Panasonic GF7 review

Panasonic's entry-level mirrorless compact system camera gets an upgrade

Panasonic GF7

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Panasonic cameras continue to impress me with their excellent performance and because they're easy and fun to use.

And although the GF range may have appeared to fall by the wayside since the introduction of the ultra-small GM range, it's nice to see that the company has kept this line going, meaning that, along with the G, GX, and GH ranges, there are cameras to suit a wide variety of needs.

The GF7 is marginally larger than the GM5, and you'll have to decide whether you prefer a small viewfinder, and therefore opt for the GM5, or a tilting screen with no viewfinder, and therefore opt for the GF7. The GM5 is around 50% more expensive, too.

Pocket power

It's a sensible decision to include the collapsible 12-32mm kit lens with the GF7 because it makes it possible to fit it inside a jacket pocket. It's too much bigger than some of the current compact cameras on the market, but it has the flexibility of interchangeable lenses and a much larger sensor.

Panasonic GF7

The GF7 is small, neat and versatile.

For the creatively minded, there's a host of great options available, and I continue to believe that Panasonic offers the best, and most interesting, range of digital filters – and the fact that you can shoot them in raw format is a very welcome bonus.

Using the GF7 is easy, and with its super responsive touchscreen, setting the autofocus points, and other settings, is a doddle. There's no viewfinder but, luckily, the screen doesn't suffer too badly from glare even in bright sunlight.

The autofocusing is super quick, in a range of lighting conditions, the GF7 is fast and responsive to use, and the automatic white balance and exposure modes generally result in very pleasing images, too.

It would have been nice to be able to test the Wi-Fi, especially as Panasonic claims it's better than than previous versions, but I'm confident it will live up to expectations once the app update becomes available.

We liked

There are lots of things to like about the GF7. The touch sensitive, high resolution display is perhaps one of the best things though, helping you to compose your images easily and quickly, and letting you make key changes to settings with a simple tap of the screen.

We disliked

Although the screen is great, and I can understand why there's no in-built viewfinder, it would be nice if Panasonic could include a hotshoe on the GF range so that you could add an external viewfinder or indeed other accessories, such as a flash.

Final Verdict

Some may question the point of the GF range now that the GM is available in a smaller package, but the GF continues to offer a lot of great features for a lot less money.

Panasonic GF7

The swap to a retracting kit lens makes the GF7 small enough to fit in a pocket.

A great travel camera, the GF7's flipping screen is ideal for selfies and will perhaps appeal more to those who like to document their holiday visits.

Panasonic isn't the only company to make small compact system cameras. The Nikon 1 range is also very compact but it's based around a much smaller 1-inch sensor. For something as small as the GF7 to have such a large sensor is a great feat of camera engineering.

I would recommend this camera to many different types of people, and if you already have another Micro Four Thirds camera, this would make a fantastic second body.

Amy Davies

Amy has been writing about cameras, photography and associated tech since 2009. Amy was once part of the photography testing team for Future Publishing working across TechRadar, Digital Camera, PhotoPlus, N Photo and Photography Week. For her photography, she has won awards and has been exhibited. She often partakes in unusual projects - including one intense year where she used a different camera every single day. Amy is currently the Features Editor at Amateur Photographer magazine, and in her increasingly little spare time works across a number of high-profile publications including Wired, Stuff, Digital Camera World, Expert Reviews, and just a little off-tangent, PetsRadar.