By Scott Packard
on 7.19.12
Photo by Panasonic

The pocket-sized compact camera market, a crowded field where convenience and the almighty megapixel have long come at the sacrifice of photographer-driven adjustability, just added something for the budding enthusiast. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 replaces the LX5 and adds a traditional-style aperture ring that covers F1.4 to F8 to give amateurs more control over exposure and shutter speed than available with a rear mode dial. Thank the Canon S90 for the recent manual-control dial trend. Compared to the large sensor offered on the Sony Cyber Shot RX100, some photogs have raised concerns about the slightly smaller 10.1 MP sensor (80% less real estate than the LX-5) in the LX-7. However, Panasonic believes lens speed and the F1.4-2.3, 24-90mm equivalent range more than meet expectations. It’s hard to argue with a 1.4 aperture.

With what may be the fastest lens in a compact camera, the LX-7 shoots faster than a M240G firing cyclical, at 11 fps continuous with a fixed aperture and focus. Additionally, the sensor is more than plenty to support video recording at full HD (1080p), running a 60 fps in AVCHD and half that in MP4 format. With the included stereo mic, your home movies should be less Blair Witch and more Wes Anderson. Bill Murray optional, of course.

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