Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7

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The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 is a very significant model in several ways. It is the first Lumix G-Series Micro Four Thirds model to feature sensor-shift image stabilisation and the first of any system camera to have a built-in electronic viewfinder that also tilts. If that's not enough the LCD viewfinder has just under 2.8 million dots, almost double that of previous Lumix cameras, which adds up to a colour resolution of 1280x720 pixels, which is standard HD resolution. But there is more; the 16 megapixel LiveMOS sensor is an improved Panasonic device which is more sensitive than the Sony-sourced sensor used in the Panasonic Lumix DMVC-GH3 and on paper should deliver better dynamic range and noise. However, concerns over long exposure performance, probably due to charge leakage between photosites, means Bulb mode is limited to 120 seconds. On the GH3 and many other cameras you can normally leave the shutter open for a maximum of at least an hour.

But not all things shutter-wise are bad; the GX7 can now shoot as fast as 1/8000th second, following in the footsteps of the Olympus Pen E-P5 and the minimum ISO speed can be forced to ISO 125, making the use of fast lenses in bright conditions more flexible. One area that the GX7 can't match the Olympus OM-D E-M5 and Pen E-P5 in is mechanical shutter refinement and shooting speed. The GX7 is limited to 5fps compared to 9fps of the Olympus models, which are also noticeably more quiet and refined. On the other hand the GX7 has a silent sensor shutter mode that can shoot at up to 40 frames per second.

Nevertheless, the GX7 is significantly cheaper than a Pen E-P5 and Olympus VF-4 viewfinder combination.

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See the Four Thirds User GX7 hands-on preview which includes sample images to download.