In these days when pretty much any mobile phone is capable of taking half decent snapshots, carrying a separate camera with you when you go out suggests serious photographic intent. If you hanker after the days when a camera was a camera, photos were on film and you had to wait a week to get your holiday snaps back from Boots, then the latest from Panasonic might be up your street.
The LUMIX GX7 has a pleasingly retro look with a smooth satin black or silver finish that invokes ‘proper’ cameras of the past. Behind the looks though is a thoroughly modern 16 megapixel unit packed with technology to help you capture the perfect shot. Among the highlights are a low noise sensor for improved results in poor light conditions, high speed auto focus and a maximum 1/8000 shutter speed for capturing fast moving subjects, and the ability to set focus and exposure with just a single touch on the screen. Although it’s a mirrorless design rather than a DSLR you can exchange lenses, making this a more practical alternative to bulky professional cameras.
There’s a tiltable viewfinder as well as a 3-inch touch-control rear monitor screen, which also tilts to 90 degrees, so you have plenty of options when it comes to composing your shots. The GX7 has a silent shooting mode which cuts out camera and shutter noise so that you can grab photos without disturbing the subject, ideal for working with children and pets or for getting the perfect street shot.
For the serious photographer there are plenty of creative of options and a physical mode dial as well as the touchscreen for control. The camera has built-in filters that mimic traditional darkroom techniques such as emphasising a certain colour in a black and white image. If you prefer your pictures to move the LUMIX can record video at 1080p resolution and with MP4 stereo sound.
When it comes to transferring your pictures you’ll find that the GX7 has Near Field Communication so you can send images to a smartphone or tablet with a single touch. It’s also possible to use your smartphone as a remote control for extra shooting flexibility.
The GX7 is a very serious piece of kit and as a step up from a compact without going to a full-blown DSLR it will appeal to people who are serious about their photography. No pricing was available at the announcement but don’t expect the GX7 to be cheap, however, if you pre-order you will get a free leather case and extra battery worth £69.99.