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Panasonic Lumix GF7 Review

Panasonic Lumix GF7 Review - Reviewed, the brand new Panasonic Lumix GF7, the compact, stylish, selfie camera with interchangeable lenses.

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Category : Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera
Product : Panasonic Lumix GF7
Price : BUY NOW£360
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Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Panasonic Lumix GF7 Silver (4)

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF7 is the latest entry level mirrorless camera from Panasonic, and along with a redesigned body, features a 16 megapixel sensor, 3inch tilting touch screen and built in Wi-Fi. It's available with the new compact 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 lens with Mega optical image stabilisation, and updates the GF6 which will stay on the market.

Panasonic Lumix GF7 Features

Panasonic Lumix GF7 Silver (5)

The Panasonic Lumix GF7 updates the Panasonic Lumix GF6, and is a new, more compact camera with 16 megapixel sensor from the GX7, as well a high resolution 3 inch tilting touch screen on the rear. Other upgrades include a new Venus image processing engine, improved AF performance, with low-light focus down to -4EV. There are 22 filter effects, as well as a panoramic shooting mode, with the option of applying filters to the panoramic shot.

The GF7 comes as a kit with the new compact 12-32mm pancake lens, making the camera much more pocketable, as well as being easier to carry around with you thanks to a lightweight camera body made out of a combination of metal and plastic. 

Wi-Fi is built in to allow setup of Wi-Fi connections with smartphones. The smartphone can be used as a remote shutter control, or setup for instant transfer so that photos will automatically transfer to the smartphone after shooting. Wi-Fi can also be used to setup auto backup of photos and video to your computer. 

Video features have been updated, and the camera now records FullHD video at 50p. New features include a snap movie mode as well as the option to set rack focusing position before recording.
 

Panasonic Lumix GF7 Silver (14)

The GF7 has a 180 degrees tilting monitor, along with face shutter, buddy shutter, and beauty effect, all designed to make taking the "perfect selfie" possible. In addition the Wi-Fi button can be used as a shutter button in selfie mode. The camera has a new shutter mode, called face shutter where you simply wave your hand in front of your face and the camera will automatically take the photo when it detects your face. The buddy shutter mode automatically takes a photo when you put two faces together in front of the camera. Another new feature is called jump snap, when used in combination with a smartphone, when you jump the smartphone detects the movement and the camera takes photo. Beauty effect functions include defocus, soft skin, slimming mode, and these options become available when shooting with the screen facing forwards.

Key Features

  • 16 megapixel Live MOS Micro Four Thirds sensor
  • 3inch tilting 1040k dot "selfie" touch-screen
  • 22 filter effects, Panoramic shooting
  • Full HD Video, stereo sound
  • ISO100 - 25600 (extended)
  • 1/16000 electronic shutter
  • 5.8fps continuous shooting, 5fps with C-AF
  • Wi-Fi connectivity, QR Code
  • Retouch mode
  • Available in black and silver, or silver and tan

Panasonic Lumix GF7 Handling

Panasonic Lumix GF7 Silver (9)

The top of the camera is where you'll find the mode dial, which should make selecting modes easy, as well as the sweep panoramic mode, that will automatically stitch the photos together as you pan the camera. Surrounding the shutter release button is the on / off switch. At the front is a textured leather effect, which gives a slightly grippy surface to hold on to as well as making the camera look good.

On the left is the Fn (function) button, which can also be used as a shutter release button when using the camera in "Selfie" mode. The camera is more compact than the GF6, and weighs 266g with battery and memory card.

Panasonic Lumix GF7 Silver (10)

On the rear the camera has a thumb grip, as well as the video, playback, display, scroll wheel, menu/set, Q Menu and delete buttons and the tilting touch screen, which features a 1040k dot resolution and tilts to 180 degrees. The 4-way controller gives quick access to exposure, WB, focus area and drive mode. The camera also features improved AF performance that can focus in low light down to -4EV. The camera also includes eye and face detection AF, focus peaking, and pinpoint AF (PIP display), as well as touch AF. The camera uses an electronic shutter over 1/500s, which is worth noting when shooting in artificial light. The screen is very clear and has good viewing angles

Panasonic Lumix GF7 Silver (8)

Underneath the camera has the usual metal tripod socket and battery / memory compartment, and battery life is rated at 230 shots according to Panasonic / CIPA standards, which is lower than most mirrorless cameras, so a spare battery is recommended. The GF7 uses the same battery as the GM1 and GM5.

Wi-Fi - The built in Wi-Fi gives the Panasonic Lumix GF7 a number of features, including the ability to connect it to a smartphone or tablet running Android or iOS. First you need to install the Panasonic Image App from the app store, and then you're able to connect to the camera via Wi-Fi, or a QR Code. The app gives three main modes of operation, the first as a remote control for the camera, giving you access to a number of options and settings, including the Q. menu, touch focus and shutter release, as well as stop motion animation. The second mode, is playback, lets you can view images, as well as transfer them to the phone or delete them. The third mode is the GPS logging option, to let you record your location, and then it's possible to add GPS location information to photos.

Panasonic Lumix GF7 Silver (7)

Apart from the Panasonic Image App, there are also a number of other Wi-Fi features built in to the camera, letting you automatically transfer images to the smartphone after shooting, backup to your computer, or share to social network sites. Although sharing to social network sites requires setup of the Lumix gateway account, which does require some PC use to then enable the Facebook (or other social media website) connection.

Speed - We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.

Shutter Response <0.05
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response 0.2
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response 0.2
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 0.9
Shot to Shot without Flash 0.45
Shot to Shot with Flash 0.9
Continuous Shooting - JPEG
(shots before slow down)
5.8fps (13 shots)
Continuous Shooting - Flash N/A
Continuous Shooting - RAW 5.8fps (6 shots)


Continuous shooting is decent at 5.8fps, with up to 13 shots possible before slowdown when shooting JPEG images. Focus and shutter response is excellent and shot to shot times are particularly impressive. Tested with the 12-32mm lens.

Panasonic Lumix GF7 Performance

The performance section is where we look at the image quality performance of the camera. Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Panasonic Lumix GF7 Sample Photos

Sample Photos - The camera has reliable exposure, and to extend dynamic range you can use the iDynamic or HDR options. There is a good level of detail in photos, and when using flash for portrait shots, there are minimal signs of red-eye. The selfie features are good, with the blurred background feature being particularly good, creating a blurred effect around the subjects face. Buddy mode automatically takes a photo when two faces are detected next to each other. 

Panasonic Lumix GF7 Lens test images

Lens Performance -  The compact 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 lens performs well and is capable of recording high levels of detail, even into the corners of the image when shooting wide-angle or with zoom, and you can read our full review of the lens here. There is a slight hint of vignetting in the corners, which can be corrected in camera by switching on shading compensation, and purple fringing and chromatic aberrations are very low with the camera automatically correcting for these problems. 

Macro performance of the kit lens is a weakness, with the closest focusing distance 20cm from the lens, and for any more serious macro photography a different lens is recommended. When shooting with the sun in the frame it is possible to see some lens flare, however this wasn't a huge issue the majority of the time.

Panasonic Lumix GF7 ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - ISO ranges from ISO100 up to ISO25600. Noise is low at ISO100, up to ISO400. There is a slight drop in detail at ISO800, although noise is still low. At ISO1600 and ISO3200 there is another drop in detail, and noise becomes more obvious. At ISO6400 noise is quite strong, and when viewing images at full size it's easy to see that images lack detail, although these could provide usable images if resized. ISO12800 images are soft, but again may provide usable images if resized. ISO25600 shows the most noise, and least detail, so this setting is best avoided - it's also possible to see banding from the use of the electronic shutter which will become visible when shooting under artificial lighting.

Panasonic Lumix GF7 White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance (AWB) performs reasonably well under tungsten light giving a slightly warm result, with the tungsten preset giving a slightly more accurate result. AWB performs reasonably well under fluorescent lighting, and there are no fluorescent presets available. For more accurate results manual white balance settings are available.

Panasonic Lumic GF7 Panoramic P1000238 | 1/200 sec | f/4.1 | 17.0 mm | ISO 1600
Panoramic | 1/200 sec | f/4.1 | 17.0 mm | ISO 1600

Panorama mode - The panoramic mode automatically stitches the photo together as you pan the camera from one side to another. You also have the choice of filter effects. Results are good, and well stitched together, with a good resolution image produced. 

Panasonic Lumix GF7 Digital filters

Digital Filters - There are 22 digital filters available, with examples shown above. A number of them can be customised, and the "Sunshine" mode lets you set the position and size of the light, as well as giving you the choice of three different colours for the effect. There are also a number of photo styles, where you can customise contrast, sharpness, noise reduction and saturation. Creative effects are: Expressive, Retro, Old Days, High Key, Low Key, Sepia, Monochrome, Dynamic Mono, Rough Mono, Silky Mono, Impressive Art, High Dynamic, Cross Process, Toy Effect, Toy Pop, Bleach Bypass, Miniature, Soft Focus, Fantasy, Star Filter, One Point Colour, and Sunshine.

Video - Much like Vine, you can shoot videos for a set time, 2, 4, 5, 8secs, as well as set up rack focusing positions before shooting using the touch screen. There are fade-in effects, including white in/out, black in/out, and colour in/out. Full HD video is recorded at 50p, as AVCHD or MP4 compression. There are creative control, time lapse shot, and stop motion animation options. Stop motion animation can be used to create timelapse videos within the camera, an example can be viewed here.

Value For Money

The Panasonic Lumix GF7 is available for £429 with the more compact 12-32mm OIS lens, making it good value for money, priced in the same region as other mirrorless cameras with tilting touch-screens. There is a printed basic owners manual with a more detailed manual on the CD. 

Olympus PEN Lite E-PL7, Wi-Fi, Selfie touch-screen, 8fps,  £499 with pancake zoom lens
Panasonic Lumix GM1, Wi-Fi, touch-screen, 5fps, £475 with 12-32mm lens
Samsung NX3000, Wi-Fi, Selfie screen, 5fps, £269 with pancake zoom lens
Nikon 1 J4, Wi-Fi, touch-screen, 30fps, 20fps, £309 with lens
Sony Alpha A5100, Wi-Fi, Selfie touch-screen, 5.8fps, £369 with pancake zoom lens
Fujifilm X-M1, Wi-Fi, tilting screen, 5fps, £349 with lens

You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.

Panasonic Lumix GF7 Verdict

The Panasonic Lumix GF7 is a fresh update from Panasonic to the entry level compact system camera market, and the camera looks much better than the model it replaces. Not only does it look better, but it is noticeably smaller and the new design should appeal. With the inclusion of the pancake zoom 12-32mm lens, the camera is also very pocketable, even with the lens on. The 12-32mm lens performs well, with a useful 24mm equivalent at the wide-angle end of the lens, although macro performance is better with other lenses. 

Image quality is good with the camera using the same sensor as the GX7, with good noise performance and detail up to ISO3200. With an introduction price of £429 with the new 12-32mm IS kit lens, the camera is priced competitively with similar models, and with the kit lens delivering excellent image quality, we feel that the camera offers very good value for money. The built in touch-screen makes it easy to change settings, with the selfie features providing good results.

The most likely issues you may find with the GF7 are the lack of flash hot-shoe, and short battery life, making it less appealing to the more serious photographer. For the majority of people having a built in flash will be preferable, and the mode dial makes the camera easier to use for every level of photographer. Image quality is very good, with the camera delivering sharp detailed photos with good colour, and low levels of noise. The Wi-Fi implementation is very good, giving remote control and numerous shooting options straight from your smartphone or tablet. There are a few, very minor niggles, including short battery life, but we can very happily highly recommend the camera.

 
  The Panasonic Lumix GF7 packs a wealth of great features into a stylish and compact body, and delivers excellent images.
   

Panasonic Lumix GF7 Pros

Wi-Fi built in - remote operation
Great image quality
Panoramic mode
New design with mode compact body
High resolution tilting touch-screen
Fast operation, focus, shot to shot
Access to a wide range of Micro Four Thirds lenses
Selfie features are quite good (surprisingly)
Available with 12-32mm lens
Stop motion animation

Panasonic Lumix GF7 Cons

No flash hot-shoe
230 shot battery life
Auto white balance performance could be better
Would be nice if Wi-Fi supported direct uploads, rather than going via Lumix logon

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  


Panasonic Lumix GF7 Specifications

ManufacturerPanasonic
Image Sensor
Pixels16Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4592
Pixels (H)3448
Sensor TypeLive MOS Sensor
Sensor SizeMicro Four Thirds
Sensor Size (width)17.3mm
Sensor Size (height)13mm
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
  • 1:1
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution1040k
Touch ScreenYes
Focusing
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Manual
  • Face Detection
  • AF Tracking
  • Multi
  • Centre
  • Touch AF
  • Spot
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/16000sec
Shutter speeds longest60sec
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
  • Program Variable
Metering
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity100 - 25600
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Shade
  • Flash
Exposure Comp+/-5
Viewfinder
Viewfinder ResolutionNo Data
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting5.8fps
Video
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080 FullHD
Video FPS50p, 25p, 24p
Stereo SoundYes
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationNo
Interface
HDMIYes
USBUSB 2
Storage
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • RAW
  • JPG
  • RAW + JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeLithium-Ion DMW-BLH7E
CIPA Rating230
Box Contents
Box ContentsNo Data
Dimensions
Weight266g
Width106.5mm
Height64.6mm
Depth33.3mm

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Comments


dannyr 7 46 United Kingdom
20 Jan 2015 8:10AM
Still no antishake! Will the GX7 be the only one?

Also is'nt this a bit too similar to the GM1/5?

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Fahim 5 211 United Kingdom
20 Jan 2015 8:46PM
I thought the same. Too similar to GM1 or even GM5 except the evf in GM5.
21 Jan 2015 8:30AM
Much nicer design than recent GF series cameras, bit smaller/lighter too (battery life is compromised though, 200ish shots is poor, and Panasonic batteries are pricey, same as GM5 - 50)
Panasonic UK list colour options; Silver & Black or Silver & tan, no Black or White as you state?
I think the Silver back of camera (picture) looks a bit cheap/plastic how does it look in reality?
joshwa Plus
6 783 United Kingdom
21 Jan 2015 9:26AM
Hi DABarwick, this has been corrected, thanks.

There are additional images in the EQDB: https://www.ephotozine.com/equipment/item/panasonic-lumix-gf7-5704

I think the pictures are quite accurate as to what the camera looks like, as it's quite a pale silver colour. The build quality is good and the hinge for the screen seems quite sturdy. Hope that helps.
ChrisV Plus
10 1.4k 26 United Kingdom
21 Jan 2015 11:37AM
This is very obviously aimed very squarely at point and clickers and the selfie crowd, so I suppose that would justify its purpose and point of differentiation from the GMs or the GX7.

Can't help feeling it's just a tad overpriced given the street prices of better alternatives from Panasonic, but they always introduce relatively high - and the better is of course from my perspective. In that vein a major caveat for me would be the click wheel rather than a dedicated dial which was even added to the GM5. I have a GM1 and you can get used to using the wheel to set exposure parameters, but it's always fiddly and I can't help thinking the omission of a dial is a bit of a hobble to tempt some to go up for a GM1 or 5.

I find this a fairly unexciting release, but I'm not the sort of shooter it's aimed at.
drtom 3
26 Jan 2015 10:45PM
I must say I am impressed. Compact and I think the GM1 too small. When there isn't a viewfinder then an articulating screen really helps.
I like the GM5 but this will drop quickly in price and in 6 m will be very good value.

JohnHoppy 7 5 United Kingdom
27 Jan 2015 12:33PM
Just how useful is the tilt of that screen? For me, not at all. 180deg okay, but only in one direction? Olympus in the new EM5 seem to have realised the fully-artic screen (e.g. GH3, G5) was superior all along to these tilt-only gadgets. Do photographers want to take "Selfies"? GF7 is not aimed at this sector, then (?). It looks an ok camera in many ways but - with the GM1/GM5 showing the way at the tiny end and GX7/GX8 (when it appears) at the other end, is there really a reason for photographers to buy this? I suspect the price will quickly drop as it stumbles into competitors. Then again, maybe all Panasonic want is a budget representative to act as a come-on for point-n-shooters.
ChrisV Plus
10 1.4k 26 United Kingdom
27 Jan 2015 1:41PM

Quote: Olympus in the new EM5 seem to have realised the fully-artic screen (e.g. GH3, G5) was superior all along to these tilt-only gadgets.


Where did you get that nugget about the new EM5? Rumoured specs I'm seeing are scant and don't have any major differences over the current model apart from the sensor shift 40Mp composite thing.

You'll probably gather from my post above I agree with your feelings on this GF7.
drtom 3
30 Jan 2015 1:43PM
Reply to john

Not interested in 180 but pulling up screen to 90 degrees makes low shots MUCH easier. You will appreciate this in 10-20 years believe me .... As my old friend said " you know you are sixty when you are tying your shoe laces and find yourself thinking "is there anything else I can do whilst I'm down here?" ".

It's also useful to hol a camera without a viewfinder at waist level like an old TLR. .... Good view and steady

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