My grand experiement is over - Question on LX7

Discussion in 'Panasonic' started by Droogie, Sep 22, 2013.

  1. Droogie

    Droogie New Member

    Sep 21, 2013
    My primary camera is a Pany G3 which I absolutely love. Last year at this time however I started an experiment by buying an Oly refurb EPL2 and a VF-3, just to see what all the hubbub was about with the Pen cameras and the "rangefinder" form factor. This was going to be my trip camera and a place to park my legacy glass. Well as much as I do love the images from the Pen, I've come to the conclusion that it is just too "Fiddly" for me. I've used it for a full year and on a couple vacations and it just seemed like I was spending too much time on camera settings. The G3 with the control wheel and built in viewfinder just seems much quicker and intuitive - so I guess I'm a fan of the "DSLR" form of camera. So the grand experiment is over. I'll keep the pen as a backup, but not as a light weight trip camera.

    I'm now looking for a small replacement for vacation shots and to consolidate my kit (GAS notwithstanding) and am looking at the Pany LX-7. Does this camera have a similar operating system and feel as the G3? Would the viewfinder addition be worth it? I'm going to have to buy one online when I make up my mind - no local stores carry the LX7, so I need some advice. I've even researched the XZ1 Oly, but I'm not feeling the urge to experiment with another camera.

    Any thoughts?
  2. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Welcome to the forum Droogie. There are some former owners of LX7 that I know of in this forum. So hopefully they will chime in soon.
  3. LX7 & PL2 owner weighs in

    Hey, Droogie -

    I currently own both an LX7 and an EPL2 so I have a few opinions, but let me preface it by saying that though I've never used a G3, I've fooled around a little with its big brother, a GH3, so my opinions may not be exactly what you are looking for. But what the LX7 does share in common with its larger Panasonic brethren is a few more physical controls than the Olympus EPL2 has. The LX7 has an aperture ring (very useful for Aperture-priority shooting) and a small jog/click wheel that can be used for a variety of other things, including altering shutter speeds (when you're in Aperture priority mode) or altering a number of other shooting parameters. Other physical controls include what looks like a 2nd smaller click/push wheel that only controls 2 things (the built-in ND filter, and focusing when one is in manual focus mode); and a few other cool changeable physical settings on the lens. These include a way to rapidly change the sensor format (from 3:2 to 4:3 to square to 16:9) by merely shifting a lever; another very useful click lever to change from AF (fully Automatic focus) to Macro AF (a very very cool mode with Auto focusing down to very close macro distances) and finally MF or Manual Focus.

    Then of course there are the usual dials atop the camera and on its rear - PDAF - AL/AEL lock - playback - etc etc etc. In many ways, most of these buttons/knobs on the LX7 are not unlike similar dials or switches or knobs on the EPL2.

    The biggest differences are in changing various other shooting modes and parameters. If you're already familiar with Panasonic Menus (your G3), your learning curve should be a lot less step than it was on the EPL2. There are a lot of similarities between the higher Lumix models and the semi-lower-end compact LX7.

    But - and this is where we get into truly subjective and individual territory - I think, honestly, it all depends on your tastes and abilities. I find the LX7 relatively easy and logical to use while shooting - but then again, I also found the EPL2 pretty easy, once I got the hang of Olympus's menu system - a system which, btw, is fairly complex and complicated, with menus and submenus, and some things hidden in places where you might not ever look. But, honestly, in day-to-day shooting with the LX7, in spite of having a slight advantage of more external and easiliy changeable settings or click wheels - to really make the most of the LX7, you also have to dive into its Menu System ---

    Is it easier than the EPL5's menu system?

    Maybe a little. Especially if you're already more familiar with Lumix menus from your G3. But it's still get enough complexity to it for there to be a learning curve. The Aperture Priority mode btw which is one of my favorites is relatively easy to use on the LX7 - the combination of external aperture ring and an easy click wheel to change shutter speeds - makes it a little easier than the EPL5.

    But the LX7 has its complexities too. One of the mode settings I like is for 'Creative Controls' - which allow access to a number of clever, powerful filters and settings to create interesting in-camera JPEG's. My favorite among these is what Panasonic calls "Dynamic Monochrome", which yields beautiful & contrasty b&w images. But the catch is that the controls for any of the different 'Creative Control' settings (including Dynamic Monochrome) - involve using a click/jog wheel to access a new icon based menu where you have to move slider bars that raise or lower exposure or apertures or saturation or contrast. It's designed to be sort of a 'dumbed down' control process for people for whom the concepts of apertures or shutter speeds are too complex - but, ironically, it takes a certain amount of thinking to figure out how to really access and use the various menus, controls and sliders in this mode to really get the most out of it.

    Bottom line - in some ways the LX7 should be both easier and a quicker learn for you, coming from your main workhorse G3; but in other ways, it's got some complexity to it.

    Finally your other question - whether or not the external EVF is worth it? Well....guess what? I have them for both the EPL5 and my recently acquired LX7 and in my admittedly subjective opinion, it's more than worth it. Not merely for the onus of trying to see the screen on sunny days - but because the Panny EVF, like the Olympus, gives you a much better way to look at and assess your subject, your lighting, etc etc etc. One minor note: though the LX7's EVF is very good, I don't think it's quite as good as the Olympus's. But, that said, it's invaluable to have, in my opinion.

    Hope some of the foregoing helps. But the truth is, a camera which truly 'works' for one person....won't always necessarily 'work' for another, so take all this with a grain of salt and then, if you can, try to find a way to check it out in person. That would be invaluable.

    Good luck!
  4. RT Panther

    RT Panther All-Pro

    Dec 25, 2012
    Have you looked into the Panasonic LF1 :confused:
  5. john m flores

    john m flores All-Pro

    Aug 13, 2012
    LX7 controls are similar but not identical to my GH2. More cousins than siblings. The buttons on the four-way controller match pretty well, for example, but the four buttons beyond are in the same place on both cameras but don't have the same functions in the same location. I got used to the LX7 quite quickly and like the external controls for AF mode, capture ratio, ND filter, etc... JUst got the EVF too and don't think I'll ever take it off.

    My one complaint is the poor markings on the four-way controller. The names are engraved into the button but there's no contrast in the material so it's hard to see in anything but good light.

    Overall, a great camera for the price.
  6. Droogie

    Droogie New Member

    Sep 21, 2013
    Thanks for the info Miguel, this is just what I was looking for. I really do love the EPL2 and still use it, just not for vacations. So I think the LX7 might be a good choice with the EVF. Panther I've just started looking at the LF1 after reading some good comments, plus after buying an EVF for the LX7 the prices are neck and neck. Heck I've even looked at the XZ1, but would love to consolidate my kit to one manufacturer.
  7. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    Similar operating system to your G3? Why not go for an FZ150 or FZ200? Just 1.3 lbs and 24-600mm (equivalent coverage).

    Cheers, Jock
  8. lcsolla

    lcsolla Regular

    Sep 5, 2011
    Lisbon, Portugal
    Luis Castro e Solla
    I think the ergonomy of the LX7 is very good to excellent, and unless you live in a dark area I strongly recommend buying the electronic viewfinder, which is acceptable. The zoom lens in the LX7 is again very good, and its apertures allow for dark/night photos without flash or tripod - something which is not possible in many other cameras. Additionally, the LX7 does good macro and video. I have posted several photos taken with the LX7 in this forum.
  9. ocordeiro

    ocordeiro New Member

    Sep 23, 2013

    I recently changed from a canon 7d to the Panasonic lx7 and in spite of some may find me crazy, I found myself most of the time leaving my gear at home when I was out on weekend because the bag was to heavy with all the L series glass for my back when playing with my kids, because was not practical to be setting up 30 minutes shots with tripods, remote shooting, gradient filters and all that stuff with my family waiting, because I had a lot of money invested on gear and so little time for enthusiastic photography. And the most important part, with all that I mentioned I found that 80% of my pictures were family trips with spontaneous shots and I edit most of them on my tablet with Photoshop Touch. I loved my 7d with the 17-40L and the high iso handling and the main reason that kept me away from something smaller than a DSLR was exactly the poor iso handling and lousy apertures (or such killing combination) from the most compacts around the market presently. That's when I found a review from the lx7 ... 24-90mm was almost equivalent to my favorite 17-40 (27-64 on crop sensor) and the smaller sensor issue (for higher isos) could somehow be a pointless problem with apertures around f/1.4 or f/2.8... At night, I find my lx7 shooting at iso 400 most of the time where the 7d was shooting f/4 plus iso 1600 or 3200. I was to much used to a viewfinder to go for a compact with a back screen... The problem was not the sunlight (as most of people say) but I was finding hard to set the frames and composition without a viewfinder; I then found the EVF and it worthed every cent.

    I can say I am delighted with my lx7. I ended selling the 7d because when I was traveling with both, the lx7 was ending most of the time as the 1st choice. The lx7 does not cover my 7d in all aspects (I still missing my sigma 8-16) but the main reason for my change was to look for something more practical, light, discreet and without compromising the image quality. I was in London by June and loved to go allover almost forgetting that I was carrying a camera around with me.

    Did I buy the 7d mistaken? No I didn't, it is a hell of a camera but I ended up enjoying something lighter and the gap today between this compact and the DSLR isn't so much as some of you might think for the most of the usage. One final point, I just got the stunning images from my 7d when spent twice the camera price in lenses .... The lx7 gave that out of the box.

    That's my opinion about the lx7... Shared with you guys my story about something I bought as backup and ended as my main camera today.

    I am not a pro and I am sure that I have a lot more to learn but feel free to see some of my shots on flicker, some of them with that 7d and others with the lx7.



    Sent from my ASUS Transformer Pad TF300T using Tapatalk 2
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  10. Droogie

    Droogie New Member

    Sep 21, 2013
    Wow, that is quite an endorsement, thanks. The LX7 with a view finder is looking better and better.
  11. I really think that you will be quite happy with the LX7, Droogie. It's got enough bells and whistles and controls for a more serious photographer to probably make most people happy. And then lens, in addition to being fast enough for quite a bit of low-light shooting, is superb. The one downside is when you want to do MF or Manual Focusing, alas, there is no focus ring on the lens itself. So one must use the weird little click/jog wheel I mentioned which in my opinion is neither simple/intuitive, nor easy.

    But there are so many other upsides to the camera - that it's worth a long a serious look.

    One last thing. I bought mine, used, from a fellow seriouscompacts member, Ray Sachs - who had put an aftermarket lenscap on it - the kind which opens automatically when you power the camera on, and serves as a semi lens hood as well. It's a very very cool device but, additionally, Ray and several other photographers have mentioned that the original lens cap isn't the best (it's tiny, easy to lose or misplace, etc. etc.). So my last suggestion is that if you get an LX7, in addition to the EVF, you also consider one of the nifty after-market lenscaps. I think they're worth it.