Panasonic GF7 Performance

Timing and Performance

Generally good performance for an entry-level mirrorless ILC.

Startup/Play to Record

Power on
to first shot

~1.1 seconds

Time it takes to turn on and capture a shot.

Play to Record,
first shot

~0.8 second

Time until first shot is captured.

Startup time was a little faster-than-average for a mirrorless camera and switching from Play to Record and taking a shot was reasonably quick.


Shutter Response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus,
Single-area AF mode

0.238 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

0.412 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture. Auto Flash enabled.

Manual Focus

0.134 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

0.126 second

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

The Panasonic GF7's autofocus speed was good our tests, especially for a camera that uses contrast detection only. The GF7 produced full-autofocus shutter lag (with the subject at a fixed distance) of 0.238 second using 1-area (center) AF. That's good for a mirrorless camera and competitive with most consumer DSLRs. Enabling the flash increased lag to 0.412 second, to account for preflash metering. When manually focused, the GF7's lag time dropped to 0.134 second, also good. The GF7's prefocused shutter lag time of 0.126 second was however slow compared to most other cameras, but still responsive.

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

0.51 second

Time per shot, averaged over a few frames (we no longer test for buffer depths in single-shot mode).

Single Shot mode
RAW + L/F JPEG

0.77 second

Time per shot, averaged over a few frames (we no longer test for buffer depths in single-shot mode).

Early shutter
penalty?

No

Some cameras refuse to 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

0.19 second (5.16 frames per second);
50+ frames total;
1 second to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 50 shots, with no signs of slowing.

Continuous H
Large Fine JPEG
Electronic Shutter

0.09 second (11.1 frames per second);
7 frames total;
2 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 7 frames, then slows to an average of about 0.20s or 4.98 fps, but with a lot of cycle time variation.

Continuous H
RAW

0.22 second (4.50 frames per second);
10 frames total;
4 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 10 frames, then slows to an average of 0.55s or 1.83 fps.

Continuous H
RAW + L/F JPEG

0.22 second (4.55 frames per second);
7 frames total;
7 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 7 frames, then slows to an average of about 1.05s or 0.95 fps.

Super HS mode
4-megapixel JPEG

0.03 second (40.0 frames per second);
39 frames total;
7 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 39 frames.

Flash Recycling

3.1 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/sec UHS-I 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 good. We measured 0.51 second for large/fine JPEGs and 0.77 second for RAW+L/F JPEGs. (We no longer test single-shot mode with just RAW files, as the result is usually somewhere in between.)

Continuous High Speed "H" mode burst rate was fair for its class at 5.2 frames per second for best quality JPEGs, though that's a little short of Panasonic's 5.8 fps spec with AFS (we shoot our timing tests at ISO 200 so that could be why). When shooting RAW or RAW+JPEG files, the frame rate dropped to 4.5 and 4.6 fps respectively. Please note that Live View is not available during a burst in H mode.

The GF7 also has an all-electronic shutter mode which boosts the full-resolution frame rate to about 10 fps or up to 40 fps at 4 megapixels in Super High Speed mode. In the lab, the GF7 actually managed 11.1 frames per second for large/fine JPEGs using the electronic shutter, but for only 7 frames before slowing down. (Sorry, we did not test RAW or RAW+JPEG mode with the e-shutter.) In Super High Speed mode, the GF7 captured 39 4-megapixel JPEGs at precisely 40 fps, exactly meeting Panasonic's spec for frame rate and buffer size.

In Continuous High Speed "H" mode full-resolution buffer depths were generous for Large/Fine JPEGs at over 50 frames (likely only limited by the card), but when shooting RAW files buffer size dropped to 10 frames, or 7 frames when shooting RAW+JPEG.

Buffer clearing was very quick with a fast UHS-I card, ranging from one to seven seconds depending on the file type and mode.

Flash recycling after full-power discharge took an average of 3.1 seconds.


Bottom line, the Panasonic GF7's performance is good for an entry-level mirrorless camera. Startup and mode switching are reasonably fast, and autofocus speed is good. Burst performance is fair to very good depending on the mode. Buffer depths are excellent when shooting JPEGs in Continuous High Speed mode, though somewhat shallow with RAW files. Prefocused shutter lag was a bit slow compared to other cameras, though, but still very responsive.

Battery Life

Below average battery life for a mirrorless camera.

Operating Mode Battery Life
Still Capture, CIPA standard
(with H-FS12032 lens)
230 shots

The Panasonic GF7 uses a custom rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack for power, and comes with both a single battery and dedicated charger. The CIPA-rated 230 shots per charge when using the 12-32mm kit lens is well below average for a Compact System Camera (thanks to its small size), and much lower than a typical DSLR when using an optical viewfinder. We strongly recommend getting a second battery for your GF7 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))

 

Buy the Panasonic GF7



Enter this month to win:

1 $300 Adorama Gift Certificate

2 $200 Adorama Gift Certificate

3 $100 Adorama Gift Certificate