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53 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Premium compact at a cracking price
The LX-7 has been out a while now (it came out late 2012 and was about £450 at release)
Fast forward to 2014 (and I expect an updated model to arrive shortly)

I've used the LX-7 for a few weeks (borrowed from a friend) and I feel it's a very decent (though by no means perfect) good quality compact. You just don't normally get this kind of camera at a price...
Published 13 months ago by Mr Baz

versus
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
I bought the LX7 to replace an LX5 which replaced an LX3 so have experience with them all. The LX7 produces very sharp images and is easy to use. It's user interface is well laid out and logical. As with previous models the Q menu is also very handy for quick access.
With the new lens the LX7 enables users to produce blurred background shots with ease and is a marvel...
Published 19 months ago by Mr. Donald M. Mackinnon


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53 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Premium compact at a cracking price, 5 April 2014
By 
Mr Baz - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Panasonic Lumix LX7 Digital Camera with LEICA F1.4 Summilux Lens - Black (10.1 MP, 3.8x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)
The LX-7 has been out a while now (it came out late 2012 and was about £450 at release)
Fast forward to 2014 (and I expect an updated model to arrive shortly)

I've used the LX-7 for a few weeks (borrowed from a friend) and I feel it's a very decent (though by no means perfect) good quality compact. You just don't normally get this kind of camera at a price like this, so with that in mind I will do a quick summary of my good and bad points

Bottom line, grab yourself a bargain!

Pros:
+ Nice fast 24-90mm (equivalent) f1.4-2.3 lens (this is much faster than many compacts)
+ Good build overall feels solid and well made
+ Excellent clear, high resolution 920k 3" LCD
+ Aperture ring on the lens
+ Good image quality for a 1/1.7" sensor
+ Shoots raw
+ Extensive number of burst shooting modes up to 11fps and a decent buffer too (about 11-12 shots raw) There are a lot of burst shooting modes (you will see some market with AF - Autofocus - some without though)
+ You can store custom settings on the main exposure dial (C1 and C2 very handy)
+ Aspect ratio switch (no need to menu dive)
+ Fast and responsive with good AF performance
+ Option to add viewfinder (EVF)
+ Lots of features, full manual controls, bracketing, tons of scene modes, electronic level pretty much "fully loaded)
+ Time lapse and multi exposure modes (I don't use these much but they are nice to have)
+ HD video 1080@60p very good well defined video with stereo sound. You can use the zoom and AF as well.
+ OIS works well around 3.5-4 stops
+ Built in ND filter allows faster apertures in bright light
+ Sensible and logical menus and controls (the quick menu is ok but can't be customised)
+ Has a hot shoe
+ Excellent macro mode (captures an area about an inch square, that pretty close)
+ Pretty good battery life I got around 320 shots per charge (I'd get a spare though)

Cons:
- Limited zoom range 3.8x (just 90mm at the telephoto end)
- No built in viewfinder (I like them some don't care)
- Dynamic range improved v the LX-5 but can still clip highlights
- Slow buffer clearing times - even with a fast Sandisk 45MB/s card
- Jpeg noise reduction can be turned down (to -2) but I would prefer less smoothing on jpegs
- Quick menu could be better
- Intelligent zoom compromises image quality (I'd simply crop images myself)
- Lens zooming a tad slow speed wise
- AWB (auto white balance) a bit cool for daylight shots (adjust in camera or post)
- No wifi or GPS (GPS would be handy) not a huge loss though
- Panoramic mode could be better results wise (I would stitch them at home on the pc)

When the LX-7 came out there was mixed reaction as the company had decided to go with a slightly smaller sensor over the LX-5 (1/1.7" v 1/1.63") But there are some important improvements and even for LX-5 users it might be worth a look.

** v the LX-5**
The lens is much faster F1.4 - F2.3 (v F2.0 - F3.3)
You get a built in ND filter, and the new on lens aperture ring (shame it can't be customised though)
920k v 430k LCD screen
Electronic level, HDR mode, time lapse, much faster burst modes
A new MOS sensor v the older CCD one (seems to be better with dynamic range)
Full HD stereo video the older 720p mono on the LX-5

The only real area where the LX-5 is better is battery life (but I found it fine on the LX-7)
It's quite a strong update over the previous model in my view

In terms of low light performance, the key here is the lens speed which is very fast (and faster than rivals)
This means you will be able to keep the ISO levels down even in lower light. It's a trade off you have a smaller sensor but a faster lens. So for dim shooting the camera does well, you're unlikely to need to raise the ISO to ISO 1600.

In good light I think the larger 2/3" sensors do have somewhat better definition at lower ISO levels. The Fuji's I've used seem to do better here (the LX-7 still does well though) and they edge the Panasonic out for dynamic range too (but it's much improved v the LX-5 in my view)

At the original asking price there are a few nitpicks, maybe you might ponder if this is for you and look around at the Canon G's or S models or the Fuji X ones.

But with this new bargain price right now, well to be honest new model or not on the horizon this is well worth considering. It's a steal really...this is a very nice well featured camera that has a good lens and does well even in low light. It's a serious compact for users who want to get their teeth into photography more.

Recommended, 4 star camera at a 5 star price so I'll give it 5 overall
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ... this camera on the information pages and I am delighted with my choice, 26 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Panasonic Lumix LX7 Digital Camera with LEICA F1.4 Summilux Lens - Black (10.1 MP, 3.8x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)
There has been much written about this camera on the information pages and I am delighted with my choice. I have a Canon DSLR but there are times when it is not convenient to use. This camera fills those times superbly with its F1.4 Leica lens which give excellent RAW images late in the evening when it is almost dark and I can use the built in HDR software in the camera if I wish. I could rabbit on but If you want a compact camera which is excellent in its own right as well as a partner to your DSLR, then give this one a good read.
ps.There is much comment about the annoying lens cap but I bought an automatic open/close cap from china at a total cost £4.99 (including postage) which was easy to fit. It works a treat and the fitting instructions are in the manual.
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77 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good DSLR replacement, and also a good video camcorder replacement, 19 Jan. 2014
By 
M. Bhangal "S" (Somewhere in Northern England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Panasonic Lumix LX7 Digital Camera with LEICA F1.4 Summilux Lens - Black (10.1 MP, 3.8x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)
Length:: 1:26 Mins

The video accompanying this review is some footage taken entirely with the LX7.

The advanced compact camera is a recent invention that aims to be a replacement for your big, heavy DSLR, or to replace your cell phone camera if you are used to something smaller than a DSLR, but want DSLR quality. All advanced compact cameras allow you to output RAW data, which is a big deal if you are into photo editing or advanced photography.

There are many other advanced compacts on offer (Olympus XZ, Fuji X series, Canon G1, Sony RX100 or Nikon Coolpix A), but the LX7 has four major things that sets it above the competition...

The first is price: the LX7 is amongst the cheapest advanced compact you can buy.

The second is the fastest glass: it is not constant aperture, but beats the competition hands down. Although the LX7 has a poorer high ISO than the competition, the fact that you have very fast glass means that you rarely go above ISO400/800, so it's a non-issue in most cases. The camera also has a very good macro function: it can focus as near as a centimetre away. The lens comes with in-lens optical stabilisation (many other cameras have only electronic compensation, so optical compensation is a pretty big deal at this price point).

Third: video. Although the LX7 has a small sensor, this is an advantage in video (and also for that matter, in IR photography). You get the sharpest video because the sensor does very little line-skipping and has far fewer sensor filters. The camera also comes with inbuilt ND filters, which is essential for video (unlike in stills, in video, shutter is tied to frame rate so you control exposure via an ND).

Fourth: you can add a filter thread to the lens, available separately from Panasonic (or for peanuts from eBay). This opens up all sorts of advanced use: additional ND filters for advanced video, IR photography and so on.

Bad points?
Lower zoom range than some of the competition, and only 10MP. It also seems to cook the RAWs a little, but that is common to all advanced compacts - at the very least they all seem to do some in-camera lens correction. Oh, and it often overexposes a little but there is an easy workaround - set exposure compensation down by 1/3rd of a stop. The optical compensation is designed for stills only, so you can have issues with it if you do video panning (it tries to keep a still image rather than damping video movement).

See the attached video for a sample of my video production using only the LX7. This is better video than the competing Sonys (which everyone seems to want right now for stills, but their video is soft). See also attached image sample in the product sample images.

To conclude: a very competent and keenly priced camera if you are looking for a compact DSLR replacement or something better than a cell phone. Pocketable and portable, takes excellent photos and video and can be used for advanced photography/photo editing via RAW output or attached filters. Superseded as of this writing by the Sony RX100 (as are most other advanced compacts!), but far cheaper and better for video... and for most people the LX7 is probably better value for money. I'd also recommend anyone new to DSLR stills/video to think about getting an advanced compact rather than an entry level DSLR - the advanced compacts are cheaper as you don't need extra lenses, and they will still be useful to you once you go on to buy a better mid-level DSLR.

*** Update Jan 24 2014 ***
Given some of the discussion comments made for this review, its worth noting that advanced compacts are not really point and-shoot cameras out of the box. The more normal use case for any advanced compacts is one of the semi-automatic or manual modes (the P, A S and M modes). I use A (aperture) and M (manual) modes almost exclusively, and this review is written on the assumption you will not be using full auto or 'scene' modes.

One of the downfalls of the Panasonic LX7 is that the auto and scene modes are not that good out-of-box and do need tweaking. If you want a dedicated and simple point and shoot and do not want to mess about with camera settings, aperture, shutter and RAW editing, then you may be looking at the wrong camera (don't worry if this is you and you have already bought the camera, as I give a fix below).

In particular, the i.ISO (Intelligent ISO) ISO setting is useless except when you are shooting fast movement in good light (such as the kids playing in the garden). If you use i.ISO indoors, you will get tons of noise because it will select far too high a shutter. If you must use the camera in a point-and-shoot mode, a better option is to follow the steps below:
1. use P Mode (via the mode dial at the top),
2. use auto ISO (ISO button > Auto ISO), and then set the minimum shutter (Menu > Camera 3 > Min. Shtr Speed) to 1/30 or 1/60 (1/30 is less noise but greater chance of blur, 1/60 is more noise, less chance of blur).
3. Use the stabilizer (Menu > Camera 4 > Stabilizer, set to ON).

Unfortunately, knowing why you are making this sort of setting does require a fairly good understanding of the relationship between aperture, shutter and ISO, and Panasonic assume buyers of this camera don't need telling this sort of thing as the LX7 is an advanced compact!

The LX7 is, however, the cheapest quality photography enthusiast camera out there in my opinion. If you are looking to take snapshots, then I would recommend against the LX7. If you want to get deeper into photography technique, and are weighing up between an entry level DSLR and advanced compact, I'd advise the advanced compact as it will be better than any entry level dSLR+kit lens offerings (an entry level DSLR only becomes better once you ditch the kit lens and get a range of better lenses... save your money and get an advanced compact to start, then go straight to a mid level DSLR if the photography bug bites you). The advanced compact is also more portable than a full dSLR and makes an excellent 'dSLR replacement' for existing mid and top-end dSLR owners with tired arms.
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151 of 162 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best LX yet, 6 Oct. 2012
By 
millionsofpeaches (st albans, hertfordshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Panasonic Lumix LX7 Digital Camera with LEICA F1.4 Summilux Lens - Black (10.1 MP, 3.8x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)
Originally owned the LX3 and LX5,the 3 always had the sharper lens over the 5,in both cases jpegs were pretty rough,i purchased the LX7 knowing RAW would have to be used and put into lightroom 4.2,BUT the Panasonic jpegs are now superb ! really really surprised and very happy, the lens is very very sharp,colours are excellent,even skin tones are now very nice on a Panasonic camera,WB is pretty spot on and exposure is almost fool proof,even pixel peeping the lens and jpegs match my Sony A37 + 35mm f1.8 lens in good light,pretty amazing considering the sony 16meg sensor is one of the best.
I'm happy to shoot up to 400 iso on the LX7,with the fast lens you can keep under this most of the time,800 iso at a push for smaller prints or web pics.
As usual the LX camera have excellent handling and controls with the very usefull slider for aspect ratio settings and macro,the aperture ring is a very good addition as well.
Auto focus is almost instant,very impressive.
I tried out the Sony RX100,but found the control and size a bit fiddley,this is a personal opinion,the sony with it's larger sensor will be better at 28mm f1.8 for dof, and superior sensor should give better results,but the lens soon becomes darker when you zoom,not sure i needed 20 meg as well,also enjoy using the 24mm wide on the LX7 as well.
All in all the LX7 has exceeded my expectations,the lens is sharper then expected and the jpegs are great.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great case and battery for the LX7, 27 Dec. 2014
By 
This review is from: Panasonic Lumix LX7 Digital Camera with LEICA F1.4 Summilux Lens - Black (10.1 MP, 3.8x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)
This is a super camera in every respect and there are enough five stars already posted to save me going on about it.

My problem was finding a suitable case for it.

So if you are looking for a really good, snug-fitting case for the LX7, look on ebay for a `Leather Case Bag for Lumix LX7'. You should find this vertically hung, slide-in PU leather case for about £11 from China. It is well made and tailored to fit the LX7. I couldn't find one in UK - not even on Amazon. It is well worth the wait for delivery. It is NOT the rather clunky leather bag that comes in two parts generally on offer. Neither is it the the boxy vertical case that sometimes shows up on this site. Scroll down on ebay until you find the vertically hung bag. It has proved to be the neatest, toughest bag giving the quickest access to the complete camera - ie. camera slides out with no bits of bag attached, (unlike some of the other leather bags available).

As for a spare battery, at a third of the price of the official battery, I have had very good results from the 'Ex-Pro High Power+ Lithium Ion Digital Replacement Battery' from Amazon. It lasts as long as the official battery and there are no problems with the battery indicator. Search: 'Ex-Pro battery for LX7'.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My first digital camera, 22 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Panasonic Lumix LX7 Digital Camera with LEICA F1.4 Summilux Lens - Black (10.1 MP, 3.8x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)
So far this camera meets my expectations, the quality of the photos is better than I expected them to be and it’s quite easy to get used to all the basic functions. Plus the fact there are plenty of options once one wishes to get into more advanced photography. I think two of the main advantages of this camera are firstly the Leica F1.4 lens which makes taking photos in poor light much easier and the fact that unusually in this class of camera, it can shoot RAW files. It’s also solidly built and in spite of being very compact it’s not at all difficult to use the controls and buttons. All in all a camera I’d recommend both for beginners and as a second camera for professionals.
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124 of 134 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Summilux Lens, 20 Dec. 2012
By 
Mean Brother Gene (Penzance, Cornwall, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Panasonic Lumix LX7 Digital Camera with LEICA F1.4 Summilux Lens - Black (10.1 MP, 3.8x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)
I have used this camera for five weeks in a variety of situations for both mono and stereo photography. It is solid and well-made and the sensor gives excellent results, much better than many others with a higher pixel count.
It's many features give a great deal of flexibility; the five frames per second burst and the built-in HDR are two of my personal favourites.
However it is the 1.4 lens that really sets the LX7 apart from the competition.Imagine a church interior with little light, no tripod and nowhere to rest the camera. Setting the LX7 to aperture priority and manually rotating the ring to f1.4 you can happily shoot hand-held. Because the light coming in is 8 times the brightness of the average compact, you don't need to worry about degradation through slow shutter speeds and high ISO settings.
The big Leica hole also allows satisfactory selective focus inspite of the small chip size.
Nowadays, if I am taking a tripod I pack my Canon 60D. If not it has to be the LX7. It's hard to tell the difference on video and on prints upto A4.
Because of the small chip and tiny files, fellow photographers don't believe this.
Until I show them the results, that is.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not perfect, but likeable and amazingly powerful, 12 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Panasonic Lumix LX7 Digital Camera with LEICA F1.4 Summilux Lens - Black (10.1 MP, 3.8x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)
The LX7's strengths and weaknesses are both very easily summarized:

- The lens is superb; I'm not sure that a zoom this good throughout the 24-80mm range is available for DSLRs at any price

- Image stabilization is exceptional and together with the bright lens gives excellent low light performance

- Good ergonomics for manual handling, easy use in auto mode, and some very nice extras hidden in the Scene and Creative modes - notably the HDR, outstanding Monochrome mode, and Night shot capability

- Amazingly competent as a video camera thanks to the lens, excellent sensor and firmware, AVHCHD codec, and a full range of manual controls in video mode (something is very rare.) The LX7 will produce HD video of literally professional quality - it gets close to a bitrate hacked GH2 and they've been used to shoot indy movies.

- Fast focussing compared to most compacts

- Very bright high quality screen

Weaknesses

- Slow autofocus compared to a DSLR and manual focussing via the control on the camera body is slow compared to the classic lens ring focussing of film days (but you can lock focus)

- Slow to get ready for the next shot when shooting high definition RAW

- Despite the 1.4 aperture, you can't get the background blurring you can with a DSLR (it's a sensor size thing)

- Limited telephoto range compared to superzoom compacts (a necessary trade-off for image quality)

That's it really: this is a compact that can replace a good DSLR for many purposes (including shooting video) but not all. If you're struggling to choose between this and its rivals (the OZ2 and RX100 seem the most compelling) then go for the LX7 if you need superb video and don't want to pay for an RX100, or if you want the LX7's wider lens. If you don't care about video, then the tilt screen of the Olympus would be nice. If you need faster focussing or more telephoto, then you need to either give up image quality or pay a lot more and get an interchangeable lens camera or the Sony RX10.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Superb Camera, 21 July 2014
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This review is from: Panasonic Lumix LX7 Digital Camera with LEICA F1.4 Summilux Lens - Black (10.1 MP, 3.8x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)
I've been a digital SLR user for the last 10 years and bought this for the wife. The image quality is absolutely superb despite the relatively small sensor, and Panasonic's auto mode is the best on any brand of camera - it just works well and gets the exposure and focus right every time. Having a good quality fast lens is enormously beneficial, and allows what my wife calls "the blurry background thing", aka a narrow depth of field. Highly recommended.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love F1.4 in the Lx7, 20 Feb. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Panasonic Lumix LX7 Digital Camera with LEICA F1.4 Summilux Lens - Black (10.1 MP, 3.8x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD (Electronics)
Got my lx7 A Week before I took of for holiday in Cambodia and Laos so had no time to get to know it before it was to deliver those great memorys. But boy did I enjoy the lx7 from the start. With the F1.4 it gave me fantastic qualitative pictures from inside the dark temples in Angkor Wat. The same great result in the so difficult light in jungles. So easy to use and very quick. Shooting the buddhist monks in the early dawn in Lubang Prabang, again the F1.4 gave me great pictures. I rate the lx7 five stars for being an easy Camera to use, for the true quality pics and the F1.4.
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