All About the GearReviews

Panasonic Lumix G7

The Panasonic Lumix G7 replaces the two-year-old G6. It’s quite similar to the GX7, positioned between the GF7 and top-of-the-line GH4. Since it uses the same sensor (ie, same image quality) as the GX7, GM5 and GF7, why would you opt for this new model instead?

At US$800 with a good 14-24mm kit zoom, it’s a bit more expensive than the GF7, which has a somewhat inferior kit zoom. But it’s a whopping US$900 less expensive than the GH4. Gordon says the G7 is a good step up from the GF series — probably a better place to get started in micro four-thirds (MFT) cameras than the entry-level GF7 and for those not ready to spend the big bucks for the GH4. The alternative kit zoom is also a good option: a 14-140mm 10x zoom for only US$300 additional.

Like nearly all of the latest Lumix cameras, the G7 shoots 4k video directly to an SD card. But this camera takes seriously the idea of shooting 4k video at 30fps specifically with the intention of extracting still images from the video. Not only is there a dedicated mode for this purpose, but the G7 also offers a terrific feature to preview and extract the best frame in-camera, making the idea of 4k-video-for-stills much more practical than having to run the video through post-processing software. You can shook 4k video, extract a still, transfer it to your mobile device and post it online without a desktop or laptop computer.

As a bonus feature in this episode of All About the Gear, Gordon reviews two new ultra-wide MFT lenses from Olympus: the 7-14mm f/2.8 (reminiscent of the famous Nikon 14-24mm for full-frame cameras) and the 8mm f/1.8 fisheye. If you’ve been looking for an ultra wide for your micro-four-thirds camera, don’t miss Gordon’s review.

Read Gordon’s in-depth review of the G7 at CameraLabs.com as well as the Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8 and 8mm f/1.8 fisheye.

Buy now from B&H: Lumix G7, Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8 or 8mm f/1.8 fisheye.

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4 thoughts on “Panasonic Lumix G7”

  1. Gordon, I think you missed the mark on birding. I have the GX7, which I love, and the Panny 100-300mm lens. it is ok for occasional shooting of birds, but when I want to take serious bird pictures, out come the Nikon and 500mm f4. The fast continuous auto focus and the big lens are essential. Micro 4/3s is just not up to the task at this point. Manual focus on 500mm lens of birds just is a no go when you have a Nikon or Canon camera. For now the serious bird photographer is forced into the Canon or Nikon camp. For all my other photography (Macro, travel, landscape and now a little bit of street) my GX7 fills the bill and maybe in the future it will also be able to handle serious bird photography. Until then I will use two systems.
    I like the Doug and Gordon duo, but I miss Doug’s comments on the camera under review. Doug brings another and informed point of view that is valuable, so I hope he will do more than just ask questions.
    Keep up the good work; love the program. Brandon Scott

  2. Hi Gordon and Doug. Great episode! I love this show and it is a major threat to my wallet. I’m with Brandon Scott here in that some of the head to head comparisons or work arounds came with serious compromises that undermine the point that you are making, which is you should buy a mirrorless camera if you aren’t committed to full frame DSLR or Sony Full Frame. I suspect that many listeners of the show don’t understand equivalency between MFT, APS-C and Full Frame. I think the focal length multiplier is pretty easy to grasp, but the point you made about lost DOF on MFT vs. Full Frame was important, because a pro f/2.8 MFT lens isn’t going to produce the same look as a pro Full Frame f/2.8. I’d be interested to hear you go a bit further on the other parameters as well. The aperture equivalency calculation plays out in other ways. For example, you were noting how much smaller the MFT f/1.8 fisheye lens was than a “slower” Canon fisheye. I MFT f/1.8 fisheye is equivalent to f/3.6 Full frame in terms of DOF at the same field of view. Slower full frame glass can be relatively small and light (kit lenses). You might say, you have to shoot a higher ISO to compensate for that slower glass, but in truth, that ISO setting will yield the same noise and may even still have more dynamic range on full frame. There is a lot of talk about high ISO noise, but low ISO dynamic range and noise matter too. The noise and dynamic range of a MFT system are 2 stops worse at the same ISO setting.

    I see a lot of advantages in smaller ILC systems over the brick I currently carry, but I realize they are not equivalent and there is no free lunch. The places I can see the biggest performance and handling advantages are in IBIS, focus peeking and live histograms. Those clearly separate MFT from DSLR in an apples to apples price point. Then of course there are all the under-development points such as battery life and poor continuous AF. Please continue the debate.

  3. Great review guys. I’m really loving my G7 so far. It’s strangely light-weight in comparison to my GH4. For me, this camera is very close to being the ideal camera for the “multimeographer”. I’ve been shooting great stills with it, creating 4K video, making cinemagraphs and more — with just the rig in the photo below. I’m loving it!

  4. One thing not mentioned in your G7 review: the bottom 4-way button cannot be programmed to behave as it does on earlier GX and G cameras, setting drive mode and bracketing. Now that Panasonic has moved these settings to a dial on the left side of the top plate, you can no longer set these without letting go of the camera with your left hand and looking at the top plate. The old way makes it possible to change these settings with a shooting grip and eye to EVF. A big step backwards for ergonomics, and the decision not to allow the button to be restored to its old function seems arbitrary and dumb.

    One question: Do you have any idea why there are tons of lenses for MFT but very few flashes? For pro use, the picking are slim, and NOBODY is making a TTL radio slave for MFT. What’s up with that?

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