Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Review
Exposure Mode Dial Options
The LX7's exposure mode dial is set on top of the camera, and provides access to the various exposure modes, including the 'classic' PASM modes.
|Intelligent Auto mode||Point-and-shoot with automatic scene selection, face detection, subject tracking, intelligent sharpening, dynamic range improvement, and more. Many menu items are locked up.|
|Program mode||Still automatic, but with full menu access; a Program Shift option lets you use the rear dial to move through sets of aperture/shutter speed values.|
|Aperture Priority mode||You set the aperture, and the camera picks the appropriate shutter speed. The aperture range on the LX7 is F1.4 - F8.0.|
|Shutter Priority mode||You pick the shutter speed, and the camera selects the matching aperture. The shutter speed range is 250 - 1/4000 sec, with the really slow shutter speeds reserved for ISO 1600 and below.|
|Full manual (M) mode||You select both the aperture and the shutter speed, with the same ranges as above.|
|Creative Video mode||While you can take a movie in any shooting mode by using the dedicated button, in this mode you can adjust the aperture and/or shutter speed.|
|Custom mode 1/2||Stores a total of four sets of camera settings: one on C1, and three on C2.|
|Scene mode||You pick the scene and the camera uses the appropriate settings. Choose from portrait, soft skin, landscape, panorama shot, sports, night portrait, night scenery, handheld night shot, HDR, food, baby, pet, sunset, glass through (reverse those words and you'll understand), and 3D still.|
|Creative Control mode||Special effects, which can be applied to stills and videos, include expressive, retro, high key, sepia, dynamic monochrome, impressive art, high dynamic, cross process, toy effect, miniature effect, soft focus, star filter, one point (selective) color, radial defocus, and smooth defocus.|
Here's what I think are the most interesting features on the mode dial:
- Intelligent Auto mode: the best auto mode in the business in my opinion - it does everything for you, all with the push of a button; available options include automatic use of Motion Deblur, Handheld Night Shot, and HDR; there's also an iA+ mode which lets you use sliders to adjust brightness, background blur, and color tone (white balance)
|In iA+ mode you can use sliders to adjust brightness, background blur, and color tone|
- Shutter speed range: while the LX7 lacks a bulb mode, you can set the shutter speed as slow as 250 seconds (over 4 mins)
- Panorama Shot: 'sweep' the camera from side-to-side and the camera will automatically stitch things together into a panorama
- Handheld night shot: the camera takes multiple exposures and combines them into what is hopefully a sharp image; don't expect miracles, though
- HDR (high dynamic range): combines three photos, taken at different exposures, into a single image with improved contrast
- Creative Control: choose from sixteen special effects, most of which can be fine-tuned to your liking; most of them can be used for videos, in addition to stills
Panorama Shot Mode
Above you can see a panorama that I created using the aptly named Panorama Shot feature. I swept the camera from left to right and think I stopped earlier than I could have (the guide on the screen is a bit misleading). What's 'off' here are the vertical stripes visible on the right side of the photo, which was visible in panoramas I took in other places, as well. That's too bad, as the image quality is otherwise pretty good. The only serious limitation (shared with most similar functions on other cameras) is that you're limited to shooting at wideangle in this mode.
In HDR mode the camera will take three photos in a row, each at a different exposure (you can't choose what the interval is), and combines them into a single image with dramatically improved contrast. Take a look:
|HDR off||HDR on|
While I'll be first to admit that the HDR shot looks a little bit over-processed, the dramatic improvement in contrast is worth it.
The IR (Intelligent Resolution) feature selectively sharpens an image, applying sharpening to things that need it (like edges) and leaving alone things that don't (like the sky). It's off by default, except in iA mode, and you can choose from low, standard, or high levels in other shooting modes. Here's a crop of a larger photo that shows the IR feature in action:
|I.R. off||I.R. low||I.R. standard||I.R. high|
While it's not a huge change, the image above gets a bit sharper each time you crank up the level of Intelligent Resolution. For most folks, the standard setting is just fine.
The other part of the Intelligent Resolution system is Intelligent Zoom. This gives you a 2X boost in zoom power with less of a drop in image quality than traditional digital zoom. Thus, you now have an equivalent 180 mm lens at your disposal. Let's see how it looks:
|Full telephoto (90 mm)||Full telephoto + Intelligent Zoom (180 mm)|
I don't know about you, but there seems to be a pretty noticeable loss of image quality when using Intelligent Zoom (you'll have to view the full size images to see this). It's fine for small prints, but that's about it. If you don't mind lowering the image size, you'll get much nicer looking photos using the Extended Optical Zoom feature. And, if you're a real glutton for punishment, you can use both of these zoom-enhancing features at the same time!
|Street Food 2017 by ziggyzag|
from Your City - Fast Food
|Running free by LassiM|
|1969 Oldsmobile 442 Resto-Mod by J Warren|
from O is for...
The new ExaDrive offers a three times higher capacity than the previous largest SSD, a 30TB model by Samsung.
A pair of images show what may be the upcoming DJI Phantom 5 drone featuring an interchangeable lens camera. While nothing is confirmed, it wouldn't be outside the realm of possibility given the company's recent experience with camera system development.
We were saddened to hear of the death last week of Chuck Westfall, a 35-year veteran of Canon USA, and a legend in the photography industry.
Nikon looks to be positioning its D850 as a serious video rig with today's announcement of its D850 Filmmaker's Kit. The kit includes the body, 20/35/85mm F1.8G lenses, an Atomos Ninja Flame external recorder, two microphones and an extra battery.
Photographers shopping around for Lightroom alternatives have likely encountered Alien Skin's Exposure X3. Here's an overview of its organization and editing controls, and how they differ from the competition.
Alien Skin has released a significant update for its Exposure X3 image editor, adding greater precision to adjustment tools and more printing capabilities, among other improvements.
The FAA has ordered helicopter pilots and operators to halt certain doors-off flights in the wake of a tragedy that killed five passengers.
Analysts TechInsights have torn down a Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus to have a closer look at the device's internal components and their cost.
Oppo's new high-end phones bear an uncanny resemblance to the iPhone X, with features like face unlock to a portrait lighting mode.
Recently we visited the 2018 CP+ show in Yokohama, Japan and as usual, we booked interviews with senior executives from several major manufacturers, including Sigma.
At this year's CP+ show in Yokohama, we sat down with senior executives from several major manufacturers, including Canon. Topics of conversation included Canon's ambitions for high-end mirrorless cameras, and the importance of responding to the demands of the smartphone generation.
We were recently able to follow local frame builder Max Kullaway as he created one of his AirLandSea bikes. Here are our picks of the photos we got, as the project progressed from bare tubes all the way to rideable bicycle.
On paper, the Sony a7 III is a tempting option for photographers who've been considering a switch to full-frame mirrorless. But how does its image quality stack up? We compare it to the Mark II and a few of its other peers.
Erez Marom shares the details behind this beautiful aurora photograph, captured on Haukland Beach in the Lofoten Islands, Arctic Norway, on a moonless evening.
Google Lens uses artificial intelligence and 'computer vision' to identify and provide information about businesses, landmarks and other objects using your phone's camera. And now it's available for iPhone users, too.
The company posted a record quarterly revenue of $2.08 billion for the first quarter of the 2018 fiscal year. That represents incredibly healthy year-over-year growth of 24 percent.
In the job posting, the Times' describes this role as "one of the most important and high-profile jobs in visual journalism." If you're looking for a high profile job in photojournalism, you could do a lot worse than being Photo Director at The Gray Lady.
According to a recent report out of South Korea, Samsung is increasing production of its ISOCELL image sensors in a bid towards market leadership for image sensors. To reach this goal, Samsung will have to dethrone current market leader Sony... no small task.
In this video, large format photographer Ben Horne shows off the incredible resolving power of 8x10 slide film by pixel peeping a massive 709.6-megapixel drum scan of one of his landscape shots. And you thought 100MP medium format was big...
Photographer Wendy Teal tells the heart-breaking story of a wedding she shot at a hospital on just 24-hours notice. The mother of the bride had been given one week to live, and Wendy responded to the couple's desperate social media plea for someone to capture their special day.
This tiny little plug-and-play VR/AR camera for Android phones uses a pair of greater-than-180° FOV fisheye lenses to offer both 360° video/photo capture and 360° livestreaming at 1440p resolution.
Syrp has announced the Magic Carpet Pro: a slider that offers filmmakers an 'infinitely extendable' range thanks to built-in track levers that let you connect lengths of track without the use of tools.
At CP+ we sat down with executives from several major manufacturers. Among them was Kenji Tanaka, of Sony, who talked to us about the a7 III as well as its plans to attract more pro shooters – without ignoring APS-C and entry-level customers.
How do you shoot macro photography on an 18x24cm large format wet plate camera? You 'connect' two large format cameras together! That's how wet plate photographer Markus Hofstaetter did it, and you can read about the whole process in this article.
The Fujifilm X-H1 is a top-of-the-range 24MP mirrorless camera with in-body stabilization and the company's most advanced array of video capabilities. We've tested the X-T2's big brother extensively to see how it performs.
Motorsports photojournalist Jamey Price recently flew to Canada with Lamborghini for the car company's Winter Accademia 2018, where clients get to drive the latest Lamborghini supercars on snow and ice. Yes... it is exactly as awesome as it sounds.
For the Pixel 2 smartphone's Motion Photos feature, Google built on its existing Motion Stills technology by adding advanced stabilization that combines software and hardware capabilities to optimize trimming and stabilization.
This "high-capacity advanced spider tripod" system can handle a maximum load of 65kg / 143lbs thanks to its reinforced design and 8-layered carbon fiber legs.
Photographer William Briscoe captured the beautiful two-for-one timelapse just outside Fairbanks, Alaska on January 31st, braving -31°F (-35°C) temperatures to get the shot.
"After his camera was stolen from his room in the orphanage, he switched to an iPhone for his photography, reasoning that the image quality of a big, heavy camera was less important than the freedom of a cell phone. 'Quality? Screw it, I’d sketch things with a pencil if I could draw,' he wrote in a blog post."