TODO alt text

Panasonic LX7 review

Is a small sensor premium compact enough to take on the Sony RX100?

Now that we have had a chance to use a full production version of the Panasonic LX7, we have continued to be impressed by the camera.

Panasonic LX7 review

Many will be disappointed by Panasonic's decision to stick with the same sensor as in the LX5, instead of opting for a larger device such as the one found in the Sony RX100.

Panasonic LX7 review

However, Panasonic is keen to point out that what the camera lacks in sensor size, it gains in wide aperture. That is to say that at the telephoto end of the lens focal length, the Panasonic LX7 can still maintain f/2.3, compared with the Sony RX100's f/4.9.

Panasonic LX7 review

Even in low light conditions, the camera is capable of producing high quality images with a good amount of noise control. Despite the fact that it has a smaller sensor, an impressive amount of detail is still captured.

Panasonic LX7 review

It's also capable of producing pleasing restricted depth of field effects, thanks in part to that f/1.4 aperture. At the moment, the lens is the joint brightest on the market, tied only with the recently announced Samsung EX2.

Panasonic LX7 review

Colours are generally represented very well, being bright and punchy but not over the top. Automatic white balance generally does a good job of producing accurate colours, but we did find a couple of occasions where the camera produced slightly cooler than desired images.

Panasonic LX7 review

But switching to a more specific white balance option, such as daylight, is quick and easy, and is recommended if the camera is struggling with mixed lighting conditions.

Panasonic LX7 review

Overall, the camera's matrix metering does a good job of assessing the lighting conditions to produce an accurately exposed image. This is true even in relatively mixed lighting. Again, switching to spot or centre metering is easy.

Panasonic LX7 review

Panasonic's G series of cameras have class-leading autofocus speeds, so it's no surprise to see that the Panasonic LX7 is also capable of speedy responses. Focusing is quick and accurate in the majority of cases, locking onto subjects with ease.

Panasonic LX7 review

Macro focusing, which can be activated via a switch on the lens itself, is also good, outperforming the Sony RX100 in terms of images that can be captured from close distances.

Panasonic LX7 review

Panasonic, along with Olympus, has long been a fan of digital filters. Here on the Panasonic LX7 we see the best choice yet for the premium compact camera range. Several filters, including Expressive, Retro, Dynamic Monochrome and Toy Effect, are available.

Panasonic LX7 review

While it's true to say that some will be appreciated more than others, some are definitely worth a look. Dynamic Monochrome, for instance, is really effective, while Cross Process gives a good level of customisation that should help it appeal even more.

Panasonic LX7 review

Perhaps the best news about these digital filters is that they can be shot in raw and JPEG format, so, if you decide you'd rather the picture didn't have the filter after all, you've got the option to remove it in post-production.

Panasonic LX7 review

It's a shame that the filters can't be activated while shooting in P/A/S/M modes, though, since this would have given greater control over parameters such as shutter speed and aperture. Instead, they need to be activated via a dedicated mode, which can be found on the mode dial.

Panasonic LX7 review

The LCD screen performs extremely well, providing a good angle of view and remaining visible in all but the very brightest of sunlight. There's no viewfinder included as standard, but, unlike the Sony RX100, there is the option to add one via the hotshoe on the top of the camera.

Panasonic LX7 review

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
TouchscreenNo
Wireless LANNo
Effective Camera Resolution10.1 Megapixel
GPSNo
USBYes
HDMIYes
Wide AngleYes
PictBridgeYes
Product FamilyLumix
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card
Image StabilizationOptical
ColourBlack
Optical Zoom3.8x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NamePanasonic
FeaturesLive View, Orientation Sensor, Self-timer, Continuous Shooting Mode, Time Lapse Function, Face Detection
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMP4, AVCHD
Weight (Approximate)269 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityREACH, WEEE
Image Sensor Size1/1.7" (7.60 mm x 5.70 mm)
Maximum Image Resolution3648 x 2736
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height67.1 mm
Width110.5 mm
Depth45.7 mm
Focal Length4.70 mm to 17.70 mm
Image FormatsJPEG, MPO, RAW
External FlashOptional
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerPanasonic
Product ModelDMC-LX7
Product NameDMC-LX7 Digital Camera
Product LineLumix
Exposure Control
  • Program AE
  • Aperture Priority AE
  • Shutter Priority AE
  • Manual
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberDMC-LX7EB-K
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.panasonic.co.uk
Marketing Information

Premium Compact Digital Camera with F1.4 LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMILUX Lens for Outclassing Creative Possibility

The DMC-LX7 is equipped with 24mm ultra wide-angle LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMILUX lens featuring outstanding F1.4 brightness at wide-end and F2.3 at tele-end. The extraordinarily rich amount of light allows not only using higher shutter speed for blur-free images in lower light situation, but also giving impressive expression by reproducing exquisite gradation and mellow defocus. The Nano Surface Coating is applied to minimize ghost and flaring.

Package Contents
  • DMC-LX7 Digital Camera
  • Battery Charger
  • Battery Pack
  • AC Cable
  • USB Cable
  • Shoulder Strap
  • Software CD-ROM
  • Hot Shoe Cover
  • Lens Cap
  • Lens Cap string
Limited Warranty1 Year