Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 review: Compact and Competitive

By Kevin Carter - Friday, December 06, 2013

Camera Review
Introduction | Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 sensor performance: Good but not great | Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 vs Nikon 1 J3 vs Olympus PEN E-PM2: Competitive Performance? | Conclusion
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 review: Compact and Competitive

With a traditional looking design, the latest addition to Panasonic’s Lumix CSC range the GM1 is, arguably, the firm’s slickest camera yet. It has the same 16-Mpix-resolution sensor as the larger, rangefinder-style GX7, and although housed in a tiny aluminum shell it features a 3-inch touchscreen LCD, plenty of manual control and an electronic shutter capable of 1/16000th max shutter speed and 40fps burst.  Read on to find out how this super-compact model performs.

Micro four-thirds cameras are by and large already quite small but the GM1 must rate as one of the smallest, and with its new shorter-range 12-32mm f3.5-5.6 pancake-type (retractable) zoom this camera will fit a coat pocket. The body shape is arguably reminiscent of a Leica, at least from the front, sides and top. It even has its own screw-on handgrip with baseplate, as a $100 option.

Apart from the small size and low weight of just 204g (7.20 oz) it features a similar 16-Mpix Live MOS type sensor with sensitivity of ISO 200-25,600 as the firm’s high-end GX7. But it lacks that model’s stabilized platform, and there’s no phase-detect AF option.  However, low light detection using the contrast detection AF system ranges from an impressively low Ev -4 to 18.

A high-speed shutter option of up to 1/16,000th at up to an impressive 40fps at full resolution is due to an electronic gating option; otherwise using both mechanical curtains the maximum shutter speed is a more modest 1/4000th sec with a 5fps burst mode.  While it lacks the option for an EVF (or optical finder) the rear LCD is a large 3-inch high-resolution touch screen panel though it’s a fixed design, as you might expect in a small camera like this. Full HD (1920 x 1080i) video recording is possible in various shooting modes and in both NTSC (60/30/24p) and PAL (50/25/24p) regions, using both AVCHD and MP4 formats (albeit, with some limitations).

The Lumix DMC-GM1 is available now in black or silver at $749 complete with the new retractable and stabilized 12-32mm f3.5-5.6 ASPH Mega OIS zoom. 

Key specifications:

  • 16-Mpix MFT (17.3 x 13 mm) MOS sensor
  • MFT-mount mirrorless body
  • Contrast detection AF system with peaking option
  • 3.0-inch (1,036k dot) touchscreen LCD
  • 1920 x 1080i video at 60/50/25/24 fps AVCHD
  • 1/16,000th second max shutter speed, 1/50th sec maximum flash sync
  • 5/40 fps maximum continuous shooting (mechanical / electronic shutter option)
  • ISO 200-25,600
  • Single SD memory slot
  • WiFi with NFC

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 sensor performance: Good but not great 

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 vs Nikon 1 J3 vs Olympus PEN E-PM2: Competitive Performance?

Conclusion