With a new 16-million-pixel sensor and a clever tiltable electronic viewfinder, the GX7 could be one of the best system cameras we’ve seen, says Phil Hall. Read the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 review...
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 review – Viewfinder, live view, LCD and video
Perhaps one of the most welcome additions to the GX7 is the built-in electronic viewfinder. For some, this gives a much more intuitive way of shooting compared to holding the camera at arm’s length and composing with the rear display.
The EVF offers a 2.7-million-dot resolution, but as we have seen on some previous Panasonic EVFs, this is based around field sequential technology rather than to the more commonly used OLED and high-res LCD displays found in rival models. This sees colours (red, green and blue) alternating so that only a single colour is displayed at any given time, providing the GX7’s viewfinder with full colour at every pixel location. As a result, the GX7 is able to boast approximately 100% Adobe RGB gamut coverage.
In use, the performance of the GX7’s viewfinder is very strong. I found detail to be rendered very well, with colours pleasantly saturated, while the display itself is large and bright thanks to the 0.7x (35mm equivalent) magnification. One potential drawback of using field sequential technology is that you can experience relatively slow refresh times compared to OLED and LCD displays. This can result in the display appearing to tear as it moves, but I have to say the GX7’s EVF coped very well with this, with no tearing as I moved the camera around the scene.
There’s also an eye sensor that allows the EVF to be automatically activated when the camera is raised to the eye, the sensitivity of which can be toggled between high and low in the main menu.
Partnering the EVF is a tiltable 3in touch-sensitive rear display with a 1.03-million-dot resolution, with the display able to be flipped outwards 90°, or tilted down at 45°. For those who intend to shoot video, the GX7 offers 1920×1080-pixel full HD 50p video in either AVCHD Progressive or MP4 formats, as well as 50i, 25p and movie-like 24p in AVCHD, and 25p in MP4. This is all with stereo sound, though it is a little disappointing to see no additional connections for a stereo microphone.