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 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.
Full manual controls - aperture ring, internal ND filter and focus lever
Full 1080p HD video recording
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 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.
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo
Shot to Shot (without flash)
Shot to Shot with Flash
Burst shooting - 2 fps
Burst shooting - 5 fps
Burst shooting - 11 fps
Burst shooting - 40 fps
Burst shooting - 60 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 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 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
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
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.
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
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