Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ7 Review

 
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Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ7 Performance


Timing and Performance

Average to slightly slow speed for a consumer camera.

Startup/Shutdown

Power on
to first shot

2.8 seconds

Time it takes for LCD to turn on and lens to deploy.

Shutdown

1.4 seconds

How long it takes to retract lens.

Buffer clearing time

2 seconds
(2 seconds buffer clearing in LF JPEG)

Worst case buffer clearing time. -- This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card. Some cameras won't retract their lenses and shut down until the buffer is cleared.

Mode switching

Play to Record,
first shot

1.8 seconds

Time until first shot is captured.

Record to play

0.7 second

Time to display a large/fine file immediately after capture.

Display
recorded image

0.9 second

Time to display a large/fine file already on the memory card.

Shutter response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus Wide

0.84 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at wide angle position.

Full Autofocus Tele

0.59 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at telephoto position.

Prefocused

0.085 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

Cycle time (shot to shot)
Single Shot mode
Large Fine JPEG
2.61 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.

Single Shot mode
640x480 JPEG

1.87 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.

Early shutter
penalty?

Yes

Some cameras refuse to snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous mode
Large Fine JPEG

1.42 seconds (0.70 frames per second);
>20 frames total;
2 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first.

Continuous mode
640x480 JPEG

0.65 second (1.54 frames per second);
>20 frames total;
1 second to clear

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first.

Flash recycling

4 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

Download speed

Windows Computer, USB 2.0

753 KBytes/sec

Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-769=USB 2.0 Low;
Above 770=USB 2.0 High

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a Kingston Ultimate 133x SD memory card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity also affects cycle times and burst mode performance, with higher ISOs generally increasing cycle times and reducing burst performance.

The Lumix DMC-LZ7's performance ranges from good to about average to a little slow, depending on what you're doing. Start-up is a little pokey, but not too bad at 2.75 seconds considering the 6x zoom lens. Shutter response is pretty good at both wide angle and telephoto, at 0.84s and 0.59s respectively, though just a teensy bit slow at wide angle. The 3-area and 1-area high-speed AF modes should improve on those numbers, but unfortunately we didn't test those modes. "Prefocusing" the camera by half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure results in a lag time of only 0.085 second (slower than average, but still fair). Shot-to-shot cycle times are slow, at about 2.61 seconds for large/fine JPEGs, and the camera appears to capture shots continuously in single-shot mode without having to stop and clear the buffer. Continuous mode is sluggish for full resolution files, at 0.70 frames-per-second for over 20 large/fine JPEG frames, though at the smallest resolution things speed up to about 1.54 frames-per-second. The flash takes 4 seconds to recharge after a full-power shot, which is a little above average. Connected to a computer or printer with USB 2.0, download speeds are slower than most cameras these days. Bottom line, the DMC-LZ7 is responsive enough to handle most family photo opportunities, and even some sporting events, but not the fastest on the market.

Battery and Storage Capacity

Battery
Good battery life with NiMH rechargeable batteries, average for alkalines.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
AA Alkaline Batteries,
(CIPA standard)
150
AA NiMH Rechargeables,
(CIPA standard)
460
AA Alkaline Oxyride Batteries,
(CIPA standard)
250

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ7 uses two AA-type batteries for power, and does not come with alkalines or rechargeables. Although battery life is good with NiMH rechargeable batteries, we strongly recommend keeping a spare set freshly charged and on-hand for extended outings. As always, we strongly recommend you pick up a couple of sets of good-quality NiMH rechargeable batteries and a good-quality charger, as they'll save you many times their cost over the life of the camera.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on either a fresh set of disposable batteries or a fully-charged rechargeable battery as appropriate), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

Storage
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ7 accepts SDHC/SD/MMC memory cards, and includes about 29MB of internal memory.

Image Capacity with
29MB Internal Memory
Fine Normal
3,072 x 2,304
Images
7
15
File Size
3.7 MB
1.8 MB
2,560 x 1,920
Images
11
21
File Size
2.6 MB
1.3 MB
2,048 x 1,536
Images
17
33
File Size
1.7 MB
865 KB
1,600 x 1,200
Images
27
53
File Size
1.0 MB
542 KB
1,280 x 960
Images
41
77
File Size
695 KB
373 KB
640 x 480
Images
131
213
File Size
220 KB
136 KB

We strongly recommend buying a large capacity SDHC or SD memory card at least a 1GB card, preferably a 4GB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings and video. (Check the shopping link above. Cards are really cheap these days, so no reason to skimp.)

 

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Note: For details, test results, and analysis of the many tests done with this camera, please click on the tabs at the beginning of the review or below.

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