Enthusiast compact camera roundup (2013)
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7
10MP 1/1.7" MOS sensor| 24-90mm F1.4-2.3 lens | multi-aspect shooting
What we like:
- Very fast lens
- Image quality
- Manual controls + aperture ring
What we don't:
- Raw needed for best image quality
- Slow buffer flush times
The Lumix DMC-LX7 is Panasonic's flagship compact camera, built around a 'high sensitivity' MOS sensor and extremely bright lens. This makes the LX7 quite the low-light camera - at least on paper. It can also shoot at four different aspect ratios while maintaining the same field-of-view.
"A very good enthusiast compact camera"
Photo quality on the LX7 is comparable to other enthusiast compacts. Colors are vivid, and exposure accurate, though highlight clipping can be problematic at times. The bright lens lets you keep the Panasonic at the low ISO settings where it performs best, but it does drop a bit behind its rivals at higher sensitivities.
The LX7 is a compact, easy-to-handle camera made mostly of metal. While the important controls are within easy reach of your fingers, the buttons on the rear panel are tightly packed. The camera has two rare controls around the lens: a manual aperture ring (which is not customizable, unfortunately) and an aspect ratio switch. The camera performs extremely well, in terms of both focusing speed and write times.
All things considered, the DMC-LX7 is a very good enthusiast compact camera. It offers a super-fast lens, responsive performance, very good photo quality, plenty of manual controls, and 1080/60p video quality. There's not much to dislike, though buffer flush times can be long after bursts, and redeye can be an issue in some images with flash.