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Panasonic GM1 review - another pocket cinema camera


Andrew Reid
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I'd say forget about the extra gear and rigs for now, and forget about the 50mm, too. For now. Instead, start with a proper wideangle prime.

In mFT terms, that would be something between 7 and 12mm.

 

 

 

I agree about leaving all the extra junk behind but there is only one MFT wide angle prime lenses in the 7-12mm range which is the Olympus 12mm F/2.
 
AFAIK it's not possible to buy the GM1 without the 12mm-32mm F/3.5-F/5.6 kit lens so while it's not a prime it at least gives the user the option of a 12mm (24mm FF equivalent) view.
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I agree about leaving all the extra junk behind but there is only one MFT wide angle prime lenses in the 7-12mm range which is the Olympus 12mm F/2.

 

 

More are on the way from other manufacturers like Samyang and no doubt soon Panasonic and some others, too. It's also possible to use other mount super wide lenses with adapters.

 

Besides, as long as the GM1 only has (room for) one lens mount, one 12mm lens would be quite enough. So it's a problem only if you make it one.  ;)

 

AFAIK it's not possible to buy the GM1 without the 12mm-32mm F/3.5-F/5.6 kit lens 

 

No offense intended, but less than 15 seconds of research would have been enough to show you that that's not quite the case.

 

At least in Europe, it's possible to buy an officially imported GM1 body only in all the three colours, from a well established online/b&m shop. Same seems to be true for some Asian stores, and no doubt individual sellers here and there are willing to break up the kits if necessary, as they can sell the lenses separately for a decent price. All it takes is to ask, if you don't see a ready made deal.

If your local dealers say no, you can always resort to the Asian imports, or just sell the kit lens on eBay.

 

I've been thinking about buying a GM1 body to be used as a pocketable b-camera for a good while now, as soon as the body only deals came available. But I haven't bought one yet, because the less than desirable ergonomics of the camera. I still might, though, at some point. 

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No offense intended, but less than 15 seconds of research would have been enough to show you that that's not quite the case.

 

At least in Europe, it's possible to buy an officially imported GM1 body only in all the three colours, from a well established online/b&m shop. 

No offence intended but I spent considerably longer than 15 seconds confirming that you cannot buy the GM1 body only in any of the usual stores here in the UK (Wex, Jessops, Amazon, Park Cameras, Calumet CVP etc). It can be found on eBay but presumably that is where the kit lens has been kept or sold separately.

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More are on the way from other manufacturers like Samyang and no doubt soon Panasonic and some others, too. It's also possible to use other mount super wide lenses with adapters.

 

Besides, as long as the GM1 only has (room for) one lens mount, one 12mm lens would be quite enough. So it's a problem only if you make it one.  ;)

 

What 7-12mm prime lenses in any other mount exist? Other than fisheyes. Not FF, not APS-C. Possibly C-mount I suppose. It's always been the case with MFT that there are no super-wide primes like a Canon EF 14mm for FF or indeed anything wider than 12mm i.e. 24mm FF equivalent.

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No offence intended but I spent considerably longer than 15 seconds confirming that you cannot buy the GM1 body only in any of the usual stores here in the UK (Wex, Jessops, Amazon, Park Cameras, Calumet CVP etc). It can be found on eBay but presumably that is where the kit lens has been kept or sold separately.

 

I don't usually like to engage in nit-picking squabbles but you said "AFAIK it's not possible to buy the GM1 without the 12mm-32mm F/3.5-F/5.6 kit lens," which simply is not the case. Your comment mentions nothing about keeping it inside the UK only. 

The notion that you haven't found one in the Old Blighty doesn't mean you cannot find a one elsewhere in the continental Europe, let alone the whole world. 

 

Soon after Andrew's GM1 review here I spent maybe 5 minutes or so researching online to confirm that I can easily get one, in any of the three colours, from Meppen, Germany, for example. That's just one store, and apparently there are other places, too. But since I only need one (if I decide to get one), that one shop (that I know is a reliable one) was enough. If I was in the UK, I might try asking about such special deals, anyway. Some of the local dealers might do it.

 

If not, all you need is an idle three-blade (UK/IE) power chord to replace the two pin (EU) chord that comes with the models shipped from the continental Europe. Which will have full EU warranty, too. Problem solved. Life doesn't have to be harder than it already is.

 

 PS. If you don't happen to find an idle UK/IE power chord around, let me know, I might still have one.  ;)

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What 7-12mm prime lenses in any other mount exist? Other than fisheyes. Not FF, not APS-C. Possibly C-mount I suppose. It's always been the case with MFT that there are no super-wide primes like a Canon EF 14mm for FF or indeed anything wider than 12mm i.e. 24mm FF equivalent.

 

The Voigtländer 12mm Ultra Wide Heliar comes to mind without even 15-second research, and there may be others in the C-mount range and possibly others, too. But none of this really matters, does it. It's all just needless nerdy-nam-nam, and veering off the original topic.

 

What matters is that any wideangle prime, be it the Olympus, Samyang, Panasonic, SLR Magic or even some other mount lens between 7 and 17mm, they're all still wideangles, and as such much easier to shoot with than the suggested 50mm Nikkor. A lens around 12mm or slightly wider would be ideal for moving/gliding footage. More practical as the first lens than some 100mm equivalent telephoto one. 

 

I thought my point was clear enough in the original reply to jonpais. How many different 12mm options there are is beside the point. If one or two is not enough, pick another focal length. Again, no need to make life harder than it already is.

/OT

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What seems to have been ignored in a quest for point scoring is that obscure German suppliers notwithstanding the overwhelming majority of GM-1s worldwide will be sold with the kit lens which conveniently offers 12mm F/3.5 at the wide end.

 

That could change now that the GM1 can be ordered with 15mm f1.7.

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That could change now that the GM1 can be ordered with 15mm f1.7.


Ordered? The new lens only got announced a couple of days ago & the promised ship date is June. The price for the lens alone is $599 while the GM-1 with 12-32mm kit lens is under $700 so unless Panasonic are going to radically discount the GM-1 plus 15mm combo it's going to be quite a lot more expensive than the current kit. Stranger things have been known though as they have had a promotion on the G6 plus 14-140mm at little more than the price of the lens which has led to a lot of G6 bodies being sold on eBay at very cheap prices.
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  • 2 months later...

Can anyone recommend any video mofiles and settings (sharpness, saturation, contrast, NR, etc.) on the GM1 to get the best video  image quality? On my GH2 "Nostalgic" really seemed to be one of hte best, but I'm wondering what people are finding looks best on the GM1?

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I am a bit confused as to how you can decipher a US vs a PAL version of this camera. A lot of the ebay listing prices are great, but I can't tell if one or the other is every PAL or NTSC. I'd like to be able to find a US version for under $650 w/ the black kit lens. (They're on ebay for this much and even as low as $633 shipped) but none label as US or PAL.

 

can someone please PM me a US link if they know how to tell the difference?

 

Thanks 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am a bit confused as to how you can decipher a US vs a PAL version of this camera. A lot of the ebay listing prices are great, but I can't tell if one or the other is every PAL or NTSC. I'd like to be able to find a US version for under $650 w/ the black kit lens. (They're on ebay for this much and even as low as $633 shipped) but none label as US or PAL.

 

can someone please PM me a US link if they know how to tell the difference?

 

Thanks 

You can buy from a number of retailers in the States. One seller at Amazon is offering the GM1 w/kit lens for $645. If you want to know whether it's PAL or NTSC, why not ask the seller?

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Can anyone recommend any video mofiles and settings (sharpness, saturation, contrast, NR, etc.) on the GM1 to get the best video  image quality? On my GH2 "Nostalgic" really seemed to be one of hte best, but I'm wondering what people are finding looks best on the GM1?

The best settings are Natural, -5, -5, -1, 0.                        

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  • 3 weeks later...

i love this camera.  I'm always debating between taking this out or my BMPCC: small, manageable file sizes, good lens support, and tiny body versus raw and whatever BMPCC sensor magic is going on to get such an awesome image.

 

As Andrew has shown, the low-light on the GM1 is fantastic.

 

Anyway, I thought I'd share this short project.  It was shot on the GM1 and the Panasonic 25 1.4.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Very nice video.  It makes my day to see young people embrace black-and-white!  The only food I saw in the whole video was a jar of what looked like spaghetti sauce--unopened.  AH YOUTH!  To think, 100 years ago, to be a young man in Europe meant dying in the mud between Germany and France.  Better to roll in it!  I hope it stays that way.  Again, very nice video!  

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Thanks guys for your kind words! It encourages me to also show you some other work I did with this GM1/Voigtländer combo:

 

A hiking weekend with some friends (first video with GM1):

 

Relay running event (second video with GM1):

 

Again, I like it as light as possible, so no rig used or whatsoever.

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