Studio test scene

Our latest test scene is designed to simulate both daylight and low-light shooting. Pressing the 'lighting' buttons at the top of the widget allows you to switch between the two. The daylight scene is shot with manually set white balance aimed at achieving neutral grays, but the camera is left in its Auto setting for the low-light tests (except Raw, which is manually corrected during conversion). We also offer three different viewing sizes: 'Full', 'Print', and 'Comp', with the latter two offering 'normalized' comparisons to more fairly compare cameras of differing resolutions by using matched viewing sizes. The 'Comp' option chooses the largest-available resolution common to the cameras being compared.

The Panasonic G7 produces results that are comparable with its immediate rivals. At low ISOs it shows broadly similar amounts of detail to cameras such as the Olympus OM-D E-M10 or Canon's EOS 750D/Rebel T6i. The Panasonic's color rendition isn't as punchy as the Canon's (with yellows in particular being a little dull and maybe a little greener), but generally it's a fairly strong result. Processing of fine detail is generally good but there are occasional strange sharpening artefacts and spurious details (such as on the radiating black lines near the center of the Siemens Stars).

At higher ISOs, the camera's JPEG engine does a reasonable job of balancing noise supression and detail retention. This means its JPEG output remains competitive with the likes of the Nikon D5500, with the Sony a6000 retaining perhaps a little more detail and the Samsung NX500 doing slightly better, too.

Looking at the Raw files shows how much harder the G7's processing is having to work. Its smaller sensor should mean arounda 2/3EV shot noise cost compared with its APS-C rivals and, sure enough, the camera ends up dropping behind the Nikon D5500 at higher ISOs, to the point that the Nikon is nearly 1EV ahead at these high ISO settings. However, this still leaves it giving a similar results to less well-performing APS-C cameras, such as the Sony a6000, in Raw.

However, the camera's shutter appears to shake (and soften) the image, especially at shutter speeds of around 1/160th of a second. This can be eliminated (and its imapact assessed) by using the camera's electonic shutter mode - either by specifying electronic shutter or by engaging 'silent mode.' The resultant images are sharper but risk exhibiting rolling shutter, if used with fast-moving subjects, and come at some cost to dynamic range and a slight increase in noise at the highest ISO settings.