Improve the Panasonic GM1’s handling with a third-party grip


posted Saturday, December 28, 2013 at 4:16 PM EDT


Did you score a new Panasonic GM1 compact system camera this holiday season? If so, congratulations -- we're thoroughly impressed with this tiny little interchangeable-lens powerhouse, and we've a recommendation for a must-have purchase to accompany it.

The GM1's trim size and smooth front deck makes an accessory grip a must-have item, especially for those of us with larger hands who prefer a firmer hold instead of an awkward wrist or shoulder strap. Panasonic makes a grip plate attachment for the GM1, but it has a couple of downsides -- it increases the camera's height and weight noticeably, and covers the tripod mount on its base, not to mention the battery and flash card compartment. And it's not sculpted for maximum comfort, either.

Richard Franiec's accessory grip mounted on the Panasonic GM1.

Custom grip maker Richard Franiec has come to the rescue, announcing a nicely-sculpted, lightweight (0.7 ounce / 20g) grip of his own. And unlike Panasonic's grip, it doesn't block the battery / card compartment or tripod socket.

We've been fans of Richard's grips for a long time now; you can see one of them below attached to a Sony RX100 II, side-by-side with Panasonic's official grip mounted on the GM1. Richard's grip is beautifully made from CNC-machined, bead-blasted and anodized aluminum, and designed to fit the camera body perfectly.

Panasonic's GM1 grip (left) compared to a Richard Franiec grip on the Sony RX100 II (right).

Richard's grips really enhance usability, and do so at a very affordable price -- we're thrilled to have a new one to recommend. Note that we have no business relationship with him, we just like supporting the great work of another small business like our own. So -- when can you pick up your Richard Franiec grip for the Panasonic GM1? It's slated to ship from late January 2014, priced at a reasonable US$35 plus shipping.