Panasonic Lumix GM1 review
- Small dimensions
- Excellent quality LCD
- Sharp images
- Tenny backplate buttons
- No eye-level viewfinder
Mirror-less Compact System Cameras - of which Panasonic launched the very first, back in September 2008 - were always supposed to be about good things coming in small packages. Translation: near pro-quality pictures yet no backache from carrying the kit. Despite this it's fair to say many attempts have been only fractionally smaller than digital SLRs.
Such a criticism could not be levelled at the new Panasonic GM1, which puts the micro in Panasonic and Olympus' co-developed Micro Four Thirds camera system.
This 16-megapixel travel-sized companion, offering up a larger than average 17.3x13mm sensor, sports dimensions akin to a playing card, while being a thumb's width in depth. Of its ilk, it is truly tiny; and you really need to hold the GM1 in your own hand to appreciate that fact.
Part of Panasonic's strategy here is to stem a slide in sales of compact system cameras, as adoption of the CSC format appears to have peaked. The sleek little GM1, therefore, comes either with a gorgeously retro, tan coloured leather-effect frontage - a Dixons Travel exclusive at the time of writing - or in regulation-issue black as we have here.
Its closest interchangeable lens rivals in terms of looks are Pentax Q, Q10 and Q7, the Fujifilm X-M1 and X-Pro1 and new X-A1, the latter also providing an articulated rear screen (the GM1 doesn't).
The Panasonic's body does, however, manage that trick of being lightweight yet sturdy, thanks to comprising an aluminium frame and DSLR-like magnesium alloy finish.
The GM1 certainly has a premium feel to it. Given this, it's less of a shock that it costs a manufacturer's £629.99 bundled with a specially designed 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 kit zoom (in order to be as compact as possible).
This lens provides a 35mm film equivalent focal range of a wide-angle 24-64mm, so useful for landscapes and portraits, and we have to say street photography in general, even if it won't drag the faraway that much closer.
Weighing 203g - so not much different to a fixed-lens point and shoot - body-only dimensions are an official 98.5x54.9x23.5mm. In terms of connectivity Wi-fi is included here, but unlike Panasonic Lumix G releases just prior to this model, we weirdly don't get NFC.
Nevertheless can this small wonder deliver a big performance worthy of its premium-end price tag? Read on to find out...