Test Review: Panasonic G7

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August 13, 2015 at 10:30 am  •  Posted in Gear & Reviews, Review by  •  0 Comments

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7

The Panasonic G7/G70 is a compact-system camera with an SLR-style body. This Micro Four Thirds camera offers 16-MP resolution, a high-resolution electronic viewfinder and a lot of unusual and very interesting features. The camera is offered as “G70” in Germany and some other European countries. As the follower of the G6 it is called “G7” in the US or Japan. Our test sample was a German version, so we will use the name “G70” in this text.

The automatic exposure system caused slightly low settings (1/3 f-stops) for the standard test box shot. The colours look natural; only the blue nuances have a very high saturation (especially the dark blue spool of thread in the upper right).

The automatic exposure system caused slightly low settings (1/3 f-stops) for the standard test box shot. The colours look natural; only the blue nuances have a very high saturation (especially the dark blue spool of thread in the upper right).

Comments on Image Quality
Colour: The camera showed a tendency toward cooler colours with a very high saturated reproduction of blue colours or the blue spool in our test image. The white-balance system did a good job; only the brightest nuances of the gray pattern in our test chart showed a shift into the yellowish and green area. The skin-tone reproduction is good. The corresponding colours in the result chart showed only a minor shift. As is characteristic for Panasonic cameras, the brighter skin tones showed a shift into the more magenta/pink area. This is also noticeable in our portrait test shot. The overall colour reproduction is very good. The camera offers a lot of additional colour settings for changing the white balance characteristic or image parameters, like saturation and contrast. This allows one to change the magenta overlap into a more yellowish style for example.

The portrait shot is a little underexposed, just like the test box shot. The automatic exposure aimed at the face of the model and tried to avoid overexposing the bright background. The skin tone reproduction is very good, but shows a small shift to colours with a little higher magenta rate.

The portrait shot is a little underexposed, just like the test box shot. The automatic exposure aimed at the face of the model and tried to avoid overexposing the bright background. The skin tone reproduction is very good, but shows a small shift to colours with a little higher magenta rate.

Sharpness: The camera had a very high resolution result, reproducing the ISO 12233 test chart with 3147 of 3348 lines per picture height. Nevertheless the standard test box shot and the portrait shot have a slightly softer look than the images of most other cameras, including Panasonic cameras.
 It is a little surprising because ImaTest showed a clipping warning for the images of the resolution chart. This is a result of a very intense sharpness filtering done by the Venus Engine processor and causes some exaggerated reproductions of hard contrast lines like in the Siemens star of our test image or the line pattern in our ISO 12233 test chart. With more than 22 percent, the overshoot effect is very high. Most other cameras create overshoot effects of about 10 to 15 percent. Even though the slightly softer look can be noticed in the structure of the metal sieve in our standard test image, you will also notice the over-sharpening effects in the sieve’s structure, for example.

Noise: The Panasonic G70 had very good results in our noise tests. The luminance noise level is a little higher than in images taken with full-frame cameras but is, nevertheless, on a low level. Colour noise becomes noticeable in images taken with ISO 1600, while images taken with ISO 200 to 800 look very clean. The colour noise level is noticeable but still acceptable in images taken with ISO 3200 and 6400. In images shot in ISO 12800 mode, the combination of colour noise and anti-noise filtering becomes visible. It is annoying in images taken with ISO 25600.

The camera performed well in dynamic-range tests. It achieved a maximum of 11.1 f-stops in ISO 200 mode, but in higher ISO modes the dynamic range drops to 9 to 10 f-stops.

The new Panasonic offers a built-in flash system, which can be used in backlight situations or to illuminate indoor scenes up to 3 metres. While all other interfaces are located on the right-hand side of the body, the microphone jack (3.5 mm) is located on the left-hand side (covered by a rubber cap labeled “MIC”).

The new Panasonic offers a built-in flash system, which can be used in backlight situations or to illuminate indoor scenes up to 3 metres. While all other interfaces are located on the right-hand side of the body, the microphone jack (3.5 mm) is located on the left-hand side (covered by a rubber cap labeled “MIC”).

Comments on Handling
The body design of the Panasonic G7/70 (in the following: G70) is based on the look of the classic SLR system. Clearly defined edges and the optional “Titan” finish create a retro look that is a little different from the curvy, smooth body of its forerunner Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6.

The camera was used with the kit lens G Vario 14-42 mm Objektiv 1:3.5-5.6 II ASPH OIS. Combined with this lens and even with larger lens systems like the G VARIO 14-140 mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH. POWER O.I.S., the camera is pretty well balanced. A large grip on the right-hand side offers a slip-proof handling, while function elements and the two set-up dials (one at the shutter-release button, one on the backside of the top plate) are easily accessible.
The new G70 offers a high-resolution EVF with 2.36 million RGB dots, which makes image control very comfortable. It offers all electronic aids and utilities that are available with an electronic system like “focus magnifier” (including free choice of the magnified image area), “focus peaking” and more.

The Panasonic G70 has a large mode dial on the right-hand side of the top and an additional dial for image modes (single shot, continuous mode, 4K Photo mode) on the left-hand side. Two parameter dials let the user change exposure settings or other parameters very fast. The first one encircles the shutter-release button; the second one is located near the back of the camera.

The Panasonic G70 has a large mode dial on the right-hand side of the top and an additional dial for image modes (single shot, continuous mode, 4K Photo mode) on the left-hand side. Two parameter dials let the user change exposure settings or other parameters very fast. The first one encircles the shutter-release button; the second one is located near the back of the camera.

The Panasonic offers all standard exposure modes like P, S, A and M. In addition, it offers 24 scene modes and additional image effects. Even entry-level photographers can create high-quality and creative image results. The large mode dial is on the right-hand side of the top and is easily available (with the thumb of the right hand), even when the photographer places the G70 in shooting mode directly in front of his/her face). The camera offers additional settings like a Panorama mode and a special video mode that allows one to use manual video settings.

A second dial on the left-hand side of the top of the camera offers modes like single and continuous shot modes or self-timer function. A special setting is included with these shooting modes and marked by a small “4K” icon. In this mode, the camera takes serial image shots with 30 frames per second. These images are saved as an MP4 video file, and the photographer can choose and save the best shot as a single JPEG file when checking the image series in review mode on the screen. The resolution of these images varies a little but is basically 8 MP. The real resolution depends on the chosen aspect ratio, because the Panasonic can record with an aspect ratio of 4:3, 3:2, 1:1 and 16:9 when recording in 4K Photo mode. In the 4:3 setting, the image size is 3328 x 2496 pixels (8.33 MP). These images allow printing in letter size (nearly 30 x 20 cm respectively or 11 x 8.5 inches).

The camera offers a 3-inch LCD on the back and an electronic viewfinder. An “eye sensor” allows the photographer to toggle between both systems automatically.

The camera offers a 3-inch LCD on the back and an electronic viewfinder. An “eye sensor” allows the photographer to toggle between both systems automatically.

Basically, you can use all 4K video cameras for taking video sequences with up to 30 frames per second and then use single frames of these videos as 8-MP images. But the Panasonic G70 and all other new Panasonic cameras (like the GX8 or the FZ300) offer a more comfortable way to get these shots and allows for using photographic aspect ratios instead of the 16:9 format used by all other cameras.

The 4K Photo function offers another mode. The camera is able to “pre-record” in its image buffer. In this mode, it will record 2-second sequences consisting of the last second before pressing the shutter release button and the second after pressing the button. The other 4K Photo modes can record very long sequences (similar to recording video scenes).

The Panasonic G70 uses SD cards for storing image and video files. It worked well with all the kinds of SD, SDHC and SDXC cards in our test. The card slot is located at the bottom of the camera (beside the tray for the battery), which is a little inconvenient when trying to change the card while working with a tripod, for example.

The new Panasonic has a swivel LCD that is fully articulated. It can be rotated to the left-hand side of the camera or flipped into a position, which allows the user to see menus and the electronic viewfinder image from the front side of the camera.

The new Panasonic has a swivel LCD that is fully articulated. It can be rotated to the left-hand side of the camera or flipped into a position, which allows the user to see menus and the electronic viewfinder image from the front side of the camera.

Pros
+ very compact
+ well designed; a lot of function buttons (and even more virtual function buttons on the touchscreen)
+ innovative 4K photo modes combine 4K video function and continuous photo shooting with high burst rates
+ very fast AF system
+ Wi-Fi system for remote controlling, transferring images to smart devices, and more
+ Swivel LCD offers comfortable image control; high-resolution EVF for image control and manual focusing
+ 4K video

Cons
– no NFC system (would have made the Wi-Fi function more convenient)
– MFT system means high crop factor of 1:2 (compared to 35-mm film and full-frame sensors)

This review is based on precise lab tests conducted by BetterNet GmbH and provided by the Technical Imaging Press Association (TIPA). TIPA is the largest family of independent photo and imaging magazines worldwide. Photo Life is an active member of TIPA.

SPEC SHEET: Panasonic G7/G70
BASIC TECHNICAL DATA:
Resolution 4592 x 3448
Resolution sensor 16.8
Size of sensor (in inches) 0/0.00
Size of sensor (in mm) 17.3 x 13.0
LENSES:
Focal length (wide angle; 35-mm equivalent; in mm) 28
Focal length (tele; 35-mm equivalent; KB in mm) 84
Focal length (wide angle; real; in mm) 14.0
Focal length (tele; real; KB in mm) 42.0
Speed 3.5 – 5.6
Macro 20 – 30
Manual focus, controlled by function elements no
Manual focus, controlled with lens ring yes
TAKING PICTURES:
Start-up time (in sec) 0.55
Shutter delay (in sec) without pre-focusing 0.12
Shutter delay (in sec) with pre-focusing 0.08
Continuous shooting speed (frames per second) 8.0
Max. burst during continuous shooting speed 999.0
Fastest shutter speed (in sec) 1/16000
Long time exposure/shutter speed (in sec) 60
Self-timer yes
Exposure Settings:
aperture pre-setting, shutter speed pre-setting, manual exposure settings,
automatic bracketing, timelapse photography
Exposure programs 24
White balance:
Auto yes
White-balance settings 5
Individual white balance yes
ISO:
ISO min 200
ISO max 25600
ISO steps 22
Manual ISO control yes
FLASH:
Integrated flash yes
Flash modes:
On, off, automatic flash, slow sync, anti-red-eye, rear-curtain sync
External Flash:
X-sync no
Accessory shoe yes
FILE FORMATS:
Standard file formats JPEG, RAW, DCF
JPEG compression grades 3
LCD AND PREVIEW:
Size (in inches) 3.0
Resolution of LCD (in pixels) 1040000
Zoom mode during preview yes
Index during preview yes
Slideshow during preview yes
VIDEO:
Video yes
Max. width 3840
Max. height 2160
Picture frequency 30
POWER SOURCE:
Rechargeable battery yes
Battery type Li-Ion
Battery charger included yes
Power connector no
Power supply unit no
STORAGE SYSTEM:
Supported memory cards SD card, SDHC card, SDXC card
PC CONNECTION:
PC connection USB 2.0, HDMI, WLAN
TV out PAL/NTSC + HDMI
DIMENSIONS:
Dimensions (width x height x depth; in mm) 124 x 86 x 77
Weight (body without battery and memory card; in g) 410
ACCESSORIES:
Docking station no
Printed manual yes
Manual on CD yes
Bag no
Remote control no

 

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