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Panasonic Lumix LX7 Digital Camera Review$499.99
Lens & Sensor
Most of the Lumix LX7's most compelling features are related to its lens. This Leica-built glass has only a modest 3.8x optical zoom magnification, but boast an amazing F1.4 aperture that allows gorgeous backgrounds and strong low light performance. The barrel itself is also home to a slew of physical manual controls. There's a dedicated aperture ring, as well as two sliding switches: one for aspect ratio, and one for focus mode. We dig the aperture and focus controls, however the aspect ratio slider is unnecessarily prominent for a setting so rarely changed.
The LX7's sensor is only a 1/1.7-inch type, and that's a key disadvantage compared to the Sony RX100's 1-inch chip. We often downplay the importance of megapixel resolution, however this sensor's small 10 megapixel output is another big step down from the LX7's closest competition.
A high resolution 3.0-inch fixed LCD is used for framing and image review, and while this panel's brightness and viewing angle are better than cheap ultracompacts, quality lags behind other high-end pocket-sized cameras like the RX100 or Fujifilm X10. Horizontal viewing angle is particularly mediocre.
Most data transfer is performed via two terminals on the right side of the body, underneath a hinged plastic cover. Here you'll find an HDMI port as well as a microUSB port for PC connectivity.
On the top of the body, the LX7 also features a hot shoe for attaching accessories such as external flash. Below this is a secondary port that's used in conjunction with an optional optical viewfinder.