Panasonic GX7 Ergonomic Review

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by AndrewS, Dec 21, 2013.

  1. AndrewS

    AndrewS Mu-43 Regular

    May 12, 2012
    • Like Like x 2
  2. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Interesting review - thanks. I played with the GX7 in a shop and didn't gel with it at all. I found the viewfinder somewhat 'tunnel like' in use which was my main complaint. The issue of poor grip is, I think, something that can be levelled at any of the rangefinder-style cameras. If a chunky grip is needed, then size will suffer. I think it's a fundamental compromise with smaller form factors.
  3. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    Real Name:
    call me Arg
    I think it requires a specific gripping technique to be most comfortable and functional. I provided a few suggestions on your blog, Andrew.
  4. orfeo

    orfeo Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 27, 2013
    Thanks for the review, I think the gx7 is fantastic in its handling.
  5. val

    val Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 19, 2013
    Real Name:
    I found the GX7 to be annoying to handle at first but I'm certainly use to it now.
  6. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin .

    Oct 9, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    I didn't read anywhere in your review where you attempted operating the camera by anything other than the conventional method. I would find it useful in a blog that concentrates in ergonomics to read comment on how well the grip and controls are suited to a "thumb-trigger" hold or to the ease of shooting and and operating the controls when using the touchscreen shutter release.
  7. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    My reaction on first holding the GX7 was the same as the OPs. The smaller grip and the top-of-body release don't work well when you try to hold the camera the same way you hold, say, the GH3 (which I also own). But rather than giving up, I experimented a bit, and found that a revised grip, with my hand rotated rearward relative to the GH3, and my middle finger above the grip, rather than on it, works very well. In some respects, I find it more comfortable than the way I hold my GH3.

    As for the strap lug, yeah, it's in the way, and I wish Panasonic would discover modern approaches to strap lugs (modern, like what Canon figured out in the 1980s!). I've discovered, however, that if I position the strap so it comes up between my index and 3rd fingers (2nd finger behind, on the release, 3rd finger in front, above the grip, it's not really an issue. Not ideal perhaps, but not a big deal. It would benefit from a good thumb rest on the rear, however.

    I'll grab a photo of how I hold the camera tomorrow, and update this post.

    Does the larger GH3 have better ergos? Yes, certainly. It's one of the best digital cameras I've owned in that respect (although certainly not perfect). Making a camera as small as the GX7 inevitably involves compromises. But I think it's not nearly as bad as the OP seems to think: it just requires the photographer to adapt to it a bit. I bought this camera specifically because of it's small size. I wouldn't want a grip as large as the GH3's. It would defeat the purpose.
  8. ThomD

    ThomD Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 1, 2013
    SF Bay Area
    Interesting to read your G6 article and see that we came to similar ergonomic conclusions - some of the buttons on the back are too easy to activate with the palm of your hand and the shutter button is slightly off. I'm addressing those issues with some Sugru on the back to protect the buttons and on the side to make the grip slightly wider.
  9. jhinkey

    jhinkey New to Mu-43

    Dec 23, 2013
    I was definitely annoyed a bit at first after holding onto the GX7 + Leica 180/3.4 APO Telyt (very heavy) + adapter for about 10 minutes, but then I remembered how it was to hold onto my Nikon FE2 or FM3A - you have to work with the camera to figure it out. I likely will get a thumb grip to help out. That's the price you pay for compactness and I knew it going in to the purchase.

    I bet someone will make an add-on grip of some sort to help out with the handling.
  10. biomed

    biomed Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 22, 2013
    Seattle area
    Real Name:
    Thank you! Your review seems to be one of the "fairer" ones. There are several other reviews that seem a bit nit picky on the GX7 and tend to blow off similar issues with other cameras. I find the GX7 to be an excellent camera for manual operation. The EVF fits me just fine and allows me to see the complete display while wearing my glasses. The only issue I have with the tilting LCD is when the GX7 is mounted on a tripod. It is a bit awkward to view with the camera positioned to shoot in the vertical portrait position. I often use the EVF from the side. I find my GH3 with its articulated LCD better suited for tripod work. I find the GX7 comfortable to hold and have no issue with the strap lug. I do admit that it does not feel as good in my hand as the GH3. I really enjoy the GX7's almost rangefinder like feeling. I suppose that manual focus aided by focus peaking adds a lot to the RF like feel. The GX7 has become my favorite camera followed by the GH3. I 100% agree with you on the try before you buy approach to cameras. I fell in love with the GX7 almost at first sight and continue to like it more every day. Finding a camera that you can enjoy every time you use it is a personal thing and very subjective. The ergonomics of a camera are very important and can over shadow any other qualities the camera may have. I got rid of a very nice Contax rangefinder that was an excellent camera but the ergonomics did not work for me. You were very clear why the GX7 did not work for you, but not say that it was piece of junk as implied by some of the other reviewers. Well done!

  11. moccaman

    moccaman Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 4, 2012
    Pick up a E-P5 and you will consider the GX7 to have an awesome grip!
  12. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    Nice review, I read the whole thing. Ergonomics are important, I'd likely only leave my current body behind if the GX7 was much better…no need or desire to change for a while.
  13. pcake

    pcake Mu-43 Regular

    May 3, 2010
    i tried the GX7 in a shop the other day, and it felt immediately familiar and comfortable. i also find the G6 quite comfy. oddly i've tried the canon SL1 (their smallest DSLR) repeatedly, and although i'd like to love it, holding it always makes my fingers cramp.
  14. Pannym4tercios

    Pannym4tercios New to Mu-43

    Jan 7, 2014
    know if there is a batery grip or just additional grip for GX7?

    It makes me a little bit when I want to focus manually, and there are big lenses that also would need that extra grip.

    No matter if it is original or if it's a grip of another brand