Panasonic is taking miniaturization to the next level by fitting a Four-Thirds sensor in a tiny camera. Similar in size to a typical fixed-lens compact digital camera, the all-new Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 manages to squeeze in a 16 megapixels CMOS sensor with 2X crop-factor behind a reworked hybrid-shutter which allows for shutter-speeds from 1/16000s (yes, one sixteenth-thousand) to 60s. This incredible show of technology edges out even mirrorless cameras with smaller sensors.
Despite its diminutive size, the Panasonic GM1 sports plenty of features including full manual-controls with custom white-balance plus bracketing for exposure and white-balance. It includes built-in WiFi connectivity and a large 3″ LCD with over 1 megapixels. Understandably, there is no option for an EVF or a hot-shoe and external controls are limited.
Along this camera, Panasonic launched the smallest kit-zoom lens to date. The new Lumix G Vario 12-32mm F/3.5-5.6 ASPH Mega OIS is indeed stabilized and offers an ultra-wide to normal field-of-view, making it more versatile than most kit-lenses.
The new lens is key to the success of the GM1 and future Micro Four-Thirds cameras as they must keep offering a total size advantage over mirrorless models with larger sensors. While such cameras keep shrinking, lenses form the majority of the bulk which is why Panasonic must realize the potential size-gain with as many lenses as possible.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 with the Panasonic Lumix G Vario 12-32mm F/3.5-5.6 ASPH Mega OIS are expected go for $749 USD while the lens only should retail for $349 USD. Availability has not been announced yet. Preorders are possible already at Amazon, B&H Photo and Adorama.