My Panasonic G7 arrived today...

Started 11 months ago | Discussions thread
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FalkirkEagle Junior Member • Posts: 47
My Panasonic G7 arrived today...

It was fairly late in the day when I got it, so didn't have enough time to really play with it before it started getting dark.

Initial impressions:
I like the big, bright viewfinder; it's far brighter and more detailed than the one in my Sony a6000. On the other hand, I wear glasses and can't see all four corners of the viewfinder easily. It must be just me here, because if I take my glasses off, the view is only slightly better. The view in the a6000 viewfinder, with glasses on, is just a tiny bit better, but not by much.

Handling: The G7 feels nice in my hand, if a bit plasticky. Still trying to figure out if it weighs more than my Sony a6000 or about the same. The G7 is maybe 15-20% bigger than the Sony. Controls are easy to reach and fairly intuitive. I had no difficulty figuring out how to access various controls through the on-screen menus. The menu system is substantially better than the Sony because it is a lot easier to use, and as an added bonus, I didn't need to consult the manual to figure my way around.

It's interesting to see that the lowest ISO the camera offers is just 200 ISO. By comparison, the Sony goes down to 100.

Image Quality: The camera came with a 14-140 Lumix G Vario lens. The lens barrel rotates fairly smoothly when zooming to a wide angle or telephoto. By comparison, the Sony 55-210mm lens I have seems better built and is somewhat smoother.

I took one shot at 200 ISO, and several others at 800, 1600 and 3200 ISO. All were shot in RAW. Straight out of the camera, the images were a little disappointing - a little washed out, noisy-looking and lacking a bit in detail. The JPEGs weren't a great deal better.
The first shot you see was taken at 200ISO and edited in Adobe Lightroom, with modest adjustments made to exposure, contrast, sharpening, whites, blacks, etc.

I think the photo cleaned up rather nicely.

ISO 200, f5.6, 1/15sec., 140mm focal length. OIS set to 'ON'

The second image, seen below, was shot at ISO800 and edited in Lightroom with similar modest adjustments to various image parameters including a substantial amount of noise reduction. While still a decent image overall, it's easy to see how much the image starts to deteriorate at 800ISO. I used 800 ISO in an attempt to get a faster shutter speed.

800ISO, f5.6, 1/125sec, 140mm. OIS set to 'ON'

For stills, the optical image stabilizer in the 14-140mm lens seems to work fairly well. I did shoot a couple of very short video clips and found the OIS to be not so good for handheld video work. My Sony a6000 doesn't have IBIS and its stabilizer seems to do a better job when shooting video handheld.
My overall impression of the 14-140 lens is that it is a good, if average to slightly above-average performer. If I want to get better performance, I'll have to upgrade to a more expensive lens with a similar range. Maybe invest in a few primes and manual-focus lenses.

While I don't expect to be shooting much hand-held video with the G7, the performance of the 14-140 lens with the stabilizer activated makes me wonder if I shouldn't go for a G85 instead, as it has IBIS.
I'll continue experimenting with the G7 over the weekend and make a decision then. I would have gone for the Sony a6300 instead, but the camera overheats when capturing 4K. Supposedly there is a firmware update that has just been released that fixes this problem.

Panasonic G85 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7 Sony a6000 Sony a6300
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