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 – Build and handling
With dimensions of just 106.5 x 64.6 x 33.3mm, the GF7 is a very small camera, and despite its tilting screen it is not that much bigger than the highly regarded GM1. The GF7 comes with a compact 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 optically stabilised pancake zoom, which has a useful 24mm (equivalent) wideangle setting but a somewhat limiting 64mm-equivalent tele end. The ensemble weighs just 336g, so you can carry it around all day without noticing.
The GF7 has sufficient external controls for the main exposure settings, especially if you assign the top-plate Fn1 button to access ISO. The rear dial that’s used to change aperture, shutter speed and so on is rather small and fiddly, but that’s common on cameras this small. For those times when you just want to point and shoot, a quick tap of the top-plate iA button puts the camera into fully automatic mode.
The touchscreen interface gives access to almost any setting you might need, with five customisable on-screen touch buttons and a user-configurable quick menu, and thankfully Panasonic hasn’t felt the need to dumb it down at all relative to higher-end cameras. Larger, more enthusiast-focused models with extra buttons and dials are still quicker to operate, but the GF7 makes good use of its scanter resources.
Panasonic has very much aimed for a retro design, with silver-coloured top and base plates and a choice of a black or rather handsome brown leatherette coating. The build quality isn’t bad, but it’s noticeably more plasticky than the solid-feeling GM1. Unfortunately, the rather clumsy-looking hump on the top-plate that houses the flash somewhat spoils the GF7’s looks, although it has the practical advantage of lifting the screen clear of the body so you can see it more clearly when it’s facing forwards.