Panasonic Lumix GM1: Image Quality
Much as is the case with a lot of the camera’s core functionality, the GM1 inherits the same 1728-zone metering system as seen in the GX7, and the G6 before it.
The good news is that the metering system is reliable and it delivers pleasing exposures in a variety of different lighting conditions, including more challenging high-contrast landscape settings.
The camera’s dynamic range is also impressive, balancing good amounts shadow and highlight detail. For areas of particularly high contrast you can defer to the model’s i.Dynamic setting; this extends the model’s dynamic range and has a range of different levels to suit preference.
There’s also little to fault in how the GM1 renders colour, with images displaying a vibrant palette straight out of the camera. As usual, there are a host of different colour settings to choose from including Vibrant and Monochrome.
Although the Micro Four Thirds sensor isn’t the largest to be found in a CSC, the GM1 still delivers a good level of performance when it comes to noise at high ISO settings.
Between ISO 125 and 400 there’s very little sign of noise at all, with it only beginning to make an appearance at ISO 800. Luminance noise becomes more of an issue at ISO 1,600 and 3,200, and by the time you reach ISO 6400 fine detail begins to be hampered.
If you’re shooting Raw then this isn’t as much of an issue, with ISO 12,800 still just about usable, although in either Raw or JPEG mode the very highest ISO setting of 25,600 should be avoided.
Should I buy the Panasonic Lumix GM1?
As the Panasonic GM1 is characterised by its diminutive dimensions, there are few CSCs with which it can be directly compared.
The Pentax Q7 is perhaps the most similar in terms of size, although the Micro Four Thirds sensor found in the GM1 produces a much higher level of image quality than its Pentax counterpart.
The camera most similar to it in Panasonic’s own range is the GF6, and while it matches the specification the GM1 does so in a much more compact package.
So while currently the GM1 sports a relatively high price tag, if you’re looking for a premium CSC in a compact package the GM1 is quite possibly the best of its type on the market.
The Panasonic GM1 is a truly impressive CSC that impressively designed and delivers good image quality while managing to still fit easily in to a trouser pocket. It has few equals at present, making it an excellent if you value quality and portability in one.
Score in detail
Image Quality 7