Without any surprise, Panasonic officially unveils the much-leaked Lumix GX7, the company’s current most enthusiast-focused Micro Four Thirds(MFT) camera.

GX7 main 1024x768 Panasonic unveils enthusiast grade 16MP Lumix GX7

In 2009, the Lumix GF1 was launched with overwhelmingly positive response. It packed a MFT sensor and all the control functions you could wish for in a compact body. With the GF1, Panasonic successfully established the GF line of compact camera targeted to photo-enthusiast.

However, many are disappointed when the successors of the GF1, the GF2 and GF3 went with a simpler design and omitted controls for the sake of even smaller bodies. Thus, the GX line was created by Panasonic to re-capture the enthusiast market and attention.

The latest entry in the GX line, the range-finder styled Lumix GX7 packs a 16 MP Live MOS sensor, tilting-LCD, articulated Electronic Viewfinder (EVF), a rubberised grip  and a pop-up flash into a compact magnesium-alloy frame measuring 402 grams. Compared to the GX1 it replaces, the GX7 includes a newly developed in-body image stabilizer and extra connectivities such as WiFi and NFC. The in-body image stabilizer is new to Panasonic as they previously relied on their in-lens Optical Image Stabilization (O.I.S) to produce vibration-free captures. According to Panasonic, the in-body image stabilization in GX7 works as well as their previous O.I.S. technology.

4 Panasonic unveils enthusiast grade 16MP Lumix GX7

The most novel feature on the GX7 has to be the articulated 1024 x 768 pixels 2.3 million dots EVF. Though EVF is common, it is the first tilt-up EVF to be featured in a compact system camera. On paper, the 2.3 million dots EVF has similar specifications compared to high end EVFs such as those in Sony NEX-7 and Olympus EM-5.

Other notable features are the ISO upward of 25600 and the shutter speed upward of 1/8000 second. If video capturing is your thing, the GX7 also shoots 1080 video at 60p/60i/24p in MP4 or AVCHD format. The speed of the GX7 is no slouch as it will be ready to shoot in 0.5 seconds upon turn on. With autofocus, the GX7 has the ability to burst shoot at 4.3 fps and 40 fps with electronic shutter.

Panasonic needed something  in order to battle in the enthusiast compact system camera segment currently consisted of Sony NEX-7, Olympus EM-5 and Fujifilm XE-1. With the launch of Lumix GX7 today, Panasonic addresses many concerns from enthusiasts and is able to match or even exceed the competitors feature-wise.

The Lumix GX7 will be priced at $1100 with 14-42mm kit lens and $1000 body only. It is available for pre-order now and is expected to ship in November.