As many of you know, our Panasonic Lumix GX7 finally arrived last week but constant rain and busy work schedules postponed my first real contact with this exciting new camera. Finally, yesterday, the bad weather took a break in Northern Italy and we seized the chance by spending our afternoon around the beautiful Lake Como. It was also the opportunity to show Heather’s brother Nick, who was visiting from Canada, one of the most beautiful areas of Lombardia.
I want to do more testing before coming to any conclusions, but as of right now, my feelings are very positive about this new camera. It has wonderful ergonomics and its comfortable protruding grip puts it a step above other cameras in its same category. The built-in viewfinder is clear and sharp. The various dials and buttons are thoughtfully-placed, and the menu and various functions are easy to navigate just like most Panasonic cameras.
Note: These photos were taken with the M.Zuiko 12mm f/2 and 45mm f/1.8.
Regarding image quality, the sensor is a new 16mp Micro Four Thirds sensor, an improvement over the sensor inside the GH3. We already compared ISO performance by putting the camera side-by-side with the Pen E-P5 and the GX7 shows an improvement in terms of high ISO, especially concerning colours and dynamic range. 800 ISO and 1600 ISO are very clean and almost noise-free, and the details preserved in both shadows and highlights are great. The examples below have been post-processed using Lightroom 5 from the RAW file. I reduced highlights and recovered some shadows. The results are very well-balanced and the colours are pleasant.
The new sensor also seems to have an improved dynamic range. As I walked through Como’s downtown, I spotted some very highly-contrasted scenes with the sun cutting through the small streets of the city. Some of the pictures came out slightly underexposed but I managed to recover a lot with the RAW files and adjust them as I wanted. Considering that it was around 3 pm when the light of the sun is very hard, the GX7 definitely shows a lot of potential in terms of dynamic range. Of course I will test this aspect more thoroughly later on.
The only aspect that doesn’t impress me so far is the reproduction of outdoor colours. When using either Auto WB or the sun preset, I find the pictures too cold. I had to increase the colour temperature on almost all the outdoor pictures in Lightroom. I mainly used the Scenery profile. Colours are definitely more accurate indoors.
The examples below are JPGs straight out of the camera. I like how the red and the greenish-yellow light projected onto the tabletop from the stained glass window (not in the frame) are rendered.
This was my first serious day with the camera and I didn’t want to waste too much time trying to find the ideal settings. Rather, I wanted to enjoy the day with Heather and her brother. I have plenty of time to familiarise myself with this camera which, if recent reviews are correct, has a lot of interesting settings and functions to discover.
In late afternoon, we left Lake Como and tried to reach the lake that is north of Como, another very beautiful place where you can catch a nice sunset. Sadly, we encountered unexpected traffic and arrived too late.
Lake Como and the surrounding area are wonderful places to visit but a word of advice: it is better to stay a couple of days if you can afford it. There are many lakes, breathtaking views and unique towns to visit, and we will definitely return! In the meantime, enjoy this Lumix GX7 gallery!
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