The Lumix LX7 is a World Beater
The Lumix LX7 is one of the the best compact cameras currently available with some fantastic features for the professional photographer, enthusiast and serious videographer.
The Lumix LX7 is Panasonic’s flagship compact camera, and the successor to the popular LX5. The biggest feature on the camera is undoubtedly its F1.4-2.3, 3.8X Leica zoom lens (equivalent to 24 – 90 mm). This is the fastest lens you’ll find on a compact camera.
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Panasonic has put an aperture ring around the lens, which allows you to quickly adjust this setting when in Aperture priority and Manual mode. The LX7 also features Panasonic’s Power OIS image stabilization system, to reduce the risk of blurry photos and jumpy videos. On the back of the camera is a High Resolution 3-inch LCD that is easy to see both outdoors and in low light. Panasonic offers an electronic viewfinder, external flash and various lens filters as accessories.
The LX7 has something for everyone
The LX7 has a great selection of features that should make just about everybody happy. If you prefer Auto settings, then look no further than Panasonic’s great Intelligent Auto mode. It literally takes care of everything for you, whether its picking a scene mode, avoiding blur, handling back-lit situations, or intelligently sharpening an image. The LX7 has a large collection of scene modes, plus numerous special effects (known as Creative Controls). One scene mode of note is Panorama Shot which will let you ‘sweep’ the camera from side-to-side, with an automatically stitched panorama arriving a few seconds later.
As you’d expect from this premium compact, there are plenty of manual controls on the LX7, too. You get all the usual exposure options, RAW support, lots of white balance options, and three types of bracketing. Another good feature is Intelligent Resolution which improves the look of the LX7′s already splendid images.
The DMC-LX7 also has a fully loaded movie mode, which allows you to record Full HD video at 1080/60p, with stereo sound, for up to 30 minutes. You can use the optical zoom and image stabilizer while recording, and continuous autofocus is available, as well. Remarkably for a compact camera, if you want to adjust the aperture, shutter speed, or ISO in movie mode, you can. There are many top level DSLR cameras that don’t give you that kind of flexibility.
The DMC-LX7′s performance is top-notch in nearly every area. The LX7 has a variety of burst modes, with the two most notable being the 5.5 fps with continuous AF and 11 fps options. The camera has a large amount of buffer memory, so quite a few photos can be taken before things slow down. Photo quality is excellent. The camera takes well-exposed photos and the colors are well saturated, and accurate in most situations. The lens is definitely high quality, with good sharpness across the frame. If you want things a bit sharper, you can use the Intelligent Resolution feature. The LX7 keeps noise levels low through ISO 400 in low light and ISO 1600 in good light, both of which are better than what you’ll find on a typical compact camera.
• Fast F1.4 – F2.3, 24-90mm equivalent lens
• Built-in 3 stop neutral density filter
• 10.1 MP multi-aspect ratio ‘High Sensitivity MOS’ sensor (1/1.7″-type, 12.7 MP total)
• ISO 80-12800
• Aperture ring around lens barrel, combined ND/manual focus control on rear
• 11 fps continuous shooting, 5 fps with AF tracking
• 920K dots 3″ screen with Anti-Reflective coating
• Full HD 60p/50p video, built-in stereo microphones
• Port for DMW-LVF2 accessory electronic viewfinder