Panasonic Lumix G7 (in Germany called G70) a real improvement.

July 06, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

The new Lumix G7/G70

Introduction

Panasonic released the LUMIX G7 ca 22month after the Lumix G6. It is the direct successor of this model. In between Panasonic has released a couple of other µ43-cameras like the GM1 and the GM5 or the GX7. It is nice to see that the product life time starts to increase at Panasonic. The time between the G5 and the G6 was just 14 month....

What are the main topics with this new camera? First: It has a different shape which is more adult. I lays much better in my hand than any other G-Model I own. And it is still acceptable small.

The main difference to all other Lumix cameras I have: The G7 has 2 separate wheels at the top. This is 1000:0 better than any other Lumix I own. Now there is a clear separation and not unfortunate turning the wheel - oops a click - and you are doing one totally different thing. This cannot happen with the G7. definitely not. But the way it works it is made really great.  An example: Aperture Priority mode:

  • Both wheels are doing the same: they change the aperture.
  • After clicking the f1 button:
    • the front wheel in changing the flash offset
    • the rear wheel is changing the exposure compensation.

But there are more changes in the layout of buttons and dials:

There is one dial for choosing different photo modes:

  • Single Shot,
  • Serial Shot
  • 4k Photo Mode
  • Shooting Bracketed Images
  • Self Timer
  • Time Lapse

Some of these functions are kind of self explaining but others need some more and detailed informations.. 

A few remarks from the first trials:

  • The bracketing is still not in the way I like it: I miss some functionalities
    • The max bracketing step is 1 EV. I cannot make a HDR Series -3/±0/+3. Than I have to shot 7 images..
    • I have to press the shutter down all the time: There is a single release for the bracketing series necessary
  • The 4k Burst mode is nice but it gives you just JPG....

Another new switch is for the different focusing modes: The single focusing/continous focusing and manual focusing... Great: Not searching in the depth to the Q-Menue...

One little remark: I still own my first µ43 from Panasonic: the GH1: This camera had all these functionality separated in different switches and dials as well. A bit of return to the basics of the photographers needs...

But other features remain: It is a clean camera, the fully articulated touch screen is there and it is over all a really modern state of the user interface from which many other camera manufacturers can learn from. Including Canon, Nikon, Olympus and sony. For sure!

Off course: the build in flash is there as well. The nice thing: the fastest Sync Speed is 1/160s - which is much better than the 1/50th of the GM5...

Another nice feature: Panasonic did not chance the battery type. The battery is the same in the Lumix G5/G6/G7...

 

Comparison Between the LUMIX G6 &  G7

I made some shots of both bodies to make the comparison easier.

The top vie shows the much more crowded layout of the G7. Sideways there is not a big difference and the weight increase is below 20g....

The grip is a real improvement. It s a bitte steeper and therefor: more "grippy!... There was a 2way switch at the top of the G6: But the shutter integrated well is much more handy...

 

From the bottom both cameras are looking so similar. At the first glance I thought it should be possible to exchange the flaps.... so similar...

In the sideview you see much clearer that the grip of the G7 is ca 5mm stronger...

 

Image Quality

Like all other µ43: the images can be amazing: a few highlights from my first days with the Lumix G7. They are just shot around our house. I wanted to rent one G7 for my recent trip to Istanbul but Panasonic was not able or willing to send me one. There Istanbul was shot with the combo GM5/G6.

All photos are JPG, with no editing. So fare there is no G7 RAW converter in my workflow available that I had to relay in JPG...

Comparison of Image Quality

The most sensitive point for µ43 cameras is the low light performance. The small pixel size sets limitations. But the cameras are improving generation by generation. For me this point was one of the most interesting one. I decided for a test in a bit laboratory environment.  I made com photos in various settings:

  • Lens: Elmarit f 2.8/45mm
  • ISO 200/800/3200/12800

First the hardest difference between the G6 and the G7 at ISO 12800:

The advantage is amazing. For me the limit for µ43 was always ISO 3200

And even here at ISO 3200: A clear improvement against from the G6 to the G7. Great work Panasonic!

And than I wanted to know: how does w wider comparison will look like - and I made it a bit harder: I added the GM5  but the Canon EOS 5D MkIII to the picture .. An I compare it @ ISO 12800

This was very interesting to me. You see

  • 5D3  G7
  • G6   GM5

The clear advantage of the 5D MkIII was not unexpected. The low light performance of this meanwhile 4 year old camera is still amazing. But I must say: both newer µ43 cameras are performing not bad, or?

 

Verdict

The new G7 will accompany me more often than I had thought while buying this camera.  The reason you can find in the limitation of the GM5: The 1/50s Sync speed and the better handling of the camera especially if you want to work fast.

For real professional product shoots or shooting in difficult light conditions I will still prefer to use the big guys....

But for all normal shooters: The real race is between the GM5 as really small camera and the G7.... (and maybe the Olympus EM5 MkII..) as long as you do not look for the water sealed µ43´s - but there will be a different price tag as well.

I still set the µ43´s above the APS-C Cameras because of the overall form factor especially on the lens side. Image quality wise they are really close....

 

Some remarks:

All photos of the G7 and the G6 were shot with the Panasonic Lumix GM5. The lens I used was mainly the Elmarit f 2.8 45mm Makro.

There is a link to the gallery of the camera photos - including the screenshots

http://delightphoto.zenfolio.com/p1050563060

And there is a link to the Lumix G7 sample shots:

http://delightphoto.zenfolio.com/p1073360422


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