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Panasonic GM1 review - another pocket cinema camera


Andrew Reid
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I've been using the GM1 for around a week or so now, and it's a capable little camera. I haven't done a side by side test yet, but at 24p video looks every bit as good as GH3. I have sharpness turned down less than GH3 and Contrast turned down more to match the two cameras (at the moment, I'm shooting -3 sharpness, -4 contrast). I also use the Kelvin temp. Adjustment as often or more than the WB with grey card. The capacitive touch screen is excellent and I don't have the problems determining exposure I experienced with the GH3 LCD... I set the Fn1 button for ISO. I did a test comparing the kit lens to the G Vario 12-35 f/2.8, and while the kit lens is acceptable, the bulkier f/2.8 yields much more fine detail. I may use the kit lens after I've purchased the Sailfish gimbal just to keep weight down. Downside of the camera - ergonomics. Difficult to keep steady with arms outstretched. External finder would help, but you lose the stealth factor.

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I've been using the GM1 for around a week or so now, and it's a capable little camera. I haven't done a side by side test yet, but at 24p video looks every bit as good as GH3. I have sharpness turned down less than GH3 and Contrast turned down more to match the two cameras (at the moment, I'm shooting -3 sharpness, -4 contrast). I also use the Kelvin temp. Adjustment as often or more than the WB with grey card. The capacitive touch screen is excellent and I don't have the problems determining exposure I experienced with the GH3 LCD... I set the Fn1 button for ISO. I did a test comparing the kit lens to the G Vario 12-35 f/2.8, and while the kit lens is acceptable, the bulkier f/2.8 yields much more fine detail. I may use the kit lens after I've purchased the Sailfish gimbal just to keep weight down. Down side of the camera - ergonomics. Difficult to keep steady with arms outstretched. External finder would help, but you lose the stealth factor.

How do manage do use focusing with Sailfish gimbal? And does it really matters which lens to mount using this gimbal, because obviously because of weight difference?

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Hi
I've read that G6 is the best camera when we are talking about aliasing, overall video quality etc comparing to NEX series and under 800$.
I've bought G6 today for filming, mostly during a day. I can still change my G6 to GM1.
I've read Pascal G. question... and I've got simple and fast question.
When we think about a newer sensor... should I change G6 to GM1 or stay with G6?

I've though today that maybe there is a little chance that there will be a firmware upgrade to GM1 and 4K recording possibility...


 

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@Parka @Alex I prefer the 12-35 f/2.8 to the kit lens, but Panny's pro zoom will put the camera/lens combo over Mastor Tech's recommended capacity, so I'm pretty sure I'll be using the tiny kit lens or a wide pancake with the Sailfish gimbal when it becomes available. I will have to rely on auto focus for those shots, but there is always touch focus (tap monitor) if things get out of wack.

Form factor - to be honest, the ergonomics are not ideal for shooting video (camcorders are!), and if you're going to use longer focal length lenses, some sort of stabilization is highly recommended. When Panasonic releases their smaller 35-100mm lens for the GM1, that may change.

@M100 You are living in fantasy land ;)

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maybe there is a little chance that there will be a firmware upgrade to GM1 and 4K recording possibility...

 

I'd be interested in a hack (or OEM firmware update) that would allow something as simple as 5 second bursts, if possible, @4k/60fps.  That would be cool.  Heck, even allowing regular 1080/60p limited-time-recording would be swell.  You never know.  Doesn't seem like an impossibility.

 

I'd like to be able to fly the Gm1 on a helicopter when/if needed and 60p would be a nice option for that.

 

Anyway, I bought a GM1 and GX7 for a hiking documentary and I'll be trying some test shots over the next week or so.

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Sensor itself doesn't seem to have as much dynamic range or low light ability as the gh3. per dxomark

 

As mentioned in the EOSHD article, this is a new OEM sensor from Panasonic.  The GH3 is not a Panasonic sensor so IQ discrepancies are expected.

 

But, dang, I'm not getting hung up on pixel peeking charts and tests and voodoo with these things.  To my eye so far they look awesome and they're packed into a nondescript lightweight body.  That's what I need for what I'm trying to accomplish.  Is the image the best on the market?  No, but that's not important to me.  I doubt Picasso's painting creativity would be diminished if his brush had 50 more bristles in it than another one.

 

Sooner or later you actually have to do stuff with these things.  The tools we have in '14 are nuts compared to where things were just a few years ago.

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How does the small form factor affect handheld video shooting?

 

A lot.  My 5D rig has heft and a nice balance against my head/eyesocket when using the Z-Finder.  I can shoot pretty stable and comfortably with that set-up.

 

However, I'm finding a few new tricks to accomplish stable handheld with the GM1.  A taunt neck strap is a simple effective technique.  Breathing control also helps.  Aside from that, shooting on a monopod is a viable option.

 

Anyway, it depends on the project.  Since I do most things from sticks I'm not handheld too often, but handheld does work for certain cinematic film making visuals.

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As mentioned in the EOSHD article, this is a new OEM sensor from Panasonic.  The GH3 is not a Panasonic sensor so IQ discrepancies are expected.

 

But, dang, I'm not getting hung up on pixel peeking charts and tests and voodoo with these things.  To my eye so far they look awesome and they're packed into a nondescript lightweight body.  That's what I need for what I'm trying to accomplish.  Is the image the best on the market?  No, but that's not important to me.  I doubt Picasso's painting creativity would be diminished if his brush had 50 more bristles in it than another one.

 

Sooner or later you actually have to do stuff with these things.  The tools we have in '14 are nuts compared to where things were just a few years ago.

 

Sure. Like I stated, the DXOmark analysis doesn't take into consideration video compression, so who knows what we actually end up with. Thought it was noteworthy because it would appear the sensor itself wouldn't seem to be any better if the DXOmark analysis is correct:

 

http://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Compare/Side-by-side/Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-GM1-versus-Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-GX7-versus-Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-GH3___920_901_842

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Thought it was noteworthy because it would appear the sensor itself wouldn't seem to be any better if the DXOmark analysis is correct:

 

Still a great sensor to plug into that body.  Overall, close enough for horseshoes and hand grenades if you ask me.  The GM1 shoots very comparable to the GH3...and have you seen how small it is!?

 

Anyway, it's gotten to the point where the technology is pretty dang democratized.  If you got a visual story to tell, plenty of tools out there to do it that are willing to help and don't cost much at all.

 

(and affordable 4K is on the near horizon)

 

Sergio Leone managed to make a lot more with a lot less.  Time to go make something!

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Still a great sensor to plug into that body.  Overall, close enough for horseshoes and hand grenades if you ask me.  The GM1 shoots very comparable to the GH3...and have you seen how small it is!?

 

Anyway, it's gotten to the point where the technology is pretty dang democratized.  If you got a visual story to tell, plenty of tools out there to do it that are willing to help and don't cost much at all.

 

(and affordable 4K is on the near horizon)

 

Sergio Leone managed to make a lot more with a lot less.  Time to go make something!

No doubt. I'm going through some of my old canon t3i raw files right now and am still impressed how much I can get out of them if I'm smart. (and that sensor is pretty much in line with these)

Reading these forums always leads me to analysis paralysis. If I had to grab something now I'd just get a gh3 and be done with it as it's the best tool for the job right now for me and produces really good looking video. (of course I have a few months to wait and see if anything really cool happens or is released, so, more analysis paralysis)

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  • 1 month later...

As I already owned the GH3, one of my justifications for purchasing the GM1 was to be able to fly it with the Mastor Tech SF1 Gimbal, a cheaper alternative to say, the $2,600 Defy G2 with the GH3. But I just learned that there have been some changes: it looks like Stephen Tsang has started a new company and is Kickstarting gimbals under the Gazer name. The products look similar, but the prices are now higher, and the Gazer SP1 looks like it's built of cheap plastic. I was ready to go ahead and bite the bullet and write a check to Defy, but I think these gimbals still take a lot of practice and skill to get steady shots, and I'm afraid I'll be sorely disappointed. Any ideas about other small affordable 2-axis gimbals to fly the GM1?

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I had the opportunity to test the camera GM1. And I must say I was blown away. The test was done on the street with weak illumination at night and with the kit lens ... At 3200ISO setting with color profile portrait and all settings set at the -5, the result is stunning. The noise is very low in the sky and the walls very light film grain of the typical 35mm film cameras. You can see even shadows of trees in the diffused light from the sky in the distance. Given that the test was done with the kit lens. Imagine what it could do this little gem by mounting the faster lenses. The result with the new 15mm summilux (adapted to GM1 in diameter) could be literally stunning.

Any chance you can share a sample shot at that ISO with those settings?

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I think these gimbals still take a lot of practice and skill to get steady shots, and I'm afraid I'll be sorely disappointed.

 

 

In my experience, 3-axis gimbals work fine enough straight away once it's all balanced and dialed in.  You can get better with 'em as you go, but they're easily useable even for a neophyte.

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Hi

I have done some filming and the cam gives stunning pictures. But as soon as there are fine lines in the picture...it gives really terrible Moiré and Aliasing in all Video Modes. 

I have read that it is worse than GH2 but... I did a very unsientific comparison with the BMPCC (mnaual glas on GM1, same glass + SB on Pocket), then the BMPCC does actually a LOT better than the GM1! I can almost spot moiré pattern on the peaking display and I hope that there is something wrong with my cam.

Seeing Oil colors on far away fences is no fun.

Did anyone experience the same?

Anyone with a suggestion what to test or to try?

Sharpness & iDynamic is allredy tested.

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Hi

I have done some filming and the cam gives stunning pictures. But as soon as there are fine lines in the picture...it gives really terrible Moiré and Aliasing in all Video Modes. 

I have read that it is worse than GH2 but... I did a very unsientific comparison with the BMPCC (mnaual glas on GM1, same glass + SB on Pocket), then the BMPCC does actually a LOT better than the GM1! I can almost spot moiré pattern on the peaking display and I hope that there is something wrong with my cam.

Seeing Oil colors on far away fences is no fun.

Did anyone experience the same?

Anyone with a suggestion what to test or to try?

Sharpness & iDynamic is allredy tested.

In a video I posted in the GH3 Best Video Settings thread over at POV (apologies, Andrew!), the first couple shots were actually taken with the GM1. In-camera sharpening was set higher than it should have been, and I had to add blur in post. Even so, you can see what appears to be ugly aliasing in the woman's hair at the very beginning of the clip. As far as suggestions, I was led to believe that turning in-camera sharpening way down lessens moire and aliasing, but when I tried doing that with my GH3, I didn't see any better results, so I wouldn't expect it to have any affect on the GM1 either. And because my hands aren't steady, it makes the problem even worse, especially with things like patterns in clothing, which I can see shimmering with every movement of the camera. 

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In a video I posted in the GH3 Best Video Settings thread, the first couple shots were actually taken with the GM1. In-camera sharpening was set higher than it should have been, and I had to add blur in post. Even so, you can see what appears to be ugly aliasing in the woman's hair at the very beginning of the clip. As far as suggestions, I was led to believe that turning in-camera sharpening way down lessens moire and aliasing, but when I tried doing that with my GH3, I didn't see any better results, so I wouldn't expect it to have any affect on the GM1 either. And because my hands aren't steady, it makes the problem even worse, especially with things like patterns in clothing, which I can see shimmering with every movement of the camera. 

Thanks for pointing me to the Thread. I will do a reset to factory defaults. Then I will check some settings according to the PV thread. But as far as I could see the day before yesterday, sharpness setting is almost pointless regarding moiré/aliasing on GM1. The thing what helped was putting an uncleaned lens from around WWII. Aquivalent to sharpness -256 ;)

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