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Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Hands-On Review

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Category: Compact Cameras
Product: Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Hands-On Review - We look at the new Panasonic Lumix LX7 - the update to the LX5 with a bright f/1.4 aperture lens.

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Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Panasonic Lumix Lx7 (4) | 1/25 sec | f/4.1 | 20.0 mm | ISO 3200

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.

Panasonic Lumix LX7 Features

Panasonic Lumix Lx7 (5) | 1/30 sec | f/4.1 | 20.0 mm | ISO 3200

For anyone who's familiar with the LX5, the LX7 will be instantly familiar with a largely unchanged design, with the largest differences being the aperture ring around the lens, the addition of ND filter button on the back and stereo microphones on top.

Panasonic Lumix Lx7 (8) | 1/50 sec | f/4.1 | 21.0 mm | ISO 3200

Key Features

  • 10.1 megapixel MOS sensor
  • f/1.4-2.3 Leica DC Vario-Summilux 3.8x optical zoom lens, 24-90mm equiv.
  • Power Optical Image Stabilisation (O.I.S)
  • 3 inch screen
  • Aperture control dial
  • 1080p video, stereo sound
  • ISO80 - 12800
  • Creative control (16 effects)
  • Time-lapse shot, Level guage
  • HDR / Sweep Panorama / Internal Neutral Density Filter

Panasonic Lumix LX7 Handling

Panasonic Lumix Lx7 (6) | 1/40 sec | f/4.1 | 20.0 mm | ISO 3200

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 if the focus switch letting you choose between AF / AF+Macro or Manual.

Panasonic Lumix Lx7 (12) | 1/60 sec | f/4.1 | 20.0 mm | ISO 640 Panasonic Lumix Lx7 (13) | 1/60 sec | f/4.1 | 20.0 mm | ISO 800
Electronic level Updated menu system

Menus – 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.

Panasonic Lumix Lx7 (9) | 1/40 sec | f/4.1 | 20.0 mm | ISO 3200

Battery life - Battery life is rated at 330 shots according to CIPA standards. We have no reason to doubt this would be possible, and the camera uses the same battery as the LX5.

Panasonic Lumix Lx7 (11) | 1/50 sec | f/4.1 | 20.0 mm | ISO 3200

Speed – Focus seemed quick and reliable, however the zoom speed going from wide to telephoto seemed much slower than expected. However it's possible this was an early firmware issue. Continuous shooting was certainly impressive offering 11fps continuous shooting at full resolution, or 5fps continuos shooting with C-AF.

Panasonic Lumix LX7 Performance

Additional photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review and product ratings. Pre-production sample photos, resized to 5mp at Panasonic's request.

f/1.4 | 1/60 sec | f/1.4 | 4.7 mm | ISO 400
f/1.4 | 1/60 sec | f/1.4 | 4.7 mm | ISO 400
  f/2 | 1/30 sec | f/2.0 | 4.7 mm | ISO 400
f/2 | 1/30 sec | f/2.0 | 4.7 mm | ISO 400
f/2.8 | 1/40 sec | f/2.8 | 4.7 mm | ISO 800
f/2.8 | 1/40 sec | f/2.8 | 4.7 mm | ISO 800
  f/4 | 1/15 sec | f/4.0 | 4.7 mm | ISO 800
f/4 | 1/15 sec | f/4.0 | 4.7 mm | ISO 800
f/5.6 | 1/15 sec | f/5.6 | 4.7 mm | ISO 1600
f/5.6 | 1/15 sec | f/5.6 | 4.7 mm | ISO 1600
  f/8 | 1/15 sec | f/8.0 | 4.7 mm | ISO 3200
f/8 | 1/15 sec | f/8.0 | 4.7 mm | ISO 3200
Cafe | 1/400 sec | f/2.8 | 8.4 mm | ISO 80
Cafe | 1/400 sec | f/2.8 | 8.4 mm | ISO 80
  Night | 1/40 sec | f/1.7 | 7.9 mm | ISO 400
Night | 1/40 sec | f/1.7 | 7.9 mm | ISO 400
HDR Off | 1/1600 sec | f/2.8 | 4.7 mm | ISO 80
HDR Off | 1/1600 sec | f/2.8 | 4.7 mm | ISO 80
  HDR On | 1/800 sec | f/5.6 | 4.7 mm | ISO 160
HDR On | 1/800 sec | f/5.6 | 4.7 mm | ISO 160
Dogs | 1/1300 sec | f/2.8 | 4.7 mm | ISO 80
Dogs | 1/1300 sec | f/2.8 | 4.7 mm | ISO 80
  Into Sun | 1/1600 sec | f/2.8 | 4.7 mm | ISO 80
Into Sun | 1/1600 sec | f/2.8 | 4.7 mm | ISO 80
Fountain | 1/1600 sec | f/3.2 | 10.8 mm | ISO 80
Fountain | 1/1600 sec | f/3.2 | 10.8 mm | ISO 80
  Park | 1/1600 sec | f/3.2 | 4.7 mm | ISO 80
Park | 1/1600 sec | f/3.2 | 4.7 mm | ISO 80
Wide | 1/2000 sec | f/2.8 | 4.7 mm | ISO 80
Wide | 1/2000 sec | f/2.8 | 4.7 mm | ISO 80
  Zoom | 1/1600 sec | f/3.5 | 17.7 mm | ISO 80
Zoom | 1/1600 sec | f/3.5 | 17.7 mm | ISO 80

Sample Photos - Colour reproduction appears to be very good, and it's possible to expand dynamic range using either iDynamic or the camera's HDR mode. The lens is resistant to flare and shooting into the sun there was little flare. Exposure was good and the camera allows you to focus on subjects just 1cm from the front of the lens in macro mode.

Value For Money

When the LX5 was first released in 2010, the "serious compact" market was much smaller, with just a few competitors. Since then, the market has expanded rapidly with an introduction of competing models from all the major competitors. Cameras to look at include the Sony Cybershot RX100, Fujifilm X10, Canon Powershot S100, Nikon Coolpix P310, Olympus XZ-1, Samsung EX2F. With the LX7 RRP around £449, it makes it quite noticeably more expensive than the LX5, but less than the Sony Cybershot RX100.

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 LX7 Verdict

The Panasonic Lumix LX7 with new high speed sensor and 11fps shooting, bright f/1.4 lens and manual aperture control, as well as refreshed features (including HDR and sweep panorama), make the LX7 an impressive update to the LX5. The camera is compact and feels extremely well built, and while it's only a pre-production model, the image quality appears to be excellent, with low noise, even at some of the higher ISO settings, and the f/1.4 lens lets you take some excellent photos with out of focus backgrounds. We are very much looking forward to testing this fully when production versions of the camera are ready.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Specifications

ManufacturerPanasonic
Lens
Max Aperture f/1.4 - f/2.3
35mm equivalent 24mm - 90mm
Optical Zoom 3.8x
Image Sensor
CCD pixels 10.1Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W) 3648
Pixels (H) 2736
Sensor Type Live MOS Sensor
Sensor Size 1/1.7 inch
Sensor Size (width) No Data
Sensor Size (height) No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
  • 1:1
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor 3in
Screen resolution 920k dots
Touch Screen No
Focusing
Min Focus 1cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Manual
  • Face Detection
  • Spot
  • AF Tracking
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest 1/4000sec
Shutter speeds longest 8sec
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
  • Program Variable
Metering
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity 80 - 12800
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Shade
  • Flash
Exposure Comp +/-3
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting 11fps
Video
Movie mode Yes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080
  • 1280x720 720p
  • 640x480 VGA
Video FPS 50p
Stereo Sound Yes
Optical Zoom with Video Yes
Other Features
Image Stabilisation Yes
Interface
HDMI Yes
USB USB 2
Wi-Fi No
Storage
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • RAW
  • JPG
  • RAW + JPG
Power Source
Battery Type Lithium Ion
CIPA Rating 330
Box Contents
Box Contents Battery pack, battery charger, shoulder strap, USB cable, CD-ROM, hot shoe cover, screw cover, lens cap and lens cap string
Dimensions
Weight 269g
Width 110.5mm
Height 67.1mm
Depth 45.6mm

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Comments

mikemon
mikemon  1
4 Aug 2012 - 7:50 PM

Hello, please could you told me about the time lapse settings, how many seconds between shots? thx in advance

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8 Aug 2012 - 8:51 PM

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Niknut
Niknut e2 Member 4401 forum postsNiknut vcard United Kingdom60 Constructive Critique Points
8 Aug 2012 - 8:51 PM

No reference to an accessory EVF ?????......looking at the rear shot, there looks to be
a socket below the flash shoe that may take an EVF ??.....if so, that would be one
delectable compact camera, & still very pocketable, by removing the EVF !!

Look forward to the full in-depth review.........Smile

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