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.
70-200mm F4 zoom lenses may not get as much attention as their faster F2.8 siblings, but for many photographers these lenses hit the perfect sweet spot of price, performance, and weight. This week, we go to the Calgary Stampede with the Canon 70-200mm F4, Nikon 70-200mm F4, and Tamron 70-210mm F4.
Blackmagic recently worked with Apple to develop Blackmagic eGPU, an external GPU that brings "desktop-class graphics performance" to the new MacBook Pro laptops with Thunderbolt 3 ports.
Lightroom alternative Luminar has received numerous updates across both its Mac and Windows versions, primarily improvements to existing features, as well as support for additional cameras from Fujifilm, Sony, Olympus, Panasonic, Canon, and Pentax.
Sony has quietly updated its RX100 V, bringing a couple of the goodies from the RX100 VI travel zoom. The updated RX100 VA gains a new processor and various firmware tweaks but misses out on the VI's other hardware improvements.
Apple has updated its MacBook Pro series of notebooks with 15in and 13in models that are claimed to be better for intense image and video editing. The company says the new models are the most advanced ever, and that they feature 8th generation Intel Core processors for faster performance.
According to sources familiar with the matter, Adobe will announce a full-fledged Photoshop version for the iPad at its annual conference in October.
The last day to place an order for Apple photo prints and related products is September 30th.
Manfrotto has launched its new Noreg camera bag series with the Backpack-30 and Messenger-30 models. Both bags are designed for premium mirrorless camera systems, each featuring internal camera units that can be removed and used independently of the larger bags.
Industrial designer Thomas Müller has created a concept device that attempts to democratize film development using an all-in-one device that sits on your countertop.
Mastin Labs has released its latest set of presets titled 'Kodak Everyday.' The pack includes film emulation presets for iconic Kodak films, including Ektar, Gold and Tri-X.
Canon has released firmware update 1.0.4 for the EOS 6D Mark II, adding important bug fixes for "rare instances" of issues with the touch panel and operation buttons.
In an email to DPReview, Nikon Inc. has confirmed ''The Nikon 1 series cameras, lenses and accessories are no longer in production'.
Nikon's new Coolpix P1000 boasts an extraordinary zoom range and a suite of powerful stills and video features in a (relatively) compact body. We're taking a detailed look at this powerful compact's key features.
PhotoMirage, a new Windows application from software company Corel, transforms images into "mirages" by adding movement to elements like water or clouds. Unlike a cinemagraph, it does not require video footage – instead animating a single static image.
Tamron's version 2.0 firmware update for its 28-75mm F2.8 Di III RXD claims to have addressed reported issues with autofocus during video shooting.
Lens maker Moment is leaning into the software sector, launching a newly-revamped smartphone camera app targeted at enthusiast photographers.
A groups of researchers from NVIDIA, MIT, and Aalto University have developed an AI capable of removing noise and grain from images with incredible accuracy.
If the 24-2000mm equiv. zoom range on Nikon's Coolpix P900 just wasn't enough then you'll be excited about today's announcement of the Coolpix P1000. This camera has a once unthinkable 24-3000mm equivalent F2.8-F8 lens, though it's anything but light and will set you back $999.
Hong Kong flash system manufacturer Cactus has released new firmware for its V6 II Transceiver that will allow it to wirelessly communicate TTL information between a Canon or Cactus flash and a Canon camera. The X-TTL update makes it possible to trigger Canon flashes and retain full TTL control with that flash either on or off camera.
Want to create pro quality lighting for your videos, but don't have thousands of dollars to spend on expensive video lights? In this video, our friends over at ShareGrid demonstrate how to professionally light a model with some work lights, a bit of poster board and even a shower curtain.
Phase One has launched its new Latitude processing presets series, the latest addition to the company's Capture One Style Packs product launched last year. Both Latitude style packs contain eight presets, each with original, bright, and dark variations, for a total of 24 styles per pack.
Godox has announced the impending launch of its upcoming AD400Pro, a 400WS monolight with wireless shooting capabilities and a battery life of 390 full-powered flashes.
The instant camera market is heating up, and with four formats and 15+ cameras to choose from, we felt it was high time to examine them all and pick our favorite.
There's an old axiom in filmmaking which states that an audience will forgive a poor quality picture, but not poor quality sound. This week, Chris and Jordan bring in an audio pro to demonstrate why a cheap microphone positioned correctly will outperform an expensive model placed incorrectly.
With enough reach to land itself in 'travel zoom' territory, the Sony RX100 VI is well suited for a wide range of shooting situations. We've made a significant update to our initial sample gallery with plenty of samples from the past few weeks.
Hamm Camera Company has launched its second crowdfunding campaign to bring a fun, affordable pinhole camera to life.
Samsung's upcoming flagship smartphone could offer a significantly wider zoom range than current high-end models.
According to the lawsuit, the US Postal Service issued a new Forever Stamp design in December 2010 that mistakenly features the Statue of Liberty replica in Las Vegas created by Davidson rather than the original statue in New York.
Rachel and Daniel of Mango street share six video transitions you can do in-camera to make your footage stand out.