Happy Kalmar! First look at the Panasonic GM1.

P1010092Panasonic DMC-GM1 (12mm, f/3.5, 1/30 sec, ISO640)

I have new camera. Again! Yes I know that’s sick. Here is my New Year’s resolution: I will buy less cameras in 2014. I got three in 2013 ( Canon 6D, Ricoh GR, Panasonic GM1 ( the last one was a Christmas gift from my wonderful wife )) so I think it should be possible.

Well I also got myself a second hand Fuji X-Pro 1 but that was Christmas 2012. So it’s “just” three and I think I can beat that. I also sold my Sony RX100 because it never felt right for me. The Panasonic GM1 does.

P1010078Panasonic DMC-GM1 (12mm, f/3.5, 1/30 sec, ISO400)
P1010089Panasonic DMC-GM1 (12mm, f/3.5, 1/30 sec, ISO500)

I plan to write a detailed user review because I think this little camera deserves it. I just need some more time to play with it and mostly because I also need to find some annoying things. I don’t like “über-enthusiastic” reviews because nothing is perfect and it is the duty of everybody who writes a review to point out the not so good things too. The GM1 might be hard to review in that sense. It’s not perfect but in my opinion it is very, very close!

Of course it’s most obvious feature is it’s size but it is not just small. It’s beautifully designed, it’s fast and it comes with a very nice kit lens. Kit lenses usually are of poor quality and unable to show the true potential of todays sensors. This one is different and it starts from 24mm ( 12mm but I still like to talk in 35mm camera terms ).

P1010090Panasonic DMC-GM1 (12mm, f/3.5, 1/30 sec, ISO500)
P1010093Panasonic DMC-GM1 (15mm, f/3.7, 1/30 sec, ISO800)

There is distortion at 12mm ( now I use the real focal length ( I need to become more consistent! )) that mostly goes away at 15mm. Just have a look at the shot above. I hope that there will be a lens profile for LR because I got used to zero distortion wide angle images ( Fuji’s fantastic XF 14mm ( 21mm in the real world )). But the lens is sharp even wide open and the corners look good.

But the most impressive feature of the GM1 beside fast autofocus is: the output. I’m not talking about per pixel sharpness only. I’m talking about the exposure meter that seldom needs exposure compensation and an Auto-WB that get’s it right most of the time. And very nice colors right out of the box.

I’m not a PPP ( a post processing person ). I love to take images but I hate to spend too much time in LR. I stopped using Photoshop already and I use VSCO’s film presets without any adjustments most of the time. To give you an idea what you can expect from the Panasonic GM1 right out of the camera I included a unaltered, full size RAW file of the first image. Just click on the last image of this blog entry to get the full size version.

All other images are processed by using VSCO’s Kodak Portra 160 film. No other changes. Exposure, WB, framing is out of the box. I did not even correct the distortion of the lens.

I already took a lot of shots with the GM1 but need to shoot it more before I can write my review. But no need to wait because there are just three reasons not buy this camera:

  1. you have large hands with stubby fingers ( better get something big )
  2. you like to use fill flash in daylight ( get a X100s or almost anything else instead )
  3. you already got one

Happy Shooting! Here is the full size RAW file:

P1010092-2Panasonic DMC-GM1 (12mm, f/3.5, 1/30 sec, ISO640)