Recently I purchased the Panasonic G7. I’ve heard great things about the camera, especially its amazing video capabilities.
As soon as I received and unwrapped the package, I was immediately impressed with everything about it. For such a budget price point, it was surely packed with features. It had a very nice micro-4/3 sensor, configurable autofocus with different modes depending on the subject, a great electronic viewfinder and things like zebras and focus peaking (for easily seeing what’s in focus and not).
Since The Panasonic G7 is a mirrorless camera, it’s also very light and thus completely suitable for vlogging. I recorded around 20 vlogs with it and never felt tired after hours of carrying it around the city. That wasn’t the case with my older DSLR camera.
The kit lens that comes with the camera is the 14-42mm (28-84 in 35mm equivalent). Having 28mm focus length on the wider length, it’s a bit too narrow for vlogging. (For optimal results, you want to aim for 24mm or less.)
While the camera performs very well in most areas, one area of weakness is its autofocusing system. For general photography, it’s very fast and reliable. But for video, the continuous autofocusing leaves a lot to be desired. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t.
After playing around with the settings some more, I was able to get it working pretty well. Unfortunately, it was still not as reliable as I wanted.
Don’t get me wrong, the Panasonic’s autofocus is certainly not terrible. It has decent autofocus. In fact, the autofocus works excellent. When you’re taking pictures or pressing the button, it’s very quick and snappy.
The main issue is video autofocus; in other words, continuous autofocus. Most of the time it works, but there are plenty of times when it simply doesn’t focus or spends a lot of time “hunting” for focus. If you’re vlogging and you are relying on the autofocus, prepare to be out of focus every now and then.
The search for the next camera
Thus, began to search for the next video camera. I had many vlogging cameras to pick from, but the camera that I really wanted to go with needed to have solid and reliable autofocus. I didn’t want to buy a nice camera that ticked all the boxes, only to realize later that my face blurry or in and out of focus. I had suffered through that enough and wanted a change.
I wanted to pick a camera with an absolutely amazing autofocus.
Both cameras have a decently big crop-sensor for nice bokeh and low light performance. And, of course, both cameras have amazing autofocus performance as well.
One of the issues that I had heard about the Sony A6000 (via many reviews on the web and youtube) is that it suffers from overheating. So, what happens is that, during video recording, suddenly the camera flashes an overheating warning and shuts off.
This is a known issue and happens sporadically. You may have gotten lucky and received a model that never turns off. Or, you may buy one that shots off after 5-10 minutes of recording.
It’s like Russian roulette, you simply don’t know how reliable the camera will be.
That’s pretty considering it’s a Sony camera—one of the most respected brands in the world and some garage shop—and it’s 2018 when electronics should just work and not have random issues.
Of course, I’ve also heard of many cases where the camera performed absolutely flawlessly and never turned off. Still, I wanted something more reliable.
The other option was the trusty Canon 70D. This is the camera that’s used by many great bloggers, including guys like Casey Neistat and Luis Cole. In many ways, you simply can’t go wrong with this camera. Plus it has an external microphone jack, something the Sony doesn’t have. It was a simple choice.
Selling and buying Canon 70D
After a little more deliberation, I decided to pick up the Canon 70D on Amazon. I received, unpacked and started blogging almost immediately. I also bought an external microphone for it and a gorilla tripod to keep it stable.
Let me tell you: the focus is simply phenomenal. There’s simply nothing like that on the market today. You simply press on the LCD screen and would focus on that point. Or, you can move on a moving object such as your face when vlogging and it would track your face flawlessly, something that the Panasonic G7 had problems doing.
In short, it just works. That means it’s one less thing I don’t have to worry about. I just turn it on, set the focus on some object, whether they’re moving or stationary, and it just tracks it like a champ. That’s pretty awesome.
That, combined with the external microphone and the gorilla tripod makes for a truly amazing camera.
I truly think that the Panasonic G7 is an amazing camera. It has some amazing features that are common to see on cameras that are double or triple in price. So, you’re getting a lot of great features for the price. I still believe that if you’re not particularly interested in video or continuous autofocus, then it’s still an amazing option. I know many filmmakers swear by it and record all of their videos in manual focus.
Personally, I like to keep things simple and prefer the camera to do the focusing for me. It’s 2018, after all! So, if I buy a camera today and it has unacceptable and unreliable autofocus, I’ll feel that I’m being cheated in some way.
Fortunately, there are tons of great cameras that meet each individual’s needs. Whether you need a camera that’s light, has an interchangeable lens or has flawless autofocus, you’ll find one. In my case, it’s the Canon 70D (or maybe the new Canon 80D in the future). For you, it might be something else.