With the Lumix GX7, Panasonic has created a pretty spectacular-looking hybrid of all the mirrorless, interchangeable-lens camera technology the company has been developing over the last few years. We can't wait.
The GX7 is supposed to be a follow-up to the excellent GX1, which came out a few years ago, and Panasonic has changed a lot about the design and feel of the camera. The GX7 is larger and heavier, with a grip that's easier to hold. It's also being sold with a retro-style silver and black magnesium-alloy body, which we love. (Though there's an all-black model, too.)
Panasonic says it has completely redesigned the 16-megapixel, micro four thirds sensor so that it's 10 per cent more sensitive than the chip on the GX1. The GX7 features the company's latest Venus image processing engine, which will supposedly offer impressive in-camera noise reduction even when you're shooting at very high ISO. It's also using a new AF system which can zero in on a focal point all the way down to -4EV—that's really, really dark.
The GX7 features lots of little touches that the best mirrorless cameras in this class from Fujifilm, Samsung, and Sony have recently introduced, including customisable focus peaking, and a built-in electronic viewfinder. The former makes it easier to focus manually. The latter is a must for photographers who feel that you can't really shoot while staring at a display on the back of a camera.
For trickier situations where the EVF is impractical, the GX1 has an LCD that tilts 90-degrees. Unlike Samsung and Sony, Panasonic has opted for LCD rather than OLED tech in both the display and viewfinder, saying it's looking for colour accuracy rather than misleading over-saturation.
When we were briefed on the camera, we were told it would be available about a month after the announcement and bundled with a 14-42 kit lens. Price? Oh, the price. Body-only, it's £819, but with that 14-42mm lens, it'll be £899, and then there'll be a further bit of investment needed for the 20mm f/1.7 lens model, which will be £999.