Now I’m a million miles away from being a professional photographer, but since blogging its become crucial to up my ante on capturing the perfect snap. And there began my love affair with the Panasonic Lumix GX7.
I’m no camera geek and I certainly don’t sit here keeping up on the advancements of digital cameras, so this review will by no means be techy. What it will be is hopefully useful. Especially if you’re looking at adding a compact camera to your gadget collection.
My problems began when I was unable to just pop a bulky Canon DSLR into my handbag and head out for a blogging jaunt. I mean, I had to take everything out to house the beast – umbrella, water bottle, note book. The make up bag! Also being inconspicuous in a restaurant with Mr S’s DSLR is nigh on impossible. Especially when that intruding lens is nearly coated in the jus covering your perfect looking dinner. Like all bloggers I can’t have a camera too far away from me. And let’s be honest my iPhone is not going to cut it for those low lighting, action or macro close-up shots.
So here’s the lowdown on the Panasonic Lumix GX7
Small & Compact
Pros may sneer at the compact system cameras, but its the discreet and portable nature I love. Its light enough and small enough to carry anywhere. Say goodbye to the sore neck from slinging it around on holiday for the perfect holiday snap. And sayonara to the humongous bag, this baby can slip right into your clutch (depending on lens size of course).
At first sight you could be mistaken that this camera is a standard point-and-shoot, but it’s so much more. Like its big brother DSLR you can choose from a wide range of lenses for the Lumix GX7. It came with a 14-42mm zoom lens, versatile and great for your day-to-day shots. We also bought the 20mm fl.7 pancake lens, which is perfect for all your low lit, blurry background type shots. It does take some getting used to working with a fixed focal lens, but its worth it for those super bright sharp images. Plus it makes your camera even smaller (clutch bag goals!).
Tilt is the word
The 90 degree tilt-able Electronic Viewfinder (EVF), from horizontal to vertical is a great addition to the compact camera. It helps to frame your picture the traditional way focusing purely on the image.
The touch screen LCD can also be tilted downwards. Now you don’t have to go blind when you need those over-the-heads shots.
Easy to use
The camera and the software are very user friendly. The key features are well placed at the right side of the top plate – power/shutter button, video and shooting mode dial which rotates easily to switch between the different settings (it can also be done via the LCD touch screen). On the back of the body is the exposure correction, white balance and AF modes. I found operating the camera very intuitive.
If like me you sometimes get confused with all the photography lingo and rules the intelligent auto mode (iA) is your friend – big time! Let the camera take charge of all the settings, whilst you sit back and simply press the shutter button.
Not as intimidating as the DSLR, even the most camera ignorant passerby will be able to take a decent and focused picture for you. No more over or under exposed and completely blurry holiday snaps of you and the family.
Now this may excite some of you. Colour filters and retro effects are available too. What a timesaver! You can Instagram your pictures before they even hit Instagram. A few of the filters are a bit cheesy – mentioning no names (starburst filter) *cough…cough. Anyway who doesn’t like a bit of cheese now and again.
Clear Portrait – Camden Passage, Islington
Artistic Nightscape – Archway Bridge
Starburst – Bread Street Kitchen, The City
Warm Glowing Nightscape – Primrose Hill, Hampstead
Cool Nightscape – Primrose Hill. Hampstead
Cute Dessert – Bread Street Kitchen, The City
HD video quality
It’s not bad for budding amateur moviemakers either. The hi-def video is 1080p at 60 frames per second. You can adjust the shutter speed, aperture and mic level. And the same special effects that you apply to the stills can also be used on your blockbuster family movie.
Its got the look
Let’s be honest we all judge a book by its cover (its wrong, but we all do it). Well, you have nothing to worry about with this gem. It will forever leave you looking stylish whenever it stands by your side. I love the cool vintage retro look.
According to Mr S the Lumix is essentially a Leica without the branding and the mark up. Cue – swooning of camera buffs.
Another fantastic feature is the wifi connection. Being able to transfer photos on the go from camera to iPhone and share the images straight to social media accounts (in real time). Being an Instagram junkie this is a major plus for me. You’ll need to download the Panasonic Image app which is easy to use and works perfectly.
The app also allows you remote shutter access – Your very own remote control! No more pressing the timer switch and making that sprint back to the shot (when you end up with a picture of your backside instead of your face). The photo below was taken using the remote feature on the app.
So let’s get to the crunch. The Lumix GX7 is £349 (inc zoom lens). The extra pancake lens I bought was £269. Yes that’s expensive. And yes it’s nearly as much as the actual camera, but it has boosted my photography no end.
Panasonic are now pushing the new GX8, so you can now grab a real bargain with these cameras. Ok you won’t be sporting the latest model, but you’re still getting a lot of camera for your money.
The battery. This is where you pay a slight price for the compact nature of the camera. Battery life drains after 230 shots, not surprising as the battery is tiny. Carrying a spare (or two) is essential if you don’t want it dying on you when you’ve framed that perfect shot.
Come on. This is me. There is no ugly.
The Panasonic Lumix GX7 is an impressive piece of kit. Quality of photos is excellent, its super lightweight and it gives you an abundance of creative options. I’m pleased as punch with my new partner in crime and may we live happily ever after in the world of stills.