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Panasonic GM1

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Panasonic GM1 Performance


Timing and Performance

Generally good to excellent speed for a Compact System Camera.

Startup/Play to Record/Buffer Clearing

Power on
to first shot

~0.9 second

Time it takes to turn on and capture a shot.

Play to Record,
first shot

~0.7 second

Time until first shot is captured.

Buffer clearing time
3 seconds after
10 Large/Fine JPEGs*
Worst case buffer clearing time. -- This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card.
4 seconds after
7 RAW files*
7 seconds after
7 RAW+ L/F JPEG files*
10 seconds after
39 4MP JPEGs*
*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/sec UHS-I SDHC card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Startup time was faster-than-average and switching from Play to Record and taking a shot was pretty quick. Buffer clearing times were good with a fast UHS-I card.


Shutter Response (Lag Time)
Full Autofocus,
Single-area AF mode
0.187 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting. (All AF timing done with the bundled Panasonic 12-32mm kit lens.)
Full Autofocus,
Multi-area AF mode
0.212 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting.
Full Autofocus,
Single-area AF mode,
Flash enabled
0.342 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting, auto flash enabled.
Manual Focus
0.101 second
For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused".

Prefocused

0.087 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

The Panasonic GM1's autofocus was very fast in our tests, especially for a camera that uses contrast detection only. The GM1 produced full-autofocus shutter lag (with the subject at a fixed distance) of 0.187 second using 1-area (center) AF with the 12-32mm kit lens. That's faster than most CSCs, and faster than consumer DSLRs as well. 23-area AF was very slightly slower at 0.212 second, but that's still fast. Enabling the flash increased lag to 0.342 second, but that's still pretty fast. When manually focused, the GM1's lag time dropped to 0.101 second. The GM1's prefocused shutter lag time of 0.087 second which while quick, was a bit slower than average.

To minimize the effect of different lens' focusing speed, we test AF-active shutter lag with the lens already set to the correct focal distance.


Cycle Time (shot to shot)
Single Shot mode
Large/Fine JPEG
0.49 second
Time per shot, with no apparent limit.
Single Shot mode
RAW
0.50 second
Time per shot, with no apparent limit.
Single Shot mode
RAW + L/F JPEG
0.56 second
Time per shot, for 3 frames.
Early shutter
penalty?
No
Some cameras don't snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.
Continuous H
Large Fine JPEG
0.22 second (4.5 frames per second);
20+ frames total;
2 seconds to clear*
Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots, with no signs of slowing.
Continuous H
Electronic Shutter
Large Fine JPEG
0.10 second 9.89 frames per second);
10 frames total;
3 seconds to clear*
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 10 frames, then slows to an average of 0.23s or 4.29fps with a lot of variation.
Continuous H
RAW
0.25 second (3.95 frames per second);
8 frames total;
4 seconds to clear*
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 8 frames, then slows to an average of 0.52s or 1.92fps.
Continuous H
Electronic Shutter
RAW
0.10 second (10.34 frames per second);
7 frames total;
4 seconds to clear*
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 7 frames, then slows to an average of about 0.61s or 1.65fps with a lot of variation.
Continuous H
RAW + L/F JPEG
0.25 second (3.97 frames per second);
7 frames total;
6 seconds to clear*
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 7 frames, then slows to an average of about 1.06s or 0.94 fps.
Continuous H
Electronic Shutter
RAW + L/F JPEG
0.10 second (10.34 frames per second);
7 frames total;
7 seconds to clear*
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 7 frames, then slows to an average of about 1.14s or 0.88fps with a lot of variation.
Super HS mode
4-megapixel JPEG
0.03 second (40 frames per second);
39 frames total;
10 seconds to clear*
Time per shot, averaged over buffer size of 39 shots.
Flash Recycling
3.2 seconds
Flash at maximum output.
*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/sec UHS-I SDHC card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Single-shot cycle times were very good. We measured 0.49 second for large/fine JPEGs, 0.50 second for RAW files and 0.56 second for RAW+L/F JPEGs.

Continuous High Speed "H" mode was slower-than-average these days, at about 4.5 frames per second for L/F JPEGs, and about 4 fps for RAW or RAW+JPEG files. Please note that Live View is not available during a burst in H mode.

With the all electronic shutter option enabled, though, burst rate increased to 9.9fps for L/F JPEGs, 10.3fps for RAW and 10.3fps for RAW+JPEG files, which is excellent. In Super HS mode, we managed 40 frames-per-second, though resolution is only 4 megapixels in that mode. Using the electronic shutter can lead to distortion in moving subjects and other side-effects, though, so keep that in mind.

Full resolution buffer depths were generous for Large/Fine JPEGs, at over 20 frames, but when shooting RAW files buffer size dropped to 8 frames, and 7 for RAW+L/F JPEGs. Buffer depths dropped with the Electronic Shutter mode's faster burst speeds, to 10 L/F JPEGs, 7 RAWs and 7 RAW+JPEG frames. Buffer depth in Super HS mode was a very generous 39 frames.

Buffer clearing was fairly quick for full-res images, ranging from 2 to 7 seconds depending on the file type and mode, though clearing 39 4MP frames took 10 seconds.

The flash recycled after full discharge in an average of 3.2 seconds, which is fair.


Download Speed

Windows Computer, USB 2.0

12,746 KBytes/sec

Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-769=USB 2.0 Low;
Above 770=USB 2.0 High

Download speeds were reasonably fast, quick enough that you probably won't feel the need for a separate card reader, even with large memory cards. (Note that this test was performed with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/sec UHS-I SDHC card: Slower cards would likely show slower transfer times.)


Bottom line, the Panasonic GM1's performance is pretty good overall for a CSC. Startup is fast, mode switching is fast, and autofocus is fast. Full resolution burst speed with the mechanical second curtain shutter is mediocre, but very fast with full electronic shutter. Buffer depths are decent with JPEGs, though somewhat shallow with RAW files.

Battery Life

Below average battery life for a Compact System Camera.

Operating Mode Battery Life
Still Capture, CIPA standard
(H-FS12032 lens)
230 shots
Still Capture, CIPA standard
(H-H020A lens)
220 shots

The Panasonic GM1 uses a custom rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack for power, and comes with both a single battery and charger. The CIPA-rated 230 shots per charge with the 12-32mm kit lens is well below average for a Compact System Camera (thanks to its small size), and much lower than a typical DSLR when using an optical viewfinder. We strongly recommend getting a second battery for your GM1 if you plan any extended outings.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on a fully-charged rechargeable battery), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))