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Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5 review



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Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5


Our Score:


User Score:


  • Good image quality thanks to MFT sensor
  • Tiny body


  • Poor battery life
  • Fiddly controls
  • No 4K video

Key Features

  • 16-megapixel Micro Four-Thirds sensor
  • 1,166k dot EVF
  • 3-inch 921k dot screen
  • Manufacturer: Panasonic
  • Review Price: £769.00

What is the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5?

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5 is a second go at a formula established last year with the DMC-GM1: an absolutely tiny camera body that offers a fairly large Micro Four Thirds sensor and interchangeable lenses. Starting at £699 with a kit lens, Panasonic hasn’t dumbed down the features to meet a lower price in this second attempt.

Instead, the Lumix GM5 adds an EVF and bulks up the body a bit to try and address the main criticism of the GM1 – that it's just too fiddly. For all its efforts, the DMC-GM5 is still pretty cramped, and awkward at times, but if a slim and light frame is at the top of your list, this is about as petite as compact system cameras with large sensors get.

Panasonic GM5 17

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5 – Design

The look of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5 may not be too attention-grabbing, but make no mistake: the outer hardware is what this camera is here for. With a body measuring 98.5 x 59.5 x 36.1mm it's tiny for a Micro Four Thirds model.

It's 5.4mm wider and 5.7mm taller than the GM1, but when you consider the extras it packs in, that’s not a great deal larger. How small is it? It’s 16mm less long, 6mm shorter and 19mm thinner than the Panasonic Lumix LX100, which is a bona-fide compact camera.

This thing is very small indeed, although you have to remember that it’ll need a lens to be of any use to anyone. Lens choice becomes crucial, because if you go for something too large, the Panasonic DMC-GM5 loses much of its appeal. A compact overall package is key.

SEE ALSO: Best Cameras Round-up

Panasonic GM5 21

Of course, Micro Four Thirds lenses are generally smaller than those of APS-C compact system cameras such as the Sony Alpha a6000, a somewhat comparable alternative. The GM5’s standard kit lens is the same 12-32mm unit bundled with the GM1, and offers a focal range equivalent to 24m-64mm – fairly good as an everyday lens. It’s very petite, although with a maximum aperture of f/3.5-5.6 it doesn’t offer the creative control over depth of field you get with some others.

For those with greater demands, the DMC-GM5 is also available with the Leica 15mm f/1.7 lens (30mm equivalent), which will naturally give you much greater shallow depth of field potential, as well as better low-light flexibility. This bundle will cost you as much as £1049, though – a hefty premium. You may want to consider the cheaper Panasonic 20mm f1.7 as an alternative.

As you really need a very compact lens to make the very most of the Panasonic DMC-GM5's design, only a handful of lenses are truly suited to it — although any MFT lens will work. Given this, consider whether a large-sensor-small-body compact such as the Lumix LX100 or Sony RX100 III might be a better fit. Panasonic GM5 7

As you’d expect of a £700 camera, the Panasonic GM5 is thoroughly well-made, with a magnesium alloy body and textured front plate in place of a contoured handgrip. We did find handling the thing slightly precarious at times because of its small size and near grip-free design, but it’s largely a case of getting used to its body. Those used to smaller cameras may find its 211g weight unnervingly light, but that's a positive for a camera of this style.

There is a small thumb grip on the back, thankfully, and if you really must have a larger grip, Panasonic sells one that screws in for £99. But buying such a thing might be considered an admission of having made the wrong camera choice in the first place.

Panasonic GM5 15

In an effort to make the Panasonic DMC-GM5’s handling a bit better than the older GM1, Panasonic has redesigned the camera’s controls. You don’t get full-on manual controls like you do with the Lumix LX100, but the main dial's been moved from its position around the rear D-pad to above it, separating the two.

It’s an improvement, but unfortunately not a particularly drastic one. We still found the DMC-GM5 quite cramped in use, especially when trying to compose through the EVF. There just isn’t enough room, and as an interchangeable-lens camera it can’t rely on lens dials to provide manual controls. Using the touchscreen does alleviate the problem, but not quite enough.

Cliff Wolfstenhammer

November 19, 2014, 9:14 am

I'm not sure the lack of 4K video should be listed as a negative. No interchangeable lens camera on the market under US$1500 has 4K video capabilities.


November 23, 2014, 8:46 pm

'It’s easy to limit yourself into a corner lens-wise with the Panasonic DMC-GM5"
Not really. You can use any mft lens you want (or others, if you don't mind an adapter and/or lack of OIS). Unless, of course, you are one of the people who buys cameras to make a fashion statement, rather than to take pictures and video.

And I must agree with Cliff R's post: lack of 4K video is hardly a weak point. Maybe in a couple of years' time, it will be. But not today.

Finally, one might consider that the GX7 is much more comparable to the GM5 than the
a6000. (Which, by the way, takes lousy video.)


February 22, 2015, 4:41 pm

Well once again the jokers here on Trusted Reviews have given an incredible camera a low mark and not because of image quality or handling or Auto Focus.
This review is almost as horrid and erroneous as their review of the Olympic Stylus 1.
You would think that both the Panny GM5 and the Olympic Stylus 1 are not good cameras if you listened to these critics.
Dont listen., instead read every other "pro" review online and skip these kiddies.

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