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Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Digital Camera Review

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Digital Camera Review - Daniel Bell gives us his opinion the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7, a serious compact camera with 3.8x optical zoom and 10.1 megapixel MOS sensor.

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Category : Compact Cameras
Product : Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7
Price : £384
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Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification
Panasonic Lumix Dmc Lx7 Front

The LX7 is Panasonic's update to the popular serious compact camera, the Panasonic Lumix LX5, and updates the camera with a new ultra bright f/1.4 3.8x Leica optical zoom lens with Mega O.I.S, manual aperture ring around the lens, ND filter, RAW shooting and manual control. It is available in black or white for £449.00.

Panasonic Lumix Dmc Lx7 Lens Extended

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Features

The LX7 has a 1/1.7 inch, 10.1 megapixel MOS sensor designed to produce high resolution images with stunning clarity as well as a wide dynamic range. To keep noise to a minimum there is Intelligent Noise Reduction and Multi-process Noise Reduction systems. The lens is a Leica DC Vario-Summilix f/1.4, which has 3.8x optical zoom, a 35mm equivalent of 24-90mm. To minimise ghosting and flare the lens has a Nano Surface Coating.

The LX7 has full manual controls as well as a range of scene modes and intelligent auto. To control the light there is an aperture ring, internal ND filter, focus lever and rear dial. The Creative Control mode offers 16 artistic effects, there is also the option to record using Time Lapse Shot.

Videos are recorded in full 1080p HD in 60p (NTSC) / 50p (PAL) in AVCHD Progressive format. There is stereo sound and you can also use the optical zoom during recording. The LX7 lets you record high-speed videos at 120 fps.

Panasonic Lumix Dmc Lx7 Top

Key Features

  • 10.1 megapixel MOS sensor
  • 3.8x optical zoom, f/1.4-2.3 lens (35mm equiv: 24-90mm)
  • Power Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS)
  • 3.0 inch TFT LCD screen (920K dots)
  • Full manual controls - aperture ring, internal ND filter and focus lever
  • Full 1080p HD video recording
  • ISO 80-12800
  • 1cm minimum focusing distance
  • 11fps full resolution continuous shooting
  • Creative control with 16 artistic effects
  • Versatile shooting functions including time lapse shot
  • Available in black and white
Panasonic Lumix Dmc Lx7 Rear

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Handling

The LX7 features a good size rubber grip on the front of the camera. A lens cap can be attached with the lens strap loop to make sure you don't lose it. The camera also comes with a high quality neck strap that helps add additional quality to the camera. A customisable function button can be found on the back 4-way d-pad, a control dial as well as an ND / focus switch. On top of the lens surround is an aspect ratio switch, and on the left of the focus switch letting you choose between AF / AF+Macro or Manual.

The LX7 comes with a built in electronic level, as well as an updated menu system. The menu is clear and has a wealth of options. The camera provides a Q. Menu button giving quick access to common settings overlaid on the rear screen. The screen is bright and clear, although a little difficult to see in really bright conditions. There is the option to purchase the DMW-LVF2 viewfinder if prefered.

Battery life is rated at 330 shots according to CIPA standards, during testing we managed well in excessive of this and the battery was still going strong. We tested the camera's performance at focusing, shutter response, shot-to-shot time, continuous shooting etc. and have posted the results below. To test this we took 6 or more shots and calculated the average.

Shutter Response   0.1 seconds
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response   0.25 seconds
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response   0.3 seconds
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo   1.3 seconds
Shot to Shot (without flash)   0.9 seconds
Shot to Shot with Flash   1.3 seconds
Burst shooting - 2 fps   2.1 fps
Burst shooting - 5 fps   5 fps
Burst shooting - 11 fps   11 fps
Burst shooting - 40 fps   40 fps
Burst shooting - 60 fps   60 fps
Flash burst   1.3 fps

Continuous shooting is certainly impressive offering 11 fps continuous shooting at full resolution, or 5 fps continuous shooting with C-AF. You can shoot at 40 and 60 fps, with file size restricited to 5 and 2.5 megapixels respectively, in JPEG format.

Panasonic Lumix Dmc Lx7 Battery And Memory Card

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Performance

Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Sample Photos


Sample Photos - The LX7 takes pictures with excellent colour reproduction, with portrait shots having excellent skin tones, with just the slightest hint of red-eye when shooting with the flash. The HDR mode does an excellent job of retaining detail in the shadows.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Lens test images


Lens Performance - Images are packed with detail throughout when shooting at both ends of the lens. Purple fringing is kept to a minimum. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of just 1cm, with an impressive, well detailed macro shot possible.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 ISO test images


ISO Noise Performance - Images at ISO 80 and 100 are free of noise, with only a little extra appearing when you shoot at ISO 200, 400 and 800. A little softening appears at ISO 1600, with ISO 3200 showing the first real signs of a loss in image quality, but images are still fairly sharp. At ISO 6400 images are very soft and look like they've been smudged. At the highest setting of ISO 12800, images are extremely noisy, but file size is limited to 3 megapixels.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 White-balance test images


White Balance Performance - Under both our incandescent and fluorescent lights, the AWB preset copes really well. The incandescent preset has a slight orange cast in the image, there is no fluorescent preset available, this isn't a problem given the impressive AWB performance.

Panorama | 1/200 sec | f/8.0 | 4.7 mm | ISO 100
Panorama | 1/200 sec | f/8.0 | 4.7 mm | ISO 100

Panorama mode - Panoramas have a decent amount of detail and are really well stitched together.

Landscape With Building | 1/2000 sec | f/2.8 | 4.7 mm | ISO 80
Landscape With Building | 1/2000 sec | f/2.8 | 4.7 mm | ISO 80
  Glass Through | 1/320 sec | f/2.8 | 4.7 mm | ISO 80
Glass Through | 1/320 sec | f/2.8 | 4.7 mm | ISO 80
 
Low Light | 1/25 sec | f/2.2 | 14.7 mm | ISO 400
Low Light | 1/25 sec | f/2.2 | 14.7 mm | ISO 400
  Manual HDR | 1/60 sec | f/1.4 | 4.7 mm | ISO 100
Manual HDR | 1/60 sec | f/1.4 | 4.7 mm | ISO 100

The first two images above have been taken using a couple of the scene modes above. The Low Light image was taken using Intelligent Auto mode, in dark conditions. The last photo is three images using the bracketing mode available, combined to create a HDR image.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Digital filters


Digital Filters - There are a number of picture styles which can be used when shooting in modes such as manual, aperture and shutter priority. The creative control modes can only be used as their own indepent modes, but you can increase or decrease the level of their affect.

Video - Below is a video shot at full 1080p HD. Quality is excellent, optical zoom is available during recording, an example of which can be seen on the ePHOTOzine Youtube Page, where you will also find an example using the high-speed video mode.



Value For Money

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 is priced at £449.00. Here are some other serious compacts to consider. You can also take a look at our Top 8 Best Serious Compact Digital Cameras.

Fujifilm FinePix X100 Canon Powershot G12 Olympus XZ-1 Canon Powershot S100 Nikon Coolpix P310
Fujifilm FinePix X100 Canon Powershot G12 Olympus XZ-1 Canon Powershot S100 Nikon Coolpix P310
£645 £365 £364 £325 £219

You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Verdict

The LX7 is a superb camera with many DSLR features packed into a compact body, which produces excellent images. If you have a good budget to spend and aren't concerned by large amounts of optical zoom, but want a serious camera capable of great results, you can't go wrong. You can shoot at full resolution at 11 fps, battery life is excellent, there is low noise up to ISO 3200 and full manual controls with RAW shooting, making a camera we are happy to recommend.

 
  The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 packs many useful features with superb image quality.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Pros

Excellent image quality
RAW shooting
Full manual controls
1080p HD video recording
11 fps full resolution continuous shooting
Built-in electronic level
Superb battery life
Low noise up to ISO 3200
Good AWB performance

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Cons

Limited zoom range
Price makes it quite an investment
Touch of red-eye when shooting portraits with the flash

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Specifications

ManufacturerPanasonic
Lens
Max Aperturef/1.4 - f/2.3
35mm equivalent24mm - 90mm
Optical Zoom3.8x
Image Sensor
CCD pixels10.1Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)3648
Pixels (H)2736
Sensor TypeLive MOS Sensor
Sensor Size1/1.7 inch
Sensor Size (width)No Data
Sensor Size (height)No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
  • 1:1
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution920k dots
Touch ScreenNo
Focusing
Min Focus1cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Manual
  • Face Detection
  • Spot
  • AF Tracking
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/4000sec
Shutter speeds longest8sec
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
  • Program Variable
Metering
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity80 - 12800
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Shade
  • Flash
Exposure Comp+/-3
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting11fps
Video
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080
  • 1280x720 720p
  • 640x480 VGA
Video FPS50p
Stereo SoundYes
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Interface
HDMIYes
USBUSB 2
Wi-FiNo
Storage
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • RAW
  • JPG
  • RAW + JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeLithium Ion
CIPA Rating330
Box Contents
Box ContentsBattery pack, battery charger, shoulder strap, USB cable, CD-ROM, hot shoe cover, screw cover, lens cap and lens cap string
Dimensions
Weight269g
Width110.5mm
Height67.1mm
Depth45.6mm

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Photographs taken using the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7

Shadows light and dark.UntitledShadows light and dark.Anni 2BlueThe sun always shine for mereflectionla vecchia signoraconstruction sideunder constructionblack tearsglitter heartglitterbaby shoesmachine 2
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Comments


11 Apr 2013 3:37PM
Thanks for the review. I love the LX7. I've written a Kindle book on how I choose to set up the LX7's many parameters, and why. Take a look ifyou're interested!

LX7 Real World User Guide

Reed
Blog: DMC-365.blogspot.com

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