Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 review

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Video recording is possible in AVCHD or MP4 file format. You can select 1920 x 1080, 1280 x 720 and 640 x 480 resolutions, but only 1280 x 720 will give you 50p (60p for NTSC) frame rate.  3.5mm microphone input is not present so you will need to rely on built-in stereo microphone.

GM1 has an option to record time-lapse videos as well as stop motion animation. Videos can be produced in-camera without the need for editing software on PC.

Movie quality is excellent what is expected from Panasonic. Videos are very clean and sharp without compression artifacts and visibly better than the ones from Olympus who shares the micro 4/3 lens mount.

Night recording samples:

Stop motion sample:


I could rank cameras I tested in three major categories: those who disappointed me (would not buy them or recommend them), those that are good but simply do not feel right for me or my style of photography, and those I would use myself. I’m glad to say Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 belongs to the last category; among the cameras I would rather not return after review.

It has some shortcoming but as a whole I found it to be very portable device stuffed with usable features and great image quality. Even with the kit lens this is a very capable camera good enough to be the only camera you have in your system. It is astonishing we have cameras of this quality today in a body not bigger what used to be cheap compact cameras 5-6 years ago.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 is best used when you want to travel light and have the camera at any time with you. Landscape, street or general walk around and travel photography is where this camera gives its best. Kit lens is more than good enough and most users will not need to upgrade it; those that do will want to try some of Panasonic and Olympus primes which will keep the overall small camera size. Those of you interested in portraiture or pets might want to try using this camera with an excellent Olympus 45mm F/1.8 lens: it will outdo any compact on the market including advanced cameras like Sony RX100M2. There are other similarly small mirrorless cameras (Olympus PEN Mini or Sony NEX) but I tried them all and think none of them feels and works as fluid and elegant as Panasonic GM1.


  • Image quality
  • LCD viewing quality with touch-control
  • Built-in flash with bounce option
  • Really small size makes it extremely portable
  • Dead silent operation
  • Full electronic shutter with 1/16000 shutter speed
  • Video quality
  • Time lapse and stop-motion videos
  • Collapsible kit lens of surprising mechanical and optical quality
  • AF point size selection
  • Built-in Wi-Fi


  • No 60p video
  • Small buttons with short travel
  • Too small for users with bigger hands and fingers
  • Battery life


All from RAW, converted to taste in ACR 8.4

ISO 200, 1/400, F/5

ISO 200, 1/160, F/3.5

ISO 200, 1/800, F/8

ISO 200, 1/800, F/8

ISO 200, 1/800, F/7.1

ISO 200, 1/640, F/6.3

ISO 200, 1/320, F/8

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4 thoughts on “Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 review

  1. Pingback: Christmas 2015 digital camera shopping guide |

  2. Wow, thanks for the fast answer, I appreciate that!

    Okay I think that the GM1 will be my choice. I’ve seen that you also reviewed those lenses you speak of so I’ll consider the 15mm 1.7 and the 45mm 1.8 as additional extras for low light situations.

    Of course they push the price up high but as you will surely agree, when buying a camera with an interchangeable lens system, it would be a shame not to use it… ;-)

    Thanks and regards,

  3. Hello Ivan,

    i’ve stumbled upon your review of the GM1 on youtube and wanted to check your website aswell to read the full review. Really nice website actually! :-)

    I’m seriously thinking about getting myself a GM1 but I am not sure whether (or how much) it outpasses the Sony RX100M2 (that would be my second option) in terms of low light shooting.

    I’m mostly interested in taking pictures during evening hours or even at night. What I’ve read so far is that generally the bigger the sensor, the better low light images and less noise you can expect from the camera. Would you confirm that?

    I also thought about getting a APS-C camera like the Fuji X-M1 but I really love the compact size of the GM1 (I have quite small hands haha) and that’s why it currently stands on top of my rankings.

    Thanks for any support and cheers,

    • With the kit lens on GM1 (slow aperture F/3.5-5.6) you have no business shooting in the dark. RX100M2 has F/1.8-4.9 – quite good at the wide end, but slow again on the tele so pretty much forget about portraits or using zoom at all in low light. Now, if you get yourself a proper prime lens for GM1 like 15/1.7, 20/1.7 (walkaround use) or olympus 45/1.8 (for portraits or more subject isolation) GM1 is way above what RX100M2 can deliver both in low light shooting and subject separation (shallow DOF). And it still has bigger sensor (yes, bigger sensor really is better in low light).

      It’s not only low light capability you need to think about, it’s also low light auto focus and in this regard GM1 is once again better in my opionion, it has really snappy auto focus. Also it has touch screen so you can easily change AF point anywhere in the frame just by touching it (RX100M2 needs to be changed by multiple presses on the buttons) so this is one more thing to be considered.

      Alltogether, I would go for GM1 with 15mm 1.7 and olympus 45/1.8 lenses. Yes, it is more expensive with these two lenses but photography is not a cheap hobby. :)

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