Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7 Review
Handling and Shooting Experience
The G7 does its best to behave and feel like a DSLR. It features two well-placed control dials and has generally positioned all its switches and buttons in positions where they can be reached when you have the camera to your eye. Details such as the focus mode switch and drive mode dial would be more at home on a mid-level DSLR than an entry-level camera.
|Lumix G Vario 14-42/F3.5-5.6 II
Brightened and contrast adjusted in Adobe Camera Raw to make the most of the camera's dynamic range. Exposure +1.25EV, Shadows 100, Highlights -52, deep shadows lowered with tone curve.
However, the in-camera 'iDynamic Mode' did a good job of getting close to this result without any additional processing. Click here to see the out-of-camera version.
On top of this, the G7 tries to extend this experience in a way that a DSLR can't easily match: it lets you use the rear touchscreen to quickly position the AF point even with the camera held up to your face. This is really well designed and lets you choose whether to position the AF point where you press or to move the point, based on which direction you swipe (though the larger screen on the G7 means that, as a left-eye shooter, my nose will sometimes move the AF point).
Equally, its mirrorless design means that the camera behaves in exactly the same way whether you're shooting through the viewfinder or with the rear LCD: there's no change in performance, no change in user interface appearance and no change in the functions you can access - making it a more coherent experience.
The net result is a camera that will be fairly easy to learn for anyone who's previously shot with a DSLR, but that doesn't take too muich additional learning to use for video shooting (it's the conceptual challenges of composing for movement and thinking in terms of video shutter speeds that are likely to be more of a hurdle than the technological or user interface challenges the G7 presents). However, this risks looking rather over-complicated to anyone not already used to shooting in aperture priority mode, for example.
So, just as the G7 looks and behaves like a scaled-down DSLR (or perhaps a scaled-down GH4), so its shooting experience will make more sense to someone who already knows how to take control of a camera, or someone who wants to learn, rather than the first-time ILC buyer.
|By default, the camera has three tabs down the right of the screen.
One of these lets you select an image processing effect, the middle one gives control over exposure settings.
Finally, the Fn tab contains up to five user definable custom functions.
However, Panasonic has possibly got a little carried away with the number of on-screen custom buttons that the camera offers. There are three on-screen tabs of functions, which can be a little bewildering. Unless I was trying to do something really complicated, I often found it easier to disengage the touch-screen Fn buttons. Equally, I'm not sure the camera needs its (increasingly dated looking) Q.Menu, in the light of how many custom buttons are available (though the customizable version can at least be pared-back to only include the features you want access to).
Despite the G7's tendency towards complexity, it lacks a couple of the more basic functions that can be really useful on some of its rivals. Given its occasional shake, it would be really useful to be able to zoom in to the chosen focus point in playback mode, to check focus and shake, sadly this is something this is absent.
Where the G7 really shines, though, is for video. The inclusion of focus peaking (to aid manual focus) and zebra (for assessing over-exposure), plus the flip-out screen, make it relatively easy to shoot good-quality 4K (UHD) or 1080 footage and the on-screen touch controls are well suited to the task. The 4K capability is also utilized to offer a 'catch-the-moment' stills mode called '4K Photo' mode, with the G7's being the most advanced implimentation we've yet encountered.
Auto ISO behavior
The G7 offers two Auto ISO modes: Auto ISO and iISO. Auto ISO is a very simple implementation: it doesn't let you specify a shutter speed (or relationship to focal length) at which the camera will increase the ISO setting but does let you choose an upper ISO limit. iISO is a little more clever: it doesn't allow any user input beyond setting the upper limit, instead trying to detect movement in the scene and increases the ISO to ensure a suitable shutter speed is used.
Auto ISO is available in manual exposure mode but the camera won't let you use exposure comp to specify how bright the image should be. Auto ISO is only available for video when shooting in P, A or S modes (so there's no way of setting your shutter speed and aperture, then getting the camera to maintain brightness).
We've been really impressed with the G7's autofocus. The camera can continuously autofocus at up to 6 frames per second (or 8 if you switch to electronic shutter mode). It also offers really impressive subject tracking and continuous autofocus - a simple tap on the screen is often enough to get the camera to fairly doggedly follow something around the frame, meaning it's realistic to specify the subject you want tracked. This is amongst the best performance in this class - in terms of both mirrorless and DSLR.
If you shoot with the mechanical shutter, you can choose whether to shoot in high speed or medium speed burst mode. High speed offers 8fps with single autofocus or 6 with continuous AF, but no live view between shots. Switching to medium mode continues to offer 6fps but now with live view, meaning you get a much clearer idea of what the camera is tracking.
The electronic shutter mode tries to offer 8 fps shooting with continuous autofocus but in our testing this appears to be a step too far for the camera: the tracking seemed to get confused/distracted more easily and we ended up with fewer shots focused on the correct subject. Dropping to the 6fps medium mode performs very similarly to the Mechanical shutter option, but with the risk of rolling shutter effects with fast lateral movement.
Generally our recommended settings for continuous shooting would be: E-shutter off, Focus Priority, Burst Rate medium (since you still get 6fps but gain live view between shots). Sadly the G7's buffer will only allow for around 13 Raw images to be shot in a burst, so we'd tend to recommend shooting JPEG-only.
|Fascia walkie talkie building London by ian herridge|
from Abstract Architecture
|Global Reach by cjf2|
Happy 2017 World Photo Day! We asked everyone on staff at DPReview to share one photo that they took within the last year that makes them jazzed on photography. Here's what we chose.
French President Emmanuel Macron has lodged a legal complaint against a paparazzo who snuck onto the president's private vacation property to take pictures.
Ever wonder what the difference is between compressed, uncompressed and lossless compressed Raw files? Photography Life's Nasim Mansurov breaks it down for you in this informative article.
The oldest known portrait of a US president was just discovered after over a century in storage. It's going up for auction in October, where it's expected to fetch between $150,000 and $250,000.
If you're using the popular Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 Art lens with Sigma's MC-11 converter, listen up: you'll want to update your lens and converter firmware ASAP.
If you've heard it once, you've probably heard it a thousand times: never check in your camera gear when flying. This shattered $11,000 lens is what can happen when you do.
Lensrentals just did its first Cine lens comparison, pitting five top-notch 35mm primes against each other: the Zeiss CP.2 35mm T2.1, Canon CN-E 35mm T1.5, Sigma 35mm T1.5 FF, Rokinon Xeen 35mm T1.5 and Schneider Xenon 35mm T2.1.
A team of Google researchers have found that slightly warping watermarks when embedding them into images can help prevent automatic removal.
You don't have to empty your savings account to take your photography to the next level. These cheap buys cost about $50 or less, and come with outsized benefits for your photography.
Joey L, Dani Diamond, Brandon Woelfel and Jessica Kobeissi go head-to-head in an episode of "4 photographers shoot the same model."
The latest flagship phone from Asus combines a 12MP 1/2.55" Sony IMX362 main sensor with a smaller Sony IMX351 chip for 2x zoom and a background-blurring portrait mode.
The company behind popular photo editor Picktorial 3 just released the X-Pack: a preset package that allows you to add Fuji's in-camera film simulation profiles to your RAF files in post.
Photoshop. GoPro. Every once in a while a product emerges that defines a category. And sometimes, it vanishes just as quickly as it arrived on the scene. This week's Throwback Thursday remembers the Flip, the pocket camcorder everyone had – until they didn't.
The Nokia 8's dual-cam combines the image data from a 13MP RGB sensor and a 13 monochrome chip for better detail, improved dynamic range and lower noise levels.
The company behind retail giant B&H Photo has agreed to pay out $3.2 million in monetary relief and back wages to settle a discrimination and harassment case from 2016.
After a popular Facebook teaser and some studio portrait samples, Godox has finally officially released the Godox A1 smartphone flash and flash trigger. Cheap, versatile and innovative, color us intrigued.
Canon’s EOS 5D Mk IV has won the European Imaging and Sound Association’s Professional DSLR of the Year award, making this the third year in a row that the brand has beaten Nikon to the top spot in the professional camera category.
A photograph and quote tweeted out by former president Barack Obama has officially become the most popular tweet of all time, receiving over 1.3 million retweets and 3.4 million likes.
Edward Weston was one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century, and in this episode of Advancing Your Photography we learn the extreme technique he used to capture one of his most famous still life photos.
Instagram just released a small update that will make a huge difference if you're active on the photo sharing app: threaded comment replies.
Venus Optics has announced the price and delivery date of the second lens to join its Zero-D line up: the 15mm F2 for Sony’s E mount. A lens they've dubbed, "the world's fastest 15mm rectilinear lens for full-frame."
Cinnac is a new social network for photographers that will help you separate your good photos from your great ones through a Tinder-like community-based rating system.
The Canon EF 35mm F2 IS USM is an understated jewel of a lens, and one that we've enjoyed on a variety of cameras since its release almost five years ago. Its relatively small size and image stabilization make it a versatile tool for a variety of photography - check out our sample gallery.
You don't need a fancy studio or tons of gear to capture the kind of classic product photography you see in magazines. In this video, Dustin Dolby shows you how to do it with just a couple of speedlights and some know-how.
The life-logging camera is trying to make a comeback. Say hello to FrontRow, a live-streaming enabled life-logging camera from Ubiquiti that hangs on a necklace like a pendant.
When a prospective client approaches you, don't just say "yes" right away. Here's a useful list of questions you should be asking before you decide to take the job and name your price.
Samsung just revealed a blazing-fast new Solid State Drive capable of data transfer speeds of up to 540MB/s.
DJI has developed a 'Local Data Mode' that lets pilots fly without being connected to the Internet. The mode should calm recent fears over data privacy and security when flying DJI drones.
After 1.7 million downloads on Apple computers since the launch in November 2015, Aurora HDR will be available for Windows PCs for the first time with the 2018 release.
The company behind the new Meyer Optik Goerlitz lens manufacturing business has formed a new brand to bring back the Biotar 75mm F1.5 that was made by Carl Zeiss Jena in the 1940s and 50s.