While I first posted this in the Panasonic forum on DPR, I figure the DPI forum is a more centre of the road and objective location. I hope this is informative and of use to some.
I purchases an RX100 a month ago, and pensioned off the LX5. Then the RX100 fell off my car roof...(a long story, detailed in another thread) and while waiting for the insurance to be resolved, I purchased the LX7.
Running real life testing right now, trying to set both cameras up the same, and over then next week I will shoot a bunch of images with both for comparison. Not scientific, but I am a long time user of the LXx since LX3, and have has several Sony cams, currently an A77 so know the strengths and menu layouts.
So far, with 150 shots in both, I am starting to compile my observations, over the next while it should appear to make sense. For me this is just based on the usability of the two cameras, not a measure of the overall capability in expert hands with time to manually set and shoot most shots. When I need a camera fast, I want it to work NOW! not after 5 minutes of fiddling...
For now, a couple of firm opinions have emerged, all of course subjective and IMHO.
The LX7 wins hands down, feels good in the hand, balanced and that little extra size helps a lot. It is fast to choose and set options. Critical menu options such as focus method and zone, macro and flash is available at the touch of a button or slider.
The Sony is harder to hold, even with the Franiec grip which improves it a lot, it feels cramped, and the lens ring and the need to change many common settings from the menus makes it much harder to use in the bright daylight. Sorry, I just cannot see it without hiding it in the shade or under my shirt.
The RX100 has more features, some of them excellent and useful, working through some of them as I go.
One of my favourite types of shot are closeups of flowers, nature and wildlife. The LX7 is excellent, the focus switch on the lens barrel makes it fast to set and it focuses accurately and exposes perfectly with a high ration of keepers, 75%.
The RX100 is none of the above, the macro setting is found in the Scene main control wheel group, and then has to be selected from the displayed sub menu. Once found, the macro accuracy for focus is unreliable at best. Keepers? maybe 10% at best.
Yes, the RX100 has Focus Peaking, fantastic feature.. but hard to use if you cannot see the image clearly due to the sunlight.. so the auto focus has to work.
While not wishing to beat the Macro scenario too hard, I encountered two more issues in favour of the LX7 yesterday... and the main reason the RX100 is starting to fade....
Macro and Zone Focus Size and Location
Firstly, one thing tha really works on the LX7 is the ability to set the focus point and focus area to a very small zone. This tight focus zone is critical for accurate focusing regardless of the ability of the close focus technology to get the job done. Set it on the LX3, 5 and now the 7 and it stays set, except when in iAuto mode.
Set the closest smallest focus and area zone on the RX100 in P, A, S, M or your preference it is ok, but then to use Macro you have to go to the Scene menu and select the Macro mode. Guess what, no centre focus zone anymore... it uses auto focusing zone selection... that is plain wrong, and in a compact camera shooting without a viewfinder you have random focus points.
Scene Macro mode vs Full Manual Macro
Secondly, with the LX7 in Macro and Manual mode, all settings such as ISO, Flash Compensation, Shutter Speed, Aperture etc are available... Not so with the RX100, in Macro mode chosen from the SCN setting you have all the important settings blocked, so Manual is the only option. Both the following images were shot in full Manual mode.
Two examples.. shot at night with the LX7 and RX100. JPG out of camera for testing only, crop slightly to bring the main image forward. Manual, total darkness and flash, auto focus, centre weighted, hand held. These are tiny flowers, approx 1cm (.45")in dia.
Example 1, focus where I wanted it to be, in the centre of the frame.
LX7 - DMC-LX7, f/4 @ 4.7 mm, 1/1600, ISO 80, Flash
Example 2. focus selected by the camera, not even close to where I framed the centre.
RX100 - DSC-RX100, f/4 @ 10.4 mm, 1/200, ISO 125, Flash
That is is for the Macro Shooter...but for me this has been a test I had to do, as this is one reason why I have a compact smaller sensor camera, they are way better than a large sensor camera, DSLR for close in work without a tripod... IMHO of course...