PetaPixel

Say Hello to the Panasonic GM1, a Tiny Yet Capable Micro Four Thirds Shooter

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Small interchangeable lens cameras (ILCs) usually come with small sensors and a diminutive spec list. Take the Pentax Q7 for example, its 1/1.7-inch sensor was a big (or rather a small) deterrent for serious photographers who want a small yet capable camera of their own.

Fortunately for those photographers, however, Panasonic has their back with the newly-announced GM1. It’s not, as previously rumored, the world’s smallest ILC, but it isn’t far off, and it does grab the title of smallest Micro Four Thirds (MFT) camera.

And that’s where the GM1 shines despite its size: the spec sheet. Although it’s smaller even than the compact Sony RX100MII, inside you’ll find the same 16-megapixel MFT sensor, metering and autofocus systems found in the capable GX7.

There’s also a Venus Engine, high ISO up to 25,600, a 3-inch 1.03M-dot touchscreen LCD, focus peaking, WiFi, a pop-up flash and time-lapse and stop motion modes. And all of this is built into a die-cast aluminum and magnesium body that sports the kind of retro styling that is both common and popular these days.

Take a look:

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pgm1_3

pgm1_4

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Of course the camera’s size doesn’t come without pitfalls. There’s no hot shoe, so you’re out of luck if you want to add a better flash or an EVF. There’s also no NFC chip built-in because the chipset didn’t fit, and the small body can’t handle 1080/60p (maxes out at 60i) because of heat issues.

Also, although rumors that Panasonic did away with the mechanical shutter altogether weren’t true, the shrunken mechanism only goes up to 1/500s before the electronic shutter takes over, maxing out at 1/16000s. We’ll have to wait to get our hands on it to see if the electronic shutter causes any problems IRL, but some sources believe it will.

Panasonic also took this opportunity to announce a tiny new MFT lens that will go well with the GX7. Pictured above attached to the GM1, the new 12-32mm (24-64mm equivalent) f/3.5-5.6 kit lens is a low profile zoom that collapses down to pancake lens size when not in use, and offers manual control over zoom, but not focus.

No US release date has yet been specified (November 8th in the UK), but you can already pre-order the GM1 from B&H Photo for $750 in a kit with the aforementioned lens. If you want to pick up the lens on its own, that will cost you $350.


 
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  • Aaron Link

    Pretty, but for me there’s not joy if there’s no EVF, ability to add one, or even a rangefinder-style viewfinder. Obviously, there’s a lot more to learn about this camera’s capabilities, but I think stripping out certain functions like video (actually due to design limitations) help to define this camera’s niche.

  • Blackjack

    All the disadvantages of a compact and a DSLR into one camera? Sweet, I’ll have three.
    ILCs are still too cumbersome to carry around easily, and too small to hold decently with one hand.

    Pass.

    Canon has things right with the G series. Optcial viewfinder, flash hotshoe, fast lens and a size that fits into practically any tiny camera bag.

    ILC’s and 4:3 cameras are gimmicky and a waste of money. If you want the hassle of interchangeable lenses, just get a DSLR: not that much bigger, and at least you can easily wield it with one hand and have true control over your photography.

  • greenarcher02

    I cannot for the life of me wield a D90 on one hand as I do on my GX1. I can’t imagine what it would be like with those full frame ones. I’m not sure where you’re coming from. They’re easier to hold in one hand because of their small size. And what kind of photographer worries if he can hold a camera on one hand or not? The shutter is still on the right side you know.
    Not that much bigger? My lenses can basically fit INSIDE Nikon/Canon lenses. That’s a huge jump in diameter. The same can be said of the GX1. It’s the tiniest it can get without getting uncomfortable. You’ve obviously never used a MILC. The whole kit of lenses you could bring are that MUCH smaller than comparable kits on DSLR’s.

    And it has as much control as any DSLR I’ve used. And the GH2 even has more video controls than most DSLR’s at the same price, at least with my short use of it and the D7100.
    This one should be used as a P&S, with interchangeable lenses. It’s even marketed like a P&S. It’s not for you. Stop whining about something that’s obviously not marketed for you. You’re not the only “kind” of photographer. If you even are.
    Old-fashioned people who can’t accept, fathom, and appreciate strides in technology are not “real” photographers. They’re just snobs who will die with their outdated ways. The fact that these kinds of cameras are still selling and are still alive speaks volumes if they’re really a gimmick or not. If you can’t even think of that for one second, you’re hopeless.

  • greenarcher02

    They’re marketing it like a P&S with an interchangeable lens. That’s pretty smart I guess. If they’re successful they’ll cannibalize their whole LX market and make most of them move to m43, which is what they want.

  • Steve

    I don’t like the optical viewfinder on the Canon G series. I also struggle putting different lenses on them :) This Panasonic could be a winner but I’ll wait a year for a big discount. I’m happy using the Sony RX100 until then.

  • anon

    nice joke, i laughed so hard

  • Chris Malmberg

    Why wouldn’t you have true control over your photography if you’re using a 4/3 camera? Not that I think this particular camera is the greatest thing ever (lack of hot shoe, etc.), but there are really good cameras out there that aren’t DSLRs. Not to mention many of these M43 camera bodies have fantastic lenses (Olympus in particular) available. Also, not everyone can fork out $2500 for a camera. I have an E-M5 and I love it. I’ll be sticking with it for some time.

    Also, you say ILCs are “too cumbersome to carry around easily.” I think the exact same thing could be said for any DSLR. They are, on average, larger and heavier.

  • Jon Woodbury

    Too bad on the lack of a hot shoe. The real advantage of electronic shutters is the ability to sync and 1/1000 sec and faster. No additional flash makes that moot.

  • The_Box

    The same comments that came up when Panasonic brought out the GF series are going to come up here. No hot shoe.

    It doesn’t matter.

    Why? Let’s look into that. When you want to carry a high quality compact rig, the choices with hot shoe are few. And even when they have one, your compact kit is no more if you lug a flash about. Yes they’re are compact flashes like what Olympus makes for the PEN series but you just as well get a fast lens and be done with it. If you really need an elaborate flash set up, again, you’re no longer compact.

    It would be nice to have a built in wireless flash trigger but I think the cost would not be justified given the true target market. None of this stops anyone from using a good double flash sensitive slave flash.

    What about an EVF? Well, the greatest thing about the Panasonics are the touch screen. Touch to focus has migrated from smartphone to M43 to DSLRs.

  • http://pandd.heliohost.org/home Tomas Donovic

    Not really, why cant you trigger it with the onboard flash? Sync is only a 50th though

  • Jacqui Dee

    While the new OM-1 was getting quite big in size it looks like things are shrinking at the far end of the MFT spectrum!

  • Darkest Night

    ^These commenters totally missed the point.

    If you want a small camera, an ILC is NOT small.

    if you want a camera with interchangeable lenses, it makes a lot more sense to just have a DSLR, or at LEAST get an ILC with a viewfinder. Oh but wait, and ILC with a viewfinder is pretty much as expensive (or more so) than a DSLR. Whoops!

    ILCs and Micro 4/3 are like using 4-wheeler motorcycles in the city. All the disadvantages of a motorcycle (you get rained on and can easily fall off) and of a car (you get stuck in traffic like everybody else).

    ILC’s: not small like a compact and not as good as DSLRs.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/zackhuggins/ Zack

    What about if you don’t want a small camera, but rather a small-ER camera?

    I carry a camera and a handful of lenses with me everywhere, and I have for the past decade. A DSLR with a handful of primes in a bag, after a day of walking around, starts hurting my back. I’m not as young as I used to be.

    Carrying around an equivalent set of primes and a Mirco 4/3 body around all day by comparison is much nicer for my spine and general disposition. ;) It’s less about the size of the camera body and more about the size & weight of the system in general.

    I don’t think this camera is aimed at people who would otherwise be carrying around a DSLR and bag o’ lenses. This is more the set that would be carrying around a compact like an RX100.

    This camera isn’t for me either, but I’m glad the choice is out there.

  • Peter

    If you are having a problem with a smaller interchangeable lens camera, then perhaps you should pick a different hobby. Notice I said Hobby as I cant imagine you’d ever be a professional with such petty limitations. You’d be swallowed alive in the real world. Now go back to GTA V.