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We reviewed three of the more popular 'pocket printers,' the Canon Ivy, Fujifilm Instax Share and Polaroid ZIP. Here's the one we recommend...
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.
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.
|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|
|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.
|Panasonic DMC-GM1KD 12-32mm Silver Kit Lens 16MP Mirrorless Digital Camera with 3-Inch LCD (Orange)||See price on Amazon.com »|
|Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GM1 16.0 MP Digital Camera - Black (Body Only)||See price on Amazon.com »|
|Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GM1 16.0 MP Digital Camera - Silver (Body Only)||See price on Amazon.com »|
|Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GM1 16.0 MP Digital Camera (Silver, W/ 12-32 Lens)||See price on Amazon.com »|
|Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GM1 16.0 MP Digital Camera (White, Body Only)||See price on Amazon.com »|
|Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GM1 16.0 MP Digital Camera (White, W/ 12-32 Lens)||See price on Amazon.com »|
|Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GM1KK Compact System Camera with 12-32mm Black Lens Kit||See price on Amazon.com »|
|Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GM1KS Compact System Camera with 12-32mm Silver Lens Kit||See price on Amazon.com »|
We've just posted our full review of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1. It underscores the 'Micro' in Micro Four Thirds as the smallest model in that class, with a 16MP Four Thirds sensor and a collapsible 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 kit lens. It offers many features that its bigger Lumix GX7 sibling does, starting with the sensor, but in a much smaller package. See how it measures up. Read our full review
2013 saw a lot of new mirrorless cameras, from minor updates to older models to all-new products like the waterproof Nikon 1 AW1 and the world's first full-frame enthusiast mirrorless cameras with Sony's Alpha A7 and A7R. We've used almost all of this year's crop of mirrorless cameras, published numerous samples galleries, wrote first impressions articles and reviews, but now it's your chance to have your say. What was the best mirrorless interchangeable lens camera of 2013? Click through to cast your vote.
A lot of equipment passes through our Seattle and London offices, everything from high-end cameras to inexpensive accessories. A lot of it gets reviewed, but we can't cover everything. In this series of short articles, DPReview staff will be highlighting their personal standout products of the year. In part 2, Allison Johnson comments on her personal favorite - the Panasonic Lumix GM1.
We've just updated our first impressions review of the Panasonic Lumix GM1 with a gallery of real-world sample images. Panasonic's latest G-series camera underscores the 'Micro' in Micro Four Thirds as one of the smallest interchangeable lens cameras ever brought to market. Despite its size, it still offers a 16 megapixel Four Thirds sensor, 3.0-inch touch screen, and full suite of manual exposure controls. Does its image quality in the field measure up? Click through and see for yourself.
We're at Photo Plus Expo in New York, having meetings and learning about all the new products that have recently been announced (and some which are still under wraps). Panasonic's new GM1 is one of the hottest new cameras at this year's show, inheriting a lot of technology from the GX7, and yesterday afternoon we stopped by the stand to get our hands on the gear. Click through for a quick tour of three of Panasonic's latest cameras.
Following testing of the Panasonic Lumix DC-LX100 II, we've added it to our Pocketable Enthusiast Compact Cameras buying guide as joint-winner, alongside Sony's Cyber-shot RX100 VA.
If you're looking for a high-quality camera, you don't need to spend a ton of cash, nor do you need to buy the latest and greatest new product on the market. In our latest buying guide we've selected some cameras that while they're a bit older, still offer a lot of bang for the buck.
What's the best camera for under $500? These entry level cameras should be easy to use, offer good image quality and easily connect with a smartphone for sharing. In this buying guide we've rounded up all the current interchangeable lens cameras costing less than $500 and recommended the best.
Whether you've grown tired of what came with your DSLR, or want to start photographing different subjects, a new lens is probably in order. We've selected our favorite lenses for Sony mirrorlses cameras in several categories to make your decisions easier.
|The sights this window has seen! by NPW UK|
from Creative Window
|Tacking Point Light House by photoman555|
from Nikon Challenge
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