cameras
  • Best of Year 2015
  • Editors' Choice
Expert Score
8.2

Panasonic Lumix G7 Digital Camera Review

A fully loaded Lumix with 4K on a budget...Yes, please!

Credit: Reviewed.com / Chris Thomas
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By the Numbers

Any way you slice it, this is an awesome camera. Not only does it offer a lot of features, but it does them right. With high marks across the board, it's tough to argue with the G7's performance—save for white balance.

Sharpness

In our labs, the G7 was able to resolve well over 2000 line widths per picture height with the help of a bit of software oversharpening. Really though, the extra bit of help the camera gives itself isn't enough to cause many headaches when you go pixel peeping.

If we must pick nits, it'll be over the mild haloing visible when you blow shots up to 200% on your computer screen. At that point, you're really just splitting pixels hairs, so why bother?

I will say that it does matter which lens you pair the G7 with quite a bit. Though the sensor itself is very capable, you're going to want a Micro Four Thirds option that can keep up. If you get blurry shots with the camera, it's not the fault of the G7.

Noise

Noise performance is great on the G7. While its default noise reduction algorithm is a tad aggressive, you won't really see any garbage data in your snaps until you use ISO 12800, at which point the noise reduction of the G7 will also make your snaps less detailed by destroying fine lines in the name of noise reduction.

Given that we routinely praise cameras for keeping it together until ISO 6400, we're willing to give the G7 a pat on the back here. We've seen cameras do some truly horrific things to snaps in the name of killing noise, so having usable shots up to ISO 12800 is no small feat—especially for a Micro Four Thirds camera.

Dynamic Range

Though it doesn't boast the best dynamic range we've ever seen in a camera, the Panasonic G7 hangs tough with its competitors. Offering near 8 stops of high-quality DR at base ISO (200), you can expect your shots to handle editing well.

Even if you need to push your ISO speeds a bit, the camera doesn't produce shots with 0 stops of high-quality dynamic range until ISO 12800. Meaning: even shots taken at ISO 6400 will look acceptably good. That gives you a bit more flexibility than many other Micro Four Thirds shooters, and it's a refreshing thing to see.

There's a steady dropoff of dynamic range from ISO 200 to ISO 6400 by about a stop per ISO stop, though the loss of DR from ISO 400 to 800 is a little more severe at two stops lost.

Color & White Balance

Color accuracy too, is a strong suit of the Panasonic G7. With a ∆C 00 saturation error of 2.12 and an overall saturation of 108.8%, you can expect your snaps to be virtually perfect to the naked eye.

You may notice a bit of de-saturation in yellows and yellow-greens, but otherwise the color performance is great. That is, until you leave daylight.

If you often find yourself in incandescent or mixed lighting, you're probably going to want to avoid using automatic white balance—or just shoot in RAW. If you don't, you can look forward to color temperature errors in your shots of up to 2000 kelvin—leaving a yellow-orange cast over your picture. In fluorescent light, this problem is much less pronounced, but you may notice a slight greenish hue (error of about 300 kelvin).

Video

To put it bluntly, this camera is an absolute animal when it comes to video. Not only does it support 4K/30p video in a file format that can be read by most computers without much cajoling by codec packs, it does fantastically well.

In bright light, the G7's sensor can resolve about 1600 line pairs by picture height in both horizontal and vertical motion, which is patently bonkers for a consumer-grade camera. And that's just the 4K shooting mode. If you don't have a 4K monitor, you can do your video plenty of favors by downsampling your clips to 1080p.

Video Sharpness 4K
Credit: Reviewed.com

Even in motion, the G7 records seriously sharp video.

In low light (60lux), this number drops to just (just?) 1250 LP/PH in both horizontal and vertical motion, but there's a catch. When the light is low, you'll find that either the shutter speeds are too slow for your clips (and cause blurring), or the auto ISO will ramp up the noise quite a bit. This is an extremely capable sensor, but bright light will always be better than low light.

If you do find yourself in the dark, this camera can record a 50 IRE picture all the way down to 3 lux. This is mighty impressive for a Micro Four Thirds camera, but it's possible that this won't be the case with all of the kit options. Be sure to use this camera with a wide-aperture lens for best results here.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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