Panasonic's Lumix GM1 looks classy, adds WiFi to your 16-megapixel shots (update: hands-on)

Panasonic's Lumix GM1 looks classy, adds WiFi and NFC to your 16megapixel shots

In an age of megapixel-heavy camera phones, the Micro Four Thirds format is becoming increasingly popular with those who don't want the trappings of a full DSLR, but want to take their photos more seriously. Panasonic, one of the pioneers of the MFT system, has today announced its latest offering in this category -- the Lumix GM1. The sleek GM1 is remarkably small in physical size, and comes with a 16-megapixel sensor, a 3-inch tilting LCD, 1 / 16,000 shutter speed, 1080p video recording, electric shutter plus built-in wireless to help get your snaps out into the wild. It's all enveloped in a metal alloy frame, with aluminum dials and a brushed-steel finish to keep things looking classy. The sensor is actually the same as that found in the GX7, and has high ISO 25600 support. The kit lens is a 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 affair, custom designed to fit the GM1s small form. This sort of class will cost £629 in the UK, where it launches in black, and curiously, orange on November 8th, we'll add the US price once we get it. We're hoping to hear more on that from Panasonic later today.

We've just manages to spend a little bit of time with the Lumix GM1 at a launch event in London. It's fair to say that the photos don't really give you an impression of exactly how small the camera actually is. For comparison, the footprint of the body is smaller than that of a playing card, but at 1.2-inches deep, there's still plenty to hold onto. That said, if you're at all used to an interchangeable lens camer of this class, switching down to this can feel weird. We put our Sony NEX down to play with the GM1, and it took a few moments to "re-calibrate" our grip so that it felt natural. The leather-effect and brushed metal finish definitely give the camera a sense of quality, while all the major controls are comfortably within reach. We'll be honest, the pop-up flash did catch us a little by surprise, and is somehow reminiscent of R2D2's extensions.

We grabbed a few sample shots from the pokey/cosy demonstration room (above). So, there's not the breadth and variety we'd like to explore under review conditions, but it gave us a chance to see how it reacts in a few different light and subject situations. Setting focus seemed fast and accurate, and the 3-inch (1036K dot his res) LCD is vibrant, bright and clear (though not tiltable). The 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 lens on the camera we used offers a decent range of zoom, and should be a solid starting point if you're already finding yourself checking out the pre-orders. There will be two other lenses coming around launch, including a 35 - 100mm option, and a 15mm f1.7 prime lens from Leica, which should broaden your choices. We're told, however, that color options will vary by region, so if you're sold on that orange, you might be outta luck. There are white and silver varieties too, though, so you're not limited to black.

Panasonic's Lumix GM1 looks classy, adds WiFi and NFC to your 16megapixel shots
Panasonic's Lumix GM1 looks classy, adds WiFi and NFC to your 16megapixel shots

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Stay in Style with an Ultra Compact DSLM (Digital Single Lens Mirrorless) Camera

New Stylish LUMIX GM Series Performance Upgrades its Cool Factor

Panasonic is proud to announce the new fashionable compact line GM series to its LUMIX Digital Single Lens Mirrorless (DSLM) cameras. The new DMC-GM1 boasts not just its iconic and stylish compact profile; it boasts high functional performance with large Digital Live MOS Sensor based on the Micro Four Thirds system standard. The Lumix GM1 provides the perfect balance of style and photographic hybrid performance on-the-go with outstanding image quality.

True-to-life detail

Whether you're searching for that artistic shot that encapsulates your city or looking to express your own personality and style, you demand a camera that captures your vision with absolute clarity and precision. The LUMIX GM1's 16 megapixel sensor delivers with a modern hybrid approach to image capture with both high quality HD movies and dynamic photos, and all with the simple press of a button.

A fashionable compact for your lifestyle

The LUMIX GM1 represents the most compact and fashion forward looking LUMIX G camera to date. Ground-breaking micro technology design has enabled Panasonic to pack the very latest imaging technology into the camera's compact metallic alloy frame. Not only does this give the LUMIX GM1 an elegant look and feel, but the camera easily fits into your pocket and can be incorporated into day-to-day activities of any style-conscious enthusiast. Plus with many interchangeable micro lenses to choose from, creative options are nearly limitless.

Reflecting the sophisticated engineering beneath the surface, the LUMIX GM1's exterior offers a refined, classic style with aluminum dials and brushed metal, so you can be sure that the LUMIX GM1 will complement your style, whatever the occasion.

Share your creations

WiFi connectivity enables the LUMIX GM1 to easily connect with smartphones and tablets. Whether you're sharing a shot of your friend's outfit before a night out, or updating your photography portfolio with your new favorite landscape, the LUMIX GM1 allows you to post images and video online as soon as they've been taken.

Coupled with the Panasonic Image App, which is available free of charge for Android and iOS operating systems from their respective app stores, wireless connectivity also enables Remote Shooting, allowing you to use your smartphone or tablet to act as a remote control for the LUMIX GM1 – ideal for taking group shots, or in situations where it isn't practical to shoot directly from your camera.

Total control and limitless creativity

The ideal camera for perfectionists and enthusiast photographers alike, the LUMIX GM1 offers a choice of full manual control, intelligent assistance for easy shooting, and a host of creative features.

A three-inch touch screen makes it easy to frame the perfect shot, set the focus and even trigger the shutter with a single touch. The LUMIX GM1 also features intelligent auto modes, providing point-and-shoot ease-of-use that doesn't compromise on image quality.

A range of 22 creative filters also allow you to add a personal touch to any image, transforming your favorite pictures into stylistic works of art. You can even create your own Time Lapse Shot or Stop-motion Animation to display your creativity.

When discretion is demanded, the silent shutter feature enables you to make the camera nearly silent and capture images in places such as during concerts or exhibitions where photographs are not allowed to be taken due to distracting 'clicks'.

Ready when you are

You never want to miss that fleeting moment of inspiration. That's why the LUMIX GM1 is built for speed and mobility. With the camera's Light Speed autofocus, it will be ready and waiting to capture that perfect photo opportunity with stunning accuracy. Low-light autofocus will also provide outstanding speed in extreme low-light conditions, so you can continue to express your creativity when you only have the stars and streetlights to rely on.

You can explore the full range of LUMIX G lenses with the new LUMIX G App for iPad, available via the iTunes App Store. The app lets you discover and explore the world of Panasonic LUMIX G Micro System Cameras.