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
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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.

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