Sony and Panasonic Turning Up the Heat on Mirrorless Cameras

Posted Oct. 16th, 2013 by Daniel J. Cox

The revolution is rolling. Sony just announced two  new mirrorless cameras the A7 & A7R. Panasonic will officially announce  their newest mirrorless camera, the GM1, tomarrow. Both announcements are literally revolutionary. Why? It’s all about size and weight with phenomenal image quality. Sony’s new cameras are extremely small yet both have a so called Full Frame 35mm sized sensors. Same size as as the Nikon D600 and D800 cameras, however, the body of both new Sony’s are much smaller and lighter.

The new Panasonic is equally unbelievable and maybe more. The new Lumix GM1 is a mirrorless Micro Four Thirds sensor camera with a new, smaller, compact zoom of 12-32mm. That’s the equivalent to a 24-64mm full frame lens. All of this and it fits in your shirt pocket. It has the same sensor as the GX1 which is superb. The one frustration I’ve had with the Lumix kit zoom (14-42Xlens) was its range of 28-84mm (35mm equivalent). I love wide angle and the new kit zoom of 24-64mm is exactly the range I dreamed of for a small take everywhere type camera. 24mm on the wide side is going to be nearly perfect. The new lens is supposed to be sharper and better quality overall though the old one was definitely very good to great.

This image from 43Rumors shows the new GM1 size difference comaprted to the GX1. The GX1 is incredably small so the GM1 is hard to believe. I'm wondering if it may be too small. We shall see.

This image from 4/3 Rumors shows the new GM1 size difference comaprted to the GX1. The GX1 is incredably small so the GM1 is hard to believe. I’m wondering if it may be too small. We shall see. You can click on the image to see ore about the GM1 on 4/3 Rumors.

Many of you know I’ve been talking about camera manufacturers heading in the smaller, lighter, higher quality direction for quite some time. Sony is now leading the charge with Panasonic and Olympus not far behind and maybe even neck and neck. What I just can’t understand is where the heck are Nikon and Canon? I can’t believe they aren’t frantically working on their own ideas but their competitors are really turning up the heat and moving FAST.


Nikon’s own Mirrorless V2 camera. It’s biggest drawback is the inch sized chip.

Nikon is ahead of Canon in the test phase it seems with Nikons J1/V2 mirrorless camera and I’m hopeful some of the Series One technology will be added to the next D5. Only time will tell. The Nikon One Series of cameras have some amazing technology. My biggest disappointment with the Series One cameras is the size of their small 1 inch sensor.  But maybe this segment for Nikon is just a test bed and we’ll see some of J2 features in larger Nikon’s sensor cameras soon. Based on the review from the guys in The Camera Store TV video (these guys do a great job) there are some drawbacks to the the new Sony’s compared to Nikon and Canon DSLR’s. The biggest issue is speed of Auto Focus which is just not there yet for the Mirrorless cameras. That being the case,  Nikon and Canon have nothing to worry about, for the time being, when you need a camera that can shoot high frame rates in Predictive AF. Check this blog post out for an idea of what superb Predictive AF is all about. But it won’t be long before the mirrorless segment gets this figured out. It’s all very exciting stuff. Take a look at the video above. These guys do a nice job.

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There are 2 comments on this post…
  1. Fred KurtzOn Oct. 16th, 2013

    OK Dan, I just received the new Panasonic GX7. I have never heard of the GM1. Where does the GM1 rank with the GX7? And where does the GX7 rank with the GH3? I am finding it is very hard to keep up with this ever changing environment.

    The GX7 appears to be an awesome camera but I haven’t had time to fully test it yet. I also bit the bullet and just got the 12-35 (24-70) f2.8 lumix professional lens. I cannot wait to try it out. I am seriously thinking of the 35-100 (70-200) f2.8 lens as well. Have you used either of these lenses?

    The reason I am doing this is to experiment on trips using one Nikon DLSR instead of two and one micro 4/3’s camera. This will come handy in Cuba where weight from airlines is an issue. Also I am taking Kathy to Hawaii this November and I am leaving the big guns behind and just relax with the GX7 and GX1.

    Having the D4, D800, GX7 and GX1 and both systems with professional lenses will give untold opportunities for photo trips. The hard part will be deciding what to take on what trip. My GX1 has done great but I love the high ISO capabilities of the Nikons.

    Tanya said I need to come to South Africa with you guys next time. Sounds like you had a wonderful time.


    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Oct. 16th, 2013


      It’s all coming fast and furious. The GX7 is definitely the camera targeted to more serious photographers. The GX7 gas a built in viewfinder, most likely a larger battery and is larger in size than the GM1. When I say larger in size it’s a retaliative comment since the GX7 is extremely small. Even so the new GM1 is even smaller. I’ve not seen the GM1 yet but I’m guessing it’s going to be the camera for more point and shoot situations, easily put in to your pocket, briefcase, a purse for women or maybe a man bag for you:) The two lenses you mentioned, the 12-35 F/2.8 and the 35-100 F/2.8 are truly professional quality lenses. You didn’t go wrong getting either one of them if you decide to do both. At least that’s what I read. I’ve been hoping Panasonic might send me both of them to test but alas no such luck. Let me know what you think of the GX7 and the 14-35mm zoom. Thanks for your input.

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