The Lumix GM1 review (micro 4/3 hybrid)

I am no longer using a DSRL camera for several years ago now. 🙂

 

First, an expert compact camera makes me leaves my heavy DSLR in the cupboard.
And for almost 3 years ago now, I am in love with these small but so powerful camera that we call hybrid. My Lumix GF1 was beginning to be old and I felt sometimes limited by the noise in high sensibility.

So, I decided, last week, to buy a new hybrid camera : the Lumix GM1.

 

NB : I made a somewhat short translation, here, because I must admit that I am not really used to the photographic vocabulary yet… I hope the article will be interesting for you, however. Feel free to ask some questions in the comments area to obtain further information about the GM1 and my feeling about it! 🙂

 

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Selfportrait with the Lumix GM1 and Zuiko 45mm 1.8 lens. Aren’t my hands look HUGE?! 😮 😆

 

The benefits of hybrids cameras

As an hybrid, the Lumix GM1 includes some wonderful benefits :

[icon name=”fa-arrow-circle-right”] A big sensor the create shallow depth of field effects and enjoy good image quality even in dim light.
[icon name=”fa-arrow-circle-right”] A weight and size so low in relation to its sensor size !…
[icon name=”fa-arrow-circle-right”] A lens which can be removed and changed, for quality (aperture, sharpness) and freedom.

 

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Macrophotographs with the Lumix GM1, Lumix 20mm 1.7 lens and +3 et +4 Hoya close-up filters.
Selfportrait with the Lumix GM1 and Zuiko 45mm 1.8 lens.

 

The Lumix GM1 characteristics

Here are, now, the GM1 features which led my choice.

[icon name=”fa-arrow-circle-right”] Squared framing allowed
[icon name=”fa-arrow-circle-right”] Good image quality in dim light and high ISO
[icon name=”fa-arrow-circle-right”] A camera so light and small!… To forget it when I don’t want to make picture and have it with me when I want to. 😉
[icon name=”fa-arrow-circle-right”] Speed focus, fast shutter, and silent mode.
[icon name=”fa-arrow-circle-right”] Some buttons included as old fashion controls : aperture, time exposure, exposure compensation… What a shame, however, that there is not an ISO button!… I like the 5 touch controls for custom functions too (picture below).

 

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Back views of the GM1.

 

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Pictures taken with the GM1 and, respectively, with the Lumix 12-32mm f/3.5 – 5.6 telephoto of the kit (teenagers and backlit tree) and the Zuiko 45mm f/1.8 lens (dog). Picture of the GM1 taken with the GF1.

 

For me, are not a big deal :

– not to have a view finder. I don’t like the electronic ones and, in my opinion, the screen is really cool. It allows us to talk to our model as we shoot, to change framing with a little move of wrist and help us to shoot discreetly.
– handle a small camera. The size and weigh of the camera are OK for me. I encountered a few problems with ergonomics (see bellow), but not really with the camera size.

 

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Selfportrait with the Lumix GM1 and Zuiko 45mm 1.8 lens.
Macrophotographs with the Lumix GM1, Lumix 20mm 1.7 lens and +3 et +4 Hoya close-up filters.

 

 

A few downsides

Some things about the GM1 I don’t really like… Some could be considered as details or as things a little bit more annoying, depending of your needs and claims.

[icon name=”fa-arrow-circle-right”] No button to control Sensitivity ISO…
[icon name=”fa-arrow-circle-right”] Sensitivity ISO not mentioned on the screen with time exposure, aperture and exposure compensation in the light mode (changed with “dips”).
[icon name=”fa-arrow-circle-right”] A not so easy use : I often pressed button or touched the touchscreen not on purpose. I must be used to the camera to be really at ease.
[icon name=”fa-arrow-circle-right”] Difficult vertical handling. Why are these video and view button just where I would like to put my thumb?!
[icon name=”fa-arrow-circle-right”] The limited battery life.
[icon name=”fa-arrow-circle-right”] Lack of image stabilization.
[icon name=”fa-arrow-circle-right”] A touched focus which isn’t making focus when we touch the screen. Need to halfway press the shutter to focus. I am not sure about shutter by touch neither…
[icon name=”fa-arrow-circle-right”] A classic focus more difficult with the touch screen. Touching the touchscreen not on purpose change the focus area, with annoying results.
[icon name=”fa-arrow-circle-right”] Raw files not handled by Aperture for now.

 

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View of the GM1, with the Lumix 12-32 mm f/3.5 – 5.6 lens.

 

About the kit lens, the Lumix 12-32 mm f/3.5 – 5.6

It is small, light and produces good image quality.
We need to expand it manually before use but that’s not a shame for a 2cm long zoom. 😉

I think it is useful to have a multi-purpose zoom for outdoors shooting (street or lansdcape shooting).
But I will prefer my wide aperture pancake lenses as soon as I will shoot indoors of will want to create a shallow depth of fields.

 

GM1-Dessus

 

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Top view of the GM1, with Lumix 12-32 mm f/3.5 – 5.6 lens and pictures taken with this configuration.

 

My opinion about the Lumix GM1 🙂

Finally… I love it! It is so powerful in its so light and small body!…
Fastness and image quality are a real pleasure.

The camera is rather expensive, especially if you want to use it in addition to your DSRL.
But as a main camera, if you can spend the required cost, perhaps this light and small camera would have a lower “cost per use” or even “cost per great picture” than a DSLR… 😉

Anyway, whatever your camera is, I wish you a lot of wonderful pictures ! 😀

 

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