Highly Recommended awardThe Lumix GH7 builds upon a strong series to become one of the most compelling cameras for videographers and hybrid shooters at this price point. By inheriting the G9 II sensor, the GH7 finally gains phase-detect autofocus, while the subject recognition has been updated to drill-down to target parts like the drivers of cars. It’s one of the few cameras that can record ProRes RAW internally, up to 5.7k. The optional XLR microphone interface now supports 32-bit float audio. The GH7 also inherits Frame IO, proxy recording and enhanced video stabilisation from the latest S5 II updates, along with real-time LUTs and the Lumix Lab app from the S9. These all join a core feature set from the GH6 which includes 4k 120 with no loss of coverage or quality, the flexibility of 4:3-shaped open gate in 5.7k, a cunning screen tilt, external SSD support, Live Streaming direct from the camera (albeit still no USB webcam support), and unlimited recording thanks to the built-in cooling fan. If you’re into video and understand the pros and cons of Micro Four Thirds, you’ll love the GH7, but don’t rule-out the G9 II, available a little cheaper and sporting many of the same core features. If full-frame’s your thing, then the S5 IIx actually comes in a tad less than the GH7, and the standard S5 II even cheaper still, although neither has the sheer wealth of video features of the GH7. Ultimately with the S5 II, G9 II and GH7, Panasonic has a trio of highly compelling cameras for hybrid shooters. The GH7 is a tremendous camera and proves Micro Four Thirds remains both relevant and desirable.

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Panasonic Lumix GH7 review


The Panasonic Lumix GH7 is a high-end camera based on the Micro Four Thirds system, aimed at hybrid shooters and videographers. Announced in June 2024, the GH7 comes two years after the GH6 hit the shops and shares the same launch price.

New features include phase-detect autofocus for the first time in the GH series, internal ProRes RAW video up to 5.7k, enhanced subject recognition, and, with the optional XLR2 accessory, 32-bit float audio recording. The GH7 also inherits Frame IO, proxy recording and enhanced video stabilisation from the latest S5 II updates, along with real-time LUTs and compatibility with the Lumix Lab app from the recent S9.

These all join a core feature set from the earlier GH6 which includes 4k 120, 4:3 shaped open-gate 5.8k up to 30p, and unlimited recording thanks to the built-in cooling fan. In addition, an optional paid firmware upgrade equips the GH7 – or the earlier GH6 – with the ARRI LogC3 profile, allowing these bodies to better-match footage filmed with ARRI cameras.

Everything I know about the GH7 is in the video below, but if you prefer to read the written highlights, keep scrolling!

Starting with design, the GH7 shares essentially the same body as the GH6 before it, a satisfyingly chunky camera with a decent grip that feels good in your hands.

As before the drive mode dial is on the upper left side, while a lockable mode dial is on the right with a power collar around it. 

Behind the soft-touch shutter release is a finger dial and three dedicated buttons for White Balance, ISO and exposure compensation. These are joined by an information button and a red record button which requires a firm push to start and stop recording. Finally there’s a thumb dial in the upper corner.

Meanwhile on the rear are a collar switch and button for adjusting the AF area and modes, an AF ON button, eight-way joystick and flat thumbwheel. Oh, and there’s a second record button on the front in the lower right corner.

It all works together very well, and I wonder if Panasonic will recycle this body for a future flagship full-framer – after all the G9 II and S5 II now share the same design.

The GH7 also inherits much the same viewfinder as the GH6, a 3.69 million dot OLED but now quoting a fractionally larger 0.8x magnification. Either way, the 4:3 native shape of Micro Four Thirds means the viewfinder image fills the entire panel height when shooting photos or open gate video, which delivers an impressively large and immersive view.

Moving onto the monitor, the GH7 also inherits the 3in 1.84 million dot touchscreen of the GH6 with its cunning articulated mechanism. This includes a side-hinge for flipping out to the side and flipping forward to face you or back on itself for protection.

But this entire mechanism is also mounted onto an upper hinge which allows the screen to tilt vertically upwards in two stages without flipping-out to the side first. This is not only faster, but remains in-line with the optics, and also allows the screen to stay clear of any connections, even when flipped-sideways.

Like the GH6, the screen mechanism is also pushed outwards by the active cooling system which includes a barely audible fan and vents on either side. Panasonic still claims the body remains dust and splash resistant though, as well as operating down to -10c.

The benefit of active cooling is unlimited recording times and in my tests the GH7 matched the GH6 in this regard. When set to 4k 30p, I managed 88 minutes on a full charge before the battery ran out without any overheating warnings.

To really push the GH7 though, I connected it to USB power with my Apple MacBook Pro charger, popped in my largest 512GB memory card, and managed almost seven and a half hours worth of recording, before it stopped because it ran out of space.

The clip was split across three files: two at 3 hours each, leaving the last at about an hour and a half. And again, no overheating issues.

Speaking of memory cards, the GH7 has two card slots, one for CF Express Type B and the other for SD. As before, CF Express is required for video rates above 600Mbit/s, which means most All-i or ProRes options above 1080p, but if you’re happy with H.264 or H.265 compression, you can record any video resolution or frame rate to SD.

For access to larger and cheaper storage, the GH7 is also compatible with USB SSD drives  from day-one which can be connected directly to the USB C port.

I tried it with a SanDisk Extreme Portable 1TB drive, and once USB SSD was enabled in the menus and the drive formatted, the camera reported a huge 14 hours worth of 4k 30p available, or over 10,000 photos.

Of course you’d need external power to record video for that long, and since the USB port is already occupied, you’ll be looking for a dummy battery adapter. You’ll also have to be careful how the drive is mounted, unlike the balancing act here.

Restrictions aside though, it’s still great to be able to record directly onto external SSDs, as they’re large, fast, cheap and connect directly to most computers without the need for a card reader.

I’m also pleased to report the GH7 inherits the Frame IO and proxy options recently added to the S5 II and x models. This allows the GH7 to record a low bit rate proxy file to the SD card while the original is recorded to CF Express or an external SSD. 

The latter is particularly welcome since the dual slot menu options for backup or overflow are unavailable when an SSD is enabled. 

In terms of ports, the left side is home to 3.5mm microphone and headphone jacks, each with their own flaps. Below these are the USB C port and a full-size HDMI jack.

Sadly like other recent Lumix bodies, the USB port still won’t work as a standard USB webcam without a driver. But making up for that somewhat is the ability to stream directly from the camera without the need for a computer inbetween. 

Connect the GH7 to Wifi or tether it over USB to a mobile, and you can broadcast directly to YouTube Live or other RTMP compatible services. This was first implemented by Panasonic on the GH5 II and I demo’d it in that review.

As for the HDMI jack, this can be set to output RAW video to Blackmagic or Atomos recorders in 5.8k open gate up to 30p or 5.7k in 17:9 up to 60p. Although again a key upgrade of the GH7 is being able to record ProRes RAW internally which I’ll talk about in a moment.

Like the GH6, the flash sync port on the front doubles for Timecode output, with Panasonic supplying a BNC adapter in the box.

Meanwhile the hotshoe on the top can be used to connect the optional DMW-XLR2 audio interface which sports dual XLR and single 3.5mm microphone inputs and supports four-channel recording. 

So far so similar to the previous model, but what makes the XLR2 really special is additional support for 32-bit float recording, which in theory provides so much dynamic range, it’s impossible to saturate.

I think Panasonic describing the GH7 as having internal 32-bit float is a bit of a push as it does require an external accessory, and after all you could enjoy 32-bit float with a variety of alternative sound recorders. 

But in its defense, the XLR2 accessory is allowing the GH7 to record that 32-bit audio track internally as part of a video file, eliminating the need to copy and sync a separate track from a recorder later.

And finally, the GH7 is powered by the DMW-BLK22 pack, which as I mentioned earlier is good for about an hour and a half of standard 4k video. Also note the tripod lock pin hole in front of the thread under the camera.

Moving on, I believe the GH7 employs the sensor which made its debut in the G9 II, making it the first model in the GH series to sport phase-detect autofocus. And in fact only the second Lumix G model to do so. I’ve got loads of examples in a moment, but first let’s look at the photo quality.

The 25.2 Megapixel sensor records photos with a maximum resolution of 5776×4336 pixels in the native 4:3 shape of the Four Thirds format. Cropped versions in 3:2, 16:9 or 1:1 are also available, albeit not the super-wide panoramic options seen on the full-frame models.

There’s two levels of JPEG compression, three lower resolutions, and the chance to record RAW files, although like the G9 II there’s no RAW compression options nor the option to switch JPEG to HEIF.

Here’s my standard pier view taken with the GH7 and 12-60 at 12mm for a 24mm equivalent field of view. Taking a closer look shows a good level of detail in bright conditions at lower ISOs. 

Obviously as the ISO is increased, the smaller sensor will begin to fall behind larger formats, but in my tests it’s cleaner than you might expect, plus there’s plenty of bright lenses and decent IBIS to help keep the ISOs low. I’ll include some samples in my review page at

The GH7 also inherits a pixel-shifting High Resolution mode which exploits IBIS to capture a burst of images with the sensor slightly shifted between each. These can then be combined in-camera to generate a potentially more detailed image.

So here’s that pier view again, but this time on the left I’ll show you the single frame 25 Megapixel version, while on the right is the High Resolution composite version. 

Like all pixel shift composite modes there can be artefacts around any subjects that might be in motion, like people, birds, water, even foliage, but where the subject is static there can be an impressive boost in detail, and unlike most companies, Panasonic is generating this internally and not forcing you to make the composite on your computer later.

Ok, now for autofocus, and I’m filming the back of the screen as connecting an external HDMI recorder can still have an impact on AF for still photos on Lumix bodies. This is the 12-60 at 25mm f3.5 with AFC where the camera’s using phase-detect.

Pretty easy, so let’s switch to the old Leica DG 25mm f1.4 at 1.4 of course where in AFC mode you can see the refocusing confidently lands on the subject without hunting.

Out of interest, here’s the same lens in single AFS mode where I believe the camera still uses DFD technology, and you can see for this particular old lens, it’s actually a bit quicker despite the brief wobble to confirm. DFD for all its complaints on YouTube is still a good tech for single AF.

Still too easy? Ok, how about the old Olympus 75mm f1.8, at 1.8 here in AFS mode again, where the confirmation wobble is a bit more pronounced, but the focusing still swift. 

And now if I switch the GH7 to continuous AFC, you’ll see that hunting has been eliminated, but for this older lens, the refocusing speed has reduced. This is more down to the age of this lens though, as more modern lenses focus very quickly in either AFS or AFC modes, making them practical for capturing action. I’ll show you AF for video in a moment.

The GH7 also sports upgraded subject detection over previous models, including the updated S5 II. Along with allowing you to choose between human, animal, car, bike, train and plane, the GH7 lets you drill-down further to specify target parts. 

For a human or animal, that would be the eyes as we’ve seen before, but for cars and bikes you can now also choose between the front of the vehicle or the helmet of the driver or rider, and for trains and planes, either the whole object or again the front.

In practice it works too, although I’d still like to see an auto option that attempts to detect the actual type of subject in a more dynamic situation, even if it means reduced accuracy. Canon and Fujifilm have proven this is possible.

But either way, here’s a burst of shots taken with the 12-60 at 60mm f4 for a 120 equivalent using the mechanical shutter at the top speed of 10fps with continuous autofocus. If you use AFS, this can be boosted to 14fps.

Like other new Lumix cameras, 4k and 6k photo have long-gone, but fast electronic bursts and pre-burst options are available on the GH7. Here’s a sequence I took in the pre-burst mode at 20fps with a half-second buffer, where I fully-pushed the shutter button as the bird took flight. But here you can see the pre-burst mode allowed the camera to buffer and record ten frames prior to take-off, allowing you to capture the exact moment you desire.

Moving onto video, the GH7 becomes the most capable Lumix G movie camera to date, building upon the quality and features of the GH6 with more confident autofocus, improved stabilisation and the chance to record internal ProRes RAW.

Download Lumix GH7 sample movie: 4k 24p All-i Standard profile

Download Lumix GH7 sample movie: 4k 24p All-i V-Log

Download Lumix GH7 sample movie: 4k 24p All-i ARRI LogC3

As with previous GH models, there’s a vast array of movie options which I’ll briefly discuss while scrolling through the MOV modes when the camera’s set to NTSC. You can film 1080 from 24 to 240p, 4k or Cinema 4k from 24 to 120p, along with a variety of anamorphic and open gate modes, with the best quality 5.8k available up to 30p and recording the full 4:3 sensor area. You’ll also see there’s 8 bit and 10 bit options and the choice of Long GOP or All-i encoding for most modes.

Ok, enough menus and now for some actual footage I filmed with the GH7 and 12-60 lens which I’ll keep at 12mm so you can compare coverage. You’re looking at 1080 30p here where the view’s uncropped widthways compared to standard 4:3 photos.

And next at 1080 60p where the coverage is the same. You’re also still getting full subject recognition with continuous autofocus up to 60p.

Now for 1080 at 120p, still uncropped and still with continuous autofocus, albeit now without subject detection. So you’re looking at using standard AF areas from 100p upwards.

And now for the top frame rate of 1080 at 240p where the coverage may remain unchanged, but there’s a visible drop in quality. I also lost continuous autofocus in this mode, with only single AF available, while on my oldest lenses it became manual focus only. You are still getting sound though.

So 1080 240p is best reserved for static subjects like those times when you want to drop a brick into a flower pot full of water, you know, like you do. Or if the depth of field is sufficient for continuous AF not to matter, it can also be used to capture slow motion sporting action like this wake-boarding. 

In both examples, I’m filming in 240p and slowing them down by eight times for my 30p timeline, although if your project is in 24p, you could be enjoying a ten times slowdown.

Ok, now back to my 1080 30p clip of the pier before switching to 4k at 30p, where there’s a visible step-up in detail. Note all these clips were filmed with fast shutter speeds, so the motion may look jittery, but this test is all about detail.

Next for 4k 60p, still with sound, the same coverage and full subject detection with continuous AF.

And now for 4k at 120p, still maintaining the same quality and coverage, but like 1080, anything above 60p loses subject recognition and you’ll need to use standard areas. You do at least still get continuous AF.

Here’s some footage I filmed in 4k 120p of Steven Seagull and his extended family enjoying a flap around the beach. I’ve slowed this by four times on my 30p timeline here and the results can look good, although beware of using the digital stabilisation set to high as I found it could produce visible jitters when slowed down. Standard digital or IBIS by itself were fine though.

And now back to 4k at 30p before switching to the top quality of 5.8k also at 30p, where the result on my 16:9 4k timeline looks identical. But the file contains more detail than 4k, allowing me to zoom-in a bit or crop in post.

5.8k is also in the open gate format, where the camera records the entire sensor area, and in the case of Four Thirds, that’s in a 4:3 shape. As I shrink the video, you’ll see how much taller it is than standard 16:9, and this provides great flexibility in post for generating both wide and tall content from the same footage.

For example, here’s the same clip shown twice in the 4:3 open gate format. Now I’ll crop both of them into landscape on the left and portrait or vertical on the right, where it’s clear how the latter is enjoying the extra height captured by the sensor.

I use open-gate for clips I intend to use for both landscape and portrait formats, and on Micro Four Thirds, it’s particularly useful as the 4:3 format is even taller than the 3:2 shape of full-frame and APSC models. This alone could make the GH7 more desirable than other formats.

Before moving on, you won’t find the excellent hybrid zoom of the recent S9 on the GH7, which exploits the full sensor resolution to seamlessly extend the range of a zoom without losing out on the full wide-end. Maybe there’s an issue implementing it on Micro Four Thirds, but I hope they can resolve it as it’s a useful feature.

Now for video autofocus, and just as an appetiser, here’s a handheld clip with the old 25 1.4 showing how easily the GH7 can now refocus from near to far with a single AF area. This was in pretty low light too during dusk.

Let’s switch to a more formal test with my usual bottle against a brick wall, filming 4k 30p first with the 12-60 at 25mm f3.5 where you’ll see the confident refocusing back and forth with no overshooting.

For something a bit harder, how about the Leica DG 25 1.4 again, wide-open, and again showing smooth focus-pulls back and forth without any hunting. This is why we’ve been asking for phase detect for so long. And to prove it’s not just limited to 30p, here’s the same test at 25 1.4 in 4k at 60p.

And again in 4k 120p where I’ll play it back four times slower than normal to show how the focus pulls stop as soon as they reach the subject. As noted earlier, you still get continuous AF and sound at 4k 120, but without subject detection, Fine for this single area test though.

Oh, and I won’t bore you with my 1080 tests, but they also worked fine from 24 to 120p, although again at 200-240p you’re only getting single AF at best, and on some really old lenses, manual focus only.

Static subjects are easy though, so how about one that’s moving? Here I am filmed in 5.8k 30p with the 25 1.4 wide-open where you can see the GH7 not only refocusing on me as I move, but staying locked-on once I pause. I was using face and eye detection here.

For a tougher test, here’s the Olympus 75mm f1.8, again wide open, and while this older lens is a tad more leisurely to refocus, it’s still getting to where it needs to be smoothly and confidently without hunting or wobbling.

And for those who need bokeh blobs to really tell, here I am indoors with the 25 1.4 again, and I’d like you to pay attention to the size of the blobs in the background. Sorry I’m close to the camera at times, but I really wanted to generate the biggest bokeh blobs!

Again the refocusing on the 25 1.4 may not be as smooth as the latest lenses, but the important part here is seeing the size of the blobs remains fixed when I stand still. You may recall the wobbling or fluttering of previous Lumix bodies which relied on DFD only, but now phase-detect AF has put those demons to rest.

And if you prefer non-human subjects, here’s a dog enjoying a nice stroll along the front, filmed in 4k 60p where subject recognition is still supported. I’ve slowed it by two times here on my 30p timeline. I did however notice a drop in accuracy above 60p when subject detection was unavailable, with faces and eyes not always being as sharp as they could be. At these frame rates, use a single area and position it carefully over the part of the subject you’d like to be the sharpest.

Now for stabilisation with the GH7 sporting not just IBIS sensor-shift, but some of the most effective digital compensation around right now. Let’s start with a clip filmed with the Olympus 75mm, so that’s 150mm equivalent, without any stabilisation where the result is of course wobbly. Next for IBIS alone, where the view has become much steadier. Remember this lens has no optical stabilisation of its own. And now for IBIS with Standard digital movie stabilisation which takes a small crop to deliver more stable footage. You can see this begin to lock on as I recompose. And next for IBIS with digital movie stabilisation set to High. This takes a more substantial crop and is really designed for filming when walking, so we’ll come back to that and for now disable the digital movie IS and have a look at IBIS plus the optional Boost IS mode. This assumes you’re trying to hold the camera still, so snaps more into place after recomposing. It can be quite effective here.

If you’re more into walking while filming, here’s the GH7 with the 12-60 at 12mm and absolutely everything turned on. So you’re looking at IBIS, optical stabilisation in the lens and digital movie IS set to High here. I’m not walking particularly carefully, but there’s still a nice floating look to the footage.

And just for fun, here’s two vlogging clips for you, both filmed in Open Gate at 12mm with IBIS and optical, but the one on the left with standard movie IS and the one on the right with High movie IS. 

Moving on, the GH7 of course offers V-Log for grading with Panasonic claiming 12+ stops of dynamic range in standard modes, or up to 13+ stops in a boosted DR mode up to 60fps which effectively combines two exposures. In addition, an optional paid firmware upgrade equips the GH7 – or the earlier GH6 – with the ARRI LogC3 profile, allowing these bodies to better-match footage filmed with ARRI cameras.

To see what’s possible, here’s a clip I filmed with the Standard profile where the high contrast has blown out some highlights and crushed some shadows.

Now let’s open a Wide Dynamic Range project in Final Cut and import some V-Log clips. Note my screen recording is in 8 bit so the video preview will look blown-out, so I’ve turned on Video Scopes in the upper left which will indicate the tonal range even when the preview to the right looks terrible!

I’ll start with that Standard Profile clip again which the Video Scopes reveal has clipped highlights and no amount of adjusting is going to bring them back, nor the detail in the shadow area under the pier.

My second clip is filmed with V-Log, so right now looks very flat, so the first thing to do is add the Panasonic V-Log LUT from the information panel. Now the colours look much more natural, while switching between it and the first clip shows greater tonal range, especially in the highlights.

Again my screen recording isn’t showing the full range that I can see with my laptop in front of me, but hopefully you’ll see there’s more tonal detail in the cloudy sky, even if just checking the scopes.

Conversely if we take a closer look at the shadow area and boost them, you’ll see how a lot of tonal detail is just waiting to be retrieved at both ends of the range if desired.

But the GH7 goes one step further still by offering internal ProRes RAW, so that’s what I’ve used for my third clip in 5.7k, and in the information panel upper right, you can see the ISO and White Balance as recorded by the camera for this clip.

ProRes RAW on the GH7 is recorded in V-Log as standard, so let’s first add the LUT before comparing it to the previous clip. Looking at the scopes, you may notice a slightly greater range to start with, but the preview window in the middle is also revealing the RAW clip capturing a wider field of view than the non-RAW clip before it.

This is because it’s not yet had a lens profile applied to correct the distortion, and this is one of the things you’ll need to think about when filming RAW video; likewise for noise reduction which also needs applying. But as before, there’s still plenty of opportunity to adjust the tonal range to retrieve highlight and shadow detail.

And finally, my fourth clip was again filmed in 5.7k RAW, but what’s this? Whoops, I’ve accidentally filmed it with an incandescent white balance of 3200K rather than the correct daylight setting of 5500K. And once I apply the V-Log LUT, the strong blue cast is quite obvious.

But for RAW video, you’ll find a new Modify ProRes RAW button at the bottom of the information panel, and this then lets you adjust the white balance. You can see how adjusting it to 5500K effectively corrects this clip, but you can of course take it further in either direction if desired.

You can also adjust the exposure offset and ISO value to adjust the brightness. Here while the base sensitivity of V-Log is 500 ISO, I’ll choose 1000 then 2000 ISO to brighten the image to retrieve the shadow detail without even bothering with the colour wheels. Again this all looks way better on my actual screen than this screen recording!

Many higher-end cameras already support RAW video output over HDMI, and this is also available on the GH7, but the ability to record ProRes RAW internally is much more convenient and a bit of a coup for Panasonic as previously it had been tricky for legal reasons. 

Note 4k internal RAW is cropped as it’s taking a pixel by pixel crop, so for the full field of view, shoot 5.7k internal RAW.

Sticking with LUTs for a minute, the GH7 also supports the Realtime LUTs and the Lumix Lab app, first seen on the recent full-frame S9. Like that camera you can download LUTs or create your own via the app, then bake them into footage if you desire. If you’d like to learn more about the feature and how the phone app works, check out my S9 review.

And finally, hold onto your lunches as it’s time for a rolling shutter test! Let’s start with 4k 30p where there’s minimal skewing even as I throw the camera from side to side. Next 4k 60 which again looks similar. So there’s some skewing, but it’s pretty minor. And now 4k 120, where again there’s minimal impact from skewing. And finally in 5.8k open gate, where the skewing again looks similar to the 4k clips. Overall I’d say the GH7 does a pretty good job at keeping rolling shutter under control, particularly given this is not even a stacked sensor. You’ll really need to throw it around to notice it.

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