Panasonic calls it ‘the one that loves a selfie’, but is the GF7 a camera for serious photographers too? Andy Westlake finds out in our Panasonic Lumix GF7 review
Panasonic Lumix GF7 Review – Features
Like other current Micro Four Thirds models, the GF7 is based around a 16-million-pixel, Four Thirds sensor. In this case the sensor is of Panasonic’s own design that is used in several other cameras, including the enthusiast-oriented GX7. It offers a standard sensitivity range of ISO 200-25,600, with an extended ISO 100 setting also available. The Micro Four Thirds lens mount allows use of a huge range of lenses from Olympus, Panasonic and third-party makes including Sigma, Samyang and Voigtlander.
Continuous shooting performance is very respectable, with a maximum shooting rate of 5.8 frames per second with fixed focus, and a seven-frame buffer for raw shooters (JPEG users can keep going until the card is full). With continuous focusing enabled, the rate drops slightly to 5 frames per second.
One notable feature is the hybrid electronic/mechanical shutter, which gives speeds up to an impressive 1/16,000sec. Not only is this useful for shooting with fast lenses in bright light, but it is also extremely quiet and discreet. It’s used when the camera is turned to its Silent mode, which also turns off the AF assist lamp and all operation sounds, and switches to electronic shutter for stealth shooting.
A tiny built-in flash pops up out of the ‘hump’ above the lens. Its guide number is just 5.6m @ ISO 200, so it’s really not very powerful at all. Naturally, Wi-Fi is built in for camera control and image sharing, although NFC-mediated setup has surprisingly been omitted.
Panasonic has packed in an array of image-processing ‘Creative filters’, including retro and several monochome modes. Raw files and unfiltered JPEGs can be saved alongside the processed files, which is always welcome. There’s a built-in invervalometer for time-lapse shooting and a stop-motion mode. A dual-axis electronic level helps avoid wonky horizons and converging verticals.
Movies can be recorded in Full HD at up to 50fps, with built-in stereo mics. Other features include a peaking display to assist manual focus, and zebra pattern to judge exposure in video. The GF7 has HDMI and USB ports for connection to a TV or computer.
This being 2015, though, Panasonic doesn’t want you to worry about these details. Instead, it’s really pushing the camera’s selfie-friendly credentials. The 3in touchscreen tilts upwards and forwards, activating an array of special features. Couples can trigger the shutter simply by bringing their faces close together, whereas singletons can do so by waving a hand in front of their face. There’s even a slimming mode, which stretches the image vertically to make faces appear thinner. Annoyingly for purist photographers, these all seem to work rather well.