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ISO Accuracy

The actual sensitivity of each indicated ISO is measured using the same shots as are used to measure ISO noise levels, we simply compare the exposure for each shot to the metered light level (using a calibrated Sekonic L-358), middle gray matched. We estimate the accuracy of these results to be +/- 1/6 EV (the margin of error given in the ISO specifications). In our tests we found that measured ISOs from the Panasonic LX7 match the marked ISOs within 1/6 stop accuracy, meaning ISO 100 indicated = ISO 100 measured.

Noise and Noise Reduction (JPEG)

This is our standard studio scene comparison shot taken from exactly the same tripod position. Lighting: daylight simulation, >98% CRI. Crops are 100%. Ambient temperature was approximately 22°C (~72°F).

Note: this page features our new interactive noise comparison widget. By default, we show you the default noise reduction settings of the camera tested, and three other models of the same class. You can select from all available NR options, and from other cameras. The 'tricolor' patches beneath the familiar gray/black/portrait images are taken from the same test chart, and show how noise impacts upon blue, green and red areas of a scene.

At default noise reduction settings, the LX7's output is impressively noise-free at its lowest ISO sensitivities, up to ISO 400. A hint of granularity can be seen in mid-tones, but if you want buttery-smooth images you can always bump noise reduction up, at which point noise is barely visible until ISO 1600. Fine detail does get a little smoothed away in the process though. For maximum detail reproduction, you can turn noise reduction down, which gives you a little bit of detail back, but the difference is subtle up to ISO 1600. Above this setting, the LX7's images are fairly noisy whatever NR setting you choose, but they compare very well to competitive cameras, as you can see in the images on this page, and an impressive amount of detail is still visible at ISO 3200. 

RAW noise (ACR 6.7, noise reduction set to zero)

The difference between the LX7's image quality and that of its 10MP peers is not as significant in Raw mode as it is in JPEG. At the lowest ISO sensitivities the LX7 captures an equivalent amount of detail to its nearest competitors, but offers slightly lower noise levels at high ISO sensitivities. Realistically though, with a moderate amount of noise reduction applied, the LX7's Raw output is useable right up to ISO 3200. ISO 6400 is pretty gritty, still competitive alongside other cameras in this class. 

Fujifilm X10: Note that we usually include Raw files processed through Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) in our studio comparison tool because they reveal the potential of the sensor, unencumbered by in-camera image quality parameters and JPEG compression. However, the X10, with its unique EXR sensor technology has less than optimal support from third party raw converters. ACR does officially support the X10 but, as you will see in the samples below, sharpness and detail are noticeably lower than results provided by in-camera Raw conversions. 

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Comments

Total comments: 8
wgerhartz
By wgerhartz (1 week ago)

The LX7 offers a lot of camera for its money! I liked it from the very beginning.

However, my comment emphasizes its robustness. I was careless enough to let it drop from about 7 m unto a stone floor. It survived! It fell on the left upper edge (where the flash pops out).There is a dent, and the cover warps out by less than a mm. The flash needs fingernail assistance to pop out. Apart from that, there is not the slightest flaw in the optical quality of the photographs. I am amazed!

0 upvotes
disraeli demon
By disraeli demon (7 months ago)

Just upgraded to this from an LX3 and I'm loving it. Snappier all round, better noise control, faster burst rate and the combination of step zoom plus lens resume (resets the lens to the focal length it was at when the camera powered down) means I'm shooting much more in the middle of the range instead of slamming from full wide to full tele all the time.

(Plus, high-speed video at 720p!!!)

I did quite a bit of research before this upgrade, and while I was tempted by the rangefinder-style layout of the Fuji X20 (but too big for my taste and limited video) and the flip-out touch-screen of the Olympus XZ-2 (but there are stories of focussing issues and it lacks that high-speed video option) in the end, this was the one for me.

0 upvotes
RP McMurphy
By RP McMurphy (7 months ago)

The door on my LX3 is long snapped off
v annoying

0 upvotes
Ikay
By Ikay (8 months ago)

Dear Jeff Keller,
I really enjoy reading your reviews. BUT why do you keep harping on the allegedly 'flimsy' door of the battery/card compartment? I've been with the LX series since the LX3 and this door is totally adequate. Ok,when it's open it wobbles a bit,but it's normally closed and then it's perfectly ok.
Just treat it as you would treat the rest of the camera.
Of course,if you let your 5-year-old 'use' it,it will soon become flimsy...

1 upvote
Death89
By Death89 (3 weeks ago)

I have to agree on this point. I've never had any issues with the door on my Panasonic cameras.

I guess it could be down to the fact I'm pretty regimented in how I change batteries/cards (I open the door, pop out the battery/card and close it again - makes sense to me not to leave a door open no matter how solidly built it is) but really as long as you don't travel round with it open I can't see how it could be a problem

0 upvotes
Joseph Broz
By Joseph Broz (11 months ago)

The photo software that ships with the Lumix LX7 will not work with Windows 8. Does anyone know when Panasonic will fix this?

0 upvotes
Midwest
By Midwest (2 months ago)

Unfortunately, Panasonic cannot fix the nightmare that is Windows 8.

2 upvotes
Victor Stan
By Victor Stan (1 month ago)

Windows 7 works good, why do people rush so early to new OS? It's common sense that it takes a minimum of 6 months for any OS to be polished. Well in the case of Microsoft it takes forever since they only make a new OS because they aren't able to fix their current one. But always wait at least half a year to jump the bandwagon man!

1 upvote
Total comments: 8