Panasonic Lumix G7 review: Small package, great functionality

The Lumix G7. Photo: B&H Photo.

So, you’re an aspiring YouTuber or content creator, but you’re confused as to which camera to get to start you off on your creative journey. Worst of all, you don’t have wads of cash to throw into camera gear. The Panasonic G7 is a great starter camera that delivers an acceptable photo quality and impressive video quality at a reasonable price.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7 is a compact, mirrorless, micro four thirds digital camera that packs high tech features. The G7’s sensor has a 2x crop factor, meaning, it’s about quarter the size of a 35mm full-frame sensor. Sensor size aside, the G7 has plenty of specs to boast.

“So, you’re an aspiring YouTuber or content creator…The Panasonic G7 is a great starter camera”

The G7 has a 16 MP sensor for sharp images and uses Panasonic’s Venus Engine 9 to process images. For fast-paced burst photography, the G7 shoots up to 8 fps with AF-speed mode and 6 fps with AF-continuous. Want to shoot faster? Get up to 40 fps with the electronic shutter mode. If you’re a novice, you can use Automatic Scene mode and let the camera pick the best settings for you. More experienced photographers can use Manual mode. Even with all the photo modes, video is where the Lumix G7 shines.

The G7 has a microphone jack for external audio recording. (Photo: B&H Photo)

The Lumix G7 shoots 4K UHD video with 24 or 30 fps at 100Mbps in MP4 format. Twenty-four fps is the right target for film-like footage. Additionally, you can capture 1080p FHD video at 24, 30 up to 60 fps. The Lumix G7 has a flip-out screen! This might seem like an insignificant feature, right until you don’t have it. A flip-out screen allows you to see yourself if shooting a vlog. This will enable you to frame yourself correctly.

If you’re a one-person crew, the G7’s WiFi feature pairs with a compatible smartphone so you can control the camera by yourself. The Panasonic Image App allows you to change aperture, shutter speed, take photos, start and stop videos and many more.

There are several function buttons for smooth operation. (Photo: B&H Photo)

The Lumix G7 may sound like the perfect camera created in the heart of a dying star. However, the G7 isn’t without faults.

The first and most notable drawback is the image sensor size. The micro four-thirds sensor doesn’t perform well in low light. Unlike other cameras that can harness every bit of light in darker environments, the G7 falls apart as the sun sets.

The camera also lacks in-body image stabilisation so you may get some shaky footage if you’re not using a tripod or stabilised lens.

G7 Kit with 14-42mm kit lens. (Photo: B&H Photo)

Next, there is the G7’s slow autofocus in video mode. The G7 uses contrast-based autofocus. The Depth-From-Defocus AF Technology can’t keep up with the blazing speeds of Canon and Sony cameras.

Despite the negatives, the Lumix G7 remains an excellent choice for beginners. It has an uncomplicated menu system and packs features offered in much more expensive cameras. The best part of the Lumix G7 is the price. A Lumix G7 kit with included 14-42mm lens, battery, memory card and a camera bag is currently on sale on B&H for only US$447.99 (US$350 discount).

Other cameras to consider:

  • Lumix G85 – water resistance and stellar image stabilisation
  • Sony a6400 – excellent autofocus and a flip-up screen
  • Canon M50 – fast Dual Pixel autofocus and a flip-out screen