Panasonic has announced the Lumix GM1, a truly tiny mirrorless camera. Despite its 16-megapixel Micro Four Thirds-sized sensor, the GM1 measures just 98.5 mm x 54.9 mm x 30.4 mm — smaller even than Sony's RX100 II compact, and an undeniably impressive feat of engineering. The camera also features a 3-inch touchscreen, Wi-Fi, a pop-up flash, and a retro aluminum design that continues down the Fujifilm-inspired path first trodden by the Lumix GX7.
The GM1 doesn't offer much in the way of physical controls next to some of Panasonic's higher-end cameras, but could be more enthusiast-friendly than the likes of the GF line. It does at least include a mode dial, and there's a function button surrounded by a three-way switch to select autofocus modes.
To go with the smaller body, Panasonic has produced a new 12-32mm (24-64mm equivalent) f/3.5-5.6 kit lens that collapses down into a more compact size when not in use. As well as making the overall package more easily pocketable, the kit lens should feel more balanced on the GM1 than many existing Micro Four Thirds lenses.
You may want to spend on additional lenses
Even with the GM1's larger sensor, however, the Sony RX100 will offer a wider effective aperture — and therefore more depth-of-field control — than the kit, thanks to its faster lens. Of course, the Micro Four Thirds system has several compact, fast primes that would give the GM1 an advantage in that regard, and Panasonic also plans a Leica Summilux-branded 15mm (30mm-equivalent) f/1.7 lens designed to match the new camera. The question of which camera makes the better buy could come down to your willingness to spend on additional optics.
The GM1 will sell for $749.99 with the 12-32mm kit lens; no release date has yet been made available.