The most noticeable change is the addition of additional physical controls. In manual exposure mode, the G7 has two command dials, one for shutter speed and one for aperture. One dial in priority modes can be set to provide direct access to exposure compensation. Meanwhile, pressing one of the two top-mounted buttons assigns the dials to different functions, which can be customised in the menu. There’s also a dedicated drive mode dial to the left of the viewfinder, as well as a switch for single auto, continuous auto, and manual focus. The handgrip has been redesigned to be more comfortable and secure, especially when using a heavy lens. With so many physical controls and so much room for customization, the G7 may appear overly complex, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s simple to disregard these controls and leave the camera in Auto mode. Having dedicated controls makes it much easier to get to grips with manual settings as requirements and confidence grow, both metaphorically and literally. Panasonic is setting the standard for 4K video capture, and it’s great to see the mid-priced G7 get a 4K upgrade. It has a similar implementation to the Panasonic LX100, with UHD (3,840×2,160) resolution and frame rates of 24 and 25fps. As with previous 4K cameras, the fidelity of fine details produced by 4K footage was far superior to that of 1080p footage, even after being downsized to fit a 1080p monitor. It also allows you to crop the video or add stabilisation effects without losing detail. The footage looks absolutely stunning when viewed on a large 4K monitor. Other aspects of the video mode perform admirably. Cinelike D is a colour profile that produces flat, low-contrast colours that are ideal as a starting point for colour grading in software. Touchscreen control of the autofocus point, tracking focus, and spot metering are available, as is manual control of shutter speed, aperture, ISO speed, and microphone volume level while recording. There is no Cinema 4K (4,096×2,160) option, nor is there 1080p capture at high bit rates or frame rates up to 96fps for slow-motion, as offered by the Panasonic GH4, but it’s understandable that Panasonic saves something for its flagship model. However, these are not significant sacrifices. The G7 perfectly meets the needs of aspiring amateur filmmakers.

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