Panasonic Lumix DMC G7: The Best Budget Vlogging Camera

Posted on: 
June 5, 2019
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Welcome to my personal review and overview of the Panasonic Lumix DMC G7 mirrorless, interchangeable lens, DSLR style camera!

Yes, I know this isn't an action camera as such, but since it's my main vlogging camera, the primary piece of kit that I use to film my unboxing videos and action cam review videos, I thought it would make sense to share my review here on ActionCamReviewR.com

So, I purchased this camera around eight months ago and I've been using it every single day in my business.

The Lumix DMC G7 model is not a new model as such. In fact, it's been around for a good few years now, originally released in June of 2015. But even in 2019 this old-school Panasonic camera still packs a punch with features that put most modern cameras in this category to shame, and moreover, the price of the G7 is far more attractive than most makes and models of today.

I originally paid just under £500 in the UK for this camera, in the US you should expect to pay $500 or thereabouts, but do shop around for the best deals.

Panasonic Lumix G7 Vlogging Camera

Now, this isn't going to be your average spec and tech or pros and cons review. I'm not going to even compare this camera with any other similar makes or models out there. I'm just going to review it purely and entirely based on how I use the Lumix G7 in my business and for vlogging.

I will run through some of the specs below, of course, but I'm not going to get all geeky and techy about it all if that makes sense.

I'll also share with you my vlog setup and the accessories that I use with the Lumix G7 to help me get the best possible video and audio quality when creating online content for either my YouTube channel or for use in my business. So, let's get to it.

What is the Panasonic DMC Lumix G7

In all it's glory, the Lumix G7 is one of the best compact DSLR styled cameras I've ever used. To be honest, I've not used very many DSLR styled cameras.

I've always been a fan of Panasonic and Sony cameras. I've owned and used a Sony A68 in the past, which was a great camera, but for me, Panasonic tips the scales slightly, and the Lumix G7 I think is a great budget vlogging camera to start with.

So, what can it do?

Well, the G7 can capture high-quality images with its 16MP four-thirds sensor and record 2160p UHD 4K video. The lens mount is a micro four-thirds.

As for still photos, yes I do use it to capture some awesome social media content for my Instagram profile, but for the most part, I use the G7 mainly for vlogging and capturing videos.

One particular feature that pulled me towards purchasing this camera for vlogging is the fully articulated 3 inch LCD display, which is pretty awesome. When you're recording a lot of selfy-videos, you want to be able to glance over onto a screen to make sure you're still in the frame and in focus, right?

The interchangeable lens feature is also very useful too, however, I've never felt the need to purchase and use another lens, asides from the stock 14-42mm MEGA O.I.S. Lens that comes with this camera. I may upgrade to a wide-angle lens when I can afford to. At least I have that option being interchangeable.

Lumix G7 Camera Specs

So, let me run through some of the notable specs, especially if you're thinking about purchasing this camera yourself for vlogging.

Camera Body

  • Screen size: 3 inches
  • Touch screen: Yes
  • Image stabilization: Yes
  • Video stabilization: Not great, sadly
  • Sensor resolution: 16MP
  • Optical zoom: 3x
  • Video capture resolution: 2160p UHD 4K

Key features for vloggers

  • Hotshoe mount: Yes, great for mounting a lighting accessory kit or external microphone
  • Microphone input: Yes
  • Built-in mic: Yes, though not that great
  • Memory slot: Yes, SD card
  • Flip screen: Yes, and fully articulated
  • Function keys: Yes

The settings that I use for vlogging

For vlogging and capturing videos mostly indoors, I leave most of the settings as they are, except for the following:

  1. Photo Style - Custom.
  2. Filter settings - None as I like to add my own filter effects in post-production.
  3. Recording Format: MP4
  4. Recording Quality: FHD 25p for general recording, FHD 50p for b-roll. Rarely do I recording anything in 4K, unless I'm shooting outdoors.
  5. Exposure: Manual (M)
  6. AFS/AFF: AFS
  7. Cont AF: On
  8. Metering Mode: Measure brightness on the whole screen automatically.
  9. Highlight Shadow: Higher contrast
  10. Silent Operation: On
  11. Mic Level Display: On
  12. Mic Level Adj: -7db (So that I can manually adjust audio EQ in post-production)
  13. Mic Level Limiter: On
  14. ISO: 800 indoors with good lighting.
  15. White balance: Auto
  16. AF Mode: Face and eye detection

You can check out the short video below to view the settings that I use in more detail.

(Video coming soon)

External microphone for improved audio

One of the coolest features with the Panasonic Lumix G7, for vloggers, is the dedicated mic input feature.

A lot of modern DSLR styled cams do not come with a mic input. With the dedicated mic input and horseshoe mount, it means I can attach an external mic for improved audio quality in my videos.

For indoor use, I tend to mostly use the Rode Shotgun style video mic. For outdoor shooting, I use the more compact Rode video micro mic with the wind cancelation sock. See images below.

As I mentioned earlier, there is a built-in microphone on this camera, and the quality of the audio is kind of decent enough, but for YouTube videos and vlogs, it's never a bad thing to pay a little extra on an external mic for better audio quality.

Video quality is important, but ensuring that the audio is decent, is more important.

Tripod

The tripod that I use for this camera and, my action cams too, is the Zomei Z666 portable tripod.

This tripod is super lightweight, robust, and can extend to 20 inches high and comes with a 3-way head and quick release plate.

It's sturdy enough, even when fully extended, and you can pop a weighted bag on the hook provided at the base of the tripod for extra stability.

How I use the G7

I use the Panasonic G7 mostly indoors, in my office. I tend to record my vlogs with the camera mounted on the Zomei tripod near a window where plenty of natural light can come through.

My takes are usually very short, no longer than five or six minutes each at the most.

I tend to stand about 3 feet away from the camera lens so that just my head and the upper half of my body is in view.

I use lens filters with the G7, which is a 46mm Gobe UV filter. If I'm recording outdoors, I'll also pop on a CPL (Polarizer) filter if I'm recording footage outdoors.

That's a wrap!

OK, so that's my take on the Lumix G7 and how I use it in my business, including some of the accessories that I use. I hope you enjoyed reading through this review and overview, if you have any questions about this camera or my set up, you can get in touch with me here.

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