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Panasonic GX7 Performance


Timing and Performance

Generally very good to excellent speed for a Compact System Camera.

Startup/Shutdown

Power on
to first shot

~0.9 second

Time it takes to turn on and capture a shot.

Shutdown

~2.1 seconds

How long it takes camera to turn off before you can remove the memory card.

Buffer clearing time
8 seconds after
20 Large/Fine JPEGs*
Worst case buffer clearing time. -- This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card.
6 seconds after
9 RAW files*
9 seconds after
8 RAW+ L/F JPEG files*
19 seconds after
80 4MP JPEGs*
*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/sec UHS-1 SDHC card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Startup time was faster-than average at 0.9 second with firmware v1.1 (with older firmware, it varied from about one to as much as three seconds). Shutdown was a bit slow, though, at 2.1 seconds. Buffer clearing times were good with a fast UHS-1 card.


Mode Switching

Play to Record,
first shot

~0.6 second

Time until first shot is captured.

Record to Play

~0.7 second

Time to display a large/fine file immediately after capture.

Display
recorded image

~0.3 second

Time to display a large/fine file already on the memory card.

Mode switching was fast.


Shutter Response (Lag Time)
Full Autofocus,
Single-area AF mode
0.192 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting. (All AF timing done with the bundled Panasonic 14-42mm kit lens.)
Full Autofocus,
Multi-area AF mode
0.232 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting.
Full Autofocus,
Single-area AF mode,
Flash enabled
0.310 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting, auto flash enabled.
Continuous AF
0.195 second
This mode usually shows no speed increase with our static subject; we have no way to measure performance with moving subjects.
Manual Focus
0.096 second
For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused".

Prefocused

0.081 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

Prefocused,
Electronic Shutter

0.110 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

The Panasonic GX7's autofocus was very fast, especially for a camera that uses contrast detection. The GX7 produced full-autofocus shutter lag (with the subject at a fixed distance) of 0.192 second using 1-area (center) AF with the 14-42mm kit lens, which is faster than the GX1's 0.259s, and faster than most consumer DSLRs as well. 23-area AF was very slightly slower at 0.232 second, but that's still fast. Enabling the flash increased lag to 0.310 second, but that's still pretty fast. Shutter lag was 0.194 second in continuous mode AF. When manually focused, the GX7's lag time dropped to 0.096 second. The GX7's prefocused shutter lag time of 0.081 second which while quick, is a bit slower than average. Interestingly, enabling the Electronic Shutter increased prefocused shutter lag to 0.11 second.

To minimize the effect of different lens' focusing speed, we test AF-active shutter lag with the lens already set to the correct focal distance.


Cycle Time (shot to shot)
Single Shot mode
Large/Fine JPEG
0.47 second
Time per shot.
Single Shot mode
RAW
0.48 second
Time per shot.
Single Shot mode
RAW + L/F JPEG
0.56 second
Time per shot.
Early shutter
penalty?
No
Some cameras don't snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.
Continuous H
Large Fine JPEG
0.18 second (5.6 frames per second);
20+ frames total;
3 seconds to clear*
Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots, with no signs of slowing.
Continuous H
Electronic Shutter
Large Fine JPEG
0.09 second 10.7 frames per second);
20+ frames total;
8 seconds to clear*
Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots, with no signs of slowing.
Continuous H
RAW
0.20 second (5.0 frames per second);
10 frames total;
9 seconds to clear*
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 10 frames, then slows to an average of 1.01s or 0.99 fps.
Continuous H
Electronic Shutter
RAW
0.13 second (8.0 frames per second);
9 frames total;
6 seconds to clear*
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 8 frames, then slows to an average of about 0.54s or 1.87 fps.
Continuous H
RAW + L/F JPEG
0.20 second (5.0 frames per second);
9 frames total;
7 seconds to clear*
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 9 frames, then slows to an average of about 0.68s or 1.47 fps.
Continuous H
Electronic Shutter
RAW + L/F JPEG
0.12 second (8.1 frames per second);
8 frames total;
9 seconds to clear*
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 8 frames, then slows to an average of about 0.61s or 1.164 fps.
Super HS mode
4-megapixel JPEG
0.03 second (40 frames per second);
80 frames total;
19 seconds to clear*
Time per shot, averaged over buffer size of 80 shots.
Flash Recycling
4.0 seconds
Flash at maximum output.
*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/sec UHS-1 SDHC card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Single-shot cycle times were very good, and a bit faster than the GX1. We measured 0.47 second for large/fine JPEGs, 0.48 second for RAW and 0.56 second for RAW+L/F JPEGs.

Continuous High Speed "H" mode was slower-than-average these days, but faster than the GX1's, at about 5.6 frames per second for JPEGs, and about 5 fps for RAW or RAW+JPEG files, compared to the GX1's 4.1 frames per second. Please note that Live View is not available during a burst in H mode.

With the electronic shutter option enabled, though, burst rate increased to 10.7 fps for L/F JPEGs, 8 fps for RAW and 8.1 fps for RAW+JPEG files, which is excellent. In Super HS mode which also uses electronic shutter, we managed 40 frames-per-second, though resolution is only 4 megapixels in that mode. Panasonic warns that using the electronic shutter can lead to distortion in moving subjects and other side-effects, though, so keep that in mind.

Full resolution buffer depths were generous for large/fine JPEGs, at over 20 frames, but when shooting RAW files buffer size dropped to 10 frames, and 9 for RAW+L/F JPEGs. This is on the shallow side for an enthusiast model, but about the same as the GX1's. Buffer depth dropped slightly with the Electronic Shutter mode's faster burst speeds, to 9 RAW and 8 RAW+JPEG, though when shooting just JPEGs, the camera did not slow down after 20 frames. Buffer depth in Super HS mode was a very generous 80 frames.

Buffer clearing was fairly quick for full-res images, ranging from 3 to 9 seconds depending on the file type and mode, though clearing after 80 4MP frames took a leisurely 19 seconds.

The flash recycled after a full discharge in 4 seconds, which is a bit slower than average for its class.


Download Speed

Windows Computer, USB 2.0

9,288 KBytes/sec

Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-769=USB 2.0 Low;
Above 770=USB 2.0 High

Download speeds were fast, quick enough that you probably won't feel the need for a separate card reader, even with large memory cards. (Note that this test was performed with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/sec UHS-1 SDHC card: Slower cards would likely show slower transfer times.)


Bottom line, the Panasonic GX7's performance is very good overall for a CSC. Startup is fast (with firmware v1.1), mode switching is fast, and autofocus is fast. Full resolution burst speed with the mechanical shutter is mediocre, but very fast with the electronic shutter enabled. Buffer depths are excellent with JPEGs, though somewhat shallow with RAW files.

Battery Life

Average battery life for a Compact System Camera.

Operating Mode Battery Life
Still Capture, CIPA standard
(H-FS1442A lens)
350 shots
Still Capture, CIPA standard
(H-H020A lens)
320 shots

The Panasonic GX7 uses a custom rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack for power, and comes with both a single battery and charger. The CIPA rated 320-350 shots per charge depending on the lens is about average for a Compact System Camera, but much lower than a typical digital SLR when using the SLR's optical viewfinder. We strongly recommend getting a second battery for your GX7 if you plan any extended outings.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on a fully-charged rechargeable battery), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))