Best lenses for the 16-MPix Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7: Part 1

By Kevin Carter - Thursday, December 12, 2013

Lens Recommendations
Introduction | Best prime lenses for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 | Best zoom lenses for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 | How does sharpness compare between the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 and the Olympus OM-D E-M1?
Best lenses for the 16-MPix Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7: Part 1

We’ve had the opportunity to analyze the image quality of Panasonic’s high-end 16-Mpix Lumix DMC-GX7 mirrorless camera with over 70% of the native mount lenses that are currently available (for it). We’ve scrutinized a total of 33 Panasonic, Olympus and Sigma made lenses to assess the imaging characteristics specifically with the new camera. Read on to find out which of those models you should be using, and which, if any, you should try and avoid.

Intended as the replacement to the firm’s enthusiast compact GX1 model the new GX7 has similar rangefinder-like lines but improves on the original in a number of significant ways. The most obvious perhaps is the inclusion of a built-in articulated widescreen electronic viewfinder and touchscreen LCD. This camera is also the first Lumix G-series model from the firm to feature built-in image stabilization, albeit not the same 5-axis stabilized sensor platform as found on rival high-end Olympus models.

Panasonic says the GX7 adopts a new 16-Mpix L-MOS sensor with a redesigned on-chip lens arrangement and promises increased saturation, an improved SNR and an increase in detail. But that’s not clear if the firm is comparing the upgraded sensor and associated electronics to the GX1 or the more recent top-of the range GH3.

The increase in detail, claimed to be 10% in the press release published at the time of the camera’s announcement is particularly of interest. Unlike rival firms, no mention has been made of the sensor’s optical low pass (anti-aliasing) filter but it’s likely the filter has been modified to enhance AF performance and improve detail.

Taking that into consideration our labs have evaluated the optical quality of over 30 different lenses on the camera from both Panasonic and Olympus, and we’ve also included the results from Sigma’s new DN range of prime lenses made specifically for mirrorless cameras.

We’ve analyzed close to 20 zooms and 15 primes in total, recently adding the new high-grade Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f2.8 Pro and the recently upgraded Panasonic 20mm f1.7 ‘pancake’ lens, previously one of the most popular lenses in the range. Panasonic has also updated the 14-140mm, a hugely versatile lens that was compact in size, stabilized and parfocal in design, making it very attractive to filmmakers. We’ve included the two models in our results.

If you have any particular lens you would like to see tested, please leave the details in the comment section below this article.

Best prime lenses for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7

Best zoom lenses for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7

How does sharpness compare between the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 and the Olympus OM-D E-M1?

See also: Best lenses for the 16-MPix Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7: Part 2 - primes and zooms in depth