Panasonic's GM5 packs a ton of tech into a tiny body

Panasonic GM5
Who'd have thought there was room for a Live View Finder in this tiny body?

The Panasonic GM5 follows on from the GM1, which was a masterpiece of miniaturisation in itself. It's a Four Thirds format compact system camera, yet little larger than a high-end compact. And yet the company has still managed to squeeze in a new Live View Finder (LVF) for composing shot in conditions where the rear LCD is hard to see.

The 1,166k-dot viewfinder display should offer a decent quality image, and the addition of Eye Sensor AF means that the camera will start focusing the moment you put it to your eye. Panasonic has incorporated its Low Light AF function to make it easier to take pictures in dimly-lit environments or at night.

The only problem with adding the viewfinder is that it's now where the flash on the GM1 used to be. Panasonic has got round that by adding a flash hotshoe to the top of the camera and bundling an add-on flash unit.

Style and function

Like the GM1, the GM5 has a magnesium alloy chassis, and with this model, you can choose between black or red versions. The 16-megapixel MOS sensor is the same, and on the back is a 3-inch touch-sensitive screen.

Wi-Fi is built in, and you can control the GM5 from a smart device, even changing settings like the shutter speed, lens aperture and ISO. Panasonic's Snap Movie function looks quite cool too – you can set to take 2, 4, 6 or 8-second clips.

If you want external dials and hands-on manual control, you'll need to look elsewhere, but the GM5 looks ideal for casual snappers who want the quality and versatility of a big sensor compact system camera in a package small enough to slip into a coat pocket – and with a dash of style thrown in.

Rod Lawton is Head of Testing for Future Publishing’s photography magazines, including Digital Camera, N-Photo, PhotoPlus, Professional Photography, Photography Week and Practical Photoshop.