Panasonic GX7 review

The best image quality from a G-series camera

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Our first impressions of the Panasonic GX7 were very good, and these initial findings were confirmed by more extensive shooting. Images generally have plenty of detail, good vibrant colours and correct exposure.

The Panasonic GX7's multi-zone metering system put in a particularly impressive performance during our testing, since it was largely unfazed by dark or light areas in the scene. It even managed to produce a correctly exposed subject when powerful stage lights were shining directly into the lens.

That's not to say that we didn't need to use the exposure compensation facility occasionally, but it wasn't very often and was usually only to a small degree.

Panasonic Lumix DMC GX7 review

Panasonic's recent AF system found in the Panasonic GF6 and Panasonic G6 has impressed us with its speed and accuracy, and it doesn't disappoint in the Panasonic GX7 which has the benefit of a cleaner signal from the sensor to help the contrast detection system.

During this test we had the opportunity to shoot from the photographer's pit at Fairport Convention's Cropredy Festival, and during the daylight hours and early evening the Panasonic GX7 coped well, managing to get the subject sharp as long as the active AF point was in the right location.

However, we found that the Tracking AF system couldn't keep up with the movement on stage and we couldn't track movement around the frame. Consequently we used the 1-Area AF and continuous autofocus modes and positioned the AF point where we wanted it using the touchscreen, then followed the subject in the viewfinder, trying to keep the active AF point over the subject.

Panasonic Lumix DMC GX7 review

One issue is that despite turning the auto review off, the image is fractionally frozen in the viewfinder, and this can make it hard to follow a fast moving subject.

Also, once night fell and the light came purely from moving, flickering stage lights and high sensitivity settings were required, the AF system wasn't quite fast enough in many situations to keep up, but we did manage to get a few sharp shots.

In fairness this is an extreme test that would challenge many DSLRs, and it's the type of situation where photographers would use top-end DSLRs with fast, high quality lenses.

Panasonic Lumix DMC GX7 review

Bearing in mind that the Panasonic GX7 is a compact system camera with a contrast detection AF system, we think it gave a pretty decent account of itself.

Panasonic's auto white balance system has a proven track record, and it performed well in the Lumix GX7 in a variety of conditions. In some overcast or shaded conditions it can produce a slightly too neutral image, and on these occasions we found that the Daylight preset value worked well.

Also, in mixed artificial lighting (which would trouble most systems) it can produce rather warm images. However, it's very easy to create a custom white balance value manually by shooting a piece of white paper or card, which rectifies things.

Panasonic Lumix DMC GX7 review

Our lab tests reveal that the Panasonic GX7 produces slightly cleaner images than Panasonic's top-end GH3 and that it can resolve more detail at the higher sensitivity settings.

Although its raw files (after conversion to tiff) struggle to compete for signal to noise ratio at the upper sensitivity settings, its JPEG files are more than a match for the Olympus PEN E-P5 for the majority of the sensitivity range. This suggests that it should be possible with bespoke processing to get the raw files to match the Olympus camera's.

Noise is controlled well up to about ISO 6400, although speckling starts to become noticeable in images viewed at 100% from around ISO 800. There's little or no sign of chroma noise in JPEG files, but luminance noise is visible. There's also some softening in JPEG images from around ISO 3200.

Panasonic Lumix DMC GX7 review

Chroma noise is only really visible in raw files viewed at 100% from around ISO 3200, but it's not really a major issue until the top sensitivity setting, ISO 25,600. As usual, this is probably best kept for emergencies.

Raw files contain more detail and offer the opportunity to tailor the noise reduction to suit the subject and the image. The Panasonic GX7 is supplied with SilkPix software, which has a comprehensive set of tools, but isn't tailored to the camera's settings any more than any other third party software.

In reality most users are likely to opt to process images using Adobe Camera Raw as soon as Adobe updates the software for Photoshop Elements, Photoshop Lightroom and full Photoshop.

Tech Specs

Product TypeMirrorless Camera Body Only
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Wireless LANYes
Effective Camera Resolution16 Megapixel
Product FamilyLumix G
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC UHS-I), Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC UHS-I), Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card
Image StabilizationOptical
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NamePanasonic
FeaturesFace Detection, Live View, Continuous Shooting Mode, Orientation Sensor
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsAVCHD, MPEG-4
Viewfinder TypeElectronic
Weight (Approximate)360 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityREACH
Image Sensor Size17.30 mm x 13 mm
Maximum Image Resolution4592 x 3448
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height70.6 mm
Width122.7 mm
Depth54.6 mm
Product SeriesG
Image FormatsJPEG, MPO, RAW
External FlashOptional
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
Product ModelDMC-GX7
Product NameDMC-GX7 Compact System Camera
Product LineLumix
Exposure Control
  • Program AE
  • Aperture Priority
  • Shutter Priority
  • Manual
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberDMCGX7EBK
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

LUMIX G Compact System Camera GX7 - The Ultimate DSLM Camera in Premium Flat Body - Packing a Host of Creative Functions for Photography Enthusiasts

The DMC-GX7 realizes high-quality image recording with real-to-life details through excellent resolution, image rendering and color reproduction. Taking full advantage of newly developed 16.00-megapixel Digital Live MOS sensor and Venus Engine, images are rendered with highly sharp resolution even shot in low-lit situations. In addition, the limit resolution is enhanced thanks to the precise detail reproduction and advanced Intelligent D-range Control ensures beautiful gradation with wider dynamic range than ever.

The Contrast AF System of DMC-GX7 excels in both speed and accuracy by exchanging digital signal between the camera and the lens at max. 240 fps. A variety of extensive AF functions enhances usability to comply with wide-ranging shooting situations. The Low Light AF makes it possible to set focus on the subject more precisely in -4EV situations, which is as dark as starry sky. The Pin-point AF allows you to set magnification from 3x to 10x enlargement by 0.1x step. The One-shot AF enables using AF in MF mode to set rough focus on the subject.

The DMC-GX7 newly integrates 90-degree tiltable LVF with 2760K equive. high resolution and approx. 100% color reproduction. The LVF allows photographers to look down the camera, which lets them shoot enables bust or low angle shot casually. The new large, 1040K-dot high resolution static-type touch monitor with approx. 100% of field of view tilts up and down. The front panel is directly attached to the new In Cell Touch LCD without containing air layer in between. The result is that the reflection of external light is dramatically suppressed.

The DMC-GX7 allows you to use max. 1/8000 fast shutter speed for more impressive expression with high speed lens. The Optical Image Stabilizer (as effective as the MEGA O.I.S. in the conventional DSLM lenses) is built in the camera body, which makes it more enjoyable to mount old lenses of your lens property. The DMC-GX7 is also compatible with Focus Peaking for more precise control of focusing. Dressed in magnesium alloy full diecast frame, the DMC-GX7 is a high quality camera in every aspect that has been awaited long by the photographers.

The DMC-GX7 records full HD 1920 x 1080, 50p (50Hz) smooth, high quality video in AVCHD Progressive and MP4 with stereo sound. The practical full-time AF and tracking AF is available in video recording. The cinema-like 24p video with the bit rate of max. 24Mbps or P/A/S/M mode provide richly expressive afterimage with overwhelming image quality. The motion picture quality is greatly improved thanks to the new Digital Live MOS Sensor, too. With the Wi-Fi® connectivity, remote shooting is available by using the smartphone/tablet.

Package Contents
  • DMC-GX7 Compact System Camera
  • Battery Pack
  • Battery Charger
  • Body Cap
  • Lens Cap
  • Lens Hood
  • Lens Rear Cap
  • USB Connection Cable
  • Shoulder Strap
  • Software CD-ROM
Limited Warranty1 Year