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...
24-90mm Leica DC-Vario Summilux f/1.4-2.3 lens
The lens is the key improvement to the Lumix DMC-LX7. The sensor’s crop factor of 4.55x means that the focal length of the lens is now 4.7-17.7mm in order to achieve the 24-90mm effective length. This is the same effective focal length as the LX5’s lens and covers most situations.
The lens consists of 11 elements in 10 groups, including five aspherical and two ED elements, and one with a nano-surface coating to reduce flare and ghosting. At its wide 24mm focal length, the maximum aperture is f/1.4, reduced to f/1.9 at 50mm and f/2.3 at 90mm.
However, a sensor with a 4.55x crop factor does not offer great control over depth of field. At f/1.4, the depth of field is equivalent to using f/6.3 on a full-frame camera (1.4×4.55), and at the tele 90mm end, where f/2.3 is possible, this equates to around f/11. So while the level of blur achievable is respectable thanks to wide apertures, it is the increased level of light entering through the lens that is the true benefit, enhancing handheld low-light performance by allowing the use of low ISO settings.
Our resolution chart shows the camera benefits from an improved capacity to resolve detail, which is no doubt a reflection on the centre sharpness of the lens. Edge detail maintains good clarity, too. Detail in subjects close to the camera looks crisp and clean. Distortion is more noticeable when buildings and straight lines are in the frame. There is the usual barrel distortion at wide focal lengths and slight barrel distortion at 50mm, but at 90mm the camera appears largely distortion-free.
Image: The f/4 setting of the lens ensures that the crispest level of detail is achieved, although the widest f/1.4 aperture is still respectable