One Body, One Lens: Panasonic G7 in Southern Africa

After spending a couple of weeks travelling around South Africa and Namibia with this combo I found it to be a great lightweight all-in-one option- ideal for capturing a wide range of special moments while on vacation.  This is not my first foray into the world of Micro Four Thirds though.  Look back at my blog posts and you will see me praising the OIympus OM-D E-M10 mk2 body for similar usage after a trip to Seville.  So how does the Panasonic compare?

After my Seville city break I decided that for the type of photography I would use the Micro Four Thirds system for, a one lens solution or 'superzoom' set-up would work best.  I was previously using the 12-40mm f2.8 and 40-150mm f4-5.6R combo but found I was switching lenses a lot and needed something in which to carry the additional lens. 

African penguins from the wider end (19mm)

To telephoto portraits (130mm) 

I had decided that the Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-140mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH Power OIS was the lens I would use as a single lens travel solution- covering a moderate wide angle to telephoto in a turn of the wrist.

In terms of looks, the Olympus wins out for me with it's retro styling and it generally feels more of a quality item.
The Panasonic is very lightweight (not a bad thing), plastic-y and not very pretty.  However in the hand, the Panasonic, for me, feels so much more comfortable to use with the integrated grip.  

"Selfie" mode in action in Cape Town

The other thing I liked was the fully articulating screen to allow for 'selfie' shots- something that could be fun and useful for trips with my girlfriend as we never have any photos of us together- I'm normally busy behind the camera.

Another important area where I found the Panasonic superior was the in-camera menus (so much more user-friendly that the Olympus system) and customization options with a whole host of dials and buttons to reconfigure to personal taste.  

For me the image quality was very similar but the overall user experience of the Panasonic was much better as I preferred the "mini-DSLR" design handling of the G7.  

I caught this lizard sunning himself on the rocks around the edge of the pool (84mm)

And just a moment later, a landscape shot using the wide end of the lens (14mm)

The Panasonic G7 does not have in-body stabilisation like the Olympus (newer models have since adopted this) and relies instead on in-lens stabilisation.   The only additional purchase I made was a couple of third-party batteries as back-ups and I was good to go.

In the field always having the G7 with the 14-140mm close at hand worked great- I loved being able to capture wide shots and then isolate details with the telephoto end of the lens without having to change lenses. From landscape shots of the desert to close-ups of penguins and everything else in between, I was very pleased with what my new travel companion delivered and would recommend it to anyone looking for a balance of quality and versatility.
5 stars (out of 5) from me!