I did a lot of research, thinking and re-thinking when choosing my new camera, and I decided I should lay my thoughts in an article, as it might be useful for some of you as well. I first thought it will be one article, but then I realized I had a lot to say. 🙂 So I will split this in a mini-series of 3 posts about mirrorless camera(s), what I needed and what I eventually chose.
My choice – Panasonic DMC G7
In my previous posts of the mini-series, I wrote about my background and needs, and then about what are the options on the market and what I actually chose. The post today is going to focus on my new camera and what I have learnt about it so far – Panasonic DMC G7.
I bought it less than a month ago, but I had it with me in a mini-holiday, I did a little bit of filming and more photography and I can tell you my current opinion. But first, check out the specifications on the official Panasonic website. I will only mention most important of them below, but for full specs, please check the official website.
Specifications Panasonic DMC G7
- Type: Digital Single Lens Mirrorless camera
- Lens mount: Micro Four Thirds mount
- Camera effective pixels: 16.00 Megapixels
- Dust reduction system: Supersonic wave filter
- Video: 4k, Full HD
- Wi-Fi function
- Viewfinder: OLED Live View Finder (2,360k dots)
- Burst Shooting
- Built in Flash
- 4K Photo mode
- Time Lapse shoot
- Dimension: 124.9 x 86.2 x 77.4 mm / 4.92 x 3.39 x 3.05 inch (excluding protrusions)
- Weight: Approx. 410g / 0.90 lb (SD card, Battery, Body) ; Approx. 360g / 0.79 lb (Body only)/Approx. 520g / 1.15 lb (SD card, Battery, H-FS1442A lens included)
What convinced me to buy it
It was hard to give up to the “famous” brands, like Canon and Nikon, but having seen and read so many reviews and videos regarding this camera, I was convinced.
At first sight, it actually matches my most important criteria for choosing a new camera: portability and accesibility – flip screen (check my previous post on my criteria). After further research, I found out it matches all of my criteria:
- It’s light! Compared to my previous D-SLR, it’s much lighter and easier to hold. The finish is rubberized plastic and it has a nice touch. It needs to little space and it’s really easy to carry even in my smallest purses.
- Lovely flip screen – This was probably my most important request, along with the light-weight. So I was very happy to have found a camera that marks on both levels. The flip screen is flexible and seems pretty durable. It also has a touch screen, which was unavailable on my previous cameras.
- I have a wide range of lenses to choose from; any micro four thirds lens will fit on this camera. The range is quite wide and there are options for each photographer. I actually bought a lens even before I actually had the camera. I got mesmerised by the so called “pancake” lenses – these are prime lenses, known for their light weight and great quality. So I chose two of them: the Panasonic 14 mm f 2.4 and the Panasonic 20 mm f 1.7, in addition to my kit lens, the 14-40 mm one. I haven’t been using it too much, because my love for the pancakes (lenses and real ones) is over the moon. I love this duo, it’s perfect for my video & photography needs. It keeps the camera really light and compact, almost like a toy. But a very feisty one 🙂
- I am very pleased with the quality – I had my chance to test it in the last month and I have 40 gb of photos and mini-clips. I love the little combo with the pancake lenses and enjoy the way these two work together.
- I (sort of) didn’t go over the budget. I was saying in my previous post that I wanted to keep it in the range of 1k euros. I almost did, and I am very happy with the equipment I currently have: the body, the kit lens, and the two pancakes. I consider it a good investment for my blog, my passion for photography and a good start for me to explore more videography.
More features I love about my Panasonic DMC G7:
The Wi-Fi function, used with the smartphone application – it enables me to transfer photos from my camera to my phone in a matter of seconds; no internet needed;
Photo Burst mode, which triggers the camera to shoot 60 images from both before (yes, before — it actually begins to record when the camera registers a half-press of the shutter button) and after you press the button, helping you to capture the moment in case you aren’t quick enough.
The versatile tilt screen and high resolution viewfinder – coming from a flat simple screen to these 2 smart features, they make a huge difference.
Battery life – this was advertised as not the best one (approx. 350 pictures). Of course, the battery life depends on many factors, but I was very impressed when I used it in one day for 1050 pictures and 2 short clips (no flash used).
Retro cool look – I have to admit, I am a sucker for the aestethics. Besides my already long wishlist of what I expected from my future camera, I also wanted it to look good. I do like the D-SLR look, maybe because it gives you that professional look and I kind of wanted something that looks as good. I am very happy with the look of this little piece of jewelry.
It brought me back the joy of taking photographs. Probably the most important of them all, I am finally back to loving my camera and enjoying using it. I no longer look for my phone when I want to take a picture. It’s easy to carry, the photos are fantastic, it looks and feels good and I am always thinking about when I am going to use it next.
You may see below some samples made with my camera and pancake lenses. Click on one of the photos and you will be able to see them in a slideshow.
Useful links – here are a few resources I found and read in my research. They go deeper in the comparison with D-SLRs and provide even more details on how mirrorless cameras work, their advantages and drawbacks. You will also find a very useful review on the Panasonic DMC G7. I hope that along with my mini-series of articles will offer you a nice in depth overview and maybe help you decide. 🙂