Hey everyone! We’ve just gotten settled here in Singapore where in a few short hours we’ll be at the launch for the new Panasonic Lumix GM1. There isn’t much action going on at the moment, but check back later this afternoon; we’ll be updating you right here as the event unfolds. This pocketable little 1-MP Four Thirds camera is something many of you have been waiting for for a while now, and we’ll be right here to let you kno how things happen as they do. Grab a coffee, put your phone on silent and check back in a little while. We’ll update things here, Wi-Fi and battery levels permitting! If Murphy comes by for a visit, check back later this evening for as comlete an update as we can manage as soon aas the event wraps up! Stay tuned!
Edit 1: Okay, there wasn’t any Wi-Fi at the venue, and for some reason, I couldn’t latch on to me home LTE connection all the way from the venue, so here’s what happened! (pics to follow, as soon as we have the data recovered! :D)
Just last night, Panasonic launched the latest addition to their highly successful Lumix line of mirrorless digital cameras, and we were lucky enough to be a part of it. The event, hosted by the gorgeour Denise Keller, gave us a really nice idea of what to expect from the device. A Photographer herself, Denise has been using a GM1 for a few weeks now, in preparation for the launch.
After kicking the program off, Denise handed the stage over to Ichiro Kitao the Digital Still Camera division of Panasonic, who gave us a broad look at Panasonic’s digital camera portfolio. Panasonic has been enjoying great success in the still camera camera category, and the GM1 is a further refinement of the art. It comes with a light but tough magnesium alloy chassis, with premium aluminum dials, as well as a rich faux-leather exterior that add to the superb feel of the device. The GM1 also comes with a class-leading 17.3x13mm 4:3 sensor that offers a great balance between giving a compact size, and stellar performance.
After the brief look at the GM1, Denise came back on to the stage, accompanied with Panasonic’s product specialist to give a more detailed look at the hardware. The 16-megapixel snapper comes with a 1:3.5-.6 12-32mm lens, but is compatible with the rest of the Lumix mirorless lenses but mounts are available that let the GM1 accept lenses designed for Leica frames. The interface was of particular note, as Panasonic made the deice very user-friendly, with touchscreen controls that closely mimic the way one would interact with a smartphone. This lets you ous on a particular object on the screen with a tap, and immediately take the shot. Image resizing can also be achieved by pinching the image in the preview screen, and most of the functions available for selected settings are easily accessible through touch. This, and the addition o a pwoerful intelligent auto mode, creates a camera that has a lot of appeal to casual users that are concerned with having a small light camera that they can take wherever they go.
The device also has a lot to work with if you are a more serious photographer. Manual controls, accessible through the knurled aluminum dial at the top of the body, gives you complete access to aperture, shutter speed and ISO settings, which are all set via the jog dial on the face of the device, beside the screen. Manual focus and intelligent auto-focus settings are also available and can be selected through a simple switch at the top of the camera. By far the most impressive thing, next to the sharpness, was just how small the GM1 is. It was both shorter and narrower than my mobile phone, and slipped very easily into my jacket pocket, even with the kit lens attached.
Once the very extensive features list was gone through in great detail, everyone was given an opportunity to experience the GM1 firsthand. cameras were distributed to everyone in the audience, and before long, we were all busy snapping away at every interesting subject we could find. Before we managed to drain the batteries and fill up the SD cards, we moved to the next part of the program, where we got to play fashion photographers, if only for a few minutes.
The clothes and models did a great job in showing off the sharpness the GM1 is able to achieve. Details in the fabric, the small characteristics of each of the dresses presented and the expressions of the models came up with startling clarity, even in the low light and fast motion of the runway. Colors were very vivid and were expressed beautifully on the GM1’s 3 inch screen.
After the fashion show, we were ushered into the next area, where there were displays of the accessories and different configurations available for the device. Under one case, there was an exploded GM1 that gave us a great appreciation of the engineering Panasonic put in t create such an amazing camera. There were also unaltered photos from professional photographers armed with the GM1 which did a far better job at making use of the GM’s capabilities than my own meager attempts at photography. From low-light, to bright, colorful shots, the GM1 was more than capable of delivering beautiful images without and trouble rendering areas that would normally just melt into each other.
The GM1, the most amazing small, mirrorless camera I have ever had the pleasure of using, will be made available in the Philippines next month. No word has been given with regard to local pricing, but we’ll be all over it as soon as a number comes out.