Pan LX7...yay or nay? Alternatives?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by LowriderS10, Apr 13, 2014.

  1. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Hi guys,

    So, I've been a HUGE fan of the Panasonic LX7 since the day it came out...that f1.4-2.3 lens is just awesome. I know it doesn't have the biggest or best sensor, but that lens makes up for it all, as far as I'm concerned. I already got a friend of mine to buy the camera and she loves it.

    Now, another friend of mine wants to dip her toes into the photography waters, and upgrade from her point-and-shoot Nikon. We went to a few stores, handled a bunch of cameras, I showed them what they can do, we read reviews, etc, and she's sold on the LX7.

    She's got a good eye for photography, and she really enjoys going out shooting with me, but she's a complete beginner. I think the LX7 would be a great camera to learn on...she really likes bokeh and night photography as well, and the price is right.

    We're ready for her to pull the trigger, but I thought I'd throw it out here...for those who have the do you like it? Any major complaints? Also...what alternatives would you suggest? (We've looked at the Nikon P310/320, the Fuji XF-1, the Canon S120, the Fuji X10, the Canon G15/16, the Canon G1X/G1X Mark II, the Samsung whatever convoluted name it has, and the Sony RX100/RX100 II and so far we both agree that out of all of those, the LX7 would be the best). Is there anything we've overlooked that we should look at?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    Dollar for dollar, a big yay. Loaned mine to a friend, a total newb. He stuck it in IA mode and loved the shots. Loved it so much that he bought it from me, which I now regret.

    And if your friend ends up liking photography and wants to step up to a bigger camera, she'll have more money to spend because the LX7 was so cheap. And then the LX7 can still ride shotgun.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    The LX7 is a great little camera and I'd recommend it as a great camera to learn a lot about photography on. The only red flag for your friend is you say "she really likes bokeh and night photography as well" and the small sensor and the actual focal lengths in the lens (not the equivalent focal lengths of 24-90) make it very difficult to get much in the way of narrow DOF. While narrow DOF is not the same thing as bokeh, it's a necessary ingredient nonetheless. In all of the shooting I've done with an LX7 and LX5 before that, the only ones that had any appreciable amount of OOF areas or bokeh were generally macros shot at extremely close range with the background then well out of focus. But for most normal shooting, including portrait type shots, it's just not really happening with that camera, even with it's relatively large apertures.

    Other than that I can't recommend it enough. No, the sensor doesn't hold up to the larger sensors on the market and I don't agree that the fast lens "makes up for it all", but it makes up for a lot and makes it a great camera to learn on.

    I was into film photography pretty heavily in my younger days, with various film SLRs along the way. I was mostly out of photography for many years when family and career took precedence, and then got back into digital in a really big way about four years ago. The LX5 was one of the first cameras I had and I remember thinking and saying that, aside from narrow DOF, the LX5 was a better camera in basically every way than the film cameras I'd been using back in the day - including low light shooting. Of course it's well behind most larger sensor modern cameras, but seen in that context, they're pretty great little cameras.

    • Like Like x 1
  4. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Real Name:
    I only sold my LX7 because I had too many cameras. It's a fantastic camera to start out and learn with and good enough to keep an experienced photographer interested as time passes. And, yes, the fast aperture overcomes many - but not all - of the shortcomings of the sensor by allowing one to stay at lower ISO values. Still, up to ISO 800 always seemed fine to me... 1600 in a pinch. But Ray is right, that smaller sensor won't be a bokeh champ. Still, your friend will be able to do some background defocusing at f/1.4 - especially if the subject is close.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Ranger Rick

    Ranger Rick Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 11, 2009
    Tempe, AZ
    Real Name:
    While it might evoke "horrors" reactions, the new capabilities to blur areas via LR, Focus 2 (I haven't tried the PS CC capabilities) can go a long way to dilute the DOF issue.
  6. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    I like it a lot. I got it because I needed decent built in microphone that does not distort loud sounds, otherwise I might have tried Fuji , with its nicer JPEG output straight out of camera .
    • Like Like x 1
  7. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Thanks for the input, gentlemen, I really appreciate it!

    We ordered her one! :D Should be here any day!! :)
  8. juangrande

    juangrande Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 2, 2012
    I have a hardly used version of the automatic cap. I don't have the camera anymore. $8 shipped PM me if interested.
  9. Savas K

    Savas K Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 10, 2013
    My LX-5 has been sold, but not before having brought it to the west coast for a San Diego visit with my wife. It's the only camera I had on me, leaving the 5DII at home, and I enjoyed using it. Looking at my extensive galleries from the trip, I'd apparently shot like the dickens and came away with many personal memories. I don't recall feeling limited, with acceptance that I'd only shoot what the 24-90mm allowed. It covered a lot of ground. It's selling went toward the Micro 4/3 kit I am currently using, as did the 5D's selling.
  10. DoofClenas

    DoofClenas Who needs a Mirror!

    Nov 9, 2012
    Traverse City, MI
    Real Name:
    Xz-2 is also a tough deal to beat at 299.
  11. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Zomg...I found a display model in a store for a price that's...well...let's just say I would be absolutely bad-poop insane in the membrane to pass up!!! It's a complete and utter fluke...a friend posted up on FB about it and said he saw it in a store...he bought the last boxed version, and there's a minty-mint display copy still left. He's getting it for me today (he's in a different city) and I'm getting it from him tonight!

    As for the's in the range of a bottom-of-the-barrel point and shoots. ;) Soooo looks like I'm going to accidentally join the LX7 family...I'm undecided as to what to do with it...I'll either pass it onto a friend, or keep it and sell my Canon S100.
  12. M4/3

    M4/3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 24, 2011
    LX7 is popular because it has impressive sounding specs. I was seduced by the good specs too and got one a year and a half ago. It's been sitting around unused though because I could never get used to the purplish-blue skies of the LX7's jpegs and other oddities of Panasonic jpeg colors. Video shooting specs sounded great too, but ultimately I found less detail in the LX7's footage as compared to my Olympus E-M5, plus the file size of LX7 video (when shooting 60 fps) was twice as large. The lack of good image stabilization when shooting video with the LX7 was a downer too. On the positive side the LX7 has great close up shooting capabilities and slow motion video recording capability.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Thanks for the be honest, I'd love to have something with a bigger sensor...but I'm getting it soooo ridiculously cheap, that I'd be stupid not to get it. I could probably use it for a couple of months, decide whether I like it or not and make a few bucks on it, or sell it for what I'm buying it for to a friend and pass on the good deal without losing a penny.

    Ever since I sold my Canon G9, I've missed making time-lapse videos (I sold it just as I was getting into the practice of it), and I love the super slow motion video mode on my S100, but it's brutally low resolution...if the LX7 does these two well, and it makes for a good camera to take when I'm not expecting to shoot anything "worthy" of the E-M5, then it'll be money well spent! :) If it fails, then I'll just pass it onto a friend, who will get a top-notch compact for the price of a base model auto-only plastic box with a pinhole lens. ;)
  14. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Well, my love affair didn't last long...not even long enough to put a memory card in the camera. :p

    I got two of them (one for my friend and one for myself), but then I found out that yes, it has time lapse, but it's utterly useless. You can only take SIXTY frames of time lapse...ridiculous. That's good for just over 2 seconds of video at the standard 24fps rate.

    So...I'm selling it. As it stands, I'm selling it as a brand new, never shot camera...if I don't get any decent offers, I'll use it for a bit and sell it as a used camera...either way, I'll easily get back what I paid for it, but it's a pity they did a HORRIBLE job implementing time lapse...I've seen others comment on forums that Panasonic really has no right to call it a time lapse mode, and I'm inclined to agree with them.