The Panasonic Lumix GM5 is the new compact Micro Four Thirds mirrorless camera from Panasonic, and an update to the GM1, with the GM1 remaining on the market. The GM5 features a built in electronic viewfinder and flash hot-shoe and comes bundled with an attachable flash unit. It will be available from November priced at £699 with 12-32mm zoom lens. The GM5 will also be available with the Leica 15mm f/1.7 lens, at £949.
Panasonic Lumix GM5 Features
According to Panasonic (GFK and Futuresource agree) the CSC market is in growth in relation to the DSLR market, which is said to be in decline, with particularly strong sales in the premium end of the market (£1000+, models such as the Panasonic Lumix GH4, Fujifilm X-T1, and Olympus OM-D E-M1).
The GM5 is available in black or black and red, with the black and red model featuring a more leather-like texture on the body, while the black version has the appearance of leather, but not the feel of leather.
With the introduction of the Panasonic Lumix GM5, Panasonic is also making the Lumix G 35-100mm retractable zoom lens available. The lens is specifically designed for the compact GM series although will also work with all Micro Four Third cameras for those that want to travel as light as possible, and gives 70-200mm equivalent in 35mm terms, f/4-5.6 aperture, built in Mega OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation), with 1 asperical element, and 2 ED elements. The lens is compatible with 240fps AF making focus quick, and the lens has a metal finish and design. The lens will be available in black or silver priced at £319 from November.
Built in Wi-Fi allows the camera to be controlled from a compatible Android or iOS smartphone or tablet, using the smartphone as a remote shutter. Alternatively images can be transferred to the smartphone, and it's also possible to setup automatic backup to PC via your home Wi-Fi router.
The camera features 22 digital effects, as well as time-lapse, stop motion animation, and clear retouch. Handheld HDR and Handheld night shot modes have been improved and there are a total of 23 scene modes. Colour filters are available with the black and white modes.
- 16 megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor (same as GM1)
- 3inch touch-screen, 921k dot, IPS LCD for 50% brighter view
- 1.166m dot EVF with eye-detection and eye-detection AF, 60fps, 0.92x/0.46x magnification
- 5.8fps continuous shooting, 5fps continuous AF
- 240fps AF drive for 0.06s AF performance with compatible lenses
- Face / Eye detection focus
- FullHD video at 50p / manual creative video mode
- ISO100 to ISO25600 (extended)
- Venus engine, Highlight/Shadown Adj, Improved dynamic range
Panasonic Lumix GM5 Handling
The camera is impressively compact, and is a similar size to a serious compact camera, as well as being just slightly larger than the Panasonic Lumix GM1, yet featuring a built in electronic viewfinder (EVF). The top features the mode dial, on/off button, and manual focus switch which lets you switch between AF-S, AF-C, and MF. There is also a marking for the sensor plane. On the back you'll find the EVF with dioptre correction, the touch-screen, plus Fn1 (LVF), Fn2 (Wi-Fi), Playback, control wheel, video record, 4-way controller with central menu/set button, delete and display buttons. The four way controller gives quick access to ISO, focus area, WB and drive mode. There is also a small textured grip for your thumb, and the front of the camera is covered in a textured leather style coating. An additional, optional handgrip is available that gives additional grip at the front if required, and a black neck strap is provided in the box.
The screen is clear, and the logically laid out Panasonic menus are easy to navigate using either the touch screen or the direction control pad on the rear. The screen is gapless which helps with being able to see the screen when used outdoors. The electronic viewfinder (EVF) features a good resolution of 1,166k dots, and eye-detection means it will automatically switch to the viewfinder when held up to your eye.
The 12-32mm ASPH. f/3.5-5.6 pancake zoom lens is collapsible like the Olympus 14-42mm kit lenses, and is the equivalent of 24mm wide angle to 64mm telephoto (giving a 2.66x optical zoom), with the closest focus distance for the lens being 20cm. Mega optical image stabilisation helps ensure sharp shots in low light. When compacted the lens is smaller than the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 lens being shorter as well as having a smaller diameter.
Panasonic Lumix GM5 vs Sony Cyber-shot RX100 II
The feel of the camera differs slightly depending on the colour option you go for, with the red and black camera featuring a more leather like finish, and the black camera featuring a slightly more standard camera finish. The silent shutter enables completely silent shooting (electronic shutter), and the mechanical shutter is very quiet, quieter than the Olympus OM-D E-M5 and other Panasonic Lumix G cameras.
||Geotagging, Photo collage etc
The built in Wi-Fi connectivity lets you remotely control the camera using the Panasonic Image App on a smartphone or tablet, and is available for iOS and Android devices. There are a large number of options and settings that can be accessed and changed, making the app extremely useful, there are also time-lapse options, and you can view and share images, as well as tag photos with GPS information.
Battery life - Battery life is rated at 210 shots using the LCD screen, or 220 shots using the EVF, according to Panasonic / CIPA test results, which is quite low therefore we would recommend a spare battery if you plan on shooting more, or using Wi-Fi a lot.
Speed - We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.
|Wide - Focus / Shutter Response
|Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response
|Switch on Time to Taking a Photo
|Shot to Shot without Flash
|Shot to Shot with Flash
|Continuous Shooting - JPEG
(shots before slow down)
|5.4fps (37 shots)
9fps (9 shots, electronic shutter)
|Continuous Shooting - Flash
|Continuous Shooting - RAW
||5fps (7 shots)
The camera can shoot at 5.4fps with mechanical (electronic front curtain) shutter, or 9fps with electronic shutter at full resolution. Focus is very quick, as is the norm for Panasonic Micro Four Thirds cameras, and the focus can be set quickly using the touch screen. The camera features 23 focus points, so as long as the area you want to focus is within this area you can simply touch the screen and focus. Focus peaking and Zebra display is included and you can select the colour of the peaking outline.
Panasonic Lumix GM5 Performance
The performance section is where we look at the image quality performance of the camera. Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.
Panasonic Lumix GM5 Sample Photos
Sample Photos - Flash photos are free of red-eye and portraits have good skin tones, with the camera taking a photo with very good detail. Exposure is very reliable, with the camera performing well in a variety of shooting conditions. Using Micro Four Thirds lenses means there are a number of bright aperture lenses available.
Panasonic Lumix GM5 Lens test images
Lens Performance - The compact 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 lens performs well and is capable of recording high levels of detail, even into the corners of the image when shooting wide-angle or with zoom. There is a slight hint of vignetting in the corners, which can be corrected in camera by switching on shading compensation, and purple fringing and chromatic aberrations are very low with the camera automatically correcting for these problems. Barrel distortion is noticeable when shooting wide, however pincushion distortion appears low when shooting at the telephoto end of the lens. Macro performance of the kit lens is a weakness, with the closest focusing distance 20cm from the lens, and for any more serious macro photography a different lens is recommended. When shooting with the sun in the frame it is possible to see some lens flare, however this wasn't a huge issue the majority of the time.
Panasonic Lumix GM5 ISO test images
ISO Noise Performance - The ISO range goes from ISO200 to ISO25600, and the lowest ISO setting can be extended to ISO100. Noise is low at ISO100, ISO200, ISO400 and ISO800, with a slight increase in noise at ISO1600. At ISO3200 there is a slight, but noticeable loss in detail, however results are still good. Noise performance at ISO6400 is still good, although the effects of noise reduction are easy to see, with detail degraded further. At ISO12800 and above, the effects of the electronic shutter can be seen, with banding visible in the image, and due to noise levels these last two ISO setting may be best avoided.
Panasonic Lumix GM5 White-balance test images
White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance (AWB) performs well under tungsten lighting although there is a slight yellow colour cast, with the tungsten preset delivering a more accurate result. AWB performs well under fluorescent lighting, which is a good job, as there are no dedicated fluorescent lighting preset modes available.
Panasonic Lumix GM5 Digital filters
Digital Filters - The GM5 has a total of 22 Creative Effects, with a number of black and white modes such as rough mono, and silky mono, that give the option of applying a black and white filter, such as Green, Red, Blue etc, to give the same effect as shooting black and white film with a filter attached. The camera records both the JPEG and raw file so you can go back to the original image if you don't like the effect. The camera includes a sunshine mode which lets you position an additional light source in the image as well as alter the size. The camera has a number of features for expanding dynamic range recorded if needed, including iDynamic, as well as HDR that combines 3 shots at different exposures.
Video - The camera records full HD video at 50p, 50i, 25p and 24p, with stereo sound and the highest ISO setting is ISO3200. Quality is good, and the built in optical image stabilisation does a good job steadying handheld videos.
Value For Money
The Panasonic Lumix GM5 is available for £699 with the 12-32mm lens, or £949 with the Leica 15mm f/1.7 lens, which makes it quite an investment, although a similar price to other cameras with a built in electronic viewfinder. Alternatives to consider include the following:
Panasonic Lumix LX100, EVF, flash hot-shoe, 1.33inch sensor, £699
Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III, EVF, pop-up flash, 1inch sensor, £695
Canon Powershot G7 X, no EVF, pop-up flash, 1inch sensor, £579
Panasonic Lumix GM1, pop-up flash, no EVF, Micro Four Thirds sensor, £499 with lens
Olympus OM-D E-M10, with EVF, pop-up flash, Micro Four Thirds sensor, £659 with lens
Sony Alpha A5100, pop-up flash, no EVF, APS-C sensor, £549 with lens
Nikon 1 J4, pop-up flash, no EVF, 1inch sensor, £399 with lens
Pentax Q-S1, flash, hot-shoe, no EVF, 1/1.7inch sensor, £379 with lens
You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.
Panasonic Lumix GM5 Verdict
The Panasonic Lumix GM5 is priced at £699 with 12-32mm kit lens, which makes it quite expensive for a mirrorless camera, and it's designed to compete with other premium compact cameras, such as the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III, with 1inch sensor, although the GM5 benefits from a larger Micro Four Thirds sensor, and the option to change lenses. Like the GM1, the Panasonic Lumix GM5 offers all of the advantages of a compact system camera, including access to one of the largest ranges of lenses for mirrorless cameras, from Panasonic, Olympus and many others. The GM5 also gives a built in electronic viewfinder, and benefits from compact lenses designed specifically for the compact Panasonic Lumix GM series, including the new 35-100mm telephoto zoom lens.
Despite being one of the smallest Micro Four Thirds cameras available with built in EVF, and also being smaller than most other mirrorless cameras, the Panasonic Lumix GM5 doesn't compromise on image quality or features, and delivers advanced options in a camera small enough to fit in your pocket, even with the lens attached! The camera has a good 3 inch touch screen which makes it easy to use in combination with Panasonic's clear and logical menu system. Built in Wi-Fi makes sharing photos or using the camera remotely easy and fun. There are a few negatives, including the short battery life, and the kit lens doesn't offer as good macro performance as other kit lenses available, but for those that want excellent image quality, the ability to change lenses, and one of the smallest compact system cameras possible with a built in electronic viewfinder the Panasonic Lumix GM5 is our Editor's Choice!
The Panasonic Lumix GM5 is the smallest mirrorless camera available with a built in EVF and delivers excellent image quality.
Panasonic Lumix GM5 Specifications
|Sensor Type||Live MOS Sensor|
|Sensor Size||Micro / Four Thirds|
|Sensor Size (width)||17.3mm|
|Sensor Size (height)||13mm|
|Screen resolution||1036k dots|
- Face Detection
- AF Tracking
- Touch AF
|Shutter speeds shortest||1/16000sec|
|Shutter speeds longest||60sec|
- Scene modes
- Program Variable
- Centre-weighted - Average
- Multi Pattern
|ISO sensitivity||100 - 25600|
|Viewfinder Resolution||No Data|
|Video FPS||60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p|
|Optical Zoom with Video||Yes|
|Box Contents||DMC-GM5K Kit/Flash, Flash Storage Bag, Hot Shoe Cover, Battery Pack, Battery Charger, USB Connection Cable, Shoulder Strap, DVD-ROM, AC Cable*, Lens Cap/* Depends on the country or region.|
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