RX100 V’s LX5 and LX7 – Part 2

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Death Valley Sand Dunes - RX100
Death Valley Sand Dunes – RX100

Continued…

Sensor quality – Here I would say I am interested in producing natural colours and smooth images (free from noise). The LX7 is better than the LX5 but neither can touch the Sony. The Sony has smooth images with very limited noise that doesn’t get exaggerated when the images are processed. The colours from the Sony are also very lifelike. I have often thought the Panasonic colours, especially Green, look a little unnatural. The ISO performance of the LX7 is better than the LX5 but the Sony is much better than both of these. As I shoot most of my work at base ISO and hardly ever go above ISO800, the LX7 and RX100 are fine. The LX5 struggled above ISO400.

Pixel Count – This only becomes important if you are going to be producing large prints and by that I mean above A3+. The Sony will produce a slightly larger than A3+ print at 300dpi without any enlargement whilst you will need to enlarge the LX5 or LX7. What is interesting is that some of the LX5 or LX7 images enlarged appear sharer and more detailed than the Sony. If you go to A2 printing the LX5 and LX7 can achieve this is you take care whilst the Sony can be enlarged to this easily but it can reveal the soft corners (I said it was irritating). If you are only going to share your images on the Internet then any of the cameras will be fine.

Filters – I shoot landscapes so I need to be able to attach square filters such as ND Grads. All three cameras allow this but the LX5 requires a bulky tube to be attached. I hated this as it stopped the camera fitting easily in my pocket. The LX7 uses a screw in adapter which I like but I can’t leave the filter adapter ring attached as it jams the lens when it retracts. It also causes vignetting at the 24mm end when shooting 16:9 format (which I do alot). The RX100 filter adapter is a stick on affair which is very slim and works well but it’s expensive.

Handling – I find the RX100 small to handle but it is improved by the addition of the Sony leather half case. The layout and dials are good on the RX100 as is the front aperture ring which can be switched to other purposes such as focussing. The LX7 has a great aperture ring and I love the format switching ring. The LX5 is similarly good but lacks the aperture ring. If pushed I would say the LX cameras are easier and faster to work with than the RX100. If your bag is street photography then I think the LX cameras are probably better to work with.

What this all means is that for me, none of these cameras is perfect but all will perform well and achieve the results I want. I suspect (unless you see something above to convince you otherwise) that they would also serve you equally well. The best advice I can give is what I started this blog with – understand what features are important to you and why before investing.

If I had to use just one camera it would actually be the RX10. It has the great sensor of the RX100 but the lens is amazing. Its failure (if you can call it that) is that it’s significantly larger than the others and won’t fit in your pocket. Surprisingly my Olympus EM5 is quite a bit smaller than the RX10 and produces the best image quality of all the cameras – I still can’t fit it in my pocket unless I am using prime lenses.

Remember, no camera is perfect for all tasks.

7 thoughts on “RX100 V’s LX5 and LX7 – Part 2

    www.christopherfidoephotography.co.nz said:
    February 19, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    My RX100 M II with the electronic viewfinder accessory is great!

    Rudi said:
    February 20, 2014 at 7:41 am

    The LX 7 has an integrated ND Filter, so it is no need for a external Filter.

      thelightweightphotographer responded:
      February 20, 2014 at 6:39 pm

      Yes, that’s very true. Personally it’s not something that I have used but I can think of a few times I have been frustrated by the lack of one when using the LX5. It’s not a deal breaker for me but agree it’s a useful feature.

    serialphotographer said:
    February 20, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    I would echo entirely the trust of this article I have owned the lx5 and now have the lx7 which has improved for sure.

    I have used these and the wonderful Ricoh grd and have been blown away by the quality these compacts can produce.

    I think the Ricoh just edges it at the 28 setting on the panny the quality of this lens is legendary. The reason for my choosing the lx was the versatility the zoom range gave particularly the wide setting. The lens is spectacular and edge to edge sharpness throughout its range is awesome. As an extra footnote I’d comment on its robust build quality. I’d been out taking this shot http://www.serialphotographer.co.uk/archives/1022 when I slipped and fell. The panny hit the ground and I could have cried. I thought it’s dead however it purred into life and has functioned perfectly since albeit with an obvious scar where the external body had a slight bulge in it.

    I have taken many images on my blog with it and I’d encourage folk to visit and guess which have been taken with this or my old Ricoh.

    In closing I’d also add that I to have the omd em5 and sorted glass. I love it it is a superb tool.

      thelightweightphotographer responded:
      February 21, 2014 at 8:01 pm

      Great shot’s on your site. These little cameras are great and more robust than people might think. They tend not to hit the ground as hard as a DSLR as they are a lot lighter. Having said that I still wouldn’t want to drop mine.

    Frederick McLean said:
    April 19, 2014 at 10:54 am

    I had an RX100 last year, sold it to try a dslr for better dynamic/colour range, then sold the dslr because I found it a pain to carry when on holiday, walking etc, and got an LX7. Using the LX7 was a joy, especially the exterior aspect switch which I found really useful (plus it gave a true 16:9, not just a sensor crop) and built in ND filter. As a holiday to Nth Cyprus is coming up I had a look at my RX100 Sri Lanka photos from last year and could immediately see the detail and quality in the RX100 compared to the LX7 (subjective I know, and just my opinion). So the LX7 has gone and I have got an RX100 again, I have got an extra battery and external charger, and a skin for better grip. My ideal camera would be a merging of the RX100 and LX7, but until that comes along when comparing the 2 cameras I prefer the RX100. To get around the 28mm wide angle I take a couple of overlapping photos and use Microsoft ICE to join them, plus shoot mainly in RAW, when converted using IDC the resulting JPEG files are 2 or 3 times the size of the OOC JPEG. No camera is perfect but the RX100 ticks most boxes for me and matches my current ‘style’ of photography, but like most things in life it is very much “horses for courses”.

      thelightweightphotographer responded:
      April 19, 2014 at 6:57 pm

      Great assessment of 2 very good cameras. My RX100 is in the final 24 hours of it’s sale on eBay and no doubt I will regret the sale at some point. For me, I like the ease of use of the LX7 and the results are very good. Let’s see what the GM1 is like when it arives.

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