2 new very compact, high image quality Panasonic cameras for travel – the GM-5 and LX-100

Written by Gary on September 17th, 2014

Panasonic have just announced 2 new cameras with Micro Four Thirds sized sensors which will be very attractive to those wanting a compact travel camera yet high image quality of a larger sensor.

The LX-100:

The LX-100 is a fixed lens camera (you cannot change the lens) but with a useful 3 x zoom and good low light capabilities and a built in viewfinder, but perhaps most interesting of all, is it has incredible 4K video capability.

This would make a perfect companion for a Micro Four Thirds camera with a 75mm f/1.8 lens!

Specs at a glance:

  • 16mp multi-aspect sensor giving 12.7mp actual at 4:3 aspect ratio
  • 11 fps (6.5 fps in C-AF) with 1/16,000th sec shutter
  • 10.9-34mm (24-75mm equiv.) F1.7-2.8 ASPH Leica lens, close focus 3cm, 9 aperture blades, aperture dial and aspect ratio selector, focus mode selector, 43mm filter thread, but no OIS nor IBIS
    • much more depth of field (DOF) control than smaller sensor cameras such as the Canon G7 X, G1 X II or Sony RX100
  • DFD AF technology to give faster AF
  • 3“ 921k dot LCD but no touch
  • 4K HD video (and 4K photo mode) at 30p, plus 1080 60p
  • electronic silent shutter mode
  • mechanical shutter is INSIDE the lens and thus allows flash sync at all mechanical shutter speeds!
  • bundled flash with support for wireless TTL flash
  • WiFi with NFC for smartphone control
  • 393g, 115 x 66 x 55mm
  • $US899

The Panasonic GM-5:

The Panasonic GM-5 is a true Micro Four Thirds camera with interchangeable lenses and replaces the GM-1, and importantly adds a built-in electronic viewfinder.

My main disappointment is the slow flash sync of only 1/50th sec but for those using this camera, they probably will not be using flash much any way.

Specs at a glance:

  • magnesium alloy body
  • 5.8fps burst
  • built-in 1,166K-dot EVF
  • hotshoe, bundled flash (GN 7m ISO 100), x-sync 1/50th sec
  • shutter to 1/16000th sec, plus Timed BULB to 60sec
  • fixed 921K dot LCD touch screen
  • 240fps AF readout, face and eye detection AF
  • WiFi smartphone control but no NFC
  • 1080 60p/24p HD video up to 24mbps
  • focus peaking
  • new “Snap Movie Mode” – can record video for short period of time (2/4/6/8 sec) as they shoot “moving photos”
  • Creative Control mode – 22 filters
  • Time Lapse Shot
  • Stop Motion Animation
  • Clear Retouch
  • silent electronic shutter mode
  • level gauge
  • Highlight/Shadow Control
  • battery life CIPA score 220
  • optional Hand Grip DMW-HGR1
  • 211 g (0.47 lb / 7.44 oz)
  • 99 x 60 x 36 mm (3.9 x 2.36 x 1.42″)
  • $US899 with G Vario 12-35mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH lens

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