LX7 with LVF2: Is it hard to handle Aspect control dial and Aperture on lens with LVF2?

Started Jan 25, 2013 | Questions
PdL59
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LX7 with LVF2: Is it hard to handle Aspect control dial and Aperture on lens with LVF2?
Jan 25, 2013

Is the LVF2 bulky and will it stick over the Aspect control slider? Is the sound on video worse with LVF2 since I guess it covers the mics?

Other experiences from users of LX7 and LVF2, please!

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Ray Sachs
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Re: LX7 with LVF2: Is it hard to handle Aspect control dial and Aperture on lens with LVF2?
In reply to PdL59, Jan 25, 2013

PdL59 wrote:

Is the LVF2 bulky and will it stick over the Aspect control slider? Is the sound on video worse with LVF2 since I guess it covers the mics?

Other experiences from users of LX7 and LVF2, please!

It sticks out over the aspect control slider slightly, but its high enough above it that its still very easy to move the slider with the EVF in place. I haven't shot any video with it on (I very rarely shoot video anyway) so I can't say whether it affects the sound. It does pretty directly cover the mics, though, so I'd guess that's a valid concern.

Overall, I like the EVF a lot on a bright day - adds a lot to the camera's usability. OTOH, it adds quite a bit to the bulk of the camera, so I only use it when I need it in bright light. Its a really good EVF too - I had the one for the LX5 / GF1 also and it was terrible - the worst EVF I've used. No such complaints about this one though - a real pleasure to use. I like the way the diopter control is hidden and less prone to being turned accidentally.

-Ray
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PdL59
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Re: LX7 with LVF2: Is it hard to handle Aspect control dial and Aperture on lens with LVF2?
In reply to Ray Sachs, Jan 25, 2013

Thank you very much for your experience, Ray.

I guess I will be buying a used LVF2 when the right offer appear between now and the coming  summer to go with my new LX7!

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Cyril Catt
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Re: LX7 with LVF2: Is it hard to handle Aspect control dial and Aperture on lens with LVF2?
In reply to PdL59, Jan 25, 2013

PdL59 wrote:

Is the LVF2 bulky and will it stick over the Aspect control slider? Is the sound on video worse with LVF2 since I guess it covers the mics?

Other experiences from users of LX7 and LVF2, please!

The LVF2 is about 1/7th the bulk of the camera itself. It does interfere with "pocketability". I carry my LX7 in a shoulder bag, and the LVF2 appears quite robust enough to be used as a handle for removing and replacing the camera - though the manual cautions against this.

The LVF2 does stick over the Aspect Control slider, but there is quite enough space to use a finger to move the slider. However, the EVF does obscure the user's view of the slider setting from above and behind the camera, buth the firm click stops on the slider do provide good touch and sound feedback as it is moved, and the LCD or EVF display clearly shows the chosen format.

There is a curved gap of about 1.5 to 2.0 mm between the EVF and the microphones, and the EVF may actually serve to make them more directional by blocking noise from behind the camera. I have only made a brief video, and felt the sound was quite loud enough when played back on my computer.

With 1,440,000 dots (56% more dots than the LCD), the LVF2 provides an excellent display that overcomes the problem of LCD images in bright sunlight either being washed out, or reflecting too strong an image of the user. The LVF2 also allows me to use it without removing my eyeglasses, Alternatively, a Clearviewer accessory makes use of the existing LCD display with almost similar results, at less cost.

Although the LVF2 occupies the camera's hot shoe, I doubt that I will ever want to mount an external flash in it. In 3 years I have never used an external flash with my LX3, and the LX7 is about 2 stops faster.

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Cyril

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Francis Carver
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LX7 with LVF2 for video app
In reply to Cyril Catt, Jan 25, 2013

Cyril Catt wrote:

The LVF2 does stick over the Aspect Control slider, but there is quite enough space to use a finger to move the slider.

There is a curved gap of about 1.5 to 2.0 mm between the EVF and the microphones, and the EVF may actually serve to make them more directional by blocking noise from behind the camera. I have only made a brief video, and felt the sound was quite loud enough when played back on my computer.

With 1,440,000 dots (56% more dots than the LCD), the LVF2 provides an excellent display that overcomes the problem of LCD images in bright sunlight either being washed out, or reflecting too strong an image of the user. The LVF2 also allows me to use it without removing my eyeglasses, Alternatively, a Clearviewer accessory makes use of the existing LCD display with almost similar results, at less cost.

Although the LVF2 occupies the camera's hot shoe, I doubt that I will ever want to mount an external flash in it. In 3 years I have never used an external flash with my LX3, and the LX7 is about 2 stops faster.

I do not have the camera yet, but presently contemplating it for videography.

Usually I would not sacrifice my only hot shoe mount for a viewfinder, since there are other accessories that can get fastened there instead -- flashes, microphones, small audio field recorders, LED lights, etc.

The Achilles Heel of the LX7 for video IMO is the audio. There is not a simple external mic input jack to bypass the pair if pin-mics, and I certainly would not want something encroaching on it 1.5-2mm from it. I am not sure how an omni-directional pick-up pattern in the pin-mics can be held in any way by plugging in something physical so close to the built-in mics.

I am perusing the advanced manual now, it seems so far that there is no way to even trim the recorded audio level or turn it off completely if not needed, is there? You know, OFF and then maybe loudness levels in 4 increments that can be set manually. If it is all automatic all the time (AGC), well that is simply not good at all. And with no 3.5mm or 2.5mm mono or stereo ext, microphone jack on the body, you cannot bypass the audio recording that the camera is doing.

I definitely want to get a Lumix camera for video use, I think they are on the top, fortunately I am also looking at other Lumix models from Pana, some of which have the external microphone jacks and even manual sound level adjustment capabilities. So far, it seems to me that the DMC-LX7 has neither.

The sound level may be "loud enough," but probably only because the camera's AGC turns itself up all the way to hear something and record something usable out of the partially blocked omnidirectional pin-mics.

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PdL59
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Re: LX7 with LVF2: Is it hard to handle Aspect control dial and Aperture on lens with LVF2?
In reply to Cyril Catt, Jan 25, 2013

Thanks for your advice and experience!

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PdL59
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Re: LX7 with LVF2 for video app
In reply to Francis Carver, Jan 25, 2013

If you want the hot shoe for a mic on the LX7 I think you might be disappointed since I do not think there is an interface for a external microphone on the LX7.

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Francis Carver
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LX7 with LVF2 but no ext. microphone for video use?
In reply to PdL59, Jan 25, 2013

PdL59 wrote:

If you want the hot shoe for a mic on the LX7 I think you might be disappointed since I do not think there is an interface for a external microphone on the LX7.

No there is not. Camera is great for MOS video, just not for audio. You could place your shotgun microphone on the camera, and use it to pick up sound which you then would need to feed into a small portable audio field recorder.

What are these greedy camera manufacturers going to do next -- sell us the camera, and then charge us extra for the sensor, viewfinder, LCD screen, AC adapter, whatever? Either have an EVF on the camera or don't. personally, I would not pay them 5 bucks extra for a viewfinder. If I needed a viewfinder, I would get a camera with a viewfinder. Like the Nikon Coolpix P7700, for example.

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Cyril Catt
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Re: LX7 with LVF2 for video app
In reply to Francis Carver, Jan 26, 2013

Francis, I don't see why you are even bothering with an LX7 if video is your main concern, as its specs clearly indicate it is not intended for serious videographers.

However, it seems well suited for my purposes, which are mainly low light wide angle situations. My main use of video is for fast moving subjects - young grandchildren, shots from moving vehicles , etc. - where my reactions are likely to be too slow to catch the expression or moment that I want. But for such subjects I am usually satisfied by postcard sized frames taken from video clips as a sort of poor-man's 30 fps fast burst mode to catch just those moments.

As I stated in my previous post, I am unlikely to use the flash shoe for a flash gun, and if I do feel the need for additional flash, I would probably prefer an off-camera flash for my stills.

So far as video sound goes, I feel that I would prefer to isolate the sound from the subject I am videoing, rather than having it drowned out by sound from other directions, and I believe that the gap between the LX7 mics and the LVF2 has been appropriately shaped to suit my needs.

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Pikme
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Finally, what I wanted to hear.
In reply to Ray Sachs, Jan 26, 2013

Ray Sachs wrote:

Its a really good EVF too - I had the one for the LX5 / GF1 also and it was terrible - the worst EVF I've used. No such complaints about this one though - a real pleasure to use.

Thanks for that.  I've asked before for a comparison but got no answer.  I also agree that the LVF1 is really terrible and one of the reasons I have been hesitating to get the LX7 is not knowing whether the LVF2 was any better.

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Roberto M.

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Francis Carver
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Re: LX7 with LVF2 for video app
In reply to Cyril Catt, Jan 26, 2013

Cyril Catt wrote:

LX7.... its specs clearly indicate it is not intended for serious videographers.

Okay, if you say so. Of course, NONE of these inexpensive digital cameras are intended for serious video, not even the $7,000 Canon and Nikon DSLRs. You want serious video, I'm rather afraid you would really need to get a professional video camcorder, or better yet, a digital film camera.

On the other hand, maybe not everyone wants to shoot SERIOUS VIDEO all the time, either.

I am usually satisfied by postcard sized frames taken from video clips as a sort of poor-man's 30 fps fast burst mode to catch just those moments.

LX7 will let you save stills from video clips at 2MP resolution. Considering that Full-HD 1080p video is at 2.2MP resolution, you are basically saving your stills from video at full video resolution. That is great quality IMO, really. Of course, camera won't be able to give you a 10MP image from a 2.2MP original video frame.

As I stated in my previous post, I am unlikely to use the flash shoe for a flash gun, and if I do feel the need for additional flash, I would probably prefer an off-camera flash for my stills.

Okay!

Re. the VF, apparently Panasonic makes and sell 2 types for the LX7, as follows:

1. A pricey electronic VF.

AND

2. A less expensive optical VF (rangefinder type, I suppose). The advanced manual talks about both.

So far as video sound goes, I feel that I would prefer to isolate the sound from the subject I am videoing, rather than having it drowned out by sound from other directions, and I believe that the gap between the LX7 mics and the LVF2 has been appropriately shaped to suit my needs.

The EVF or OVF encroaching on the built-in pin-head omni pattern microphones on the topside of the LX7 cameras is in my view one of the greatest failings of the camera for video shooting. So, I would never try to crowd the pin-mics that way. The pin-mics are omnidirectional pick-up pattern, anyhow, and using an EVF on the camera will not change that, I'm afraid. You cannot make them cardioid or super-cardioid or ultra-cardioid by mounting something on the flash shoe, at least in my opinion you cannot. LX7 should have come with an external mic input jack for this reason alone.

I would have even been happy if the camera would let me not record sound at all (AUDIO REC OFF) in recording mode, but apparently you cannot switch off audio recording completely or adjust its trim level at all on the LX7. At least, the manual says nothing on audio, period.

I read through the camera's manual and made my notations, so now I see how it compares to a couple of other Lumix models I am presently contemplating, as well as to a Nikon and Fujifilm model I am also considering. Let the best one win, I always say. If one thing we have now, it is choices. Probably too many choices, come to think of it.

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morepix
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The LVF-2 may be a better answer than a Clearviewer ... and a question
In reply to Cyril Catt, Jan 26, 2013

Cyril Catt wrote:

Alternatively, a Clearviewer accessory makes use of the existing LCD display with almost similar results, at less cost.

Yes, the Clearviewer presents a good display of the LCD at about 1/3 of the cost of the LVF-2. But the view tends to be deceptive. The reason is that it's difficult to see the whole screen, all the way out to the corners, all at once. I'm getting close to scrapping my Clearviewer and replacing it with an LVF-2.

I'm wondering if the LVF-2 is better than, about the same as, or poorer than the EVF in the FZ200. I'd appreciate any opinions on that.

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Cyril Catt
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Re: LX7 with LVF2 for video app
In reply to Francis Carver, Jan 27, 2013

Francis Carver wrote:

Re. the VF, apparently Panasonic makes and sell 2 types for the LX7, as follows:

1. A pricey electronic VF.

AND

2. A less expensive optical VF (rangefinder type, I suppose). The advanced manual talks about both.

The optical viewfinder is a simple design, not a rangefinder, and provides no information about camera settings.--

Cyril

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Cyril Catt
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Re: The LVF-2 may be a better answer than a Clearviewer ... and a question
In reply to morepix, Jan 27, 2013

morepix wrote:

Cyril Catt wrote:

Alternatively, a Clearviewer accessory makes use of the existing LCD display with almost similar results, at less cost.

Yes, the Clearviewer presents a good display of the LCD at about 1/3 of the cost of the LVF-2. But the view tends to be deceptive. The reason is that it's difficult to see the whole screen, all the way out to the corners, all at once.

The premium model of the Clearviewer provides a better view than the ordinary one.

Because the LVF2 has a narrower field of view than the Clearviewer's, and because it displays 1,440,000 dots compared to the LCD's 921,600 dots, I cannot discern individual dots with the LVF2, though I can just do so with the Clearviewer: however they are not as disturbing as the 460,000 dots on my LX3 LCD. Of course, people with more acute vision - able to see the moons of Jupiter with their naked eyes, for instance - may discern dots with the LVF2.

As the LVF2's  field of view is about 70% of the Clearviewer's, I also find the LVF2 is more convenient to use when wearing spectacles. (As The LVF2 also has a diopter adjustment I also find it better to use without wearing spectacles, although that is unlikely, as without my spectacles I cannot see clearly to choose distant subjects in the first place!)

I'm getting close to scrapping my Clearviewer and replacing it with an LVF-2.

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Francis Carver
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LVF-2 may be a better answer than a Clearviewer
In reply to Cyril Catt, Jan 27, 2013

Cyril Catt wrote:

The premium model of the Clearviewer provides a better view than the ordinary one.

Because the LVF2 has a narrower field of view than the Clearviewer's, and because it displays 1,440,000 dots compared to the LCD's 921,600 dots, I cannot discern individual dots with the LVF2, though I can just do so with the Clearviewer: however they are not as disturbing as the 460,000 dots on my LX3 LCD. Of course, people with more acute vision - able to see the moons of Jupiter with their naked eyes, for instance - may discern dots with the LVF2.

As the LVF2's field of view is about 70% of the Clearviewer's, I also find the LVF2 is more convenient to use when wearing spectacles. (As The LVF2 also has a diopter adjustment I also find it better to use without wearing spectacles, although that is unlikely, as without my spectacles I cannot see clearly to choose distant subjects in the first place!)

Cyril

No idea at all what a "Clearviewer" really is -- and from the looks of it, neither does Panasonic.

http://shop.panasonic.com/shop/model/DMC-LX7K?t=accessories

Now, they do list a "View Finder" accessory for $224.96, so that gotta be the "clearview" or "clear viewer," unless it's a battery or camera strap or cable, that is. Whatever.

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Roger Circle
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Re: LVF-2 may be a better answer than a Clearviewer
In reply to Francis Carver, Jan 27, 2013

No idea at all what a "Clearviewer" really is -- and from the looks of it, neither does Panasonic.

http://shop.panasonic.com/shop/model/DMC-LX7K?t=accessories

Now, they do list a "View Finder" accessory for $224.96, so that gotta be the "clearview" or "clear viewer," unless it's a battery or camera strap or cable, that is. Whatever.

Gosh Francis. That's some misinformation there. There are probably hundreds of posts on these forums about the Clearviewer... an effective and moderately priced viewfinder alternative to Panasonic's more costly offerings. A Google search for "Clearviewer" will provide a link to their home page. Check it out. It's a good product.

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Francis Carver
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Clearviewer
In reply to Roger Circle, Jan 27, 2013

Roger Circle wrote:

No idea at all what a "Clearviewer" really is -- and from the looks of it, neither does Panasonic.

http://shop.panasonic.com/shop/model/DMC-LX7K?t=accessories

Now, they do list a "View Finder" accessory for $224.96, so that gotta be the "clearview" or "clear viewer," unless it's a battery or camera strap or cable, that is. Whatever.

There are probably hundreds of posts on these forums about the Clearviewer... an effective and moderately priced viewfinder alternative to Panasonic's more costly offerings. A Google search for "Clearviewer" will provide a link to their home page. Check it out. It's a good product.

Roger

Why, do you know what it is? Is it something made by Panasonic? Personally, I never heard of it, don't even know what it is and who makes it. Seems like I'm not alone on this, either.

BTW, if I had wanted just to "google" everything -- I probably not be perusing the usually wonderful forums and threads here.

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chillgreg
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Why are you so rude to people trying to help you? It seems to be a consistent behavioural pattern.
In reply to Francis Carver, Jan 27, 2013

Francis Carver wrote:

Roger Circle wrote:

No idea at all what a "Clearviewer" really is -- and from the looks of it, neither does Panasonic.

http://shop.panasonic.com/shop/model/DMC-LX7K?t=accessories

Now, they do list a "View Finder" accessory for $224.96, so that gotta be the "clearview" or "clear viewer," unless it's a battery or camera strap or cable, that is. Whatever.

There are probably hundreds of posts on these forums about the Clearviewer... an effective and moderately priced viewfinder alternative to Panasonic's more costly offerings. A Google search for "Clearviewer" will provide a link to their home page. Check it out. It's a good product.

Roger

Why, do you know what it is? Is it something made by Panasonic? Personally, I never heard of it, don't even know what it is and who makes it. Seems like I'm not alone on this, either.

BTW, if I had wanted just to "google" everything -- I probably not be perusing the usually wonderful forums and threads here.

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Cyril Catt
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Re: THE Francis Carver was a REAL cinematographer...
In reply to chillgreg, Jan 27, 2013

chillgreg wrote:

Francis Carver wrote:

Roger Circle wrote:

No idea at all what a "Clearviewer" really is -- and from the looks of it, neither does Panasonic.

http://shop.panasonic.com/shop/model/DMC-LX7K?t=accessories

Now, they do list a "View Finder" accessory for $224.96, so that gotta be the "clearview" or "clear viewer," unless it's a battery or camera strap or cable, that is. Whatever.

There are probably hundreds of posts on these forums about the Clearviewer... an effective and moderately priced viewfinder alternative to Panasonic's more costly offerings. A Google search for "Clearviewer" will provide a link to their home page. Check it out. It's a good product.

Roger

Why, do you know what it is? Is it something made by Panasonic? Personally, I never heard of it, don't even know what it is and who makes it. Seems like I'm not alone on this, either.

BTW, if I had wanted just to "google" everything -- I probably not be perusing the usually wonderful forums and threads here.

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Cyril

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AnalogJ
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Re: LX7 with LVF2 but no ext. microphone for video use?
In reply to Francis Carver, Jul 3, 2013

If I needed a viewfinder, I would get a camera with a viewfinder. Like the Nikon Coolpix P7700, for example.

The P7700 has no viewfinder, nor is there an option for one. It does have an articulated LCD screen, though.

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