The Panasonic Lumix G7, A seriously impressive 4K mirrorless camera that won’t eat your credit card whole
Stephan Jukic – May 18, 2015
The Panasonic Lumix G7 is not a new camera per se. It was released originally all the way back in 2008 as the first mirrorless Micro Four Thirds camera of its time under the original name of “Lumix G1”. But since then, a lot of new goodies have been added to this Panasonic classic.
For starters, that original Lumix G1 lineup has now split into five different series of mirrorless cameras and while the great grandparent of the current crop wasn’t even capable of video capture, the very newest in the line, the G7, can not only do video shooting, it can also do it very, very nicely and in full ultra HD 4K.
This makes the G7 into a camera that’s more on par with the even more professional Panasonic GH4 than the more bare-bones G line that started with the G1.
Among its range of very respectable specs, the G7 features its 4K video shooting ability as a centerpiece and can do UHD 4K of 3840 x 2160 pixels at wither 30p or 24p rates, making it a perfectly solid 4K shooter. Furthermore, 1080p Full HD video can be shot at a rate of 60 frames per second in MP4 and AVCHD Pro video formats.
On top of these video specs, the G7’s processing engine more than backs up the heavy duty video ability of the device. It comes with a quad-core image processing engine that’s identical to that found in the considerably more expensive and powerful GH4 and this means that you can enjoy ultra HD video processing and reading without the camera overheating any time soon.
Furthermore, in order to move that kind of heavy duty 4K video around from camera to computer quickly, you’ve got UHS-IL compatibility built into the G7 as well. In addition to this, though the G7 doesn’t have the same sensor is its flashier GH4 cousin, it does still offer a very powerful 16 megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor that’s only slightly smaller than APS-C.
Other features of the G7 that any photographer or video buff would probably love include a full-photo resolution burst mode that can capture shots at up to 6 frames per second with shot-to-shot AF enabled (or 8 fps with focus locked on just the first frame setting) and a range of “4K Photo” modes that give you lower 8 megapixel image capture at a solid 30 frames per second. This latter feature basically lets you turn the camera’s 30p 4K video capacity into a still sequence capture mechanism for photos. Furthermore, the 4K still shooting can also be set to a “4K Pre-Burst” setting that grabs images at 30fps in the two seconds before and after the shutter button gets pressed.
In essence, the camera offers a high-speed photo capture technology which gives image resolution considerably superior to that of average for rapid-frame shooting and manages to deliver it at high fps and with a much more useful resolution of 8 megapixels (the still shot resolution of 4K video frames). Additionally, in the 4K photo modes, each image is taken out of the center section of a larger and highly detailed 16 megapixel sensor photo.
Finally, if the above 4K video and photo features aren’t incentive enough to get your hands on this very powerful little mirrorless camera, the G7 also offers the same professional DFD (depth of defocus) technology found in the more expensive GH4, which is useful for contrast detection and rapid focus from limited lens data at a speed of 0.07 seconds.
And of course, we should also mention that the G7’s array of other specs includes an ISO of 25,600, a 1/16,000 of a second electronic shutter speed, a tilt-and-swivel touchscreen and rather unique Starlight AF technology, which is a mode that helps grab sharper night shots in general and shots of the night sky in particular.
Best of all, the Lumix G7 is available in either gunmetal-and-black or full black designs for just $800 with a basic 14-42,,/f3.5-f5.6 lens included. This kit can be upgraded to a $1,100 version that features a 14-40mm/F4.0-F5.8 lens.
Story by 4k.com