When Panasonic started to leak the GX7 micro 4/3 camera, I, along with many micro 4/3 fans started to pine for what seemed on paper to be one of the best offerings for the system yet. Compact, nice grip, IBIS, focus peaking, a step forward in IQ, good video options, integrated EVF, WiFi, rugged chassis… I’m no fanboy, but I will admit to feeling that Panasonic has done a better job at the interface side of things, compared to Olympus in my experience with cameras from both manufacturers. If I could gain access to what I saw as Oly’s two benefits in IBIS and newer sensor tech in a Pana body with it’s more streamlined, yet still customizable interface, I had to see if it could live up to the hype. I’ve long felt that if Oly could re-engineer it’s interface and remove some of the frustrating quirks that plagued the EM5, or, if Panasonic could take a step forward in sensor performance and integrate a decent IBIS system, either could have a quintessential micro 4/3 juggernaut on their hands. Is the GX7 the answer to those desires?
(update: Here’s part 1 of the GX7 Review)
Well, this will serve as merely an introduction to the GX7. I will put it through it’s paces in the coming days and weeks and will compare the performance between it and some of the other cameras I have around, namely the OMD EM5 and perhaps the GF1 and GX1 to see how Panasonic’s premium compact, rangefinder styled body has progressed over the years. I’ll also do some lens comparisons between the new and old Lumix 20mm f/1.7 pancakes. Have a look at the quick unboxing vid below…
With the GX7, I hope to find a camera that offers me the benefits that the EM5, and to an extent the GH3 provide, without the drawbacks (menus, UI, size, quirks, et al), and only a little time will tell whether that is going to happen or not. I purchased mine through the Amazon link that Ale had up on 43rumors.com a couple days back which is how I got the black kit, and how I now have it in my hands.
The features of the GX7 that I am most excited about are as follows. Some are not quite as flashy, nor headline worthy, but all add up to a pretty solid machine.
- 2 axis IBIS (not the 5 axis Oly stabilization, but seems to effectively be within a half stop or so, so, good enough? we shall see…)
- Integrated, tilt-able EVF (other compact “rangefinder style” bodies require a $250+ add on EVF)
- 1/8000sec max shutter speed (a stop faster than most every other m4/3 model)
- 1/320sec flash sync speed (another stop increase from the norm)
- ISO 125 (while it’s not ISO 100, it helps)
- AF/MF toggle switch on the body… awesome.
- Focus peaking
- Silent shooting mode
- 3 user definable Custom Settings on the control dial (one for silent :), one for a flash/studio setup :D, and the third…I’ll come up with something)
- Dual control adjustment wheels
- 1080p at 60p (50p), 60i (50i) and 24p (25p)
There are many other bells and whistles that are included and when added to the above seem to provide many small steps forward making a bit more of a leap when you step back and view the whole package. The GX7 isn’t environmentally sealed, or able to shoot full resolution at 9+fps like the OMD EM1 or the GH3, but it also provides a combination of other, (some unique) features as well as a lower price tag. The GX7 also does not currently allow for in body image stabilization during video, which I find very odd, but hopefully that will be sorted in a future firmware update.
While I found myself a black version of the GX7, oddly, those of us in the US seemingly won’t have access to them, instead needing to be content with the also stellar silver option. You can now peruse and purchase (or at least pre-order) these here in the states, or from most anywhere through B&H. The following links are connected to my affiliate account which does give me a small commission if used. If you are going to buy one, and find that B&H is the place you’d do it through, I’d always appreciate the support, but completely understand if you don’t 🙂
Thanks as always for the read and happy shooting,