Panasonic GM5 Conclusion

Pro: Cons:
  • Great image quality for a tiny camera
  • Improved image quality for long exposures, reduced pattern noise at high ISOs
  • Excellent high ISO performance for its class
  • Improved burst rate with hybrid shutter
  • Built-in EVF
  • Addition of hot-shoe and mountable external flash unit
  • In-camera Panorama mode
  • Able to autofocus in very low light
  • Bundled flash can control remote flashes
  • 1080/60p video added
  • Redesigned rear thumb grip and control layout improves ergonomics and ease of use
  • Small body can be difficult to hold with larger lenses
  • EVF makes camera body slightly bigger than GM1
  • No tilt or swivel function on external flash
  • No built-in flash
  • Bundled flash did not perform to expectations
  • Maximum mechanical second-curtain shutter speed of 1/500s
  • Maximum flash sync is 1/50s
  • Electronic shutter artifacts
  • Shallow buffers with RAW files (7 frames)
  • Dynamic range not quite as good as some competing models
  • Below average battery life
The Panasonic GM5 shares many similarities with the GM1.
See more Pros & Cons in our Panasonic GM1 Review Conclusion.

The Panasonic GM1 was, and still is, a stunning camera, and the follow-up to it, the Panasonic GM5, takes what was great about the GM1 and adds to it and improves it immensely. While still keeping an extremely slim, lightweight and compact design -- that's practically pocketable even with the 12-32mm kit lens -- the GM5 manages to includes a fully-functional, albeit small, electronic viewfinder. Creative lighting options are expanded by the addition of a hot-shoe and external flash support. And the ergonomics and customization are subtly yet noticeably improved with additional function buttons, a larger and raised thumb rest, and a true rear thumb control dial.

The image quality remains unchanged and impressive for what really is a full-fledged Micro Four Thirds camera and not a tiny pocketable point-and-shoot with a significantly smaller sensor. Performance is still excellent with very fast autofocus, convenient touch-to-focus with the rear LCD (which I love), and burst shooting is a tad faster. While I wish RAW buffer capacity were improved, it's still not all that bad for this class of camera and for its intended use-cases (i.e. it's not meant to be a sports and wildlife camera).

All in all, the Panasonic GM5 is an excellent camera -- a great step up from a pocketable compact, the ideal travel camera with the creative flexibility of interchangeable lenses or the perfect secondary camera for any Micro Four Thirds photographer.

Overall, Panasonic squeezed so much good stuff into the trim and slim GM1 yet managed to thoroughly improve this compact ILC with the GM5, that this is an easy addition to our Dave's Pick list.

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