Panasonic Restarts the G Series with the G7

(news & commentary)

bythom panasonic g7

The G series cameras looked to be dormant even when the G6 appeared. Panasonic themselves indicated that they weren’t sure that they would continue this DSLR-like line, especially given that they had another DSLR-like line that was well received in the GH. 

Surprise, the Panasonic G7 is here. With the kit lens it comes in right at the US$800 mark. (I’ll have more to say on that in another article.)

Another surprise: the G7 does 4K video, even though that was thought to be the exclusive territory for the GH4 over the other Panasonic m4/3 bodies. While not quite as flexible in video as the GH4, the G7 does shoot 2160P/30 (4K) at 100Mbps compression, in theory matching what a GH4 can do in camera. The G7 also manages 60P with traditional HD video, and has a special 4K photo burst features that provide a short still burst sequence to be captured at high frame rates. With continuous autofocus in still shooting, you’re limited to 6 fps; with focus fixed on the first frame, you can shoot at 8 fps. 

The sensor is still pretty much the same 16mp Live MOS sensor Panasonic has been using and refining for some time now, though the Venus image processing engine that lives alongside it has grown in capability (now centered around a quad-core CPU). Panasonic’s DFD (depth from defocus) technology is used in the autofocus system, again like the GH4. 

Panasonic has also gone a bit more traditional with the camera controls, adding a dedicated Drive Dial to the Mode dial and dual control dials. As with most Panasonic cameras, there is an overabundance of programmable (function) buttons. 

In terms of seeing your images, the EVF uses a 2.36m dot OLED LCD at an eyepoint of 17.5mm (magnification 1.4x), while the rear LCD is a touchscreen that fully swivels.

Overall, the G7 seems like a very well specified m4/3 model at an attractive price.  

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