Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7

Review created 2013, latest update 2014. photos: Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7

I have been using Ricoh GR for a while but found that there are sometimes cases where the fixed 28 mm focal length is too limiting. I also had noticed that having an APS-C sensor the Ricoh gives aesthetic results resembling to a DSLR. I sometimes prefer a small-sensor aesthetic results. These are the main reasons why I decided to get Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7. The LX7 was a very natural choice for me because of my good memories of LX3 that was and is an excellent pocket-size compact camera.

I've been using and testing LX7 for a while now and these are my initial impressions:

  • The functionality, controls and operational speed makes me feel that LX7 is a much improved version of LX3.
  • LX7 has an excellent lens. It is even better than LX3 has: larger zoom range and faster (down to f/1.4 at the wide end). The faster lens means lower ISOs and that means less noise. The f/1.4 lens really separates this from other compact cameras. The lens also gives sharp results. The longer reach was the thing I missed most with LX3 and now we have it.
  • The noise behavior is very similar to LX3. They have measured that it is a tad better but I don't really see much difference. The sensor is small and you get noise on high ISOs. Period.
  • The manual lens cap is almost as annoying as with LX3. The only improvement is that the camera doesn't attempt to pop it out with force but notices that cap hasn't been removed and informs the user. There are nice automatic third party lens caps available for LX3, LX5 and LX7.
  • This high-quality metallic camera is not very small and weights a lot. You can still fit in a large pocket.

Is LX7 the current king of pocket-size small-sensor fast-lens compact cameras? I think it is.