Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Review
Menus & Playback
Before I get into the main menu, I want to cover what you'll find in the Quick Menu, which is activated by pressing the Q. Menu button on the back of the camera.
|Options in the Quick Menu include Photo Style, Flash setting, movie/still quality, focus mode, metering mode, and exposure compensation.|
The Quick Menu has been redesigned on the LX7, and while I'm not a huge fan of the new look, I got used to it after a while. In case you're wondering, there is no way to customize the items that go on this menu.
|The LX7's main menu is divided into three sections, covering still, movie, and setup options. In typical Panasonic fashion, there are a lot of options here, ranged in a lot of tabs...|
The main menu has received a face lift as well, and it looks great on the LX7's high-resolution LCD. The only thing I would've liked to see here are help screens for the various options. Here are the most interesting options from the record and setup tabs:
- Photo Style: a style contains parameters related to contrast, sharpness, saturation, and noise reduction; there are several presets plus a custom option - all of which can be adjusted to your heart's content
- Quality: choose from normal or fine quality JPEGs, plus RAW or RAW+JPEG; a RAW file weighs in at approximately 13 MB, while a fine quality JPEG is more like 4.5 MB
- ISO options: choose the top limit for Auto ISO, the increment between each sensitivity, and whether ISO 12800 is available
- Program Diagram: choose from standard, maximum aperture (uses the ND filter for background defocusing), and MTF (for highest resolution)
- AF modes: choose from face detection, subject tracking, 23-area auto, and 1-area modes; for the last item, you can select both the position and size of the focus point; if you're using face detection, then you can also take advantage of a face recognition feature, which learns who people are, and gives them priority in the scene
- Quick AF: starts focusing when camera shake is reduced (which is supposed to be when you're about to compose a photo), which reduces focus times
- Intelligent Dynamic: attempts to improve overall image contrast by reducing highlight clipping and brightening shadows; from my own tests I've found that it does nothing for highlights and only brightens shadows in certain situations; off by default, except in iA mode
- Multiple exposure: combines up to three exposures into a single photo; auto gain adjustment is available
- Intelligent Resolution: 'intelligently' sharpens photos by outlining edges, improving texture detail, and leaving things like the sky alone; off by default, except in iA mode
- Intelligent zoom: boosts the focal range by 2X (to 7.5X total), with a 'minimal deterioration of image quality.
- Extra optical zoom: while not actually a menu option, you can get additional zoom power by lowering the resolution; for example, dropping down to 5 Megapixel gives you 5.4X of total zoom power; this can also be combined with Intelligent Zoom, so you'd top out at a whopping 10.7X if you used both
- Step zoom: when on, the zoom controller will jump to five preset positions (24, 28, 35, 70, and 90 mm)
- Redeye removal: in addition to using pre-flashes to shrink your subject's pupils, the LX7 can digitally remove redeye after a photo is taken; we'll see if it works later in the review
- Aspect bracket: takes a photo in each of the four aspect ratios
- Time Lapse shot: new to the LX7, this lets you set the start time, interval between shots, total number of shots, and whether an alert sound is played when each photo is taken
- Fn button set: assign a function to the customizable Fn button ('left' on the four-way controller), with three pages of options to choose from
- Lens Resume: normally I wouldn't mention a feature like this, but since I got burned a few times, I'm sharing; if you enter playback mode the camera will retract the lens after maybe 30 seconds; when you return to shooting, the lens position and focus distance have been lost; thus, turning on Zoom Resume and/or MF Resume is a smart idea
The LX7's playback mode has been enhanced a bit since the LX5. Some of the highlights include:
- Filtering play: view only stills, videos, 3D images, favorites, and photos taken with a specific scene mode
- Calendar view: quickly jump to photos taken on a certain date
- Title edit / text stamp: print the date and time, location, names of recognized subjects, and more on your photos
- Resize/cropping: always handy
- Leveling: for people like me who can't get their horizons level
- Auto retouch: a 'quick fix' for your photos, though it often over-brightens images
- Creative retouch: apply many of the camera's Creative Filters to photos that you've taken
- Video divide: pick a spot in your video and split it two
One thing that's not here is a redeye removal tool. You'll have to accept whatever the LX7's dual redeye reduction systems come up with, which I'll share with you in a bit.
|The LX7 doesn't tell you much about your photos by default. However, if you press the Display button, you'll get a bit more, including a histogram.|
The camera moves between photos without delay. If you've enlarged a photo by using the zoom controller, you can switch to other photos while maintaining the same position by using the rear dial.
|Patrick Finds Inner Peace by ecastellon|
from Your best photo of the week!
|Forks by Kukla|
from Arranged everyday objects
Calumet UK and Wex Photographic, two of the biggest photography retailers in the United Kingdom, are going to officially merge tomorrow.
macOS High Sierra came out today, but if you use a Wacom tablet you need to wait a few weeks before you upgrade. According to Wacom, they won't have a compatible driver ready for you until "late October."
Do you think a $3,000 Canon 80D video rig can compete with an $80,000+ Arri Alexa setup? Well it can't, but check out this video anyway to see how the rigs compare.
Seven simple rules to make sure you get the most out of your next photography outing.
Vitec, the company that owns popular accessory maker Manfrotto, has just acquired JOBY and Lowepro for a cool $10.3 million in cash. The acquisition adds JOBY and Lowepro to Vitec's already sizable collection of camera gear brands.
A master drone pilot has captured one of the most incredible (and highly illegal) drone videos we've ever seen by flying around, inside, onto, and under a moving train.
Intel just debuted their 8th generation desktop CPUs, and the lineup packs a performance boost for 'content creators' that photo and video editors might be intrigued by.
Canon is developing a 'Free Viewpoint Video System' that will turn real life sports games and events into immersive 3D interactive experiences. It's video game-like camera control IRL.
A veteran photojournalist, Rick Wilking secured a spot in the path of totality for the August solar eclipse. While things didn't quite pan out as predicted, an unexpected subject in the sky and a quick reaction made for a once-in-a-lifetime shot.
The new iZugar 3.25mm F2.5 super fisheye lens offers an insane 220-degree angle of view. That means it can basically see behind itself... good luck keeping your feet out of the shot.
You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll remember that time you took a picture of the frozen pizza baking directions.
A Craigslist poster has discovered the worst possible way to photograph a car: taking pictures of pictures displayed on a cracked and scratched up smartphone screen.
With the iPhone X coming out soon, the title probably won't last, but the iPhone 8 Plus is officially the best smartphone camera DxOMark has ever tested, and the iPhone 8 is second.
Kodak's new Facebook Messenger chatbot is trying to bring back the 'Kodak Moment' by digging up your old social media photos and trying to sell you prints and custom coffee mugs.
Affinity Photo for iPad was touted as "the first full blown, truly professional photo editing tool to make its way onto the Apple tablet." This update makes it that much more convenient.
Yashica has released a new teaser video, and this one claims they'll be releasing an "unprecedented camera" in October on Kickstarter. Ready... set... speculate!
Storage solutions company Synology has just released its very first 6-bay NAS tower. Combined with the DX1215 expansion units, it can hold and control up to thirty drives.
We're always expanding our collection of product overview content, and we've just added videos for the Canon EOS 6D Mark II, the EOS Rebel SL2 and EOS M6.
The venerable Canon PowerShot G1 was announced seventeen years ago this week, marking the start of a line of enthusiast-focused compacts that's still alive and kicking.
Super macro photographer Can Tuncer captured these incredible close-ups of a single peacock feather using a special setup and three different microscope lenses.
After successfully crowdfunding the Biotar 75mm F1.5, Oprema Jena is at it again. This time they're bringing back the Biotar 58mm F2: the world's only lens with a 17-blade aperture.
Adobe's move to a subscription model is treating it very well indeed. The company has posted record revenue for the second quarter in a row, hauling in a mind-boggling $1.84 billion.
More details have emerged about the potential sale of Blackstone's 45% stake in iconic camera brand Leica.
Popular mobile editing app Snapseed just got a major update that includes a new interface and 11 new presets for both Android and iOS, as well as adding the Perspective tool to the iOS version.
It might sound like a strange idea, but taking macro photos of boiling water can actually result in some really cool photographs. A good photo experiment for a rainy day.
The database was created to "break with the narrow lens through which history… has been recorded" by equipping those who commission photography with "the resources to discover photographers of color available for assignments.
Lensbaby has released two new optics for their special "optic swap system." The Lensbaby Sweet 80 Optic gives you that trademark sweet spot of focus, while the Creative Bokeh optic gives you 9 different drop in aperture plate options to play with.
TechCrunch has already posted their review of the upcoming iPhone 8 (not yet the iPhone X), and they're calling it "a look into the augmented future of photography."
Affinity Photo is a $50 photo editing software with no subscriptions. That's it – pay for it once and you're done. And we think it's actually pretty darn good.
Instagram is currently testing a major change to the app's profile layout: replacing the 3-photo across grid with a 4-photo grid... and some users are NOT taking the news well.