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The Everyday Sling might just be the perfect pack for not carrying too much gear, combining comfort with Peak Design's signature modern style.
The Lumix DMC-LX7 is a mid-sized camera made mostly of metal. Construction is solid, save for the usual flimsy door over the battery/memory card compartment (but what else is new). I'm not a huge fan of the rear dial, either, which feels cheap and does not turn smoothly. The redesigned grip make the camera easy to hold, and the most important controls are within easy reach of your fingers. There isn't a whole lot of space for your right thumb on the back of the camera, so be careful where you put it.
|The LX7 is a compact camera with a lot of manual controls. When held in the right hand, the relatively substantial grip ensures a good hold, and the shutter button falls naturally under the index finger.||The LX7's rear control dial falls under the thumb of the right hand, with the ND/Focus button a short stretch to the left.|
One of the major selling points of the LX7 is its fast lens. When we say a lens is 'fast', it means that it lets in a lot of light, allowing for faster shutter speeds at lower sensitivities in low light situations. In other words, you get nicer-looking pictures in low light. In addition, the fast aperture range also allows for a better background blurring than your typical compact camera.
The focal range of the lens is 4.7 -17.7, which is equivalent to 24 - 90 mm (same as the LX5). The LX7's lens supports 37mm filters, though you'll need the optional filter adapter in order to use them. The LX7 uses the same Power OIS image stabilization system as its predecessor. This system reduces the risk of blurry photos, and it'll smooth out the 'shake' in your movies, as well. The LX7's OIS system does not have 'active' mode, however, which is used in some of Panasonic's other cameras for reducing extreme shake in videos.
Turning our attention to the rear of the LX7, its LCD display has double the resolution of the one on the DMC-LX5. For those who don't know camera specs off the top of their heads, that means that the resolution is now 920,000 dots. As you'd expect, everything on the LCD is very sharp. I found outdoor visibility to be quite good, and in low light the image on the screen brightens up nicely, so you can still see your subject.
Under that you'll find the four-way controller, which is surrounded by four more buttons. The four-way controller is used for menu navigation, and also offers direct controls for ISO, white balance, and the drive mode. The left directional button's function can be customized.
Several current enthusiast compacts make use of a control dial concentric with the lens (as pioneered by Canon on its Powershot S90). However Panasonic has taken a slightly different approach; rather than using a modal, customisable control it's added a traditional-style aperture ring that covers F1.4 to F8, with detents at every third stop. This immediately makes the LX7 a more engaging camera to use than the LX5; rather than having to constantly click-in the rear dial to change its mode, you can now set the aperture directly and use the rear dial to control exposure compensation or the shutter speed.
This won't come as any surprise to experienced photographers, but because the LX7 has an exposure mode dial and a variable maximum aperture zoom lens, there are situations where the camera doesn't or can't use the aperture value set by the ring:
One knock-on effect of this behaviour is that if you have the aperture ring set to F1.4 and the lens zoomed to full telephoto, then rotating the ring four clicks has absolutely no effect (it goes from F1.4 to 2.2), and it's only beyond this that the setting will actually start to change. Some people might find this disconcerting and annoying, others probably won't mind at all.
The main disadvantage of having a ring dedicated to controlling aperture, of course, is that it becomes entirely redundant in program and shutter priority exposure modes, and can't be configured to operate anything else. In this respect, the customisable control rings on cameras like the Canon Powershot S100 are undoubtedly more versatile, as they can be set to control such things as shutter speed, ISO or stepped zoom. But again, whether this really matters is down to each photographer's personal preference.
Turning our attention back to the rear of the camera, I want to touch on a few of the features accessed via the four-way controller:
The four surrounding buttons handle AE/AF lock, entering playback mode or the quick menu, and toggling the info displayed on the LCD. All in all, a very similar operating experience to the LX5.
|Comparing the LX7 to its predecessor, while there aren't many changes visible in the front view, the top view shows the new aperture ring and stereo microphones. Changes on the back include the use of a new accessory port, the addition of the ND filter/focus switch, and a 'flip' of the Display and Q. Menu buttons. What I'm getting at is that users of the LX5 (and previous models) should feel right at home on the LX7.
Images are close to scale and appear courtesy of Panasonic
The DMC-LX7 is slightly larger and heavier than its predecessor. How does it compare with other premium compacts? Find out in the chart below:
|Camera||Dimensions (W x H x D, excluding protrusions)||Volume (bulk)||Mass (empty)|
|Canon PowerShot S100||3.9 x 2.3 x 1.1 in. (99 x 58 X 28mm)||9.9 cu in.||173 g|
|Fujifilm X10||4.6 x 2.7 x 2.2 in. (117 x 68 x 56mm)||27.3 cu in.||330 g|
|Nikon Coolpix P310||4.1 x 2.3 x 1.3 in. (104 x 548 x 33mm)||12.3 cu in.||194 g|
|Olympus XZ-1||4.4 x 2.6 x 1.7 in. (112 x 66 x 43mm)||19.4 cu in.||244 g|
|Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7||4.4 x 2.6 x 1.8 in. (112 x 66 x 46mm)||20.6 cu in.||269 g|
|Samsung EX2F||4.4 x 2.5 x 1.1 in. (112 x 63 x 28mm)||12.1 cu in.||286 g|
|Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100||4.0 x 2.4 x 1.4 in. (101 x 61 x 35mm)||13.4 cu in.||213 g|
The Lumix DMC-LX7 is one of the bulkier cameras in this group, but it's certainly not a large camera. While it probably won't fit in your jeans pocket, it will travel over your shoulder or in a small camera bag with ease.
Oct 15, 2012
Jul 18, 2012
Sep 18, 2012
Oct 13, 2015
The holidays are a great time to take pictures — and they're a great time to get a camera for yourself or for a loved one. With more than 50 cameras going through the hands of the DPReview team over the year, we've seen it all (or so we think). Based on our collective knowledge we hope this guide will help you make an informed decision on which camera will fit your needs. In part 3, we look at enthusiast compact cameras.
The holiday season is upon us once again and with all the sales and special deals around at the moment, this is a great time to start thinking about getting a new camera. Maybe for a loved one, maybe just as a treat to yourself. In this article, we'll be looking at the current field of enthusiast zoom compact cameras, and examining their relative strengths and weaknesses to help you make your buying decision. Click through for a link to our 12-page article.
When the Fujifilm X-T2 arrived, it was more than just a modest upgrade to the already impressive X-T1. While the new X-T3 hasn't changed the overall design of the camera, this model is way more than an upgrade; rather, it's a quantum leap.
The Movie Maker is a compact, motorized slider designed for phones, action cams and small mirrorless cameras. We think it's a fun little kit and a good value proposition for the cost, provided you can work around a few of its weak points.
Nikon's Z7 is the first camera to use the all-new Z-mount, the company's first new full-frame mount since 1959. We've put together our first impressions based on quality shooting time with a pre-production camera - check out what we've found.
What's the best camera for a parent? The best cameras for shooting kids and family must have fast autofocus, good low-light image quality and great video. In this buying guide we've rounded-up several great cameras for parents, and recommended the best.
What's the best camera for shooting landscapes? High resolution, weather-sealed bodies and wide dynamic range are all important. In this buying guide we've rounded-up several great cameras for shooting landscapes, and recommended the best.
What’s the best camera costing over $2000? The best high-end camera costing more than $2000 should have plenty of resolution, exceptional build quality, good 4K video capture and top-notch autofocus for advanced and professional users. In this buying guide we’ve rounded up all the current interchangeable lens cameras costing over $2000 and recommended the best.
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