Panasonic has “dropped” it’s newest camera today, and the word of the day is “4k 4k 4k 4k” apparently. And, indeed, the addition of 4K video to their midrange mirrorless line is singly the most notable callout for the G7, an otherwise solid but not exactly memorably specified 16 megapixel Micro Four Thirds mirrorless body with a tilty-swivel LCD and integrated digital viewfinder.
And it’s not just all about 4k video, either. While the G7 will happily record QFHD video in 3840×2160 at 30 or 24 frames per second, that’s not the bit Panasonic gives the most press release time too. No no, what they’d really like you to understand is how being 4k-video ready is going to help you capture those fleeting moments easier by letting you pull frames out of the 4K capture and have “print-ready 8 megapixel” images without having to do any more work.
Taking advantage of 4K video recording capability, users can lock in on a split-second photo using the exclusive “4K PHOTO” feature on the LUMIX G7. With 4K PHOTO, users can extract fleeting photo moments at 30 frames per second in printable 8-megapixel equivalent resolution, by playing back and extracting a precise photo frame of a special moment from the 4K file to save as a photo. Three new exclusive functions are offered to make 4K photography even easier; 4K Burst Shooting, 4K Burst S/S (Start/Stop) and 4K Pre-burst. The 4K Burst Shooting allows almost *unlimited shooting at 30 fps, which can be initiated by pressing the shutter button and releasing it once you are satisfied the image has been captured. The 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, which is more suitable for the shooting opportunities requiring longer waiting time. And the 4K Pre-burst automatically records a total of 60 images right before/after the shutter release. All of three 4K Photo modes allow you to save images in 8-megapixel equivalent high resolution; 3840×2160 (16:9), 3328×2496 (4:3), 3504×2336 (3:2), 2880×2880 (1:1) without missing that unique photo opportunity.
So, yeah. There’s that. *That footnote in there by the way indicates that “almost unlimited” really means one second short of 30 minutes, which seems like an awfully short definition of “unlimited” but is still probably longer than I care to be taking a burst of photos.
The AF system is all contrast, and boasts body-to-lens signal speeds that max out at 240fps (when you’re using Panasonic optics, natch), further sped up via their Depth From Defocus technology first debuted on the GH4 (and which, again, requires the use of Panasonic optics too). So, with all of those working together focus speeds can be as fast as 0.07 seconds. Those primo Olympus optics that have been coming out lately will of course still mount and work on this like they would any other M4/3 body, but, there’s not much in the press release about how fast they’ll perform. Whatever lens you choose, the imaging pipeline has been beefed up and you’ll be able to crank shots out at 8fps in single focus or 6fps in continuous focus mode.
Oh! Buried at the bottom of the press release, because they have nothing to do with the 4k 4k 4k 4k chant, it seems the shutter speed has been boosted to a maximum of 1/16,000 (electronic), and they’ve added support for the newest, fastest UHS-II protocol for SD cards. Nice. I’m sure both of those will be welcome improvements for the right people.
The G7 will be available mid-June in black or pewter with a 14-42mm lens for $799.99, or in black only but with 14-140mm lens for $1,099.99 instead. If you’re interested in any of these, see the related product links at the end of the post to read more and get your preorders in place.