Panasonic GM1 vs Sony RX100 Mark II Shootout

  By Jordan Drake

Back in 2012, our jobs got really easy.  If someone came to The Camera Store looking for a ‘high end point and shoot’ we’d give them an RX100 and send them on their way.  Tragically, Panasonic has thrown a wrench in that simplicity with the introduction of the GM1, a strong contender for the title of ‘best pocket size camera ever made ever’.  So we had to compare these two tiny titans against one another.

Whenever we are filming a shootout, we like to have a co-host, mostly because I don’t trust Chris to carry two cameras at the same time.  The shootouts with Dave Paul have always been some of my favorites, as Dave and Chris have problem being dismissive of each other whenever possible.  We had everything scheduled, with delivery of a production camera from Panasonic, when disaster struck. The camera had been shipped ground instead of airmail, leading to another in a series of delays getting this video shot.  Fortunately, Dave accommodated our schedule and we were able to film.

I shot with my usual kit, the Sony FS700 recording to an Atomos Samurai, but with one key difference.  The Tamron 24-70 F2.8 VC I usually use is the store’s rental lens, and tragedy befell it the day before our shoot.  As a result, I tested out the Sony 18-105 F4, which seemed to be the perfect pair with the FS700.  Unfortunately, for reasons documented in the video, I wasn’t delighted with the handling of the lens.  The image quality was fine, but the difficulty in using the lens, which was specifically designed for video shooters, means this was my first and last time bringing the lens on a shoot.

As for the actual camera comparison, here’s Chris:

I love the RX100! Or I did… The GM-1 is basically the same size, and yet has a larger sensor, interchangeable lenses, faster autofocus, and costs the exact same to take out for dinner. It’s simple, clean, and cute. The perfect companion… that is if you imagined the perfect companion who had one glaring and obviously hideous defect. The rear control wheel on the GM-1 is almost impossible to turn without initiating a white balance change or flash mode. It sticks, is too small to use easily, and leads to much frustration. Using the RX-100 was like going back to a dependable partner who knows you well, anticipates your needs, and makes you laugh… but the Panasonic GM-1 is so much hotter…

As always, our friends at Beatsuite.com provided the music for this video. Their music library just saw a big update, so check them out if you need any tracks for your videos or slideshows.