GM1, GM5 or wait for GM7?

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by SojiOkita, Feb 26, 2016.

  1. SojiOkita

    SojiOkita Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2014
    Hello everyone.

    My current m43 setup is an E-M10 + a GM1, with several lenses (including 9-18, 12-32 ans some primes).
    I have a clear preference for the E-M10 and I use the GM1 mainly as a second camera, or sometimes when I want to be very compact (GM1 + 14 or 20 or 12-32 is perfect).

    The 12-32 is my main zoom. I often prefer using primes, but when travelling, and especially for landscapes, I find zooms more convenient and I use my 9-18 / 12-32 / 45-150 trio.

    A few months ago I had this problem with the 12-32:
    Pansonic 12-32 Came Apart
    (the zoom ring came apart)
    As the warranty was still running, I gave back the lens to the after sales service in order for them to repair it.
    A month later, they say that the lens cannot be repaired (!!!), and as the lens is only sold as the kit (!) they can't replace it either so they propose to refund me the price I paid it two years ago.
    (that seems a completely stupid solution to a simple problem with only several spots of glue to apply to repair the lens)

    Now I've got several possibilities:
    - buy a new GM1 + 12-32 kit which is much cheaper now
    - buy a GM5 + 12-32 (still cheaper than what I paid for the GM1)
    - wait for the GM7 (but there is no planned release date and I don't know the exact specs)
    - replace the lens by the Oly 12 and forget the second body.

    I liked very much the 12-32, I had more mixed feelings about the GM1.
    What I didn't like about it:
    - no auto ISO in M mode
    - 1/50s flash sync + no wireless flash possible
    - autofocus sometimes quite disappointing in low light (and face/eye detection not as good as the E-M10 - I've tested GX8 face detection that seems even better)
    - disappointing colors in Lightroom in artificial light conditions

    Will a GM5 be a improvement for my use?
    I've seen it on the Paris photo show and I'm not a big fan of the EVF that is very small and with a poor definition), but if there is auto ISO in M mode and a better autofocus... maybe it will be a nice move.
  2. kingduct

    kingduct Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 12, 2013
    Do you need to have two cameras? I ask, because you didn't mention another possibility: just buy a 12-32mm lens without a camera.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. MoonMind

    MoonMind Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Oct 25, 2014
    The GM5 has the exact same shutter and AF system as the GM1 - so most of your sore points won't be solved by buying a GM5; I don't know about the Auto ISO in M mode ...

    I don't think a GM series camera will provide you with a different shutter - on the contrary, Panasonic have started to use that shutter in the GF7/8, too.

    The GM5 offers the EVF and better handling (more and more sensibly placed controls); for me, the EVF provides most of the appeal of that camera - just today, I was again let down by an otherwise quite good LCD screen (on the E-PL7) - next to zero visibility in bright light rendered the camera more or less useless (I took only one picture with it while taking more than 100 with the other body with a OVF). I personally will not buy another camera without some kind of viewfinder; I particularily like Olympus EVFs ...

    That said, I still think the GM5 is somewhat expensive (as was the GM1 before it - it's more reasonable now) - great in terms of miniaturisation, only average in actual specs. Around here, prices have come down considerably, but it's still no match for more grown-up cameras (like the GX7 or the E-M10 (even MkII)) that cost about the same.

  4. kbouk

    kbouk Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 21, 2013
    I had GM1 for a year (my main body is EM1) and now I have Gm5, so I can answer some of your questions :
    - it has auto ISO in M mode
    - also 1/50s flash sync + but wireless flash is possible with the small extra flash as a commander
    - autofocus in low light depends on lens, 12–32 sometimes fails , face (GM1)/eye (GM5) detection is improved (I think but I don't use it often),
    - disappointing colors in Lightroom in artificial light conditions (no comment on that, I use CWB for difficult lighting situations),
    Also the LCD is smaller on GM5 but better on sun conditions and you have the EVF also....
    I have many lenses (mZuiko, Zuiko HG,SHG and LUMIX) and I find 12–32 the best kit lens I have used, small and sharp, it has some flows as no manual ring and small focus problems on dim conditions but it's the perfect pair for the small bodies.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    FYIs, adorama has had the GM1 & GM5 deeply discounted lately.
  6. JoFT

    JoFT Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Nov 11, 2014
    • Like Like x 2
  7. SojiOkita

    SojiOkita Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2014
    It could be a possibility, but considering the price difference between a 12-32 (290€) and a GM1 + 12-32 (400€), the price of the GM1 (in addition to the lens) is ridiculous.
    It's also why I bought it in the first place, I wanted the 12-32 for my E-M10, and the price difference was already very low.
    It's not a kit where you get a cheap lens with a camera, you get a cheap camera with a lens;)

    However, the question "do I need to have two cameras?" is a good question.
    I'm not using my GM1 this much, I use it mainly:
    - when my E-M10 battery is empty (but I could get a second battery for my E-M10)
    - when I want to have 2 available lenses at the same time (not that often)
    - when I want only a very small kit (not than often, but useful when I need it).

    Thanks, that are some important points.

    Yes it helped, because I forgot that the GM1 has no flash hot shoe, and that the GM5 does.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. GM5 is very nice indeed as a second body with a small lens. I read somewhere that the GM series was discontinued.
  9. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    I think you would much appreciate the GM5 coming from a GM1, for the benefits previously mentioned.

    For the current pricing of a GM5, I think it is nice to have one on hand. Though I don't often use mine, with the 12-32 on it, the small size is amazing given the quality of the resulting images (as you already know).

    Like you, I would not want a GM5 as my primary camera, as I prefer and use GX7, EP5, and PEN-F as primary bodies. But I do appreciate having the GM5 on the few occasions when I want to go really small and lightweight.

    As for waiting for the GM7, it depends on how important a body the size of a GM is to you. If you would use it a lot, and don't mind paying the price of a new release (and don't mind waiting for it) the GM7 may be worth all of that. A lot of 'if's' there. Personally, I don't put that much importance (based on usage) on having a GM body, so I'd pick up a GM5 while the pricing is low and call it good.
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2016
  10. pake

    pake Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Oct 14, 2010
    One brief question if I may...
    The longest exposure my GM1 can take with electronic shutter is 1 second. Is the GM5 capable of taking longer ones? That would be a huge plus when shooting timelapse videos in low light like I did in Norway two weeks ago. I had to push ISO higher than I would have wanted because of that "issue".

    I tried googleing the GM5 specs briefly but it wasn't mentioned anywhere. :(
  11. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Pake... I've never tried that. Will have to see about that.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Bruce McL

    Bruce McL Mu-43 Veteran

    There is a line about it in the manual. It says there is a 1 second limit:


    However there is something called "Time" mode that might be helpful. From another page in the Advanced Manual:

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  13. luck002

    luck002 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 21, 2015
    Somewhere in Indonesia
    Silent Mode = Off. Turning on the silent mode will limit the SS to 1 second as the GM1/GM5 will be forced to use e-shutter.
  14. brettmaxwell

    brettmaxwell Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 8, 2012
    why the desire to use e-shutter? just trying to reduce shutter actuations for timelapse?
  15. pake

    pake Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Oct 14, 2010
    I guess the GM5 isn't for me then. :(

    Exactly. To save the mechanical shutter and to avoid the clicking sound. We were in a small cabin for 4 nights and I set up the camera to take pictures every 10-20 seconds during the nighttime. So obviously I wouldn't have wanted to hear each exposure while trying to sleep.
  16. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    It's nonsensical. Panasonic in their infinite wisdom have put arbitrary limitations in as follows:

    1) With manual lenses (e.g. 7.5FE) you can only use electronic shutter. Mechanical rear curtain is unavailable.

    2) You cannot go below 1s with electronic shutter, UNLESS you are forced into electronic shutter because you are using a manual lens.

    So all in all, you can use electronic shutter for longer exposures, but only with a manual lens. Downside is that you can't use mechanical for such a lens at all.
    • Funny Funny x 2
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  17. pake

    pake Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Oct 14, 2010
    That's just unreal! Why on Earth...? :dash2:
  18. brettmaxwell

    brettmaxwell Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 8, 2012
    Interesting! Are you sure you can use manual lenses with shutter speeds longer than 1s? I don't have any to try. Not sure if this works with m4/3 lenses, but you could try decoupling the AF lens just a few degrees so the electrical contacts aren't aligned and the camera thinks it's shooting a manual lens.
  19. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Yes, like I said I have the 7.5FE (a manual lens) which is how I noticed this. Even with a manual lens it only works if you have shutter mode as AUTO, where it automatically selects electronic for manual lenses but allows longer shutter speeds. If you specifically select electronic shutter mode, you're limited to 1s again. It's definitely electronic in both cases as it's silent.

    Decoupling an AF lens doesn't work, the camera usually ends up blacking out saying the lens isn't on properly. And besides, it would be awful to try and use an electronic lens without any way to focus or have aperture control... I'd rather just use mechanical.
  20. MarkRyan

    MarkRyan Instagram: @MRSallee Subscribing Member

    May 3, 2013
    FWIW, the mechanical shutter on the GM1/GM5 is nearly silent, much quieter than any other Micro 4/3 camera I've owned. Almost as quiet as the leaf shutter in a Ricoh GR.

    I don't understand why mechanical shutter can't be used with manual lenses, that's bizarre, but perhaps an explanation for the inability to select shutter speeds longer than 1s in "silent" mode:

    After a 1s exposure, the noise reduction / dark frame subtraction kicks in, and to do this requires (1) using the mechanical shutter, and (2) making noise. And since the setting is "silent" shutter, and not just "electronic," perhaps they implemented the restriction to avoid noise from the camera when the user expected none. Whereas when electronic shutter is used for manual lenses, there's no implication that the user is expecting silent operation.

    Just a guess.
    • Informative Informative x 1
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