May 18, 2015

The Panasonic GH4 Just Got an Inexpensive Baby Brother That Shoots 4K Internally

Panasonic Lumix G7
Panasonic announced today the Lumix G7, a more compact, stripped down version of the GH4 that offers 4K recording internally and costs less than $800.

Here's a quick introductory video:

And a more in-depth look at the G7 from B&H:

And finally, a sample of the G7 video quality that is quite good:

And here are some specs and photos of the new Lumix G7:

  • 16 MP Live MOS Sensor
  • Venus Engine 9 Image Processor
  • Micro Four Thirds System
  • 2.36m-Dot OLED Viewfinder
  • 3.0" 1.04m-Dot Free-Angle Touchscreen
  • 4K UHD Video Recording at 30/24 fps
  • Built-In Wi-Fi Connectivity
  • Up to 8 fps Shooting with AF & ISO 25600
  • DFD AF System, 4K Photo Modes

Panasonic Lumix G7

Panasonic Lumix G7

And here's what you can expect in terms of internal codecs and frame rates:

UltraHD
MP4
3840 x 2160p / 30 fps (100 Mbps)
3840 x 2160p / 24 fps (100 Mbps)
High Definition
MP4
1920 x 1080p / 60 fps (28 Mbps)
1920 x 1080p / 30 fps (20 Mbps)
High Definition
MP4
1280 x 720p / 30 fps (10 Mbps)
Standard Definition
MP4
640 x 480p / 30 fps (4 Mbps)
High Definition
AVCHD
1920 x 1080p / 60 fps (28 Mbps)
1920 x 1080p / 30 fps (24 Mbps)
1920 x 1080p / 24 fps (24 Mbps)
High Definition
AVCHD
1920 x 1080i / 60 fps (17 Mbps)

For many, this will be a perfect starter camera because it offers solid video and photo quality at well under half of the price of the GH4, although it's clearly missing some of the more advanced video features of its bigger brother. For others, it will be a no-brainer as a B-camera to the GH4. Either way, this is an interesting option from Panasonic at a reasonable price.

The Panasonic Lumix G7 is expected to begin shipping towards the end of June, and it will set you back $798 with a 14-42mm kit lens or $1098 with 14-140mm lens. No word yet on what it will cost for the body only.     

Your Comment

45 Comments

I may have just found the perfect b-cam for my GH4. I'm currently shooting a documentary about Austin-Travis County EMS with GH4, and have been looking for a good b-cam and this may be it!

May 18, 2015 at 4:02PM, Edited May 18, 4:02PM

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Exactly what I was thinking! Could be a fantastic wee B-cam and looks to be a great price too.

May 18, 2015 at 4:04PM

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Good b-cam to the GH4? MAYBE. We need to make sure that the G7 has the same picture profiles, including cine-D, the one you're probably using on the GH4. No word on picture profiles yet as far as I can tell.

Be aware that the G7 does NOT have the same sensor as the GH4, it has an inferior sensor from the GX/LX series, same one as the LX100. Someone really needs to do some side-by-side tests to compare G7 and GH4 images to see if the G7's are as good, and how well the colors match between the two cameras. This will really determine the feasibility of the G7 as a b-camera. No point spending money on a B-camera that is only going to give you headaches in post by requiring a lot of color grading to match the A-camera.

Also be aware that the G7 does not shoot cinema DCI 4K (4096x2160) so it would not be a good b-camera if you are shooting this resolution on the GH4.

Also, the G7 has no headphones jack, rendering it useless for professional audio.

Overall a great value for the money. But really, it's worth spending the extra grand for the GH4 in my opinion.

May 18, 2015 at 9:24PM

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>>>Also, the G7 has no headphones jack, rendering it useless for professional audio.

I wouldn't say it's useless, but you're going to have to add other audio gear ( like a JuicedLink Riggy box with headphone out, or a Tascam DR-60 preamp/recorder with headphone out ) to get decent audio with this camera.

May 19, 2015 at 10:10AM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30531

Probably the only thing there that might bother me would be with the colour profiles. I already have an audio recorder and I rarely shoot in DCI 4K. I'm thinking I could probably sell my Canon 60D and lens and buy this body-only.

Although I would obviously wait and see what sort of reviews it gets first!

May 19, 2015 at 11:59AM

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Color and lack of flat profiles is a big no-no here. The sample video is not very flattering either.

May 20, 2015 at 4:11AM

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Álex Montoya
Writer/Director
512

I understand the G7 and GH4 have to live next to each other... Just 1080p 50Mbps ( but you could ofcourse downsample the 4k ) and a headphone jack! That would ROCK my G6 :)

May 18, 2015 at 4:35PM, Edited May 18, 4:35PM

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Lester Kamstra
Documentary Filmmaker
175

This is the perfect 2015 starter camera.

May 18, 2015 at 6:07PM

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Edgar More
All
1293

couldnt agree more.

May 19, 2015 at 7:21AM

5
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Paul-Louis Pietz Pröve
director / dop / editor
475

I guess this would be great for drone work.

May 18, 2015 at 6:22PM, Edited May 18, 6:22PM

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Isaac Alonzo
Photographer / Cinematographer
303

Exactly... At 410 grams and its small footprint... I'll be using it on my F1 X8 frame.

May 21, 2015 at 9:11AM

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Tom Holton
UAS Specialist
317

Can someone already make a DSLR that is better than those released 2-3 years ago?

May 18, 2015 at 6:27PM, Edited May 18, 6:27PM

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Mich Fawgel
Master of Wisdom
354

I don't think there were any 4K DSLR cameras released 2-3 years ago, so I would not knock this new beastie until somebody has a chance to put it through it's paces.

Also, the electronics package has a huge effect on the recorded image, so even with an older sensor this camera has the latest Panasonic Venus Engine and might still produce a great looking image.

May 19, 2015 at 10:15AM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30531

As a g6 owner I'm a little disappointed that the only major new feature on the G7 is 4k recording. It has the same bit rates, codecs, and fps for 1080p mode as the G6...

May 18, 2015 at 7:04PM

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Never forget that compression gets more efficient over the years. With a faster processor it would be easily possibly to implement better settings at the Sam bitrate.

In my opinion bitrate should never be the only aspect you look at. Especially today.

May 19, 2015 at 6:57AM

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Paul-Louis Pietz Pröve
director / dop / editor
475

In other 2015 news Canon releases the 5DR smh......

May 18, 2015 at 8:01PM, Edited May 18, 8:01PM

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Walter Wallace
Spokesperson/Entrepreneur
1063

Panasonic starting to cripple their products. Great news!

May 18, 2015 at 8:29PM, Edited May 18, 8:29PM

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Mich Fawgel
Master of Wisdom
354

If only this camera had better specs. F you Panasonic for crippling my career. I thought 2015 was my year, but I guess I'll go on waiting for the perfect camera before I can become the artist I was destined to be.

May 18, 2015 at 9:05PM, Edited May 18, 9:08PM

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Derek Olson
Directomatographeditor
741

You can always take up drawing.......... ;^)

May 19, 2015 at 12:13AM

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Gene Nemetz
live streaming
1874

You can always take up drawing.......... ;^)

why did this double post?

May 19, 2015 at 12:13AM, Edited May 19, 12:14AM

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Gene Nemetz
live streaming
1874

Panasonic now has 6 different cameras that record 4K directly onto SD cards (GH4, LX100, FZ1000, X1000, DVX200, G7). Sony doesn't have any (FS7 and Z100 can record internally, but only onto expensive XQD cards). Canon has one (the useless XC10... the C300 Mark II can only record on overpriced CFast cards, and the 1DC is so laughably overpriced it's not even worth mentioning).

Seriously, what is taking Sony and Canon so long? Panasonic is leaving them in the dust. The A7S was a huge step in the right direction but was crippled by its failure to record 4K internally. An A7S Mark II and 5D Mark IV that shoot 4K video internally are LONG overdue. Come on, Canon and Sony. Get in the game already.

May 18, 2015 at 9:26PM

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Sony and Canon both want you to buy their high end products and whatever accessories they feel you should buy. Panasonic also has the high end product, but somehow, amazingly, has allowed their prosumer still camera division (think about that for a minute) to compete directly with their supercams.

Sony dragged their heels like this before. They told us the only way to record HD was with hyperexpensive HDCAM cameras onto giant reels of 1/2" super betacam tape screaming through the camera at uncompressed recording rates. Then JVC said, "Why don't we just encode to MPEG-2 TS -- the HD broadcast signal going to everyone's TV over the air -- and record an HOUR of HD onto super-cheap Mini-DV cassettes?"

This forced Sony and Canon to create their versions of HDV. I don't think they would have done so without JVC's pressure.

Personally, I applaud Panasonic for releasing the GH4 at such a reasonable price. It's amazingly good. We just finished a show -- shot completely in 4K -- that will be playing in NASA's IMAX theaters as an intro. I'm finding new ways to use the GH4 every day.

But remember, the G line -- the whole thing, including the GH4 -- doesn't really belong in this rarefied arena of performance filled with cameras like the C500, Red, Arri and Sony F55. It is an amateur camera that performs way above its design and has done so since hacked GH2's.

Canon had no idea what they were doing when they released the 5DMkII and blew us all away, just a few years ago.

It wasn't that long ago that good cameras were $30K, good lenses were $30K, tape was a serious cost element and the edit bay (three betacam machines, titler, switcher, DVE, scopes, sync generator, etc, etc, etc) would add up to $250K or more.

We are doing better quality work on our iPhones today (which can shoot 250fps 720p slo mo, with in-phone editing) and with these little DSLR's than we could have done with 16mm or SD video or even HD video just a little while ago.

We are at the very start of a new era. Enjoy the ride and have a bit of patience. It'll get there.

May 19, 2015 at 12:20AM, Edited May 19, 12:27AM

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Dan

What's the title of your 4K IMAX intro show? I will look for it.

May 19, 2015 at 12:25AM

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Gene Nemetz
live streaming
1874

It was originally done for the 2015 National Space Symposium. We are reformatting and tuning it a bit but it will be essentially like:

https://youtu.be/5w82UoDlRd8

May 19, 2015 at 12:34AM

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I predict the Canon 5D Mark IV is going to be outdated by the time it comes out

May 19, 2015 at 12:28AM

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Frogy
Director / Shooter / Cutter
316

Favourite line I read all day

May 19, 2015 at 7:01AM

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Paul-Louis Pietz Pröve
director / dop / editor
475

I'm sure for reasons of lowering the price this doesn't have a headphone jack, and has the 30 minute limit. But let's put this in perspective: does anyone remember how 4K for $4k from BlackMagic was stunning? Panasonic has blown that away long ago. Now if they would just go for 12 bit or 14 bit color, and 4:4:4, at stunningly low prices...............

(yes, this is a hint Panasonic. That brown hue in your color has made me go to Sony. And I didn't want to.)

May 19, 2015 at 12:10AM, Edited May 19, 12:10AM

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Gene Nemetz
live streaming
1874

has anybody already collected the advantages of the GH4?

-weathersealed
-1080p high bitrate

something else? this cant be all right?

May 19, 2015 at 7:23AM, Edited May 19, 7:23AM

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Paul-Louis Pietz Pröve
director / dop / editor
475

I just bought a GH4 2 weeks ago, assuming all major announcements would be made at NAB. Not sorry, but the timing is a little whacked.

- slow motion
- flip out screen quality?
- headphone jack

The $1k bundle has the 14-140 lens which is worth $500 alone, so there has to be more or "less" in a body thats only $500 by itself.

Its hard to be either impressed or slightly annoyed=)

May 19, 2015 at 8:36AM

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Josh.R
Motion Designer/Predator
927

We'll have to wait for the full spec list of the G7, but I strongly suspect there will be no Cine-D or V-log camera profiles, probably no 10-bit 4:2:2 HDMI out.

No 4K DCI recording.

The G7 also uses a much smaller batter, so I would expect 90 minutes of battery life compared to 3+ hours that the GH3 or GH4 has.

May 19, 2015 at 10:27AM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30531

Obviously the G7 won't interface with the YAGH (an accessory that gives you dual XLR inputs and 4K capable HD-SDI outputs), while the GH4 does. This gives the GH4 a major advantage for professional work. Also the fact that the G7 has no headphones jack, no DCI 4K, no V-Log (which was just added to the GH4 firmware).

May 19, 2015 at 11:03AM

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Obviously the G7 won't interface with the YAGH (an accessory that gives you dual XLR inputs and 4K capable HD-SDI outputs), while the GH4 does. This gives the GH4 a major advantage for professional work. Also the fact that the G7 has no headphones jack, no DCI 4K, no V-Log (which was just added to the GH4 firmware).

May 19, 2015 at 11:03AM, Edited May 19, 11:03AM

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I think this would be a perfect drone cam, for beginning filmmakers a perfect starter cam and for myself a perfect B-cam.

May 19, 2015 at 8:54AM

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Niels Fokkens
HKU Student, Company Owner, Filmmaker
101

Why would anyone buy this? The price gap between a gh4 and this is not that huge?

May 19, 2015 at 9:56AM

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Mich Fawgel
Master of Wisdom
354

it costs almost half of the gh4 & i find $900 to be quite a bit

edit: before you ask, the only kit lens that both cameras have in common is the 14-140mm. with the GH4 it goes for $2000 and on the G7 its $1100.

May 20, 2015 at 6:40AM, Edited May 20, 6:44AM

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Paul-Louis Pietz Pröve
director / dop / editor
475

You're talking 1/2 price here. Not really comparable, as Paul just illustrated. In the sub $1k prosumer market, this thing is a beast from a video standpoint and should be great for stills. Its competing with the some of the Rebel line, the Sony A6, the cheaper Nikons. Not shabby=)

May 20, 2015 at 8:51AM

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Josh.R
Motion Designer/Predator
927

Where the hell is 25fps?

May 21, 2015 at 6:30AM, Edited May 21, 6:30AM

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Ricardo Martins
Director / Film Editor
102

There are PAL and NTSC specific versions of the camera. If you purchase the camera from a store in a PAL region then you will have 25fps while in an NTSC region you will have 30fps. The camera cannot switch between the two.

May 21, 2015 at 1:26PM

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From what i can tell panasonic cameras apply lens correction to the raw image files to correct for distortions inherent to specific panasonic lenses. Does this correction get applied to 4k video footage before compression as well?

May 21, 2015 at 10:47AM

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What's the crop factor on this?

May 21, 2015 at 2:32PM, Edited May 21, 2:32PM

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Sebastian Louis Storakeren
Director of Photography/VFX Supervisor
81

2.3 for 4k and 2.0 for everything else

May 21, 2015 at 2:41PM

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Panasonic had a presentation of their camera lineup at the local camera store yesterday. I had a brief play with the G7, and ergonomically it's great, and it's certainly nice to hold - I really like the grip.

But more importantly, I bought up the release of V-log. the rep said that it probably isn't too far away, and Panasonic haven't decided whether or not it will be free or a paid upgrade. I certainly hope I don't have to pay for it .... Fuji has been adding new software features to their cameras at a great rate of knots, and I hope that Panasonic will too

May 21, 2015 at 3:14PM

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Dan Horne
387

A G7+Ninja2 vs. GH4 comparison:
https://vimeo.com/131990134

June 27, 2015 at 8:14PM

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So I own a GH4 and have been happy with it, but really needed a second camera for interviews so I grabbed a G7 for a great price, however I'm having a hell of a time getting the footage to match. The G7 is much warmer, even with identical settings.

Anybody have experience using both together and getting them to look as close to the same as possible before post-production?

August 11, 2016 at 3:43PM, Edited August 11, 3:43PM

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ian
81

Swapped my GH4 for the G7 recently and absolutely love it. I dont need the things that the GH4 hasvthat the G7 doesnt. Only thing will be battery life which I can live with. The G7 feels more premium than I expected and I like the extra and better laid out controls/wheels. Less than half the pruce of the used GH4 and better low light video too, so all in all delighted. ☺

September 2, 2016 at 2:45PM, Edited September 2, 2:45PM

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Uscenes
Relaxation Video Creator
152