The BEST Budget 4K Camera! $500 STEAL – Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7 Review (G7 Review)

The BEST Budget 4K Camera! $500 STEAL – Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7 Review (G7 Review)


It seems like every few months, a new camera
is breaking down barriers in terms of resolution and frame rate. While it’s fun and all for us to drool over
the Red Epic Weapon 8K, it’s not realistic for your budget YouTuber. It’s certainly not a realistic purchase
for me any time soon. What I did end up with, however, is what I
believe to be the best budget camera if you want to shoot 4K video: The Panasonic Lumix
DMC-G7. Or just the “G7” for short. This lightweight little body packs a lot of
value for the price, especially compared to other starting options from the competitors. ARE YOU TIRED OF YOUR STREAMS OR VOICE CHAT
SOUNDING LIKE THIS? Do you want the comfort and quality of high-end
headphones without sacrificing microphone quality? Antlion’s ModMic 5 is the perfect solution. Their dual-capsule microphone attaches easily
and securely to your existing headphones and fits within any setup thanks to the modular
cable system. It comes with a cable wrap to protect your
wires, includes an optional inline mute module and sounds a little something like this. Check it out via the link in the description
below. I’m EposVox, here to make tech easier and
more fun here today with a camera review. For context, in 2012 I spent about $800 on
my Canon EOS Rebel T3i body and kit lens. I was new to the camera scene, didn’t know
how great the used market was, and saw this as a great beginner’s option. It was, and it served me well for the past
5 years. But this past November I spent a mere $500
on my G7 on a Cyber Monday deal and got a much better camera – at least when it comes
to video. The G7 is generally around 600 to 700 dollars
not on sale, which is still a great price to pick it up at. Or you can pick up a decent used deal from
all of those who just upgraded to the GH5. The Panasonic G7 is a small mirrorless camera
capable of shooting 4K video. It takes decent photos, too – but I honestly
still prefer my T3i or my Minolta 35mm camera for stills, so this will be a mostly video-focused
review. The body is lightweight and compact. This makes it great for packing on the go
and taking it with you, but the lightweight nature of it can actually add a lot of instability
to your shots. It’s a lot easier to keep my heavy T3i stable
than the G7 just due to weight alone. The screen fully articulates and flips out
for self-shooting, which is very important and something I just find hilarious when more
expensive cameras don’t include this. *Cough* Sony *cough*. The screen is also a touch screen which adds
to the overall navigational pleasure of this camera. There are 4 knobs and quite a few function
buttons on this camera. Most of the buttons are assignable to whatever
functions you want. This, combined with the touch screen and quick
functions menu on it make any important setting just a tap away. I love it. Way easier to control than my T3i. I do have a couple nit-picky complaints about
the physical form factor. Firstly, the camera strap hooks are these
keychain-like triangles on each side of the camera, which flap around and make obnoxious
sounds when you move the camera. I would have much preferred embedded hooks
like my T3i – but I guess I might have to take the Neistat approach to these. Also, the SD card slot is next to the battery
on the bottom of the camera. This isn’t inherently bad, but can be ridiculously
inconvenient to remove or swap SD cards when the camera is mounted on a tripod or rig. This is probably just a manufacturing flaw
with my unit, but the camera mode knob seems to be glitchy. I primarily keep it in video mode, but sometimes
it’ll sit there switching between video mode and a photo mode back and forth until
I power cycle it or rotate the knob a few times to lock it back into place. I guess it’s possible the switch that detects
the mode selection is a little loose. Lastly, the microphone input jack is randomly
thrown on the opposite side of the rest of the camera’s IO. Why? I mentioned the battery slot cover – it’s
easy to use and doesn’t turn off the camera like my T3i. Good to go there. I use two of the Lumix BLC12PP 1200mAh batteries
with a Watson dual charger. With this combo, there has never been a situation
where I’ve been unable to shoot with the camera. Even when constantly shooting 4K video, the
batteries last a crazy long amount of time. That was one of the first things I was blown
away by – the batteries just last so long. Under a secure flap, the G7 features a remote
shutter jack, micro HDMI for 4:2:2 video out, as well as a AV Out and Digital out port,
along with the microphone jack over on the left. This isn’t a perfect setup – you can’t
record in-camera while previewing via HDMI, which rules out using an external monitor
unless it’s also a dedicated recorder, too. Also, there’s no turning off Auto Gain Control
on the microphone jack, and it sounds pretty compressed when I try using it. Dual system sound all the way for me! The video quality is, well, obviously quite
nice. It records standard UHD 3840×2160 at 24 or
30 frames per second – no DCI 4096×2160, though. It also records 1080p at 60 FPS, which is
nice. There is an extra crop applied when shooting
4K. This isn’t something I think about much
since I almost exclusively shoot 4K with this camera, but the couple times I did need to
shoot 1080p60 I was thrown off by the extra width. It records at 100 megabits per second, a pretty
nice bitrate. I use a Lexar 128GB 633x UHS-1 SDXC card to
shoot on daily. It’s big enough to support all the shots
I need, and fast enough to keep up with the 4K needs. You can only record up to about 30 minutes
without manually stopping and starting due to the legal nonsense. It splits the files up every 4GB or so – which
wouldn’t be a problem, but then when I sync the files up to my externally-recorded audio
track, there’s always a black frame or two where it stops and starts recording. Very frustrating. The menus are fairly easy to navigate, customize,
and use. I LOVE Panasonic’s system. There is some confusion with the autofocus
system, though. You have a switch to switch between manual
focus, continuous autofocus, and autofocus set or autofocus face. BUT there’s a menu option for “Continuous
Autofocus” too. This seems to affect both the AFS AFF mode
and the AFC mode. So I keep having to toggle that or else my
AFF recordings of my face keep pulsing autofocus and if I leave it off, AFC mode doesn’t
continuously autofocus. So what’s the point of having the switch?? This has lead to a lot of issues with my self-shot
videos. Very frustrating. Overall, the autofocus isn’t the fastest
or the best, but leagues better than my T3i, so I’m happy with it. Also, this camera has WiFi! I’ve not used much WiFi features in a camera,
but using Panasonic’s Image App on my phone to focus on myself and quickly adjust settings
for my a-roll shooting is quite handy, and much better than the USB adapter tablet setup
I needed for my T3i. LOVE it. The camera is a Micro Four Thirds mount and
sensor, of course. My only two native Micro Four Thirds lenses
are the kit lens that came with the G7 and a Rokinon T2.2 12mm cine lens I picked up
when I got the camera. The included 14-42mm kit lens is actually
quite impressive for a cheap kit lens. The cine lens is amazing when I need a wide
aperture or wide field of view. Since it’s a micro four thirds mirrorless,
adapting lenses to the camera is a super easy and awesome experience. I’ve picked up a lot of vintage film lenses
for the camera. I’ve got my Helios 44-2 58mm swirly bokeh
lens, a beautiful Nikon Nikkor 35mm F/2 lens, a nice Olympus 50mm, and then I picked up
a Roxsen speedbooster for my Canon 28mm lens. I’ve just recently ordered a couple more
speedboosters – for my Helios and the Nikon – too, but they won’t arrive from overseas
for another month or so. I’m excited to reclaim my swirly bokeh. Low light performance is actually one of the
huge benefits I’ve gotten from the G7, which may sound confusing since most reviewers and
photogs would probably say mirrorless cameras are generally not great in low light. That may be true, but my T3i was incredibly
noisy at almost all ISOs and couldn’t handle low light well at all, so getting the G7 right
as I was building my new studio has really opened the doors for my creativity, and I
honestly feel my content has pivoted in a much better direction as a result. Gear may not “matter,” but getting the
right gear and studio upgrades when you’ve pushed the limits of what you could do before
does make a difference. All of this video stuff aside, I honestly
prefer the shots and shooting experience of still images on my T3i. So my T3i and Minolta 35mm will be my main
stills bodies for now. It does annoy me that I can’t take photos
in video mode like my T3i, and that Auto mode shots don’t save to RAW. But that’s about all I have to say about
stills. But for video, just about everything looks
great on this camera, and I’ve had a blast shooting on it over the past 6 months. This camera has really turned things around
for my content, and I’m grateful for that Cyber Monday sale. I still drool over the GH5 and would do…
a lot… to get my hands on one, but I’m happy with my little G7 for now. This is my first formal camera review. I think it went pretty well, what about you? I’ve got affiliate product links for this
camera on both B&H and Amazon in the description down below, please use them if you want to
buy it. Otherwise, hit the like button if you enjoyed,
get subscribed for more awesome videos like this, and I’ll catch you next time.

100 Comments

  • Danny Gonzalez

    January 10, 2018

    I REALLY want a camera for traveling, to make cinematic videos and can't decide which camera to go for. Budget is about $800. Is there something better than this camera for that price? Do I necessarily need 4K for good cinematic videos?

    Reply
  • Eightyone Videography

    January 10, 2018

    I have G7, but my video is limited – only 20mins. Is there a way to make it 29, 59 ? Thanks in advance.

    Reply
  • Nicko Cendejas

    January 11, 2018

    I'd take the t3i still

    Reply
  • Yankee Drummer

    January 12, 2018

    Can i use this to live stream or maybe a work around that will let me do so with maybe an algato?

    Reply
  • William McAlpine

    January 12, 2018

    I'm thinking about upgrading and I'm really grateful for this video. If you had to buy a budget camera today, what would it be?

    Reply
  • Cristian Gutierrez

    January 15, 2018

    sd card used g7 4k please

    Reply
  • Roel de Meulder

    January 18, 2018

    I went for the G6 because my editing PC would not survive the G7s resolution…

    Reply
  • Ronesto Pineda

    January 20, 2018

    What’s that you have under your Recorder?

    Reply
  • nerd Mike

    January 21, 2018

    No volume control? I read there are 4 settings for external mic including auto gain

    Reply
  • bent540

    January 21, 2018

    500 DOLLARS MY FUCKING ASS!!

    Reply
  • akav75

    January 22, 2018

    How long can you record on video mode?

    Reply
  • HiTechKing

    January 29, 2018

    what cam are you using this to record this>

    Reply
  • 3 2 2 Roulette Strategy

    February 2, 2018

    Nice camera, but it seemed a bit saturated……….as long as that was made punchy in post.

    Reply
  • 47th Chakra

    February 5, 2018

    I brought a Nikon a900 for shooting music videos did i fuck up?

    Reply
  • TechEdd_YT

    February 22, 2018

    can u try an Andoer 4k camera pls at 200$

    Reply
  • Sebastian Körner

    February 22, 2018

    I just wished it had a better autofocus…

    Reply
  • Rhiza Nasaysayan

    February 23, 2018

    not even good for video. sorry

    Reply
  • acemedia

    February 27, 2018

    Wtf why is $800 now

    Reply
  • Andrew Seguin

    February 27, 2018

    When will it be back at 500$?!!

    Reply
  • Sound Speed!

    March 15, 2018

    Nice coverage of it!

    I'm very happily using a Panasonic G6 (started out on the old Panasonic GH1 many years ago! 😮 ).

    Am tempted by a G7 if I see it ultra cheap like two hundred bucks, but otherwise I think I am going to wait for the Panasonic G80/G85 to experience a drop in price. As I'd love to get the live HDMI out and IBIS 😀

    Reply
  • shawn laubscher

    March 22, 2018

    LOL Cough sony cough

    Reply
  • Web Reactor

    April 5, 2018

    Do you have a video or guide on how and what types of lenses can adapt to this camera? the lumix lenses are so expensive and I have a box of old vintage lenses from nikons and such but dont know how to get them to work with the camera?

    Reply
  • Emmett Brown

    April 7, 2018

    One question, please. Does your camera (G7) have time limit to shooting video in 4K? The european version has a limit of 30 minutes. I heard that US version does not have this limit. Is it true?

    Reply
  • superjet2771

    April 9, 2018

    I own two. Its all about the LENS folks. Spend 350.00 on a 42.5mm lens and you won't even use 4k.
    AMAZING camera body capable of anything in the hands of a photographer who understands the basic laws of the art.

    Reply
  • Socrates Nicolaou

    April 14, 2018

    I have the G7 it's a fantastic camera. About the camera strap triangles: you can remove them! Simply pull on the plastic bit and that will reveal a piece of metal that works like a keychain!

    Reply
  • Znap.

    April 20, 2018

    Do you think the Canon Sl2 is as good or even better at videos for reviews / Webcam / (Vlogging) ? G7 or Sl2 I can't tell..both are so good.. I heard that the G7 has a better video quality (even if not shooting in 4k) but the sl2 is new with better technology? plz help

    Reply
  • chappysnapz

    April 22, 2018

    doesn't the recording limit go away when switch from mp4 to avchd?

    Reply
  • ThornyPickled

    May 1, 2018

    This is like 1100 dollars canadian 😐

    Reply
  • Bassam Siraj

    May 3, 2018

    What lenses do you use for that awesome Bokeh effect? Its one of the best looking bokeh effect I have seen. Those purple lights blurred in the background just make it look sooo good.
    I am hoping to get the G7 really soon (when i get my exam grades, lol) so i thought i might pick some lenses with it as well!

    Reply
  • KutWrite

    May 18, 2018

    Nicely done.

    The most amazing thing on the video: Your ability to walk a cat!

    Reply
  • SuperLeona

    May 19, 2018

    Nice video..
    this is my wishlish stuff. hope i can get it this year.

    Reply
  • Bevan Ward

    May 21, 2018

    Very cool. I just ordered mine, can't wait for it to arrive, becuase I've very much outgrown my old camera, a galaxy S7.

    Reply
  • Lover Of Tech

    May 25, 2018

    Got rid if this and got a Sony A6300. I love the G7 and hold a special place in my heart but the AF system and the Fat32 file format got annoying

    Reply
  • murat büyükçolpan

    May 31, 2018

    I heard that
    .this camera have focus problem.isnt ir correct

    Reply
  • Art Last

    June 6, 2018

    metal triangle strap holders….movement is one thing , but I dont know too many people who shake the hell out of it like that…? Please.. some real problems please..

    Reply
  • N Stj

    June 10, 2018

    The mic input is on the other side so a mic plug doesn’t get in the way of any other cables you may have plugged in like usb or HDMI. I’d get tired of unplugging it and plugging it back in when I used these other ports.

    Also and I know I’m being nit picky but AFS – autofocus single. AFF – Autofocus flexible

    Reply
  • Autotrope

    June 10, 2018

    The AF Continuous setting works the same as previous Panasonic cameras: it enables AF to be continually adjusting while shooting video. Otherwise you need to tap of half-press to refocus during video. Best to keep this OFF to avoid focus hunting during video but you MUST pay attention to focus and refocus if the subject depth changes either manually using the focus ring on the lens or automatically by tapping or half-pressing or however you have set up the camera to focus. For handing the camera to a n00b you put Continuous AF to ON: it'll focus hunt during video, but at least it'll refocus instead of having a whole video out of focus because they aren't paying attention to focus. Might also be suitable in run and gun type situations.

    Reply
  • ThePeanutTravels

    June 14, 2018

    We got the Panasonic G7 with the 14-140mm lens for vlogging and travel videos. It's a fantastic camera for the price. The lens was a good choice because of the range you have. I got some awesome shots of boats from being on a ferry and I would have never got them if I chose a different lens. We just posted our first ever vlog if anyone wants to see a more "real world" use for the camera. The autofocus was hit and miss though as I only purchased the camera before we left and I hadn't nailed the settings yet.

    Reply
  • Angelou Sia

    June 28, 2018

    Sony a6000 vs this one for photography only for the same price, which one?

    Reply
  • Alexey Filippenko

    June 30, 2018

    Checked the prices in my local store. G7 ~= 50000 rub, Sony A6300 ~=60000 rub. There's no competition there, just go for a6300. The only downside is, of course, the screen design… I hope they fired that guy who though it'd be a good idea to make the screen mechanism completely useless!!!

    Reply
  • Corey Ferguson

    June 30, 2018

    Who ever gave this guy a thumbs down is a hater because he was awesome!!!!

    Reply
  • invalid account

    July 1, 2018

    Can this film 4k 60fps?

    Reply
  • BloodRider 1914

    July 3, 2018

    Does it also shoot 720p @30 FPS?

    Reply
  • 9876karthi

    July 3, 2018

    Hi all the Panasonic – G7 is now $499, and LUMIX GX85 is $599 both are in sale, I am looking for a low light / lunar photography camera, please let me know which one would be good?

    Reply
  • jeffhalebopp

    July 4, 2018

    For perfect glitch free joining of 4k files, you must join them 1st before putting them on a timeline. Use the free software "My MP4Box GUI" and select the join tab. It will properly join the file sets together perfectly with no audio or video glitches. Just make sure that you choose the proper video files that go together on a "per recording" basis. I put my USA NTSC G7 in service mode and get unlimited 4k recording time. It is just a killer camera for the price. I also like that it has the low pass filter on the sensor to help with moire. I have a GX85 and it can have just a slightly sharper image (barely if at all) but it definitely can suffer from moire that the G7 controls better.

    Reply
  • Batsy

    July 6, 2018

    Crossover of people who play overwatch and care about the g7: me

    Reply
  • The Crazy Canadian

    July 11, 2018

    IS that mod mic actually good?

    Reply
  • The Crazy Canadian

    July 11, 2018

    BLACK OR SILVER? I I'll go with this beauty 🙂

    Reply
  • Dan the Vlog Man

    July 11, 2018

    Definitely getting this and I liked this video only because of the silver color, good choice.

    Reply
  • Dan the Vlog Man

    July 11, 2018

    I don’t see the issue with the mic jack on the other side.

    Reply
  • Mexican_Supreme

    July 15, 2018

    can you mount this on a tripod

    Reply
  • Ben Hatto

    July 21, 2018

    The 1DX II is a video monster, and I don't see people complaining about the screen.

    Reply
  • Humans R Ants

    July 23, 2018

    Great voice for radio.

    Reply
  • MOD853

    July 31, 2018

    If you want the gh5 why don't you sell your current 3 cameras and just get it?

    Reply
  • FractalBuilder

    August 7, 2018

    Maybe not perfect camera, but for the price it seems to be among the most valuable cameras out there.

    Reply
  • Mortimer Livan

    August 9, 2018

    How long does it record continuously?

    Reply
  • Utsav Upadhyay

    August 10, 2018

    How good is it for taking photos?

    Reply
  • Cesar Abraham

    August 13, 2018

    If you going to buy a decent camera, The Best Bang for your money is the SONY A6500 for beginners , Sony A6500 also does 4k video, stunning auto focus . all the Panasonics , Canons , the FOCUS is BAD, Stay out, Folks do your own research and read the reviews from owners , NOT some dip from youtube.

    Reply
  • jon ib

    August 19, 2018

    NERD EMINEM

    Reply
  • Edison Martin

    August 22, 2018

    Anyone know the workaround to make it record for an hour?

    Reply
  • AC Trains

    August 30, 2018

    $500 is not cheep

    Reply
  • RAFFELPAFFLE

    August 31, 2018

    from the video quality itself, is this better than the gh4 if you ignore pro/advanced features

    Reply
  • TheDankAtheist

    September 4, 2018

    I have that mode knob issue too. drives me nuts.

    Reply
  • GaryDX25

    September 16, 2018

    Micro four thirds cameras in general are "steals" for people starting photography/videography

    Reply
  • I Like You

    September 18, 2018

    You mention the used camera market. Would you recommend getting the G7 used?

    Reply
  • Ian Brown

    September 20, 2018

    shit

    Reply
  • Craig Cothren

    September 25, 2018

    i really was interested in how the camera performed in video vlogging exercises. You included a lot of extraneous unwanted detail. I had to go to other You tubes to find out what i wanted to know.

    Reply
  • Saving History ™ with SCdigger

    September 27, 2018

    how is macro with this camera? I metal detect/relic hunt and need to be able to shoot closeups of things like coins and buttons in the ground

    Reply
  • Garrison Fischer

    September 29, 2018

    I have the same Quality Control issue…im gonna try to exchange it for a new one, it cuts out videos etc.

    Reply
  • William McAlpine

    October 3, 2018

    A very comprehensive review. Thank you.

    Reply
  • lion Roar

    October 7, 2018

    Yes cropped 4k, not v bad for vblogg, no dual pixel in 4k. This camera has the worst autofocus system very annoying, wont recommend for filming.

    Reply
  • Anan147

    October 10, 2018

    2:36 I WILL EAT YOU ALIVE

    Reply
  • Michael Ward Photography

    October 10, 2018

    Excellent video!

    Reply
  • Lupulocéfalo

    October 14, 2018

    Can you use the microphones you recommend with the mic input of the g7?

    Reply
  • Shabash

    October 28, 2018

    Hey! What adapter are you using to use that old Nikon lens? I want to use my Nikon E series 50mm and I don't know what to use!

    Reply
  • Kyle Kane

    October 30, 2018

    #minoltagang

    Reply
  • maxDassassin

    October 31, 2018

    help needed
    is the panasonic lumix dmc-g7 and panasonic g7 the same camera

    Reply
  • daniella kush

    November 19, 2018

    Could you use this camera with an encoder to stream ?

    Reply
  • CJ MADRID TV

    December 2, 2018

    Dmc g7 and G7 whats the difference?

    Reply
  • Ken O'Neill

    December 7, 2018

    Stabilisation looked quite shaky with the ginger cat clip, premium phones shoot steadier 4K than that.

    Reply
  • leighton lanzetta

    December 8, 2018

    well counts me out i dont want a camera with a time limit while recording…. do you knwo if the gh5 has that dumb timelimet trash on it.. i want to use it for live streaming and filming friends sets when they play live and dont want a time limit

    Reply
  • News that matter

    December 12, 2018

    This will may great amateur porn in the bed room! Now injustice need a women..not to pick even a midget will do.

    Reply
  • Randy Castillo

    December 13, 2018

    Great video. I have a question. Could I use couple of these cameras for a hour and a half live stream? Or will it shut off after 30 mins? I just want to grab image.

    Reply
  • Apostolos Vakirtzis

    December 22, 2018

    Great video! I also used g7 and g6 before that! Panasonic g7 is great little camera!!!

    Reply
  • CrazedScientistGaming

    December 23, 2018

    How exactly do you compensate for the dropped frames

    Reply
  • Dante Gamer

    December 26, 2018

    It's good for do photos?

    Reply
  • Arayum

    December 28, 2018

    Can I hook up external mic?

    Reply
  • Policedriver Studios

    January 6, 2019

    vs A6000?

    Reply
  • ChubHub

    January 10, 2019

    Love this camera, just recorded my cat in the sink in 4k 😀

    Reply
  • Ricardo Sanchez

    January 14, 2019

    I got mine used for $320.00 best purchase i ever made

    Reply
  • Guilty Clloud

    January 14, 2019

    Between G7 and G85, which one is better?

    Reply
  • Firstdrop TV

    January 18, 2019

    Thinking about getting it as a b cam to the g9 if it gets a cheaper in like a year a so, because the image sould look pretty similar on them and i can use my lenses for it!

    Reply
  • rhrrb rbqrb

    February 1, 2019

    I hate news and u look like a news …damn LOL hhhhh

    Reply
  • Kyle M

    February 18, 2019

    0:39 no because I use wireless Bose headphones and a external microphone

    Reply
  • KitLens Productions

    April 19, 2019

    I just bought it (despite its age) and made a travel video of Italy 😁
    Someone wants to check that out? Pls? 😅

    Reply
  • Onza Music

    April 21, 2019

    I order the panasonic lumix g7 online and it went to another location 😭 fuck u DHL i was so excited. Btw great video

    Reply
  • timbo wilderbeeste

    May 5, 2019

    What would be a good zoom lens to match the camera up to for travel video? Everyone raves about the matchup to the Sigma Art lenses, and at $600 or so I'd pony up if I thought it was worth it, but the lens doesn't seem idea for travel given its size and weight, especially as I'm just taking a lightweight tripod with me – I don't exactly want to lug my regular one along as I'll be trekking through the Himalayas for over a month!

    Reply
  • iseal duasatu

    May 27, 2019

    Keren

    Reply
  • Sonar

    June 3, 2019

    Finally! A good budget camera!
    goes to amazon…

    $1000
    Me: 0_0

    Reply
  • Den Shy

    June 24, 2019

    What`s about 422 out? Any certain info????

    Reply

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