I've been a camera hobbyist for years, having owned many high end compact cameras, and I've experimented with DSLR's for a while. I'm not a pro by any means but do love photography, both for family/kids and also landscapes, trips and various creative expressions. I'm probably your typical camera hobbyist. My other camera is a Sony SLT A33, with a decent collection of Minolta/Sony lenses. I caught this Panasonic (my first) when it dropped to $299 and I took a chance on it, feeling guilty doing so. ;-) But no regrets now, it's awesome. I was considering the Olympus XZ-1 and LX-5 as alternates, which are now pricier, but I prefer this camera for the better lens and faster/more accessible performance to those. The Sony RX100 looked interesting, but not at 2x the price. My Sony SLT is extremely responsive with an outstanding sensor and tons of features...but I find I just don't use it that much. Maybe its the heft, maybe its the gap in my lens collection, I don't know. Even though its relatively small compared to SLR's, it is always too much and too little, if you know what I mean. After years of experimentation with camera systems there's no escaping that realization that all camera solutions are really that perfectly united combo of body+lens. The real question is, when you leave the door...what combo of lens and body do you bring with you? The power and flexibility are always going to be lacking unless you haul a bunch of stuff around with you. With an SLR/SLT, and even with all the diminutive new mirrorless systems, you get tons of power and flexibility at the price of carrying multiple lenses and having to buy and protect those expensive lenses, each and every day. This is as true for the NEX systems as it is for a high-end Nikon DSLR. Do you carry a big bag of lenses and accessories around your neck 24/7? Is that fun? Did you spend $1500 minimum on extra lenses? If you answer no to these questions then you're not really tapping most of the power of those better camera bodies. Some folks out there are into photography enough to do that, and I can understand that. But for most of us hobbyists I'd argue that all interchangeable lens systems are a real pain. Interchangeable lens systems work great as a system for manufacturers to sell lenses, but I doubt they're what most of us want/need. I've thought like many I suppose that I'd invest in a decent body and upgrade the lenses over time, and I did that. But it never really satisfies. The better lenses are always very expensive, and each individual lens has major strengths and weaknesses, and/or are difficult compromises. Even if you buy those nicer lenses you're always wanting to fill the gap in use, thus necessitating the 30 lb bag around your neck.
Enter the Panasonic LX-7, its a relatively compact awesome portable system that just takes great photos and leaves plenty of fun for the hobbyist. I find this lens range is extremely awesome, the combo of wide angle and wide aperture makes for an awesome family camera especially indoors where you can really capture architectural spaces and compositions of people within those spaces. For me 28mm isn't enough. The wide angle is a god send and I don't know how I lived without that for so long (oh I remember, quality DSLR wide angles are ridiculously pricey when you factor in the 1.x+ crop factor from your typical sensor). I can't really imagine a better arrangement than this lens range. The fact that the lens is so bright allows you aperture affects that I've never seen on a compact, depth of field just like a DSLR; truly easy to isolate a subject from its background. For macro shots there is no better camera for non-pros, it can focus to 1cm! Autofocus is fast. It has an 11 fps burst mode. Video capability is great. The lens is truly sharp, not soft like others have mentioned. Check for yourself on the camera review sites and carefully examine the sample photos for that sharpness. I'll bet this is the best lens on any compact...wide, ultra bright, and ultra sharp corner to corner. This sensor is good enough to get the job done, and the LX has tons of features to assist making the most of that lens. Don't fret over just high-iso performance, things are fine at night to ISO 800, and you can easily limit the camera to that in the menus. The aperture ring on the front and dial on the back allow you to use Manual mode to adjust aperture and shutter speed simultaneously. Its amazing most cameras don't have that capability since ISO, shutter speed, and aperture are so much of photography. About my only wish would be for the ring to be programmable, maybe for manually focusing...but otherwise I'm quite happy!
The lx7 is excellent! I would like more zoom, but understand that is the price you pay for a very sharp lens. Pictures are razor sharp and the intelligent exposure is spot on. Fantastic! Have tried the manual settings but the automatic exposure is just as good. One annoyance is that the lens cap must come off even I only want to review pictures that are on the camera. It is hard to seen the LCD screen in bright light, would have liked and built in optical view finder, but the optional view finder is so expensive and bulky have decided not to go for it. All of the similar cameras have a few pros and cons, so i find the lx7 a good compromise.
I was amazed with the beautiful color in the photo. The HDR setting is so good. The special settings whether in scenes or creative control give many options to make very unique photos. I also use the manual settings and like the close up in the aperture priority setting mode. I have generally used other major brand name cameras, however, this little Panasonic Lumix rates right up there with the best!
It's got everything I am looking for in a compact camera. Fast shutter speed, phenomenal clarity and color, and ease of use. Pictures look spectacular......very professional looking. If only it had wifi connection, that would make it the perfect camera for me. My brother bought the same one, and he couldn't say enough good things about it.
We had a five year old Canon digital elph, and wanted a new camera to take pictures of our newborn. I had every intention of learning all the manual features of this camera and take advantage of them. Alas, having a newborn means I don't have the time or desire to do that. Luckily, the full auto feature of this camera is amazing and has taken some incredible photos for us. The white color looks very slick.
I was tired of carrying my Canon 60D with an 18-200 lens and wanted a small camera that would fit in my handbag. This camera was highly recommended to me by a camera garu and I'm so glad I made the purchase. It takes beautiful pictures and fits perfectly in my handbag. Once I learn to use all the features, I'll be an even more valuable purchase for me.
I bought this just prior to us going on our beach vacation and used it so much while we were there. Gettign to catch some great moments of the kids playing in the water and sand. I have used it a lot since then also capturing sports and the first day back to school! plan to buy a guide to teach me how to use the manual focusing settign and all since i really have never had a camera that had options to manula focus!