Making sense of Panasonic Lumix camera models

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David Thorpe has suggested on his YouTube channel that Panasonic name their cameras with a random password generator. Even if the names of the models are quite cryptic, there seems to be a system to the madness, with cameras organized into different product lines having different letters and different amount of numbers. It also seems like Panasonic has gone from having many different letter combinations, to simplifying the letter combinations and now instead differentiating by the number of digits after the letter combination (at least in Europe and North America). I have made a table of how I perceive their cameras to fit into product lines. I’m not saying this is how it is, just that this is how I perceive it to be.

Body style Differentiation 2010-2011 2012-2013 2013-2014 2015-2016 2017-2018
DSLR-style Flagship video GH5S
Flagship hybrid (stills and video) (GH#) GH2 GH3 GH4 GH5
Flagship stills (G#) G2 and G3 G5 and G6 G7 G8 G9
Entry level (G##) G10 G80/G85/G81 (E/NA/G)
Rangefinder-style Flagship stills (GX#) GX1 GX7 GX8 GX9/GX7 mark III (E+NA/J)
Mid level stills, smaller (GX##) GX80/GX85/GX7 mark II (E/NA/J)
Very small size (GM#) GM1 GM5
Entry level, small, no EVF (GF# and GX###) GF2 and GF3 GF5 and GF6 GF7 GF8 and GX800/GX850/GF9 (E/NA/J)

# equals a digit, ## equals double digits, and ### equals triple digits. EVF= Electronic viewfinder. Panasonic calls these LVFs = Live viewfinder. Names of cameras with slashes have letters in parenthesis signifying in which market which name is used. E = Europe, NA = North America, J = Japan, G = Germany. The general rule is that cameras ending in 5 is the North American version (G85, GX850), the ones ending in 0 is the European version (G80, GX800), if there is a separate German version, it ends in 1 and if there is a name that contains “mark”, it is the Japanese version.

The DSLR-style bodies have the EVFs in the centre of the camera, are usually larger than the rangefinder-styled bodies and have handgrips as an extension of the body on the right side. Optionally, you can get battery grips for these cameras. The rangefinder-styled bodies are smaller in overall size and looks like a rectangle with an EVF on the left side of the camera (it there is one). The GX8 is an exception, as it is both larger than most of the rangefinders and contains a built in handgrip that is similar to the DSLR-styled bodies’ handgrips. With the GX9, the GX-series returned to the smaller form factor of the GX7 and GX80 and with just a small handgrip on the front of the rectangle camera body instead of part of the body extending out into the handgrip. Since the rangefinder-bodies are smaller, they can dissipate less heat, which means that the processor has to be less powerful in these bodies. This is the reason why some high end video features are only available on the DSLR-style bodies.

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