Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 Review
14 Conclusion and Samples
Conclusion - Pros
- Photos have pleasing color and sharpness, with little detail smudging
- In-body image stabilization brings anti-shake to any lens
- Well constructed, easy-to-handle body
- Quick autofocus and shot-to-shot speeds
- Highly customizable
- Well-implemented touchscreen
- Large and sharp tilting electronic viewfinder
- Truly 'silent' shooting mode
- Wi-Fi with NFC capability
Conclusion - Cons
- In-body stabilization not available for image composition
- Camera tends to use small apertures (rather than faster shutter speeds) in Program mode
- No sensor-shift IS in movie mode
- Strong 'rainbow' tearing effect in EVF
- EVF is hard to see outdoors, adds bulk to camera
- No in-camera Raw conversion
- Lacks headphone and external mic ports for video shooters
While the Lumix DMC-GX1 offered few improvements to its predecessor (the GF1), the Panasonic GX7 has made some significant leaps. While the rangefinder-style design isn't too different, Panasonic has loaded this mirrorless camera with nearly every feature imaginable. The two most-talked-about features are the in-body stabilization and tilting electronic viewfinder, but the GX7 has a lot more hidden up its sleeve.
The GX7 is the first Panasonic G-series camera to have sensor-shift image stabilization. This allows you to add shake reduction to unstabilized lenses, which not only include those from Olympus, but also lenses from yesteryear (via an adapter) - something further supported by the inclusion of focus peaking. The bad news is that the IS system only activates when the photo is taken, so composing pictures can be a wobbly experience. In addition, the sensor-shift IS system cannot be used while recording movies, which is quite disappointing.
If you like customizable buttons, then the GX7 is for you. There are a whopping nine different buttons (real and on-screen) that you can customize, so the camera can truly be set up to your liking (though it can be intimidating at first). We especially like the on-screen Fn buttons, as they show you what option you're changing. The physical Fn buttons require you to memorize what does what. This level of customization goes well with the twin-dial interface, though we felt the top dial wasn't brilliantly positioned.
There are plenty of cameras with tilting LCDs, but Panasonic has decided that photographers may want their viewfinder to do the same. The GX7's EVF can tilt upwards by up to 90 degrees (though it can't be pulled toward you), and we're not entirely sure why you'd need that, considering that the LCD right below it can do the same thing. The specification of the viewfinder looks good, with its 1280x720 resolution and magnification of 0.70x (equivalent), though the reality is that it has a strong 'rainbow effect' due to its use of field-sequential technology, and the small eyecup that lets in lots of outside light.
The GX7 has a pretty usable touchscreen interface, perhaps the coolest feature of which is Touch Pad AF, which allows you to choose a focus point using the LCD while you're looking through the EVF (though it's not well-suited for those who shoot with their left eye).
The GX7 is really aimed at enthusiasts, and we think they'll be pretty happy about what the GX7 brings to the plate. Naturally, there are a full set of manual exposure controls (including a maximum shutter speed of 1/8000 sec), plus focus peaking, tone curve and dynamic range adjustment, time-lapse, and HDR features.
Something that makes the GX7 a great camera for street photography is its silent mode, which turns on the electronic shutter and turns off all the lights and sounds (to the point that the instruction manual warns you to be aware of local privacy laws). Let's just say that this feature lives up to its billing. Using the electronic shutter has some trade-offs and drawbacks: flash is unavailable, the ISO limit is 3200, slowest shutter speed is 1 second and certain lighting conditions and subjects can cause glitches in images, but it's a rare and interesting feature to have.
Like several of Panasonic's other cameras, the DMC-GX7 has on-board Wi-Fi with NFC capability. The Wi-Fi feature allows for remote capture from your mobile device, and somewhat clunky sharing of images and videos to cloud services and social networks. When it works, NFC makes pairing your camera and smartphone easy, which then allows you to 'tap' the devices together when you want to transfer photos. In reality, this feature can be very flaky, so you may want to use the 'traditional' Wi-Fi connection instead.
The GX7 is capable of recording video at 1080/60p and 24p, at healthy bit rates of 28 and 24 Mbps, respectively. While Panasonic put manual exposure, real-time focus peaking, and mic level controls on the camera, they left out both microphone and headphone ports. The video quality is impressive, though.
Photo quality on the GX7 is very good, though there some things photographers need to watch out for. First is that the camera tends to choose small apertures - rather than faster shutter speeds - when shooting in Program or Auto mode. This brings diffraction into place, which can noticeably soften images. While we hope Panasonic will address this in a firmware update, shooting in aperture priority mode is a good solution for now.
Something else you'll want to do right away is turn on the i.Dynamic feature. That's because at default settings, the GX7 clips highlights rather abruptly. With i.Dynamic, the roll-off to white is much smoother, and overall dynamic range is increased.
Otherwise, the GX7's photos have vivid color, with a sharpness level that's right in the middle, so you get plenty of detail, without artifacts. Panasonic takes a conservative approach to noise reduction, which means that photos will be a bit grainy at higher ISOs, but detail smudging is less of a problem than on its competitors.
The final word
The DMC-GX7 is indeed an impressive camera, but how does it hold up against its immediate peers? Pretty well, in our opinion. The build quality and handling are good, though Panasonic may have gone a bit overboard in the interface department. It's the only mirrorless camera to offer an articulating EVF, and while the finder's resolution is superb, the 'rainbow effect' is not. The revised JPEG engine offers dynamic range that's much more comparable to its peers than some recent Panasonics have been, and some the color rendition too has improved greatly over older models. As a result, the GX7 holds its own against both mirrorless and midrange DSLRs in terms of both performance and photo quality (though there will be a bit more noise in extreme situations).
Panasonic has thrown virtually every possible feature into its DMC-GX7 mirrorless camera, and for the most part, they've succeeded. We like the photo and video quality, performance, customizable controls, and silent shooting mode. That said, the limitations on the in-body IS system, the tendency to close down the aperture in Program mode, and lack of in-camera Raw processing keep the GX7 from earning our highest recommendation.
Scoring is relative only to the other cameras in the same category.
Click here to learn about the changes to our scoring system and what these numbers mean.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7
Category: Mid Range Interchangeable Lens Camera / DSLR
Ergonomics & handling
Metering & focus accuracy
Image quality (raw)
Image quality (jpeg)
Low light / high ISO performance
Viewfinder / screen rating
Movie / video mode
The Panasonic GX7 is a full-featured mirrorless camera that offers very good photo and video quality, a highly customizable interface, plenty of useful features, and robust performance. It's marred by a so-so viewfinder, lack of in-camera raw conversion, and a disappointing in-body IS system.
There are 43 images in the Lumix DMC-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 Lumix DMC-GX7 review samples
Jun 14, 2016
Aug 9, 2016
May 25, 2016
Feb 24, 2016
|Nectar Dancing by Lensmate|
from A Big Year - birds
|Sad clown by PEB|
|Mtl Gen X 2015 DP by MarioSS|
from - Gen X - (In Full Colours+ Border)
DJI's new firmware makes it difficult to fly in restricted airspace, even when you have proper clearance. Is DJI placing themselves between professionals and the FAA?
Go behind the scenes with National Geographic photographer Renan Ozturk and see what it takes to capture a dangerous, harrowing, stunning Nat Geo photo essay.
Erez Marom tells the story behind this ominous photo of the sand 'reaching up' towards the mountains at Skagsanden beach in Norway. He calls this photo 'Torment.'
DPReview staffer Carey Rose has taken the Panasonic Leica DG 15mm F1.7 along for everything from a city-side boat ride to a bachelor party across the mountains. Find out how the little Leica fared.
Canon just unveiled the largest 12-ink printer on the market. The new imagePROGRAF PRO-6000 printer can make prints from 17 all the way up to 60 inches wide.
"Standing in one of the holiest places on earth, I felt uneasy," writes Wired's Jason Parham. "Most of my fellow visitors, I realized with a brief bloom of nausea, were taking selfies."
Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk has been receiving great reviews, but it's a challenge to see it in its full glory. This handy infographic reveals the aspect ratio chaos that is wrought as the industry retreats from film.
Anti-bullying organization Ditch the Label's Annual Bullying Survey 2017 reveals yet again that Instagram, more so than any other social network, has a the worst effect on youth mental health.
It's been a crazy day for innovative patent news. Apparently Sony is thinking of developing a medium format curved sensor camera.
An update to the Silkypix Raw converter fixes some bugs and adds support for several popular new cameras.
This crazy custom-built underwater camera shoots 8x10 large format film. It's supposedly "the first successful underwater 8x10 ever made," and it can be yours for $5,800... plus shipping.
Blackmagic just reveled a new accessory for their Cintel Film Scanner. The Cintel Audio and KeyKode Reader can capture KeyKode data and high-quality audio from film in real-time as it is being scanned.
A new Nikon patent shows a lens designed for a curved full-frame sensor. Could this be the high-end Nikon mirrorless camera people are hoping for?
The ability to shoot images at 1,000 fps first appeared in a Sony smartphone sensor. Now the Japanese manufacturer is using the same feature for industrial applications.
Astronomy expert and photographer Dr. Tyler Nordgren thinks you should "see your first eclipse, photograph your second." But if you do plan on taking photos this August, here are a few tips from someone who's been there.
How confident are you that you can spot a manipulated photo? A recent study at the University of Warwick shows that many people are pretty bad at it.
If you purchased a Leica TL2, do NOT attach Leica's Visoflex electronic viewfinder. Leica is working on a fix, but for now, it's possible the viewfinder will break your camera.
Google just released Motion Stills for Android. Unlike the iOS version, the Android app uses a redesigned video processing pipeline that processes each frame of a video as it is being recorded, creating instant results.
A huge copyright lawsuit between photography firm VHT and Zillow Group is heating up again, as both sides appeal a court ruling that granted VHT $4 million in damages.
European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet spent 6 months on board the International Space Station where he worked with Google capturing spheric panorama images that are now available in Street View.
It's official. PDN has confirmed with parent company Aurelius that 94-year-old lighting company Bowens is indeed going out of business.
The newly launched firmware version 1.06 fixes AF-issues that can occur with some lenses that are not officially compatible with the MC-11 converter.
Voyager is a waterproof smart light stick you can control entirely from your phone. The light has already blown past its $300K funding goal on Indiegogo.
2018 is the last year Photokina will take place during the traditional end-of-September dates. In 2019, Photokina will take place from the 8th to the 11th of May.
The Canon IXUS 50 (known as the SD400 Digital ELPH in North America) was one of a string of high-performing, pocketable PowerShots of the mid-2000s. In this week's throwback Thursday, Barney casts his mind back to 2005.
A close look at the EOS 6D II's Raw files suggest its dynamic range has taken a significant step backwards compared with the company's recent DSLRs. We look at how much difference this might make for your photos.
With a full-production review unit in our hands, we've got over 100 production samples from the new Canon EOS 6D Mark II to share.
Need a break from your day? Kick back and watch the making of a somewhat unconventional mojito filmed on Canon's new EOS 6D Mark II.
The Bonfoton Camera Obscura Room Lens can turn any room into a camera obscura, projecting the view from your window onto the walls of your room.
Adobe just released version 2015.12 of Lightroom CC, adding support for several new cameras and lenses, and baking in several important bug fixes while they were at it.