Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 Review
There's very little that's brand new to the GM1 that hasn't appeared in one of its G-series predecessors. Its sensor and much of its feature set first appeared in the GX7. As such, portions of that in-depth review have been borrowed here where applicable.
So what features do you lose if you opt for the GM1 over the GX7? Here's a quick rundown of the differences:
• Tilting 3.0-inch LCD with 1040k dots
• Fixed 3.0-inch LCD with 1040k dots
|Stabilization||• In-body Image Stabilization||• In-lens O.I.S.|
|Connectivity||• Wi-Fi with NFC||• Wi-Fi (no NFC)|
|Maximum shutter speed||• Max. shutter speed 1/8000 sec (mechanical or electronic shutter)||• Max. shutter speed 1/16,000 sec (electronic shutter) 1/500 sec (mechanical shutter)|
|Burst mode Raw file maximum||• Burst image max. with Raw 15 images||• Burst image max. with Raw 7 images|
|Built-in flash||• Flash Guide Number 5.0 (ISO 100)||• Flash Guide Number 4.0 (ISO 100)|
|Flash sync speed||• Flash Sync speed 1/320 sec||• Flash Sync speed 1/50 sec|
|Customizable controls|| • 9 customizable Fn buttons
(4 physical, 5 virtual)
| • 6 customizable Fn buttons
(1 physical, 5 virtual)
|Battery life||• Battery capacity 350 shots with kit lens||• Battery capacity 230 with kit lens|
|HD video resolution||• 1080 60p, 1080 60i max. video resolutions||• 1080 30p, 1080 60i max. video resolutions|
|Additional features||• Tone curve adjust, In-camera panorama mode||---|
There's no question that the GX7 and its peers like the Olympus Pen E-P5 and Sony NEX-6 are designed for more serious shooting than the GM1. The lack of viewfinder, lower battery capacity, and reduced flash sync speed may be deal-breakers for some. However, a lot of core features are intact in the GM1, starting with that 16MP Four Thirds sensor. A few 'softer' features are available too, including time lapse and stop motion modes.
As with the GX7, the GM1 offers a truly impressive silent mode, turning off all camera beeps, AF lamp and enabling the electronic shutter. It's remarkably quiet, and with the electronic shutter on the Super High continuous shooting mode skyrockets up to 40 fps (at 3.8 megapixels, JPEG only).
The same limitations apply as with the GX7 - flash is unavailable, and under artificial light certain shutter speeds will create a banding pattern across the image. Using the top of the electronic shutter's range at 1/16,000 sec can also produce some distortion when photographing fast-moving objects.
|At 1/16,000 shutter speed the electronic shutter creates the rolling shutter effect seen to the right. The round tire and wheel cover look slightly skewed.|
The GM1 offers focus peaking for still and video shooting. When your subject is in-focus, it will be outlined by a color that 'glimmers'. You can use this tool to make very precise adjustments to the focus distance.
|Blue lines outline the subjects that are in focus. There are two levels of sensitivity to choose from, aptly named low and high. You can also select the color of the outline: blue, yellow, or green.|
The GM1 offers HDR shooting, a common feature in compacts and mirrorless cameras. It captures multiple frames of varying exposure to capture highlight and shadow detail, and combines them to create a single image with a wide dynamic range. There are four 'levels' of HDR to choose from: Auto, 1EV, 2EV, or 3EV. The larger the interval, the more pronounced the effect. You can also choose whether or not the camera tries to align the three images. In the GM1, as with the GX7, this is a JPEG-only affair, and HDR modes can't be accessed from any Raw shooting mode.
Stop Motion / Time Lapse
Not a core feature but potentially a fun one is the GM1's Stop Motion mode. It will capture a series of images and automatically generate a movie file of a Nightmare Before Christmas-type style. With the camera on a tripod, the GM1 will take as many pictures as you'd like, and the camera will put them together into a video for you. The original stills are saved, as well. The camera can 'auto shoot' at set intervals (you'd better be quick) or you can take them at your own pace. An overlay of the previous shot helps you see exactly what's moved.
When you've finished taking pictures it's time to save the results as an MP4 video. You can choose resolutions of up to 1080/30p, with frame rates ranging from 3 - 30 fps. Obviously, the quality of the animation depends on your skill, but here's a quick example (directed and animated by Jeff Keller):
|Stop Motion, 18 shots, 1920 x 1080, 6 fps, MP4 format|
The GM1 will do a similar trick in Time Lapse mode, assembling a series of photos taken at regular intervals into a video file. The obvious setback here is the GM1's short battery life (230 shots according to standard tests but often shorter, in reality) - a time lapse of any significant length will require external power. Panasonic's time lapse interface goes the extra step of providing a handy reminder on the setup screen when the time lapse will be complete.
The GM1 also inherits the Clear Retouch feature we saw in the GX7. It's still somewhat frustrating to use, and produces inconsistent results. Results vary from passable to downright bad. With a subject isolated on a contrasting background, it does alright, but introduce other elements or a busy background and you may end up with less-than-ideal results.
Furthermore, the feature is only available for use with images recorded in JPEG-only shooting and can't be used with JPEGs shot in Raw+ mode. Assuming it worked perfectly, it might be useful for quick in-camera edits prior to transferring a photo to a smartphone via Wi-Fi, but if you're a Raw+ shooter as we tend to be this won't be an option anyway.
This simple photograph of a seahorse and Q-tip has taken the internet by storm. We spoke to photographer Justin Hofman about how it was captured, and what it means to him.
After a massive leak last week, Profoto has officially debuted the Profoto A1: the company's first on-camera flash system that they're calling "the world's smallest studio flash."
"When the first hyperfocal distance charts were designed, someone decided that an acceptably sharp background contained some blur — enough to notice in a medium-sized print [...] After that point, nearly every other hyperfocal chart followed suit."
The Canon EOS Rebel SL2 (also known as the EOS 200D) is the company's impressively compact entry-level DSLR. Packing a 24MP APS-C sensor, DIGIC 7 processor and Dual Pixel AF, it promises a lot of bang for the buck. And while not mind-blowing, it handles most tasks very well.
Correct these four common composition mistakes and your photos will be more balanced, tell a better story, and lead your viewer's eye where you want it to go.
The rugged, compact 360° action camera Kodak unveiled at Photokina in 2016, the Kodak PixPro Orbit 360, is finally available in the United States.
iOS 11 launches tomorrow, and it'll save all of your pictures in a new high efficiency image format called HEIC. Fortunately, there's now a converter that will let you turn those photos back into JPEGs.
Photo protection company ImageRights recently released a new service that lets non-subscribers take advantage of their streamlined copyright registration system that checks for errors and fills out all the required forms for you.
What's the difference between a $200 circular polarizing filter and a $100 circular polarizing filter? Roger Cicala at Lens Rentals put six different filters through a few tests to find out.
A flurry of leaks reveal that GoPro's upcoming Hero6 will shoot 4K at 60fps, 1080p at 240fps, will cost $500, and is scheduled for announcement/release on September 28th.
Before he became the iconic director whose name we've all heard, a teenage Stanley Kubrick struck up a business relationship with New York’s Look magazine. No surprise: he was an incredibly talented photographer.
WD's new G-Technology G-Drive mobile SSD R-Series is a portable solid state option for photographers who want the reliability of an SSD in a rugged water and dust-resistant package.
Fast, stabilized and affordable is an appealing combination when it comes to lenses. With its latest 24-70mm F2.8, Tamron aims to upgrade autofocus speed and stabilization. We've got a full gallery from this updated full-frame zoom.
Photographer Clay Cook tells the story of his most ambitious photographic dream and career goal coming true: photographing A-list actress Jennifer Lawrence.
In an interview with a Chinese website, Nikon Japan's Director of Development dropped a bombshell, saying that a Nikon mirrorless camera "must be full-frame."
Here's a side-by-side spec comparison of two flagship devices with particular attention to the things that really matter – at least to people who prioritize photography features.
A month and a half after revealing the finalists of the 2017 EyeEm Awards, the photo sharing community and licensing marketplace has finally revealed the winners.
Photographer Josselin Cornou tells the breathtaking story behind two beautiful photos captured while snorkeling with humpback whales in Tonga.
The Sony RX10 IV is a fixed lens camera with a 1"-type sensor and 24-600mm equivalent lens that can shoot 4K video or stills at 24 fps, but that's not what we think is interesting about it. The addition of phase detection autofocus is pivotal to all those features.
The announcement date is set! Google will reveal their next generation Pixel phones—their response to Apple's shiny new iPhone X—on October 4th. Let the smartphone camera wars begin.
Sony just debuted three palm-style 4K camcorders that steal a bit of speedy phase detect autofocus technology from the company's RX10 IV. In fact, they kind of improve on it.
Earlier today, NASA's Cassini spacecraft plunged into Saturn's atmosphere, ending a 20 year long mission. Here are 21 of our favorite photographs captured by this incredible machine and its makers.
Fans of film photography should keep an eye out for the widespread theatrical release of Kodachrome, a movie staring Jason Sudeikis about the final days of the iconic film stock.
Photographer Manny Ortiz breaks down the pros and cons of shooting natural light vs off-camera flash, and explains why he chooses to shoot one, the other, or both in any given situation.
A leaked product page and a bunch of leaked photos shows Profoto is preparing to release its first ever speedlight: the Profoto A1 Air TTL
The Yashica camera brand disappeared in 2003, but a new teaser video and website hint at a comeback. Excited?
Western Digital just debuted a new, higher capacity WD Gold internal hard drive. The new drive offers 12TB of storage and class-leading reliability to the tune of a 550TB/year workload rating.
The new Godox XPRO-C is an affordable, highly capable flash trigger for Canon users that boasts a lot of useful features at a very reasonable price.
Tamron is working on a lightweight, durable and compact 100-400mm tele-zoom lens that will be available for Canon and Nikon cameras by the end of the year.
The Nikon D850 promises equal parts resolution and speed. On a trip to Bend, Oregon, we had the chance to try it out with fashion, sports, landscapes, and more. Check out our updated sample gallery to see how it fared.