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Panasonic GX850 versus Panasonic G7

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX850 (called Panasonic GX800 in some regions) and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in January 2017 and May 2015. Both the GX850 and the G7 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 15.8 megapixel. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Panasonic GX850 vs Panasonic G7

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Panasonic GX850 and the Panasonic G7. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the GX850 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Panasonic GX850 vs Panasonic G7
Compare GX850 versus G7 top
Compare GX850 and G7 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic G7 is considerably larger (55 percent) than the Panasonic GX850. Moreover, the G7 is substantially heavier (52 percent) than the GX850. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the GX850 nor the G7 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can find an overview of suitable optics in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog. Mirrorless cameras, such as the two under consideration, have the additional advantage of having a short flange to focal plane distance, which makes it possible to mount many lenses from other systems onto the camera via adapters.

Concerning battery life, the GX850 gets 210 shots out of its DMW-BLH7 battery, while the G7 can take 350 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLC12 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Panasonic GX850» 4.2 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 9.5 oz 210 n Jan 2017 549 i i
Panasonic G7« 4.9 in 3.4 in 3.0 in 14.5 oz 350 n May 2015 649- i
Panasonic G85« » 5.0 in 3.5 in 2.9 in 17.8 oz 330 Y Sep 2016 899 i i
Panasonic GF7« » 4.2 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 9.4 oz 230 n Jan 2015 499- i
Panasonic GM5« » 3.9 in 2.4 in 1.4 in 7.4 oz 220 n Sep 2014 749- i
Panasonic GF6« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.5 in 11.4 oz 340 n Apr 2013 499- i
Panasonic G6« » 4.8 in 3.3 in 2.8 in 13.8 oz 340 n Apr 2013 599- i
Panasonic GF5« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.5 in 9.4 oz 360 n Apr 2012 499- i
Panasonic G5« » 4.7 in 3.3 in 2.8 in 14.0 oz 320 n Jul 2012 599- i
Panasonic GF3« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 9.3 oz 300 n Jun 2011 549- i
Panasonic G3« » 4.5 in 3.3 in 1.9 in 11.9 oz 270 n May 2011 599- i
Panasonic GX1« » 4.6 in 2.7 in 1.5 in 11.2 oz 320 n Nov 2011 949- i
Panasonic GF2« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.3 in 10.9 oz 300 n Nov 2010 549- i

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The GX850 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 15 percent) than the G7, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison: Panasonic GX850 vs Panasonic G7

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature a Four Thirds sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Panasonic GX850 and Panasonic G7 sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 15.8 megapixel. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the GX850 and the G7 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the GX850 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 7 months) than the G7, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the GX850 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

GX850 versus G7 MP

For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Panasonic GX850» Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p23.213.358673
Panasonic G7« Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p----
Panasonic G85« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p22.812.565671
Panasonic GF7« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p----
Panasonic GM5« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p22.111.772166
Panasonic GF6« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i20.710.662254
Panasonic G6« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.563961
Panasonic GF5« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i21.411.661861
Panasonic G5« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p----
Panasonic GF3« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i20.610.045849
Panasonic G3« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i21.010.666756
Panasonic GX1« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p20.810.670355
Panasonic GF2« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i21.210.350654

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, and both provide the same movie specifications (4K/30p).

 

Feature comparison: Panasonic GX850 vs Panasonic G7

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the G7 has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the GX850 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Panasonic GX850, the Panasonic G7, and comparable cameras. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Panasonic GX850»- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 500 10.0 Y n
Panasonic G7«2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 7.0 Y n
Panasonic G85« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 9.0 Y Y
Panasonic GF7« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 500 5.8 Y n
Panasonic GM5« »1166 n 3.0 921 fixed Y 500 5.8 n n
Panasonic GF6« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.2 Y n
Panasonic G6« »1440 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 4000 7.0 Y n
Panasonic GF5« »- n 3.0 920 fixed Y 4000 4.0 Y n
Panasonic G5« »1440 n 3.0 920 swivel Y 4000 6.0 Y n
Panasonic GF3« »- n 3.0 460 fixed Y 4000 3.2 Y n
Panasonic G3« »1440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 4000 4.0 Y n
Panasonic GX1« »- n 3.0 460 fixed Y 4000 4.2 Y n
Panasonic GF2« »- n 3.0 460 fixed Y 4000 2.6 Y n

The GX850 is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the G7 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the G7 was succeeded by the Panasonic G85.

Review summary: Panasonic GX850 vs Panasonic G7

So what is the bottom line? Is the Panasonic GX850 better than the Panasonic G7 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX850:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 7 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (107x65mm vs 125x86mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 141g or 34 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (15 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 7 months after the G7).


Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 500/sec) to freeze action.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (350 versus 210) out of a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in May 2015).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the match-up finishes in a tie (6 points each). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision.

GX850 06:06 G7

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the GX850 or the G7. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Panasonic GX850»Rec76/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2017 549 i i
Panasonic G7«HiRec80/1005/54.5/54.5/5 May 2015 649- i
Panasonic G85« »HiRec84/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 899 i i
Panasonic GF7« »Rec-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2015 499- i
Panasonic GM5« »Rec77/1005/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 749- i
Panasonic GF6« »HiRec-4.5/5-4.5/5 Apr 2013 499- i
Panasonic G6« »HiRec-5/5-4.5/5 Apr 2013 599- i
Panasonic GF5« »--4.5/54/54.5/5 Apr 2012 499- i
Panasonic G5« »HiRec-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jul 2012 599- i
Panasonic GF3« »82/10071/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Jun 2011 549- i
Panasonic G3« »HiRec75/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2011 599- i
Panasonic GX1« »Rec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Nov 2011 949- i
Panasonic GF2« »82/10070/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Nov 2010 549- i

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting. If the camera you are interested in is not available, please contact me, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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