Panasonic G7 Walkaround

by Mike Tomkins | Posted: 05/18/2015

Panasonic has crafted a brand-new body for the Lumix G7. Where the body of its predecessor, the G6, was smooth, flowing and curvy, the G7's is angular and entirely more aggressive-looking. It's also grown just fractionally in all dimensions (approximately two millimeters greater width and height, and six millimeters in depth), along with a slight (20g) increase in weight.

Although it's clearly a brand-new camera, a look at the front deck of the Panasonic G7 shows a layout that is almost unchanged. The only control on the front is the lens release button, and there's still an autofocus assist lamp tucked alongside the top of the handgrip. One feature is notable by its absence: The microphone input that used to sit under a flap at the top left corner of the G6 (as seen from the rear) is gone in the Panasonic G7, having been moved to the camera's left side.

It's the top deck of the Panasonic G7 that's probably the most changed since that of its predecessor. The existing mode dial of the G6 has been joined up top by three more dials, two of them new. On the camera's left shoulder is one of these: The drive mode dial, which includes specific positions for 4K capture.

Jumping across the popup flash / electronic viewfinder housing, the Panasonic G7 now offers up twin control dials. The front dial encircles the shutter button, while the rear one also has a button at its center. By contrast, the G6 had but a single control dial, housing in the thumb grip on its rear surface.

The Intelligent Auto button of the Panasonic G6 has been replaced by a dedicated position on the mode dial, and to make room for it, the C1/C2 Custom mode positions have been combined into a single C position. In place of the iA button, there's a new Fn1 button which defaults to exposure compensation control.

Finally, the grilles for the onboard stereo microphone, which sits just in front of the flash hot shoe, have been simplified and now have a single port each. Simultaneously, the speaker grille of the G6 has vanished.

The reason for that last change can be seen when looking at the rear of the Panasonic G7. No longer housed on the top deck, the G7's seven-hole speaker grille sits in the camera's thumb grip. It's an unusual location, but by no means unique -- the Olympus E-M5 II houses its speaker in the thumb grip as well. However, where Olympus placed the speaker in the base of the grip, Panasonic has put it into the top of the raised edge, where it's at least less likely to be accidentally covered.

The most significant different in terms of rear panel controls is a new focus mode switch, encircling the existing AF/AE lock button. Given that this takes up more room, the quick menu button has moved down alongside the right-hand side of the LCD panel. On the left of the electronic viewfinder, the LVF / function 5 button and flash button now sit side by side, rather than on the diagonal from each other.

The remaining cluster of controls just right of the LCD monitor are mostly unchanged, although with the addition of a dedicated drive mode dial on the top deck, the bottom button in the four-way controller now acts instead as a configurable function button. (It's one of a generous five, in total.)

And of course, just as in its predecessor, the Panasonic G7 still sports an articulated LCD monitor. It's attached with a versatile tilt/swivel mechanism which allows for viewing from most angles, regardless of whether you're planning to shoot a portrait or landscape image. It also provides for both unobstructed selfie capture and for the monitor to be closed with the LCD facing inwards for protection.

Compared to that in its predecessor, the Panasonic G7's 3.0-inch display is said to be 50% brighter. With a total of 1,040k dots, it's essentially indistinguishable from the resolution of the original panel, and the diagonal size and touch-screen overlay are also unchanged.

Also much as it was in the G6 is the Panasonic G7's right panel. Here, there are few features save for a neck strap eyelet with attached D-ring, an access panel for the HDMI high-definition video output, and a cutout that allows egress for the cable of the optional AC adapter dummy battery.

The left side, too, is clean and straightforward. There's another strap eyelet and D-ring, as well as a newly-repositioned microphone jack. (As we mentioned earlier, this used to reside on the front panel.)

The repositioned mic jack sits beneath a rubber flap that's labeled with its connection type, rather than the leatherette-textured flap that covered the mic on the G6.

One further change of note is the lack of an NFC logo (although the G6 didn't actually use the standard logo, truth be told.) The Panasonic G7 no longer offers NFC connectivity, and hence this change.

And finally, we come to the base of the camera. Here, the Panasonic G7 is identical to its predecessor, or at least as much so as it's possible to be within the confines of a brand-new, slightly-larger body. There's still a metal tripod socket, and it's still right on the optical center of the lens as you'd want for panorama shooting, but still very near to the front of the camera body. And there's still a combined battery / flash card compartment at the base of the handgrip, unlatched with a sliding switch. Otherwise, the base of the Panasonic G7 is clean and smooth.


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