PANASONIC LUMIX DMC-GM1K
Impressive set of movie capture options in a tiny body. Most expensive of the three, and performance is not significantly better to justify the difference.
Of the three, the DMC-GM1K feels the most like a full-fledged DSLR. Shooting modes are accessible via a top dial, as is a selector for Focus Modes. The Fn1 function button can be set to one of 35 functions, and the delete button opens Quick Menu in shooting mode, which allows you to adjust all your shooting parameters via touch.
The body itself feels solidly built, with faux leather stickers over the front of the camera and where the thumb would rest. We actually found that these didn’t help as much, but overall the camera is just about the right size – small enough to be pocketable, yet large enough to sit nicely in the hand. At 204g (including battery and SD card) the DMC-GM1K has a nice heft to it when you add the kit lens, and the camera just feels like it’s built to take a few knocks.
For the large part, the DMC-GM1K has the best designed body – with physical switches and textured dials that you can easily feel for. For some reason though, the video record button defies this convention, being nothing more than a soft button that’s a little too deep within its recess to be easily accessible. You could use the shutter button to start video recording in Video mode, but being in that mode means you can’t use the shutter to take still images while you’re capturing video.
When it comes to video options, the DMC-GM1K simply has it all. There’s options for mic level adjustments, onscreen display of mic levels, wind cut settings, the ability to record in Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) 60p, a silent mode and a built-in teleconverter mode, which extends the range of your video zoom without noticeable image degradation. When enabled, only a portion of the 4,592 x 3,448 sensor is used, resulting in an effective crop of the image captured.
We found Panasonic’s Image app to be the most fully featured, as you can pretty much adjust all the camera settings right from your smart device. It’s also the most secure, requiring you to enter a password the first time you connect. Manual focus is available via the app if you so please, and more importantly, the metering is displayed onscreen (albeit with a slight lag as the camera adjusts).