Compact and competent

Started Feb 27, 2016 | User reviews thread
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rurikw Veteran Member • Posts: 3,199
Compact and competent

Bought it used for 330€. As an object I find this camera immensely satisfying. It's a small, well crafted and dense chunk of metal where every square and cubic cm is put to good use. Very logical, no frills, no nonsense. Of course the switch from Sony R1's superb ergonomics to more cramped quarters has taken some getting used to, but I quickly came to like the GX7 and catch myself every day casting admiring glances at it. (My trusty old R1 has been resting on the shelf since I got this 8 months ago). The coolest new (to me) features are magnified view for manual and pinpoint focusing and this shimmering stuff, whose name I keep forgetting. The display and EVF are much bigger and more detailed than on the R1. On the downside, lack of live view highlight warning (zebra on the R1) and display turning around only 1 axis are clear downgrades but I have missed them much less than I expected. Which is proven by the fact that I haven't bothered with wi-fi yet (which is how you overcome the limited display movement).

What's surprised me most is the grain you can see in the files. While that sounds like a negative because obviously it's noise, it doesn't look it. Maybe because at 200 ISO it's almost purely luminance noise and is to photos a bit like the structure of fine grained aquarelle or drawing paper to water color painting or drawing. I have a Sigma DP3M as well so I know what a perfect file looks like, yet I don't have much of a problem with this. Nor with my iPhone 4S which at its best gives a similar look with slightly coarser grain. OK, let's not beat around the bush, it looks like film grain! Now that I got that out of my system: gain in ISO from R1 is maybe only one stop and from ISO 400 up chroma noise sets in as well, so definitely M43 is not the best for low light handheld, but that's not my cup of tea. The occasional noisy skies are easily taken care of: choose the blues with magic wand and denoise power 5. While the Sigma (that's one bench mark camera!) shows low contrast detail I didn't know was there, GX7 faithfully records what I have seen (at ISO 200 at least) and that's enough. Which means what's been repeated ad nauseam: the M43 system strikes a balance between IQ and portability that's very right for very many, me for one. And did I mention the other truism, the great diversity of lenses, many of which combine low cost with high quality.

 rurikw's gear list:rurikw's gear list
Nikon Coolpix 5000 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R1 Sigma DP1 Merrill Sigma DP2 Merrill Sigma DP3 Merrill +28 more
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7
16 megapixels • 3 screen • Four Thirds sensor
Announced: Aug 1, 2013
rurikw's score
Average community score
bad for good for
Kids / pets
Action / sports
Landscapes / scenery
Low light (without flash)
Flash photography (social)
Studio / still life
= community average
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 Sigma DP3 Merrill
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