Panasonic shrinks a mirror-less to close to pocket size

If the only thing stopping you from trying a compact interchangeable lens camera was that it wasn’t much more compact than a digital SLR, Panasonic has news for you.

One of the founding companies of the Micro Four Thirds format that both it and Olympus use has a new product on the way to stores in December, and it aims to impress with wireless functionality, image quality, and a size that makes it easily carried.

Named the GM-1, it’s a new model in the Lumix camera range that has literally been put on a diet.

Featuring the same 16 megapixel sensor as what’s in the GX7 (which we’re reviewing right now), the GM-1 has been designed in the image of a rangefinder, while dropping 80 percent of the size that its brother has. Even its circuitry take a hit in size, with a 30 percent smaller circuit board.

Unlike the GX7, there isn’t a built-in viewfinder here, but there is WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, with the ability to be controlled by smartphones and tablets using Panasonic’s apps.

There is a 3 inch touchscreen LCD on the back though, with touch-based autofocus, which you can use to select what you want to fire a shot at, or track.

Beginners are also being thought of in this camera, with Intelligent Auto included in case you don’t want to think manually, and a helper “scene guide” available to show 23 sample shots to help automatically select the settings for a scene you might want to photograph.

If you’re more of a pro, however, you’ll still find the manual modes – shutter, aperture, manual, and program – there for you, as well as video modes.

“With its excellent performance, effortless operation and unique style, the DMC-GM1 will suit a much broader range of consumers,” said Doug Campbell, Product Marketing Manager for the Lumix brand at Panasonic Australia.

Pricing for the camera will come in at $999 with a 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 lens, with availability likely just before the holiday rush in December.