The Lumix G7 is a very capable mid-range photographic camera that should be considered by anyone wanting a pace-upwards from budget models, whether DSLR or mirrorless. It has well thought-out controls, a large and detailed electronic viewfinder and the flexibility of a fully-articulated touch-screen. Information technology’southward responsive, focusing quickly even in low light and firing-off bursts upwards to 8fps at the full resolution. It’s characteristic-packed with born Wifi, timelapse, silent shooting up to i/16000, and upwardly to vii-frame bracketing. It’due south innovative with 4k video allowing you to capture movies with iv times the detail of 1080p, and the chance to catch 8 Megapixel photos from footage at 30fps. Plus as a Micro Four Thirds camera, it enjoys access to the broadest range of native mirrorless lenses. In all these respects information technology takes the baton of the earlier G6 and runs with it, making it one of the best mid-range cameras effectually, and 1 which fifty-fifty treads on the toes of higher-end models. Indeed for many, the video capabilities arroyo that of the flagship GH4, making it an platonic budget choice for film-makers or a backup trunk for B-roll. It’s a lot of photographic camera for the money.
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Panasonic’s Lumix G7 is a mid-range mirrorless arrangement camera that’due south based on the Micro Four Thirds standard. Announced in May 2015 it replaces the two yr old Lumix G6, slotting between the existing GF7 and GH4. This besides places it roughly in-line with the GX7, although in a unlike form-factor designed for those who prefer the traditional DSLR-styled shape, and also with a number of fundamental upgrades over that model.
Like all recent Lumix K cameras, the G7 employs a 16 Megapixel sensor (the same sensor every bit GX7, GM5 and GF7) and contrast-based AF system, enhanced by Panasonic’due south DFD (depth-past-defocus) applied science which aids continuous AF by profiling the out-of-focus characteristics of Panasonic lenses. Flare-up shooting has accelerated to 8fps or 6fps with continuous AF, versus seven or 5fps on the earlier G6. The new electronic shutter option also allows the camera to shoot in silence at shutter speeds upward to 1/16000, beyond the 1/4000 fastest mechanical shutter – this is bang-up for shooting at big apertures in vivid weather.
Movies are always of import to Panasonic, so it’s no surprise to acquire the G7 becomes the company’s latest camera to support 4k video (UHD at 24, 25 or 30p) in addition to 1080p at up to 60p. As with earlier 4k Lumix cameras, the G7 makes it easy to take hold of 8 Megapixel still photos from video, effectively giving you 30fps outburst shooting. Information technology all adds up to one of the best-featured mid-range cameras around, but does information technology get in one of the best in practice? Find out in my in-depth review where I’ve compared its quality and handling confronting rival mirrorless and DSLR cameras, paying particular attention to differences with the flagship Lumix GH4!
Panasonic Lumix G7 video overview
Panasonic Lumix G7 design and controls
The Lumix G7 is a mid-sized mirrorless camera with a viewfinder hump to a higher place the lens mount. Like before unmarried-digit 1000-series models, information technology’southward styled similar a mini DSLR, although the organic curves of the previous G6 have been switched for a more than angular appearance and at that place’s changes to the controls I’ll cover in a moment.
Measuring 125x86x77mm and weighing 410g with battery, it’southward roughly the same width and height every bit the Olympus OMD EM5 2, although a little lighter and thicker thanks to a chunkier grip. In mirrorless terms, the flat-topped Sony A6000 is more meaty at 120x67x45mm and lighter too at 344g with battery, although the G7 is still comfortably smaller and lighter than most DSLRs.
In terms of specification and toll it goes up confronting models like Nikon’southward D5500 (124x97x70mm / 470g) and Catechism’s EOS 750D / T6i (132x101x78mm / 555g). Add their respective kit zooms and the differences go fifty-fifty greater, especially for Canon who’s EF-S 18-55mm STM doesn’t collapse to save space. I’ve pictured the Lumix G7 alongside the EOS 760D / T6s below and the difference in height and depth (with lenses) is quite dramatic. Note the smallest of the bunch remains the Sony with its specially compact kit zoom, although in my tests I’ve found the Sony kit zoom to be the worst performer of its rivals, becoming quite soft in the corners. I’m pleased yet to report the Lumix 14-42mm kit zoom, pictured on the G7 below, performs very well for its size.
Like its predecessor the G7 offers a generous grip with plenty to wrap your fingers around – indeed much more than well-nigh mirrorless cameras of its class. Like the G6 earlier it, the lite but mid-sized body gives the G7 a less dense feeling in your hands compared to models from Sony and especially Olympus, only information technology’s even so a solid and well-built photographic camera. There’s no battery grip option, and at this toll-point neither the G7 nor whatsoever comparably priced rivals can claim weather-sealing either – for instance, the Olympus OMD EM5 II costs over l% more than the G7.
In terms of controls, Panasonic has fabricated quite a few changes on the Lumix G7 compared to the G6. For starters, there’s a new defended drive mode dial on the elevation panel, to the left of the viewfinder hump; this lets you easily switch between single, continuous, 4K Photo, bracketing, self timer or timelapse bulldoze modes. The photographic camera’s more customisable too with 11 custom function buttons (six concrete and five soft versus 5 and 2 on the G6), and each of the G7’due south office buttons can exist configured from no less than 14 pages of options.
Arguably the biggest change from a usage point-of-view though are the control wheels. The earlier G6 had a thumb dial which could be clicked-in to change its function, forth with a rocker control under your index finger which could also operate power zooms. At present the G7 has get more traditional with two control dials, one around the shutter release at the front for your index finger and 1 at the rear for your thumb (with one of the custom function buttons in the middle). Like the Olympus OMD EM5 II, the twin dials accept been carefully positioned to allow easy adjustment of either even when belongings the camera with one mitt. For me this isn’t possible with either the Canon EOS 750D / T6i or Nikon D5500, and is tricky with the Sony A6000. Ultimately I feel the OMD EM5 Ii’south chunkier dials are more tactile, but information technology’due south a higher-end camera; for its toll point, the G7’s dials work very well. Do I miss the G6’s rocker command? Not really as I rarely used any of the Power Zoom lenses and they don’t seem to be promoted in many bundles anymore.
I exercise all the same experience Panasonic could have made its various buttons larger or travel farther. As it stands, they’re all quite small and requite minimal feedback when pushed. The body is certainly large enough to accommodate larger buttons. It is of course personal but I don’t see why so many cameras employ tiny buttons when at that place’s room for larger ones that are easier and more comfortable to operate.
Like other single-digit Grand models, the G7 is equipped with an electronic viewfinder and a fully-articulated touchscreen for composition. Like the G6 before it, I’m pleased to written report the G7 has stuck with an OLED panel, although while the magnification remains 0.7x, the resolution has been upgraded from 1440k dot (800×600) to 2360k dot (1024×768). This means the G7 shares the same panel engineering science and resolution as the flagship GH4; indeed Panasonic told me the G7 viewfinder was the same every bit the GH4, although the official specs quote the GH4 magnification equally fractionally lower. The 2360k dot resolution is likewise a key do good the G7 has over the Sony A6000 which, equally an older mid-range model, employs a 1440k dot panel.
Either way the G7 viewfinder is one of the highlights of the camera. Information technology’s large, bright, detailed and tin can display a wealth of information and shooting aids including effect previews, a live histogram, magnified assistance, leveling gauge, focus peaking, zebra patterns and a diversity of alignment guides; as an electronic viewfinder, you tin besides use information technology for shooting movies or playing-back files.
While roughly comparable in size and particular to other new mirrorless cameras of its course, the G7’s viewfinder delivers a considerably larger view than rival DSLRs. The optical viewfinders of Canon’south EOS 750D / T6i and Nikon’s D5500 are roughly three quarters of the size, won’t evidence the total coverage of the frame and miss out on the variety of shooting aids. Of form the flipside is that optical viewfinders don’t swallow as much battery power, don’t lag in very low light and also provide instant feedback when shooting and panning, but for full general-utilize I much prefer the experience of a good electronic viewfinder, and the G7’southward is certainly 1 of the better ones.
One of the other highlights of shooting with a single-digit G-serial camera is the fully-articulated touch-screen that can flip and twist to whatsoever angle. I prefer fully-articulated screens to ones that but tilt vertically every bit I tin angle them for high and depression compositions when shooting in the vertical / portrait shape rather than just the horizontal / landscape shape; they also let y’all flip the screen back on itself for protection if the conditions become precarious.
The screen panel itself is the same 3in size and 3:2 shape equally the G6 and shares essentially the same resolution of 1040k dots. The 3:ii shape is a common selection for Micro Four Thirds screens, although if y’all’re shooting in the native 4:3 aspect ratio of the sensor, you won’t be filling the screen width-ways; instead images are displayed with sparse black bars running vertically down either side. But 3:2 is a practiced compromise for the screen as it means the wider shape of sixteen:nine movies aren’t displayed too small, and of class you lot can e’er shoot photos in the 3:two shape if you lot’re willing to have a minor crop and loss of resolution. I should also mention yous can not only arrange the brightness of the G7’south screen, merely also the contrast, saturation, red tint or blue tint, all in fine increments. I found the default mid-brightness level was mostly fine for shooting outdoors, although benefitted from a boost in very bright conditions.
Like earlier models, Panasonic makes adept employ of the touch-sensitive capabilities of the screen. Yous tin can tap your way through all the menus, drag alignment guides and the live histogram effectually, swipe through images and compression-to-zoom in playback, and of course tap to reposition the AF surface area. Being able to quickly reposition the AF area by but tapping is a boon and something I actually miss on cameras without touch-screens. The touch-screen also unlocks v soft-function keys which popout from a tray on the right, and in the Flick mode an additional set up of on-screen buttons provide silent control over the exposure; Panasonic also lets y’all tap to pull-focus while filming video. In short in that location’due south little y’all can’t do with the touch on-screen, although the wealth of physical controls provide a more traditional alternative if you adopt.
Interestingly while virtually DSLRs tin can come across equally erstwhile fashioned in many respects compared to modern mirrorless cameras, the Lumix G7’southward mirrored rivals are really well-represented on the screen front. Both Canon’s EOS 750D / T6i and Nikon’s D5500 feature fully-articulated touchscreens, and the latter boasts the biggest console of the bunch at 3.2in. Just both these DSLRs miss out on assistance like focus peaking, zebra patterns, and of grade the larger view afforded by the viewfinders of rival mirrorless cameras. And so while I commend Canon and Nikon for equipping these DSLRs with fully-articulated bear upon-screens, I experience the G7 delivers a preferable compositional feel overall.
A button to the left of the viewfinder releases the popup flash which offers a Guide Number of 6.six at 100 ISO, less powerful than the GN 12 at 100 ISO of the Catechism EOS 750D / T6i. There’s a hotshoe for external flashguns.
In terms of ports, the Lumix G7 is equipped with a 3.5mm microphone input on the left and, behind a flap on the right, a combined USB / AV output, a Type-D Micro HDMI port and a two.5mm socket for the optional DMW-RSL1 wired remote command. The HDMI output can evangelize a make clean feed (upwardly to 4k) to external monitors and recorders, although it lacks the x-fleck selection of the flagship GH4, instead operating at a more traditional 8-chip. There’s as well built-in Wifi for wireless communications which I’ll discuss after in the review.
The DMW-BLC12E Lithium Ion bombardment pack is recharged externally in a supplied AC unit and Panasonic quotes effectually 360 shots per charge nether CIPA atmospheric condition. This is roughly the same equally Sony quotes for the A6000 but falls curt of the 440 or 820 shots per charge that Canon and Nikon quote for their EOS 750D / T6i and D5500 respectively, although remember that’s when using their optical viewfinders; switch them into Live View and their batteries are depleted much faster. That said, I actually managed comfortably more than than 360 shots from the G7: on one charge I shot 345 images with the mechanical shutter, along with a farther 1800 using the electronic shutter across two Timelapse sequences, not to mention several minutes worth of 4k and 1080p video.
I do however wish Panasonic would offer USB charging in-camera for its mirrorless cameras. I like the opportunity to top-upward a depleting battery while I’m out and about without having to think to bring the charger and notice an AC outlet. For me Sony leads the pack in this respect, offering in-camera USB charging across its range, even for full-frame mirrorless.
Panasonic Lumix G7 lenses
The Lumix G7 is equipped with a lens mount that’due south compatible with the Micro Four Thirds standard. This gives it access to the broadest and about established catalogue of native mirrorless lenses, including many bang-up quality options from Panasonic and Olympus. While many mirrorless formats are defective a complete range of lens options, Micro Iv Thirds more often than not offer two or iii alternatives at each common focal length – a key advantage over rival systems.
The Micro 4 Thirds standard employs a field-reduction factor of two times, so lenses similar the standard xiv-42mm or 14-140mm kit zooms deliver coverage equivalent to 28-84mm or 28-280mm respectively. The latest Lumix Thousand fourteen-42mm f3.five-5.6 kit zoom (H-FS1442AE) may not be a collapsing design, but is very meaty none-the-less, measuring 49mm in length, 56mm in bore and weighing 110g. Fifty-fifty the 14-140mm zoom is compact at 75mm long, 65mm in diameter and 265g in weight, making information technology roughly like in size and weight to Canon’southward EF-Southward 18-55mm STM kit zoom, simply with a 10x range rather than 3x. Hither’s the coverage you tin expect rom the fourteen-42mm kit zoom, and like other Panasonic zooms, it’s optically stabilized.
Many kit zooms represent an entry-point to a arrangement – something to become y’all started before yous upgrade to a more capable lens. I’ve found this peculiarly with many collapsing kit zooms which often trade prototype quality for size. Panasonic’s Lumix G 14-42mm however is an exception: a lens which may not collapse, merely is very compact none-the-less and which importantly delivers much better quality than you lot’d retrieve for the money, including surprisingly sharp corners. It is in brusque the all-time quality small, budget kit zoom I’ve used.
Like other kit zooms, the f3.five-v.6 focal ratio means yous won’t be achieving very shallow depth-of-field effects, a fact accentuated past the smaller Micro Four Thirds format. If you desire a nice portrait lens, I can highly recommend Panasonic’s Lumix G 42.5mm f1.7 or the Olympus 45mm f1.8. Cheque out these and my other recommendations in my Micro Four Thirds lens guide.
Panasonic Lumix G7 shooting feel
The Lumix G7 is a good, solid mid-range camera that feels responsive and confident in your hands. Equally noted earlier, it’s low-cal simply well-built and the repositioned control dials fall comfortably under your thumb and index finger, assuasive y’all to operate the camera without taking your optics from the view.
The viewfinder and screen deliver bright, large and detailed images with a wealth of optional shooting information and guides; it’s great have focus peaking and zebra patterns in addition to the usual leveling gauge, alignment grid and histogram.
You tin control pretty much any aspect of the camera with the touch on-screen and Q.Menu interface, although to adjust either the exposure, drive or focusing modes, you’ll demand to turn their dedicated corresponding dials. I’ll cover each in turn.
The Lumix G7’due south master exposure punch offers the usual PASM modes, forth with Creative Flick style (unlocking all the video options), Panorama, Custom, Artistic (with the choice of 22 effects), Scene (with 24 presets including Cute Desert and Appetising Food in add-on to the usual suspects), and the foolproof Intelligent Motorcar.
The Lumix G7’due south mechanical shutter offers speeds between one/4000 and lx seconds, or a maximum Bulb length of 2 minutes; long exposure photographers may find the latter limiting. Switch the G7 to its electronic shutter option and the fastest shutter speed shortens to ane/16000, giving y’all an actress two stops over the superlative mechanical shutter with the added benefit of operating in complete silence. In the photograph beneath it allowed me to shoot at f1.four in very bright sunlight, without having to deploy neutral density filters. Note the slowest shutter speed with the electronic shutter is ane/8, and the sensitivity range is the same 100-25600 ISO every bit shooting with the mechanical shutter.
Electronic shutters aren’t however perfect. If yous’re shooting RAW on the G7 with the electronic shutter, the dynamic range is reduced from 12 to x bits. Electronic shutters tin as well suffer from rolling artefacts which can skew the image if the subject or camera are in fast motion, only if y’all understand their limitations they tin can be very useful, non just for being discreet in quiet environments, simply also for shooting with large aperture lenses in bright weather condition. I also similar to use them during timelapse sequences to avoid the constant audio of the mechanical shutter clicking, and I have an example of this later in this section. It’south a key benefit over well-nigh DSLRs which currently don’t offer truly silent shooting options.
With the way dial prepare to Creative you can cull from 22 effects on-screen with a preview of how they’ll look applied to the live image. Here’s a selection.
It’s besides possible to apply some of the furnishings to movies which are then encoded at the selected video size upwards to 1080 / 50p / 60p. Here’southward an case of the Miniature Tilt / Shift outcome practical to a 1080 / 50p motion-picture show.
The Panorama option on the mode punch gives you lot the choice of Standard or Broad paradigm sizes and the chance to pan the photographic camera up, down, left or correct. The camera keeps shooting to generate a 360 caste panorama, which can crave some do to go along turning, but you can of course ingather the epitome to the desired coverage. In general the G7 did a fair chore at blending the exposures, although sometimes there was a visible change in effulgence when the sky became bright as seen below in an example I shot from Brighton Pier; look closely and y’all’ll besides see multiple instances of subjects in move, whether birds in flying or tourists walking along.
If yous’re recording in JPEG just, the G7 unlocks its in-camera HDR pick which captures three frames at 1, 2 or 3EV intervals before compositing them into a single file. Here’s an instance that illustrates how the HDR fashion can be used to lift detail in shadows and retrieve information technology in highlights. Note the modest crop incurred when the photographic camera assembles the images itself.
If y’all prefer to generate HDR manually, or simply want to cover yourself, the G7 is very well-equipped for exposure bracketing with iii, 5 or vii frame options at up to 1EV apart; these can be triggered singly or in a burst, although not in conjunction with a self-timer. Compare this to the paltry three-frame bracketing of most DSLRs at this price point.
There’s also plenty of control over the way the camera processes images, including the chance to adjust tone curves, again taking it across about rivals at this price-point.
Similar its predecessor, the Lumix G7 offers in-camera Timelapse capabilities with the opportunity to encode the frames into a picture show afterward, in 4K resolution if desired. You lot tin can adapt the shooting interval between one 2d and a second shy of 100 minutes, and for betwixt one and 9999 frames; you can also filibuster the outset to a set time upwards to 24 hours in advance. Alternatively you can choose the Terminate Motion option which relies on you lot pressing the shutter for each frame when you’re fix – great for making films with toys.
Once you lot’ve captured the desired number of frames, the camera offers to encode them into a movie; if preferred you can trigger this process during playback later. The video resolutions include VGA, 720p, 1080p (at up to 50p / 60p) and even 4k (at 24 or 25 or 30p depending on region). You lot can also choose a lower frame rate to stretch your movie length and choose whether to run through the sequence forwards or backwards. You’re welcome to re-run this process as often every bit you like to create multiple versions.
When capturing the frames, be conscientious to choose a photo aspect ratio that matches the shape of the desired video, which in most cases volition be 16:ix, otherwise you may stop up with 4:three shaped video letter of the alphabet-boxed in a xvi:ix frame. I’d too recommend reducing the image quality to ensure you don’t run out of space. The 8 Megapixel resolution is sufficient to generate 4k video and unless yous intend to manipulate the frames later on, y’all probably don’t need to tape RAW either.
Here’s 1 I filmed of a tasty Thali tiffin at Brighton’south Chilli Pickle restaurant, equanimous of 1200 frames at i second intervals and encoded at 25fps – so a 20 minute period compressed into 48 seconds. I set the photographic camera to shoot 8 Megapixel JPEGs in the 16:9 shape, and likewise set the focus to manual to avert hunting during the sequence.
To trigger a Timelapse you’ll need to turn the dedicated Drive mode dial to the concluding option. Between this and the Unmarried shooting modes, you’ll observe options for Continuous shooting, 4K Photo, Bracketing and the Self Timer.
Set to Continuous, the G7 will shoot at 8fps in Single AF or 6fps with Continuous AF and Live View, both upwards past one frame per second over its predecessor. Panasonic quotes over 100 images when set to JPEG, or 13 when a RAW file is likewise being recorded.
Fitted with a UHS-1 card and with the photographic camera set to capture Fine JPEGs just with AFS, I fired-off 87 frames in 9.81 seconds for a rate of eight.9fps, after which the camera slowed its speed. Set up to AFC and with the camera in motion, I shot 69 frames in 17.06 seconds for a charge per unit of 4fps; only a handful of shots were out of focus and the camera seemed happy to keep shooting. Meanwhile in RAW and AFS, I fired-off 15 frames in 1.96 seconds for a rate of seven.7fps, subsequently which the rate slowed to around two.5fps.
So in unmarried AF with JPEGs, the G7’s burst shooting slightly exceeded the specifications and in continuous AF it was slightly slower. Sony’due south A6000 remains top-dog in this price bracket for continuous shooting, especially since it can rattle-off 11fps with continuous AF, but it’southward revealing to annotation the DSLRs from Canon and Nikon at this price point both shoot at a relatively modest 5fps regardless of AF mode. Since the G7 actually manages to roughly match this for continuous AF and exceed it for unmarried AF, I’d say that’s a good consequence for the camera as continuous AF in flare-up shooting was traditionally an aspect where DSLRs pb. I’ll discuss the AF performance more than in a moment.
The drive manner dial is too where you’ll find a defended option for 4K Photograph. This exploits the fact that 4K video really contains 8 Megapixels worth of data on every frame, so why not use it for capturing stills at high frame rates? Panasonic’s taken this idea and run with it, making the initial capture and subsequent photograph extraction process as simple as possible. At that place’s three options: Flare-up (which records video while the shutter push button is pressed), Burst South / S (which starts recording with one printing and stops with another), and 4K Pre-burst (which keeps a rolling buffer to avoid unwieldy clips to store and get through). I ended upwards using the Burst way more than frequently than not.
When y’all play the capture back, you’re shown a however photo rather than a video clip, with the option to bike through the frames quickly past oppressing the left or right arrow keys. This makes information technology very easy to jog back and along before selecting the perfect moment, subsequently which a press of the Carte / Set button saves the frame equally a new JPEG with 8 Megapixel resolution. You tin can’t salvage RAW files in the 4K Photograph mode, but y’all can choose the attribute ratio prior to capture along with having total control over the focus, exposure mode, aperture, shutter and ISO.
The 4K Photo mode is perfect for capturing the perfect moment when faced with fast activity, and indeed I used it below for the photo of a jetski jumping or models throwing coloured chalk in the air. But it’due south also surprisingly useful for portraits, especially of kids, where an expression tin can alter between frames.
Moving onto focusing, the G7’southward dedicated switch to the right of the viewfinder sets the camera to AF-Due south (Unmarried), AF-C (Continuous) or MF (Manual Focus). Like previous Lumix G bodies, the G7 employs a 100% contrast-based AF organization with Panasonic once over again resisting embedded stage-detect points on the sensor; in this respect Micro Four Thirds bodies, with the exception of the OMD EM1, differ from the vast majority of new mirrorless cameras which employ hybrid AF systems.
The G7 lets y’all cull from six AF area modes: pinpoint, single, Custom Multi (which lets you configure your ain zones), 49-Area, Tracking or Face Detection. In each case you can use the touch-screen to reposition AF areas or select subjects, a feature that I actually miss on cameras which neglect to offer affect-screens. Panasonic even lets you tap the screen to configure the AF area when yous’re composing through the viewfinder, a job that’southward easiest to practise with the screen flipped-out to the side. That said, I concluded upward repositioning the AF area unintentionally with my olfactory organ when the screen wasn’t flipped-out or reversed, then I disabled the characteristic.
As always, the Single AF modes are the highlight of the Lumix G focusing experience. The camera focuses quickly and confidently even if the AF area is dialed-downward to its smallest size, and impressively in very low light besides. The G7’s AF system works downwardly to -4EV which ways it tin simply keep focusing in very dim conditions when other cameras become sluggish or give upwardly. Information technology’s an important capability that makes the G7 very usable across a wide range of lighting weather condition. Whether yous’re shooting cityscapes at night or exploiting the fantabulous face and eye detection to capture events, the G7’s AF arrangement feels very confident.
As a 100% contrast-based arrangement, the Lumix G7 is never going to perform too as hybrid systems when it comes to continuous AF. Panasonic’s engineers have worked difficult to profile the out-of-focus characteristics of Lumix lenses to better approximate where to focus and when to stop, but while this ‘Depth by Defocus’ process is indeed faster than older Lumix G bodies, in that location’s nonetheless visible hunting. This in turn tin’t help but reduce the success rate when shooting in Continuous AF, peculiarly as the subject moves more apace.
That said, I enjoyed fair success using both Panasonic and Olympus lenses for people walking or jogging towards me, but as the speed increased, such as people running apace or cycling towards me, the G7 returned a lower success rate. In my tests it was generally fine for kids or pets playing around, simply not up to sports played at a high level. Of the competition, the best mirrorless cameras I’ve tested for effective continuous AF at loftier outburst speeds are Sony’south A6000 and A5100, only it’s important to mention neither of them offer Single AF that’s equally quick or that works in as low light as the G7. So you accept to decide how you’re mostly going to utilise a camera. Personally speaking I adopt having the quick Unmarried AF and low light performance.
Set the G7’s focus dial to MF and you tin manually focus the lens with a wealth of visual help. You can choose to magnify a portion of the prototype by up to half dozen times and either brandish it total-screen or in a window, allowing you lot to keep an eye on the unabridged limerick likewise; this window can too be dragged around past bear upon if desired. If focus peaking is enabled, the edges of objects are highlighted when they’re in focus, which offers additional confirmation; this works particularly well in conjunction with the magnified view. Peaking is also available for movies, but once yous start filming the magnified selection becomes unavailable, so you’ll be relying on peaking alone with a full view of the composition; still, it’s better than just judging it visually on the image alone.
Moving on, the G7 is equipped with Wifi for wireless epitome transfer and remote control with Andoid and iOS smartphones. Sadly the NFC capabilities of the earlier G6 take been removed, no doubt as a cost-saving practise – a shame since I enjoy the geeky aspect of initiating a smartphone connexion with a tap, but it has to be said scanning a QR lawmaking isn’t actually any harder or slower.
I tried the Lumix Image App on my Samsung Galaxy S6. Like previous versions, this gives yous full manual control over the camera with the chance to adjust pretty much annihilation that’due south non set past a physical dial. And so while the exposure style, bulldoze way and AF mode still have to be adapted on-photographic camera, the app lets you gear up the photograph and video quality, aperture, shutter, ISO, white residuum, exposure compensation and AF area. You can tap to reposition the AF area too, with or without triggering the shutter. You can start and stop video recordings of whatsoever quality via the app, and as well tap the telephone screen to pull-focus while filming.
During playback you can view thumbnails of stills and videos. JPEGs can be copied onto the telephone over Wifi, but not RAW files. Videos can exist streamed from the camera and played on the phone’s screen, including those recorded up to 4K resolution. Yous tin can also employ the app to copy videos to your phone, although only up to 1080p quality.
The app also lets y’all record a GPS log for afterward syncing with images in the camera, a process that involves wirelessly copying a log to the camera, earlier using the camera’southward playback menus to apply information technology to relevant images in that timeframe. Here’s an example I tagged of Brighton’due south Imperial Pavilion, using a GPS log made in my Galaxy S6.
It’southward as well possible to transport image direct from the photographic camera to a multifariousness of social services, including Facebook, twitter, Youtube, Picasa and Flickr. To practise so you’ll first need to sign-up for Panasonic’south Lumix Club and grant information technology permission to mail service on your behalf – so when sharing to, say, Twitter, the photographic camera sends the image via the Lumix Club. It’southward not as peachy every bit Sony’s solution which appears to post direct from the camera, only it’s fairly standard for most Wifi-equipped cameras.
Finally, the Lumix Image app allows the G7 to inherit the fun Leap Snap characteristic introduced with the GF7. This uses the accelerometer in your phone to trigger the shutter remotely as you leap in the air. It works surprisingly well too. Using the app you tin can remotely view the composition and refocus the photographic camera if necessary, earlier then setting the sensitivity of the jump detection. After a niggling fine-tuning of the sensitivity you’ll exist able to capture the perfect moment when you’re at the acme of your leap. It’s a really fun fashion to exploit the applied science in your pocket.
Panasonic Lumix G7 flick fashion
The Lumix G7 is a very capable camera for video, offering 4K capture, full control over exposure, silent screen-based adjustments, flat profiles, focus peaking and zebra patterns. 4K UHD video is available at 24p and either 25p or 30p depending on region, all at 100Mbit/s. Alternatively you can capture 1080 at 50p / 60p at 28Mbit/south, or at 25p / 30p at 20Mbit/southward. 720p and VGA options are also available. The maximum recording time on all models, whether in Europe or not is 29:59.
You can start recording in any exposure mode by simply pressing the red record button, but for the well-nigh control and options you should turn the fashion dial to Creative Video which lets you lot motion picture in PASM modes with total command over exposure. The sensitivity for movies is selectable between 200 and 6400 ISO, and in that location’s an Machine ISO option too, although sadly not when shooting in total Manual fashion.
The touchscreen is well-used for movies: information technology’due south possible to tap to pull-focus betwixt subjects when filming, either automatically if Continuous AF is enabled, or as before long equally you half-printing the shutter release if it’southward disabled. Tapping the screen besides pops-out a tray of controls, allowing you lot to silently adjust the discontinuity, shutter speed, ISO, exposure compensation or microphone level all while filming, depending on the fashion.
A variety of processing parameters tin be adjusted inside the Photograph Styles, including sharpness, contrast, saturation and racket reduction. At that place’s also the Cinelike V and Cinelike D profiles inherited from the GH4, the latter offering adequately apartment output for grading afterward (plus you can punch-it down even further if desired). You tin also choose betwixt 0-255 and 16-255 for the Luminance Level.
Audio is recorded using either the built-in stereo mics, or an external microphone continued to the 3.5mm jack. Stereo level meters can be displayed and the level adjusted in fine increments, but there’south no headphone jack.
The Extra Teleconverter option works in all but the 4K modes, taking a 1:one ingather from the middle of the frame at the selected video resolution and therefore providing a tighter view without degradation in quality; neatly the 1:1 crop also ameliorate avoids moire effects. When filming in 1080p, the Extra Teleconverter effectively applies a two.39x field reduction. Here’s screengrabs from footage filmed in 1080p with the Leica Lumix 25mm f1.4, with the teleconverter disabled below left and enabled beneath correct. Below these are 100% crops from the expanse in the middle of the frame where information technology’s clear the Extra Teleconverter option is delivering genuinely greater item rather than just cropping and enlarging.
At this bespeak many of you may be wondering how the G7 compares to the flagship GH4 for video. I’ve detailed the feature differences in the verdict at the finish of the review, but for now wanted to compare the quality of their output as they take different approaches to capturing and rendering.
When filming 1080, the G7 takes the full usable sensor width of 4592 pixels and scales it downward to 1920 pixels. And then the horizontal field of view when filming in 1080 is identical to shooting stills, simply of course the uneven scaling cistron means there’s as well artefacts to deal with.
And then far so similar to the GH4, but the G7 handles 4k differently. On the GH4, the 4k modes simply took 3840×2160 or 4096×2160 crops (for UHD or Cinema 4k respectively) directly from the middle of the sensor and recorded them without scaling. Since they were crops, in that location was a reduction in the field of view, but since there was also no scaling, in that location was minimal moire to worry almost.
The G7 nonetheless takes the dissimilar approach implemented on the FZ1000 and LX100: the camera takes a milder crop of the sensor than the GH4 before then scaling it down to a 3840×2160 UHD 4k frame. I filmed some comparisons and measured the original crop for 4k on the G7 equally around 4120×2318 pixels. This is then scaled-down to 3840×2160 and encoded as 4k UHD video.
I’ve made a composite in a higher place (using actual footage I filmed) of a still photo, overlayed by the G7’south 4k video crop, indicated by the outside edge of the red frame. Meanwhile an exact 3840×2160 crop (equally recorded by the GH4) is indicated past the inside edge of the ruby-red frame, and as you can see while the 1:one crop definitely loses more coverage, information technology’south not much to pay for a potential reduction in artefacts. Recall, the 1080p coverage from both cameras is the full width of the paradigm above without cropping.
To further illustrate the differences in coverage for video, hither’southward ii screengrabs from the G7 fitted with the 25mm f1.iv lens for 4k UHD on the left and 1080p on the right; information technology’due south clear how filming in 1080p captures broader coverage.
At present allow’due south meet how the G7’s coverage for 4k compares to the GH4, again when both are fitted with the same 25mm f1.4 lens. Below left is the G7 and below right is the GH4, both filming in 4k UHD.
In theory the GH4’south 1:ane ingather for 4k should allow it to better avert moire and scaling artefacts, while but suffering from slightly less coverage than the G7 with the same lens. Merely the important thing is to see how the footage compares in practice. I also wanted to see how much more than detail was possible with 4k compared to 1080p, but to put them on a level playing field I also needed them to start off capturing exactly the same field of view. A prime lens was out of the question for this comparison due to the dissimilar crops taken past each photographic camera, so I switched to the Olympus 7-14mm f2.eight, prepare to f4 for the best quality and adjusted between 12 and 14mm to deliver the same field of view for each manner and each photographic camera. Here’s what the coverage looked similar for each mode.
Okay, now for the crops, taken from roughly the centre of the frame and representing a 100% view. I’ll offset with the G7 in 4k UHD beneath left and in 1080p below right, and it’s pretty clear how recording in 4k is resolving considerably greater detail. The 4k footage also responds well to down-sampling to 1080p, and I’d recommend trying it out.
My next comparing is between the G7, beneath left, and the GH4, below correct, both filming in 4k UHD, with the zoom adapted fractionally to deliver the aforementioned coverage. Again the crops are from the middle of the frame and shown here at 100%.
Looking at the screengrabs, there’s little if anything to choose between the ii bodies. Both deliver essentially the aforementioned degree of detail and besides seem to avoid moire in most areas. This would seem like a fantastic upshot for the G7, just it’s important to also compare the actual moving footage on a native 4k display. I used a large Panasonic 4k Idiot box and played the respective clips via a laptop continued over HDMI.
The composition includes many areas of fine horizontal lines, specially on the various doors and shutters by the beach. Every bit these approach the resolving power of a photographic camera, at that place’s inevitably issues with moire, and indeed when I played the footage dorsum on the 4k TV, I noticed tell-tale shimmering in some of these areas. Interestingly the GH4 wasn’t allowed to this effect, and while it suffered a picayune less than the G7, it really was just by a modest amount in this particular limerick. I’d expected to recommend the GH4 in this situation, but was surprised to find them very close in quality. Of course this is just one example and in others greater differences may sally. Equally there’ll be other situations when the difference will reduce or even disappear. I retrieve the bottom line is while the GH4 should still enjoy the border in 4k quality, the G7 comes very shut, and in some situations the footage will be nigh indistinguishable. Of class the GH4 has many other advantages over the G7, but for video quality the new body is punching to a higher place its weight.
At present here’s a selection of other clips to demonstrate the G7’s video performance in various weather condition.
Panasonic Lumix G7 results
Okay, now the main part of the review is over it’s time to look at the image quality with my Lumix G7 quality results, Lumix G7 sample images. Alternatively if y’all’ve already seen enough, skip back to my verdict!