Panasonic Lumix LX7 Review

 
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Panasonic LX7 Performance


Timing and Performance

Excellent autofocus, shutter lag and burst speeds, though slow startup and buffer clearing.

Startup/Shutdown

Power on
to first shot

3.7 seconds

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

Shutdown

1.2 seconds

How long it takes to retract lens.

Buffer clearing time

7 seconds
(after 12 LF JPEG)*
20 seconds
(after 12 RAW)*
32 seconds
(after 12 RAW+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.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s UHS-1 SDHC memory card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times.

Slow startup time, though shutdown is not bad. Buffer clearing is sluggish even with a very fast card. The Panasonic LX7 does not appear to be UHS-I compliant so it doesn't take advantage of the faster bus interface mode UHS cards offer.

 

Mode Switching

Play to Record,
first shot

~0.8 second

Time until first shot is captured.

Record to Play

~0.6 second

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

Display
recorded image

~1.6 seconds

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

Mode switching is pretty fast, though displaying a previously captured image is a bit slow.

 

Shutter Response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus
1-area (center)

0.241 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture.

Full Autofocus
23-area mode

0.228 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture.

Full Autofocus
Quick AF

0.246 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture.

Full Autofocus
Flash enabled
0.451 second
Time to capture while forcing flash to fire.
Manual focus
0.255 second

For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "pre-focused."

Pre-focused

0.010 second

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

Full autofocus shutter response is very fast for a compact, at 0.24s using 1-area center AF, and 0.23s using 23-area AF mode. The Quick AF option made little difference in our tests. As expected, enabling the flash did add some delay for the preflash metering, resulting in 0.45s lag. Manual focus wasn't any faster than autofocus, surprisingly, at 0.26s. "Prefocusing" the camera by half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure results in a lag time of only 0.010s, very fast.

 

Cycle Time (shot to shot)
Single Shot mode
Large Fine JPEG
0.77 second

Time per shot, averaged over 20+ shots.

Single Shot mode
RAW

0.75 second

Time per shot, averaged over 16 shots.

Single Shot mode
RAW + LF JPEG

0.79 second

Time per shot, averaged over 14 shots.

Early shutter
penalty?

Yes
(after buffer fill)

Some cameras don't snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Fastest full-res Continuous mode
Large Fine JPEG

0.09 second (11.00 frames per second);
12 frames total;
7 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over 12 shots (set at 12).

Fastest full-res
Continuous mode

RAW

0.09 second (11.11 frames per second);
12 frames total;
20 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over 12 shots (set at 12).

Fastest full-res
Continuous mode
RAW + LF JPEG

0.09 second (11.11 frames per second);
12 frames total;
32 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over 12 shots (set at 12).

Flash recycling

3.1 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s UHS-1 SDHC 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.

Shot-to-shot cycle times are good, at 0.77s for LF JPEGs, 0.75s for RAW and 0.79s for RAW+JPEG.

The Lumix LX7 offers very fast continuous modes. The fastest full resolution burst mode is rated at 11 frames per second for 12 frames, and that's what we measured. Focus, exposure and white balance are locked at the first frame, though. The fastest rate with autofocus, exposure and white balance is 5 frames per second, however we didn't test that mode. We also didn't test the 40 and 60 fps modes which capture lower resolution images (5 and 2 megapixels respectively).

Buffer depths are good, set a 12 frames in the 11 fps mode. Lower speed burst modes (5 and 2 fps) claim up to 100 frame bursts. Buffer clearing is quite slow, though, taking 7 seconds after a burst of 12 JPEGs, 20 seconds after 12 RAWs and 32 seconds after RAW+JPEG. As mentioned previously, the Panasonic LX7 does not appear to take advantage of faster UHS-I cards.

Flash recycle after a full-power discharge is good, at 3.1 seconds.

 

Download Speed

Windows Computer, USB 2.0

7,251 KBytes/sec

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

Connected to a computer or printer with USB 2.0, download speeds pretty good.

Bottom line, the Panasonic LX7's performance is generally very fast, with a few slow areas. Startup is slow, autofocus speeds and shutter lag are faster than average, burst modes are very fast, but buffer clearing is slow.

Battery

Battery Life
About average battery life for a lithium-ion design.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery,
(CIPA standard)
330

The Panasonic LX7 uses a custom rechargeable lithium-ion battery for power, and ships with a charger. Battery life isn't as good as the LX5 which managed 400 shots per change, but fairly typical for its class these days. We recommend you pick up a spare battery and keep it freshly charged and on-hand for extended outings.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on 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))

 

Panasonic LX7

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