Can the tiny Panasonic GM1 hold its own with the big boys?

by Dave Etchells

posted Monday, November 25, 2013 at 5:53 PM EST


Wow -- we're huge camera geeks here at IR, and few models this year have excited us as much as the soon-to-be-released Panasonic GM1, a truly "micro" Micro Four Thirds camera. Now that it's been put through its paces in the IR lab, we're even more excited.

Can a camera this tiny really deliver the goods when it comes to image quality? Check out our image comparison and print quality analysis for the GM1. We compare it to its big brother the (excellent) Panasonic GX7, as well as the Fuji X-M1, Olympus E-PL5, Sony NEX-5T and Sony RX100II. We think you'll be surprised by the results.

The kicker? While the GX7 sells for just shy of $1,000, the GM1 goes for just $750!

Of course, building a camera this tiny required a few trade-offs, but they're not as severe as you might think. To accommodate heat dissipation, some sensor- and processor-intensive features had to be dialed back, which means no bulb exposure mode and maximum video resolution of 1080/60i, vs 60p. As you'd expect, the GM1 also uses a smaller battery, and so has less battery life than its big brother. What the heck, though, use some of the savings to buy an extra battery, and you'll still come out way ahead.

Overall, the Panasonic GM1 looks to us like exactly what we were expecting from the Micro Four Thirds platform from the beginning: A very compact interchangeable-lens camera with no-excuses image quality.

Check out our Panasonic GM1 image comparison and print quality analysis here. If that's not enough, you can also use our Comparometer™ to compare sample pictures taken with the Panasonic GM1 side-by-side against any other camera we've ever tested. Stay tuned as our full review of this hot new camera is coming soon! (Meanwhile, if you're looking for a great, super-compact ILC, just go ahead and order one, we feel that strongly about it).

Don't wait! Pre-order from our affiliates Adorama, Amazon or B&H now:
(Your purchases help support everything we do.)

  • Adorama: Panasonic GM1 -- Silver/black with 12-32mm kit lens, US$749
  • Amazon: Panasonic GM1 -- Silver/black with 12-32mm kit lens, US$749
  • B&H: Panasonic GM1 -- Silver/black with 12-32mm kit lens, US$749