Panasonic is doubling down on 4K. The newest member of its G-series Micro Four Thirds cameras, the Lumix G7, features several new options for prying loose 8-megapixel images from 4K video.
The G7 features the same 16-megapixel sensor found on the GF7 with the same quad-core Venus engine processor used in the GH4. It is capable of recording 3840x2160p30 in the MP4 format or 1920x1080p60 in AVCHD with full-time AF engaged.
Like the LX100, the G7 features a 4K Photo Mode that lets users shoot 4K video in any aspect ratio and isolate an 8-megapixel clip from a 4K video file during playback. According to Panasonic, the virtue of using 4K Photo Mode versus simply grabbing stills from 4K video is the ability to change aspect ratios and the faster shutter speed of 1/500 sec. that keeps 4K Photo Mode stills in sharper focus than 4K video frame grabs. The color range is also wider in 4K Photo Mode than it is during 4K video capture.
There will be three new 4K photo modes debuting in the G7.
A 4K Burst Shooting mode captures frames at 30fps for the duration of your shutter press (up to 4GB worth of data). A 4K Burst S/S (Start/Stop) mode starts consecutive shooting with a single press of a shutter button and stops it with the second press. Finally, a 4K Pre-burst mode automatically records 30 frames before and 30 frames after your shutter press for a total of 60 4K video frames to choose from.
On the focusing front, the G7 pairs a contrast detection system with Panasonic’s depth-to-defocus (DFD) system, originally introduced on the GH4, for AF speeds as quick as .07 seconds. You’ll enjoy continuous shooting up to 6fps with AF tracking or as fast as 8fps when set to AF-S. AF tracking has been improved by 200 percent versus the G6 thanks to new algorithms. For low light shooters, Panasonic said it improved low light focusing down to -4EV with a new Starlight AF mode which creates a smaller AF area in the frame allowing shooters to focus on individual stars in the night sky.
In a first for Panasonic, the G7 will support UHS II SD cards and feature a new wide-angle panorama mode that creates a 8176×960 pixel-sized image. A standard panorama mode, creating a 8176×1920 image, is also available.
Panasonic also improved the wind cut functionality on the G7’s stereo mic. Rather than drop into monaural when the mic detects wind, the G7’s microphone can maintain stereo recording while reducing wind noise.
The G7 includes Wi-Fi with a password-less connection that works similar to NFC, the company said. There’s a 3-inch freely rotating touch screen display and a high-resolution OLED viewfinder for framing your images.
Rounding out the G7’s feature set you’ll find focus peaking, zebra patterns, a 1/16,000 sec electronic shutter, a silent mode and eye detection autofocus.
You’ll be able to purchase the G7 in mid-June with a 14-42mm kit lens for $800 in either black or pewter. A kit bundling a 14-140mm lens will retail for $1,100.