Small Camera = Big Joy

small-camera-tall-version-orange-cameraA couple years back I got my first high-end small mirrorless camera.

That’s me holding it in the picture. I wanted you to see how small it really is.

It’s only 4 inches wide!

You may remember I got hooked on mirrorless cameras in 2012 with my purchase of the Lumix GH3, because they are smaller and lighter than dSLRs, and just suit my lifestyle better. I dumped my Canon 5D MkII and haven’t looked back.

I bought this even smaller camera so that I could easily have it with me whenever I was out and about.

Now you’re probably thinking, “Marlene, just use your iPhone.”

Well I don’t care for the image quality of the iPhone.

As handy as they are, I find the tonal range is lacking, even with newer iPhones.

I mean, if the pictures don’t matter, then the iPhone is fine. If it’s a quick photo to document something and send it off to someone, that’s different than shooting something you want to print or edit.

Somehow I don’t value the iPhone photos as much as the ones I take with my real camera.

When I’m shooting skateboarders, I want a better sensor and a better tonal range than I get from my iPhone.


So let’s talk more about that small camera!

Lumix GM1 Orange

In January 2015 I bought a Lumix GM1 mirrorless camera. I got the orange one – of course! Because, orange.

My little GM1 goes with me everywhere.

It’s not a super new camera model, and there are other good choices, but I got this because of these features and benefits:

  1. The Lumix GM1 has a high-quality Micro 4:3 size sensor. The same sensor as my Lumix GH3.
  2. It has a really good kit lens – the Lumix 12-32mm. This lens has gone beyond my expectations. This lens is sharp and small! As a bonus, my other M 4:3 lenses fit on this camera, should the need arise.
  3. The GM1 has adjustable everything: f-stops, shutter speed, ISO, WB, exposure compensation, iDynamic, highlight clipping, and everything that my “big” cameras have.
  4. It has all the Lumix camera features I’ve grown to love like the creative modes and a touch screen that works just like the touch screen on your iPhone! Cool.
  5. It shoots 1080p video! (I use this for my skateboarding videos.)
  6. It focusses fast and accurately, which is great for photographing sports, kids, pets.
  7. It has a high burst mode, which I use for my skateboard photos.
  8. It was on sale at the time for $497 US. Not a cheap camera, but worth every penny! sells it for less now.
  9. It fits in my pocket or bag and it’s small and light enough to leave around my neck at a party or on a walk.
  10. It’s really fun to use, and the size and colour of it makes a good conversation starter.
  11. Bonus! It’s orange! I know I said this already, but it was definitely a deciding factor. (It also comes in royal blue.)

Taking photos makes me happy. It puts me in that “zone…” You know what I mean.

So it follows that if I have a camera with me all the time, and I use it, I can pretty much be happy all the time too.

And to be completely honest, I mostly use this camera in the fully automatic mode – Lumix calls this iA – Intelligent Auto.

Whatever camera you choose, pick one that is convenient, fun, and easy to use. 

The Lumix GM5 is very similar and newer than the Lumxi GM1. Check it out here. Hey! It comes in RED!

If a camera is too much work, you won’t take photos or videos with it. You just won’t.