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Panasonic Lumix GM1 review

The Panasonic GM1 boasts GX7 image quality in a tiny body.

Our Verdict

For

  • Small size
  • Touchscreen
  • Inbuilt Wi-Fi
  • Digital Filters

Against

  • No viewfinder
  • No hotshoe
  • No manual control when using filters

Panasonic was first to launch a compact system camera all the way back in 2008, so it has a decently rich heritage on which to build its new releases.

The Panasonic GM1 starts a new line for the company, bringing the total up to five now. There's G, GF, GX, GH and now GM. The GM1, being the smallest, lightest and cheapest available is primarily aimed at beginner photographers, especially those who might be stepping up from a compact camera.

Ratings in depth
Design 5

Features 5

Performance 4.5

Useability 4.5

Value 4

Featuring a 16-million-pixel Four Thirds sensor, the same as that found in the excellent Panasonic GX7, the GM1 is compatible with the extensive range of Micro Four Thirds lenses that are available - the greatest number of proprietary optics available for any compact system camera.

As Olympus also uses the Micro Four Thirds mounts, all of their lenses are also compatible, as well those from thirdparty manufacturers such as Sigma and Tokina.

Alongside that sensor is a Venus processing engine, while the sensor is said to be capable of producing up to 10% better images at high sensitivity than the GX1.

Panasonic says that its engineers have downsized almost every component of the GM1 in order to produce a small body size; for instance, although the sensor itself is still a Micro Four Thirds device, the overall unit is 30% smaller. The flash unit has also been reduced by around 30%, while the shutter unit has had a reduction of 80%. Overall, the body size is 40% smaller than the GX7 with which it shares a sensor.

Panasonic Lumix GM1
The kit lens is tiny too

Keen to keep the overall system size down, Panasonic is also launching a new standard kit lens with a focal length of 12-32mm (24-64mm equivalent) which is also ultra compact, collapsing down even smaller when not in use. A new 15mm f/1.7 pancake lens has also been launched, while a 35-100mm 'GM' style lens (that is, small) will also be introduced next year.

Other interesting features include 1/16,000 shutter speed and silent shooting, thanks to its electronic shutter. It's also got built in Wi-Fi and HD video recording at 60i. Wi-Fi connectivity allows you to shoot remotely from a smartphone or tablet, as well as send photos across to a device or upload directly to services such as Facebook. Panasonic says that there is no NFC chip, as seen on the GF6 and G6 due to size restrictions.

The camera is capable of shooting in raw format and gives the user full manual control. There are also a number of automatic and scene modes, along with plenty of digital filters. Despite its incredibly small size, there is an inbuilt flash included.

The camera has a classic design, with a metal chassis. On the back of the camera is a three-inch, one-million-dot touchscreen, which is fixed. As you might expect, there is no viewfinder, and there is also no hotshoe or accessories port through which you could attach an external one. If you're looking for a camera which is relatively small but has the option to expand via accessories, the Panasonic GF6 would be a more appropriate option.

Panasonic Lumix GM1
The styling is pleasingly retro

Panasonic says that it will be marketing the GM1 primarily as a compact camera, rather than an interchangeable lens camera, despite its ability to do so. It is smaller, even including the standard kit lens, than the Sony RX100 II, the current best seller in the premium compact camera market – it is this type of customer the company is targeting.

Aside from the Sony RX100 II, other compact system cameras that the GM1 is going up against are the Olympus PEN Mini E-PM2, Sony NEX-3N and Panasonic's own GF6. All of which are significantly larger than the GM1.

Tech Specs

Product TypeMirrorless Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
TouchscreenYes
Effective Camera Resolution16 Megapixel
GPSNo
USBYes
PictBridgeYes
Product FamilyLumix G
Image StabilizationOptical
ColourBlack
Optical Zoom2.7x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NamePanasonic
FeaturesContinuous Shooting Mode, Live View, Face Detection
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsAVCHD, MP4
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)173 g
Minimum Focus Distance200 mm
Maximum Image Resolution4592 x 3448
Maximum Frame Rate60 fps
Number of Batteries Supported1
Battery Built-inNo
Battery RechargeableYes
Battery IncludedYes
Display Screen TypeLCD
Image Sensor TypeLive MOS
Total Camera Resolution16.8 Megapixel
HDMIYes
Camera AssemblyBody with Lens Kit
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC UHS-I), Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC UHS-I)
Height54.9 mm
Width98.5 mm
Depth30.4 mm
Autofocus Points23
Product SeriesG
Focal Length12 mm to 32 mm (Lens 1)
Image FormatsRAW, JPEG, MPO
Audio FormatsAAC
Flash ModesAuto Flash, Flash OFF, Flash ON, Slow Sync, Rear Curtain Sync, Front Curtain Sync, Red-eye Reduction
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerPanasonic
Product ModelDMC-GM1
Product NameLumix Digital Single Lens Mirrorless Camera DMC-GM1
Product LineLumix
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberDMC-GM1KEB-K
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.panasonic.co.uk
Marketing InformationThe art of the new Lumix GM1

With a sophisticated design that stimulates your creativity. The moment you pick it up, life becomes art

Battery Life230 Shot
Package Contents
  • Lumix DMC-GM1 Mirrorless Camera
  • Lumix G Vario 12-32mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S Lens
  • Battery Pack
  • Battery Charger
  • USB Connection Cable
  • Shoulder Strap
  • Software CD-ROM
  • AC Cable
Display Resolution1036000 Pixel
Limited Warranty1 Year
Built-in DevicesSpeaker, Microphone