First Impressions: Panasonic G7

Chris Gampat the Phoblographer Panasonic G7 first impressions images (1 of 7)ISO 4001-80 sec at f - 2.8

It seems like Micro Four Thirds cameras are never really big secrets; at least that’s what Four Thirds rumors seemed to have right on point with the Panasonic G7. This is the company’s latest camera in their G series and is targeted at enthusiasts by combining the best of come of their other cameras and putting it all into this one. The G7 has the sensor of the GF7 and the processor of the GH4, shoots 4K video, and has improved autofocus performance that Panasonic claims works down to -4 EV.

We put a big emphasis on the word claims there; especially since we spent less than five minutes with the prototype that we handled at the company’s headquarters. The big feature that Panasonic seems to be pushing is the new 4K Photo mode that essentially just snaps full 4K video sized photos.

Providing this camera really can perform like this, it’s bound to win awards and drop jaws–but this camera still has some weird ergonomics.

Tech Specs

– 16.84 MP LiveMOS sensor

– 4K photo mode

– 4K video mode in 30p or 24p

– ISO 25,600

– New type of autofocus that not only looks at color contrast but also detects motion

– Claims of focusing down to -4 EV even without an AF lamp

– LVF is 2,360K finder

– 8fps shooting at full 16MP

– 3 inch LCD screen of 1040K dots

– UHS II compatible

– 1/16,000 shutter capabilities

– WiFi, and control from the mobile app

– Focus peaking

– Time lapse shooting mode

– The LUMIX G7 will be available mid-June in three configurations. Black with a 14-42mm kit lens, pewter/ gun metal with 14-42mm kit lens at $799.99 and in black with a 14-140mm kit lens at $1099.99.

Ergonomics

Chris Gampat the Phoblographer Panasonic G7 first impressions images (6 of 7)ISO 4001-80 sec at f - 2.8

The Panasonic G7 is a Four Thirds sensor camera that is aimed at the enthusiast; and with that said our ergonomic tour starts off with a fairly minimal front. When kitten with the 14-42mm lens, you’ll notice that the package overall is pretty darn compact.

In this photo, you can see a bit of what I’m talking about with a weird grip.

Chris Gampat the Phoblographer Panasonic G7 first impressions images (7 of 7)ISO 4001-80 sec at f - 2.8

The G7 has a pop-up flash button that isn’t electronically coupled–meaning that the camera doesn’t need to be on. This seems to be rare these days.

Chris Gampat the Phoblographer Panasonic G7 first impressions images (2 of 7)ISO 4001-80 sec at f - 2.8

The top of the camera features four major dials: drive move (which includes 4K video mode), mode dial, and two exposure dials. The rear dial is positioned a bit awkwardly, but maybe I’ll get used to it. Here you’ll also find other buttons and the hot shoe.

Chris Gampat the Phoblographer Panasonic G7 first impressions images (4 of 7)ISO 4001-100 sec at f - 2.8

Move to the back of the camera and you’ll find the tiltable LCD screen, viewfinder, and a bunch of control buttons neatly placed on the right. Overall, it feels very Canon Rebel-like.

Chris Gampat the Phoblographer Panasonic G7 first impressions images (5 of 7)ISO 4001-80 sec at f - 2.8

To load the SD card, you’ll need to open the battery door latch and shove it right in there.Notice the lack of weather sealing? That’s because there isn’t any, so keep this door tightly locked up.

Build Quality

Though we handled a prototype, something about the camera felt off. The GH4 feels great in the hands, but the G7 just didn’t sit will in my paws. The grip feels a bit weirdly angled and the rear dial on top of the camera also feels a bit out of place.

Ease of Use

Considering that we didn’t get much time to play with the camera, we can’t say much about the ease of use. However, if the menu system is anything like Panasonic’s previous cameras then it will be very straight forward and simple to use.

Autofocus

Though we didn’t get to test it with the Prototype camera, the G7 claims focusing down the -4 EV even without the aid of the AF assist lamp. We’re going to need to test that out for ourselves.

Image Quality

We didn’t get to test RAW files with this camera because it is a prototype still at the point of publishing this piece, but Panasonic’s color rendition has usually been very muted n comparison to other companies. That’s great for portraits, but not so great for landscapes.

We’re going to need to test it out when the camera comes in for review.

First Impressions

Most enthusiasts are bound to like the G7 considering that it has the GF7 sensor and the GH4 processor, but we’re not very sure how many folks will really digg the 4K photo mode. Still, we’re going to need to test the camera before we give our final verdict.