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GX7 Purchase Advice... or "Do you ever scream at your codec?"


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Good Day!

I'm new to the site and new to video work, but I've been lurking around the forums and Review Articles for a while now, trying to figure out what camera I should pick.


While totally new to serious videography, I've been doing photography and very light video on the side for about 6 years, so I wouldn't say I'm blind to the more enthusiast thresholds of acceptable quality.


With that in mind, I've narrowed it down to two models. Well... one. Two. Maybe just one. Possibly two. 

Or GH3. 


Currently I'm heavily leaning towards the GX7 as:


- I assume focus peaking for someone that isn't trained in the art of manual focusing would be nothing short of magical(?).

- I will not be needing high quality external audio (for the foreseeable future) (I'll probably mostly be doing artsy montages with music on top,heh...).

But I've seen the GH3 recommended over the GX7 for video quite a few times because of:

- Bitrate

- Codec


I have read Mr. Reid's (predominantly positive) thoughts on the GX7 and that strongly weighed into me currently leaning towards it. 


My question is:

Has anyone who has tried both the GX7 and a more codec-competent (higher bitrate) solution ever been strongly frustrated with the former at any point?


Like going "THAT WAS THE PERFECT SHOT! GOD HIMSELF PARTED THE SKIES AND UNLEASHED THE MOST HEAVENLY RAYS OF LIGHT THAT DUCK HAS EVER SEEN. YOU HAD - ONE JOB! " when you came home to realize that the water ripples in your perfect shot created the occasional blocky codec artifact? 


I guess my question can mostly be boiled down to "Bitrate Vs. Focus Peaking". I hope it isn't overly redundant. 


Any advice and personal input would be really really appreciated. Like...


...this much > [                                                                                                                                                                         ]

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gx7 is a superb camera panasonics best 1080p camera to date


I highly recomend it - its now replaced my 2 G6s as my main camera


the sensor in it is alot better than the GH3 and cleaner alot less noise too


Peaking is a must cant work without it

the EVF is very good too


codec is fine no blocky artifacts at all



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I have the GM1, which is essentially the GX7 in tinfoil.  A test I'd like to see if the GH4 1080 compared to the GX7/GM1 1080.  My guess is that it would be very close.  The focus peaking is very important, especially with old lenses, as you know.  The bitrate might make a difference if you have a lot of motion, but I can never see it.  To me, there is either RAW or H.264 when it comes to real data depth.  Bitrate-wise, the only benefit to GH4, if you're scaling down to 1080, and you're not zooming into it anywhere, is you eliminate most moire--but that isn't a huge problem with these cameras.  Andy would know better than me,  I guess what I'm saying is that the GX7 is even almost good as the GH4 if you're only shooting 1080 so would be a perfect camera for you because it has the best balance of size and interchangeable lenses.  


Some other things I like about the Panasonic cameras is they have menus dedicated to video settings.  The Android remote app is THE best camera/video app out there.  I was trying out the Sony remote app and it doesn't do video!   Another nice feature of these cameras is the silent shutter.  

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I do wish the GX7 had higher bitrates but having said that, I've never really had any problems grading. The codec is very maleable. The GH3 on the other hand, not only does not have focus peaking but its LCD and viewfinder are both so low resolution that I found it difficult to achieve focus even with a magnifier. Also the GH3 has noticeably more noise, starting at ISO 800.

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