Tuesday, February 19, 2013

I Succumbed to a GAS Attack - Lumix DMC-LX7

If you don't know what GAS is, it stands for Gear Acquisition Syndrome. Most photographers suffer from it. I have it bad.
You probably know that I'm a Panasonic Lumix fan. I've written about my favorite ultra-compact camera, the Lumix DMC-LX5 several times. Up until now, I have refrained from upgrading to the latest model, the DMC-LX7. Yesterday, I gave in and ordered one.
Image Source: http://panasonic.net/avc/lumix/compact/lx7/index.html
So, if I'm content with the LX5, what made me do it? Well, first off, the LX7 comes with a Pana-Leica Summilux f1.4 lens, a full stop faster than the LX5's Summicron. With small sensors like the one in the LX5 and LX7, high iso noise is always a concern. With an extra full f-stop over the LX5, the LX7 will allow me to stay a full iso level lower, drastically reducing noise. The LX7 also has a CMOS sensor, rather than the CCD in the LX5. This may end up being a compromise, as CCD sensors can yield sharper images, while CMOS is better at high iso. We'll just have to see about that when it arrives.
(Click Here) for a nice review and table summarizing the other differences between the LX5 and LX7 on dpreview.com.
The other reason I bought on the spur of the moment? The LX7 is drastically marked down at Adorama. With a list price of $448, it is now available for $150 off at Adorama, for $298. Hard to decline.
Now, here's the only dilemma left for me - do I need the new DMW-LVF2 electronic viewfinder that goes with the LX7? Unfortunately, very unfortunately, the DMW-LVF1 that I have for my LX5 (and for my old Micro 4/3 DMC-GF1) won't work on the LX7. The new one, the LVF2, is supposed to be much better in resolution, but it's also larger. That matters on a compact camera like the LX7.
From my experience with the LX5, I do enjoy the LVF1. However, I would say that I more often use an old optical finder, a Russian model, with the zoom set to 35mm equivalent. This makes a great, bright, fast little street shooter out of the LX5; I expect to do the same with the LX7. So, for now, I'm not buying the LVF2. If I found out that the new DMC-GX2 Micro 4/3 camera (if and when it's finally announced) used the LVF2, then I'd be very tempted. It's not at all clear that will be the case. By the way, the LVF2 isn't cheap. It costs around $160.
There is a great set of information about the LX7 on Panasonic's website, including nice descriptions of the features, galleries of images, and a nice video of Charlie Waite using the LX7 to shoot in Holland.
(Click Here) to see the LX7 on Panasonic's site.
I have been sharing pictures from the LX5 occasionally on the getdpi forum. Some of us are making the transition to the LX7, and there's a relatively new link where others have shared some very nice LX7 images. I will be adding to this thread soon.
(Click Here) to see the LX7 image post on getdpi.
One final clincher for me? The LX7 uses the same battery as the LX5. So, I can use my existing set of batteries!
I anticipate writing my second e-book soon. The one I wrote on how to set up and use the Lumix DMC-G3 has been very popular, with thousands of downloads. So, I'll commit to writing one on the LX7 soon. I'll have to do it soon, as the next model in this line will undoubtedly come around soon. Stay tuned for that.