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?

Like the primes you do tend to get what you pay, and it’s unsurprising perhaps to see the less accessibly priced models sitting at the top of the league as revealed in the OM-D E-M1 lens recommendation.  In first place is the new Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 Pro at $1,000. It’s an excellent performer and it has a mechanical manual focus option with hard stops, making it an excellent choice for filmmakers. Panasonic’s 12-35mm f2.8 has similar overall IQ and is pricier still but it has optical stabilization built-in. Keep in mind that’s not really necessary on the GX7 as it’s the first model from Panasonic to feature in-body stabilization. 

Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-40mm F2.8 PRO1000165
Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 35-100mm / F2.8 / POWER O.I.S.1300156
Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm / F2.8 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S.1129155
Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH1100125
Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 9-18mm f4.0-5.6700115
Panasonic LUMIX G VARIO 14-42mm / F3.5-5.6 II ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S.245114
Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-42mm f3.5-5.6270104
Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 40-150mm f4.0-5.6236104
Panasonic LUMIX G VARIO 100-300mm/F4.0-5.6/MEGA O.I.S.600104
Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO PZ 14-42mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S.399104
Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO PZ 45-175mm / F4.0-5.6 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S.383104
Panasonic LUMIX G VARIO 45-150mm F4-5.6 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S.300104
Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75-300mm F4.8-6.7 II550104
Panasonic LUMIX G VARIO 14-140mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S.920104
Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-50mm f3.5-6.3 EZ499103
Panasonic LUMIX G VARIO 45-200mm f/4.0-5.6 MEGA O.I.S.25593
Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75-300mm f4.8-6.780083
Panasonic LUMIX G Vario HD 14-140mm F4.0-5.8 ASPH85083

In second place is the 35-100mm f2.8. As the equivalent to a 70-200mm it’s a good performer optically and even has higher peak sharpness than the 12-35/40mm models. Although a welcome addition to the system the performance gains are made at the shorter end of the zoom range. And at $1,300, it’s not for everybody. Key lenses to look for include the 7-14mm and the 9-18mm as wide-angle choices. Both models perform similarly overall with DxOMark scores of the 12 and 11 points, respectively, and with peak sharpness measured at 5P-Mpix.

Another important lens in the line up is the 14-140mm. As an equivalent to a 28-280mm this small and compact parfocal zoom is often the first choice for moviemakers and is one of the most versatile models of any current CSC compact system. The original has recently been upgraded and has a slightly faster maximum aperture, new improved focusing and stabilization (perhaps unnecessary on the GX7) and, best of all, it has improved optical performance.