Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 vs Samsung EX2F Comparison Review
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 vs Samsung EX2F Comparison Review - Looking for a serious compact camera? The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 and Samsung EX2F are two very similar, premium models. Which is better? Daniel Bell finds out.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 and Samsung EX2F are serious compact cameras, with a similar set of features, such as 3 inch LCD screen, full 1080p HD video recording and full manual controls. They have slightly different resolution sensors and optical zoom.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 vs Samsung EX2F Features
In terms of megapixels, the Samsung EX2F offers slightly more at 12.4, whereas the LX7 has 10.1 megapixels. The LX7 has more optical zoom, it's 3.8x offering is a 35mm equivalent of 24-90mm, the 3.3x optical zoom lens on the EX2F is an equivalent of 24-80mm, so they are both as wide, with the Panasonic reaching further at the telephoto end. While shooting wide both lenses have a maximum aperture of f/1.4, with a slight difference at the telephoto end, with the LX7 having a maximum aperture of f/2.3, the EX2F has a maximum aperture of f/2.7 at its maximum length.
Other than that, both cameras are very similar, with optical image stabilisation, 3 inch screens, full manual controls, ISO 80-12800, 1cm minimum focusing distance and full 1080p HD video recording found on both. The LX7 has a higher resolution screen and offers 11fps continuous shooting as opposed to 10fps on the EX2F, but does have built in Wi-Fi.
The Samsung EX2F has a chunky metal body compared to the LX7. It feels well built and the large front rubber grip gives you a firm hold of the camera. On the back there is a small rubber area for your thumb, as well as a raised area to stop you from accidentally pressing the video or AEL buttons. 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 aperture ring, and on the left of the focus switch letting you choose between AF / AF+Macro or Manual.
The EX2F front scroll wheel lets you change settings, or when pressed in lets you set exposure compensation. It's fairly easy to accidentally press this in and alter EV without realising. The lens surround has a bumpy textured area to help grip the camera with your right hand, and this does screw off to allow additional accessories (assuming they are readily available). The swivel screen can be folded away to protect the screen, however this suggests that an electronic viewfinder could be used instead, however one is not (currently) available, and there doesn't appear to be an accessory port even if one was available.
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 preferred.
The Samsung menus are clearly laid out and the high quality screen certainly helps reading and using them. Pressing the Fn (Function) button brings up a "Super Control Panel" which is identical to the Samsung NX menu system, this gives you quick access to a number of common settings and makes it really easy to change options. There are also a number of external controls so that you don't need to use the menus too much on this camera, although the Wi-Fi button on the 4-way dial seems a little redundant especially as there is a Wi-Fi position on the mode dial.
The LX7 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. According to the Samsung user manual (on CD) the battery should last for 240 shots. We were able to take just over 200 shots before the battery went flat. This is likely to be less the more the Wi-Fi is used.
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.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7
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
In all areas except shutter response, the LX7 is quicker than the EX2F, although it is fairly close.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 vs Samsung EX2F Performance
We are comparing some images here, but there are many more taken on both the LX7 and EX2F in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7
Portrait | 1/60 sec | f/2.3 | 17.7 mm | ISO 250
Portrat | 1/45 sec | f/2.8 | 14.4 mm | ISO 100
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 EX2F portrait shot shows good skin tones and colour, and outdoor shots have particularly impressive levels of detail and good colour.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7
Wide Angle | 1/1000 sec | f/2.8 | 4.7 mm | ISO 100
Wide Angle | 1/1000 sec | f/3.1 | 5.2 mm | ISO 80
Full Optical Zoom | 1/1600 sec | f/3.2 | 17.7 mm | ISO 100
Full Optical Zoom | 1/1000 sec | f/4.2 | 17.3 mm | ISO 80
f/1.4 | 1/30 sec | 4.7 mm | ISO 80
f/1.4 | 1/20 sec | f/1.4 | 5.2 mm | ISO 100
f/1.8 | 1/20 sec | 4.7 mm | ISO 80
f/1.8 | 1/15 sec | f/1.8 | 5.2 mm | ISO 100
f/2.2 | 1/15 sec | 4.7 mm | ISO 80
f/2.2 | 1/8 sec | f/2.2 | 5.2 mm | ISO 100
f/2.8 | 1/10 sec | 4.7 mm | ISO 80
f/2.8 | 1/6 sec | f/2.8 | 5.2 mm | ISO 100
f/4.0 | 1/5 sec | 4.7 mm | ISO 80
f/4.3 | 0.5 sec | f/4.3 | 5.2 mm | ISO 100
f/5.6 | 0.4 sec | 4.7 mm | ISO 80
f/5.5 | 0.7 sec | f/5.5 | 5.2 mm | ISO 100
f/6.3 | 0.5 sec | 4.7 mm | ISO 80
f/6.1 | 0.7 sec | f/6.1 | 5.2 mm | ISO 100
f/8.0 | 0.8 sec | f/8.0 | 4.7 mm | ISO 80
f/7.7 | 1 sec | f/7.7 | 5.2 mm | ISO 100
Lens Performance - The EX2F images are very sharp (perhaps a little too sharp for some) and have a lot of detail whether shooting wide or with the zoom. Some purple fringing is visible when shooting bright contrasting areas, however in most situations it is very well controlled. When using the LX7, images are packed with detail throughout when shooting at both ends of the lens. Purple fringing is kept to a minimum. Overall, detail is slightly better when using the EX2F.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7
ISO80 | 1/30 sec | f/2.1 | 13.7 mm
1/20 sec | f/3.0 | 17.3 mm | ISO 80
ISO100 | 1/40 sec | f/2.1 | 13.7 mm
1/20 sec | f/3.0 | 17.3 mm | ISO 100
ISO200 | 1/80 sec | f/2.1 | 13.7 mm
1/45 sec | f/3.0 | 17.3 mm | ISO 200
ISO400 | 1/100 sec | f/2.5 | 13.7 mm
1/60 sec | f/4.2 | 17.3 mm | ISO 400
ISO800 | 1/160 sec | f/2.8 | 13.7 mm
1/125 sec | f/4.2 | 17.3 mm | ISO 800
ISO1600 | 1/320 sec | f/2.8 | 13.7 mm
1/250 sec | f/4.2 | 17.3 mm | ISO 1600
ISO3200 | 1/640 sec | f/2.8 | 13.7 mm
1/500 sec | f/4.2 | 17.3 mm | ISO 3200
ISO6400 | 1/1300 sec | f/2.8 | 13.7 mm
1/750 sec | f/4.2 | 17.3 mm | ISO 6400
ISO12800 | 1/1600 sec | f/3.5 | 13.7 mm
1/1500 sec | f/4.2 | 17.3 mm | ISO 12800
ISO Noise Performance - Images shot on the LX7 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.
With the EX2F, noise is low at ISO100 and ISO200, but becomes visible at ISO 400 and even more so at ISO 800 noise increases. Again at ISO 1600 noise increases further and detail is lost. ISO 3200 shows a lot of noise and this setting is best avoided, as well as the higher settings. In normal outdoor shooting images appear to have low noise levels when using the lower ISO settings.
Overall, the LX7 far out performs the EX2F in terms of image quality at ISO 400 and upwards.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7
AWB preset - incandescent lighting | 1/80 sec | f/1.8 | 8.4 mm | ISO 100
AWB preset - incandescent lighting | 1/45 sec | f/2.4 | 8.9 mm | ISO 100
Incandescent preset - incandescent lighting | 1/80 sec | f/1.8 | 8.4 mm | ISO 100
Incandescent preset - incandescent lighting | 1/45 sec | f/2.4 | 8.9 mm | ISO 100
AWB preset - fluorescent lighting | 1/15 sec | f/1.8 | 8.4 mm | ISO 100
AWB preset - fluorescent lighting | 1/10 sec | f/2.4 | 8.9 mm | ISO 100
No fluorescent preset on the LX7
Fluorescent preset - fluorescent lighting | 1/10 sec | f/2.4 | 8.9 mm | ISO 100
White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance (AWB) performance on the EX2F is good with a slightly warm result under tungsten lighting. For a more neutral result, using the tungsten preset has produced an excellent image. AWB performs very well under fluorescent lighting, and using the fluorescent preset has given the image a very slight green cast.
When using the LX7, 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.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Panorama | 1/200 sec | f/8.0 | 4.7 mm | ISO 100
Samsung EX2F Panoramic | 1/1000 sec | f/3.5 | 5.2 mm | ISO 100
Panorama mode - Both cameras take panoramas which are stitched together well, the EX2F ones have more detail and a higher resolution.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Digital filters
Samsung EX2F Digital filters
Digital Filters - The EX2F has a number of Smart Filters to apply filters and special effects. In the Magic Plus home you can select a number of standard scene modes as well as panoramic, magic frame, split shot, picture in picture, artistic brush, HDR and creative movie maker. The LX7 has 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 independent modes, but you can increase or decrease the level of their effect.
Video - Both cameras record at full 1080p HD with stereo sound and quality is good on both. Optical zoom is also available during recording on both models as well.
When we tested each camera individually, they both scored a respectable four out of five, but when comparing them there are some clear differences and we are happy to say that the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 comes out on top. The Samsung EX2F scored better on features because the Wi-Fi functionality is fantastic and extremely useful, but other than that both cameras have a similar feature set. Despite the Samsung's pictures having slightly more detail, we are very impressed with the LX7's noise performance. Much better images are produced by the Panasonic when compared to the EX2F at higher ISOs. AWB performs slightly better as does the battery on the LX7.