Panasonic Lumix GX7 now available for pre-order

August 8th, 2013
Panasonic Lumix GX7 now available for pre-order

Panasonic GX7 black

For anyone keeping up to date with MFT news will be aware of this little beauty – the Panasonic Lumix GX7, a compact mirrorless 16-megapixel micro 4/3s camera, with similar video functions to the flagship GH3.

The GX7 is Panasonic’s latest release in their Lumix G line. The predecessor GX1 fell a little short in the video department, with capped bitrates for video, and no manual exposure control (out of the box). However the GX7 looks set to be a great contender for an ultra compact video camera, albeit one major sting in it’s tail (more on that later).

Like almost all Panasonic cameras, the GX7 utilizes a Venus Engine processor, with a maximum ISO of 25,600, exceeding it’s predecessor at 12,800. Maximum shutter speed has also been increased to an impressive 1/8000th of a second (DSLR territory).

The camera shoots in both AVCHD and MP4 formats up to 28Mbps. It looks as if this is a world camera, supporting 24/25/30/50/60 FPS.

Panasonic GX7 back

One exciting looking feature is its in-built image stabilization. It features a sensor shift image stabilization, which adjusts the position of the sensor, over optical image stabilization (found in lenses) where optics of the lens adjusts. Watch this video for an example of the 5-axis sensor shift image stabilization found in the Olympus OM-D EM-5. This is a fantastic feature, but we’ve recently found out that it isn’t available for video! Massive shame.

There are benefits for optical stabilization over sensor shift stabilization. With optical stabilization, the image is stabilized before it reaches the mirror/sensor thus making framing, focus and metering easier. There’s also a threshold for sensor shift stabilization; the sensor can only adjust so far and therefore becomes less effective with super tele focal lenses. What it does do however is add image stabilization to every lens mounted.

A feature that will be of interest to film makers is the in-built, tiltable EVF. The viewfinder features a 1024 x 768 field-sequential LCD. An EVF is an essential feature for ultra compact cameras, especially when setting changes are often via touchscreen, making loupes a tricky and cumbersome accessory to use (the EOS M begs for an EVF). The third exciting feature for video is the camera’s 3-level focus peaking. This will be warmly welcomed. With any larger sensor camera, this feature really should be as standard. It’s one that DSLRs have always overlooked.

Panasonic GX7 Top§

There is a big drawback for this camera however (for video at least), and that is the lack of mic input. The GX7 will only record audio via inbuilt stereo mic. This is a huge oversight from Panasonic. Yes to achieve good audio you should record it separately, but for low impact shoots (kit wise), a small shotgun mic would be a great asset. Final judgement on the audio quality will be reserved until first hand experience. However the fact that the mic is built into the body suggests it’ll generate a lot of operating noise.

Whilst Panasonic missed out the mic input, they didn’t forget the video out. There’s a micro HDMI port which outputs full HD. The camera shoots to SDHC memory cards.

This is a great little camera. With a small fast prime this would be great for ultra compact, discreet filming. I can see this working well for taking on holiday, or any situation where you’ll be travelling super light. It’s just a shame there’s no mic input! It’s easy to complain about features that aren’t present on new releases, but we’re not talking about unrealistic wish list features. We’ve seen mic inputs on many mirrorless cameras prior to this, including ones from Panasonic.

The Panasonic GX7 is available for pre-order now from BandH for $999.99

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Cristian Mihai
Guest
January 25th, 2014

BE AWARE!
This camera has the mini HDMI port locked! You cannot use the HDMI port for LIVE work. Only playback mode ! Their website says mini HDMI output but it hides the fact it’s locked! FALSE ADVERTISING

William B
William B
Guest
November 6th, 2013

Looking at buying a 4/3 camera. I mainly shoot photos, but enjoy doing a few videos. Having no stabilization shooting video has ruled this one out for me.

darrask
darrask
Guest
September 22nd, 2013

“One of the most notable features for video is its in-built image stabilization.”

Sorry man, the stabilization is not working in video mode.

Marvin8
Marvin8
Guest
August 29th, 2013

I actually had the GX7 on pre-order….right up until I found out it had no mic input jack. Cancelled……and extremely annoyed.

Admin
August 10th, 2013

Hi PeterK. good to hear from you again!.

In the “news section” we are reporting about articles which might be interesting for some members for our filming community. We did not test (and probably will never do) the camera video capabilities and therefore we are sticking to the manufacturer specifications.

btw, if you have more info regarding the GH5 please be kind to share…:).

Thank you!

Johnnie

PeterK
PeterK
Guest
August 13th, 2013
Reply to  Johnnie Behiri

Thanks for the reply Johnnie! I understand it’s not a test and that an accurate article is hard to write without hands on access, I’m just disappointed because every time a new “hybrid camera” is released I have to scour the internet reviews to find a hint of how it will preform for video. I hoped if Cinema5D had it, they would for sure have what I am looking for and you guys tried (thanks for that) but got the facts wrong :/ just letting you know.

P.S. I’m also disappointed with Panasonic because I had hoped the GX7 could have become my main hybrid camera :( and if you want to know what the GH5 will be like than just image the GX7 with GH3 video features lol

Take care and keep up the good work!

PeterK
PeterK
Guest
August 9th, 2013

I don’t think this should be on “Cinema”5D lol. I’m really excited about this camera too but I think it’s only good for photography not cinema use (not for my workflow anyway). I think some more research and citations are needed for this article as it is misleading.
There are a lot more draw backs to this camera (for video at least) than the build in mics. First off the GX7 doesn’t have similar video functions to the flagship GH3 (that was a rumor before it was announced) the GX7 actually has very similar video features to the G6, with 28Mbps AVCHD2.0 and MP4 codec recordings. The IBIS (In-Body Image Stabilizer) is likely to only work for photos and the HDMI out while Full HD is said to only output for playback so you cannot use an EVF or Field Recorder. Which is all a shame because Panasonic could have had the perfect camera (for me) here but they seem to be trying to protect an up coming GH5 :( I think that should be the real Cinema5D story here.

Capion
Guest
August 11th, 2013
Reply to  PeterK

Hey Peter!

I’m not sure man I wouldnt entirely disregard this camera. I think this camera is a certain niche for video. I certainly see myself potentially using this bad boy under two conditions. I have been hearing mixed information as to the Internal stabilization. If it in fact works with video we have ourselves a real beast here (or if they roll out a firmware to unlock it) Secondly.. the **MAIN REASON** I would get this.. 100% control via a tablet. We work with an aerial rig and this camera has some massive potential coupled with a power zoom lens. Imagine being able to adjust your setting, zoom, and focus while in the air.. that is a HUGE advantage that I’m not aware of any other cameras offering at the moment. Now I havent seen much on the sample footage but what I have seen appears viable. Only time will tell.. and if this thing can be hacked by vitaliy and nick driftwood.. well… skies the limit (no pun intended haha) So professionally speaking .. i think this camera is a winner.

PeterK
PeterK
Guest
August 13th, 2013
Reply to  Capion

Hi Caption,
I wish the GX7 could do all that (I really do) but all the reviews (that thought to test it) and Panasonic themselves said the image stabilization is for photography (Even Olympus’ doesn’t work in video, I assume it’s due to a physical limitation with down sampling). Btw both the G6 and GH3 also have full tablet control but unfortunately that is a bad solution for an aerial rig, the “Lumix Link” (tablet control) will cut the live view feed and all camera controls once you hit record, which would leave you flying blind, and you can’t get them back until you press stop recording on the camera body or until the recording limit kicks in (https://vimeo.com/m/54820785) and on the GX7(& G6) you can’t even use the HDMI out to send a remote signal during recording. I don’t think any of those issues can be fixed even with a software hack and I wouldn’t depend on Vitaliy doing any more Panasonic hacks anyway (www.personal-view.com/talks/discussion/2739/the-big-thing/p1)

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