Panasonic Lumix LX7 review

julie woon

Yes, this is the latest incarnation of the wildly popular LX3/LX5! I managed to get hold of the new Panasonic Lumix LX7 – it’s a super premium compact camera that has a lot of features that even professional photographers would appreciate.

lumix lx7

BTW, that’s Julie Woon, the 8TV host that also had the LX7 and showed her photos during the event.

lumix showcase

I was at the Panasonic Lumix Photonista campaign cum launch on the 19th November which unveiled several of their new cameras and lenses. There’s the two high end Lumix G series – GH3 and G5 which uses the relatively new dSLM (nope, not a typo, it stands for digital single lens mirrorless) cameras.

fuzion
Lunch @ Fuzion before the event

Lumix came out with the world’s first dSLM cameras in 2008 – the technology which allows for a more compact body and lens while still producing the high image quality of dSLRs. The flagship GH3 is even splash and dust proof. There’s also the accompanying 12-35mm, 45-150mm and 35-100mm lens.

panasonic lumix lx7

The new Lumix range was also unveiled – with the ultra high zoom “prosumer” FZ60 and FZ200 leading the pack to bridge the high end G series with the compact and new LX7. That leaves the lifestyle targeted SZ5 which has WiFi that allows you to use a smartphone to connect with it to shoot remotely and upload direct to social media avenues.

professional photographers

That’s a total of 6 new cameras and 3 lenses announced that day and there were also two female professional photographers who used the newly launched Lumix G cameras to take photos and record videos. I found the one which featured the capoeira video to be quite intriguing – the quality was so good I though it was taken with a dedicated camcorder.

lumix tx7 top

Anyway, back to the Lumix LX7 review, it’s a 10.1 MP high end compact camera that you can just point and shoot with it’s Intelligent Auto Plus with a full range of manual shooting modes and RAW file support. The body is made of metal, which gives it a premium feel and a nice solid weight. I really like the feel of it.

creative control

There’s also a bright 3 inch LCD screen with a 920,000 dot resolution which provides a really clear view of what you’re about to shoot. The ISO goes from 80-6400 (there’s also an option for ISO 12800 but that results in a lowered resolution) and it’s a lot like a dSLR with all its features.

defocus

I like the option of going all the way to the fastest f/1.4 maximum aperture which is essential for shooting in low-light conditions and producing that signature dSLR depth-of-field effect with out of focus backgrounds.

depth field

It’s very friendly for beginners but the best part about the LX7 is the toggle switch at the side that allows you to switch from manual to auto-focus (with the addition of macro thrown in).

food

It’s these little manual controls that makes it simple enough for photography enthusiasts to use yet allows full manual flexibility for more advanced users.

lumix tx7 back

Shooting in manual mode is surprisingly easy with the 3-step ND/Focus lever (very nifty, this one) that allows you full control over shutter speed. Focusing, exposure, bracketing area and all the essentials are ready at hand when used with the buttons and jog dial.

lumix lx7 front

There’s also a manually adjustable aperture ring that allows direct control over the light source to the sensors as well as a switch to change aspect ratios from 16:9, 3:2, 4:3 to 1:1. You can even shoot in ALL the aspect ratios at once!

level gauge

The MF Assist feature helps enthusiast photographers to understand how things work too. There’s also useful features like Level Gauge which helps you align your shots – the horizontal/vertical lines are yellow until they register as level with the accelerometer, at which point they turn green.

lunch

The remarkable Leica lens on the LX7 more than makes up for the relatively small sensor – it takes impressively sharp photos.

panorama
Panorama shot that allows all four directions!

The other strong point of the LX7 is in the video recording – it allows for full HD video at 1,920 x 1,080 60p at 120 frames per second for NTSC (50p / 100 fps for PAL). That produces extremely smooth and detailed videos. The microphone is placed on top and there’s an Auto Wind Cut function to block out noise. Best of all it records in stereo from it’s two mics!

Personally, the best feature is the ability to take a still image while you record a video. I’ve often struggled with two cameras while recording a video in case there’s a scene where I want a photo too. Now I can do both with a single camera. Heh.

quick af

The most amazing thing I’ve realized about this camera is the super fast AF – it can even shoot at 4 fps with full AF tracking!

glass through
Glass Through scene

through glass
Resulting photo

1 aspect ratio
1:1 aspect ratio

sepia
Sepia

cakes
Creative Control

desserts
Food

expressive
Expressive

miniature effect
Miniature Effect (love the irony ;))

Things I like:

  • Excellent image quality
  • Insanely fast burst mode at 11 fps full resolution
  • Speedy auto-focus
  • Plethora of Instagram-like digital filters (called Creative Control)
  • Amazing HD video

chocolate fountain

The LX7 is a very good compact camera that has a lot of professional features you’ll be hard pressed to find in other compact digicams. It’s a perfect backup camera pros shooting with a dSLR – it’s portable enough and has stellar quality for a point and shoot, which also makes it an ideal choice for enthusiast photographers who wants a compact digicam.

hdr

It’s been called a “real photographer’s compact camera” – the Lumix LX7 is not an entry level camera but one with a lot of features. I loved playing around with it and I imagine I’ll be carrying this instead of my bulky dSLR around from now. :)

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37 thoughts on “Panasonic Lumix LX7 review

  1. how much is the lx7?
    the photos look good! a lot better than those you usually take. :p
    no offence lol.
    the level gauge is a nice feature for lcd screen.
    if it’s under 2k i can consider.

    • Hello Hope! :)

      Haha! None taken at all. It’s a lot easier to use this camera coz of the Creative Control options.

      Yeah, I found that pretty nifty too – the Level Gauge – allows me to see if I’m taking photos level.

      However, what the Lumix LX7 excels at is video – true high resolution at 100 fps for PAL.

      Hmm…good question about the price – from the US and Singapore RRP it should be just slightly under RM 2,000 or about that range.

      Cheers! :)

  2. I’ve seen friends’ photos taken using Lumix cameras and they were very good – like one whom I thought was using a DSLR but no, it was one of their digicams. I wonder how much this one costs. Impressive, very nice… If you happen to see Santa, please do whisper in hie ear, ok? I’ve been good all year…LOL!!! Wink! Wink!

    • It’s a very popular camera – the Lumix LX3/LX5 and now it’s up to the LX7 iteration. :)

      Yeah, it takes wonderful photos thanks to the Leica lens – the image quality is incredible, despite the relatively smaller sensor size. I’m impressed with the quality of the photos too.

      Haha! Sure thing mate. ;)

      I don’t have the Malaysian RRP yet since I just went to the launch last week but it should be around or below the RM 2,000 price point considering the Singapore and US RRP.

      It’s the photo quality and the video quality (it even has stereo mics) that makes this one of the best pro compact cams out there.

      Cheers buddy! :D

    • The first compact camera I had is Lumix and I heart the most. But the hubs dropped it and the screen..PIANG!!.**grrhhhh***

      Okay…i have been good also. Please tell that to Santa.

      • Since everyone is queuing for Santa, i would like to join in too. I’ve been good for the year too. Love the beautiful colors taken with this camera especially the picture with the Christmas tree.

        • Haha! I’m not Santa though buddy.

          Yeah, there’s a lot of filters on it, which I really like, it makes it easier to come out with expressive photos without cumbersome post processing e.g. Photoshop.

          Just do it directly, like the 1:1 aspect ratio which I have been using a lot instead of having to crop out the sides when I take a photo which only requires that view.

          Cheers buddy! :)

      • Nice! Which Lumix was that?

        I’ve never owned one before but I’ve used the previous versions and I liked it.

        Pretty good stuff, now I have the LX7, which I would probably use more often – took a photo with you that day with that too. Heh.

        Ah, sorry to hear that.

        Hope that this Christmas would be much better Yee Ling! :D

          • Haha! You’re actually younger than me you know. :)

            Ish!

            Anyway, yeah, I haven’t heard of the FX2, the compact LX3 and LX5 was the ones that everyone was talking about then.

            Cheers Yee Ling!

    • Heh! The chocolate fountain was at the lunch buffet in Fuzion, Sunway Resort Hotel. :)

      We had lunch there during the launch…and come to think of it I’m headed there again this weekend for a friend’s wedding.

      Fuzion’s not too bad if you’re in the area. Cheers mate! :D

  3. Now I’m officially jealous. It’s certainly a good camera and has a higher MP than the Xperia and the Kodak I’m having.

    The last picture… are the animals a new addition to Sunway Hotel’s decorations?

    • It’s a great compact with awesome manual features – my main camera now. :)

      My only issue with it is the lens cap – it has to be taken off before taking photos, much like my very first digicam way back in 2002 when this blog started.

      Otherwise, it’s great! :)

      Anyway, nope, those decorations have been around for ages!

      Cheers Ciana!

    • Nice! You have the LX3! :)

      Yeah, the LX7 has quite a few improvements, the video for one, if you’re a huge fan of taking videos. It’s simply awesome, full HD quality at 100 fps for PAL.

      I like the burst mode too – 11 fps is really fast!

      Cheers mate! :)

    • Hey there mate!

      Well, I guess a camera would be better to take all your food photos.

      I like your blog, it’ll be better with higher quality photos. It would be nice to see you shooting with a better camera!

      Cheers bro! :)

    • Heh! Thanks Eunice! :)

      I like how all the photos turned out too!

      I was quite impressed with the LX7 to be honest, I don’t have anything to complain about except the telescoping lens. I haven’t used a camera which requires me to remove the lens cap (except for my dSLR but I frequently carry that without the lens cap on) so it takes a bit of getting used to.

      I’ll just think of it like a dSLR/dSLM. ;)

      Thanks! I didn’t know who she is until we were talking after the show. :D

  4. Looks like a damn good compact camera. Personally, I feel my hands are too big for compacts. I get extremely paranoid I will drop the camera (especially when strangers approach me to help snap a photo). Hence I prefer the grip and feel of a DSLR. But I have to admit the bulk and weight can be a real turn off sometimes.

    • Heh! Good point there mate! :)

      Yup, a lot of compacts are simply tooooo light…an example would be my current cell phone which is light compared to cameras and when strangers use it to take photos, they inevitably “shake” and blur the image when capturing it coz they’re not used to the light weight.

      The LX7 is very solid though – it’s not made of cheap plastic, it’s made of metal. :)

      I like it, it’s a very good pro quality compact camera.

      Cheers buddy! :D

    • Yeah, the price point will be where it’s all decided I guess.

      There are three good pro quality compacts out there, I like the LX7 coz it’s a good all rounder and it’s new and the video beats the competition out of the market.

      Video is something I lack coz my dSLR only shoots photos.

      Cheers bro! :)

    • Hello Charmaine! :)

      Yeah, it’s a trend to come out with pure white colors nowadays. I prefer black actually but come to think of it, all my gadgets are black (everything from my iPad to my notebook and my cell phone). I just choose black all the time even when there are other colors out there.

      I guess it’s good to break out of the cycle sometimes and go for white. :)

      Heh! I’ll keep that in mind.

      Thanks Charmaine! :)

    • Yeah, the white one is quite popular from what I gather! :)

      I would have preferred the black one initially but come to think of it I have so many black gadgets – in fact ALL of my gadgets are black!

      It’ll be nice to have a white one for a change so I went for a white Lumix LX7.

      Cheers mate and all the best to your wife! :)

    • Yeah, very useful modes there indeed! :)

      I also like the switch where you can change aspect ratios right on the camera itself. Very nifty.

      The LX7 has a lot of professional features for a compact – using the manual can produce amazing shots. I love the video too, that’s where it excels at.

      Cheers Eiling!

  5. I am still in love with my LX3 and LX5 though the lenses are kinda damaged by my clumsiness…Can’t wait to lay my hands on the LX7. I wonder if Santa knows I want this for Christmas?

    • Yeah, I have a friend who still uses the LX3 too! It’s a really awesome compact eh? :)

      I love the pro features that it has and yet it’s easy to consistently take good photos, especially with Creative Control.

      Heh! Yeah, I guess if you talk about it to your other half often enough, he’ll get the hint. ;)

      One of my ex-girlfriends does that quite innocently in the days leading up to Christmas, and it’s a good thing coz I know exactly what she wants. :D

  6. Great, dynamic posting!!
    Love the images, love the extensive approach.
    Just a little question:
    I’ve heard some comments that sometimes vertical lines are seen on the panoramic mode.
    Have you encountered such a problem?
    Thanks for your time and PLEASE keep on sharing & testing!!
    Cheers!!

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