Previous news story    Next news story

Just Posted: Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 review

By dpreview staff on Oct 15, 2012 at 22:08 GMT

Just Posted: Our Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 review. The latest of our collaborative reviews with Jeff Keller of The Digital Camera Resource Page is of Panasonic's enthusiast compact. The LX7 retains the bright lens and small body that have become the hallmarks of the series but adds more direct control than its forebears, including a dedicated aperture ring. Underpinning it all is a new 10MP CMOS sensor - moving on from the CCDs used in the LX5 and 3. Do all these changes help restore the Lumix to the top of the enthusiast compact pile? Read our review to find out.

Comments

Total comments: 187
12
acgug
By acgug (Dec 17, 2012)

I'm thinking of either picking the LX7 or the GX1x ( getting good deals with gx1x , $150 more than lx7) I'm no professional, but want to take great pics, especially of my 3yr old. I know i can get extra lens with the GX1, but that i not my buying point. I want to know which can take better pics (GX1X with the power lens or LX7). Thanks for your input

0 upvotes
Philscbx
By Philscbx (Dec 7, 2012)

I think in the end - the only way to get a true review of any camera -
is set up 5 of them on the same beam - same subject - same lighting.
Each one taking 10 shots - I'd suspect some difference.

Auto Settings:
Sort Focusing First -
Exposure - Second -

Now manual settings:
If focusing becomes an issue - why go further.
As long as it's sharp - computer can alter color.
I'm Quite impressed with this series - Having the ZS3.
What I find critical for GPS - and no one so far really thinks out of the box why.

You are on the freeway - 75mph - you grab quick shot of something - for some reason You Did - right.
Now a Month goes by - You See the Image and go - where the Hell was this?
What about on the Boat? I dare Ya to recall the spot with no landmarks.
Cheers to those who are true Gadgets Freaks.

Before I forget -
The 2 Sec Delay Shutter - If you don't take advantage of this - You missed the next level of sharpness w/o Flash.
I sorta wish it could be set to default when in low light.

Comment edited 10 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Alexander Vienna
By Alexander Vienna (Nov 5, 2012)

Will there be a difference to the Leica d-lux6?
I don't need Lightroom..... have already 3 copy's from Leica....
I have a lumix lx3.... saw never a difference to equivalent Dlux......

0 upvotes
joelfoto
By joelfoto (Oct 20, 2012)

I currently have an LX-2 and think it is absolutely fabulous at ISO 200 or 100; preferably the latter. For what I shoot (mostly landscapes and nature scenes) the LX-7 looks to be my future.

0 upvotes
CliffDr
By CliffDr (Oct 20, 2012)

Its a great little camera, especially the macro ability. The results are very nice and it is quick and easy to use. You do not have to start digging around in menus to change settings which makes a big difference to the whole experience. I have a number of shots on Flickr taken with it. Flickr account: C Driscoll

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
costadone
By costadone (Oct 22, 2012)

Your images look great. I was on a 3 week trip and shot everything RAW. The images above 1600 are unusable. Have you shot in camera .JPG or converted afterwards? Just curious.

0 upvotes
Barrie Davis
By Barrie Davis (Oct 19, 2012)

The standard of English in this LX7 review is lower than is usual in DPRreviews.
Is this because it has a different source, I wonder [?]

1 upvote
RichardAB
By RichardAB (Oct 19, 2012)

Barrie,

I expect you meant no harm with your comment. However, the writer makes his living by communicating through the written word so to imply his English useage isn't up to standard is quite a serious accusation to make.

Rather than making an easy-to-state general criticism, are you able to back-up your assertion with specific examples?

A reputation is at stake although I doubt you thought in those terms when commenting.

5 upvotes
Barrie Davis
By Barrie Davis (Oct 20, 2012)

I noticed it straight away. Within the initial paragraph the third sentence starts ...

"" First, there's the LX7's lens...""

Well, if one chose to be pedantic, it should be "First-LY" but hey... this site is American now.
But the sentence continues...

""" ..... with a maximum aperture range of F1.4 - F2.3, it lets in way more light than what you'd find on a compact camera."""

... the "than what you'd find on" got my goat, I'm afraid. It should have been, "than found on." The "what you'd" is redundant, and reminded me of his classic example of 'grot-speak' from the past....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uz9_YfIQaz4

If that was not bad enough, practically the self-same error was made in the very next sentence, which repetition of word order, even if correct, is a style error in its own right.

""The fast aperture range also allows for better background blurring than WHAT YOU'LL find on nearly every fixed-lens camera on the market.""

0 upvotes
RichardAB
By RichardAB (Oct 21, 2012)

Barrie,

My personal opinion is that the examples you quote don't contain significant flaws, just that you'd have written them differently. Apparently you do not wish to make allowances for American-speak on an American site.

In my opinion your writing above does include a significant grammatical flaw. You start the penultimate paragraph "If that was not bad enough, ....." To me, that is an example of the grot-speak you deplore. 'If that were not bad enough, .....' would have been correct.

The bottom line is that none of us is perfect when it comes to the written word.

5 upvotes
summazet
By summazet (Oct 23, 2012)

I agree. The reply from RichardAB was a bit frosty and unnecessary.
The written piece should be grammatically correct, otherwise you risk losing the respect of the reader. A great many non-american, English speakers read this website. Please keep written English correct and not "yank-speak".

0 upvotes
landscapist
By landscapist (Oct 17, 2012)

@ DPReview: The studio scene looks to be out of focus (front focussed). The parts closest to the camera are sharp (check the paperclips). the parts further away get out of focus (check the playing card).
Apart from this: a great review!

0 upvotes
Franka T.L.
By Franka T.L. (Oct 17, 2012)

What's really missing from the review is not that of the LX-7 but a similar review of the Samsung EX-2F, these 2 are pretty much the same kind of camera, and pretty much same spec too; caming out at the same time. Would be nice to see how they compare.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Timur Born
By Timur Born (Oct 17, 2012)

Was the studio scene shot with a preproduction or broken unit? There is awfully distinct pattern noise in the shadows, especially at higher ISOs. And even the corresponding JPGs look very smeared in these areas.

0 upvotes
costadone
By costadone (Oct 17, 2012)

About a mont ago I purchased the LX7 for a 3 week trip though Europe. What made me go with the LX7 (instead of the Fuji X10, RX100, or G1X) was the wider angle and of course the f1.4.
Half way through the trip I noticed the ND filter was shifting and working only partially on the frame, eventually the LCD screen died. I was running around Paris looking for the optional viewfinder, which I eventually found and paid 249 EUROS!!!
After returning I sent the camera to Lumix and wrote an email expecting a refund on the viewfinder, because I never really wanted one, and was my only solution at that time. The response was... we do not give refunds.
I'm very disappointed with LUMIX customer service.
Also, at high ISO's 2000-3600 the images are NOT usable. I am not sure if it's because of the Lumix software to manage RAW files or the camera itself. I am beginning to question my purchase, sadly.

0 upvotes
SAinCA
By SAinCA (Oct 24, 2012)

Very sad to hear. I've just started getting issues with my lightly used LX5 so build quality/longevity may be questionable.

The samples from the review appear very poor compared to other cameras' reviews over the last four or more years I've been using this site on a very regular basis. In fact, the impression they give is one of, "wait for the next rev".

The LX5 has produced some brilliant images, don't get me wrong, and every time my daughter comes in reach of it, it disappears for quite some time.

Given your LUMIX CS experience, I'm now concerned with what kind of reception I'll get for an under 12-month-old unit...

Comment edited 28 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Oct 17, 2012)

What is the point of showing empty weights of the cameras? Does somebody want to take pictures without battery and memory card? And there are CIPA numbers, with battery and memory card available for all but Koreans. But if you do a review, why not to measure yourself, with the same card? If anything, the weight should be in a set with a spare battery and a bag.

2 upvotes
flipmac
By flipmac (Oct 20, 2012)

The point is to know exactly how heavy the camera is compared to others while minimizing variables. Some SD cards are heavier than others. Care to specify which one they should use? And don't get me started with bags. That's just ridiculous.

0 upvotes
Franka T.L.
By Franka T.L. (Oct 17, 2012)

Well, very well, a rather nice evolvement of the LX gene, BUT .. well there's now a camera on similar pricing and named the SONY RX-100. Seriously other than the slower and less wide coverage on the lens. There is really nothing there that why one should not go for the RX-100 instead.

Nikon, Canon, Samsung, Panasonic all go again renewing their top end DC, but sorry the DC had eveolved and Sony simply ( as in their word ) out in disruptive products and a good one AT THAT TOO !!

Now I await who will build the next 1' sensored quality compact , Fujifilm with its EXR sensor or Rioch's next GR-D or Sony's own ( with a different lens )

2 upvotes
Joel Benford
By Joel Benford (Oct 17, 2012)

"There is really nothing there that why one should not go for the RX-100 instead."

The LX7 can take an external viewfinder. Some people really care about that.

[I wouldn't pay 50 quid for a RX100, even thought I adore its image quality. Pity.]

3 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Oct 17, 2012)

Franka T.L.:

Except the LX7's price is 76% of the RX100, so not exactly the same neighborhood.

And besides the lack of an external flash/viewfinder mount on the RX100, as Joel B points out above, there is no external filter mount on the Sony RX100. That's a huge omission. (And no, gluing on an aftermarket filter mount is not an acceptable alternative for many--particularly on a $650 camera.)

Sony made a nice camera. It could easily have been much better, just imagine if one could use it easily at ISO 6400 like the Nikon 1s!

Finally, many really care about wide angle work. And that's a place where the LX7 excels.

4 upvotes
Pat Cullinan Jr
By Pat Cullinan Jr (Oct 18, 2012)

I'm going to be asking Nippon Photo if they can fasten a dead shoe to the RX100 by whatever means necessary, so I can use a viewfinder. These shoeless cameras just get my goat.

0 upvotes
dodgebaena
By dodgebaena (Oct 20, 2012)

"other than the slower and less wide coverage..."
these two to me matters the most.... so I may upgrade from the LX3 to the LX7

0 upvotes
migus
By migus (Oct 17, 2012)

A new design iteration may take 6-18mo. in their pipeline, but why the tiny sensor again?

The LX has practically launched the premium P&S market, and now it's dragging in the wake of those who figured that Sony and Aptina have better 1" sensors for this segment.
http://www.dpreview.com/news/2012/10/16/Sandor-Barna-explains-how-1-inch-sensors-will-save-the-compact-camera

1 upvote
d_chatterley
By d_chatterley (Oct 17, 2012)

Can anyone tell me how this camera compares to DMC-LC1? I am really interested if there are any owners who own/had own both cameras. I understand there are clear differences in resolution, movie mode, mic and macro abilities etc. I am interested in lens sharpness and camera manual handling differences. DMC-LC1 had such an amazing analog feel to it and I am curious how this one stacks against it. DMC-LC1 also had that awesome Vario Summicron asph lens and I am curious how this lens compares to it.
I was actually interested in buying a video camcorder and stumbling upon videos taken by DMC-LX7 at 120 fps made me rethink it. But that is a whole different topic.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Oct 17, 2012)

The video on the LX7 is very nice, 1080p60, plus the high speed at 720 that you mentioned. IQ, in particular DR, is not as good as the RX100, but it's a nicer camera to shoot with because of the grip, the hot shoe, and add-on VF. Like the X10, it feels more substantial, more like a serious photographic tool.

5 upvotes
PaulRivers
By PaulRivers (Oct 17, 2012)

Really disappointed there wasn't a chart (like there has been in recent reviews) that shows the aperture values of the lens throughout the zoom range. It was really useful, and hard info to get elsewhere (and relatively easy to get if you have the camera yourself).

2 upvotes
RichardAB
By RichardAB (Oct 16, 2012)

The sensor has a crop of 5.1 (4.7 x 5.1 = 24) (17.7 x 5.1 = 90).

The sensor is therefore smaller than the 1/1.7" stated which has a crop of 4.67. The sensor is more like 1/2" so the LX7 has the smallest sensor of all the 'premium compacts' - worth knowing.

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (Oct 17, 2012)

It is probably 1/1.7" 12 mpix sensor (just like the one in XZ-2 and P7700) cropped to its central 10 mpix part to keep the lens small and cheap while boasting f/1.4 at wide end. Same as 1/2", hardly "premium".

0 upvotes
ClaSch
By ClaSch (Oct 16, 2012)

HELP DPR... I am trying to do a camera comparison LX7 vs Sony RX100 after Conclusion at the end of this Review but it appears to not be possible despite having selected "Include All Categories" Is it just me doing something wrong? THX ;)

1 upvote
sbansban
By sbansban (Oct 17, 2012)

I have had similar issues along with the one you mentioned. The trouble is that DPR doesn't really seem to include ALL categories (RX100, G1 X etc. are "large sensor compacts") in many comparisons (even if you select "include all categories"). This is VERY frustrating. As a workaround, I have opened the conclusions pages in separate, side-by-side tabs and flipped between them to try to compare - which is very awkward. Just what is your problem DPR?

1 upvote
Combatmedic870
By Combatmedic870 (Oct 17, 2012)

They are not in the same category. Therefor the comparison chart would not be a valid comparison...

1 upvote
ClaSch
By ClaSch (Oct 17, 2012)

Hmmm... Really Combatmedic870? DPR seems to think they are indeed in the same category...

From the very last paragraph of the LX7 review "Some other premium compacts to consider include the Canon PowerShot S100, Fujifilm X10, Nikon Coolpix P310, Olympus XZ-1, Samsung EX2F, and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100."

BTAIM, I just want to compare cameras and for some strange and inconsistent reason sometimes that is just not possible although the RX100 has been reviewed already and the data is supposedly available. Makes you wonder sometimes specially when considering DPR's absolute silence.

1 upvote
Joel Benford
By Joel Benford (Oct 16, 2012)

I handled a LX7 in a shop recently and I thought the slow moving zoom was pretty good because it was much easier to get the framing I wanted. It was better than an OMD EM5 with the rota-rocker kit zoom in that respect.

Whilst ISO 1600 looks OK in even light, I think this camera is only really going to do ISO 800 in *interesting* low light with dramatic contrast. But ISO 800 at about f/2 with image stab ain't bad. Of course, a similar dynamic range limit applies to all compacts (except the X10 in 6MP mode).

For me, the glory of this camera is that it can use an EVF. The only compacts I'd consider are this and the XZ-2 (or used LX5/XZ-1). The X10 doesn't work with lightroom, the RX100 has no viewfinder option, G15 viewfinder just doesn't cut it.

I see the real alternatives as slightly bigger cameras like the G1X/PENs with the collapsible zoom, and maybe the V1 if you want great autofocus above all else.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
RadioGnome
By RadioGnome (Oct 16, 2012)

I bought a LX-2 in 2006 for it was one of the first digital compact camera with manual controls and a wide-angle lens.

I never liked it, and looking at this review and sample pictures they still have not fixed its biggest flaw:
Flat pictures with ugly detail-rendering at anything above iso 200 and/or in less then optimal happy sunny weather.

0 upvotes
Xentinus
By Xentinus (Oct 16, 2012)

thats why they finally upgraded their sensor size to 1" (Panasonic is using their stocks now as canon does)
and your comment is really important...

0 upvotes
wootpile
By wootpile (Oct 16, 2012)

Thanks for the review. Seems no better than Nikon 7100, will be interesting to see how it holds up against the Nikon 7700 and the new samsung.

1 upvote
PaulRivers
By PaulRivers (Oct 16, 2012)

The new Samsung is the only one that's competition - the 7700's lens is still a full stop slower than the lx7's.

2 upvotes
Combatmedic870
By Combatmedic870 (Oct 16, 2012)

Im with Paul... They are 2 different beasts. one has a 28-200(very useful FL) and the other has a 24-90(very useful wide angle and fast lens).

3 upvotes
AngelicBeaver
By AngelicBeaver (Oct 16, 2012)

Hey DP Review, when you do side by side comparisons of camera models, you should make sure they are the same color (black and black or white and white). Otherwise, it makes it really hard to see the difference in size or shape (larger ladies often wear black for the slimming effect).

4 upvotes
Xentinus
By Xentinus (Oct 16, 2012)

lol

0 upvotes
Alvar
By Alvar (Oct 16, 2012)

Checked the review and everything looks nice, except the lack of mic jack, but the camera is literally dying at ISO 800, companies really understimate the customer, change the sensor ASAP.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Oct 17, 2012)

Funny the raws I have from above ISO 800 are really good.

0 upvotes
mosc
By mosc (Oct 16, 2012)

Of course what this review lacks is any kind of useful information for making a purchasing decision. Specifically, how does it compare to it's direct competition? Is it bigger? Heavier? Is the sensor smaller or larger? How much faster is the lens? How much does the zoom range compare? How much more or less does it cost?

I miss the aperture equivalent chart that should be a requirement for cameras in this class with their very different sensor sizes (1/2.33", 1/1.7", 2/3", 1")

The LX7's advantage is hardly it's "super bright lens" (it's actually far less light than the RX100 at wide and very similar at tele) as the reviewer points out. This type of exaggeration frustrates me. Super bright compared to what? A $99 elf?

3 upvotes
mosc
By mosc (Oct 16, 2012)

The LX7 shooting at 4:3 has probably the smallest sensor of anything you'd compare it to. It's lens needs to have that context made clear. It's total light over an area that matters.

And background blur comments on a lens that's all of about f8 to f12 FF DOF EQ? Does the reviewer realize how stupid that makes him sound? The DOF on the wide end even wide open goes from about 4 feet to infinity ffs. Full tele 90mm eq open it's as close as 35 feet to infinity.

Your typical 50mm wide open shot from 10 feet away? That's a whopping 7 foot thick DOF.

2 upvotes
Combatmedic870
By Combatmedic870 (Oct 16, 2012)

Do you see any F1.4-2.3 24-90mm lenses anywhere??? Super bright compared to everything. There is no way a F1.4 lets in less light vs a 1.8 lens....its impossible. The RX100 has less DOF at the wide end(4.9 vs 7.1).but it doesnt take in any more light. Dont mix up DOF with light gathering!
The lx7 has a 2 and 3/4 of a stop advantage at the long end. meaning the in the same lighting. if the lx7 is at F2.3, iso800 the RX100 would be at F4.9 ISO5000. Compare the LX7 at iso800 vs the RX100 at ISO5000. Or compare ISO400 to ISO2500. thats what you would get on the long end with equal playing fields.

At the long end, the LX7 WILL give a narrower DOF VS the rx100(F11 VS F13). At the short end....are you really trying to get a narrow DOF?? You can barely get a Narrow DOF with a APS-c sensor with a 24mm (eqiv) 1.4 lens!

These cameras are 2 different beasts. One has a very sharp 24-90 1.4-2.3 lens and the other has a mediocre 28-100 1.8-4.9 lens.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
Combatmedic870
By Combatmedic870 (Oct 16, 2012)

To you second point.....The LX7 has a larger sensor then an elf....which is what you compared it too....Im REALLY not understanding any sort of point you making here...

i dont even understand what your comparing it too now? A FF sensor for DOF? What kind of sense does that make?? comparing 10 feet away to 35 ft away?

My XZ-1 shoot an equiv of about F12.5 on the long end...it gives me a pretty nice shallow DOF for head and shoulder pics. More shallow then what an RX100 can give due to it not going to 112mm and the lack of a faster lens....

You have yet to really make a point when it comes to you downing this camera...You seem like you somewhat know what your talking about....but you mixing up DOF with light gathering was....yea...

You say its total light of an area that matters.....THATS WHAT THE SUPER FAST LENS IS FOR!!!!

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
Rachotilko
By Rachotilko (Oct 16, 2012)

Regarding review: LX7 is obviously a concept based on optical performance of the lens, inviting user to choose low ISO even in low light situations. That's why some quantitative testing of the lens performance (edge-to-edge sharpness with aperture wide open) would be very wellcome. The image stabilization efficiency test is missing as well.

4 upvotes
Combatmedic870
By Combatmedic870 (Oct 16, 2012)

I agree with this...

0 upvotes
Pat Cullinan Jr
By Pat Cullinan Jr (Oct 18, 2012)

So do I.

The sample photos must become more technically useful, at the unavoidable cost of being less artistically pleasing. WE CAN SUCK THIS UP.

0 upvotes
Rachotilko
By Rachotilko (Oct 16, 2012)

This thing has *fast* lens (even on the long end) of very high optical quality. That makes it an outstanding device, in some aspects more usable than Sony RX100.

I am really tired of the 1" and RX100 mantra claiming this to be the sole way to achieve good low-light capability. This is different approach ("small sensor+fast lens") to achieve low-light capability.

Comment edited 19 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
pcworth
By pcworth (Oct 16, 2012)

Took me a while to realize what you were saying about the mantra. I too am interested in the alternatives, particularly when you compare these new cameras to the old Olympus XZ-1 at low ISO. The image quality of that "old" camera still seems a lot cleaner than any of the newer cameras at sub 200 ISO.

I just bought the FZ200, and am very happy with what it does despite the "small" sensor, although I have only scratched the surface of what it is capable of. My last point and shoot was a Fuji 3D, which seemed like a good idea at the time and was a bad idea when it came to real photo taking. Before that, I had the FZ5, which I still think was one of the best point and shoots ever.

What I am looking for now though is a pocket camera with excellent low light capabilities. I am somewhat flexible on the term "pocket" so the RX100, LX7, and XZ-2 are all on my radar, so having as many opportunities to objectively compare is important to me.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
jhinkey
By jhinkey (Oct 16, 2012)

Yes, the review style is kind of sub-par for DPR, but still usable for sure. DPR needs to keep up their former high standards as they obviously are transitioning the site to something else. In contrast, the tablet review was absolutely terrible.

Just bought the LX-7 to replace my LX-5 (had an LX-3 before that). Why do I keep coming back to these cameras?

It's the combination of features in an extremely small package.

24mm FF equivalent fast lens at the wide end - missing in almost all cameras of this class
True 16:9 mode and true multi-aspect sensor
Built-in flash
Switches/buttons instead of buried menus
RW2 (though only for dynamic range)
Decent size to hold on to - not too small nor to large
Availability of excellent leather case
Very very decent video
Good enough IQ

Does it have problems? Sure, but for me it has been the best compact camera for my uses thus far, including the new RX100 (which does not have true 16:9 nor 24mm and is more fiddly to use because of it's size).

Comment edited 43 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
jhinkey
By jhinkey (Oct 16, 2012)

As a follow-up, to my post above:

As much as I like the LX-series, I think that it will soon be out-classed by the RX100-like large sensor cameras, especially if someone can pull off a large sensor with a 24-XX FF equiv. zoom range with decent speed and optical IQ in a package of about the same size.

The MP war is over and the large sensor in a small body war is heating up.

Now if m43 could put an excellent, somewhat fast, fixed collapsible 24-XX equiv. lens onto a m43 body with decent external controls that would be killer . . . .

5 upvotes
pcworth
By pcworth (Oct 16, 2012)

My main concern about the RX100 series is the kind of limitations that sensor puts on the lens. Sure, you get better ISO images, but with brighter lenses you do not need to go up to that ISO anyway. Just look at the ZX-1 at low ISO. The image quality, IMHO, is still cleaner than the RX100.

The wrinkle in this argument is size. What would the RX100 be capable of if they had used a larger body and less megapixels on that sensor? The body to sensor size in the RX100, is really where it shines, and one of the reasons I have been thinking about a purchase.

1 upvote
Axel Vercauteren
By Axel Vercauteren (Oct 16, 2012)

Again a sticky control-dial (as on FZ150 etc.) and a lousy user manual. Rubbish.

0 upvotes
Jacques Cornell
By Jacques Cornell (Oct 16, 2012)

Doesn't really address changes in IQ from LX5. The studio shot comparison page shows the LX7 to be a bit noisier than the LX5, at least with RAW files, but I'm not sure I entirely trust what I'm seeing. Would have been nice to have this addressed by the reviewer.

0 upvotes
oldfogey
By oldfogey (Oct 16, 2012)

The review does not sufficiently emphasize the main selling point of this camera. The extraordinary fast f1.4-f3.3 3.8x zoom lens. At the short end it is a full 2 stops faster than the lenses on the competitors Canon G12 or Nikon p7100 for a relatively insignificant reduction in zoom range (add a tele-converter and that disappears). High burst rate and better high ISO RAW performance than either of these cameras add icing to the cake.

What this review lacks are resolution tests of this "incredible" lens when set at different focal lengths and wide open. Providing the resolution holds up Panasonic need to offer an upscaled version of this lens for their m4/3 customers.

If I was not already invested in m4/3 and some fast primes, I would be getting in line for one of these.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
///M
By ///M (Oct 16, 2012)

Impressive, not for it's high iso ability, but for it's fast lens, when you consider the competitors will be dealing with lenses 2 stops slower, you should compare iso 1600 to iso 6400, then you realize what you can get with this camera.

5 upvotes
Camediadude
By Camediadude (Oct 16, 2012)

While 250 seconds of exposure is simply awesome, and few others seem to get anywhere near to this, I still am a little saddened to see no remote and no bulb. Ah well .. why are these cameras always just SO close to perfection seeming in handling and features, and then you find one glaring omission or another. Perhaps that is where the competition can come in ... are you listening, Sonoly, Nikon, Samsung, Canon, and company?? There is an opening yet, to make that one knockout camera, the one 'ring' to rule them all :P

2 upvotes
logbi77
By logbi77 (Oct 16, 2012)

The Olympus XZ-1 and XZ-2 has a remote cable release and bulb mode (up to 16 minutes).

3 upvotes
maboule123
By maboule123 (Oct 16, 2012)

The video samples are horrible.

0 upvotes
davidjohns
By davidjohns (Oct 16, 2012)

DPreview has always had a very different feel from all the other photo blogs: an in-depth quality, intelligence, and precision which has given it a tone of authority. I always wait until the review on DPreview to form an opinion.

This outsourced review is fine, but it just doesn't feel like DPreview--too folksy and breezy in tone. The conclusion, and indeed the whole article, lacks the kind of knowledgeable commentary (especially, as others have noted, in reference to the competition) which is usually so characteristic of DPreview. In this respect the preview was actually more helpful.

As a long-time reader, I hope that this is not a sign of things to come for DPreview.

10 upvotes
Nick49
By Nick49 (Oct 16, 2012)

I have to agree. There are passages which are 'cutesy' in tone and reminiscent of a Sky Programme planner ('watch this!! It's great').

While personal opinion may play a factor in some aspects of a camera's ergonomic performance, statements like 'I don't think...' have no place in the cut and thrust of technical debate. In the conclusion section, you state: 'Intelligent Resolution feature nicely sharpens photos'. It does this 'nicely' does it?? Sorry, but that is not good enough.
Also, taking a close look at those example pictures, I can't see any comments of the noise in the shadows which 'looks' high.

Overall, there's a sense that either you are afraid of alienating the casual compact camera user - or - quiet pressure is being applied to 'sell up' the cameras. If this continues it will seriously undermine the good work that has gone before.

Comment edited 9 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Joesiv
By Joesiv (Oct 16, 2012)

calling 28mbs "whopping" is a bit of a stretch too. I agree that the overall tone was a bit too casual. but the overall information was still good.

0 upvotes
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Oct 16, 2012)

@Nick49

I agree with your points, and those of OP, but you do realize that Amazon.com owns dpreview, right? Would you fall over backwards if you found out that pressure were applied to sell up cameras? I'm talking about subtle pressure, where the reviewers continue to think that they are being objective. In the same way that a newspaper reporter is told what story to cover, but continues to think that make their own decisions.

This wouldn't make dpreview any different from any other review site, though. They all make money from click-throughs.

And it's a given that the comment sections and forums are riddled with hacks posting on behalf of the various companies.

In the end, you and I are responsible for what we do with the iinformation on this site.

Oh, and the camera? Looks nice. I had an Olympus C7070, earlier generation enthusiast compact, that I loved. Now I shoot a so-so Canon 230SX. This camera might get me back into the enthusiast compact sector.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Oct 16, 2012)

Oddly enough, Amazon does not have any employees whose job it is to take an interest in dpreview's reviews.

There is NO external pressure of any sort (beyond making the site popular) that is communicated to the reviewing staff. This has a different feel because it's a collaborative review with Jeff Keller from The Digital Camera Resource Page - no because there's been any shift in editorial direction (Amazon influenced or otherwise).

4 upvotes
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Oct 16, 2012)

@R Butler

Just to clarify, I find your site awesome, and I do think of all the major photography sites that you are the most objective and the most informative.

Still, you are owned by another company whose job it is to sell cameras, which should be of interest to people.

A far greater problem than the influence of Amazon (if it even exists) is the people who post here as disinterested or objective consumers but who represent outside interests.

If you claim that nobody representing outside interests posts here, congratulations--Amazon hasn't gotten rid of paid reviewers yet!

No, I don't have a solution, and no, I am not criticizing DPreview. I'll say it again, you do a GREAT job, and I've learned a tremendous amount by hanging out here. I am voicing concerns about the Internet business model in general, and they're not even concerns, just facts that consumers should be aware of to responsibly use sites like this one.

Thank you for all the great work you've done with this site.

2 upvotes
Nick49
By Nick49 (Oct 17, 2012)

Likewise. I mostly love DP. The only time I got totally hacked off with your company was the deafening silence from yourselves after I had attended an interview. This response was a lot speedier (and no, I am not bitter honestly). However, as the review stresses that this is a JOINT COLLABORATION, let's apportion the light hearted whimsy to The Digital Camera Resource Page shall we? :)

0 upvotes
Camediadude
By Camediadude (Oct 16, 2012)

Very impressive review - I do not think that any other review site even comes close to this level of detail and thoroughness. While it is a striking-seeming camera (with controls galore and evf capability, which I insist on at this point), and it is one that I would perhaps even consider buying if I currently had the splurging funds for it, it is rather too bad that this LX7 seems to take a backseat to the LX5 in some respects in the JPEG Studio Scene Comparison (though I love that we still have the legacy scene here for now! How sad it would be, if we just had the new scene already and couldn't compare this camera point-by-point with it's slightly older peers, and its LX5 'father'.. on things like that watch face, those bottle, the card, the threads, the globe, and so on..). I also wonder if Panasonic could not have pared down the size of the body and parts that stick out a very slight bit, rather than increase it for this newest generation.

2 upvotes
Camediadude
By Camediadude (Oct 16, 2012)

(continued) ..I am no engineer and realize that doing so must be incredibly difficult, while still maintaining the build quality and features. But, like I said, I am admittedly clueless in that regard. You just have to wonder though, if Sony managed to pull off what seems like the impossible, surely Panasonic could have given them at least a small run for the money! Ah well, maybe in the next generation. This is still a highly desireable camera in my book, and I am sure that they will sell briskly. Fun to drool over, at any rate! Anyhow, thanks for this ... You guys haven't lost your touch one bit, I see :) (oh, I should never have doubted you dpreview, wah!)

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
evogt500
By evogt500 (Oct 16, 2012)

Question: According to the specs, it uses 1/1.7" sensor with a total of 12.7 detected sensors. However Output is 10.1 MP. What is the actual size of the sensor that the light hits? Is panasonic doing a Canon trick that they did with the 520 HS, where they use a 16MP 1/2.33" sensor but its actually a 10.1 MP 1/3" sensor?

1 upvote
Samuel Dilworth
By Samuel Dilworth (Oct 16, 2012)

This should have been explained in the review, but here’s a partial explanation from a previous review:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonicdmclx3

A more complete explanation is that small sensors are cheap and take up little space, whereas fast lenses are expensive and bulky. Therefore in a camera prioritising both compact dimensions and low-light performance, it makes very good sense indeed to ensure the full image circle of the lens is used in all aspect ratios. Geometry dictates that the resulting sensor will be oversized for any particular aspect ratio.

Panasonic made its own oversized sensor (1/1.63-type) for the LX3 and LX5, allowing an active area close to competitors with 1/1.7-type chips. But for the LX7 Panasonic uses the same off-the-shelf Sony sensor as everyone else except Canon, and thus the active area is a little smaller than the competitors.

It works out to be equivalent to about a 1/1.9-type sensor.

2 upvotes
Michael_13
By Michael_13 (Oct 16, 2012)

It is a clever design: A multi-aspect sensor.
At 4:3 it behaves like a 1/1.8 sensor.

You can read about this in the preview.

1 upvote
evogt500
By evogt500 (Oct 16, 2012)

Thank you both for the input.

0 upvotes
gsum
By gsum (Oct 16, 2012)

I have the LX5 - good image quality for a compact, well made, great lens and absolutely brilliant for macro photography. Therefore, I was looking forward to the LX7 but with trepidation and rightly it seems. Panasonic have done nothing to correct the considerable LX5 problems:

The totally useless thumbwheel that selects unwanted modes if you press too hard whilst rotating it.
The fiddly controls.
The useless clutter of scene selections and in-camera image processing.
The ridiculous intelligent auto that does everything that you *don't* want the camera to do.
The failure to separate out all the useless clutter from the camera's useful features as with Samsung's NX100 for example.

It's a real pity that Panasonic have again not produced a proper enthusiasts camera - a missed opportunity.

1 upvote
Samuel Dilworth
By Samuel Dilworth (Oct 16, 2012)

I largely agree.

This camera needs a good paring down and some critical attention to its user interface (both mechanical and software).

Fundamentally it’s very sound: lens, sensor, hardware speed, build, and materials. The trouble is it’s put together by incompetent product managers applying tired old consumer-electronics ideas that don’t even work for TVs and bread machines anymore, never mind premium cameras.

Panasonic needs to muster a bit of courage and bring the LX-series back to its roots, updated for current sensibilities.

0 upvotes
maboule123
By maboule123 (Oct 16, 2012)

I couldn't said it better myself.
So far the only interesting feature is the new picture effects.
I find it silly to invest $600 on what what would be apps for my LX5.
Let's wait for LX9

0 upvotes
Jacques Cornell
By Jacques Cornell (Oct 16, 2012)

?! Seems to me that paring down and adding picture effects are two opposite movements.

I'm fairly old-school when it comes to camera interfaces. And yet, I don't find the extra features (e.g. scene modes) at all obtrusive. This is probably because the camera's superb customizability and custom settings allow me to set every aspect of the camera's operation exactly the way I want and just like my Canon 1-series: AE lock via rear button, AF activation via rear button, auto AF point select, burst mode, aperture-priority AE. Yes, there's a lot of extraneous stuff in the menus, but now that I've got the camera set up, they're completely out of my way. I actually find Panasonic's menu system much more comprehensible than Nikon's.

1 upvote
wyoming
By wyoming (Oct 16, 2012)

this lx7 is great on the paper, it combines the fast lenses of samsung ex/olympus xz with the great manual controls of the old lx5.
with a 1.4-2.3 i think it should have a 1 stop advantage over the sony rx100 so in the real use they are pretty near shooting in low light.
the real problem of this tipe of camera today is that they are too close to a m4/3 both for the size both for the price.
those aren't pocket camera, you even have the lens cap!
this camera sold for 400$ / 300€ here in europe would be great, instead it costs around 450€ and the sony is 550.
sorry but for this price i'd buy a gf5 or a pen everyday. put on the 20mm 1.7 and they are even smaller!

2 upvotes
Michael_13
By Michael_13 (Oct 16, 2012)

Apples and oranges...
Yes, a PEN mini with a pancake is super small, but of not much use if you go on a trip and photograph landscapes, portraits and a few macros in one row.

1 upvote
RPJG
By RPJG (Oct 16, 2012)

Edit: Doh, misunderstood OP.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
wyoming
By wyoming (Oct 16, 2012)

a pen with a 20mm pancake is great for trip pothog. the pen with the standard 14-42mm is only a tad thicker than the lx7 and great allrounder.
difference is that the pen with the kit lense here in europe is 150$ less than the lx7 and you can change the lense everytime you want.

0 upvotes
ARTASHES
By ARTASHES (Oct 16, 2012)

It has an awful shadow noise to a point that at 1600 ISO even in RAW there is some noise reduction, Panasonic just can't keep up with modern small sensors, but somehow everybody seems to ignore this

Comment edited 14 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
BorisK1
By BorisK1 (Oct 16, 2012)

It uses a Sony sensor.

0 upvotes
ARTASHES
By ARTASHES (Oct 16, 2012)

No it isn't

0 upvotes
tt321
By tt321 (Oct 16, 2012)

The size comparison tables in the Canon G15 and Fuji XF1 previews (and perhaps others as well) has the LX7 being 76mm high, which makes it by far the largest in those comparisons (taller than the G15!). In fact the LX1 is more like 67mm high.

0 upvotes
Samuel Dilworth
By Samuel Dilworth (Oct 16, 2012)

That size-comparison table has another problem: it reports the Samsung EX2F’s depth as 28 mm (equal to the Canon S100).

In fact, Samsung conveniently ignores that the camera has a large protruding lens.

Most manufacturers did this in the past (e.g. Panasonic with the LX3), but since the others in the chart have moved on to truthful specifications, DPReview should really report the proper size for the Samsung too, instead of rewarding fibs.

1 upvote
Tape5
By Tape5 (Oct 16, 2012)

The programmable ring is a joy to use
The high ISO is very impressive
The lens is very impressive with resolution and its distortion control
It is fast
It takes fantastic video
It produces beautiful high resolution images
It has great two stage stabilisation
It has PHENOMENAL dynamic range

I mean RX100 of course, here to stay and continue to destroy the likes of this 10 MP joke. Those who think 20 MP is a bigger joke should examine printed images from RX100.

11 upvotes
Antony John
By Antony John (Oct 16, 2012)

DPR say that one should also consider the RX100 as an alternative but the comparison tool doesn't allow this?

1 upvote
cbf
By cbf (Oct 26, 2012)

Agreed! Why isn't the RX100 in the comparison tool for this review?!

Comment edited 26 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Alexander Vienna
By Alexander Vienna (Oct 16, 2012)

thats the first review I can not understand.... tried this camera 2 times.... results are not impressing at all..
Pictures have a digital look like years ago...... ugly colours

0 upvotes
ageha
By ageha (Oct 16, 2012)

Welcome to Panasonic! ;)

0 upvotes
Hugo808
By Hugo808 (Oct 16, 2012)

Didn't think I'd upgrade from my beloved LX5 but just might......

1 upvote
gl2k
By gl2k (Oct 16, 2012)

Nice specs. Unfortunately everything beyond ISO 100 looks mushy.

Almost no skin texture at ISO 320.

http://masters.galleries.dpreview.com.s3.amazonaws.com/2235944.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId=14Y3MT0G2J4Y72K3ZXR2&Expires=1350367590&Signature=VqREAnvTowLmF3sobRt40p%2brsGI%3d

0 upvotes
Digital Suicide
By Digital Suicide (Oct 16, 2012)

Some samples in the REVIEW galery suspiciuously looks were taken from PREVIEW day out testing. But wasn't that camera PRE-product?

0 upvotes
Sonylover1
By Sonylover1 (Oct 16, 2012)

Never in human history did we have this huge range of fine cameras!
Another Silveraward - and I dont doubt its well deserved.

I think the studioshot is so-so. I would like DP to take real-life samples that are more or less consistent ( same F, iso, range and focal lenght). According to the studioshot my RX100 slap LX7 on the face.

I had the Panny TZ7 and was very happy with build quality. The TZ10 was another story... Therefore I turned back to Sony and I think RX100 is built like a brick. I hope LX7 didnt get the plastic disease..

0 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (Oct 16, 2012)

I didn't see the Dynamic Range comparisons. It is interesting to see how it compares to larger sensors.

1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Oct 16, 2012)

Compact cameras rarely behave consistently enough to shoot the DR test reliably. DR tests have not ever been a common feature of compact reviews.

0 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (Oct 16, 2012)

Why is DPR still using old studio shots? I thought they were going to update to new studio images

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Oct 16, 2012)

We are going to move to a new scene but we'll be responding to the feedback we received and re-shooting a decent number of cameras before moving across.

0 upvotes
leafinsectman
By leafinsectman (Oct 16, 2012)

Those who are dismissing the RX100 after playing with it for a few mins at the store, try it out for a week if you ever get the chance. I've been a Panasonic shooter for a couple of years and I initially didn't like the RX100 but it grew on me and I really like it now. It's gotten to the point where I start pressing the wrong things when I pick up my Panasonic cameras. Panasonic probably has the slight edge when it comes to button placement and functions and things but the RX100 is very close.

The LX7 looks like a fine camera and if the RX100 never existed, I would've bought this no question. But I think that the RX100 is the closest I'm gonna get (at this point) to having a pocketable DSLR (minus the interchangeable lenses of course) and that's well worth paying extra. But everyone's gotta get the right camera for them and it's gonna be different for everyone so it's all good.

12 upvotes
KennethKwok
By KennethKwok (Oct 16, 2012)

Comparison of LX7 to Nikon P7700
======================

I only take family photos.

I was thinking of buying Nikon P7700 to be used with
a Nikon Flash. I have the large Nikon SB-800 flash.
I like bounced flash very much.
If it looks too stupid, I might buy a smaller SB-400.

And Panasonic has enjoyed an excellent (close to top)
reputation of the LX series.
I see that the LX7 has f1.4, and also a 1080/60p
I am very attracted to it.
I expect the LX7 to work well with Nikon SB800/ SB400.
DO YOU AGREE?

What is your recommendation please?
Panny LX7 OR Nikon P7700?

0 upvotes
disraeli demon
By disraeli demon (Oct 16, 2012)

I use a Panasonic LX3 with a Nikon SB-800 - TTL flash doesn't work, so you have to set the flash to Auto mode and select the aperture settings manually. It's a bit fiddly, but it works well.

A big flash like the SB-800 is really top-heavy on a tiny camera like the LX3/5/7 - I use a cheap wireless trigger and either hold the flash in my other hand, or for bounce you can set it to manual and put it up on a bookcase or something to bounce off the ceiling - I took a load of shots like this last Christmas at my mum-in-law's and they look great.

If you're going with a small flash for the Panasonic, I'd look at something like the Metz 24 AF-1 which is small and light and would give you TTl flash which a Nikon SB-400 wouldn't.

2 upvotes
KennethKwok
By KennethKwok (Oct 16, 2012)

Thanks.

In that case, I might go for the Nikon P7700 then.

1 upvote
Shara90
By Shara90 (Oct 16, 2012)

the review waits ACR supported....

0 upvotes
Total comments: 187
12