Lumix LX-7 Test at Palmer, Massachusetts.

May 24, 2014.

Last month (April 2104), my Panasonic Lumix LX-3 began performing erratically while I was photographing Irish Rail at Monasterevin.

Although annoying, this was only a minor setback of the day, because I had my Canon EOS 7D with me. I often travel with at least two cameras, just in case one develops problems.

The LX-3 suddenly suffered an electrical fault; specifically the rear display stopped working reliably. Sometimes it would flicker on, other times it was dark. I tried all the usual cures; I turned the camera off and then on, I removed the battery, I even tried the factory reset. No joy.

In the short term I found that if I pressed on the side of the camera body, the display would come on long enough to make adjustments. I continued to use the LX-3 for secondary services, while relying on the Canon EOS 7D and film cameras for more critical work.

I’ve had my LX-3 for almost five years and in that time I’ve carried it with me everywhere. It’s visited about a dozen countries, and more than a dozen US states. In addition to pictorial service, I’ve used it intensively to copy documents while in libraries. Using the in-camera file counter, I determined that I released the shutter more than 64,000 times.

Last November the camera took a very hard knock, which didn’t immediately affect its performance, but certainly didn’t do it any good. In April, the camera was subject to unusual dampness (it got wet) while I was making night shots in Porto, Portugal.

LX-7 view of Amtrak 54, the Vermonter, at Palmer on May 24, 2014. The camera was set to simultaneously expose Jpg and RAW. It does an excellent job retaining highlight detail.
LX-7 view of Amtrak 54, the Vermonter, at Palmer on May 24, 2014. The camera was set to simultaneously expose Jpg and RAW files. It does an excellent job retaining highlight detail.

On May 24, 2014, my father lent me his Panasonic LX-7 to see if this newer Lumix model would offer a suitable replacement. This camera comes highly recommended to me by several people. Since it’s essentially the latest model kin to my LX-3, it may represent an ideal choice for my new ‘everywhere camera’.

I brought it to Palmer, Massachusetts where I exposed about 100 images in various conditions, both to get a feel for the cameras controls (which have several notable differences from the LX-3), and examine the quality of the images.

LX-7 Manual focus controls are similar to those on the LX-3 but take a bit of getting used to.
Checking the Amtrak timetable. The LX-7 manual focus controls are similar to those on the LX-3 but take a bit of getting used to.
Among the advantages of digital photography are much improved photos exposed in overcast-lighting. Using the LX-7's manual over-ride, I intentionally over exposed by 1/3 stop to better expose for the ground and trees. I hadn't yet mastered the LX-7s various metering modes, and its possible there was a more effective means for adjust the exposure.
Among the advantages of digital photography are much improved photos exposed in overcast-lighting. Using the LX-7’s manual over-ride while in ‘A’—aperture priority, I intentionally over exposed by 1/3 stop to allow for better detail and contrast in ground-areas  and trees. I hadn’t yet mastered the LX-7’s various metering modes, and it’s possible there was a more effective means for adjust the exposure.
CSX Q423 (or L423) was working Palmer yard. In this view it pulls passed CP83 to double its train out of the yard. I exposed several telephoto views with the LX-7. By keeping the camera relatively low to the ground, I've minimized foreground distractions while allowing for a more dramatic perspective on the locomotives.
CSX Q423 (or L423) was working Palmer yard. In this view it pulls passed CP83 to double its train out of the yard. I exposed several telephoto views with the LX-7. By keeping the camera relatively low to the ground, I’ve minimized foreground distractions while allowing for a more dramatic perspective on the locomotives.

I found that the LX-7 had several positive points. In general it reacted quicker and cycled faster than the LX3. Its zoom lens has a wider range, and offers longer telephoto photo settings. The rear display seemed sharper and brighter.

On the downside, I was unfamiliar with the controls, so setting the camera proved challenging. Also, the camera is slightly larger.

In general I was happy with my results, and plan to experiment a bit more with the camera before I commit to buying one. There are a variety of excellent small cameras on the market these days, so I may wish to sample some of these too. More to come!

A modern GE Evolution-Series diesel faces a mid-1980s era SD50. The locomotives stopped, giving me ample time to make detailed views. LX-7 photo.
A modern GE Evolution-Series diesel faces a mid-1980s era SD50. The locomotives stopped, giving me ample time to make detailed views. LX-7 photo.
Low-angle on CSX 875 leading symbol freight Q423 (or L423) at Palmer. LX7 at its widest view.
Low-angle on CSX 875 leading symbol freight Q423 (or L423) at Palmer. LX7 at its widest view.
Finally on its way west, this CSX freight crossing the Palmer diamond. Another CSX westbound was close behind. LX-7 view. All photos are un-modified except for scaling necessary for internet presentation.
Finally on its way west, this CSX freight crossing the Palmer diamond. Another CSX westbound was close behind. LX-7 view. All photos are un-modified except for scaling necessary for internet presentation. The LX-7 handles high contrast situations very well. I was in the ‘standard’ color setting.

Tracking the Light posts new material every morning.

Please share Tracking the Light with everyone who may enjoy it!

http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

4 thoughts on “Lumix LX-7 Test at Palmer, Massachusetts.”

  1. I’m not surprised you like the LX-7. I’ve been a keen photographer since the 1980s, and have taken many pictures of trains over the years. Until I discovered your blog, I’d used a succession of Canon and Nikon SLR cameras, with mixed results. But I didn’t really know anything about Lumix cameras. While viewing your blog from time to time, I was so impressed by your LX-3 images that I did a bit of research, and then bought myself a Leica D-Lux 6 (the Leica version of the LX-7). To say that I am very happy with my purchase would be a considerable understatement. In fact, my wife and I both think it takes the best pictures of any camera I’ve ever owned, and I have you to thank for it. Bravo …

    1. I’m happy to hear that I helped you make a great camera choice! May you and your wife make many wonderful photos with it. All the best,
      Brian Solomon

  2. Glad to have your assessment of cameras, including the “soft” characteristics. I’ve always found that the specs, valuable though they are, don’t add up by themselves to point to a choice. TW

Comments are closed.