Panasonic GM1 Review
Panasonic GM1 Shooter's Reports
Panasonic GM1 Shooter's Report Part I
If you've read any of my other reviews on the Nikon D7100, Canon 70D or Nikon D610, it's pretty obvious that I'm a DSLR guy for the most part. That kind of camera has been my preferred style for a long time. However, I recently experimented with the Canon EOS M -- being a Canon guy and all with a variety of EF lenses -- and just as many others have experienced, shooting with the EOS M is a little frustrating: slow AF, poor battery life, no EVF attachment and limited lens choices (without an adapter). The image quality was nothing to sneer at, but I was still left wanting in some ways.
I've taken on the task of our Panasonic GM1 review, and I can say, boy, this is the camera I wish I had bought instead of the EOS M! I've only recently begun my review process with this camera and have only shot with it for about a week, but I thought this would be a good opportunity to share some of my initial impressions -- both positives and negatives -- as well as a first set of gallery images. So, without further ado, let's hit the positives!
Read the Panasonic GM1 Shooter's Report Part I to see why I liked it so much!
Panasonic GM1 Shooter's Report Part II
The devil's in the details
This next installment of my Panasonic GM1 Shooter's Report won't be as long-winded as the first one, as this section is focused on two specific areas: macro and close-up shooting, as well as my experience with high ISO performance.
Up close and personal. If you go back to the first installment of my shooter's report, you'll see that I was a bit disappointed in the close-up focusing performance of the included 12-32mm kit lens. I would often find myself with an idea for a nicely composed close-up shot only to find that I couldn't focus at that distance using the 12-32mm. Of course, this is exactly why the camera gods made interchangeable-lens cameras, so I wasted no time in trying out some new glass with the GM1.
Read my second shooter's report for more about image detail, macros, and cool glass.
Panasonic GM1 Shooter's Report Part III
Big lenses, reader requests, and final thoughts
One of the big advantages of an interchangeable lens camera is the flexibility offered by those lenses. You can go from an ultra-wide landscape perspective to an up-close telephoto shot of a bird in a matter of minutes. However, as cameras get smaller and smaller, such as with the Panasonic GM1, you run into issues of comfort, balance and sheer portability when you want to use longer (and inherently larger) lenses. However, the fun of an ILC -- the flexibility -- is that you can do it if you want to, or need to.
In this last Shooter's Report installment, I discuss my experience using larger Micro Four Thirds and even some Four Thirds lenses, just for fun. I also wrap up my Panasonic GM1 review with some reader requests and other small details, as well as my final summary. (Note: We'll be finalizing the entire review with test results, pros & cons and conclusions shortly.)
In my final shooter's report, I answer reader requests and offer some parting thoughts.
Panasonic GM1 Shooter's Report Addendum
WiFi, crazy speed, handheld night shots
Wi-Fi. The GM1's Wi-Fi capabilities are quite robust and useful, not to mention fairly straight forward to setup, though it can be a little quirky. Like many other recent Wi-Fi-enabled cameras, the GM1 uses a companion app -- in this case called "Image App" -- on your smart device (iOS and Android only) not only for remote live view, sharing and remote control, but also for GPS location tagging, as the GM1 itself does not have a GPS module built in.
The process for setting this up was fairly straightforward: turn on Wi-Fi mode, which by default is conveniently assigned to the Fn1 button on the top of the camera, and the follow the on-screen instructions. You can connect directly to the GM1's own Wi-Fi network or connect through your home or office wireless network. Like with other cameras I've used and tested, setting up Wi-Fi is a bit of a back and forth process: enable Wi-Fi on the camera, go to smart device and change the Wi-Fi network to the camera's, then hope the camera sees the connection, close Settings and open Image App, then wait for the device to pair. (Note that the GM1 does not support NFC, but neither does my iPhone.) On my first try, everything worked perfectly, but later on, I ran into some inexplicable issue where my iPhone and the GM1 just didn't want to connect. After a couple tries, including a forced quit of the app and power cycle of the camera, the problem was resolved.
Read more about the GM1's WiFi capabilities, crazy speed and Handheld Nite Shot mode.
Note: For details, test results, and analysis of the many tests done with this camera, please click on the tabs at the beginning of the review or below.