Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 Review
Panasonic's Lumix DMC-GX7 is arguably the company's most enthusiast-focused mirrorless camera yet to hit the market. Back in 2011, Panasonic released the DMC-GX1 in a move to appease those who grew more and more disappointed as the promising GF-series got smaller and simpler, with fewer controls as the series progressed. The GX1, however, seemed like an interim move, adding minor enhancements to the original GF1 design and changing the badge, while fans watched as Sony's NEX-7 and the Olympus E-M5 offered more controls and sophisticated features, including built-in EVFs.
While few of the GX7's specifications stand out as innovative (aside, perhaps, from its built-in articulated electronic viewfinder), it's still comfortably the most enthusiast-orientated 'G' model, as well as the first to include in-body stabilization - key to shooting with non-native lenses. And beyond the headline specs it contains plenty of small tweaks and features sure to entice more advanced photographers.
- 16MP Live MOS sensor
- In-body image stabilization
- Tilting electronic viewfinder w/2.76M dots
- 3-inch tilting LCD
- Front and rear control dials
- Magnesium-alloy frame
- Built-in pop-up flash
- 3-level focus peaking
- 1/8000 second max shutter speed, 1/320th flash sync speed
- Highlight and shadow curve adjustments
- 1080 video at 60p/60i/24p in MP4 or AVCHD format
- Built-in Wi-Fi with NFC
It's hard to know whether to think of the GX7 as being a post-NEX-7 or a post-E-M5 camera - but to an extent that's the point: unlike the GX1, which appeared to be a rather-too-late, warmed-over GF1, the GX7 is a camera that has learned from the increasingly impressive cameras it will have to compete with.
Despite Panasonic producing an extensive range of image-stabilized lenses, the GX7 incorporates in-body stabilization. This will be a welcome move for anyone hoping to use either Olympus's Micro Four Thirds lenses, or legacy lenses via adapters. Combined the GX7's 'focus peaking' manual focus aid, it promises to make the GX7 one of the more capable options when it comes to shooting with adapted lenses.
The GX7 has a lot to offer keen photographers, including a maximum shutter speed of 1/8000 sec and a flash sync speed of 1/320 sec. The camera is also in unexpectedly exclusive company when it comes to offering a DSLR-like twin-dial control system. There are several mirrorless cameras with two control dials, but remarkably few that make it easy to simply set one to control aperture or shutter speed, and the other to control exposure compensation, which makes the semi-auto aperture and shutter priority modes enjoyable to shoot in.
Additional enthusiast-friendly features include tone curve adjustment, 3-level focus peaking, and a whopping seven customizable buttons. So is the GX7 the mirrorless camera that enthusiasts have been waiting for? Keep reading to find out.
If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).
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