Panasonic Lumix LX7 is a Keeper

I got the Lumix LX7 to primarily use as a backup jacket pocket camera for those times when I am out but not expecting to take pictures; i.e., my “just-in-case” camera.  The following are a few test shots to determine its limits relative to image quality.  The first was taken at the extreme wide-angle.

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I then zoomed all the way out and took another picture from the same location.

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Then, just for fun, I made an extreme crop of the last picture.  As you can see the quality goes down but I don’t think you can expect more from such a small sensor and lens.

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Keep in mind the following.  The above pictures were taken in raw format using the program mode and then developed using LR4.  The pictures were taken at ISO 80 and f/3.2 and then developed at the same LR4 settings.  If I were to use the above cropped image I would develop it differently but I wanted to keep the conditions identical for the above pictures so that you could judge the camera and not different settings.  I have no idea as to how the out-of-camera jpegs would look since I never take them.  I also never use any of the scene modes, so I don’t know how they would change the images.  I shoot all of my pictures in raw format only using the program, aperture, or shutter modes on all of my cameras … never use the other features.

Since I often need to take a picture around sunrise or sunset when the lighting isn’t very bright, I took a picture inside in low light at ISO 3200 f/3.2 just to see how much digital noise there was.  As you can see below, it is pretty clean after having had noise reduction applied with LR4, but at the loss of some detail.  The following picture is also a severe crop of the original image.

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Some final caveats that I’d like to make, I only intend to use any pictures taken with the LX7, like the above, for display in my blog as a last resort.  I do not print my images so if you wish to use the LX7 for printing, or if you use the jpegs, your results may not match these.  I deliberately reduced the size of these pictures from what I normally use in my blog so that you could view all of them in the same size (the crops are smaller than I normally use).  You can click on any of the above pictures and look at them in a slightly larger size and see that they aren’t the same quality as my other pictures taken with my other cameras.

While I plan to only use the LX7 for pictures like the above as a last resort, I do have other plans for it.  After spring arrives, I plan to try it for making close-ups and for some B&Ws in a different style.  We will have to wait to see how it works under those conditions.

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