Cameta Camera sells a kit version of this product on Amazon for the same price as the camera only. The product link is as follows. Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera with 12-32mm Lens with 32GB Card + Case + Tripod + 3 Filters + Kit
. None of this extra stuff is top notch but it all works. Some of it is useful.
While I was first shooting and playing with this camera, I really liked it but I was stuck in my paradigm of it needs a grip, an EVF, and external controls to be a serious camera. I was wrong! In fact I bought this camera with the idea I was most likely going to return it.
This camera is freaking amazing and so much fun to use. It is the most exciting and revolutionary camera to come out in a long time. That is a bold statement with the release of the Olympus E-M1, Nikon Df, and Sony A7. Well I have all of those camera on hand and have shot all of them. My favorite to shoot and carry hands down is this GM1! The others are great cameras in their own right but this camera shifts the paradigm of what a small large sensor DSLM is. It does this by an amazingly refreshing clean and non-cluttered physical interface. It marries that with the slickest touch screen system I have seen to produce the least intimidating and best handling camera I have ever used. That is saying a lot because I have used some amazing handling cameras. The revolution of this camera is that there has never been a camera this small, that handled this well, has such great image quality, and, drum roll please, is stupid grin inducing fun to use.
It is also a dead silent camera. There is actually no need for the stealth mode this camera has because it is silent to begin with. If you turn off all the default beeps and squeaks on this camera it is silent.
No other camera that I know of has a 1/16,000 shutter speed. This one does and for using fast 1.4 lenses in bright sun this can't be beat.
Another super cool feature if you have the Olympus 12mm f/2 or the Olympus 12-40 f/2.8, when you click the focus dial to manual, it automatically turns on magnification and focus peaking. Click it back to auto and that switches off. Sweet.
In the accompanying video, I am going to show you how to set it up and how simple and fast it is to use.
The camera shares it sensor with the GX7 so this camera has the current state of the art when it comes to m43 sensors. Another thing it shares with the GX7 is that Panasonic USA is only selling the black and silver version. Right now there will be no black version, no white version, and no orange version. Boo Panasonic USA.
The lens on this camera is a gem and is optically superior than any other kit lens. This all the more amazing considering how small they made it. Shrinking the size like that usually entails all sorts of optical problems which need to be digitally corrected. While it is a very nice all purpose lens, no one is going to confuse it with a fast prime. It would be nice if it were a constant f/3.5 but that would increase the size. The construction on the outside, however, is plastic so you need to be careful not to scratch it. Right now the only way to get this lens is with this camera. I am sure that will change in time.
My first reaction to this camera is that it does not have a grip. If this had an EVF that might be a problem. However, this camera is too small and is not designed to be held like a traditional camera. It is small enough and is designed to be carried by 2 to 4 fingers on the top and bottom.
My next reaction was this camera does not have an EVF. For me an EVF is a must. A camera would have to be exceptional for me to overlook this. This camera is. The handling on this camera is specifically setup to not shoot with an EVF.
My third reaction was this camera does not have a traditional control dial to set shutter speed and EV. Instead it has a rotating dial on the back. This control setup works exceedingly well. I would not have believed it before trying it but the Digital fusion (couldn't resist) between physical controls and soft touch screen controls is perfect on this camera.
My forth reaction was this is a great looking camera. Very clean and stylish.
This actually leads me to what I think is one of the most underrated features on Panasonic cameras and is on the GM1. This is intelligent auto plus (iAuto+). I don't think most people understand what this does for you. With most intelligent autos, the user is locked out from making any decisions at all. Very nice if you are new and don't have any idea what you are doing but want to take nice pictures. (Most DSLRs pop up the flash which actually makes this mode pretty worthless). With iAuto, the camera scans the scene and the decides whether it is a portrait or landscape or flower etc and then makes numerous setting to the camera to optimize the picture. It would take a person several minutes to make all of these changes. That part of iAuto is great. What is not good is you can't usually change the EV or the aperture setting. But with iAuto+ you can. You can set in EV, change the Aperture, and even change the colors. On the GM1 you press the up arrow on the control wheel to scroll through the options of EV, Defocus control, and Color settings. This is an incredibly powerful feature and I don't know of any other manufacture that offers it.
Another really nice feature this camera has is a function button located on top and 5 virtual fn buttons located on the right side of the touch screen. This means whatever controls you use most frequently you can program and have instant access to. For a camera with very minimal physical controls, it handles very well and very quickly.
Next is Panasonic's Q (Quick menu system). You press the bottom left button which brings up the quick menu system on the screen. This allows you to change any shooting setting that you want.
I did not think I would really be able to use the large lenses on this camera. I was wrong. This camera is so small and light that you are basically just using the lens. You support the lens not the camera because it is so small and light.
My fifth reaction was Holy Smokes Batman, this camera is amazing and revolutionary.
Amazingly Small and Light - you really have to see it to believe it
Excellent Kit Lens
Can use any of the full line of m43 lenses
Great m43 image quality in a small package
Nice build feel
Nice Quick menu touch screen system.
Built in fill flash.
Camera is so small it is easy to accidentally set something on the touch screen.
No tilting screen