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Panasonic LX7 Long-Long Exposure Test

Discussion in 'Other Systems' started by entropicremnants, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    John Griggs
    Just got my DMC-LX7 today and boy do I love it already.

    But my intention is to carry it everywhere and a "what if" scenario came to mind: What if I get a sudden opportunity to shoot an old factory somewhere and I don't have my wonderful E-M5 or E-PL5? What if all I have is the LX7 and the tripod that's always in the trunk.

    Since long exposures in near darkness are a normal challenge in urbex, how would the LX7 do? Here's some things I discovered:

    • I had not read the specs but I discovered that the LX7 can do exposures up to 250 seconds without bulb! That's 4 minutes and 10 seconds! That's unprecedented as most of my higher level cameras don't go there.
    • The LX7 does do "dark frame subtraction" where an exposure with the shutter closed of equal length to the subject exposure is done. Then any "hot pixel" information is subtracted from the subject exposure to remove hot pixels.
    • The camera does not seem to heat up during the process.
    • The entire long exposure counts down on the display, then the dark frame does the same thing in a "pop up box". You always know where you are in the cycle.

    That's nothing short of some very good thought on the part of Panasonic. Here's the conditions of my test:

    • Turned off my workshop lights and it was very dim, lit only by light trickling in from the main house.
    • Mounted the camera on a tripod
    • I left the image stabilizer on to see what would happen. I would redo the test if it interfered... but it didn't.
    • Put the mode dial in Manual, left the camera at 24mm
    • Switched in the ND filter on (another nice touch, the built in ND filter) to further diminish the light for the test.
    • I kept cranking the shutter time until it topped out at 250 seconds, then adjusted the aperture until the exposure graph showed zero (f/2.5). This means the metering was working in this dim situation.
    • I had the AF illuminator off and AF could not lock. I used a flashlight to get AF lock (something I often do when shooting in old factories as well).
    • Triggered the shutter

    After the informative count downs I took the RAW file into Lightroom 4.4RC (my normal process, well, was 4.3 before) and I did almost no adjustments. First of all here's something: the metering was right on. Perfect even when working is such dim light.

    I did some sharpening and added a little contrast and that's about it. I didn't try to really edit this down like I might one of my art shots.

    Here's the resulting shot, followed by a 100% crop of the focus area:

    20130306-P1000038.

    20130306-P1000038-2.

    Notice you can actually see aliasing in the cloth of the left puppet. That's sharp.

    To me this looks excellent and shows me I could use the little LX7 in a pinch for something like that. I used to shoot 10mp urbex with my D60, D80 and D200 cameras with no problems. This is clean enough that used with care I could reproduce that work with this little camera.

    I do indeed like the LX7.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  2. mrjr

    mrjr Mu-43 Top Veteran

    518
    Sep 25, 2012
    Thanks for the report. It's clearly a really capable little camera, and I plan to own one once the big sales kick back in. It'll be my good light, cargo pocket shooter, but it's nice to see that it has some legs in bad light with proper technique.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    John Griggs
    I took it out to an very old pumphouse that is about to be torn down and did some "urbex" shots today and they'll be up later so you can see some actual attempts to make a "real" photo with it, lol.

    Thanks!
     
  4. mrjr

    mrjr Mu-43 Top Veteran

    518
    Sep 25, 2012
    Oh, good! Looking forward to it.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. MikeR_GF1

    MikeR_GF1 Mu-43 Veteran

    Is that a Thorens TD 165 I see? The receiver looks like a close cousin of one I have.
     
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  6. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    John Griggs
    DUAL Model 1264 turntable and TECHNICS SA-GX303 receiver.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    John Griggs
  8. M4/3

    M4/3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    713
    Sep 24, 2011
    Here's another talent of the LX7 / FZ200 - the ability to shoot video at 120 frames per second for a slow motion effect: [ame=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVDt8sSyRiE]FZ200 120fps Dual Feeders CU v3 - YouTube[/ame]
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    John Griggs
    Very cool! I haven't explored movie modes much on either the mft cams or the lx7... I am so focused on stills perhaps to my detriment, lol.

    Sent from my iPad using Mu-43 App
     
  10. WorldShooter

    WorldShooter Mu-43 Regular

    36
    Jan 17, 2013
    Giethoorn, Netherlands
    Peter B.
    I do like my LX-7 as well! Panasonic created a little gem with this one!
    It's a very well thought-through camera, specified with a lot of "designed for photographers" features. That PanaLeica lens really shines and with (only) 10mp it also debunks the myth that more megapixels is better.

    Happy shooting!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    John Griggs
    Agreed! My Nikon D200 was one of the best cameras I've owned -- and yet it was only 10 megapixels.

    This thing occurs for me like a tiny D200 in my pocket -- and I am very much okay with that.

    If you're interested, here's a thread with photos I shot under unusual conditions with the LX7 and it did very well I think.
     
  12. WorldShooter

    WorldShooter Mu-43 Regular

    36
    Jan 17, 2013
    Giethoorn, Netherlands
    Peter B.
    • Like Like x 1