced, it fails in SO MANY aspects - If DPR cares?!!

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
AstroStan
By AstroStan (4 months ago)

use the text story (just above the center) to assess resolution. It is easy to determine the line where it becomes impossible to read the text and compare that to other cameras.

There are several converging and tilting lines that test for moire.

Maybe you need to sudy it more carefully.

2 upvotes
abadona
By abadona (4 months ago)

I am sorry but your video review of this camera is wrong. The camera resolves more detail then GH3 and Canon 5d MarkIII in reality it is almost as good as Black Magic (almost)

Guys hire professional videographer to review video. I know that you are photography company. Also you can do 4k Stills while shooting video. Missin flash bracket is a big issue as well as inability to plug external recorder. But this camera is supper small and can be used for stealth video recording.

4 upvotes
RichRMA
By RichRMA (4 months ago)

Americans won't like this one. They tend to buy cameras on a weight to dollar ratio..

11 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (4 months ago)

there are rationales behind weight-performance.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (4 months ago)

Maybe Americans don't like small and fiddly.

Or perhaps they don't have a problem exerting a little effort for a hobby. Nothing worth doing is ever easy, so if a good shooting experience means carrying a DSLR or larger mirrorless so be it.

2 upvotes
kpaddler
By kpaddler (4 months ago)

That's why I prefer my Linhof

4 upvotes
mcshan
By mcshan (4 months ago)

Dumb comment.

3 upvotes
Dimit
By Dimit (4 months ago)

''Amerikans won't like this one'' !!!..What a criterion!..This instrument is excellent for what it is.Am I wrong or what considering that Europe and Eastern Asia markets are much bigger???

1 upvote
BarnET
By BarnET (3 months ago)

For mirrorless? yes asia and europe are much bigger.
In the US the only ILC's people buy are Dslr's.

0 upvotes
igorek7
By igorek7 (4 months ago)

With GM1, Panasonic not only designed an impressive camera, but it also demonstrated an impressive range of choices within the Micro Four Thirds system.

8 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (4 months ago)

GM1 is the real thing.

Pana have been deliberately making cameras excessively bulky-chunky, all as prelude to the debut of this bridge camera.

1 upvote
Joachim Gerstl
By Joachim Gerstl (4 months ago)

m43 finally makes sense. A great little camera.

4 upvotes
Naveed Akhtar
By Naveed Akhtar (4 months ago)

m43 means small sensor and so the lenses. the body can|should be as big as a user|application wants|needs ..

1 upvote
rurikw
By rurikw (4 months ago)

Beautiful minimalist design but can't understand the decision to cripple it by leaving out the hot shoe. Its inclusion would hardly have compromised the design in any way. Don't like fixed screens either but this is one of the few cameras where I can understand that choice.

1 upvote
kpaddler
By kpaddler (4 months ago)

You want to buy this tiny camera, and carry a bulky external flash along with it?

An external flash that does a decent job will be 4x bigger than the camera itself. You can always use flash with remote trigger if the external flash photography is such a priority. External flash on camera is a lousy position anyway.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
10 upvotes
rurikw
By rurikw (4 months ago)

Besides flash a hot shoe can be used to attach an evf or smartphone (which mounted on a ball head makes an articulated screen) and, I am sure, many things I can't think of. Rather useful for such a small and cheap component.

3 upvotes
chadley_chad
By chadley_chad (4 months ago)

Whenever a small camera (targeted at people who want a SMALL camera!!!) comes out, theres always someone that jumps on the comments board moaning about the lack of hotshoe or EVF!

For once and for all, please could these people engage their brain and realise that to make cameras this small, compromises need to be made, compromises most people won't mind .... Mainly because they have the sense to know if you want these things, the camera is going to be bigger and as such, is WELL supported by the thousands of other cameras available on the market!

No doubt people like you also moan about the large size of full frame cameras ... there's just no winning with your sort!

(NB just to finish on a positive, try looking at a NEX6 ... It gives you the hotshoe you desire, an EVF and larger sensor all in a small package, or of course the RX100 M2 .... But no doubt you'll moan they're not small enough!!!)

3 upvotes
rurikw
By rurikw (4 months ago)

Calm down. We are just commenting on the choices made by Panasonic. This is the comment section, right?

3 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (4 months ago)

need two hot-shoes for flash,
one hot-shoe for microphone,
one hot-shoe for external display (Galaxy Note to iPad mini),
...
it will be cool to hire two persons to hold the light and microphone while the cameraman shoots with a small bridge camera.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
rurikw
By rurikw (4 months ago)

Yabokkie now you are talking business. There could be connections on top, bottom, left, right, front, back. A tiny core that can be expanded forever.

0 upvotes
Neodp
By Neodp (4 months ago)

Cheap, over priced, toy.

1 upvote
Gravi
By Gravi (4 months ago)

make up your mind. is it cheap or overpriced? it cant be both ;-)

20 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (4 months ago)

no one says manufacturing cost is over priced.

0 upvotes
SulfurousBeast
By SulfurousBeast (4 months ago)

Stupid Comment

2 upvotes
Jimmy jang Boo
By Jimmy jang Boo (4 months ago)

DPR,

What do you mean by ergonomics and handling? BTW, I've handle the Q7 and the GM1; to give them the same rating in ergonomics and handling is flat out preposterous. So please explain, what do you mean by ergonomics and handling?

2 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (4 months ago)

They mean the physical handling (balance, grip, placement of buttons and dials, etc.) and the user interface (accessibility of important settings, menu system, touchscreen interface, etc.). All very subjective things, really.

1 upvote
Jimmy jang Boo
By Jimmy jang Boo (4 months ago)

I not so sure they mean what you and I mean, because if they do, then there's no way they could rate those two cameras the same in that respect.

1 upvote
Valiant Thor
By Valiant Thor (4 months ago)

The review conclusion is incorrect where it states that the video tops out at 1080 30p. The video actually tops out at 1080 60i with Image Sensor Output of 60p and is equal quality or better than the GH3. It also shoots 720 60p which is what I use mostly anyway.

3 upvotes
binauralbeats
By binauralbeats (4 months ago)

Incredible engineering. Really shows what's possible with m43.

6 upvotes
inorogNL
By inorogNL (4 months ago)

that;s the strenght of this system, having two so different manufacturers making cameras and lenses with same mount

0 upvotes
Total comments: 327
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