Panasonic have been holding their own in the mirrorless camera market for quite some time now thanks to their feature rich and high quality standards. The GF7K is no different. Being an entry-level camera in Panasonic’s range gives users a unique advantage over other brands on the market. Being one of the smallest compact system cameras around, it’s great as a little point and shoot snapper. The manual features are a bonus to this already great camera but we will go over them later.
We were sent the Panasonic GF7K with the kit 16-32mm lens, which is more than enough if you are just starting out in the world of photography. The lens is extremely thin in comparison to other manufacturers on the market. This has given the Panasonic GF7K room enough to manoeuvre with side of the actual body. However, this does mean a focus ring has been shaved off leaving it up to the rear buttons to manually focus, which some photographers may find distracting. I also felt this was a little inaccurate compared to other camera designs.
The camera body is also smaller compared to its older sibling, the GF6. It now weighs in at 341g. A whole 54g lighter than the GF6 which I thought was great, especially for a get around hand-bag style camera. A result of a smaller body is a smaller battery, now only lasting 230 shots. Not great in my opinion. The flash has been compensated by making use less power so the battery lasts longer.
Panasonic have also opted to use an electronic front curtain. Sitting behind that is a full mechanical shutter. What this means in a nutshell is high moving images where you would use a fast shutter feed could lack in quality due to the electronic front curtain taking over the mechanical shutter inside. This could be a problem for you sports photographers out there. During our tests however, this didn’t pose much of a problem as we primarily stuck to street photography instead.
The camera’s aesthetics are pretty fantastic. Looking like 35mm retro film camera, the Panasonic GF7K really does look the part. The black leather really helps when holding the camera in your hands. We never felt as if we were going to drop the thing. And pairing that with how light it is, was a dream to use around the streets. The screen on the back can tilt forward for those selfie shots of you and your friends, or your hair, or make-up, or, I’ll stop. It’s a feature that we’re seeing a lot more in the smaller mirrorless cameras and to be perfectly honest with you, why not? Selfies are popular; I say it’s a good feature.
Features are easily accessible using Panasonic’s control ring on top. Here you will find your priority modes as well as your video and iA mode which stands for Intelligent Auto. This mode is used for people who don’t want to muck about with their settings at all. The camera detects the scene and selects the best settings for the picture. It works well and creates some decent results.
You will also find some funky modes too like image filters such as cartoon, black and white and sepia. There is a slow motion video as well as time-lapse. My favourite was the stop motion animation setting which does exactly what it says. Want to star in your own Wallace and Gromit-esque show? Then use the Panasonic GF7K.
Overall the Panasonic GF7K is a great camera. Yes it comes with flaws which were written above, but these I can forgive as the images the camera produces are superb. Shooting video has always been Panasonic’s strong point and it has kept that standard in the new GF7K. For a small camera with manual controls for higher flexibility in your photography, choose this. It’s worth every penny.