Two years on from the Lumix DMC-LX5, Panasonic refreshes its flagship compact camera series with a class-leading fast Leica lens and 11fps burst mode. Read the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 review...

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 review


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Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 at a glance:

  • 1/1.7in (7.6×5.7mm) multi-aspect-ratio MOS sensor
  • 10.1 million effective pixels
  • ISO 80-6400 (extendable to ISO 12,800)
  • 4.7-17.7mm (24-90mm equivalent) f/1.4-2.3 DC Vario-Summilux Leica lens
  • 11fps high-speed burst mode
  • Street price around £450

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 review – Introduction

Panasonic’s LX series has long been at the forefront of the ‘expert’ compact camera sector. Now more than ever, though, this market is fiercely contested by most of the top camera brands. Just this year we have seen the release of some excellent cameras with solid build and intuitive handling from the likes of Canon, Fujifilm and Sony. Panasonic’s latest flagship compact camera, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7, arrives two years after its predecessor, the Lumix DMC-LX5, and in that time much has changed.

The point of focus of this change seems to be the use of a large imaging sensor. A large sensor provides, among other things, a greater ability to collect light (and therefore improved performance in low light) and more control over depth of field, which makes it easier to blur a background. It comes as something of a surprise, then, that the imaging sensor in the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 is actually smaller than that in its predecessor, and therefore some of its direct competition, too, such as the Olympus XZ-1. The size difference of the sensor in these models is fractional, with the LX7 using a 1/1.7in (7.6×5.7mm approx) sensor compared to the 1/1.63in (8.1x6mm approx) unit of the Olympus XZ-1. However, there are compact cameras available that have significantly larger sensors, among them Canon’s PowerShot G1 X, Fujifilm’s X10 and Sony’s Cyber-shot DSC-RX100.

So why use a smaller sensor? The main reason is that Panasonic aims to build on the strengths the LX series already has – fast lenses in compact bodies – rather than push the newest model into new realms. The LX5 had a fast f/2 lens, but now the LX7 has a class-leading 24-90mm f/1.4-2.3 Leica optic (the Samsung EX2F also has a f/1.4 lens, but it is reduced to f/2.7 at its longest, 80mm focal length). To work with such wide apertures, the LX7 features a built-in, 3-stop ND filter, which means the f/1.4 setting can still be used in bright sunlight. Needless to say, the lens is the standout feature of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7, but I’m going to look at just how much the camera benefits from its class-leading features, and how it fares against the competition.

  1. 1. Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 at a glance:
  2. 2. Features
  3. 3. 24-90mm Leica DC-Vario Summilux f/1.4-2.3 lens
  4. 4. Build and handling
  5. 5. White balance and colour
  6. 6. Autofocus
  7. 7. Metering
  8. 8. Noise, resolution and sensitivity
  9. 9. LCD, viewfinder and video
  10. 10. Dynamic range
  11. 11. The competition
  12. 12. Our verdict
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  • Michael

    No, I think you can be a Met and Ranger fan. From my personal eecnrixepe, I think being Met fan has prepared me for all sorts of disappointment. Hence, when the Rangers lost the last game of the season to the Flyers, I was ready.Unlike those Yankee-Rangers fans, who constantly bit%# about the team and argue why we should go out and get “X” superstar.

  • Rashed

    Hey Frank, Thanks for your comments and kind words As far as your qteouisn is concerned the A35 is no good for studio work due to the OLED (electronic Viewfinder). The fact that your not actually looking through the lens is the issue. On a tradition SLR you can see through the actual lens and your not looking at a little TV like the a35. This allows you to use manual mode and have the camera set to whatever is needed for the studio environment and still be able to see through the camera to compose your scene, focus, etc.. A typical lighting set-up that I use in the studio is Manual Mode f/8 @ 1/160sec, ISO 100. Now, if you could imagine what looking through the Sony a35 in Manual Mode set to those settings would look like??The screen would be pitch black and you would not be able to focus or anything where as on my Traditional SLR Studio Camera I can see through the glass no matter what the camera is set to. If you really want to use studio lights your going to need a traditional SLR like the Sony a390, or a580 for example. I hope that makes sense?? Best,Jay