Return of the LX

LX7 landscape shot from the Peak District, UK
LX7 landscape shot from the Peak District, UK

Regular readers may recall my decision a few months back to sell the Panasonic LX5, as I wasn’t using the camera. Most of the time when I needed a compact camera I was taking the Sony RX100 which is a great little camera and much more compact than the LX5 (when the filter adapter was fitted).

I don’t know why but I recently had a rush of blood to the head and found myself missing the LX5. I think it was on processing and printing some images I shot in New York where the A3+ prints were simply amazing.

LX5 New York image.
LX5 New York image.

Anyway, I have now purchased an LX7 to replace the LX5. I was about to write that it’s still limited by its 10Mpixel sensor but stopped myself. This doesn’t matter. It will produce great A3+ prints so why do I need more pixels.

In terms of sharpness and image quality the LX7 seems pretty much on a par with the LX5 although the noise at higher ISO settings is reduced. The other nice feature is the filter adapter which screws onto the outside of the lens. This makes it much more compact and it will now fit easily in my pocket.

Had I traded in the LX5 to buy the LX7 I would have been disappointed as I don’t think it justifies the additional cost. Having sold the LX5 I somehow feel the purchase of the LX7 is OK and that I haven’t traded one for the other. It’s early days yet but this camera feels like the return of an old friend.

8 thoughts on “Return of the LX

  1. Hi Robin
    I recently joined your membership list after reading the Viveza book …Creating Breathtaking Photographs and then the LX5 book because my brother has the Leica version and so soon recommended it to him. Very useful for any compact camera user. Now receive your emails and have downloaded various hints and tips from your sites.

    My overall impression – a superb range of very helpful hints and tips. Thank you for so much shared insight.

    I have the Leica v lux 40 because of its very useful long zoom range, very pocketable and easy to use until I look at the rear screen in anything but average light. (Sold my Canon dslr and range of lenses) then it becomes hit and miss guesswork.
    Viewfinder desperately needed…
    Have been seriously considering the LX7 or Leica D lux 6 s/h and so will be very interested to see your later experience and comments. I travel to Austria frequently and so the Canon outfit became too bulky. The LX 7 includes the built in ND filter which will help in bright sunshine and snow which we get a lot of! Miss the Canon quality of course so the v lux 40 is no real substitute but it is highly convenient.
    I will be using Aperture and Viveza when time permits, meanwhile my Mac powerbooks and 30″ cinema screen suffice with iPhoto for slideshow viewing. I do not make prints.
    Just some insight into one of your supporters…living partly in Herefordshire countryside, partly in Austrian countryside.
    Happy New Year
    David (amateur, age 74)

    1. Hi Dave,

      Thanks for taking the time to feedback. It’s great to know that others value my work.
      If you want excellent quality in a small package consider getting a used Olympus EM5. There are lots of great deals about where people have traded them in for the EM1. Pair this with the old Panasonic 14-45mm kit lens from a GF1 (again available at bargain prices) and you have a superb performer that would rival your Canon DSLR. Unfortunately it’s not as packetable as the LX.

      Happy New Year to you also.

  2. Without question the LX5 was one of those gems that are produced every once in a while and many times I do not think that the company itself knows what they have done. I read many reviews of the LX7 and the problem some photographers had with the focusing at infinity. Being a glutton for punishment, thinking that Panasonic realized the problem and fixed it, I bought an LX7 recently brand new. Alas, the problem even after a few years has not been addressed. Focusing is inaccurate at infinity. Returned the camera and are back to my trusty LX5.

    1. I agree Gerry. I don’t think they realise how good a camera they created. I remember doing an interior shoot for a client once. They wanted me to use the Canon 5D because someone had told them full frame was best despite the shots being destined for the Internet. I ended up shooting 50% handheld with the LX5. I had no lighting issues as I could shoot with the available light handheld. I could get it into places where the 5D couldn’t go. Best of all the client commented on some of the best shots (all from the LX5).

      I haven’t noticed any infinity focus problems with the LX7 but will keep an eye on this.

      All the best

  3. I arrived at your blog as I research my return to compacts – goodbye dSLR (again!)

    My heart is saying LX7, but my mind is saying RX100(ii). I see you have both and yet hankered for the LX7 while owning the RX100. Hmmm… Love to know your thinking here – as it might just help me decide.
    NB: I would contemplate retracing the mu43 road but would prefer a compact without the option of changing lenses….as then I will inevitably have 4-6 lenses rattling around my bag again.

    1. A few people have asked me this same question recently and the answer isn’t as simple as you might think. I’m going to do a blog post on this subject in the next few days to hopefully with will give you something to think about. What I will say now is that both are great cameras but neither is perfect.

  4. When I saw the other article with your wishlist of LX9 features aimed at Panasonic product management, I just thougth that you may want to take a look at Canon G1X Mark II. It will definitely become the benchmark for Lumix LX9, which is due in July 2014. After years of waiting some serious lightweight and compact but fast and powerful cameras appear on horizon.

    1. I wasn’t aware of the Canon G1X Mk II so thanks for bringing it to my attention. To be honest, it will need to do a lot to impress me over and above the RX10. I know the RX10 is larger than many of the compact and even some Micro 43 systems but it is a joy to use. I am looking forward to seeing how some of the new cameras perform though. Especially the LX9.

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