Panasonic GX7 First Impressions Review

Panasonic's much-leaked Lumix DMC-GX7 is arguably the company's most enthusiast-focused mirrorless camera yet to hit the market. Back in 2011, Panasonic released the DMC-GX1 in a move to appease enthusiasts who grew more and more disappointed as the promising GF-series got smaller and simpler, with fewer controls in the GF2 and GF3 models. The GX1, however, seemed like an interim move, adding minor enhancements to the original GF1 design and changing the badge, while fans watched as Sony's NEX-7 and later the Olympus E-M5 offered more controls and sophisticated features, including a built-in EVF.

While few of the GX7's specifications stand out as revolutionary (aside, perhaps, from its built-in articulated electronic viewfinder), our impression was that it contains plenty of small tweaks and features sure to endear it the enthusiast crowd.

Key specifications

  • 16MP Live MOS sensor
  • In-body image stabilization (works with any lens)
  • Front and rear control dials
  • Flip-up, 1024 x 768 pixel (2.3M dot equivalent) electronic viewfinder
  • 3-inch tilting LCD
  • 3-level focus peaking
  • 1080 video at 60p/60i/24p in MP4 or AVCHD format
  • Built-in Wi-Fi with NFC
  • Magnesium-alloy frame
  • 1/8000 second max shutter speed, 1/320th flash sync speed
  • Highlight and shadow curve adjustments
  • Built-in pop-up flash
  • Large contoured grip

It's hard to know whether to think of the GX7 as being a post-NEX-7 or a post-E-M5 camera - but to an extent that's the point: unlike the GX1, which appeared to be a rather-too-late, warmed-over GF1, the GX7 is a camera that has learned from the increasingly impressive cameras it will have to compete with.

So, despite Panasonic producing an extensive range of image-stabilized lenses, the GX7 incorporated in-body stabilization. This will be a welcome move for anyone hoping to use legacy lenses or any of Olympus's prime lenses for the Micro Four Thirds system. Combined with the 'focus peaking' manual focus aid that Sony re-introduced to its NEX cameras, it promises to make the GX7 one of the more capable options, when it comes to shooting with adapted lenses.

The GX7 is one of a surprisingly small number of mirrorless cameras to offer a DSLR-style twin-dial control system.

But that's not the full extent of the GX7's offerings for keen photographers - a maximum shutter speed of 1/8000th of a second and a flash sync speed of 1/320th suggest Panasonic is serious about appealing to enthusiast photographers. The GX7 is also in unexpectedly exclusive company when it comes to offering a DSLR-like twin-dial control system. There are several mirrorless cameras with two control dials, but remarkably few that make it easy to simply set one to control aperture or shutter speed, and the other to control exposure compensation, which makes the semi-auto Av and Tv modes enjoyable to shoot in.

Wi-Fi

As with most recent Panasonic models - including the G6 and GF6 - the GX7 features Wi-Fi with the option to use NFC to establish a connection and transfer photos simply by 'tapping' the two devices together. Like those other cameras, it allows you to connect the camera to Wi-Fi networks to download your images, or to push them to social networks, but our understanding is that Panasonic hasn't modified its rather labyrinthine setup system.

Much better executed is the behavior with smartphones, where an iOS or Android app can be used to take remote control over almost all the camera's settings. It's also fairly straightforward to connect to a smartphone and pull images off the camera if you want to push them out to social networks yourself.

Silent mode

The GX7 is also one of the few cameras we've seen to use its optional electronic shutter to offer an effective silent shooting mode for discreet shooting. The camera is limited to a sensitivity range of ISO 200-3200 in silent mode, and the flash, AF illuminator and all camera sounds are disabled when the mode is engaged. We were quite impressed with silent mode, several of us commenting that we would likely use it often.

Electronic viewfinder

The most immediately visible new feature of the GX7 is its flip-up electronic viewfinder. We've seen corner-mounted EVFs before, but this is the first built-in unit we've seen for a long time that articulates upwards, allowing for more flexible shooting. The viewfinder itself is built around a 1024 x 768-pixel LCD panel. This has become essentially the standard for high-end viewfinders, thanks to the 2.3M dot OLED finders in several Sony models, and the similarly high-res LCD used in the Fujifilm X100S / Olympus VF-4 viewfinder.

The Lumix GX7's flip-up electronic viewfinder is one of its most distinctive features.

However, the GX7 doesn't use either of these panels, instead making use of a field-sequential LCD. It uses around 780,000 dots that show red, green and blue information, one after the other, rather than using separate dots for each. The only drawback to this unique display method is called 'tearing,' in which colors appear to separate, causing red, green and blue edges left and right of high-contrast areas when panning rapidly. It was still present in the GX7, but not as bad as we've seen before, likely thanks to an increase in the refresh rate.

The EVF's optics give it an impressive 0.7x magnification (in 35mm camera terms) and we're pleased to see a menu option to turn down the sensitivity of the eye detection sensor, if you find it that you're frequently triggering it accidentally. Our only concern is the rather short 17.5mm eyepoint - which rarely works well, especially for wearers of glasses, in combination with high magnification viewfinders (it makes it hard to see the extreme edges of the frame without moving your eye). 

Video

The only peculiar gap in the specifications relates to video - an area we wouldn't expect such an oversight from Panasonic. The GX7 provides plenty of movie control - offering PASM exposure control, a wide choice of frame rates and a choice of capture format - but it doesn't have an option for connecting an external microphone. So although you have a camera that can shoot 1080p video at 24 or 50/60 frames per second (depending on region), or genuine interlaced 60i in AVCHD mode, and at bitrates of up to 28Mbps for the 24p footage, you'll always be limited to using the internal stereo microphones or an external recorder.

Impressions of the body and controls

Shooting briefly with the Panasonic GX7 was enough to tell us that Panasonic has been paying attention in the 20 months since it created the GX1, which has resulted in a camera that should indeed appeal to enthusiasts. 

The top view shows the GX7's tilting EVF, hot shoe, stereo mics, pop-up flash, front dial, record button, mode dial and power switch.

When you first take hold of the Panasonic GX7, it's the rubber-coated grip that stands out. It provides a good hold on the camera, certainly better than that provided by the GX1. The magnesium-alloy body is flex-free, with no creaking or twisting, as we've come to expect. The front and mode dials are just stiff enough that we doubt they'll too often turn accidentally, yet they respond well when turned. The power switch is in good position for fast activation. 

The Lumix GX7 offers plenty of ways to control settings, with four customizable Function buttons.

The rear control dial also serves as a button, by default bringing up exposure compensation in program and semi-auto modes (adjusting by +/- 5 stops in 1/3 stop increments). Turn the dial without pressing it and it adjusts program shift, or the pertinent parameter in shutter/aperture priority modes. When in the Quick Menu, it also adjusts parameters for the selected control.

Rather than leave you to go into a menu or remember a function button to switch between manual and autofocus, the GX7 features a physical switch surrounding the AF/AE lock button, a nice touch. 

Panasonic's new Quick menu looks a lot like the one on Canon's touchscreen SLRs and works about as well, activated with the Fn1 button. Fn2, for its part, brings up the curves menu, adjustable by touch or dial, which allows you to change shadow and highlight settings, and create and save up to three custom curves settings.

Overall, we like what we see. The Panasonic GX7's feature set more appropriately addresses the current market by including important features its predecessors left out. It also includes quite a few new bells and whistles found on competing products, most of which should enhance the experience, hopefully without being too much. The EVF, sensor-shift IS, focus peaking, 1/8000 second shutter speed and extra control dial should please most enthusiasts looking for a little more in their mirrorless camera. We look forward to putting it through its paces when we get a sample in for a full review.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 Real-world Samples Gallery

There are 32 images in the Panasonic GX7 samples gallery. Please do not reproduce any of these images on a website or any newsletter / magazine without prior permission (see our copyright page). We make the originals available for private users to download to their own machines for personal examination or printing (in conjunction with this review), we do so in good faith, please don't abuse it.

Unless otherwise noted images taken with no particular settings at full resolution. Because our review images are now hosted on the 'galleries' section of dpreview.com, you can enjoy all of the new galleries functionality when browsing these samples.

 Panasonic GX7 Samples Gallery - published August 14th 2013

Comments

Total comments: 1202
23456
Sk8trguy
By Sk8trguy (8 months ago)

I like that is flatter so DoF does not come in to play as much.

4 upvotes
photo nuts
By photo nuts (8 months ago)

Agree. DOF is always a problem when comparing cameras

0 upvotes
Timbukto
By Timbukto (8 months ago)

I like how the MFT bodies now use a popular 45mm 1.8 instead of the uncommon 50mm macro used previously. I am very interested in seeing the 5DMKIII and other Canon's or Nikon's for that matter with the 50mm 1.4 (which we already know its extremely sharp stopped down), however the focal length is now quite different from the 85mm equivalent used previously (previously full frame bodies used 85mm's).

Personally I'd like bodies to have some of the most common and most affordable primes shot (so the 20mm 1.7 + 45mm 1.8 for MFT, and 50mm's + 85mm's for FF Nikon/Canon).

The low light switch is very welcome addition to high ISO testing, etc. IMO the Oly did better at high ISO in bright light, but falls down in low light + high ISO, and the Panasonic behaves opposite.

The output selection is genius...its basically a if you are not a 100% original file pixel peeper you are wasting your time caring about irrelevant things mode!

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 13 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (8 months ago)

Sorry, that's a typo - the 5D MkIII was actually shot with the 85mm.

0 upvotes
Mark
By Mark (8 months ago)

A huge improvement to this test is would be to list the lens/zoom length/f stop is being used. For example I know that Canon Macro100mm is one of the sharpest around, if the test was shot with the 5Dmk3 using a low cost consumer zoom, I would not expect such a great result. This way comparing Compact Zoom Cameras with DSLR's with similar lense combo is a more useful comparison. You get my drift?

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (8 months ago)

That's something that will be included - it's still being worked on.

The lens should be listed if you click on the 'gear' icon at the bottom right of each image. Generally we use a fast 50mm prime lens, where available. We will be using the 45mm f/1.8 on Micro Four Thirds and 85mm lenses on full-frame.

Aperture will be reported automatically but is usually around f/5 or f/5.6, depending on lens and system. We choose the most consistently sharp aperture (which is often also the sharpest at the centre, in reality).

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
utomo99
By utomo99 (8 months ago)

Nice improvements.

How about:
Outdoor, Indoor and Low light ?
Flash ON Off
Widest, Mid and Longest Zoom test ?
and other

Thanks

1 upvote
Jeff Keller
By Jeff Keller (8 months ago)

I think our studio manager would leap out the window if we added all those things :)

0 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (8 months ago)

That's why I taped up the windows.

2 upvotes
dmanthree
By dmanthree (8 months ago)

Nice new scene. One thing it does show is that the differences between competing cameras are so slim now that high ISO performance is no longer a real concern. It appears that the NEX 6 is slightly superior to the m4/3 at ISO 6400, but the difference is so small that it's no concern (to me, anyway). Anyway, nice job with the new scene. Only drawback is that we don't have a history and can't compare the newer cameras to the old ones. Oh, well.

1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (8 months ago)

We're in the process of shooting a range of old cameras to ensure you can make useful comparisons still.

9 upvotes
misolo
By misolo (8 months ago)

To my eyes, in RAW the GX7 seems to easily match the NEX 6 at ISO 6400 in the low-light scene. In JPEG the GX7 beats the NEX 6: see, e.g., the fine print writing on the spools (top half, left of center). Seems almost hard to believe...

0 upvotes
Jorginho
By Jorginho (8 months ago)

What happen to the dark face on the right when I change light with the Oly. at least JPEg at higher o make sthe guy yellow? Is the Oly set to warm JPG? Much to my surprise the GX7 seems actually having JJPEGs that are at least on par with the Oly? Did not expect that. But I think the JPG setting of the Oly is well "wrong"...

In RAw it does not happen. And the Sony NEX6 in JPEG has the same tendency.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (8 months ago)

We'll be publishing more details about the shooting and processing methodology soon, but the basic idea is that the Daylight shots are manually white balanced (as with our old scene).

The low light JPEGs are AutoWB (at default settings, which is 'Keep Warm Colors: On' on the Olympus). The Raws are then manually white balanced to show the blue channel noise that you'll get when shooting under Tungsten.

0 upvotes
rfsIII
By rfsIII (8 months ago)

Are you saying that you shoot and then white balance from something in the photo? Or do you set a custom white balance and then shoot? I vote for the second way, if that makes a difference.

0 upvotes
viking79
By viking79 (8 months ago)

Thanks so much for adding the resolution changing tool. Really is nice for those high MP camera so people don't complain they look so terrible next to much lower res cameras :)

3 upvotes
Chet Meyerson
By Chet Meyerson (8 months ago)

This is great!! The low level light is really the only way to look at high ISO settings and have some meaning. Who shoots ISO 3200 or 6400 on a nice bright scene? Thanks, you added a lot of 'value' to the camera test with this new image!

0 upvotes
Simon97
By Simon97 (8 months ago)

I like the new test scene, but it would seem not to challenge a D800 or a 645D much as these could out resolve much of the detail in this scene. The 645D in raw mode is amazing in the detail it pulls out. The next generation of high end cameras won't be challenged at all.

Comment edited 30 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (8 months ago)

We'll be adding the D800 soon and possibly something with even more resolution, which we think will show a difference.

1 upvote
ET2
By ET2 (8 months ago)

There is plenty in the scene that 24 MP 5D III can't resolve ...

0 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (8 months ago)

Print and web size are great features.

Is there a reason why Nex-6 new shots were not shot with the new Zeiss 50mm?

1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (8 months ago)

We don't have one yet - we will move over either to that or the E-mount F1.8 OSS, when we have them.

0 upvotes
PC Wheeler
By PC Wheeler (8 months ago)

Odd thing: Cannot change ISO on all at once to say 3200, at least I could not figure out how to. And when I changed it for GX7 it also changed the part of the image shown.

0 upvotes
Josh Hays
By Josh Hays (8 months ago)

If you change the ISO on the first slot, it synchronizes all the rest to the same (or nearest available) ISO.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (8 months ago)

There may currently be a glitch at ISO 3200 if the NEX-6 is one of your selected cameras - this should be resolved shortly.

Comment edited 21 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
PC Wheeler
By PC Wheeler (8 months ago)

It was! Murphy's Law.

0 upvotes
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (8 months ago)

Good new test method! I like it. I see no surprise with the test result though. RX100 II's IQ is the worst, the other three cameras shows similar results, with NEX 6 slightly better at base ISO. Olympus shows best color (no surprise), but the big surprise here is Panasonic's JPEG engine has improved to be fairly acceptable now. Great achievement.

1 upvote
Demon Cleaner
By Demon Cleaner (8 months ago)

I can't agree. The RX100 is clearly the inferior of the four, however the GX7 pulls well ahead of the E-P5 at higher ISO for detail, color rendition and noise performance. Took a close look at those spools of cotton for example, it's not even close. The big surprise here is how far the GX7 is pushing the Nex 6.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 10 minutes after posting
1 upvote
hydrospanner
By hydrospanner (8 months ago)

The E-P5 and GX7 seems to be handling high ISO via very different approaches. While the Oly seems to favor more aggressive NR, a slight contrast boost and significant sharpening, the GX7 seems to prefer leaving the noise, maybe cutting it with some mild NR, and drowning a bit of it with a saturation boost in the reds...but in the tradeoff is also able to retain significantly more detail.

I can always deal with noise and sharpness in post, but I can't add in detail that the processing has taken away. GX7 wins this one for me.

1 upvote
Mssimo
By Mssimo (8 months ago)

Would it be possible to use third party lenses vs OEM? Sigma 35 f1.4 comes to mind, also the Zeiss 50mm f2 Makro. This would be done for comparison purposes. Levels the playing field.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (8 months ago)

We did consider it, but by the time you've selected all the different lenses you need for all systems and formats (we don't want to be shooting Micro Four Thirds cameras twice as far away as full frame ones, using the same lens), and tested and characterised all those lenses, plus any adapters you're having to use on cameras such as X-mount, you need to work out 'what have we gained?'

Our current policy of very good short tele primes on all systems has worked pretty well over the years and we've characterised these lenses (often the exact copy) and know how well they perform at the apertures we shoot them at. It's also closer to a real-world situation than using adapters and super high-end third-party lenses. Overall we felt the theoretical gains of switching lenses simply weren't significant, whereas the extra work required was.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
steve_hoge
By steve_hoge (8 months ago)

OK. I'll take the 5D, please.

Seriously, though, the "daylight" vs "low light" samples should have their exposures compensated to equal brightness so that we're really seeing the noise performance, unmasked by the darker image.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (8 months ago)

This scene is also being used for smartphones and compacts, which don't always allow you to control the exposure to that degree. We had to choose a standard exposure level that was attained by a reasonable number of devices.

2 upvotes
reginalddwight
By reginalddwight (8 months ago)

I like the idea of a low light scene for comparison. Did you intend to have the illumination to be side lighting only?

0 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (8 months ago)

It is.

0 upvotes
reginalddwight
By reginalddwight (8 months ago)

Thank you, Barney. I see that Richard is explaining this in more detail in another post.

Well done, guys.

0 upvotes
Oleg Vinokurov
By Oleg Vinokurov (8 months ago)

What would be nice in studio sample shots, is to get more difference in light. I.e. create shadow area and bright area to see, how the camera handles high contrast scenes.

1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (8 months ago)

The low light scene drops from around 5EV on the right-hand side to 1.5EV on the left - that should give some idea.

0 upvotes
Oleg Vinokurov
By Oleg Vinokurov (8 months ago)

Oh, only now noticed, something like i wanted was added. "low light" button. But WB in low light samples looks off, autoWB?

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (8 months ago)

The low light scenes are shot in Auto WB, to show the degree to which the camera tries to correct the scene. The low light Raw conversions are fully neutralized, though - highlighting the blue-channel noise you'll get in real-world low light shooting.

1 upvote
Oleg Vinokurov
By Oleg Vinokurov (8 months ago)

Thanks, now that i think about. This is great idea, it's certainly true, that autoWB behavior can be really different. Seems i'm a bit slow with thinking this morning, also need to click more on options available :) This tool starting to look really useful, a lot more than most sample photos i saw on other camera review web pages

0 upvotes
Danel
By Danel (8 months ago)

I like the looks of this camera. I googled it and found a place saying the suggested retail price body only is $999, or $1099 with 14-42 lens. I wouldn't pay that, but I might pick one up in a year or so for $200 to $300 once the price plummets like it always does on Panasonic cameras.

0 upvotes
Oleg Vinokurov
By Oleg Vinokurov (8 months ago)

Please sell me a gh2 for 200$ or even 300$, it's more than 3 years old by now.

8 upvotes
Danel
By Danel (8 months ago)

This is Panasonic's GX1 replacement. The GX1 sells between $200 and $300 now. That camera has been around for less than 2 years and was heavily discounted within 6 months of introduction like almost always happens with Panasonic cameras. I said "almost" this time, happy?

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Impulses
By Impulses (8 months ago)

The GX1 also didn't start at $1K tho, wasn't it's original price around $600? So if it's seeing a 50% discount (more or less) after several years, I'd say a 75% discount on the GX7 after just a few months is more than a wee bit optimistic, or overly pessimistic if you were just going for general commentary on Panasonic's practices.

Given how well it's being received I think it's more likely to see the same kinda discount the OMD's seen after a year (20%?). Personally I'd love to snap one up for the price of a GF, even a year after the fact, just not seeing it tho... I guess it'll kinda depend on what Sony/Olympus/Fuji do in the meantime tho.

0 upvotes
Danel
By Danel (8 months ago)

GX1 with standard kit lens was $799. Within 6 months it was $449. In a year it was around $349, or half the price. I saw it somewhere recently for $199, or 25% of original price, though now the best I see is $299. The GX1 was reviewed here 18 months ago. Maybe you're right and the GX7 will be popular enough to hold its value better than what I have seen with many other Panasonic four thirds cameras.

This camera has all the things I want in a little camera including the pop up flash and the nice eye level view finder. The image quality looks to be terrific. Interesting camera. I'm pretty satisfied with what I have right now, but if the price drops like the GX1 did I might pick this camera up in a year or so.

0 upvotes
karlbown
By karlbown (8 months ago)

Any indication on price?

0 upvotes
JeffreyG
By JeffreyG (8 months ago)

I'm planning on buying one of the camera's when it comes out. Can anyone list their top lenses to use with the Panasonic GX7. I would get the kit lens.

I have some very nice Nikon lenses and am thinking of selling them locally. I would want to get 3 or 4 very nice lenses for the camera.

Thoughts?

0 upvotes
Oleg Vinokurov
By Oleg Vinokurov (8 months ago)

Why not open list of available lenses first and already ask specific questions? No one knows your needs or budget.

3 upvotes
jalywol
By jalywol (8 months ago)

Also, you may want to keep some of your Nikon lenses for use on the GX7 with an adapter. Yes they will use manual focus and aperture adjustment, but the non-G ones work great. (BTW, my macro lens for my M43 is a micro Nikkor 55mm f3.5...works wonderfully).

0 upvotes
Boris F
By Boris F (8 months ago)

Well done, Panasonic!
Camera of the year 2013?

1 upvote
new boyz
By new boyz (8 months ago)

We'll see that after the FF NEX's announcement.

2 upvotes
Geodesiq
By Geodesiq (8 months ago)

IF ONLY they'd used the same fullly articulating LCD from the G series this would be a no brainer. Why regress to a mediocre, crippled, semi-articulating screen when they've demonstrated the best touch LCD in the business??? They also left off the touch-to-shoot feature which is fantastic for street shooting. From what I can tell my "lowly" G3 is more capable at 1/3 the cost.

1 upvote
Demon Cleaner
By Demon Cleaner (8 months ago)

The touch shutter is still there. At least according to the official release:

"and its touch-control features offer intuitive navigation through the camera's features and controls, including touch focus and touch shutter release."

Tend to agree with you regarding the articulating screen though.

0 upvotes
Naveed Akhtar
By Naveed Akhtar (8 months ago)

No .. please!!
fully articulated screen would be a dumb choice for this class of camera!! there is no need for it!!
for composition freedom, this one is much better, quicker to setup for up or down position, and is more discrete for waist level shooting!!
if you want fullly articulating LCD from the G series, you dont have any sense/ need of smaller discrete size of camera, well in that case you should get a G Series camera!

7 upvotes
tombell1
By tombell1 (8 months ago)

Naveed ... I am entirely with you here ... for small and discrete photography this screen is much better ... for me ... the fully articulating gives more options but is less useful FOR what amny of us want this camera for

1 upvote
Impulses
By Impulses (8 months ago)

I like this type of display mount too, it's just less to fiddle with (and easier to brace against yourself)... I'm not quite sure I get the hooplah over the articulated EVF tho, I must be missing something...How is it more comfortable to look down into it than "thru" it as it were? And how often would you do that regardless?

The articulated EVF does come with a few small downsides: the LCD can't flip all the way around for self portraits and the EVF takes up more body space, encroaching on the hotshoe etc; tho some would say the same of the built in flash (which I happen to appreciate).

0 upvotes
lmtfa
By lmtfa (8 months ago)

Hip replacement or buy this?

0 upvotes
ianp5a
By ianp5a (8 months ago)

Go for the hip. Then you can still drool over the GX7.
And you can sell a used hip on ebay if you change your mind.

3 upvotes
Vladik
By Vladik (8 months ago)

HAHA

0 upvotes
Sergio Rojkes
By Sergio Rojkes (8 months ago)

Get the hip, at least you´ll be fully articulated and wont loose 60% of its value in just one year...

2 upvotes
Optimal Prime
By Optimal Prime (8 months ago)

If you need to ask, you clearly aren't in urgent need of a hip. Enjoy the GX7 for now. You can always save up for the hip later by only having one meal a day.

0 upvotes
mediasorcerer
By mediasorcerer (8 months ago)

This cam is a pretty well designed and crafted instrument judging by what ive seen of it here and there, and i would bet it feels pretty damn funky to use.
I applaud panasonic for making this camera, you can tell a goodly amount of thought has gone into the design, specs and other features.
Of course it's pricey, they all are after release what say?

Im not pro [insert favourite corporation], however, choice and competition is a consumers best friend.

2 upvotes
Vitruvius
By Vitruvius (8 months ago)

No IBIS for video ??? If it works for 2 second exposures (as reviewers have claimed) then what is the problem with video? Hope this is a firmware update.

Legacy glass + IBIS during video + Focus Peaking during video = AWESOMENESS!

0 upvotes
Demon Cleaner
By Demon Cleaner (8 months ago)

There have been 5 years and multiple generations of PEN cameras, and Olympus are still to produce one capable of utilising 2-axis IBIS in video with any degree of success. It would certainly be nice to have, but probably a little unrealistic to expect Panasonic to implement it with their first foray into IBIS territory with a G-series camera.

You never know though, perhaps they'll add it after release via firmware, similar to what occurred with the E-M5.

0 upvotes
ntsan
By ntsan (8 months ago)

Olympus's Pen (beside E-P5) always use digital IS, thus the video produce really ugly jello effect
The 2 axis IS just don't work on video

0 upvotes
Walsh_uk
By Walsh_uk (8 months ago)

Deliberately left out ... simple firmware tweak thats all is needed, sadly it is down to the hacker's to liberate it because Panasonic marketing have decided you've got enough for your hard earned money.

Shame really. ..

0 upvotes
steve_hoge
By steve_hoge (8 months ago)

Really? People are hacking Panasonic G-series?

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (8 months ago)

OK, the question is, how quickly Leica will start selling this with triple the price? Or quadruple?

1 upvote
Jesse P
By Jesse P (8 months ago)

Likely never since it's a micro 4/3 system

3 upvotes
ankyloman
By ankyloman (8 months ago)

Viewfinder vs LCD -sorry if I repeat an opinion that I failed to read. Full sun, viewfinders win hands down, but composing on an LCD screen is akin to using the ground glass on a TLR, 'blad, or view camera without a hood, (metal folding or cloth) and with an image neither reversed nor inverted. COMPOSING on a screen means seeing a miniature of the picture. Any and all who have composed an image this way will affirm it is different from using a viewfinder (my experience: Bronica S2). Dpreview expressed concern for simultaneously seeing all corners through the viewfinder, a non-issue for an LCD screen. I sometimes nip the edge of a subject because of difficulty concentrating on both sides of the viewfinder simultaneously. I find my DSLR live view superior for photographing objects in museums.
There are situations where either LCD or viewfinder is superior, but they are also different experiences in COMPOSING.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
Larry  Witt
By Larry Witt (8 months ago)

I finely got a look at the bottom of the GX7, on the Panasonic home page. The tripod mount looks way better engineered (magnesium plate) then my NEX7, which is at the Sony repair center right now, because the weak tripod mount was breaking out of the thin plastic holding it in place. This occurred while only using a light Sony 18-55 and an equally light Tamron 18-200 which is not any heaver then the kit lens. I am very disappointed in an otherwise really great camera. I can only shoot using a tripod because of the shakes now days, and must have camera that has a decent tripod mount.

0 upvotes
Vitruvius
By Vitruvius (8 months ago)

AND it looks to be centered on the sensor in both axis! Great for people who want to do simple panoramas without all the offset accessories. I know, I know. You need to align with the lens focal node, but still, it is close and it is nice to see them try.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
waxart
By waxart (8 months ago)

I'm chiefly a videographer with a GH2 and GH3. The GX7 might encourage me to trade in my GH2, provided it is as good in low light as the GH3. My husband uses the Olympus OMD and has an array of lenses that I can't wait to borrow!

0 upvotes
Vitruvius
By Vitruvius (8 months ago)

Same here but noticed that there is not IBIS in video. There is focus peaking during video though. So I hope they add IBIS during video by firmware update soon. Then you can shoot video with legacy glass, IBIS, and focus peaking. Would be AWESOME!

3 upvotes
JeffreyG
By JeffreyG (8 months ago)

Panasonic's global site show two kit lenses. Does anyone know if the new 20mm lens is going to be offered as a kit purchase.

Jeff

0 upvotes
Vignes
By Vignes (8 months ago)

it's offered by Panasonic Australia as one of the kit option. not sure if other countries has similar kit options: The body/20mm lens kit only comes in silver version where else the body/Leica DG Summilux 25mm/F1.4 ASPH kit option comes in black.

0 upvotes
Mikhail Tal
By Mikhail Tal (8 months ago)

I'm thrilled that my request for DPR to review the GX7 quickly and start reviewing more m4/3 cameras was so popular. I have never seen another comment get even close to 70 likes before (it certainly helped that I got it in early). Thank you to all who gave a thumbs up and I encourage you to keep visiting and posting comments in these previews and reviews, it is the biggest thing that Simon and DPR pay attention to, how much traffic they get. If we blitz the previews with page views and comments they will reward us with a quick review, at least that is my hope.

10 upvotes
David Fell
By David Fell (8 months ago)

You're welcome - you spoke for the silent majority also, the comment re: SLR garners more traffic - a quick look on the Reviews & specs: 57% (SLR) vs 43% (Rest). I am not that convinced as the top 10 is still only 30% of all activity. I suspect the GX7 was fast tracked due to rumours, leaks and Panasonics' goodwill/PR machine. Never-the-less I will be buying one, it's what the GX1 should have been as I have the GF1 with external EVF and far from ideal.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
Panasonicus
By Panasonicus (8 months ago)

At close to double the price of the G6 which also has a high end EVF and all the features of the GX7 except IBIS it may be awhile before existing Panasonic DSLM owners or prospective purchasers are tempted. As we in the UK pay a 25% premium over US prices (where you do not pay sales tax if buying out of state) it is hard to see that this camera will be a sell-out. That all said, if it drops by around 50% it should prove to be a big seller and it will open the door to Olympus lenses and perhaps smaller non-IS Panasonic glass.

0 upvotes
technotic
By technotic (8 months ago)

All cameras in the UK are liable for 20% VAT so that has nothing to do with the GX7. It already is a big seller.

0 upvotes
RStyga
By RStyga (8 months ago)

Great camera but the price difference between GX7 and GX1 is abysmal at this time. Maybe in the future GX7 will be more competitive to the GX1 unless one needs the upgraded performance of the GX7 right now.

Comment edited 19 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Vitruvius
By Vitruvius (8 months ago)

The only thing missing that I would like is an external microphone plug. If the hot shoe has the same functionality as the Olympus then they might be able to make something like the SEMA-1.

0 upvotes
JamFrame
By JamFrame (8 months ago)

can you confirm if this has a multiple / double exposure mode?

0 upvotes
Mary Lee
By Mary Lee (8 months ago)

I have the GX1 and love it but will probably upgrade to the GX7. One thing I really liked about the GX1 was the fact that the flash locked back for bounce flash. I have not seen any pics of the GX7 with the flash up. Does anyone know ig it will tilt back like the GX1?

0 upvotes
white shadow
By white shadow (8 months ago)

If you already own the GX1, it may not be necessary to buy the GX7 unless you consider the new features important.

The built-in flash looks more flimsy and even if it can flip backwards like on the GX1, it may break easily.

Best to check it out in a retail shop.

You are better off using the money to buy the excellent Oly 75mm f/1.8 for some quality portraits or when you require more reach.

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Demon Cleaner
By Demon Cleaner (8 months ago)

Yes I've seen a video or two where they display the flash being bounced, similar to that of the GX1.

0 upvotes
Ed Gill
By Ed Gill (8 months ago)

Yes, yes, and yes. definitely my next m-4/3 camera! Been waiting since the G1 for Panasonic to finally get it together. Everything I have wanted. Real flash sync speed, articulated viewfinder in the right location for people with noses, both types of stabilization, better sensor, beautiful and compact, customizable layout. Time to dump APS-C junk and go with m-4/3 and full frame. APS-C ( 1/3 frame) no longer has enough advantage to justify the bulk and weight. This, the OM-5 and Pen-5 are game changers in my mind.

3 upvotes
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (8 months ago)

> articulated viewfinder in the right location for people with noses

I use my left eye you insensitive clod! :)

2 upvotes
Ed Gill
By Ed Gill (8 months ago)

Ah Andy! Are you also left handed? If so, you're hosed anyway :). Personally, I think Ricoh missed the boat by not offering a left and right hand version of their GR modular cameras. Serious question, which camera do you find most comfortable to use as a left eyed shooter (like Joe McNally).

1 upvote
pmforsyth
By pmforsyth (8 months ago)

After 50 years of pressing my nose to the back of SLR cameras, I've got to feel that this makes for a nice steady grip (yes, left-handed and left-eyed). I don't think I'd like to have the bulk of the camera waving about to the left of my face!

0 upvotes
Hongze
By Hongze (8 months ago)

After using GX1 with LVF2 for some days, I will say the electric view finder for a mirror-less is a must for anyone who enjoy the picture taking process. The way that time freezes in the finder after you press the shutter release is just wonderful and dream like.

With the high quality finder built in GX7, Panasonic is showing their efforts to please ppl who think such a finder is an integrated part of picture taking.

0 upvotes
donmcmahan
By donmcmahan (8 months ago)

going with in lens stabilization rather than follow the lead of their 4/3 partner Olympus was a mistake from the beginning. I am glad they have finally seen the light, I guess the 5 axis stabilization on the OM-D was just too good to ignore.... too bad about the lack of an external mic connection

2 upvotes
mggardner
By mggardner (8 months ago)

I eagerly await the details but I presume I will again be dissappointed. I have a panasonic dmc-G3 I use with my gigapan. What I desperately want is a G-whatever with remote port for the gigapan and not only exposure bracketing - but focus bracketing. Let me manually focus, then bracket +/- off that - or even better, let me focus two points (manual or auto), save them and specify number of steps. OR, failing either of those, just put a simple number scale for focus instead of the "scale" that the G3 uses. There is no way to focus - then go back later to that same range. I actually keep a couple of small pieces of postit note on my camera so I can "mark" focus ranges. I don't need a scale that is calibrated in feet for every lens I just need a number - so I can go back to "350" if that is where I focused once before. And manufacturers wonder why people want to hack their software.... I love the smaller size of the 4/3rds but I could do without most of the consumer features...

0 upvotes
Ursula32301
By Ursula32301 (8 months ago)

As a constant user of the GX1, both with a digiscope setup and with a tele lens, I am certainly looking forward to the built in EVF as well as the tilting LCD. The much higher shutter speed and flash sync will be welcomed touches too.

0 upvotes
RadioGnome
By RadioGnome (8 months ago)

I see an on-of switch just above the dail which (on my DSLR) I use a lot while peeking through the viewfinder.

0 upvotes
Dimitris Servis
By Dimitris Servis (8 months ago)

An impressive, beautiful and capable camera for sure! Having recently converted to m43 this looks like a great next-in-line body to try!

A word on the viewfinder/LCD debate: viewfinders are surely great, provide better support of the camera and especially longer battery life. They may or may not help you take better pictures. I would also dare to say that the creative opportunities offered by a tilting screen are more. Anyway, people have taken great pictures using waistlevels and view cameras for years!

1 upvote
white shadow
By white shadow (8 months ago)

When the Lumix GF1 came out about 5 years ago I was excited and without much hesitation bought one. It was well designed and easy to use. I am using it until today on days I do not want to carry my Canon 5D Mk II.

Unfortunately, I am not getting that excited with the GX7 despite its "improvements". Panasonic is trying to please too many people, thus making them more consumer oriented. I would prefer they just improve on the photography related aspect.

The GX7 is trying to be a bit of everything.

The front looks a bit like the Fuji XE1.

The back looks like the Sony Nex. The tiltable EVF looks flimsy and may not last.

The new features are very similar to the EP5. Even the camera strap lug looks the same. The original lug is much simpler and better.

The built-in flash looks flimsy too. Look out. It may not last.

Overall, I think the Lumix G6 has a better design and may prove to handle better eventhough the body is made of plastic. Thus, it may be a better buy.

3 upvotes
Demon Cleaner
By Demon Cleaner (8 months ago)

"I would prefer they just improve on the photography related aspect."

* Tilting EVF
* New improved sensor
* Improved low light AF (-4 EV)
* In-cam adjustable curves
* Focus Peaking
* IBIS
* Electronic Shutter

You seem to have gotten caught up on the existential changes, ie, the appearance. Delve a little deeper and you'll find a lot of substance waiting for the keen photographer.

13 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (8 months ago)

yeah... that's what I was thinking - but maybe it's wrong because the improvements will "please too many people" ;)

0 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (8 months ago)

and have a huge plastic G6 instead of this? seriously?
have the most important part of the camera made of plastic instead of metal because you don't like the flash? come on!
the built-in ones never rival external ones anyways in terms of flexibility - they are more of an external flash trigger or an emergency flash anyways. I'd rather have a camera that has a flash that breaks if I happen to drop it in the one times out of a hundred where I have it deployed, instead of having a camera body crack open. ;)

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Panasonicus
By Panasonicus (8 months ago)

For decades photographers have demanded and been given excellent viewfinders to see what the lens sees or close to with parallax devices. Then along comes the marketing teams to convince us that viewfinders are old school and everyone is better off with a LCD. The trick worked for awhile as we battled with sunlight washing out the screen or struggled with our eyesight issues that could not be corrected on camera. Then, suddenly, Panasonic began to reverse the trend and give us small DSLMs with built in viewfinders that cost no more than their sister products with a rear screen only. Now they are getting really serious by giving us a camera with a high end EVF included in the price of the camera. Give it a couple more years and the era of the rear LCD without an accompanying viewfinder will be over and we will all wonder how many of us were so easily conned. How many viewfinder-less Canon EOS-Ms have been sold?

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
T3
By T3 (8 months ago)

"How many viewfinder-less Canon EOS-Ms have been sold?"

I'd hardly cite that as an indicator of popularity/unpopularity of the rear LCD. Maybe you should ask yourself how many digital cameras have been sold (since the beginning of digital cameras) with just a rear LCD. Millions? Tens of millions? Hundreds of millions? Whatever the number, it's a lot. Plus, if you count the countless millions of smart phone cameras talking countless millions of photos every day, none of those cameras have viewfinders either. The reality is that most people get on just fine with rear LCD as their "viewfinder", and more people are taking photos with devices that *don't* have eyehole viewfinders than there are people taking photos *with* eyehole viewfinders.

Plus, don't kid yourself about the cost of an EVF. EVF's do cost money, and someone is going to pay that cost, whether it comes out of customers' wallets, or the manufacturer's profits. The cost of EVF is not simply a con or a scam.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
Dave Oddie
By Dave Oddie (8 months ago)

People may get on fine with their LCD and more photos may be taken this way than with cameras with viewfinders but that doesn't mean they would not get on better with a camera with a viewfinder.

Just because you can use devices with just LCD's to take photos doesn't mean its ergonomically that good to do so.

I have just got back off my summer holidays and sure enough in the tourist spots I noticed many people waving their phones about taking photos. When it was sunny they were usually squinting and it clearly wasn't a particularly intuitive thing to be doing.

I think for many it is what you have never had you never miss but give them a small camera with a viewfinder like the GX7 and I will guarantee people will gravitate naturally to using the viewfinder when they see how much easier it is to use particularly in bright light.

The fact people use phones and cameras with just LCD's is in my opinion a case of there is little alternative not that it is an intuitive user interface.

6 upvotes
Shamael
By Shamael (8 months ago)

there is nothing wrong to take photos with a live view rear LCD. The only problem is bright sunlight, when you are not able anymore to see what is show on this LCD. That sucks.

Yes, there has been improvement in this matter, but still, it is something that sucks. That is why, I never buy a camera without built in VF. And, for sure, I would not buy one with an external viewfinder that costs me 450$ in addition to the camera.

If you use a bunch of different NEX cameras and an RX1 beside of it, this EVF price could be invested, but not with one of those cameras only, not even with the RX1. For me, a camera without VF is like a wheelchair without wheels, simply more useless than useful. This camera here has all one looks for, or almost.

1 upvote
Timmbits
By Timmbits (8 months ago)

I used to have a Nikon P7000 with it's rather simplistic OVF. Some criticized it, but I appreciated having a very simple one on occasions where the sun was just too bright. Otherwise I was quite happy using the LCD.

VF or not, is a design choice. And there are enough camera designs/models out there, that we don't need to attack a company every time they "dare" introduce something without one. Just move on over to a model that has what you want. Simple as that.

1 upvote
T3
By T3 (8 months ago)

@Dave Oddie - "When it was sunny they were usually squinting and it clearly wasn't a particularly intuitive thing to be doing."

With regard to squinting, keep in mind that that is the default state for using a viewfinder. I squint one of my eyes every time I use an eyelevel viewfinder. I also mash my nose against the back of the camera, too. It puts smudges on my LCD.

My point is that there are pros and cons to both methods of framing an image, and one is not necessarily better than the other. Frankly, I would never want a viewfinder on my phone! LOL. I like using the LCD just fine. The same goes with plenty of other compact cameras I use. It's only when you get to using a big, heavy DSLR with a big DSLR lens that I start thinking that a viewfinder is a must-have. Otherwise, I feel pretty comfortable using a rear LCD. And when shooting in bright sunlight, I can typically shield the LCD from direct sunlight with the brim of my hat, or my hand, or my body. No big deal.

0 upvotes
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (8 months ago)

The top 3 most popular cameras on flickr are the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 and iPhone 4 respectively and the most popular point and shoot (Sony RX100) doesn't have one either, so it looks like for many people lack of viewfinder really isn't a big deal.

0 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (8 months ago)

How about a showdown between the GX7 and the EP5 (or OMDEM5)?

...see how much farther (or not) the GX7 has come compared to the GX1.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (8 months ago)

Comparison review would be welcome, but with with 1.5 y/o E-M5, probably makes sense to wait for the next OM-D rumored in a few weeks, and NEX-6 (or NEX-7 replacement) for a good measure.

0 upvotes
FrankS009
By FrankS009 (8 months ago)

Looks like a terrific camera. I like the design. Lets see if the sensor and IQ is up to contemporary standards.

F.

2 upvotes
walkaround
By walkaround (8 months ago)

The ugly mutant child of a NEX and Ricoh GR...

2 upvotes
Strikeroot
By Strikeroot (8 months ago)

Good news for everyone. More momentum behind IBIS. And pressure on Olympus and Fuji to beef-up the weak-ass video codecs they hamper their cameras with.

1 upvote
rfsIII
By rfsIII (8 months ago)

I was ready to toss all my Nikon gear till I came to the part of no microphone port? Now I'm gonna cry.

1 upvote
Demon Cleaner
By Demon Cleaner (8 months ago)

You shoot video with Nikon?

6 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (8 months ago)

maybe that's why he wants to try something else?

1 upvote
Shamael
By Shamael (8 months ago)

it's strange, all the excuses people find to NOT buy a camera.
For me, one argument that is valuable is if it has no viewfinder. Now, if you want to shoot video, there's nothing better then a NEX in that size.

2 upvotes
JackM
By JackM (8 months ago)

Gimmick.

1 upvote
FrankS009
By FrankS009 (8 months ago)

how?

6 upvotes
Total comments: 1202
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