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204 of 214 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compared to E-M5 (and E-M1)
Had an E-M5 for about a year which was terrific but a bit unwieldy both to handle and operate. I just dumped it for a GX7.

First I'd like to focus on a few very positive differences in particular that make the GX7 SO much easier and more practical to use in a variety of circumstances than I found the E-M5.
- First, the lack of a hump. I know people say...
Published 10 months ago by Mark

versus
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars fantastic pictures, wifi function doesn't work, panasonic customer service is terrible!
This is a terrific micro 4/3 camera, the pictures are breathe taking if you have the right lens on it. I got myself an olympus 45mm f1.8 for portraits and all I can say it is absolutely stunning. My advice to anyone buying this camera today would be buy only the body, the kit lens is mediocre at best. Then get yourself a proper prime lens. The controls on the camera are...
Published 8 months ago by UI


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204 of 214 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compared to E-M5 (and E-M1), November 8, 2013
Had an E-M5 for about a year which was terrific but a bit unwieldy both to handle and operate. I just dumped it for a GX7.

First I'd like to focus on a few very positive differences in particular that make the GX7 SO much easier and more practical to use in a variety of circumstances than I found the E-M5.
- First, the lack of a hump. I know people say they "don't care" - but really that doesn't make any sense. If you didn't care about the streamlined size, why would you buy a mirrorless camera? Anyway, it's more practical to stick this in a coat pocket than the E-M5, let alone the E-M1 whose hump makes it literally 1 inch (!) taller than the GX7. The GX7 is the most compact/streamlined body with a built-in viewfinder (EVF) in the m43rd's universe (Update: Now the Panasonic GM5).
- About the EVF. Many people have talked up how inferior it is to the Olympus VF-4 (which sits like a mountain atop the E-P5) or that on the E-M1 (which again adds a 1-inch hump). First off, I find it just as visually adequate as the E-M5 no major difference in my eyes (note that I don't wear glasses). But *functionally* it blows the E-M5 away. Why? Because of the autofocus selection mechanism. On the GX7 I position the autofocus point using the touch-screen *while* looking through the EVF. Ingenious (and a little EVF tilting, another great feature, plus using my right eye makes this practical). I can't tell you how many shots I missed on the E-M5 stupidly and painfully slowly trying to move the autofocus point around with the squishy cursor buttons while looking through the EVF. Ridiculous.
- The wifi smart phone control (absent on E-M5). I have been to so many places where I would have loved to have gotten a picture of myself or myself and my travel companions but just couldn't because blind timer pictures are just so difficult. With smartphone control I literally see the screen on my smart-phone, can select the autofocus point, all the shooting settings, etc. Really a game-changer.
- Autofocus mechanisms. The GX7's 1-area autofocus can be shrunk (*permantently* it remembers) to a very small area. Much smaller than on the E-M5. And at any rate, getting a smaller autofocus point on the E-M5 inexplicably required going into a separate "mode" where all of a sudden half the shooting settings become invisible and inoperable until you "set" the autofocus point. Again, I can't tell you how many shots with the E-M5 of eg animals I missed due to either the large autofocus point or having to waste time in the ridiculous autofocus-magnify mode. In addition, the GX7 has pinpoint autofocus which magnifies and is amazingly accurate - nothing like that on the E-M5.
- Manual focusing. When you manual focus the GX7 pops up a magnified picture-in-picture over an area of your choosing (and again it remembers once you set the location and magnification of the PIP). Combined with focus peaking (absent on the E-M5) this is now much faster and more accurate and therefore I use it more, which is the most important thing.
- Video! Video quality is outstanding on the GX7, while the compression codecs and quality on the E-M5 were basically not useful for anything fast-moving, way too many ugly artifacts.
- Silent shutter. Boy do you get some ugly looks at quiet concerts when your mechanical shutter fires off. This is incredibly useful, opens up a whole new range of venues to photography for me, and is completely absent on the E-M5. But note that it only works up to ISO 3200 and is not appropriate for fast-moving subjects.
- Built-in pop-up bounceable flash (the E-M5 has a large, cumbersome add-on flash that, in practice, I never brought with me. Carrying 4 lenses on a 15-mile hike is plenty to keep track of, thank you). No more dark faces outside in the sun. Plus bounceable means I normally don't have to shine it on people's faces indoors (which I dislike so much that I just go no-flash when that's the only option.
- Bright light goodies. ISO 125 (instead of E-M5's 200) and max shutter speed of 1/8000s (instead of E-M5's 1/4000s) let me shoot my PL 25mm f/1.4 at f/1.4 significantly more often than I could before. Less need for an ND filter (which I never carry around anyway) or stopping down when I don't want to.

Finally some neutral/negative comparisons.
- The image quality of the GX7 is essentially identical to all current M43rd's cameras, including the Olympus E-M1, E-P5, and E-M5. There is literally no noticeable difference, end of story.
- The GX7's in-body-stabilization (IBIS), the first on a Panasonic camera, is inferior to the Olympus high-end 5-axis. But many reviews have vastly overstated the useful advantage here. I get roughly 100% success at 1/10s using the 25mm f/1.4. That's just more than enough. Sure, I could go to 2/3s with the E-M5, but how often is that practical? Even leaves blowing in the wind get blurred at that speed!
- The GX7 is not weather-sealed, the E-M5 is. Yet zero of my 6 lenses are weather-sealed...so how is that useful? My E-PL5 is also not weather-sealed, and I've taken it to the jungle. I guess I'm careful.
- The GX7's battery life is not too impressive, the E-M5's was great.
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50 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another winner for Panasonic... along with the GH3, November 11, 2013
By 
Bach_To_Rock (Scottsdale, AZ) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Panasonic LUMIX GX7 16.0 MP DSLM Camera with LUMIX G VARIO 14-42mm II Lens and Tilt-Live Viewfinder (Silver) (Electronics)
It's been a nice journey with the M43 system owning in order... GF3, GX1, G5, GF5, GH3, GF6, G6. The attraction of a lightweight alternative to my Canon DSLR gear was very appealing, but the initial models fell short of expectations. The GH3 was the game changer for me... it combines exceptional ergonomics with outstanding still/video performance... with the release of the 12-35 & 35-100 zooms Panasonic gave us the tools to produce professional results. The subsequent G6 and GF6 were lackluster in my opinion... if only they had utilized the GH3's sensor!
OK... the GX7! Great camera overall and deserves at least 4 1/2 stars, but I can't give a 5 since some minor quibbles... after 2 weeks initial impressions listed as Pros and Cons.
PROS:
Sensor is on par with the best of M43, nice ergonomics with twin dials and excellent placement of all switches and dials, nice build and styling, excellent screen with great response... nice visibility in bright AZ sun, a grip that you can actually grip!, EVF works as specified... it is ELECTRONIC so it gains up in lower light which enhances minor imperfections, 1/8000 shutter speed allows improved DOF control in bright light, fast and accurate auto focus even in low light... face detection is an indispensable tool, very cool RED/GREEN/ORANGE/YELLOW filters added to MONOCHROME photo style, silent STEALTH mode, in-body stabilization automatically switches depending on the lens attached... favors in-lens, great video performance... get a GH3 if you need the best, Time-Lapse and Stop-Motion modes are very cool and easy to operate.
CONS:
Protruding viewfinder inhibits flexibility of storage in coat pocket, etc... frustrating, wish it had the tilt/swivel screen like the GH3, less than stellar battery life... definitely need a spare, automatic LVF switching is too sensitive... had to set to OFF and use the Fn4 button to switch.

The GH3 is still THE ONE in my book, but owning both is a luxury that will be enjoyable... the GX7 is top quality with many valuable new features... it allows for more discreet casual photography since it doesn't look "Professional".

Key settings that I prefer from default...

Rec:
Photo Style > Natural > Contrast 0 > Sharpness -3 > Saturation +1 > Noise Reduction -5
Burst Rate > M
i.Dynamic > HIGH
ISO Limit Set > 1600 (sometimes will bump to 3200)
ISO Increments > 1/3EV

Motion Picture:
Photo Style > Natural > Contrast 0 > Sharpness -3 > Saturation +1 > Noise Reduction -5
Rec Format > MP4
Rec Quality > 1920x1080, 60p 28mbs
Continuous AF > ON
i.Dynamic > HIGH

Custom:
AF/AE Lock > AF LOCK
MF Assist > FOCUS
AF+MF > ON
MF Guide > OFF
Peaking > ON
Constant Preview > OFF
Expo Meter > OFF
Dial Guide > OFF
Monitor Info Disp > OFF
Auto Review > OFF
Dial Set > EXPOSURE COMP
Eye Sensor > Sensitivity > LOW + LVF/Monitor Auto > LOW
Touch Settings > Touch Screen > ON + Touch Tab > OFF + Touch AF > AF + Touch Pad AF > OFF
Menu Guide > OFF
Shoot w/o Lens > ON

Setup:
Beep > Beep Volume > LOW + E-Shutter Vol > SILENT
Menu Resume > ON
Menu Information > OFF
Exposure Comp Reset > ON

Playback:
Delete Confirmation . "Yes" first
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293 of 323 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fastest Gun in the West (Panasonic's Best Still M4/3 to date), September 29, 2013
This review is from: Panasonic LUMIX GX7 16.0 MP DSLM Camera with LUMIX G VARIO 14-42mm II Lens and Tilt-Live Viewfinder (Silver) (Electronics)
First off I have owned tons of M4/3 cameras (G1, GF1, GH1, GH2, G3, E-M5). M4/3 are great cameras which are, in my opinion, the best choice for probably 95% of households looking for a large sensor camera. Now let me start off by saying, if you are a fine arts photographer looking to print big or a commercial photographer looking to impress customers and print big then look elsewhere because these are not the cameras for you. For just about everyone else who is looking for the best all around tool to capture their special moments then m4/3 is it.

I am going to digress quite a bit here to discuss the sensor "envy" issue I have seen so much on the web from both individuals and so called "professional" review sites. The discussion actually turned in to a master's thesis so I will be presenting the condensed version before the review. The detailed version will be at the end of the review for anyone interested. And if sensor envy is not an issue for you or don't want to read about relative merits of sensors then skip down to the asterisk box for the start of the review.

Is a FX sensor better than a m4/3? Is a m4/3 sensor better than a FX? The answer to both those questions is "It depends." Anyone who tries to give you a one size fits all answer either has no clue what they are talking about or are trying to sell you something. I will attempt to try and explain the relative merits of each so you can make an informed decision. I am really only going to discuss FX (AKA 35mm or mislabeled as full-frame. Whatever that even really means as there are medium format cameras and large format cameras with much larger imaging circles.) as what I say about it will apply to DX to a lessor extent.

The 4 major components of IQ are Resolution, Color Depth, Dynamic Range, and High ISO. The best FX and DX cameras DxOMark scores exceed the best m43 yet tested (GX7 and EM1 have not been tested). However, the m4/3 scores of 2012 are about equal to the 2006 35mm Canon 1Ds MkII. This was top-of-the-line pro-camera that cost $8000 and at 16.7mp was the first 35mm digital DSLR considered capable of shooting double-truck ads for national magazines. (A comment I want to make concerning High the ISO numbers. I am not sure how these are computed or relate to each other. I shot with the 1Ds MkII extensively and I can without a doubt say the files from the EM5 look better than the 1Ds Mk II at 6400 ISO. Also, you can go to DPReview and see 100% magnified files shot at various ISOs and various cameras. The files from the D800 look to me about 1 to 1.5 stops better than the EM5. That is the D800 files at 6400 look the same with regard to noise as EM5 shot at 3200.) The m43 or 2012 also easily outclasses the DX sensor Nikon D300 a $1600 prosumer camera from 2008. If all you care about is IQ and you need all that IQ, then by all means the D800 is even better than the best medium format except in color depth (used for portraits) so get the D800.

However, the IQ of sensors, long ago exceeded what we need for home use. So the fact of the matter is, most people don't need the IQ of the D800 and there are, to me, more relevant reasons why the D800 is not something most people would even like. The first is 36mp files. Shot in 14bit RAW, you are looking at around a 65MB image file. Roughly, 15 of those images make 1GB. Even the JPEGs are huge around 15MB each. That is a pain to store and a pain to process. What do most people do with their images? I would say the number one thing people do is is to put them on the web or their phones. The biggest monitors are around 2.5mp. To print a 300dpi 8x10 requires around 7mp. That means if you view the picture on a 2.5mp monitor you giving up 33.5mp. (This is not entirely accurate as the image is interpolated down and you do clean up noise when you do that.) And that is for a full screen image not the little happy snaps you text or put on facebook which are more likely to be around 1mp or less. Do you really think you need 36mp? If so, then m4/3 is not the right format for you. I mentioned earlier, that when you downsize an image it is interpolated down and this helps clean up the image. Well that applies to the m4/3 images as well. So even though the D800 is 1 to 1.5 stops better for noise, when you interpolate the images down, you are very unlikely to be able to see that on your screen or even on a print except at ISOs greater than 6400. So the FX sensor has better IQ than m4/3 but for most people it just doesn't matter because the m4/3 sensors are more than good enough for tasks most people use cameras for. As a fun test, I have posted 3 images from the GX7 under the customer images. One was shot at ISO200, one ISO6400 and one was shot at ISO25,600 (That is a whopping 7 stops of ISO difference. So if 1 or 2 stops really mattered you should see a huge difference in 7 stops.). See if you can tell which is which. I will say at full screen on my 27 inch monitor I can tell the difference between them. However, the 25,600 still looks really really good and is very usable for web images. The difference between ISO 200 and 6400 is not really noticeable. If they weren't side-by-side you wouldn't even be able to tell one was shot at 6400.

So what are the downsides of FX sensors. The first and most obvious is price. However, the other costs associated with the FX sensor are the lenses. The best lenses are very expensive. Also, the imaging circle of a FX is roughly 2x the size of the imaging circle of m4/3. That means, the lenses are going to be bigger and heavier and the difference is not trivial. A D800 with a 70-200mm f.28 is going to set you back about $5300 and around 6-7lbs. A GX7 with a 35-100mm f/2.8 will set you back about $2300 and around 3lbs. If you are traveling somewhere and carrying your camera all day, can you see how the smaller sensor might be better for you? Something to think about.

Next, the contrast autofocus use by m4/3 is on the sensor and it is exceedingly fast. What this means, is you have focusing points throughout your frame. The phase detect systems used on FX DSLRs only has points clustered around the middle; the corners are excluded. Also, the phase detect systems are separate from the sensor. Therefore, with FX you have back focusing and front focusing issues. The so called live view systems on the DSLRs are really the only accurate way to auto or manual focus and are terribly slow. That means the only way to quickly frame and focus a FX DSLR is through the viewfinder. Forget holding the camera over your head or down at your feet.

The next issue is with dust on the sensor. With all my DX and FX sensors DSLRs, dust has always been an issue (Talk about a way to ruin IQ). However, in almost 5 years shooting m4/3, I have never had one single problem with dust on the sensor. Another "benefit" of FX is the shallower Depth of Field that can be achieved for the same aperture. The reason I put that in quotes is that in a lot of cases the DOF on a FX is too shallow and you need to stop down the lens to f4 or f5.6 to get the DOF you are looking for. In these cases, a m4/3 is clearly superior as you can stay at f2 or f2.8 to get the same DOF. That means you can turn your ISO down 2 stops (From my perspective on the high ISO images I viewed on DPReview, a 100% EM5 image at 1600 looks better than a 100% D800 6400 image). Also, for flash or lighting for video filming, a 2 stop ISO difference means 4 times less light power is required for the m4/3 sensor. That means your flash batteries will last longer and your flash will recycle that much quicker.

Another drawback of the FX sensor is it is stuck in the archaic 2:3 ratio which is not as friendly for printing as a 4:3 ration is. To print a 4:5 ration 8x10 from a 2:3 ratio there is quite a bit of cropping to be done and often a picture won't fit.

Finally, the pixel densities on m4/3 are the highest of any large sensor camera. A DX sensor with the same pixel density as a 16mp m4/3 sensor would be roughly 32mp and a FX sensor would be 64mp. This is both good and bad for m4/3 cameras. Currently, there are no DX or FX sensors with pixel densities of the m4/3. So you are currently getting more reach on your m4/3 lenses than any other lenses. What this means is, given the same focal length, you are getting approximately 1.5x the data on a subject for the same area than an FX and 1.25 vs a DX sensor. This is not to be confused with crop factor which based on the sensor size is 2x compared to FX sensor and 1.5x compared to a DX sensor. This does come with a downside to the m4/3 in that it works your lenses harder (exposes optical flaws in the lenses) and you hit diffraction limits on IQ at around F8 vice F11.

Buy 35mm FX if:
- You need the best image quality available to print big. At 200 dpi (good enough for most people) you can print a 16mp image up to 23x17. If you need bigger than that, get a FX.
- You absolutely have to have the shallowest DOF available in a DSLR body. I've owned FX camera bodies and I will admit sometimes I do miss the razor shallow DOF images I was occasionally able to capture. With that, however, the DOF was so small I often missed the focus especially on wiggly subjects such as kids. Also, with 2 or more people, DOF at 1.4 was way too shallow so forget about it. With my 75mm 1.8, I don't miss FX as much as my pictures from that lens have a very similar feel as the FX pictures. I liked the D700 a lot but the fact of the matter is, I used my GH1 far more.
- You have to have the biggest sensor to feel good about yourself. (And, really, you will still need MF)

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Ok I am off my sensor soapbox and will now get back to the GX7. One of the big deals about the GX7 is it is the first and only ranger-finder style camera (note: it is not a range-finder camera). What this means is you shoot with your right eye one the EVF, the camera is not resting on your face. (It reminds me a lot of the X100 but only much faster and easier to use). The big benefit of this, however, is it leaves your left eye well clear of the camera and able to scan the scene for the right moment to shoot. I am left eye dominant and at first blush that would appear to be a drawback. However, having your dominant eye be the one scanning the scene is a major benefit in my opinion. This setup is one reason I like the rangefinder style cameras such as the GX7. This is the camera either Panasonic or Olympus should have built well before there even was and X100 or NEX 7. To me it felt instantly comfortable and fun to use like an old friend.

The single autofocus on this camera is blazing fast. It is the fastest single shot autofocus I have ever used. With the 25mm f/1.4 it is near instantaneous in good light. However, it is the low light performance which really blows me away. In a dark room at night with the only light bleeding in through an open door, the GX7 was as fast as many autofocus systems in bright light. Here is the amazing thing, there was no hunting or searching. It is very noticeably faster than any other autofocus system I have ever used in low-light by a wide margin! I have to say using the EM1 was disappointing as it hunted, searched, and took about 3-4 times as long. Not that the EM1 was bad it is about standard for what I have used. The GX7 is just plain faster. For night shooting, or low-light event photography I don't think you will find a better auto focus system out there for single shot. Tracking focus does not live up to single shot but I don't really use tracking focus. Another nice feature dealing with autofocus is you can have the camera start to focus when it senses your eye at the EVF. If you have this turned on in the menu, and you get used to it by making sure you are pointing at your subject as you raise the camera to your eye, the subject can be in focus when your eye reaches the EVF.

Wow what a nice camera. M4/3 have been a little hobbled in my opinion in the past with a crappy 1/160 flash sync and a lame 1/4000 fastest shutter speed. Well that is past with the GX7. It has a flash sync speed of 1/320 which is I believe faster than any DSLR which top out at 1/250. Not really fast enough to get really excited about but fast enough to be useful. The camera also has a built in little fill flash which is handy for daylight shooting. The 1/8000 max shutter speed is also welcome as I like to shoot wide open primes in bright light and don't like toting around ND filters. Additionally, this is Panasonic's first m4/3 camera with In-body Stabilization (IBIS). I don't feel it is a good as the one on the E-M5 but it does work with any lenses which don't have stabilization such as Leica, Nikon, Voigtlander, etc. Shooting the 75mm f/1.8 handheld at 1/10, I got around 50% non-blurry images. Which is pretty decent since the minimum I should be shooting that is 1/160. That is about a 4 stop advantage. Shooing with the EM1, however, all the images were good.

It is unfortunate that neither Panasonic nor Olympus are building bodies with 2 card slots in them. Two cards are really nice for paid events for redundancy incase one card dies on you. This camera also, has built in wifi and NFC. One reviewer mentioned it was exceedingly difficult to set up. My experience was completely different. I downloaded the app from Goggle Play store and then followed the instructions in the manual. I was up and running with both wifi and NFC in about 5 min. Now with that said, I don't think wifi is going to be that useful for me. If you need to remotely control a camera then it would be ok. I could see a portrait studio having the camera set up on a tripod and using the phone to trigger the camera. The reason I say this is ok is that the focus seemed really slow. Also, it can transfer photos to your phone to upload to the web, so if that is something you have been waiting for then this will be useful for you. For me, I doubt I will use it. As an aside, the EM1 was even easier to set up and includes an additional feature of geo-tagging you photos with your phones GPS coordinates. This is something I might actually use.

M4/3 cameras are so small and light that I use them with a wrist strap instead of a neck strap. It is kind of a shame that neither Panasonic nor Olympus have figured this out yet either. I saw one reviewer commenting on how you need two hands to shoo this camera. I don't think that is true. While the grip is not as steady as the EM1, I can shoot the 75 f/1.8 comfortably one handed all day. With, the wrist grip on you don't worry about it. Just keep it in your hand.

The build quality of this camera is top notch. Panasonic's best so far. It has a quality fell and weight to it and is a real pleasure to hold. The grip is nice enough but I prefer a bigger grip when using the bigger lenses such as the 100-300. The EM1 grip is a lot better in my opinion. The switches all feel really nice. As far as handling goes, I feel Panasonic's handling is far superior to DSLRs. To me DSLRs are like dinosaurs compared to the Panasonic's. I always liked the push to click adjustment wheel on previous Panasonic so I am sad to now see a 2 wheel system. With the one wheel, I always knew what I needed to do and could make it happen with out looking. Changing exposure value was so easy. With 2, I always forget which one does shutter and which one does aperture. Panasonic always got bashed, by so called people in the know, for only having 1 wheel so now we get 2. Too bad in my opinion as the new system is far inferior to the G1, GH1, GF1, GH2, G3, etc. The setup used to be everything was viewed at once in terms of exposure data (Shutter speed, aperture, and EV). Now when you press on the wheel, shutter speed and aperture go away and all you have is EV. Boo to Panasonic for listening to so called experts who don't recognize an improvement when they see one because it is different. The quick menu system works great and the touchscreen is useful. Panasonic used to have the best handling going but I am now going to have to say the Olympus EM1 handles better than the GX7.

One thing I have found is if you are using the back screen and you are holding the camera on the left, it is easy to trip the eye sensor and have the back screen shut off. The solution for this is either to make sure to flip the EVF up when using the back screen or adjust the sensitivity down to low in the menus.

Speaking of EVF, this 2.4 million dot EVF is beautiful. Many pros sites say they prefer the view from a large FX prism. In most cases I actually prefer EVF. For one thing it covers the full frame. For another it actually magnifies the picture better. But for me the big thing is it is somewhat What You See Is What You Get. That means if you set a manual WB and then forgot to change it when you changed settings, you will see that in the EVF as the picture will look either to yellow or blue. I use it as a very fast method of setting exposure. Move the light sources around in the frame until you see the exposure you want and then lock it in. Recompose and shoot. This is an exceedingly fast way to play with your exposure. Tired of taking pictures with people too dark because of a bright background. You will see that in the EVF. If you want a Silhouette then you can see that before you shoot. This is actually less likely to happen with the GX7 because the facial recognition and facial exposure works exceedingly well.

I do need to mention an occurrence I just had happen on AWB with the GX7. I was shooting low light sunlight through a gold curtain which makes the light orange. In the EVF the image looked great, however, the JPEGs were way too orange. I reset the WB to incandescent and the images looked fine. The EM1 images looked great even in the strange light. Also, I remember seeing some test images that looked too yellow on a review web site. No one has reported any AWB issues with this camera, but I would make sure to check your photos in weird light. You might need to use a manual WB. This is an issue that Panasonic can and should be able to fix with a firmware update.

All in all this is a fantastic little camera, that handles beautifully, takes great pictures, and is, in my opinion, the best all around camera for most people. Since the E-M1 is about to come out I will comment about that also. In most cases, this camera being $500 cheaper is the better way to go. IQ is the same, features that are important to most people are the same and you save a ton of cash. There are a few situations where the E-M1 might be better for you than the GX7. 1) If you have 4/3 lenses, the E-M1 is a no brainer. If you don't know what I am talking about you don't have any. 2) If you need the extra battery life of the grip or you take tons of portrait orientation pictures, the E-M1 is the way to go. If you want the best IBIS in any camera system, that will be in the EM1 (I nailed 100% 75mm shots at 1/10 of a second. I've seen talk of being able to shoot at 1sec hand held. I will update when I test that). If you want the most weather sealed m4/3 camera that will also be the EM1.

Pros:
Very Fast Auto Focus (Best low light I have every shot.)
Range-finder Style Camera
Build Quality
Image Quality
IBIS
Small
Handling
Len System

Cons:
AWB needs a Firmware Fix. In some rare instances it gets confused and is too orange.
Only one SD slot
More expensive than NEX6 and cheaper DSLRs

Below is a buying guide recommendation.

Panasonic GX7 - Panasonic's best still camera to date - Great construction, 1/320 flash sync, 1/8000 shutter speed, blazing fast focus, WIFI, IBS, focus peeking, great handling, etc. This camera does cost $150 more than the NEX-6, which is similarly specked (Sony must be giving them away). However, m4/3 lenses are always going to be quite a bit smaller and lighter than NEX lenses. Additionally, the m4/3 lens system is the most complete outside of legacy 35mm systems from Nikon and Canon.

Panasonic G6 - Great little camera for a nice price ($740 with lens). IQ not quite as good as the GX7, build quality not as good as GX7, and has slower flash sync and shutter speed. It has a tilt and swivel screen which in my opinion is actually nicer than the tilt only screen on the GX7, EM5, and EM1. If you want to get into the system, this is a good way to start. Save money on the camera and spend it on a nice lens.

Panasonic G5 - Right now if you look for the clearance sales you can get them for $300-400. Not as good as any of the other cameras here but still a great camera which takes nice pictures.

Olympus E-M1 - Looks to be an absolutely brilliant camera. If you have 4/3 lenses (not to be confused with m4/3) this camera is a no brainer as it is a huge upgrade over the E-5. The camera has the best in-body stabilization (IBIS) of any camera period. Also, for event photographers, the additional battery grip is a must for better battery life. However, at $1400 if you don't have legacy 4/3 lenses and have no plans to get any, and you don't need the battery grip, then the GX-7 is $500 cheaper and almost as good. (Although, the GX7 doesn't have as good IBIS).

Olympus E-M5 - this camera has now been outclassed by the GX-7 and costs the same. So while this is still a brilliant camera, the GX-7 is better for the same money.

Olympus E-P5 - Has no built in view finder which for me is an absolute no go. If you add the external viewfinder, you have now paid $1500 which is more than the EM-1. And add on accessories always get lost. (I can never find my E-M5 flash) So this camera is way overpriced (as all of the EP cameras have been) and I don't recommend it. Get either the GX-7 or EM-1

NEX-6 - Really nice camera - Focus is not as fast a m4/3. Sensor is bigger so for higher ISO and large sizes, it will have better IQ. Price is great. However, this camera does not handle as well as the Panasonic. While the camera is small, the lenses are not so this system is not as small and light as the m4/3. The lens system is nowhere near complete as the m4/3 system. If price is your only consideration, then the NEX-6 is probably the way to go. If size and weight are the primary consideration, the GX-7 is the way to go.

Any DSLR - Bigger and heaver - DSLRs are dinosaurs when compared to mirrorless cameras. I really hate going back from shooting my E-M5 and shooting my Nikons. They are big, the focus system is obsolete (not phase focus, but the focus points and how they are arranged). Their, live view is terrible, most of the viewfinders are smaller then the newest EVFs, and are lacking some of the features of the mirrorless. Tons of people buy Nikon and Canon because that is what is around, however, my opinion is the vast majority of families would be much better served by a m4/3 system. If you know why some of the DSLR features are better than m4/3 then a DSLR may be for you. However, if you are looking to step up from your phone and get a camera to take pictures of your family and daily life, then m4/3 is the system for you. If you really need, shallow DOF, then full-frame may be the way to go. As far as event photographers go, we often shoot at f/4 or f.5/6 to get the DOF we need. With m4/3, you can shoot f/2 or f/2.8 to get the same DOF so you can shoot 2 stops lower ISO. The DSLRs have 2 card slots which is very nice, however, with WIFI, you can shoot with your GX7 or E-M1 and upload to your phone while taking pictures. DSLRs also have a better battery life.

*********************************************************************************
*
* Start thesis on Sensor Size
*
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Is a FX sensor better than a m4/3? Is a m4/3 sensor better than a FX? The answer to both those questions is "It depends." Anyone who tries to give you a one size fits all answer either has no clue what they are talking about or are trying to sell you something. I will attempt to try and explain the relative merits of each so you can make an informed decision. I am really only going to discuss FX (AKA 35mm or mislabeled as full-frame. Whatever that even really means as there are medium format cameras and large format cameras with much larger imaging circles.) as what I say about it will apply to DX to a lessor extent.

The 4 major components of IQ are Resolution, Color Depth, Dynamic Range, and High ISO. You can if you want go to DXOMark and look at all the sensor data. I will give you numbers for the best of breed of each size. D800 36mp, 25.3 bit color depth, 14.4 Stop Dynamic Range and 2853 ISO. For D7100 it is 24mp, 24.2, 13.7 and 1256. For EP5, 16mp, 22.8, 12.4, 895. Higher is "better" and so by numbers the IQ of the FX D800 is best. (I am using the EP5 because there is not DxOMark Score for the GX7. Before, we move on to some other items concerning sensor, let me show you the numbers for the 2006 35mm Canon 1Ds MkII. Before I show them to you, you need to know this was a pro-camera that cost $8000 when it came out and at 16.7mp was the first 35mm digital considered capable of shooting double-truck ads for national magazines. Here are the numbers for this camera 16mp, 23.3, 11.3, 1480. So, based on objective numbers, the m43 sensor of today is about equivalent of the camera used for pro work in 2006 to 2008. It actually has a better dynamic range than the 35mm camera does. (A comment I want to make concerning the ISO numbers. I am not sure how these are computed or relate to each other. I shot with the 1Ds MkII extensively and I can without a doubt say the files from the EM5 look better than the 1Ds Mk II at 6400 ISO. Also, you can go to DPReview and see 100% magnified files shot at various ISOs and various cameras. The files from the D800 look to me about 1 to 1.5 stops better than the EM5. That is the D800 files at 6400 look the same with regard to noise as EM5 shot at 3200.) Just for info purposes here are some of numbers from some other older cameras I shot with. Canon 30D 10mp, 21.5, 10.8, 736 and Nikon D300, 12mp, 22.1, 12, 679. As you can see the EP5 outclasses both of those cameras based on the numbers and yet I got really nice pictures with both those cameras. (Going back to that ISO number again, I shot extensively with both of those cameras and their files at ISO 800 were about the same as the EM5 at 6400. The EM5 is about 3 stops better yet the DxOMark ISO values are about the same. Also, the EM5 6400 JPEGs are sharp and clean. Very nice.) If all you care about is IQ and you need all that IQ, then by all means the D800 is even better than the best medium format except in color depth used for portraits so get the D800.

However, as I showed you with the 1Ds MkII, the IQ of sensors, long ago exceeded what we need for home use. So the fact of the matter is, most people don't need the IQ of the D800 and there are, to me, more relevant reasons why the D800 is not something most people would even like. The first is 36mp files. Shot in 14bit RAW, you are looking at around a 65MB image file. Roughly, 15 of those images make 1GB. Even the JPEGs are huge around 15MB each. That is a pain to store and a pain to process. What do most people do with their images? I would say the number 1 thing people do is is to put them on the web or their phones. The biggest monitors are around 2.5mp. To print a 300dpi 8x10 requires around 7mp. Requires. That means if you view the picture on a 2.5mp monitor you giving up 33.5mp. (This is not entirely accurate as the image is interpolated down and you do clean up noise when you do that.) That is for a full screen image not the little happy snaps you text or put on facebook which are more likely to be around 1mp or less. Do you really think you need 36mp? If so, then m4/3 is not the right format for me. I personally, like the 10-12mp range (and wish they would make a 12mp m43) but 16mp is more than enough for me. I mentioned earlier, that when you downsize an image it is interpolated down and this helps clean up the image. Well that applies to the m4/3 images as well. So even though the D800 is 1 to 1.5 stops better for noise, when you interpolate the images down, you are very unlikely to be able to see that on your screen or even on a print except at ISOs greater than 6400 or maybe 3200. So I think we have established the FX sensor has better IQ than m4/3 but I hope I have established for most people it just doesn't matter because the m4/3 sensors are more than good enough for tasks most people use cameras for.

As a fun test, I have posted 3 images from the GX7 under the customer images. One was shot at ISO200, one ISO6400 and one was shot at ISO25,600. See if you can tell which is which. I will say at full screen on my 27 inch monitor I can tell the difference between them. However, the 25,600 still looks really really good and is very usable for web images. The difference between ISO 200 and 6400 is not really noticeable. If they weren't side-by-side you wouldn't even be able to tell on was shot at 6400.

So what are the downsides of FX sensors. The first and most obvious is price, although with Nikon's D600 fiasco, you can get a FX sensor for around $1500. However, the other costs associated with the FX sensor are the lenses. The best lenses are very expensive. Also, the imaging circle of a FX is roughly 2x the size of the imaging circle of m4/3. That means, the lenses are going to be bigger and heavier and the difference is not trivial. A D800 with a 70-200mm f.28 is going to set you back about $5300 and around 6-7lbs. A GX7 with a 35-100mm f/2.8 will set you back about $2300 and around 3lbs. I can and have carried 4 m4/3 bodies with 2 fast zooms and 2 fast primes in the same bag I can only carry 2 DSLR bodies and lenses. I also carried several extra lenses in that bag. The weight of that bag, bodies, lenses, and iPad was 10lbs. Two FX bodies and fast zooms alone are going to weigh more than that. If you really feel like you want to lug all that around, then by all means get the FX. All that weight also means you will be carrying around a heavier tripod if you use one. Do you think if maybe you had to hike your camera in somewhere that maybe the smaller sensor might be better? If you are traveling somewhere and carrying your camera all day, can you see how the smaller sensor would be better? Something to think about.

Next, the contrast autofocus use by m4/3 is on the sensor and it is exceedingly fast. What this means, is you have focusing points throughout your frame. The phase detect systems used on FX DSLRs only has points clustered around the middle. The corners are excluded. Also, the phase detect systems are separate from the sensor. Therefore, with FX you have back focusing and front focusing issues. The so called live view systems on the DSLRs are really the only accurate way to auto or manual focus and is terribly slow (What you see thought the prism is not what the sensor is seeing it is what the autofocus is seeing.) That means the only way to quickly frame and focus a FX DSLR is through the viewfinder. Forget holding the camera over your head or down at your feet.

The next issue is with dust on the sensor. With all my DX and FX sensors DSLRs, dust has always been an issue (Talk about a way to ruin image quality). It was so bad on the D600 they have had to significantly drop the price on that camera. In almost 5 years shooting m4/3, I have never had 1 single problem with dust on the sensor.

Another "benefit" of FX is the shallower Depth of Field that can be achieved for the same aperture. The reason I put that in quotes is that in a lot of cases the DOF on a FX is too shallow and you need to stop down the lens to f4 or f5.6 to get the DOF you are looking for. In these cases, a m4/3 is clearly superior as you can stay at f2 or f2.8 to get the same DOF. This means you are collecting 4 times the light and, therefore, you can turn your ISO down 2 stops (According to the images on DPReview, a 100% EM5 image at 1600 looks better than a D800 6400 image). Also, for flash or lighting for video filming, a 2 stop ISO difference means 4 times less light power is required for the m4/3 senso
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57 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the one!, September 30, 2013
By 
This review is from: Panasonic LUMIX GX7 16.0 MP DSLM Camera with LUMIX G VARIO 14-42mm II Lens and Tilt-Live Viewfinder (Silver) (Electronics)
I love this camera. I even love the fact that Panasonic didn't choose to make it retro like Olympus or Fujifilm. It is what it is and doesn't try to be anything else. Since Panasonic first came out with a micro 4/3 camera in 2008 I've been waiting for this camera. It fits my wants perfectly. It's not the best in any category but it's almost there in almost every one. The Sony NEX offers better dynamic range and Fujifilm X-trans models offers better low light performance. The GH3 offers better video with jacks for microphone and headset. The Olympus EM-1 offers weather proofing and better in camera stabilization. None of them give me the exact package that the GX7 does when it comes to external controls, portability and ergonomics. That's not to say that other cameras wouldn't fit you better. There are some excellent choices out there.

Plusses:
*In body image stabilization.
*Super fast focus.
*Wi-Fi (It has NFC for supposedly easy connection. My iPhone won't do that so I can't comment on ease)
*Will focus in very dark conditions. (not quite as quickly but very accurately)
*Good video quality (try the black and white setting at 24 FPS for an old time movie look!)
*Lots of external controls.
*Very good image quality, as good as the EM-5 or GH3.
*Built in EVF and a good one that tilts up.
*Tilting LCD screen.
*Excellent build.
*Excellent hand grip.
*Flash shoe.
*3 User programmable settings on mode dial.
****It just feels good in the hands!!

Minuses:
*Stabilization doesn't work in video mode (unless you have a stabilized lens).
*The strap rings are too low on the side and get in the way of hands, especially the left one.
*No auto ISO in manual mode. (Fuji has it. Sony doesn't.)
*No microphone jack for use in video, though the stereo built in mics are pretty good for casual vids.
*No weatherproofing, though no other rangefinder competitor has it either.
*All the programmable buttons may overwhelm the less experienced.
*Not good for sports shooting, though I don't know anyone who has used a rangefinder style camera for sports anyway.

I listed a number of minuses but don't consider any of them a big deal. Your mileage may vary. Bottom line, this is the camera I've been waiting for and I'm not disappointed in any way.

P.S. A more personal take.
The camera's grip is shaped such that I hold my right elbow closer to my chest than with the squarish grip on my NEX camera, which tends to push my elbow out and up. With a camera this light that's probably not a big deal but may make for a more stable shot.

I'm not particularly impressed with the stabilization. It's a step in the right direction and does help but it is nowhere near as nice as Olympus OM-D, which I've rented. Since I haven't shot it for about 4 years all I can do is guess, but I'd say it's about as effective as a Pentax K20D, which is 3 generations old. It's better than nothing and helps when using an old model Panasonic 20mm. I'm glad to have it. I wouldn't count on it for handholding a long lens. Since I don't have one, again, that's a guess.

The buttons have a nice positive feel and are sufficiently far apart that I can hit the right one without worrying about it. I've been playing with the buttons while watching videos, which is how I normally learn a camera. Since I've only had this for 4 days I don't have the layout worked into muscle memory.

It's the same with the menu system. I have a Nikon D600 and a Sony NEX 6. I'm going to sell the NEX as it does much the same thing as I intend for the GX7. The menus make more sense than Sony's which can require multiple dips into them to change some things like using extended dynamic range. Also, compared to the NEX, I'd say that the Panasonic has better jpegs and a better metering system. That said, there are a lot of potential ways to program the many function buttons and I'm going to be a while getting the camera set up just the way I want.

I also like the GX7s ability to use a phone as a Wi-Fi remote. Sony does that too but requires the purchase of separate apps for different functions. The Sony is also slower when using the phone as a remote. It takes longer to focus and has a shutter lag. I haven't noticed that with the GX7.

I like shooting a small camera with primes and Sony has a lack of focal length equivalents lower than 50mm. There are some Zeiss ones that are good but they are bulky and expensive. The M43 choices are much more extensive and the lenses are much smaller and less costly, so the total package is smaller and lighter and less expensive. I've been shooting mostly with the Panny 20mm, which seems made for this camera. Next up is the Olympus 12mm, but that's expensive and I'll have to save for it.

What more can I say? This camera is fun to shoot. It just feels right in my hands. That's such a subjective point and may be totally different for others. Everything is fast. It turns on fast, focuses fast, allows me to shoot a number of shots in quick succession and doesn't bog down. I don't use the burst mode. I wish the GX7 had a true 100 ISO mode as I sometimes to take longer exposures in daylight. I'll just need a stronger ND filter to to so than I have.

I've printed a couple of photos from the GX7 at 13X19. That's as big as my printer will go. I can't tell any difference at that size between the GX7 and the NEX 6 at ISO 200 or 800. I do prefer the 4x3 format rather than the 3x2 of an APS sensor. It's closer in shape to the 11x14 inch or 16x20 inch frames that are easy to pick up at Michael's or Target.

One thing I didn't mention in the review is how the camera is totally silent when using the electronic shutter. Turn that off and the camera turns off all other sounds. I think of it as stealth mode. Us that with the touch shutter on the view screen and it's possible to take photos and nobody has a clue. I do mostly street or documentary shooting and I love that ability. Even when people know you're photographing them a shutter can be distracting.
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46 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sorry, naysayers, but this is the BEST camera for me, October 10, 2013
By 
Richard French "Catklaws" (Jacksonville, Florida USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Panasonic LUMIX GX7 16.0 MP DSLM Camera with LUMIX G VARIO 14-42mm II Lens and Tilt-Live Viewfinder (Silver) (Electronics)
Got this camera because my pro Nikon gear just got too heavy for old hands to hold steady. Extremely glad I did. My exhilaration and joy of just taking good photos all day has returned! I love shooting with this camera!

I love the menus, the manual on the CD is excellent, the lens selection far exceeds other lines - and the weight and price is a fraction of the big boys. I got the Panasonic 2.8 twins; 12-35 mm (24-70mm equivalent) and the 35-100 (70-200 mm equivalent). They are tack sharp at 10X. It all fits comfortably into a small Thinktank Urban Disguise camera bag and I can carry it all day! I had so much in my budget left over that I was able to purchase a 100-300 mm (200 to 600mm equivalent) lens and that is a ball! Can't wipe the smile off my face with a brillo pad!

I spend some time thinking through dropping from a full frame sensor to a micro 4/3rds. In the end, I realized that the images I produce don't have to be that big and the 16mb on the Lumix GX7 is exceptional enough for me. Although I have been a full-frame Nikon shooter for decades, I think it has now become my ego camera. I rarely use it any more. I get better pictures with less fuss and more speed with the Lumix.

Getting this camera is one of my better decisions.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compared to GX1..., October 6, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Panasonic LUMIX GX7 16.0 MP DSLM Camera with LUMIX G VARIO 14-42mm II Lens and Tilt-Live Viewfinder (Silver) (Electronics)
There has been much said about the GX7.
I'll just add a few toughs that have not been shared (as far as I can tell) by other reviews.
This purely from a consumer perspective, without going in detail on regards to ISO pixel peeping etc.

First... the LVF or EVF, however you want to call it, compared to the GX1.
It's smaller, wide screen, and has a tunnel effect when looking trough it.
If you shoot 4:3, which is actually the sensor size, you will end up with black bars on the sides, which is actually distracting and takes away form the experience.
The GX1 LVF seems better to me in every way, and I can't tell the difference in regards to extra resolution on the GX7 LVF vs the GX1.

There are some limitations in regards to the E-shutter, min shutter speed is 1 second, you can't use it for Panorama, and some light sources, will cause banding on the final picture, so it must be disabled.
I have not detected any impact in picture quality.

Writing speed to SD has been greatly improved as compared to GX1, I've been shooting RAW and large JPGE low compression, and it's blazing fast recording pictures. No more waiting for buffer to be recorded.

Menu system and button layout is fantastic, and the Q.menu is as useful as ever, not sure why the moved it up (compared to GX1), of course you can customize ... If you are comfortable with the GX1, you will fell at home, plus many details have been improved, making the experience smother, for example, magnified view has can be assigned to left arrow while half pressing shutter, which I believe it's really well thought.

RAW images translate much better in LR, I always had issues processing the GX1 RAW due to over saturation, this is not present, which results in a much better and faster work flow.

I think that's it... this is just some ideas I have not seen shared elsewhere, let me be clear I LOVE THE GX7!!!
I just want to provide some points I believe are important.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars fantastic pictures, wifi function doesn't work, panasonic customer service is terrible!, January 2, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Panasonic LUMIX GX7 16.0 MP DSLM Camera with LUMIX G VARIO 14-42mm II Lens and Tilt-Live Viewfinder (Silver) (Electronics)
This is a terrific micro 4/3 camera, the pictures are breathe taking if you have the right lens on it. I got myself an olympus 45mm f1.8 for portraits and all I can say it is absolutely stunning. My advice to anyone buying this camera today would be buy only the body, the kit lens is mediocre at best. Then get yourself a proper prime lens. The controls on the camera are very intuitive, though I must confess that I am still learning all the various controls and functions available. The camera is solidly built, however if you are looking for a pocket sized mirror less camera this is not for you. If the wifi connectivity on this camera is almost useless, I have tried to connect this camera to my wifi both at home and at work but it doesn't work. I have gone thru all the instructions, switched off my 5GHz signals but still no luck. Only the remote viewing/shooting works on my iPhone although I must say it is mediocre. If you wifi connection is an important factor when buying a camera, I would advise stay away from this camera. Panasonic customer service are totally clueless in resolving my issues with the wifi, I have chatted with them online, called them on the phone but still no solution. I was told that my complaint has been escalated and that technical support will call me in 24-48 hours to resolve the issue. Well 48 hours is past and still no phone call.
So in summary brilliant camera, fantastic pictures, forget the wifi and expect little or no support from panasonic
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High-quality camera, October 21, 2013
This review is from: Panasonic LUMIX GX7 16.0 MP DSLM Camera with LUMIX G VARIO 14-42mm II Lens and Tilt-Live Viewfinder (Silver) (Electronics)
I own the Panasonic GF-1 / 20mm kit and have patiently waited for a worthy successor for 3 years. I passed on the next generation panasonic cameras (gf-3, gf-5, gx-1) because without the built-in EVF they didn't seem to be a dimensional step-up from the original GF-1. I passed on the Olympus OMD because I didn't like the DSLR toy look n'feel, the squishy button or the funny blank dial button on top. The GX-7 seemed like a natural worthy successor to the GF-1. So I took the plunge and purchased the camera. I've had the camera for a week and believe me, it delivers on all fronts. The build quality and attention to detail is exceptional. The camera has a very solid feel. For example, the dials are stiff, but purposely so, so the settings don't adjust unintentionally. The camera is feature-packed. The EVF is gorgeous. The field of view is great in all aspect ratios (16:9, 3:2, 4:3, 1:1) and adjusts automatically. The EVF display options are just right. The in-body stabilization does the trick for non-stabilized lenses, though I prefer lens stabilized lenses. The focus (and especially manual focus with focus peaking) is a charm. And most importantly the photos and great. So I doubt some of these early negative reviews are genuine. I highly recommend the Panasonic GX-7, especially if you're stepping up from a GF-1.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Coming from Nikon, April 8, 2014
This review is just user perspecive, meaning I switched from traditional DSLR to DSLM.

Background: Canon and Nikon user for 35 years, still love both.

First tried micro 43 with a panasonic GF3, liked but lack of viewfinder wasn't enough for all use, nice performance in good light (with added lenses, don't like kit lens 14-42).

This is my second micro 43 body, also added 35-100 f2.8 zoom lens, my current micro 43 lenses are:

***** 20mm f1.7 perfect for street use, it is my favorite, works even better with this body as the lens doesn't have IS, but the body does, very sharp, bright colors and fast.
***** 45mm f2.8 macro, leica, excellent for portrait and short telephoto, colors are superb and sharpness is unbeatable.
***** 35-100 f2.8, G - premimum panasonic zoom, excellent bt pricy ($1400), I decided this instead of 45-150 or any other because of the aperture (f2.8 constant), micro 43 sensors are smaller, getting less light, you compensate that with the mega OIS, but speed is speed, specially using tele lenses, I am very happy, but will like a longer lens with same aperture for nature, will probably get 100-300 soon.

Other lens I will add soon.
I want a WA, but 7-14 f4 seems too slow, I am waiting for something faster.
Oly 75 f1.8
Rokinon 7.5mm f3.5 Fisheye
Panny 100-300 (or any other faster long lens)

Not writing about the kit lens, I don't use it.

Now with this small array of lenses and GX7, I am not carrying (with a few exceptions) my DSRL's anymore, I just need a WA to fully forget about FF format, I don't print billboards, this camera is portable and professional.

I earn a little from photography (not my main income) and this camera is delivering professional grade pics, but it is so fun that I can also use it for family/travel/nature.

A big upgrade from DSRL's is video capability, a small portable tripode and clamp will deliver professional grade video, meaning I can carry all my equipment in a small backpack, not worrying about my neck/back (yes all of you guys know about neck sore).

I won't go with FF mirrorless, lenses are heavy, it is a little advantage from traditional FF DSRL in size and weight, my body is what I care moste about (I am also a hiker, when you hike for 4-10 hours with a camera on your back/neck weight IS improtant and leaving camera at home is a undesirable alternative).

The viewfinder is not as good as in a DSRL, but it is very good and has the advantage that you are recording what you are seeing. For video it is obvious, DSRL's are not made for video.

I don't like the WI-Fi button, nor use it, several times I have pressed that damn button, and had to wait a little until it deactivates, a few times this has prevented me from a good shot, I will probably reprogram it today to another function.

There will be better cameras in the future, but for now this is probably the best system/option for enthusiasts and professiionals, considering you want to go lighter and hve video capabilities.

I will probably add a GH4 soon (for the video 4k), with no hassle due to the full lens compatibility, but will wait until more players enter the game and price/convenience is better.

Hope this helps you!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ASSEMBLING A COMPACT SYSTEM, June 18, 2014
This review is from: Panasonic LUMIX GX7 16.0 MP DSLM Camera with LUMIX G VARIO 14-42mm II Lens and Tilt-Live Viewfinder (Silver) (Electronics)
> As a retired pro---tired of years of hauling around gear---my goal was to put together a the most compact system possible for travel (with good image quality). I purchased:
> All Lumix lenses because of the in-lens stabilization. That translates into sharper photos under low light, and the ability to live with only the built-in flash. In addition, I purchased:

AN EXCELLENT PRIME
I purchased a 20mm 1.7 lens (with the camera as a kit), because
> A midrange "prime lens" such as the 20mm 1.7 is a "must have" for any serious photographer
> The 20mm 1.7 is sharper than ANY zoom, and has a larger maximum aperture
> I didn't want the bulky 14-42 kit zoom. If you want the 14-42 kit zoom (which is a good buy), buying the camera as a kit with the 20mm f1.7 and the 14-42 kit zoom separately probably adds up to the lowest total cost.

A WIDE ZOOM
I purchased a Panasonic Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm/F3.5-5.6 Lens Panasonic Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm/F3.5-5.6 Lens for Panasonic Lumix G-Series Digital Cameras (Black)
> The PZ (pancake zoom) is much more compact than the 14-42 kit zoom, and highly rated for image quality.
> I strongly considered the 14mm F2.5 lens instead, which may have been a better choice for me. Panasonic Lumix 14mm f/2.5 G Aspherical Lens for Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Cameras
> If you do much wide-angle work, a Lumix 12-32mm may be a better choice. Panasonic Micro Four Thirds interchangeable lens LUMIX G VARIO 12-32mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / MEGA OIS H-FS12032 Silver

A TELE ZOOM
I purchased a Panasonic Lumix G 45-150mm lens. Panasonic H-FS45150K Lumix G Series Lens (Black)
> The combination of the PZ 14-42mm and the 45-150mm covers the whole range from wide angle to long telephoto.
> The combination of the PZ 14-42mm and the 45-150mm yield about the best image quality (for zoom lenses) covering this range.
> The 45-150mm is considerably more compact than the 45-175mm or the 45-200mm.
> The 45-150mm is particularly good at the top end of its range; the 45-175mm and the 45-200mm not so much. So if I need an longer reach, magnifying and cropping an image taken with the 45-150mm at 150mm will probably be as good as the 45-175mm or the 45-200mm at their maximum ranges.

A FLASH UNIT
> I purchased a tiny, light, slave flash which works very well with my GX7 (use in aperture priority or manual exposure mode; manual ISO mode, select "2nd Sync" {S2} on the flash) and even fits in the small side-pocket of my Edit 110 camera case: PLR Studio Series Pro Slave Flash Includes Mounting Bracket For The Panasonic Lumix Digital SLR Cameras

A COMPACT CAMERA CASE
Together, all three lens and the slave flash fit in a VERY compact Lowepro Edit 110 case, with any of the three lenses on the camera, and any of the two remaining lenses stacked in the adjacent compartment. It is a great kit for travel. Lowepro Edit 110 Camcorder and Camera Bag

THE CAMERA STRAP
> I recommend NOT installing the included camera strap. I very badly scratched the screen on my Nikon S8200 by wearing it around my neck for a half-hour (rubbing against my "pearl" shirt buttons).
> Instead I installed a Nikon 25770 AN-CP19 Black Strap wrist strap on the right strap lug of my Lumix.
> I installed a 40mm carabiner Pack of 5 Carabiner Snap Hooks Aluminum (4 CM) on the left strap lug--which I can use to hang the camera from a belt loop.
> I keep the camera in the Lowepro bag when it is not in use. Note that although you can buy protective plastic covers for the screen, these are likely to interfere with the touch functions which are essential in using this camera.

LENS HOOD
> I purchased a 46mm rubber screw-in lenshood to fit the 20mm f1.7 46mm Soft Rubber Lens Hood For Panasonic Lumix 20mm f/1.7 Aspheric G- Series Lens + Cap Keeper + MicroFiber Cleaning Cloth + LCD Screen Protectors.
> The rubber lenshood collapses, saving critical space. In my case that means that I can leave the lenshood (with the lenscap) on the camera when it is in my camera bag, or on the lens when it is not on my camera. With a metal non-collapsing lenshood, I did NOT have the space, and had to take the lenshood off to stow the camera, or the lens by itself.
> With a A&R Step-Up Adapter Ring 37 mm Lens to 46mm Filter Size, the same hood may be used on the PZ 14-42mm. I recommended installing the 37-46mm step-up ring permanently on the PZ 14-42 lens, and purchasing a 46mm lenscap Everydaysource Camera Lens Cap , 46mm Black to protect the lens when it is not in use.
> The 46mm lens caps can be used with the rubber lenshood.

A MONOPOD
> I purchased a tiny Norazza monopod which is a gem! Norazza Monopod-lightweight TD140 Monopods are not very effective at less than moderate telephoto---but at long telephoto, even with image stabilization, they often make the difference between a poor image and a good one. I've shot sharp photos of a red fox in Yellowstone at an effective 300mm with a Nikon S8200 and this monopod. With a carabineer and a little ingenuity you can easily hang the Norazza from your belt or from the camera bag.
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