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Panasonic Lumix GX7 review

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  • Recommended by TR

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Panasonic Lumix GX7
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Summary

Our Score:

9

Pros

  • Very crisp vari-angle touchscreen
  • Innovative and high-quality tilting EVF
  • Very fast auto-focus system

Cons

  • 3:2 aspect screen not ideal for photos or video
  • Noise control not quite as good as very best

Key Features

  • 16MP Micro Four Thirds Live MOS sensor; 3-inch, 1040k-dot vari-angle touch LCD; Micro Four Thirds lens mount; ISO 200 - 25600; 1920 x 1080p HD video at 50p/50i/24p
  • Manufacturer: Panasonic
  • Review Price: £899.00

What is the Panasonic Lumix GX7?

The Panasonic Lumix GX7 is Panasonic's answer to the likes of the Fujifilm X-E1 and Sony NEX-7: an advanced compact system camera (CSC) aimed squarely at enthusiast photographers, not the mainstream like the recent Lumix GF6.

With competition in this arena mounting, Panasonic has a lot riding on this camera that replaces the Lumix GX1 at the top of its CSC range. Indeed, Panasonic considers the GX7 to be its best camera yet, so let's take a closer look to find out if its optimism is justified.

See what the GX7 is up against in our best cameras of 2013 round-up.

Panasonuc Lumix GX7 23

Panasonic Lumix GX 7: Features

Panasonic has gone back to the drawing board for the GX7. While the odd jump from GX1 to GX7 is probably a marketing move to avoid the impression that the GX range is somehow inferior to the longer running GF range, it's apt considering the huge number of modifications and improvements.

For example, where the GX1 featured an optional EVF that attached to the camera via a hotshoe and accessory port, the GX7 now has a built-in electronic viewfinder (EVF). The EVF offers a 2.7m-dot resolution, which is in keeping with the best on the market, while the 0.7x magnification is also reasonable.

Panasonuc Lumix GX7 25

What's really eye-catching about the EVF, however, is its tilt functionality. It can be raised up from the body at a 90 degree angle and thus viewed from above the camera for framing at low angles. There's also an eye sensor so it automatically activates.

Accompanying the tilt-angle EVF is a similarly versatile tilt-angle LCD screen. The screen is one of the best specified on any camera of this type, with the tilt-angle functionality accompanied by a 1.03m-dot resolution and touch functionality.

Another eye-catching new addition involves the camera's in-body sensor-shift stabilisation system. For the first time on a G-series camera photographers can now use Olympus and Sigma MFT lenses and benefit from the in-built stabilisation system.

As is becoming commonplace on Panasonic cameras of late, the GX7 features the dual connectivity combination of both Wi-Fi and NFC functionality. Both Android and iOS users can transfer and share images on the go using the free Panasonic Image app.

Panasonuc Lumix GX7

Although the GX7 features the same 16MP resolution as its predecessor and the majority of Panasonic's range of CSCs, the sensor itself is completely redesigned.

The circuitry on the system has been engineered and reduced, and as a result it now features larger photodiodes on the same surface area, which should benefit performance at high ISO settings.

The sensor is paired with Panasonic's Venue Engine image processor that itself has been redesigned and should also help deliver better ISO performance across the 200-25,600 ISO range.

The Venus Engine is accompanied by Panasonic's Light Speed AF technology, which promises focus speeds of as little a 0.06 seconds thanks to a data read out time of 240fps.

Other impressive speed figures include a maximum continuous shooting speed of 5fps using single AF with the mechanical shutter, or up to 12 frames at 60fps is you decide to use the electronic shutter.

Michael Kehm

August 2, 2013, 10:08 am

Looks EXACTLY like Sony NEX6... I hope Sony is not Apple...;-)

alex mason

August 2, 2013, 11:46 am

It does! I have an NEX6 as well and I didn't notice until you said that. It definitely does from the rear. The layout is almost identical. I do like the titling EVF though, that is a nice touch, as is the inbuilt 5-axis IS. This is something I wish Sony had done instead of going lens based because when you use the E to A mount adapters, A mount lenses aren't optically stabilised because the Alpha SLRs have inbuilt IS.

Just noticed the mechanical AF/MF switch. Again a nice inclusion and something Sony should have kept on the NEX-6 from the NEX-7

Hamish Campbell

August 4, 2013, 6:52 pm

what happens when you put a stabilising lens on a body with built in stabilisation?

pecotot

August 8, 2013, 1:31 am

NEX 6 and NEX 7 has a bigger sensor than GX7 and NEX 7 has internally 3.5 mm audio input for external microphone. I wish the GX7 has an option to attach external audio input

awe

August 11, 2013, 3:55 am

It's a key point
of difference from other cameras in the range, which don't normally have
it built into the body?? OLYMPUS has done along century ago man...

andyvan

August 12, 2013, 7:57 am

In Panasonic's range.

Graham Culleton

August 13, 2013, 11:08 am

Lens takes priority and cameras stabilisation is switched off.

Beaky69

August 19, 2013, 3:09 pm

A score of 1 out of 10, and still recommended?? What do Panasonic have to do NOT to get a recommendation I wonder?!

dourscot

August 19, 2013, 3:31 pm

The 3:2 aspect screen ratio is photographer-friendly. Agreed, the sensor is 4:3 but the former is more pleasing.

andyvan

August 19, 2013, 3:46 pm

Sorry, that's an error. It should update with the correct shortly, which is 9/10.

Tom

August 19, 2013, 7:36 pm

How does the EVF compare to this of the OM-D or VF-4?

Javier Alvarez

August 19, 2013, 7:53 pm

does the image stabilization for during video recording? Also, are you able to switch aperture settings during video recording, as well?

Delphititan

August 19, 2013, 8:18 pm

One more early review listing an image quality section and completely failing to make any comments about dynamic range in comparison to other cameras in the same market space? Hmmm?

theSUBVERSIVE

August 19, 2013, 8:35 pm

The GX1's heritage is much more related to the LC-1 than any NEX. There are some similarities in the silhouette but when you start to compare part by part, there are much more differences than similarities.

alex mason

August 19, 2013, 10:19 pm

Lovely looking item. Very similar to the NEX-6 in shape and layout. Perhaps this is convergence in action, that this is a pretty good general layout. Where it bests the NEX is surely the titling EVF and the mechanical switch for AF/MF, something Sony should have left on the NEX-6 from the 7. Power switch placement looks better, so too does the movie button and the second control wheel around the shutter button would be much preferable to the wheel in the d-pad location on my NEX-6.

My only reservation then lies with the 4/3rds sensor. They can talk all day about how they have repackaged the sensor and improved the processing, but at the end of the day my gut feeling is physics will win out. That the larger APS-C sensor in the NEX cameras will ultimately lead to better IQ, especially with RAW files.

Still 4/3rds absolutely steals the show when it comes to lens choice. SONY need to get their act together in that regard (and also on menu design which is generally convoluted and awful).

and i just realised the comments from the preview are also here and so I have commented twice on the same points. Oh well, I ain't turning back now!

duartix

August 20, 2013, 9:26 am

I wonder... Did you bother to read the review?

McPic

August 20, 2013, 11:29 am

I thought the same of the M43 sensor vs. APS-C but then I bought an Olympus E-PM1 as a small backup camera a little over a year ago. Fast forward to today & I've sold both my APS-C & the little E-PM1 in favour of an all M43 kit that includes an Olympus E-PL5 & a Panasonic GX1. While understanding how personal these decisions are, I find that I've now always got a "good" camera with me & I struggle to tell the difference between the results from either format. I really like the GX7 package, especially now that it uses the Olympus wireless flash system & it has a very useful silent shutter mode. It's a definite contender to replace my GX1.

Kralin

August 20, 2013, 12:17 pm

the APS-C sensor of the nex will not give you better IQ, since the IQ is not driven only by the sensor, but it does include the processing chip and the lens you mount on it.
on the other hand it will give you for sure bigger lens.
so if the size is not a problem for you, you should go for a full frame sensor, and enjoy the real advantages of a bigger sensor, if you are stayin in the smaller sensor area, the difference between APS-C and 4/3 is really not an issue anymore.

Hamish Campbell

August 20, 2013, 1:30 pm

I was thinking it looks not much different from my Panasonic GF1, in terms of button layout and body shape.

mikael_bellina

August 20, 2013, 6:16 pm

I'm interested on this one also ;-)

alex mason

August 20, 2013, 10:02 pm

Lenses are probably the biggest factor IMO. I have never been too enamoured with my NEX results. However, having used it with a CZ 24-70mm I was rather taken aback at the results. Probably the sharpest things I have ever seen come from a camera under my control. Similarly, stick a cheap lens on a full frame and you'll just waste the advantages.

I did compare the NEX 6 to the OMD and I felt the NEX had the edge on noise at the higher ISOs and slightly better when it came to depth of field. Some people don't notice these things, I do. So the sensor does make a difference in my opinion (given similar grade glass and by passing processing) with regards to photo site size. Physically larger photo sites are an advantage, so long as you can feed them correctly.

Still we are talking about the NEX-6 and the OMD here. These cameras are not the cutting edge anymore. Things improve, tech converges. Perhaps you are right.

I tell you what, one good reason to go for a m4/3 camera would be to get away from SONY's awful user interfaces. Christ, I'd like to meet the man who did the UI on the NEX-6 and I'd like to smack him. Its ruddy awful; clunky, slow and seemingly all jumbled together. It seems to be a common trait amongst a lot of SONY products.

alex mason

August 20, 2013, 10:10 pm

I don't think I'd go lower than APS-C for the moment. A key feature really of the APSC sony's was the fact you can buy any number of adapters and use what ever lenses from which ever manufacturer rather easily. The sensor size being the same as most mainstream DSLR's means you just have to make the stand-off distance and it should work.

In other words I wanted to downsize because I hate carrying all that weight associated with a big SLR, but I am not ready to give up the access to some great, high quality DSLR glass. I can hire a good lens and the required adapter when I need the performance, and I get to keep a relatively compact and light set up for the rest of the time.

lets face it most of SONY's e-mount lenses are not particularly amazing in the IQ stakes...a partial side effect of trying to make them smaller... so being able to get hold of proper glass is big tick in the box for me.

Eric Zachary Ryder

August 25, 2013, 12:48 am

TOTALLY agree on the Sony UI. It was so bad I sold my NEX-6 on eBay not long after I got it. Took a bath on it and waited for the Panny G6. I like the G6 a lot, but I'm selling it for the GX7 for the tilting LCD and the newer sensor - though, really, I kind of doubt I'd be able to tell any real difference between the two. My ONLY gripe on the GX7 is the LCD doesn't flip out like the G6. But its not a deal breaker.

baze

September 1, 2013, 2:04 pm

If you do the math (sensor area divided by the number of pixels), NEX pixels are just 7% larger, IMO not enough to provide any significant quality increase, just take a look at http://www.dpreview.com/articl... ...there's a bit of an advantage in number of pixels though since it helps to "average out" the noise if you down-sample. But this is assuming all other things being equal, which is not the case, especially when it comes to lenses. I would personally choose a full-frame camera in a professional setting where low-light performance is critical. Otherwise I would favor overall usability where lighting conditions are acceptable.

Larry

September 12, 2013, 9:24 pm

LUMIX G, IR Converted, 14-40 kit lens - I'm pretty pleased with the overall quality although I think for non-IR I would prefer a better lens.

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