We take the new LUMIX GX7 out for a test drive
Panasonic's new GX7 has a built-in, articulated electronic viewfinder, uses a new 16-megapixel sensor, and has Wi-Fi to talk directly with your smartphone or tablet. We'll have our full review up soon, but for now here are some sample images of the kind of photo the GX7 can produce.
This photo was snapped with the GX7 in its Intelligent Auto mode, using Panasonic's 35-100mm F2.8 telephoto lens, at the minimum zoom of 35mm.
This photo was taken under the same conditions, with the lens at its maximum zoom of 100mm.
Pictures at the GX7's minimum ISO level of 200, like this one, are very clear and crisp when magnified to 100 per cent, showing a good level of detail from the camera's sensor.
Under bright and difficult lighting conditions the Lumix GX7 does a relatively good job; it pulls good shadow detail out of the dark areas of the car's front door, although it does lose some detail in the especially bright highlight of the sun's reflection in the rear quarter panel.
There's smooth gradation of the blue sky in this photo, showing that the GX7's Fine JPG mode doesn't compress images too heavily. Similarly, good detail on the spindly branches of the tree is visible.
Even at higher ISO settings, the GX7 does a good job of retaining fine edges and image detail. This ISO 2000 photo of the GX7's kit lens -- a 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 -- suffers from only a small amount of grain and interpolated detail.
A similar photo, of the 35-100mm F2.8 lens -- using the 14-42mm lens from the last photo -- shows good high-ISO detail in the shadowy areas of the photo, with only a small amount of chrominance (colour) noise visible.
Dynamic range within a single photo frame is good -- the shadowed area of the tree's trunk is still visible despite the brightness of the sky in the background.
The GX7 has a high dynamic range mode that captures three photos and stitches them together to lower the overall contrast of a scene, and this photo does a good job of demonstrating the camera's ability to draw further detail from the sky and tree trunk. However, camera shake during the process means that the entire image is slightly blurred.
A more successful high dynamic range photo, taken in a dim laneway pointing the camera directly towards the sun, shows the versatility of the GX7's 16-megapixel sensor.
Like most new enthusiast cameras, the Panasonic Lumix GX7 has a swathe of 'art' filters that modify your photos as you take them. This Retro filter adds a warm colour cast and slightly lowers contrast for an old-timey look.
Miniature mode, as you'd expect, blurs foreground and background to make the scale of photos more impressive. This is a poor example -- these photos look best taken from a height, looking down on people or buildings.
The Silky Monochrome setting looks like it's straight out of the '30s, with some slight blur on soft edges and smooth monochrome shading.
Some 'art' filters, like the Impressive Art setting, are slightly less attractive, but might come in handy once in a while.
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