In these game changing modes, which can be switched on by turning the left-most control dial to the “4K” several frame option in the middle of the selections, what you’re actually doing is capturing a small 4K video and snipping the frames out of it after the video has been shot.
Now if we want to get technical, you could do this with any 4K video, because really, all that’s happening is Panasonic is letting you cut one of thirty frames every second out of that 3840×2160 video, which in turn results in an 8 megapixel image.
Those eight megapixels are cut down from the 16 megapixel sensor, which tells you that the 4K video is basically shooting the centre frame from the 16 megapixel LiveMOS sensor Panasonic is using, and that’s something you can tell when you switch the mode on, because instantly you get closer to the action whether you want to or not.
So you shoot a video — a very small video — with a 4K burst mode letting you fire as long as you hold the shutter down or when you press once and press start to end, and when that’s done, you go and cut 8 megapixel frames out of it.
This is great, but another mode is absolutely ingenious, and totally indispensable: 4K pre-burst.
Pre-burst is Panasonic’s TiVo of functions and acts almost like a car camera, recording a small two second video constantly until it’s woken up.
When you “wake up” the G7 by pressing the shutter, it grabs a second of video from before you hit the shutter and the second afterwards, allowing you to see the moment before and after the frame you were going after and save it later on.
In a way, it’s like having a time machine for your camera, and it is absolutely freaking amazing for sports photography, providing a shot you can’t miss out on with a video you can edit an image out of on the camera.
Without a doubt, this is one of our favourite features on a digital camera in a long time, and if you have a long lens to work with, will allow you to get close to the action and capturing images at the speed the pros are shooting, with even a bit of hindsight.
Of course, you don’t have to shoot 4K photos, because there’s 4K video here, too.
For that, just head to any of the modes and use the red record button up top, providing VGA (640×480) quality through to 720p HD, 1080p Full HD, and that massive 4K UHD video if need be.
Manual filmmakers can find a little more control under the manual movie mode, and this will play nicely with the auto-focus control near the viewfinder, allowing you to quickly change focus modes — auto and manual — while you’re shooting simply with a flick of the thumb.
One area we do wish Panasonic would change is the battery, an area we frequently make comments on that few companies are doing much about.
Traditionally, camera companies have provided an external battery charger plugged through a figure-eight cable, which means there’s a bit of extra bulk in your hand luggage or camera bag regardless.
Recently, though, some manufacturers have picked up on the whole international standard thing that is microUSB, throwing this into the body and using this as a way of charging the battery inside the camera.
We love that and think it’s a great development, but unfortunately, Panasonic has not done this with the Lumix G7, so you’ll need to bring that external charger for this little box.
On the upside, we found the battery lasted a good 200-300 shots, though the 4K pre-burst feature definitely ate into the time aggressively, lasting closer to 150-200 shots when this was used often.
There’s no other way of saying this, but Panasonic’s Lumix G7 is an absolute game changer when it comes to cameras, and the 4K pre-burst has to be one of our favourite additions to a digital camera in the eight years we’ve been reviewing cameras.
Simply put, this will make sports photography better because you won’t have to worry about “did I press the shutter at the right time” and can instead cut out the image you want from a small video waiting for you.
That is a tremendously awesome feature.
Granted, the image quality may only be 8 megapixels — because 4K is technically just 8 megapixels — but it should be more than enough, and will definitely get you the shot, as well as a small video in case you want that, too.
Beyond this game changing feature, the G7 is a star of a camera, with enough controls, dials, and buttons to make even the most enthusiastic of photographers happy, a comfortable grip, and a general feeling that you have a camera that isn’t messing about.
Just make sure to get a different lens, as that’s the one area in the sub-$1000 kit that really needs work.
Value for money
Ease of Use
Reader Rating0 Votes
Comfortable to hold; Loads of function buttons; 4K burst and pre-burst modes are literal game changers and perfect for sports or high-speed photography; Decent shots are possible from this camera, though we'd change that kit lens first; Support for wireless included;
Eye-sensor can sometimes be a little fiddly, switching off the rear LCD when your eye isn’t behind the viewfinder; No charging from the camera itself, and an external charger is still needed;