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Panasonic GM1 review - another pocket cinema camera


Andrew Reid
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The GM1 is a mini GH3 with some rather interesting new technology under the hood (a sensor that does a full pixel 4.5K readout in silent shutter mode) for just $749 (with 12-32mm lens) - but could the unthinkable be true and it actually shoots better video than the GH3?

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Panasonic do it again - another superb camera - Im sticking with them .....

I will be retiring my GF3 crash cams and replacing them with this.

these small cameras are superb for mounting on cars , especially dash boards in the corners facing the driver

where you cant get a big camera , also wing mirrors and front bumpers!

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Guest c2dd7b52878779b55f43cc8c269267c1

Thanks man, nice review. Any chance of a few more photos of the GM1 with different lenses on it please (speed booster with a small prime would be great)? Oh and I'd love to see a z-finder on it LOL

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Interesting. Thanks Andrew! I already ordered a D5300 that I can return for 45 days, but I'm thinking I may keep it and add a small/stealth GM1 or G6. Considering the G6 does 60P and is $250 cheaper... do you think the image quality of the GM1 makes up for the extra cost and features it lacks from the G6?

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I've been expecting a review for the GX7 from the video stand point for a while but since the insides are basically the same - except for some different tuning in the JPEG engines - can we expect the GX7 video to be at least as good - but with more options?

 

It's weird. When Panasonic came out with the GH3 I was disappointed at the fact that it didn't have inside a new multi-aspect Panasonic sensor. As the one inside was the Sony one and it didn't even had multi-aspect, I concluded that for some reason, Panasonic couldn't get their sensor ready in time and neither they had time to ask a custom one from Sony. And this is probably the chip that should had been inside the GH3.

 

When Blunty did a GH3 and GX7 side by side test, the rolling shutter on the GX7 looked better and so did the high ISO, which made me start to pay more attention to the GX7. And it's funny but a girl from my College also noticed the same thing, as we sat to chat the other day, we were both putting the GX7 as a possible future camera. The GX7 is a good all-arounder in several aspects, it's smaller than the GH3 but still seems to have a decent grip, take nice pics and make nice videos, I like the noise better than the one from Sony, in B&W the noise's "grain" looks even better.

 

My biggest wish is to be able to use the IBIS in video, or better, if its successor actually feats a better IS. There are some tests that states that the GX7's IBIS is better than the 5-axis in some situations but I would really like to see what happens in video. If I shoot video, I won't have the whole rig and having any longer focal length to do handheld, the video won't look good, it will be very wobbly. This would make me use only Panasonic's optics in handheld situations, no legacy lenses with adapter and no Oly's lenses as well.

 

I really liked the fact that Panasonic didn't hold back so much as they would usually do, I know it's not a cheap camera but Panasonic would normally use the G6 sensor or something like that instead of their brand new one.

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What does the silent mode do exactly? Continuously take RAW/JPEG photos for a limited time?

 

Silent mode let you take pics with Electronic shutter instead of the mechanical one, so it's simply silent. As Panasonic chose to make such a small camera with the GM1, they had to change the shutter mechanism, which is limited to up to 1/500s, when you usually get at least 1/4000s in a normal ILC.

 

Panasonic has been using this since years ago, those 40 or 20 fps that the GH/G cameras can take are done with electronic shutter. Just like mirrorless means getting rid of that mirror chunk and using EVF, electronic shutter is another step towards no mechanical limitation. But for that to be actually effective, it would have to be a CMOS sensor with global shutter. Without that, scenes with movement can present rolling shutter, just like in video. Actually a global shutter sensor would eliminate them both but the tech is still not there.

 

There are very few CMOS with global shutter - like the F55 CineAlta camera from Sony. They are way more expensive and although Sony delivers it with that camera, it's very hard to keep all the progress made in the high ISO and DR. BlackMagic Production Camera will also feat a global shutter, but the camera will have 1 stop less of DR when compared with their other cameras.

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why would anyone buy this camera over a G6 ?

Because it weighs just 7 ounces and will be compatible with the new Mastor Tech Sailfish SF1 Gimbal ($600) instead of spending over $3,000 for a stabilizer for the GH3/G6. Also, because it's light, if you want to carry one with a wide zoom and the other with a tele zoom, it won't break your neck.

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this is seriously impressive and makes me happy to be a Panasonic customer. over the last few years i've talked quite a few friends and family out of buying canon (it seems to be the only brand newbies buy), and into m43, and they've all been extremely happy. I still have my beloved gh2 even after buying two gh3s, but with a better pocket cannon like the gm1, maybe the time to retire the gh2 has finally come.

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No 29min59s recording limit as a con for this camera when you compare it with the BMPCC?

I think that's MAJOR con for all these unhacked photo cameras unless you can at least import a non-EU model

that allows for PAL framerates (world-cam). Most of them are sadly NTSC only and thus don't work well

in countries with a 50Hz power grid.

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