Advice needed for a compact camera

Started 2 months ago | Questions
R00kiePh0t0 New Member • Posts: 1
Advice needed for a compact camera

Dear photographers,

I am in the market for a compact camera. After some hefty research I narrowed it down that I want a compact (pocket) camera with interchangable lenses and a viewfinder. I am going on travels soon (F1 in Hungary and Asia general and Bali/Lombok later in the year) and I just want a small camera that I can grow into.

In my search I always kept hearing about GM1 and GM5. I love the design and the size of it. However, it seems it is not made anymore and finding it is near impossible. A funny  side note is that anyone that has one or wants one sounds like a cultist chanting GM1 and GM5 over and over.

My question to you and if you are willing, would anyone be able to advise me which camera even comes close to what I want. There are so many camera's in 2019 that I cannot see the forest beyond the trees.

Many thanks for however wishes to extend his/her knowledge.

ANSWER:
This question has not been answered yet.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5
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MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 38,253
Re: Advice needed for a compact camera
3

R00kiePh0t0 wrote:

Dear photographers,

I am in the market for a compact camera. After some hefty research I narrowed it down that I want a compact (pocket) camera with interchangable lenses and a viewfinder. I am going on travels soon (F1 in Hungary and Asia general and Bali/Lombok later in the year) and I just want a small camera that I can grow into.

In my search I always kept hearing about GM1 and GM5. I love the design and the size of it. However, it seems it is not made anymore and finding it is near impossible. A funny side note is that anyone that has one or wants one sounds like a cultist chanting GM1 and GM5 over and over.

My question to you and if you are willing, would anyone be able to advise me which camera even comes close to what I want. There are so many camera's in 2019 that I cannot see the forest beyond the trees.

Many thanks for however wishes to extend his/her knowledge.

As a cultist GM owner I feel qualified to answer .... and you cannot have any of mine ...

I think why the GM series has become a cult and why also that it did not sell as well as Panasonic might have hoped at the same time is because they were in fact fully capable cameras. That might be surprising but the general perception is that very small cameras are not capable and as they are “not deemed capable” should not cost much and be only suitable for entry level users or backup of a larger camera body.

Therefore if you don’t find a GM then you will only see a whole raft of cheap less capable cameras marketed to users with a less technical interest in photography. Not that such cameras as the Panasonic GX850, or the Olympus PL-8 cannot take good photographs but the reality is that capability is hidden behind a mask of ease of use. “Jump shots” and tilting lcd - hiding features and making preset modes prominent. The cameras being made for mobile phone camera users that they are distinctly not buying.

In any case in the M4/3 system the smallest compact cameras with more serious intent are the Olympus E-M10 series, Pen-F (on run out special), or the 16mp GX80/85 which may well also be very good value - or its technical upgrade the 20mp GX9.

I was disappointed when reading about the E-M10iii as I had been hoping to see a power packed little sibling of the E-MIii and the reviews read like an “easy-camera” for entry level users.

But I am sure that the E-M10iii will take very good images. It is just that having used digital cameras for nearly 20 years in which time I have used FF dslr bodies and lenses at such a price which would make even some professionals eyes water the idea that I should be buying entry level camera bodies is a sort of backhanded insult.

But with my GM5 camera bodies I feel that I am handling a camera body that has serious intent even though those that have preconceived ideas of ranking camera bodies by physical size alone still laugh at the idea.

Last weekend I went to an event where “professional cameras” were banned ... as a GM5 user I was the one who had the last laugh as of course the GM5 did not look “professional enough” ... The GM5 is in fact a tiny power house that can mount all lenses that fit on the M4/3 mount system - those that “cripple” the GM5 by only using it with a sub-set of tiny lenses quite miss the whole point.

-- hide signature --

Tom Caldwell

Paulmorgan Veteran Member • Posts: 8,282
Re: Advice needed for a compact camera

R00kiePh0t0 wrote:

Dear photographers,

I am in the market for a compact camera. After some hefty research I narrowed it down that I want a compact (pocket) camera with interchangable lenses and a viewfinder. I am going on travels soon (F1 in Hungary and Asia general and Bali/Lombok later in the year) and I just want a small camera that I can grow into.

In my search I always kept hearing about GM1 and GM5. I love the design and the size of it. However, it seems it is not made anymore and finding it is near impossible. A funny side note is that anyone that has one or wants one sounds like a cultist chanting GM1 and GM5 over and over.

My question to you and if you are willing, would anyone be able to advise me which camera even comes close to what I want. There are so many camera's in 2019 that I cannot see the forest beyond the trees.

Then go and look beyond the tree`s, if nothing fits the bill in M4/3, check out Sony or Fuji.

Many thanks for however wishes to extend his/her knowledge.

JakeJY Senior Member • Posts: 3,370
Re: Advice needed for a compact camera
2

The GX850/GX800/GF9 or the GX880/GF10 would be the closest to the GM series. They are also kitted with the tiny collapsible pancake 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 (manual zoom/extension and no focus ring). They should be easy to find. No viewfinder though.

If you like Olympus the E-PL8/E-PL9 are slightly bigger. It is kitted with the 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ pancake (it uses electronic zoom/extension and has focus ring). The E-PL8 can mount an optional viewfinder (E-PL9 can't).

Either of those pancake zooms can be paired with the JJC Z-O14-42 auto cap, which makes them function like a true point and shoot (cap opens automatically when lens is extended).

Personally I have a GX85 (GX80 in other markets) which has an EVF. The new GX9 is another similar sized camera. Some people don't like its EVF though and it is heavier and larger than the cameras mentioned before. However, you get much more controls and features, as well as IBIS. Paired with the 12-32mm lens, I can fit it in my jacket pocket, but it won't fit in pants pockets or smaller jacket pockets.

 JakeJY's gear list:JakeJY's gear list
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JakeJY Senior Member • Posts: 3,370
Re: Advice needed for a compact camera
3

Paulmorgan wrote:

Then go and look beyond the tree`s, if nothing fits the bill in M4/3, check out Sony or Fuji.

I looked at those too before when I researched my own purchase, but the problem with those is the lack of pancake options. The Sony has the PZ 16-50 f/3.5-5.6, but it's a lens with mediocre IQ due to a undersized image circle, leading to extreme vignetting and very poor corner sharpness wide open at 16mm. Pancake primes at least they have two: 16mm f/2.8 and 20mm f/2.8.

Fuji doesn't even have a pancake zoom. The closest they have is the new 15-45mm f/3.5-5.6, but that lens is far from being a pancake. They also only have one pancake prime, the 27mm f/2.8.

Canon EOS M has the same issue. Although they have the tiny EOS M100, their 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 also is not pancake which defeats the purpose. They also only have the 22mm f/2 as their pancake prime option (and overall a meager lens selection).

MFT has 3 pancake zooms (12-32mm, 14-42 EZ, 14-42 PZ), 3 pancake primes (17mm f/2.8, 14mm f/2.5, 20mm f/1.7), and 2 bodycap lenses (9mm f/8, 15mm f/8), along with a tons of compact lens options (won't bother listing).

 JakeJY's gear list:JakeJY's gear list
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jeffharris
jeffharris Veteran Member • Posts: 9,433
Re: Advice needed for a compact camera
3

R00kiePh0t0 wrote:

Dear photographers,

I am in the market for a compact camera. After some hefty research I narrowed it down that I want a compact (pocket) camera with interchangable lenses and a viewfinder. I am going on travels soon (F1 in Hungary and Asia general and Bali/Lombok later in the year) and I just want a small camera that I can grow into.

Cool, just got back from a few days in Budapest! Great city!

In my search I always kept hearing about GM1 and GM5. I love the design and the size of it. However, it seems it is not made anymore and finding it is near impossible. A funny side note is that anyone that has one or wants one sounds like a cultist chanting GM1 and GM5 over and over.

My question to you and if you are willing, would anyone be able to advise me which camera even comes close to what I want. There are so many camera's in 2019 that I cannot see the forest beyond the trees.

There's the GX85 and GX9, neither would anyone consider a "big" camera. They're not as small as the GM5, but not that much bigger. AND both are more capable than the GM5. With both, the EVF is MUCH better and both have IBIS, which can be helpful in some situations.

The thing to remember is that once you mount a lens, none of them are that small any more!

Left to Right: GX9, GX85, GM5

 jeffharris's gear list:jeffharris's gear list
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Skeeterbytes Forum Pro • Posts: 16,167
Re: Advice needed for a compact camera

The GMs are lovely and tiny cameras, but as a platform to shoot Formula 1 I can't recommend one. They're great for general travel however.

Would something the size of an E-M10 series or E-M5 series be too large?

cheers,

Rick

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Equivalence and diffraction-free since 2009.
You can be too; ask about our 12-step program.

JakeJY Senior Member • Posts: 3,370
Re: Advice needed for a compact camera

jeffharris wrote:

The thing to remember is that once you mount a lens, none of them are that small any more!

With the exception of the body cap lenses of course. It's rather unfortunate the 15mm version didn't get a bit better optics. The 9mm is actually quite decent (5 element design with 2 aspherical). The 14mm f/2.5 is pretty thin too.

 JakeJY's gear list:JakeJY's gear list
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HPNAviator
HPNAviator Junior Member • Posts: 37
Re: Advice needed for a compact camera

For size but no interchangeable lens you can’t beat the LX100 ii for both Size and interchangeable lens the GX85 with the 12-32mm pancake is hard to beat. I have both and they are my go to cameras for travelling.

 HPNAviator's gear list:HPNAviator's gear list
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Barry Twycross Senior Member • Posts: 1,283
Re: Advice needed for a compact camera

R00kiePh0t0 wrote:

I am in the market for a compact camera. After some hefty research I narrowed it down that I want a compact (pocket) camera with interchangable lenses and a viewfinder.

I don't think there is such a thing, not even the GM1/5 are really pocketable once you put a lens on. I'm learning to do without a viewfinder with a GX850.

The F1 races I've been to in the past few years, I did pretty well with a Panasonic LF1, but they don't make that anymore (hence the GX850). That has a 200mm equivalent lens, and I'd like a little more reach. If I got to another race, I'd be taking that and the 100-300 lens. Though I'd also be tempted by a GX9. It's noticeably bigger than the GX850, but once you mount a lens like the 100-300, it's not that much bigger.

 Barry Twycross's gear list:Barry Twycross's gear list
Panasonic GX850 Panasonic Lumix G Vario HD 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 Mega OIS Panasonic Lumix G Vario 35-100mm F4.0-5.6 ASPH Mega OIS Leica Nocticron 42.5mm Panasonic 20mm F1.7 II +3 more
Smaug01
Smaug01 Senior Member • Posts: 2,595
Re: Advice needed for a compact camera

Better video: Panasonic.

Better JPG and a more camera-like feel: Olympus

Better lens value: Panasonic

I prefer Olympus, as I use my camera mostly for stills. I like the classic shape, too.

-- hide signature --

-Jeremy
*********
"Rudeness is the weak person's imitation of strength."

 Smaug01's gear list:Smaug01's gear list
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Guy Parsons
Guy Parsons Forum Pro • Posts: 32,316
Re: Advice needed for a compact camera
2

R00kiePh0t0 wrote:

Dear photographers,

I am in the market for a compact camera. After some hefty research I narrowed it down that I want a compact (pocket) camera with interchangable lenses and a viewfinder. I am going on travels soon (F1 in Hungary and Asia general and Bali/Lombok later in the year) and I just want a small camera that I can grow into.

I went further and bought a truly compact camera for when I wanted smaller than M4/3.

No M4/3 really makes the pocket size, they all manage to be bigger, especially when a couple of lenses to cover a reasonable range are involved.

In my search I always kept hearing about GM1 and GM5. I love the design and the size of it. However, it seems it is not made anymore and finding it is near impossible. A funny side note is that anyone that has one or wants one sounds like a cultist chanting GM1 and GM5 over and over.

It's the same syndrome as small car owners, they like to drive them faster than bigger cars to prove something.

My question to you and if you are willing, would anyone be able to advise me which camera even comes close to what I want. There are so many camera's in 2019 that I cannot see the forest beyond the trees.

In my case it was the Sony RX100 M6 with its 20MP 1" sensor, and "24-200mm" performance with its f/2.8 to f/4.5 lens. Easy to carry in a small belt pouch....

Super convenient to carry, performance not that far behind M4/3, and in some ways better. Very expensive.

Next, a small kit for when I want light M4/3......

Or for more serious travel a small shoulder bag.....

About 2.5kg or so, easy to carry all day. A pair of f/2.8 lenses plus some other small lenses packed in there.

Regards..... Guy

 Guy Parsons's gear list:Guy Parsons's gear list
Sony RX100 VI Olympus PEN E-P5 Olympus PEN E-PL5 Olympus PEN E-P3 Olympus PEN E-PL1 +4 more
Osa25 Senior Member • Posts: 1,792
Re: Advice needed for a compact camera
2

jeffharris wrote:

R00kiePh0t0 wrote:

Dear photographers,

I am in the market for a compact camera. After some hefty research I narrowed it down that I want a compact (pocket) camera with interchangable lenses and a viewfinder. I am going on travels soon (F1 in Hungary and Asia general and Bali/Lombok later in the year) and I just want a small camera that I can grow into.

Cool, just got back from a few days in Budapest! Great city!

In my search I always kept hearing about GM1 and GM5. I love the design and the size of it. However, it seems it is not made anymore and finding it is near impossible. A funny side note is that anyone that has one or wants one sounds like a cultist chanting GM1 and GM5 over and over.

My question to you and if you are willing, would anyone be able to advise me which camera even comes close to what I want. There are so many camera's in 2019 that I cannot see the forest beyond the trees.

There's the GX85 and GX9, neither would anyone consider a "big" camera. They're not as small as the GM5, but not that much bigger. AND both are more capable than the GM5. With both, the EVF is MUCH better and both have IBIS, which can be helpful in some situations.

The thing to remember is that once you mount a lens, none of them are that small any more!

Left to Right: GX9, GX85, GM5

I think we need to be careful with the EVF comparison on these cameras.

I carefully compared GM5 EVF with that of GX7 before buying and for me they were effectively similar once diopter adjusted. This despite a nominal difference in magnification- the GX series one performs subpar despite the numbers.

The GX9 and GX85 continue with the similar or sane EVF as GX7. So EVF image quality is not a real reason to pick the GX....unless you want the tilt function offered in GX7 or GX9. GX85 doesn’t have the tilt though.

I do agree that GX9 has everything one would have expected in a an updated “GM9”, in a not much bigger package. It’s significantly heavier though. But worth considering for sure.

If my GM5 died today I’d probably resort to GX9, but not unless it was unrepairable, because personally I value the way the GM5 is optimised, including the EVF. The GM5 series plus a compact lens is easily a coat pocket device including unobstrusive weight. The GX might just about fit in the coat pocket with same lens but just that bit more weight where you start to notice it. So for me the GM5 is at the edge of the envelope - that’s what I’d recommend

 Osa25's gear list:Osa25's gear list
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nzmacro
nzmacro Forum Pro • Posts: 16,319
Oh Tom :-)
1

Tom Caldwell wrote:

R00kiePh0t0 wrote:

Dear photographers,

I am in the market for a compact camera. After some hefty research I narrowed it down that I want a compact (pocket) camera with interchangable lenses and a viewfinder. I am going on travels soon (F1 in Hungary and Asia general and Bali/Lombok later in the year) and I just want a small camera that I can grow into.

In my search I always kept hearing about GM1 and GM5. I love the design and the size of it. However, it seems it is not made anymore and finding it is near impossible. A funny side note is that anyone that has one or wants one sounds like a cultist chanting GM1 and GM5 over and over.

My question to you and if you are willing, would anyone be able to advise me which camera even comes close to what I want. There are so many camera's in 2019 that I cannot see the forest beyond the trees.

Many thanks for however wishes to extend his/her knowledge.

As a cultist GM owner I feel qualified to answer .... and you cannot have any of mine ...

I think why the GM series has become a cult and why also that it did not sell as well as Panasonic might have hoped at the same time is because they were in fact fully capable cameras. That might be surprising but the general perception is that very small cameras are not capable and as they are “not deemed capable” should not cost much and be only suitable for entry level users or backup of a larger camera body.

Therefore if you don’t find a GM then you will only see a whole raft of cheap less capable cameras marketed to users with a less technical interest in photography. Not that such cameras as the Panasonic GX850, or the Olympus PL-8 cannot take good photographs but the reality is that capability is hidden behind a mask of ease of use. “Jump shots” and tilting lcd - hiding features and making preset modes prominent. The cameras being made for mobile phone camera users that they are distinctly not buying.

In any case in the M4/3 system the smallest compact cameras with more serious intent are the Olympus E-M10 series, Pen-F (on run out special), or the 16mp GX80/85 which may well also be very good value - or its technical upgrade the 20mp GX9.

I was disappointed when reading about the E-M10iii as I had been hoping to see a power packed little sibling of the E-MIii and the reviews read like an “easy-camera” for entry level users.

But I am sure that the E-M10iii will take very good images. It is just that having used digital cameras for nearly 20 years in which time I have used FF dslr bodies and lenses at such a price which would make even some professionals eyes water the idea that I should be buying entry level camera bodies is a sort of backhanded insult.

But with my GM5 camera bodies I feel that I am handling a camera body that has serious intent even though those that have preconceived ideas of ranking camera bodies by physical size alone still laugh at the idea.

Last weekend I went to an event where “professional cameras” were banned ... as a GM5 user I was the one who had the last laugh as of course the GM5 did not look “professional enough” ... The GM5 is in fact a tiny power house that can mount all lenses that fit on the M4/3 mount system - those that “cripple” the GM5 by only using it with a sub-set of tiny lenses quite miss the whole point.

Do you do a search for the GM1 and GM5 everytime you come onto DPR mate

Every time one is mentioned, you're like a rat up a drain pipe mate. I love it. Nothing like passion for sure. Ha.

All the best next door Tom.

Danny.

 nzmacro's gear list:nzmacro's gear list
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MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 38,253
Re: Oh Tom :-)
1

Give us a break mate - I also have a GX7, GX85, GX9 and G9 - but I admit to only having one of each of them

The G9 is my favourite M4/3 horsepower camera but I can only fit it and one middling lens in the same bag I can fit three GM5 “cameras” in.

I must also be the only person in tarnation to have ever adapted a GM1 to a Canon EF 400/2.8 an made perfect AF with the combination.

Next time someone wishes to discuss this combination I will get really excited.

-- hide signature --

Tom Caldwell

gary0319
gary0319 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,057
Re: Advice needed for a compact camera
1

HPNAviator wrote:

For size but no interchangeable lens you can’t beat the LX100 ii for both Size and interchangeable lens the GX85 with the 12-32mm pancake is hard to beat. I have both and they are my go to cameras for travelling.

I’ll second the LX100 as a great small non ILC camera with full photographers controls. The Olympus E-M10 II is almost the same size and a nice interchangeable lens alternative.

LX100 on left, 14oz... E-M10 II on right, 17oz with 14-42EZ

 gary0319's gear list:gary0319's gear list
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Eric Nepean
Eric Nepean Veteran Member • Posts: 4,373
Re: Advice needed for a compact camera
2

I own both GM1 and GM5 ( and a number of other M43 bodies).

Although you could pick up a used GM5 I think it might be a bit on the small side for your purpose.

These small bodies typically do not have good autofocus for moving subjects; I would take an E-M1 (original or mark II) which is still a small camera, but has good AF for moving subjects and a bit more grip to handle a telephoto.

-- hide signature --

Cheers
Eric

nzmacro
nzmacro Forum Pro • Posts: 16,319
Ha :-)

Tom Caldwell wrote:

Give us a break mate - I also have a GX7, GX85, GX9 and G9 - but I admit to only having one of each of them

The G9 is my favourite M4/3 horsepower camera but I can only fit it and one middling lens in the same bag I can fit three GM5 “cameras” in.

I must also be the only person in tarnation to have ever adapted a GM1 to a Canon EF 400/2.8 an made perfect AF with the combination.

Next time someone wishes to discuss this combination I will get really excited.

Awww come on, I can visualise you frothing at the mouth already Ha. I wouldn't mind trying the GM5 myself, would be great fun. Man those little things still demand a good price. I would say, collectors cameras now.

All the best your way Tom

Danny.

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Olympus E-M1 Sony a7 Sony Alpha NEX-7 Olympus E-M1 II +6 more
Le Frog Regular Member • Posts: 495
Re: Advice needed for a compact camera

R00kiePh0t0 wrote:

Dear photographers,

I am in the market for a compact camera. After some hefty research I narrowed it down that I want a compact (pocket) camera with interchangable lenses and a viewfinder. I am going on travels soon (F1 in Hungary and Asia general and Bali/Lombok later in the year) and I just want a small camera that I can grow into.

In my search I always kept hearing about GM1 and GM5. I love the design and the size of it. However, it seems it is not made anymore and finding it is near impossible. A funny side note is that anyone that has one or wants one sounds like a cultist chanting GM1 and GM5 over and over.

My question to you and if you are willing, would anyone be able to advise me which camera even comes close to what I want. There are so many camera's in 2019 that I cannot see the forest beyond the trees.

Many thanks for however wishes to extend his/her knowledge.

The short answer is ... none.  If you can live with a fixed lens, the best option (better than LX100 imho) are the 1" compacts (Sony or Lumix) and if you can afford two cameras, you can buy one with a 3x fast zoom for low light situations and one with 10x slow zoom for reach. If you can live with a bigger body, you can choose between GX9, EM5 or EM10. If you can live without an EVF, the GXxxx have a smaller body but no manual controls, while the PEN PL series have manual controls but bigger bodies.

UNLESS PANASONIC REPENTS!!!!

 Le Frog's gear list:Le Frog's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5 Panasonic Lumix G Vario HD 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 Mega OIS Panasonic 20mm F1.7 II Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN Art +6 more
DLBlack Forum Pro • Posts: 13,860
Re: Advice needed for a compact camera

If possible I would wait for a month or two and see what Olympus will be announcing.   The few rumors about the upcoming E-M5.3 makes it seem that it might be closer to the E-M10 on size but with weather sealing  and more like a E-M1.2 in performance.

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