New year, new camera! We've recently bought Panasonic Lumix GF7 camera. Needless to say, we absolutely love it (phew!). So we've decided to share our Lumix GF7 review.
Panasonic Lumix GF7 camera is super-small and light (less than 300 g), yet photos are of an excellent quality. It comes with a 12-32 mm kit lens. But we also bought a prime 25 mm F 1/1.4 Leica Summilux lens.
We are no pros by any means, but we love taking photos wherever we go. Photography is a great passion that we both share. Lately we got so lazy to carry around our Canon Rebel t3i, and three lenses (note to self: instead of buying a new gadget maybe we could have tried carrying less lenses!). The weight was just too much, and so was the space this equipment takes in our bag (like all the space!).
The first time that we've heard about mirror-less camera was from Laurence of Finding the Universe, in a travel blogging group we are all members of (check his blog, or follow him on Instagram for awesome photos around the world). Unfortunately, we've found out about this type of camera just after we had already purchased our Canon Rebel t3i (Canon 200D). We had just spent 500€ + and couldn't have justified another buy. However, we kept mirorless camera in our mind ever since.
Below we'll share some shots we did over the holidays in Croatia using Lumix GF7: from Istria to Dalmatia. And no, we aren't going to get all technical in explaining every shoot we took. We know how overwhelming it can get (truth: we'd actually love to do it that way, but we don't know that lingo).
Panasonic Lumix GF7 review: things we love
- Small & compact. This camera is so small, it feels like a toy. It fits in a pocket of my winter jacket. With a bigger lens (like 25 mm F 1/1.4 Leica Summilux lens) it looks almost ridiculous. But it works perfectly, and it takes awesome photos.
- Light-weighted. Body weights only 266 g, and with a 12-32 mm kit lens, the entire camera weights only 336 g. Yes, you've read it correctly – 336 g!
- Interchangeable lenses. Although this camera looks more like your regular point-and-shoot camera, it's much better than that. Just like any DSLR camera, Lumix GF7 gives you a wide range of lenses you can mount on camera body. We've got so far 12-32 mm kit lens, and 25 mm f 1.4 prime lens. We also plan on purchasing wide angle lens, and telephoto lens.
- Easy-to-operate. Panasonic camera and software are super user-friendly. The buttons are placed perfectly: on the right side of the top-plate you've got grouped together power / shutter button, intelligent auto mode, and shooting mode dial (with manual, aperture and shutter priority modes, fun filter modes, and preset scene modes as well as standard modes like landscape, portrait, macro, and sport). A top-plate also feature F1 button, assigned to WiFi function (we've changed this to ISO). In the back of the body, within easy reach are also white balance, exposure correction, and AF modes. Operating this camera is super-easy and intuitive. You'll get it in a second.
- Touch-screen that tilts upward. We like the fact that Lumix GF7 have a touch screen (something rarely found on entry-level DSLR cameras). The screen can also tilt upward which can be handy, especially for those who like to take selfies.
- 6 custom Fn buttons for quick access. We've already mention F1 button on the left side of the top-plate. There are additional 5 function buttons placed on the screen, and easily reachable via touch screen. You can set whatever function you want to have a quick access to.
- In-camera WiFi. Maybe this is something almost all cameras have these days, but our old Canon didn't have this function, and we find it excellent. We love to be able to transfer our photos on the go from camera to our iPhone, and upload it to Instagram (we love Instagram, and would love to connect with you). Panasonic photo app is easy-to-use, and works flawlessly.
- Fun selfie functions. We aren't into selfies, and always rather take photos of anything else but ourselves. However, if you like selfies, Lumix GF7 comes with fun modes to help you capture a great one. It has a face-recognition abilities, and as soon as you tilt up your screen, the camera start searching for the face. You can choose between face mode (where you simply need to wave your hand in front of your face for the camera to shoot), or buddy face (where camera looks for two faces before shooting), or touch screen mode (where you simply press anywhere on the screen for camera to snap). We tried selfie modes with our niece and nephew, and needless to say, they absolutely loved it. However we found also that it doesn't work as flawlessly as you'd expect.
- Jump mode. This one is fun … it basically allows you to take those awesome jump photos (that.everybody.seems.to.love.taking). You need to connect a camera with your phone (that you'll have on you as you jump). Camera recognize the move, and snaps a photo automatically as you jump.
- Cool vintage look. We really love the way Lumix GF7 looks. It comes in four colors: black, pink, silver, and brown. Our camera is brown. We've chosen this color for the simple reason: it was the cheapest at the time of buying. Regardless, we love the way it looks.
- Handy Intelligent Auto Button on the top-plate. We are just two people who love taking photos, and no pros (oh no, not even close). And while we shoot mostly in manual, and aperture priority mode (since reading Getting Out of Auto, a book written by a fellow travel blogger Beth from Bears & Beans) we still don't fully understand photography (we get exhausted by all that lingo and rules; big aperture small f stop, more light, less shutter speed … it would be easier to have small and big follow each other in a logical way, or it's just us?!). Anyways, when you want to take a photo of something, without worrying about camera settings that you probably messed up in a manual mode, you can easily and quickly switch to intelligent auto mode, and let your camera take care of all settings, just like with point-and-shoot camera.
- Price. This camera was cheap. Like really cheap for what you get. Like 300€ cheap. I know, there are cheaper cameras on market, but hardly any with this kind of performances and options.
What we don't like
- Battery life. Battery life on Lumix GF7 is, to put it mildly, laughable. As per specs, battery drains after just 230 shoots (don't even think for a second that can work for you enough). This is where its biggest advantage – camera's size – comes with a price. In a real world, this camera doesn't even fall in one-spare battery category. In all honesty, you'll need three to be completely at ease. However, we just have one spare battery, and so far we manage to make it work that way.
- No view finder. This is a big let down for people who like to compose their shots using viewfinder. Or if you are used to viewfinder on your DSLR. However some other Lumix models come with viewfinder, like GX7 (awesome camera, but way more expensive!).
- Screen doesn't tilt downwards for overhead shots. However, this isn't a big deal, since you can always point your camera upside down to get that overhead shot.
- No focus ring on kit lens. This means that you need to focus using a touch screen.
Panasonic Lumix GF7: Croatia in photos
Below you'll find a couple of images I've taken with my new camera. All photos are taken using Lumix GF7 camera, 12-32 mm lens, and 25 mm f 1.4 prime lens. I've post-processed these images using Photomatix Pro software (I can't help myself; I simply love lively images with intense colors).
Final verdict: this is a great little camera to take around. Quality of photos is excellent, it's super light-weighted, and it gives you a load of creative options. We just need to buy another two lenses (wide angel, and telephoto) and we are set to go.
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