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Confirmed: GX1 has 16 Megapixel sensor.


Of course every rumor is questionable, and so are mine. But there are some websites saying the GX1 will have a 12 Megapixel sensor. And many readers contacted me to ask me if that is true. I am writing this post to answer you all and to confirm you again that my sources are telling me that it has a 16 Megapixel sensor. And I am 99,999% sure I am right :)

Anyway, it doesn’t matter that much now. The GX1 will be announced on Tuesday 8 November at 6-7am London time. Be sure to be online at 43rumors! I will update you with all news and reviews. And I want to remind you that we now have a new Facebook fanpage (Click here) you should join!

For Europeans only: New refurbished Olympus cameras are available at Olympusmarket like:
Olympus E-PL1 double lens kit Olympus E-PL2 double lens kit Olympus E-PL2 with 14-42mm lens Another (black) Olympus E-PL2 double lens kit

  • MikeH

    But what about that .001% chance that you are wrong? ;) Do you know if it is the same sensor as the G3 or a new sensor?

    Thanks for the update. :)

  • Gabriel

    I miss the viewfinder, but if the sensor is at least as good as the G3’s I’m definitely going for it and the 20mm/1.7. Travelling to Japan soon and I want a small and good camera.

  • umm

    This camera is UGLY. Or at least this is what the GF2 should of been. Shame that they put an “X” to distinguish it from a GF3.

    • mahler

      You are putting the most emphasis on stuff which is nearly unimportant: the name of the camera and the look. This is typical for many posters here. The GX1 has the best control layout of all the other mirrorless cameras in its class (incl. NEX-7) and also a good sensor.

      Since it was never intended to be the camera with the build-in VF, I think there are only a few points, which are not to like at this camera. Looked at the camera in reality, I would even say that there is no point calling it particularly ugly, though this is completely personal taste.

      • MJr

        It’s mainly the grip that doesn’t match the camera, and these horrible photos don’t do it any justice. The layout is better than most, but not thàt good. The X10, now that’s a good layout, and that includes Live-view operation and such.

  • Emeister

    FYI, panny just held a meeting at the Beaumont Estate in London last night. A group that had some cameras were gathered in a courtyard while spectacular fireworks were being shot off just a few feet from me (scared the bejesus out of me). I saw the cameras they held and they had more of a GF form than G. Overheard that it had significantly improved nighttime performance (hence the fireworks).

    • rUY

      I have to agree that is an strange/ugly design. The problem is that panasonic is way behind……. By the way, X has more than one meaning. could be positive or else negative meaning…..haha…

      • mahler

        And where exactly is Panaonic way behind the competiton? I can only see the VF of the NEX, not much else.

    • Ghost

      @mahler Best controls in it’s class? Really? Did you feel the same about the GF2 because if you look closely this camera is pretty much the GF2 body with buttons in almost the same places.

      All Panasonic did was to slightly revamp an old model. My one big gripe with micro 4/3’s is this tendency to put out as many cameras as possible hooping that one will be a success. Though more often than not the camera is forgotten in 6 mos.

  • Alec

    Is it possible we’ll not only see the GX1 available with the two new X zoom lenses, but also with the next (X) generation of the current 20mm pancake? It might not be available soon, but doesn’t february/march sound like a realistic option?

    • come on pana

      yes thats what i am asking but they don’t answer i saw they will release 20mm in x lens, YES VERY HOPE SO

  • Neicila

    I already have a g3. I will not buy the gx1 if it has same g3 sensor and no big improvment, especially since gx1 has no tiltable lcd and build in evf. That’s some of my huge prerequisites for doing street photography. Meanwhile , I’ll continue to shoot with the g3 or buy an oly epl3 for the tiltable screen

  • Hiplnsdrftr

    Let’s hope they ditch that butt ugly grip!

    • They include that ugly handle with the camera so that you will run out and buy the designer replacement grip that will be offered as an upgrade accessory! :-)

      • pdc

        Good one Bob!
        Not having girlie hands I think this grip is going to feel much better than the virtual lack of one on the GF1/2/3, and the extra form around the thumb wheel is also good functional design.

        • Perty

          Even with that nasty grip the camera still looks a lot better than any of the NEX’s. The more I study those things the more I realize how their design won’t stand the test of time at all. In a few years time people will realize that they’re not a classical form & will be wanting something cool again.

        • Laeric

          Agreed. I think that grip looks comfortable and practical. I can’t believe how many comments/critiques revolve around looks on this site. I guess I’m weird because I’d rather my equipment be practical than look good. Also, the GX1 thumbwheel appears to be much better than the useless thing they threw on the G3. I guess there is no way it could be worse. So far the GX1 body looks exactly what I was hoping for as an upgrade from my GF1. Hopefully the specs come through and make it an easy decision. If Panny has made the IQ acceptable at 400iso (which it isn’t on the GF1 IMO) and added an extra stop (or more) of DR, the GX1 will keep this photographer satisfied for a few years no matter what new technology comes out. The lack of movie icon on the mode dial scares me. Hopefully they havent limited the video control like they did with the G3. They came so close with the G3, yet so far away. I guess the G3 is a cheap body for people who need an articulating screen (due to lack of photography skills). Calm down, I’m kidding. The articulating screen has a use…for video. You’re cheating if you use it for still photography. How do you sleep at night? Haha.

        • Hmm, perhaps you actually do have girlie hands if you require a grip to hold onto a camera :)

          For what it’s worth, I’ve used grip-less cameras for 20 years and never once dropped one or got a hand cramp. I’ve still yet to figure out what all the fuss is about over grips. My Pentax LX feels great without one.

          Good news on the 16mp sensor though; was afraid they were going to use the same old sensor from the G1.

          Very true about the G3 thumb wheel, it’s awful. Hopefully Panasonic won’t ever use that thing on another camera again.

          • Jim

            totaly agree – all this talk about grips… lol – its not like we are talking about plyers or a screwdriver???? you just hold it end of….

            • Anonymous

              Great photography advice “Jim”. Thanks for your awesome comment. Great contibution. Let me guess, you are American. Wicked.

              • Fafhrd


                Americans don’t spell pliers “plyers.”

          • Agreed. No big deal if there’s no grip. I’ve never dropped a camera either. And if I did it would only fall as far as the end of the strap…

        • ypocaramel

          It’s also the most LC-1-like part of the camera ;)

  • Yun

    A 16 megapixel is a must !
    Otherwise GX can’t even compete in it’s own MFT class .
    What really matter to me is the IQ , if it is the best up to date according to source .

  • Marcram

    Looking forward to video specs and a new gh2 design.

  • come on pana

    they say g3 has better condition in high iso…. so imagine it with new processor + one of the two source said that is the best panasonic camera in this date

  • When I read that it is supposed to have a 12 megapixel sensor after having previously read that it’s supposed to have the 16 megapixel G3 sensor, the idea came to my mind that the reason for the conflicting rumors might be that it has a multi-aspect sensor with 16 megapixels overall and 12 megapixels effectively. I think it would be kinda cool and I wouldn’t mind that it’s “only” 12 megapixels in such a case – because of the multi-aspect sensor’s benefits and the assumed prospect of it being a more advanced sensor. (I suppose a 16 megapixel multi-aspect sensor would be more likely to offer effective 14 megapixels, though?)

    But it seems like Panasonic is pretty strict about separating the different product lines – that is, having tiltable screens and built-in viewfinders only on the SLR-like bodies of G* and GH* while keeping the GF* and GX* models compact by denying them such features, saving the microphone input for the GH line, and so on… Likewise, they’ll probably always save the multi-aspect sensors for the GH cameras.

    Separating different models by unique features isn’t bad in my eyes, but it seems Panasonic might be a bit too strict about it – stricter than its customers like it to be, apparently. One can tell when reading all the comments of people disappointed by the lack of a tiltable screen and/or a built-in viewfinder on the higher end compact style body GX1 (and I’m one of them).

  • tomas

    I agree that the multi aspect feature shouldn’t be unique to the H’s, it’s a nice feature that no one else has.

    The dpreview of the Sony A77 allows comparison with G3, if you do that, the G3 is pretty close to the A77 in noise and dynamic range, what you would expect given pixel size. There is a lot of whining here about sensors, but with the G3 I don’t think the gap is any worse that you would expect given the sensor size. OF course there is lower resolution, but that is the sensor size tradeoff.

    I’m thinking of running a few rolls of film through a Kodak Pony IV with a 44mm f3.5 and seeing if I can match the bokeh of the 20mm1.7.

    • Esa Tuunanen

      JPEGs are meaningless when you need all performance you can get.
      On RAW level there’s very little out of line of 4/3 sensors’ lagging performance in G3’s sensor with its increased marketing pee/pixel count.
      In GH1 DR and SNR of that 12MP new design sensor was actually well above level of other 4/3 sensors but then marketroids went to shrink those pixels and decrease the amount of light they gather.

  • I “liked” the fanpage, but I like the website better. I like the anonymity here. If you write posts with insight and thought, people will give you the respect you deserve. If you write a heap of provocative crap, people won’t respond.

    If you post on the fanpage, people can click on your name and go to your profile, have a look at your photos and judge you that way. I suppose that would be ok – our photography speaks for itself.

    Although, I think there are camera enthusiasts here that may not be the greatest photographers, and vice versa. Of course ideally we’d all lay claim to both. I’m going to change my privacy settings – but I’ll put my best photos on public display.

    Just occurred to me that I don’t even have that many of my photos on facebook anyway.

    As for GX1: I like it. A successor to my gf-1, which I still think is great! I agree with Laeric on the gf-1, ISO 400 and above is a bit crappy, so I often whack it over to dynamic B&W, ramp up the ISO and shoot JPEGS. Can’t wait to see how the gx-1 performs.

    • Laeric

      bean5y, that is interesting that you shoot B&W Jpeg at higher iso’s on the GF1 because I do the same thing and find the results to be acceptable at times. The B&W-soft and Oly 45mm lens combine for nice looking portraits in less than ideal lighting conditions.

      For anyone who has a GF1 and shoots video, I strongly recommend the 50mbps hack (compared to the standard 17mbps) and try shooting video using the Nostalgic art filter. The GF1 is capable of attractive looking video. I was comparing the results directly to a freind’s hacked 176mbps GH2 and it looked pretty good in comparison. I was shooting with a 50mm Minolta and he was using a Pentax-Limited pancake lens.

      Does anyone have any opinions/guesses on POSITIVE surprises regarding the announcement of GX1 specifications next week (I think we’ve all heard enough negative comments)?

      – 5+ fps. I would presume it will be at least 5 to match the EPL3.
      – Mulit-aspect sensor?
      – External EVF priced at under $200?
      – Claims that the new sensor can achieve higher DR and lower iso noise than any other Panasonic m4/3 model on the market?

      I’m curious what additional features/specs people need this camera to have before buying it (other than the things we already know it doesn’t have like articulating screen and built-in EVF).

      • ref

        PASM in video mode

  • Andrew

    So how is this camera better than the G3, other than being smaller (but of course no EVF)?


      first have a new processor and two it will have an evf is more open for everybody don’t you think, those who want it put on and vice versa. if you like big ugly camera take the g3

      is not because it have a new camera that it have to respond to your choice all this is only question of time that’s it…

      • Is the G3 really big? I put it together with my D300 and in comparison the G3 is quite small (Also compared to GH2). Ugly; I can agree. The G3 is a good picture taking machine but does not have that quality feel like GF1.
        If the GX1 has the internals as G3, better processor and quality feel, it is a very good choice for those who do not need articulating screen and EVF.
        But no reason to change from G3 to GX1.

    • ypocaramel

      A matter of choice really. Depends on what form factor you’re comfortable with, which button layout is preferred and so on. As a photographer Handling is just as important as IQ in my book. If you’re looking for the pinnacle of engineering prowess, well, look elsewhere.

  • calxn

    *yawn* still another rehashed camera.

  • burnardo

    I’m dreaming of that 12-35 every night..

  • I still think a downgraded G3 design like this is suicide against Olympus’ E-P3. Put the GX1 next to an E-P3 and we all know the majority of people will pick the PEN.

    The PEN has more features (probably).
    The PEN has a prettier design.
    The PEN probably still has the faster autofocus.
    The PEN now takes full HD videos with stereo audio as well.
    The PEN has built-in image stabilization which works on all of the MFT prime lenses, including the Panasonic ones.
    The PEN can take the accessory of earlier PEN models – batteries, viewfinder etc.

    I hope Panasonic will surprise us next week and reveal the GX1 sensor is multi-aspect ratio. I own both an E-PL1 (still, going to sell it soon) and a GF1. The GF1 is pretty much already a perfect camera in the perfect format with a decent performance. It lacks a good viewfinder option and I really envy the GH2 owners for their multi-aspect ratio sensor.

    I will probably upgrade to a E-P3 next year if no MFT PEN like camera with built in viewfinder is available by then. The GX1 is pretty much boring the hell out of me up to now.

    • Martin

      E-P3 is a pretty good camera, just rather overpriced for its features. There will be at least 3 things making GX1 competitive with the Pen: better sensor; smaller kit lens; lower price of the body.

      • Martin

        + one more thing regarding the kit lens. I suspect (arguable, I admit) its image stabilizing ability to be better than that of the Pen kit. I am looking forward to seeing a proper test of it, best done as a comparison of the 2 types of IS used within m43.

      • mahler

        And, most importantly, the GX1 has a much better control layout. The usage of the multicontroller of the EP-3 is awkward, it simply sucks.

        • Martin

          Although this is really individual, ie. arguable, I am with you on it.

        • The thumb wheel of the E-P3 is much better than the thumb wheel of the GX1 which still seems to be the same as on the GF1. The PEN’s is bigger and easier to operate (less force and fiddling necessary, and it’s more precise). I tried both (owning a GF1 and borrowing an E-P3).

          • Mr. Reeee

            Mahler’s talking about the crappy 4-way click dial thing. It’s terrible. Straight out of P&S land. Panasonic’s dedicated 4 button with center button is much better ergonomically. You can change settings with it while looking through the EVF. You can use it with gloves on. You can’t mistakenly click while trying to spin the dial.

    • ypocaramel

      The cropping opportunity given by the additional 4MP is material, with 12MP you have to be a bit more careful with the framing if you want large prints, which I make. My eyeballs (and DXO) tell me that the G3/GH2 sensor probably has an additional stop in terms of noise, useful in low light. IS doe’t help with fast subjects.

      That said, E-P3 isn’t a bad idea at all. The 920k rear LCD is useful for checking focus. I’d take the Panny though. I love low light work but not willing to go with the NEX lens collection, the Zeiss 24mm E-mount is $1000, that’s $400 more than the 25mm DG.

    • adventsam

      How can the Pen-3 be considered for video, its almost useless. As for the g3 c/w pen?, if the gx-1 is the g3 in a different form factor I find it hard to believe anyone would pick the pen, but we are all different but certainly this whole ibis thing is way over blown as a differentiator, in the majority of cases you need high iso iq for quality speed in low light, not a 1/5 hand-held shutter blurring everything.

  • aqasem

    actually a four third sensor with its 225mm area it supposed to produce about 10M pixel compared with an asp sensor size which produce about 16M pixel. So why a lot people like huge M pixels ? is it better for dynamic range so what about low-ligh performance ? then why they don’t produce tow editions and one as balanced edition
    16M for dynamic, 6M for low light, and 10 as balanced one :)

    • You pretty much described what Fuji do with one sensor with their EXR tech.

      i think that’s why a lot of people wanted Olympus to source their sensors from fuji instead of pana or hoped fuji would join m43 (apparently not happening). I may have been one of those people…

  • Mike

    I rather like them to return to 12mp but to improve the dynamic range and the noise department. For such small sensor, what do you need 16mp for?

    High density sensor needs three things:
    – Super sharp lens
    – Good light
    – Steady hand

    Even the upcoming FF Canon 1DX has only 18mp. Mega pixel race has long gone.

    • Martin

      > High density sensor needs three things:
      >- Super sharp lens
      >- Good light
      >- Steady hand

      Yeah, you have named nearly all the common myths going around here 8-)

      • Hey Martin…I do not care (or pretend to know) what it takes to improve the dynamic range on a sensor. That is science and physics that I do not understand nor do I need to as a photographer. What I do understand is that MFT is still lacking in dynamic range and higher ISO performance. It is good but not great. (I know this because I am a photographer who shoots a lot of photos. Not a scientist/physicist/engineer). Making a 12MP or a 16MP sensor that is better for achieving that goal is up to the experts. I don’t care one way or the other about the pixel-count at this point (obviously I would like it to be high, but not self-defeatingly high). If the engineers can do this…it just needs to get done. I agree with Mike….Canon..the industry leader in sensor technology (I am a fan, I own a 5D Mark II) has taken a step “back” to move forward against the marketing guys who have had to advertise that more is better to compete in the marketplace… Perhaps a refreshing breath of reason is beginning to prevail? I guess time will tell. It can be 16mp, 14mp or 12mp…I do not really care. I know there is the limitation of a smaller sensor, but if dynamic range and ISO performance can be improved, Panasonic…just show me the beef.

        • Martin

          Well, those 16mp MAY be a little bit past the “sweet spot” (in terms of S/N ratio which affects both noise and DR performance) at the current technology state (Panasonic once admitted that the 18mp sensor in GH2 had been partially chosen for marketing reasons), although the difference between it and a hypothetical 12mp sensor of the same generation would be IMO very very small (plus the difference in resolution somewhat makes up for it.)
          Anyway, the “sweet spot” in the next generation of sensors may well be the current 16mp.. I believe so.

    • Laeric

      Mike, can you explain while a 16mp sensor needs those 3 things over 12mp sensor? Where did you get your information from?

      • Mike

        1) Optical resolution has to match the sensor density to take the advantage of the high pixel count.
        2) Everything else equal, high density sensor has the disadvantage in noise. The disadvantage diminishes in low ISO setting, thereby requiring good light.
        3) Movement by camera shake is relatively more evidence in smaller pixel, imagining a point moving on the surface of a stamp and a football field.

        These are physics…;)

        • Laeric

          That makes sense. Thanks for the explanation Mike.

          I am curious how easy it is to see these differences in real world circumstances. If it is obvious, I wonder why companies would be increasing pixel density in newer sensors? It can’t be for marketing only. As someone already mentioned, the MP war is pretty much dead. I guess it has to do with people wanting to enlarge their prints and maintain detail? But who would be printing larger than 8″ x 10″ using a m4/3 sensor when there are much better sensors for that type of work?

          I just want a stop or two more DR and less noise at iso 400 & 800 than I have on my GF1, but unfortunately it sounds like that might not occur.

          I guess we’ll have to wait for the actual samples and test results.

  • Justin

    It’s going to be interesting to see for whom this camera is intended and who will actually buy it. My feeling is that Panasonic would do well to eliminate the G series camera in favor of a G?: a compact bodied camera with swinging lcd and built in viewfinder. The GH series can keep the faux dslr styling and will suffice as the flagship in this way. That way Panasonic can have three compact m43 cameras (GF, GX, G?) and one dslr styled camera (GH).

  • bai

    so assume this camera will come with a same sensor as the one in G3. That means this camera is at most going to be a G3 without VF (and no tilt screen!). I don’t see anything fancy that will be attractive on this camera since I already didn’t get the G3..

    • Forbes

      You expect it to make you breakfast in bed with coffee and toast?

      • Tom

        Actually, I expect clowns like you to make me breakfast in bed because that is all you are good for. What a stupid, pointless, non-humorous comment you made. Keep up the great work Forbes!

        • Forbes

          Yes, I can see you didn’t get my point.

  • Jon junk

    No multi aspect sensor, no love

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