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
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.
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.
- 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
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.
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
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.
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.
|Wide - Focus / Shutter Response
|Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response
|Switch on Time to Taking a Photo
|Shot to Shot without Flash
|Shot to Shot with Flash
|Continuous Shooting - JPEG
(shots before slow down)
|5.8fps (13 shots)
|Continuous Shooting - Flash
|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.
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.
Panasonic Lumix GF7 Pros
Wi-Fi built in - remote operation
Great image quality
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
|VALUE FOR MONEY
Panasonic Lumix GF7 Specifications
|Sensor Type||Live MOS Sensor|
|Sensor Size||Micro Four Thirds|
|Sensor Size (width)||17.3mm|
|Sensor Size (height)||13mm|
- Face Detection
- AF Tracking
- Touch AF
|Shutter speeds shortest||1/16000sec|
|Shutter speeds longest||60sec|
- Scene modes
- Program Variable
- Centre-weighted - Average
- Multi Pattern
|ISO sensitivity||100 - 25600|
|Viewfinder Resolution||No Data|
|Video FPS||50p, 25p, 24p|
|Optical Zoom with Video||Yes|
|Battery Type||Lithium-Ion DMW-BLH7E|
|Battery Life (CIPA rating)||230shots|
|Box Contents||No Data|
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