Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Third party grip for the GM1, LB-GM1

The Lumix GM1 is a fascinating camera: Very small, nicely designed, has good external controls despite the size, and offers top image and video quality.


The only problem I have with it, is the lack of a proper grip. It is awkward to hold.

There is the official grip, which I reviewed here. However, it is quite expensive, and it blocks the tripod mount, and the battery and SD card compartment. Which makes it less than optimal, to say the least.



However, there is an interesting third party alternative grip, which fixes these issues. Both the grips are laid out below (the official grip behind on the left):


The black third party grip comes with two hex keys, and in addition to the grip, it also adds an Arca-Swiss mounting plate on the right side, for setting the camera up in portrait layout.

Mounted to the camera, it looks like this:


The side Arca-Swiss grip can be disassembled using the hex key:


As you see, there are two tabs in the side mount, which makes sure it is aligned correctly. It fits tightly, and there is no wobbling when attached. Using the side mount, the camera can be put on an Arca Swiss compatible tripod head in either landscape or portrait position:


In the pictures above, I used an Induro BHD1 ball head with an Arca-Swiss compatible clamp. But there are many, many ball heads available which are Arca-Swiss compatible.

With the grip mounted, you can still access the battery and SD card. Behind the open battery door, you can see the extra tripod attachment:


Here is what it looks like in the hand. The grip part is a bit glossy and slippery, compared with the original grip. Also, the grip is wider, which leaves less space for your finger between it and the lens:


The whole front grip can also be removed, in case you want to use only the tripod attachment functionality of the grip.

Conclusion


I like the third party grip better. It adds a lot of functionality, at a lower price.

It is unclear to me if you can also use the grip with the Lumix GM5 camera. Based on the pictures I have seen, both cameras appear to have the same footprint, so it may be possible. But I have not tested them physically.

Pros:Light, very nicely finished, good finger grip.Pros: Adds two Arca-Swiss compatible tripod mounts, a second tripod screw hole, access to battery and SD card possible.
Cons:Expensive, blocks battery, SD card door and tripod hole.Cons:Heavy, grip is glossy, with little grip texture. Not much space between grip and lens.


9 comments:

  1. Either people who want this grip have bought the wrong camera or panasonic made the false product for its planned use.

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    Replies
    1. The grip looks much better than the original one and seems more useful,but a small camera should stay small.

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    2. The camera can be small, but to accommodate big lenses, a small camera need a proper grip to counter the weight and make it more balance.

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  2. A very good one is the Franiac grip:

    http://www.kleptography.com/rf/#camera_lumixgm1

    I have had it on several compact cameras including my GM1

    /Kjell

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  3. I use the Neewer grip on the GM1 only when I use the 14-140 II or when using on a tripod in portrait mode. It's a it heavy and bulky but it's perfect with a bigger lens like the 14-140 II. I remove it when using the kit lens or a small prime. Love the fact that I can access the battery/memory without removing the grip.

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  4. I tried to use the Neewer grip on a GM5 (not on the GM1) but the basis of GM5 didn't fit in the grip. So I suppose that the size of the GM5 basis is a little different from the one of GM1.
    To fix the issue I used a file to cut the ledge of the grip basis. After that it was nice.
    I detached the plate mount (useless for me).
    This alternative grip is useful. But I think I'll modifie the grip which is a bit too large leaving not enougth space for fingers.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, that is good to know!

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    2. Same here. I also added gun tape to the grip (guntape.com), it's a coarse rubber adhesive tape that improves the grip by orders of magnitude.
      -Lars

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    3. Can you share the picture of the image?

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