Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5 – Performance
Like other Panasonic compact system cameras, the DMC-GM5 offers class-leading autofocus skills. Despite using a pure contrast detect system, the results are excellent.
In low light the camera uses a standard AF-assist beam to lock on, but results continued to impress. It’s fast, it’s accurate.
You can also use the touchscreen for focusing, including a two-fingered pinch gesture that lets you alter the size of the focus area.
Panasonic’s own claim for the AF is that it can focus in up to 0.06 seconds.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5 – Image Quality
The benefits of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5 over another super-compact camera become a lot clearer when you start looking at its pictures. With a 16-megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor, it’s able to offer better dynamic range and detail than even high-performing compacts like the Sony RX100 III.
Image quality stays good up to ISO 800, giving you a degree of lower-light flexibility missing from most cameras this size. Noise stays well controlled at ISO1600, and even the results at ISO 3200 and 6400 are quite usable.
It’s only the top ISO settings of 12,800 and 25,600 that we’d recommend sticking away from. Naturally, for those moments when high sensitivity is absolutely essential, we’re glad those options are there, though.
With dynamic range of 12.6EV at the expanded base ISO 100 you can get some great shots out of this camera. Its native ISO range only actually starts at 200, but this setting offers only slightly reduced dynamic range of 12.4EV.
Colours are mostly accurate, although we did find that the GM5 tends to boost blues a bit. It also has a habit of underexposing shots a little when shooting overcast skies. This can be tweaked manually with exposure compensation, which can be mapped to the rear dial.
Here are some samples:
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5 – Video Quality
While the Panasonic Lumix DMC-DM5 can seem like a shrunken version of larger Panasonic CSCs, it doesn’t offer everything on the video front. Panasonic has become one of the main proponents of 4K video in compact and compact system cameras, but you don’t get it in the GM5.
Capture tops out at 1080p/60fps. As mentioned earlier, there’s no external mic input, either, which naturally limits how much serious work videographers are going to want to do with the thing.
Should I buy the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5?
Panasonic’s attempt to fix the issues of the Lumix DMC-GM5 has not entirely worked. The new control layout and EVF improve the situation, but not enough to stop the camera from feeling a little cramped, and too often like a compromise.
With these sorts of physical issues, it’s important to try and get your hands on the camera yourself to see whether your digits are likely to feel the same.
Image quality is as solid as we’d expect from the 16-megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor, but if you’re considering this as a companion camera to a larger non-MFT model, we’d suggest considering a fixed-lens compact such as the Lumix LX100 or Sony RX100 III. Thanks to their integrated design they’re able to offer more satisfying controls, and you also rule out the chance of getting sucked too deep into another lens system
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5 can create great photos, but ultimately feels a little too cramped and fiddly.
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Score in detail
Image Quality 8
Build Quality 8