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Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX7K 10.1 MP Digital Camera with 3.8x Optical zoom and 3.0-inch LCD - Black
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- 10.1MP 1/1.7"-type CMOS sensor
- 11 FPS continuous shooting (12 frames max) / 5.5 FPS with continuous AF
- 3.8x F1.4-2.3 optical zoom lens (24-90mm equivalent)
- ISO 80-6400
- 1080 HD video in AVCHD format
- 3.0 inch LCD with 920,000 dots
- Raw shooting
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|Auto Focus Technology|
|Battery Average Life||330 Photos|
|Battery Type||Lithium Ion|
|Continuous Shooting Speed||11 fps|
|Display Fixture Type||Fixed|
|Display Resolution Maximum||920,000|
|Display Size||3 inches|
|Effective Still Resolution||10.1 MP|
|Expanded ISO Maximum||6,400|
|Expanded ISO Minimum||80|
|Exposure Control Type|
|External Memory Included||Yes|
|File Format||JPEG (DCF/Exif2.3), RAW, MPO|
|Flash Memory Installed Size||70|
|Flash Memory Type||SD/SDHC/SDXC, Internal|
|Flash Type||Built-in Flash, Hot-shoe|
|Flash Type||Built-In Flash|
|Focus Description||Contrast Detection|
|Focus Type||Autofocus & Manual|
|HDMI Type||Mini HDMI TypeC|
|ISO Range||Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, (12800 with boost)|
|Image Aspect Ratio||1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9|
|Item Dimensions||2.68 x 1.81 x 4.37 inches|
|Item Display Weight||1.2 pounds|
|Item Weight||0.66 pounds|
|Lithium Battery Energy Content||1,250 Milliampere Hour (mAh)|
|Lithium Battery Weight||22 grams|
|Macro Focus Range||1 cm|
|Manufacturer Warranty Description||Comes with Manufacturer Warranty.|
|Maximum Aperture Range||F1.4 - F2.3|
|Maximum Focal Length||90 mm|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000 of a second|
|Maximum horizontal resolution||3,648|
|Memory Storage Capacity||70 MB|
|Metering||Multi, Center-weighted, Spot|
|Minimum Focal Length||24 mm|
|Minimum Shutter Speed||60 seconds|
|Optical Sensor Resolution||10.1 MP|
|Optical Sensor Technology||CMOS|
|Photo Sensor Technology||CMOS|
|Processor Description||Venus Engine|
|Sensor Cleaning Method||No|
|Shipping Weight||1.35 pounds|
|Supported Battery Types||Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery & charger|
|Video Capture Format||MPEG-4, AVCHD|
|Video Capture Resolution||1920 x 1080 (60, 50, 30, 25 fps), 1280 x 720p (60, 50, 30, 25 fps), 640 x 480 (30, 25 fps)|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic (optional)|
|Water Resistance Level||Not Water Resistant|
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This item Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX7K 10.1 MP Digital Camera with 3.8x Optical zoom and 3.0-inch LCD - Black
|Shipping||—||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Sold By||Available from these sellers||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||DigitalandMore||Amazon.com|
|Screen Size||3 in||3 in||3 in||3 in||3 in||3 in|
|Item Dimensions||1.81 x 4.37 x 2.68 in||2.17 x 4.53 x 2.6 in||4.4 x 1.7 x 2.5 in||1.41 x 4 x 2.29 in||4.52 x 2.17 x 2.61 in||3.9 x 1.2 x 2.3 in|
|Item Weight||0.66 lb||0.87 lb||0.69 lb||0.53 lb||0.77 lb||7.2 ounces|
|Optical Sensor Resolution||10.1 megapixels||16.8 megapixels||20 megapixels||20.2 megapixels||12.8 megapixels||20.1 megapixels|
|Video Capture Resolution||1920 x 1080 (60, 50, 30, 25 fps), 1280 x 720p (60, 50, 30, 25 fps), 640 x 480 (30, 25 fps)||3840 x 2160 (30p, 24p), 1920 x 1080 (60p, 60i, 30p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (30p), 640 x 480||4k||1920 x 1080 (60 fps), 1440 x 1080 (30 fps), 1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)||4k||1080p|
|Viewfinder||Electronic (optional)||LCD||electronic viewfinder||None||electronic viewfinder||fixed LCD|
Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX7K 10.1 MP Digital Camera with 7.5x Intelligent zoom and 3.0-inch LCD - Black. What's in the box: Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Digital Camera (Black), Battery Charger, Battery Pack, USB Cable, Shoulder Strap, CD-ROM, Hot Shoe Cover, Lens cap, Lens Cap String, One Year Limited Warranty
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Despite keeping these few cameras around (really just the 3: the FX50, the TX9 and now the LX7), I'm just your Joe Average photographer, shooting mainly the kids, family/friend gatherings, special events, and some home construction-type projects, and other hobby interests.
And what I've ever really wanted out of the LX series is a compact, low light-capable camera with a respectable set of manual controls. Exactly what the SONY RX100 is with its huge sensor, and of the two, it is unquestionably the better performer for indoor shooting situations of fast moving kids, compared to the LX3 and LX5.
If that were my only criteria, I'd have never ordered the LX7, and might be typing up my thoughts on the RX100 instead. But maybe my four years of familiarity with the LX3/5 got the better of me. Maybe I'm just a sheep with a Panasonic logo branded on my flank. But there were a couple of sore points with the Sony that just plain made me unsatisfied. Rather than trash the RX100 (not my intention), here's my list:
- There's no escaping the benefit of the wide 24mm lens on the LX series. Not to mention the handy aspect ratio mode switching right on the bezel. And I use the 1:1 aspect ratio more than I care to admit.
- The Panasonic's hot shoe is a hot commodity when I need it. I have a Metz 36-AF4O (since replaced by the Metz 36 AF-5, I believe) which is about as big as the camera itself, but provides more than adequate light with bounce capabilities.
- Two of my gripes with the LX3 and LX5 were the difficulty of adjusting manual settings via push-button & thumb dial inputs. The LX7's aperture ring and dedicated manual focus lever have addressed this, with varying degrees of satisfaction.
- I get to keep my LX5 spare battery, which isn't such a huge deal, but just know that its shelf life is spectacular. Although my predicted number of shots between charges has decreased, per the manual. Nothing drastic; still great battery life.
- Most importantly, the Panasonic LX7 has a certain ease and quickness about it -- probably due in part to my use of its predecessors -- and combined with the newly added manual controls, it feels to me the design is finally at a point where I can set up various shooting solutions with a minimum of fuss and button pressing, nearly (but not quite) like my SLR days many years ago. The "user experience" of the Sony, by comparison, felt a little too menu driven and sticky.
Where did Panasonic fall short with this new model?
- For one, the image quality really hasn't changed. My thoughts are that the LX3 was excellent, but the LX5 tended to focus a little soft -- although nothing that stood out horribly amiss; maybe within the normal manufacturing variations? I don't want to speculate on sensor sizes or type playing a role, but I can attest Sony's RX100 shoots a "cleaner" or "crisper" portrait-style photo -- although that difference disappears once the image is downsized for printing/sharing.
- There's still no remote. Or cable release. Or Bulb mode. Can't tell you how much I enjoy those features on other cameras. For the LX5, I have a cable release adapter that slides into the hot shoe and extends an arm over the shutter release for a cable release to activate, but the hot shoe has been realigned on the LX7 so it no longer works.
- I continue to have trouble reading the silver-on-silver symbols etched onto the 4-way keys.
- If you're one to complain about the lens cap (I'm not, but I know a lot of LX users HATE the thing)... well, it's still here, and it's smaller than before, making it a little more difficult to clip on/clip off.
- I once committed to never buying a camera without a tiltable display, but that's just not an option. All things considered, the LX7 display is not as bright at the RX100, but is very visible in all but direct daylight, and viewable from off angles without the colors inverting.
What did Panasonic get right with the LX7 update?
- The redesigned lens is noteworthy. It's a definite improvement over the LX5 for indoor shooting, and that extends through the entire zoom range (still only 90mm, which was an improvement over the LX3). I find that I take the vast majority of my photos on the wide end of this lens, but in low light settings, I've been forced to if I'm trying to avoid using the flash. With the lens redesign, I've got a little more flexibility in my zoom before resorting to higher ISOs.
- IC? Firmware? Who knows! The camera is snappier than its predecessor, in all aspects: start up, menu navigation, auto focus delay, and shot to shot. It gets shots off near instantaneously. And the kicker is a burst mode!
- I can't say I was disappointed by the 720p video of the LX5, but full HD video is a treat -- especially with memory prices as cheap as they are compared to two years ago.
- Finally, a dedicated white balance button on the 4-way controller! (Panasonic eliminated the "Focus" key featured on the LX5, and also added burst mode selection to the shutter self timer key.)
- I'm very excited about the inclusion of a time lapse feature. This was overdue.
- The clickable, dedicated aperture ring, especially, and the manual focus lever, sort of (light applause -- needs something more "ring like")
- The mode wheel is substantially firmer, preventing inadvertent turns while in the pocket.
Some random thoughts on the Sony RX100: It feels a little "rough" at startup (i.e. not-so-smooth lens extension, kind of rough feel & sound), and starts up about a second slower than the Panasonic, but not having to remove a lens cap negates that. Zoom time from full wide to full tele is about one second snappier on the Sony. I felt that the Sony's auto white balance "got it right" more often than the LX, but the custom white balance is at minimum one level deep into the menu (if set to the Fn key). Shutdown immediately after snapping a pic is an agonizingly slow 5-6 seconds for full lens retraction; 3-4 seconds if the camera is already at idle. And not so much a dig at Sony as a kudos to Panasonic, but with the 28mm constraint on the wide end, switching from 4:3 to 16:9 simply crops the top and bottom of the frame, whereas on all the LX cameras with their unique sensor usage, I actually gain extra pixels on the sensor to help compose the shot I want.
Panasonic's history of product support HAS to be a consideration. They released mid-cycle firmware updates for both the LX3 and the LX5, and with the unexpected LX3 update in particular, added new features -- not just bug fixes. (Wish I could say the same about the FX50, but that's a story for another day...)
I wouldn't be so bold as to recommend the LX7 over the RX100, but only want to give a little insight via some of the features I hold in high regard. They both definitely have their strong suits. If you're at all familiar with the previous LX cameras, you have a solid basis for understanding the LX7 improvements, as well as its shortcomings. That certainly didn't stop me from happily purchasing the RX100 before giving the LX7 a chance to hit the streets, but by doing so I immediately proved to myself that there is still no "perfect camera," and with the compromises that I had to accept, my preferences fell mainly back to the LX line.
Leaving aside the RX100, the LX7 is the best compact camera I have ever owned with respect to image quality and useability and features.
Some of the wonderful attributes of this camera are:
1. It focuses as fast as an entry-level DSLR.
2. Built-in level.
3. "Step-zoom" allows you to select focal-length-equivalents of 24, 28, 35, 50, 70 and 90mm.
4. Manual focus gives you an electronic depth of field chart which changes as you change the aperture. This makes it great for either zone focusing or for finding the hyperfocal distance. There's also an "MF Resume" option which will return the lens to where you last manually focused.
5. Lens is really sharp, only minimal corner softness at F4, and very useable wide open, more so than the Sony RX100.
6. I also see nearly zero purple fringing with this camera--I'm not sure if its the amazing lens or Panasonic post-processing tricks, but it's nevertheless impressive.
7. Lens is so fast that this camera is actually a BETTER low-light camera than any entry-level DSLR if you are only going to be using that DSLR with the kit lens. The lens is also faster than the RX100, so you need to take that into account when you compare the two cameras. The lens is fast enough to give you a little bit of blurred background, something I've never seen before on a compact camera.
8. Widest angle is 24mm (equivalent), which is a premium feature that you don't get on basic DSLR kit lenses and you don't get on the Sony RX100.
9. For a sensor if its size it's probably best-of-class, with better DR and less noise than sensors from a few years ago.
The negatives of this camera are:
1. Not as small as a Sony RX100. It is not a pants pocket camera, but fits fine in a coat pocket. The LX7 is slightly more pocketable than an Olympus E-PM1 with the Panasonic 14mm pancake lens.
2. The LCD is nice, but not as nice as the one on the Sony RX100.
3. Has a lens cap you need to remove before using the camera. The camera comes with a little cord you can use to attach the lens cap to the camera so you don't lose it, but I tried it and hated having a lens cap dangling around. So far I've only lost one lens cap in the last ten years, so I'll keep my fingers crossed.
4. Even at base ISO, the sensor is a good distance behind top-quality larger sensors, like the one in the Nikon 3200, so if your photographic goal is to make really huge prints, I recommend a Nikon 3200 with a sharp lens like the Nikon 16-85mm DX VR lens. But you would probably not notice this sensor's shortcomings in anything smaller than a 13 x 19" print.
If you are going to buy an entry-level DSLR or micro-four-thirds or NEX camera, and are only going to use that camera with the kit lens, then you are probably better off buying an LX7 instead. This camera even has a flash shoe and can be used with a real flash, so there's nothing you can't do with this camera just as well or better that you can do with a DSLR+kit lens.
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