This one is a bit surprising, in the sense that most camera manufacturers are slowly giving up the low-end (Olympus has more or less abandoned the Pen, consolidating what was a three-camera line into a single-camera afterthought). The DMC-GF7 is basically a GM1 with a screen that flips up for selfies, and has a few tweaks to the button layout to cater to beginners. Everything else, including the 16 megapixel sensor and the kit lens seems to be the same.
The USA pricing for it is a bit of a shock for me, since at US$600 it is what the GM1 is here in Singapore. Lately pricing can vary quite a bit between Singapore and USA; while new cameras typically have little differences, the recent cameras have Singapore street prices 25% lower than the USA street prices. Still, for a company trying to push their margins up, I don’t think Panasonic will depress the entry level camera pricing by that much. So perhaps the GF series is no longer a budget camera, but a premium compact camera that is aimed at casual users.
The GF7 will be available in February, in both silver-trimmed black and pink.by