LX7 or 14-42 X for GX1?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by Biro, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Like others, I have been tempted to spring for the sub-$300 deal on the Panasonic LX7 being featured until the end of the month by Amazon.com. In addition to having a pocketable, fixed-lens camera, I like the idea of being able to use the Panasonic LVF2 on it if I want (I already own this EVF for my GX1). But the very fact that I own the GX1 also causes me to pause and wonder if it might be better to opt for the Panasonic 14-42 X power-zoom pancake lens instead of the LX7.

    The GX1 isn't much larger than the LX7 and when I need more flexibility than the 14mm or 20mm pcankes can give me, the power-zoom lens would keep the size down. Yes, I know the aperture is slower: f/3.5-5.6 versus f/1.4-2.3 for the LX7's fixed lens. But the four-thirds sensor in the GX1 is quite a bit larger than the 1/1.7" sensor in the LX7, which would mean the ability to gather light and achieve a narrow depth of field at the wide end would be enhanced.

    And this is where I'm asking some of our best and brightest to do some calculations. When one crunches the numbers, am I better off with the GX1's larger sensor and slower lens... or the LX7's smaller sensor and faster lens? Beyond this, if anyone has any thoughts on which way to go, by all means feel free to chime in.
  2. Iansky

    Iansky Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    The Cotswolds, UK
    I bought the GX1+14-42X +45-175X as part of a package when I upgraded from the GF1.

    I very quickly got rid of the 14-42X (still have my original metal mount 14-45 lens), the 14-42 I had was soft most of the time and I was not happy with IQ.

    When I returned it to the shop (got the 25mm f1.4 instead) they told me it was the second one that week to be returned and they had had a constant flow of them returned; I am sure they are better now but the early ones were awful and there were many postings about the issues.

    The excuse from Pany appeared to imply it was a lens designed more for video than still!! either way, I have no regrets and full refund helped ease the pain of it's replacement!

    I would ensure you try it first and make sure you are happy with the results rather than buy blind.
  3. Narnian

    Narnian Nobody in particular ...

    Aug 6, 2010
    Richmond, VA
    Richard Elliott
    I have my LX5 as my literal take-everywhere camera and am tempted by the LX7. I also thought of the 14-42X lens but feel that, though the sensor is smaller on the LX7 the lens is faster and higher quality and that makes up most of the advantages of the larger sensor.

    Also it is nice to have the extra body to had to others to take pictures with as well as an emergency backup.
  4. DoofClenas

    DoofClenas Who needs a Mirror! Subscribing Member

    Nov 9, 2012
    Traverse City, MI
    We just bought one for our work office...from what I've tested, it's a great little camera. I had an XZ-1 that I liked, but the LX-7 seems to be better. I'm so used to the olympus menu system, that the panasonic menu system seems a little clumsy.

    I followed this setup guide:
    Panasonic LX7 Setup Guide: Digital Photography Review
  5. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Alright, after some more research on my own plus conversations here at mu-43.com and at Serious Compacts.com, it might be a toss-up as to whether the results would be better from the GX1 with PZ 14-42 or the LX7 with its faster built-in zoom. But it's pretty clear the differences - when using those lenses - won't be dramatic. And I think the LX7 might be more fun.
  6. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    The LX7 seems to be a good 3rd body... I'm keeping an eye on this (or the next model after this).
  7. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    I purchased a 14-42 PZ as part of a kit/deal a couple months ago to obtain another relatively inexpensive GX1 body, and had planned to sell the lens to lower my overall body cost. After it arrived I decided I liked the very compact dimensions of the collapsed lens and decided to keep it as a better/different alternative to my Canon S100 for a grab-and-go everyday 'snapshot' camera.

    However, I'd never looked at the LX7 and it looks very intriguing. Though it doesn't go as tele, I love that it's not so terribly slow on the long end like my S100. Close focus seems even better, at 1 cm/0.39" ! I need and like the S100 for close-focus work and the DOF, maybe the LX7 would work just as well, though it’s not a need. Anyone know if battery life is as short with the LX7 as the S100?

    LX7 is currently $298 from Amazon.

    Amazon.com: Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX7K 10.1 MP Digital Camera with 7.5x Intelligent zoom and 3.0-inch LCD - Black: Camera & Photo
  8. laser8

    laser8 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 29, 2013
    Mare nostrum, Istria
    I had an LX5 and now have a GX1 and amongst others the pz14-42. In good light, it's almost the same thing (a bit better - obviously you can crop more from the GX1 file should you wish so). The pz is also good for videos, if you have kids or need to film anything. It also makes the GX1 pocketable-ish.
    On the other hand, the LX7 has a very bright lens which will be better in everything except well lit environments. And, it's good for macros too.
  9. sgreszcz

    sgreszcz Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 7, 2012
  10. mrjr

    mrjr Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 25, 2012
    I'm actually in a very similar place right now. I'm also looking for a smaller camera to go with me where my OM-D can't. Cargo/jacket pockets day to day and places where I want to be able to shoot certain family candids very discreetly. This means that zoom is pretty crucial.

    Originally, I had been thinking GX1 with my 14mm (also 20, at the time) prime, but recently, I've been considering the LX7 above micro 4/3 bodies with the 14-42x or pancake prime. It ticks so many boxes for what I "need" right now. Small, cheap, zoom. Plus some other nice bits.

    For a similar price as a used mZD 12-50--which I've been wanting for "24" wide and macro--I get a sharp, wide, macro lens *and* a second "body". That would be useful when I have a prime on my OM-D. Too bad the LX7 isn't weather sealed, too, haha!

    And that's not to mention that I am absolutely infatuated with the idea of having an aperture ring. And the step zoom is sweet. It stinks that there's no touchscreen for quickly selecting focus, and that it doesn't flip. And I don't even want to talk about that thumb wheel. At least I'd rarely have to press it--just set it to exposure comp and leave it there (I hated having to push it to toggle aperture value and exposure comp on my G3).

    But I'm hesitating because it's still a chunk of change for me at the moment and because I've totally jumped on the "Olympus jpegs" bandwagon. The files are so much nicer, IMO. And the auto white balance actually works, unlike apparently all Panasonics. And I would miss the SCP. Ideally, I'd get an Olympus XZ-2, and have a mini OM-D with me all the time, but it's near-as-makes-no-difference *twice* as expensive as the LX7, and its lens is not as wide or fast.

    I've come the the conclusion that the LX7 would produce similar-enough shots to the 14-42x on a generation-old body in a smaller package with better handling. And on top of all that, it has some brilliant, very desirable features. Seems like a winner to me. I'll almost certainly own one when I can justify it to myself and my wife.
  11. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    Does the LX7 accept filters, as in full time on the lens for protection?

    From my limited research it looks like there is an expensive, Japanese adapter?
  12. mrjr

    mrjr Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 25, 2012
  13. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    Thanks. The picture on Amazon just shows a filter and lens cap... is there more to it that is not shown? Has the $100+ price from the past 'corrected' to this new low price?

    I don't need another camera, nor to spend more money, but the lens speed of this compact is very attractive. Seems it could replace my S100 for most of what I use the S100 for, while being a better camera/lens, accepting my LVF2 if I ever wanted, etc.

    Guess I need to compare the size specs too and see how ‘small’ the LX7 is compared to the S1xx (or not?).

    When this thread started I thought I’d favor the GX1 + 14-42 PZ which I have, and I knew nothing of the LX7. However, it seems the LX7 does have some nice features to offer, and I love buying an expensive camera (like my GX1s) after they are a year or more old and cost a fraction of their introductory price.
  14. teddoman

    teddoman Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 22, 2013
    With the LX7, you'll have roughly the same DOF as a f/3.5 lens in m4/3.

    Other than that, just check out the LX7 specs and see if there's anything you're missing that you'd like having in a nice compact versatile package essentially for the price of 1 lens in m4/3. Built in ND filter, macro, 24 mm wide angle FOV, full manual controls/slo mo and time lapse/1080p60fps HD video that *none* of the Panasonic m4/3 cams have except the GH series, base ISO of 80 (and measured at 65) which is a full stop lower than most m4/3 cameras. Tons of reasons to like the LX7, these are just off of the top of my head. Its small sensor (bad at high ISO) is why we can get it for these prices right now.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    I am going to go against the crowd here and say that GX1 with the compact zoom is still better. I used to use LX3, which is of course not the same as LX7. It was very sharp but in terms of noise not even close to m43. I am sure LX7 is better but still... The big selling point to me is being able to use the LVF2 viewfinder. but then it becomes even less of a pocketable camera, which LX series never really were IMHO. If I was going for a small pocketable camera today, I would try the Fuji XF or the Sony RX100 instead.
  16. teddoman

    teddoman Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 22, 2013

    I throw the LX7 in my jacket pocket. I know many have have belt cases for it too.

    For low light landscapes, the LX7 can still be used on a tripod or braced surface, by using it at a low ISO and a longer shutter speed. Panny OIS helps for handheld if the shutter speed is under 1 second. For general night photos at high ISO, though, bring a small m4/3 body with a pancake lens. RX100 is no better than the GF3 for high ISO according to DxOMark.

    I forgot to mention the LX7 dynamic range is rated by DxO at almost 12 EV, about the same as the RX100. Both are better than some m4/3 sensors.

    For me, the strength of the LX7 is in bright light. With lower base ISO and a 3 stop ND filter built in, it may even be *better* than your m4/3 in bright light. Do you actually always have an ND filter with you? What does shooting at base ISO of 200 do to your aperture and shutter speed? Potentially 4 extra stops in bright light. That's how I would think of fitting the LX7 into your stable if you don't have other reasons already.

    The RX100 definitely does well in low light high ISO situations, but then again, it should since you're basically doubling the price.
  17. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    Thanks for sharing that point of view. It was good to hear an opposing argument, and if I lean this direction it saves me hundreds.
  18. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    Seems Amazon is temporarily sold out of stock of the black ones, so the price is up to $370 and sold by another vendor.

    I've read a few reviews and the LX7 does indeed seem a worthy competitor or replacement for my S100; I love the faster lens. However, it was slightly tempting at $300 or less, not at $370+ as I have no need.

    Maybe later.
  19. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    The Amazon price holds until the end of the month. If you order now, make sure you select the black one being sold by Amazon, not a third party. You'll still get the $298 price and they'll ship it to you when it's back in stock.

    BTW, I ordered one tonight and my initial order said it was expected arrive on something like April 3rd. But I got a follow -up message a few hours later stating they were able to find me an example sooner than expected and now I should have it by March 28.

    So if you really want one at the sub-$300 price, order one now. Just make sure you select the one being sold by Amazon.
  20. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    Helpful info Brio, sounds like they will be shipping soon. I'll think about this some more...

    Seems like the LX7 would be a good tool for my use, however by the time I order a filter adapter and filter I'd be into an LX7 for $350 (I’ve damaged enough lenses in the field that I like to have a filter).

    Another $150 would buy me the P 100–300 lens, the only additional lens I may eventually need for my m4/3 kit. Of course this is apples to oranges.

    The LX7 fast lens sure is attractive compared to my S100. Wonder if the battery life is longer, pretty short on the S100 but I have many spares.
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