First look: Panasonic GH7

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There has been a lot of online banter that the Micro Four Thirds format is dead, but the release of the G9 Mark II last year, and now today’s release of the Lumix GH7, definitely says otherwise.

Panasonic continues to impress me with their recent offerings in their mirrorless range and the GH7 is no exception.

Image: Panasonic
Image: Panasonic

In its seventh iteration it is a truly mature product and if you have been patient enough to stay in the M4/3 ecosystem, perhaps holding out from the temptation of all the latest releases in the full frame S-series, you won’t be disappointed.

I’ve had the GH7 for the past few weeks and have been taking it through its paces capturing a variety of subject matter. Let’s look at the new features that have impressed me most.

Image: Panasonic
Image: Panasonic

The sensor

The GH7 uses a 25.2MP BSI CMOS sensor with parallel readouts, and a different sensor than the GH6. Although the two cameras share the same resolution, the GH7 uses the same 25.2MP sensor found in the more recent Lumix G9 II, which gives it the updated capabilities of that camera.

The new AF system

Firstly, and not surprisingly, the GH7 has implemented the new hybrid Phase Detect Autofocus system that can be found on the G9 II as well as the latest S-series cameras.

This enables the camera to interpret distance and depth in a scene, without the pulsing that affected the other GH models that relied on a Depth from defocus system.

However, the system in the GH6 has now been further updated to include a number of new AI tracking modes found on the G9 II and S5II allowing better continuous focusing of people, animals and vehicles.

Sony may have been at the forefront in focus technology, but Lumix is now firmly on the front foot to become a serious contender.

In testing, the performance is excellent, and it is a vast improvement on the GH6’s focus system. For many GH-series users, the new autofocus system will be reason alone to upgrade.

Audio recording improvements

The GH7 now records audio in 96kHz/32bit float when using an external microphone. What this means is that it will record your source data with extremely high levels of dynamic range, retaining an incredible amount of detail.

This is especially useful for one-man band filming operations as it will prevent any audio clipping that would normally occur when recording high decibel levels.

Image: Panasonic
Image: Panasonic

Paired with the new Panasonic DMW-XLR2 (sold separately) you can record 4 channels of 32bit float. It features two analog-to-digital converters (ADCs), one with amplification applied to boost the quiet sounds and the other with no gain to protect much louder sounds.

It’s also interesting to note that the new XLR adaptor has a built-in shotgun microphone holder, which in my book is worth the upgrade alone.

Apple Pro Res Raw direct to card

The GH6 introduced a CF-Express card slot for internal recording of high-end codecs, including Apple ProRes formats, but the GH7 expands this functionality further by allowing you to record Apple ProRes RAW directly to card.

This has only been previously possible via an external recorder such as the Atomos Ninja V.

This is a welcome feature for those that want to record in the highest possible quality but want to retain the original form factor of the camera.

ProRes RAW can be captured at either 5.7K resolution in a 17:9 aspect ratio using the entire width of the sensor or at the standard DCI 4K resolution (4096 x 2160) up to 60p, which results in a 1.41x crop.


The GH7 (and in time the GH6) will soon be able to license the ARRI LOG 3 colour profile. This gives Lumix users access to a very sought after colour science that is usually only seen in high end cinema production cameras. The license will be available soon for $349.

Dynamic range

Dynamic range has also seen an improvement. The GH6 introduced dynamic range boost, starting from ISO 800, but the GH7 now has a full range boost through its entire ISO range.

This will improve the capture and control of an image, even when shooting in low or high lighting conditions.

Of course, I haven’t mentioned all the features that make the GH7 a video creators dream, you’ll need to wait for my full review for that, but these are the features that make it stand out to me.

I am glad that I still have my foot in the door in the M4/3 realm, as the GH7 continues to show the possibilities of the smaller sensor format.

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