I do a lot of traveling by myself. Some say it’s weird, but I go with it. I enjoy the peace and solitude of being alone. I feel more observant, more in tune with what’s going on around me. No one is there to rain on my parade if I’m there alone. No one is there to say hurry up and make me feel rushed. Traveling alone allows me to take my time and see my photo opportunities.
So since my camera is going to be my only travel companion I needed a good one. I chose the Panasonic DMC-GX7. The first thing that brought me to the GX7 was the simple fact that it records in 1080p HD. Yes, I also need video. Also, this camera focuses very fast, something I really like. I hate when a camera takes forever to lock a focus and then by the time it does the photo opportunity is gone. So yeah, this is all great but for the price of just under eight hundred dollars, what else can it do? I mean, is it worth that price tag?
Most reviews I came across seemed to think so and I agree. The pictures are great, even in poor lighting with the ISO going up to 25600. Be realistic if you set it that high, you will get noise! On the other end, with a max shutter speed of 1/8000s you can freeze action when you need to. So yeah, it does take great photos and the camera has all the manual controls to maintain creative control over the exposure triangle.
The camera also boasts of high power optical quality, viewfinder accuracy, and the ability to seamlessly switch between video and picture mode. The camera has a viewfinder that flips up 90 degrees making it easier to tackle low or odd angles. Like other mirrorless cameras a number of interchangeable lenses for different scenarios are available for purchase. I like having a super wide angle lens with me when I travel for landscapes, cityscapes, etc. Right now I have my eyes set on the Panasonic – Lumix G Fisheye 8mm/F3.5 Lens. It’s a little pricey though so it might be a bit before I can afford it.
One thing I like is that this camera has manual focusing as well as automatic focusing. My previous camera just had autofocus, and sometimes that doesn’t work so well, as most camera owners know. Particularly when it comes to macro photography, auto focus can be a real headache.
It also has a silent shutter, which is awesome, because I love photographing wild life. More often than not, the animal gets scared of the shutter when they hear it, so that shouldn’t be a problem here.
Now the bad, the GX7 is not weather resistant or drop resistant. That’s right, no weatherproofing, etc. This is a huge turn off for me and I really wish they would have considered it on this model. It’s also a bit bulky relative to some of the other mirrorless cameras but not as big as your average dSLR. So yeah, you aren’t putting this in your pocket, maybe a jacket pocket depending on the lens you have on. Still, this camera has suited me well in my travels so far but I imagine the best camera for travel photography would be well, weatherproof and tough!
I also don’t think the battery life is all that good, not for the price and not for what I’ve read about battery life in terms of comparable cameras. There are a lot of people online that also have had complaints about the GX7’s battery life so I’m not the only one. Turn on the Wi-Fi and it really drops fast! So far I’ve had to keep an extra battery handy while out perusing my adventures in the wild. Again, not very travel friendly.
In all truthfulness this is probably not the best camera to take traveling but it’s my problem now. So far it has suited me well, just need to be careful. The camera is just small enough to fit in my jacket pocket but there’s definitely smaller. I have not dropped it or anything so I can’t really speak to how tough it is. I do worry about the weather, sometimes it rains, sometimes it snows. I definitely wouldn’t feel safe shooting out in the elements.
On the flip side, I love that the camera has interchangeable lenses, which makes it largely diverse in the shots one can take. The photos it produces have been great, no complaints.
All in all, I think the camera is worth it for me. The price is a bit steep at just under eight hundred dollars. I don’t know if this is the best travel camera out there but It has fit me well so far.
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