Panasonic DMC-LX7 Announced

Discussion in 'Open Gear Talk' started by Amin Sabet, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Jul 3, 2010
    LX7black_front-550x332.
    Panasonic announced the LX7, a follow up to the well-regarded LX5.

    Key changes from the LX5:
    • New, slightly smaller (1/1.7" vs 1/1.63") 10MP MOS sensor
    • New 24-90mm equivalent f/1.4-2.3 lens (fastest in class)
    • Integrated 3-stop ND filter
    • Dedicated aperture dial around the lens

    According to the DPReview preview, the LX7 seems overall faster and more responsive in use when compared to the LX5. Sample images from the same preview look very good to me. It seems that they succeeded in producing a very fast zoom that performs quite well.

    Despite all of this, I think the LX7 is going to struggle against a 1" sensor field heralded by the Sony RX100. The LX7 will not offer any substantial shallow DOF possibilities over the RX100. The Sony will allow more shallow DOF at wide angle, the Panasonic slightly more shallow DOF at full tele. Based on specs alone, the Sony will have about a stop better low light performance at wide angle while the LX7 will have a very modest advantage at tele. The most important difference, though, may be size (comparisons via CameraSize.com):

    2012-07-18_1115.

    2012-07-18_1114.


    It would seem from this comparison that using a faster lens to compensate for a smaller sensor gets you a bigger camera. The Canon G1X (slightly greater than 4/3" sensor) is significantly larger than the RX100, though, so it isn't that straightforward. Time will tell how the image quality, especially lens performance, differs amongst these cameras.

    My impression at the announcement, however, is that the LX7 likely represents the final generation of less-than-2/3" sensor, high-end, modest-zoom cameras. I'm sure it is a superb tool, but on screen I find the RX100 more compelling, and I'm already looking forward to the Panasonic L1X with 1" sensor in 2013.

    Comprehensive coverage of the LX7 can be found at 1001 Noisy Cameras.
     
    • Like Like x 6
  2. Djarum

    Djarum SC All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2010
    Huntsville, AL
    Jason
    I don't know if we can make any judgement until images come out. While sizes are similar or the same, I think that price will determine what individuals buy. On paper, the RX100 looks great. But I've seen lots of images, and while the sensor quality looks good, I was dissappointed with some of the wide angle shots. Lots of corner blurriness from the lens. The lens also gets slow at the telephoto end.The jpegs are just average I think. There isn't a hot shoe either(some might not care).

    The one nice thing is the added ND filter. This allows some DOF control in brighter light.
     
  3. Djarum

    Djarum SC All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2010
    Huntsville, AL
    Jason
    • Like Like x 1
  4. KianO

    KianO SC Top Veteran

    568
    Jun 27, 2012
    Geneva
    Speaking about the rx100:

    It seems that a lot of compromises have been taken to cram a CX sensor in such a small body, all I have seen up to now is that the focal length that interests me the most, being equiv 28mm is very soft in the corners, closed down it remains soft nevertheless, at least according to imaging ressource.

    There is quite strong barrel distortion (3.8%) at 28mm and some chromatic aberrations that are corrected in the jpg mode, not sure how well it will be corrected in LR and what the effect on softness may be, but that could explain part of the corner softness mesured by imaging ressource. I have shot some pics at the local store but I that was before I found out that the corners are soft so my quick shots are not worthy to judge upon. I will go back tomorrow and shoot some more relevant subjects.

    Coming back to the LX7:

    I am disapointed that they have not used a CX sensor, I wouldn't care if the body got slightly bigger and keeps it's good resolution across the frame, it seems to me like an "easy" engineering task to have put a slightly smaller sensor and increase luminosity, I wonder what compromises they have made to kind of "strech" sensor one way and luminosity the other way. We'll have to see real world pics and thorough tests to find out, I'm probably judging too early.

    I was tempted by the nikon 1 but the pics have not convinced me, something feels wrong for some odd reason, it is too expensive and not enough gain obtained from a 10mp 1 inch sensor, the little gain is wasted by the 10mm f2.8 lens. While hesitating with the RX100 (maybe as a family camera), me too am looking forward for other CX offerings and/or a L1X. I dare to hope for a GRD V with a CX sensor, I wouldn't bother if the body size increased slightly.
     
  5. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    I am not in the market, however I think it's wonderful that they added a dedicated aperture ring around the lens.:clap2:
     
    • Like Like x 2
  6. KianO

    KianO SC Top Veteran

    568
    Jun 27, 2012
    Geneva
    And it feels quite good BTW so does the overall construction, it hasn't got the shaky feeling of the xz-1, which BTW I have regretted to have sold...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. krugorg

    krugorg SC All-Pro

    Sep 26, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Kyle Krug
    Interesting comparison with the Sony, Amin.

    I wonder if Olympus will be able to source the Sony 1" sensor for their XZ-2?
     
  8. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo!

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Andy
    Well i will deff be getting one when they are available on the retail site as it will be free. As soon as i have had a play i will post a report.

    The rep from panasonic was insistant that sensor size is not everything and the LX7 sensor has been designed arround the lens. The fact that it is a new MOS sensor should see the IQ increase over the LX5. The RX100 does look good but leaves me cold. The LX7 looks much more classic and will look real nice in a proper leather case.

    Bring it on!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Djarum

    Djarum SC All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2010
    Huntsville, AL
    Jason
    Just to keep things into perspective, I think a larger sensor means higher price, and for Panasonic, that means they are eating away at their own sales in mFT. Keeping the sensor small and keeping a formula that works, I think they have something to offer thats still competitive.
     
  10. KianO

    KianO SC Top Veteran

    568
    Jun 27, 2012
    Geneva
    That is true if they count on brand loyalty but otherwise another manufacturer will take the spot, but if they do release a L1X then they may well take that spot.

     
  11. KianO

    KianO SC Top Veteran

    568
    Jun 27, 2012
    Geneva
    For RX100 corners follow the link and go down in this link: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 Camera Optics - Review

    For XZ-1 vs LX5 and S95 do the same in this link: Olympus XZ-1 Camera - Express Review

    This put things in perspective and shows how good the XZ-1 lens is, I should have kept it ;).

    However, I dunno what that means in real life shooting, I'm not used to do this pixel peeping stuff, but I like shooting in difficult light and use wide open very often.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Ahh, yes, the reality check. Unless you're just really drawn to pixel peeping, I wouldn't worry over it. I have yet to have a photo hurt by imperfectly sharp corners! I guess if you're shooting really high res landscapes for National Geographic or some stock agency it might matter, but you wouldn't be using a sub-compact for THAT anyway. Some people sweat this stuff because they enjoy it, some fewer because their work requires it. To most of us, it should honestly never matter. I wouldn't let slightly soft corners wide open affect my decision to buy any of these cameras.

    BTW, just checked out your Flickr stream, some GREAT shooting! You have a wonderful eye. PLEASE don't waste it in pixels and risk losing the forest for getting hung up with the molecular level of the bark on the trees!

    -Ray
     
    • Like Like x 2
  13. wolfie

    wolfie SC Veteran

    299
    Sep 19, 2010
    On paper the Sony looks very good. But the slightly larger LX7 to me seems like it will be better handling - shirt pocket size means less to me than a camera that is a joy to hold, not just "behold". To my mind Sony miniaturise for the sake of it rather than giving any handling/operational advantage for a enthusiast who wants to access settings frequently.
    I looked through the Sony forum at dpreview a few days ago and it was interesting seeing the number of negative comments and a couple of people returning theirs already.
    To me price would be a major consideration - the Sony is well up into the entry DSLR range whereas the LX looks to be as much as $US 200 less I believe, and the results for the LX samples (at dpreview) look very nice indeed.

    But I'm still learning on my E-P3, and there's no spare money for a more compact companion camera yet, so it's a theoretical exercise for me - but serious compacts are certainly getting more serious with each year! :)
     
    • Like Like x 2
  14. matthewm

    matthewm SC Regular

    102
    Jun 23, 2011
    Sumter/Charleston, SC
    Matthew Morse
    I think Panasonic is in the right direction here. Through the last couple of iterations of the LX-Series, they've gotten better with more external controls, faster lenses and overall better image quality. I don't think this is any different. I think that a 1" sensor would be great, but then that would be competing with the m4/3 lineup. If I had to choose between a m4/3 with a couple of lenses (remember, the "kit" lens isn't very fast with it's f/3.5-5.6 aperture) and an LX-Series camera with a 1" sensor and a 24-90 f/1.4-2.5, I'd take the LX-Series hands-down. It would be smaller, lighter and would sport a better lens and a sensor that is almost as good, if not better than, the m4/3 offering.

    The reason I think Sony was able to do a 1" sensor is because they have small sensor compacts and then they have the NEX line (APS-C) as well as their APS-C and full-frame DSLRs. There was a hole left in the lineup just begging to be filled with a 1" sensor. So they did it.

    It's not logical for Panasonic to do so, but I'm sure they will at some point, even if it means a slight loss in sales for the m4/3 cameras. Maybe they'll phase out the GF-Series with the new LX-Series and keep the G-Series and GX-Series as their "Premium" lineup... That would be interesting to see.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Jul 3, 2010
    Great counterpoints, Jason and Kian. If the fast lens/smaller sensor keeps costs down, that is a big advantage. I imagine that at a certain point, advances in sensor tech will come cheaper than the cost of making fast glass, but for now the big sensors seem to bring the big prices.

    As for RX100 lens performance not being great, I haven't noticed that. Viewing at 100% gives a false sense of the relative quality since the RX100 has a much higher MP count. However, I haven't looked at all that many samples from the RX100 and will take your word for it that the lens has some issues.

    Barrel distortion prior to software correction is a fact of life these days for just about every modern small zoom camera with a fast lens, so I don't think we can hold that against the RX100. In fact, Panasonic led the world in this innovation with the LX3.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Djarum

    Djarum SC All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2010
    Huntsville, AL
    Jason
    Amin,

    I think for most folks, the RX100 lens is fine, even for large prints. Of course it does get slower at the long end. My point is that if we are going to "pixel" peep, we can't look just at the sensor. With interchangeable lenses, we can always get a sharper lens. For fixed lens cameras, on the other hand, a great sensor doesn't mean much if the lens isn't all that sharp. I love the wide end, especially for landscapes. Looking at imageing-resources samples, the center of the image is pretty sharp on the RX100, but the edges are really soft. Stopping down helps, but the XZ-1, for example, is much better.

    For sony, a 1" sensor makes sense. Its a stepping stone into the NEX line. I don't know if the LX series is treated the same by photographers or Panasonic in regards to mFT.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  17. KianO

    KianO SC Top Veteran

    568
    Jun 27, 2012
    Geneva
    Well, Well Well... That's the most sound comment, I thank you for That, a good reality Check indeed... And thanks a lot for your appreciation on some of my pics, Well appreciated right now.

     
  18. KianO

    KianO SC Top Veteran

    568
    Jun 27, 2012
    Geneva
    In a sense, after Ray's comment, I feel sorry to have posted imagin resource links, I have taken test shots at m'y local shop, and indeed, test results at pixel level are disapointing, but tomorrow I hope to have Time to post a few unscientifical shots to put things into perspective to quote Ray. I shouldn't say more here because this thread is about the LX and not the RX100. Anyhow, all I can say right now is that the pics seem really good, auto iso does not seem to work in manual mode and That once tasted the grd, the grip 'sucks' specially with large hands... I walked round in the street to get a feeling, and m'y hand masks part of the screen (I'm 6'4 Tall with hands That go along with height...), but it may be only matter of getting used to.

     
  19. KianO

    KianO SC Top Veteran

    568
    Jun 27, 2012
    Geneva
    For followup on corner softness: https://www.photographerslounge.org/f62/sony-rx-100-user-thread-10966/index3.html

     
  20. Lili

    Lili SC Hall of Famer

    Oct 17, 2010
    Dallas, TX
    Lili
    +1