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Thread: Real Life Testing - LX7 and RX100

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    Member Matix's Avatar
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    Real Life Testing - LX7 and RX100

    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.

    Ergonomics:

    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.

    Macro Shooting:

    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...

    Phil
    Photo-Matix Imagery - Capturing Life with a camera
    Panasonic Lumix GX8, Lumix G85, Lumix GX7, and various lenses.
    Gallery: http://photos.photo-matix.com.au

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    Senior Member Per Ofverbeck's Avatar
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    Re: Real Life Testing - LX7 and RX100

    Quote Originally Posted by Matix View Post
    ... I hope this is informative and of use to some.

    ....
    Phil, thanx a LOT!

    While I own and like the D-Lux4 (same as the LX4, I think) as an accessory to my M9, Ive been driven near the point of getting the RX100, mainly for the bigger sensor, and this thread has indeed inspired me more than anything.

    Only, my main use for the D-Lux4 is macro and closeups, where the M9 is next to useless. And Im generally satisfied with my results, even if the noise is higher. So, after reading this, I can see that the RX100 would create far more problems for me than it might solve....

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    Member Matix's Avatar
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    Re: Real Life Testing - LX7 and RX100

    Quote Originally Posted by Per Ofverbeck View Post
    Phil, thanx a LOT!

    While I own and like the D-Lux4 (same as the LX4, I think) as an accessory to my M9, Ive been driven near the point of getting the RX100, mainly for the bigger sensor, and this thread has indeed inspired me more than anything.

    Only, my main use for the D-Lux4 is macro and closeups, where the M9 is next to useless. And Im generally satisfied with my results, even if the noise is higher. So, after reading this, I can see that the RX100 would create far more problems for me than it might solve....
    No problem, glad it helped...

    Phil
    Photo-Matix Imagery - Capturing Life with a camera
    Panasonic Lumix GX8, Lumix G85, Lumix GX7, and various lenses.
    Gallery: http://photos.photo-matix.com.au

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    Member Matix's Avatar
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    Continued: Real Life Testing - LX7 and RX100

    Ok.. the next testing I did was in daylight... good sunny day, no special settings just grab the two cameras and go for a walk.

    In my opinion, the differences are minimal at best, what I found was that the egonomics were a factor for sure.. picking up both cams for the same shot... good testing.

    Two pics, same location.. one with the 24mm lens vs the 28mm... can see it in the image, slight crop for the LX7 to bring it more into line.. IQ? Not enough difference for me to make any kind of a decision. In my mind, the IQ is a tie... even at 100% on my HP 2475 Color Corrected monitors

    RX100 - f/5.6 @ 15.1 mm, 1/800, ISO 125, No Flash, Pattern Exp


    LX7 - f/2.5 @ 5.9 mm, 1/2000, ISO 80, No Flash, Center Weighted Exp

    So, where am I now with this... other things that made up my mind...

    RX100 issues that bugged me.

    -No Flash Hot Shoe... not used much but I did use it on both the LX3 and LX5
    -No way to use EVF... That is a big deal for me, I tried the Hoodman Loupe.. nope.
    -Hard to attach a strap... Yes, it came with dangly connectors, but reall!!
    -Non tactile easily locatable shutter... Maybe just me, but I had to search for it


    RX100 features I liked

    -HDR and HDR settings... They worked quite well for some situations
    -Panorama... Better implemented than the LX7, rarely used but a neat feature
    -AWB... Seemed to be very accurate in low artificial lighting
    -Extreme Low Light... I would say the RX won, but not by a huge margin IMHO


    So, the RX100 Replacement after the demise of the first which fell off the car roof and was run over several times... is now on Ebay, a great camera but not for me. If your priority is NOT Macro or close up shooting and you do not mind digging around in menus for settings, it will do a fine job.

    Phil
    Photo-Matix Imagery - Capturing Life with a camera
    Panasonic Lumix GX8, Lumix G85, Lumix GX7, and various lenses.
    Gallery: http://photos.photo-matix.com.au

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    Re: Real Life Testing - LX7 and RX100

    Phil
    Thanks for your overview of the lx7 and it's accessible features.

    How would you see it as a street camera?

    Or the upcoming Samsung ex2?

    Thanks for your input.

    These are interesting times.... So many options... So little choice.

    Paul

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    Member Matix's Avatar
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    Re: Real Life Testing - LX7 and RX100

    You are welcome Paul.

    As a street camera, personally I would struggle with it.. I do not have over large hands, but gripping the body and nailing the shutter release is always a problem on this camera, many times I would have to search for a better grip and locate the button... not exactly surepticious use.. the LX7 works much better for a quick shot. Just my opinion... YMMV

    Phil
    Quote Originally Posted by camping View Post
    Phil
    Thanks for your overview of the lx7 and it's accessible features.
    How would you see it as a street camera?

    Paul
    Photo-Matix Imagery - Capturing Life with a camera
    Panasonic Lumix GX8, Lumix G85, Lumix GX7, and various lenses.
    Gallery: http://photos.photo-matix.com.au

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    Re: Real Life Testing - LX7 and RX100

    Nice comparative review Phil. would love to see some low light of both the RX100 against the Lx7. You say, there is not a huge margin between the two. This will be a surprise as the sensor in the RX100 is very much larger. I know the LX7 makes up for this with faster wide angle and tele apertures, but still this I have to see.

    If LX7 is getting comparably close to that of the RX100, I will have to take back thinking that smaller sensors are not as good as larger sensors, since I was a bit disappointed when Panasonic brought out the LX7 which had a smaller sensor than its predessor the LX5.

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    Member Matix's Avatar
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    Re: Real Life Testing - LX7 and RX100

    Quote Originally Posted by mazor View Post
    Nice comparative review Phil. would love to see some low light of both the RX100 against the Lx7. You say, there is not a huge margin between the two. This will be a surprise as the sensor in the RX100 is very much larger. I know the LX7 makes up for this with faster wide angle and tele apertures, but still this I have to see.

    If LX7 is getting comparably close to that of the RX100, I will have to take back thinking that smaller sensors are not as good as larger sensors, since I was a bit disappointed when Panasonic brought out the LX7 which had a smaller sensor than its predessor the LX5.
    Thanks Mazor, I think the new sensor is way better.. for what I do, and yes I shot a few in the room at night, so I had them on hand.

    Ok, here are a couple.... shot in my office with basic settings. Both hand held, within 3 minutes of one another.... P Mode, Centre Weighted.

    They both work for me, out of camera JPG with size reduction only.

    Phil

    RX100, f/1.8 @ 10.4 mm, 1/30, ISO 1000, No Flash


    DMC-LX7, f/1.4 @ 4.7 mm, 1/20, ISO 800, No Flash
    Photo-Matix Imagery - Capturing Life with a camera
    Panasonic Lumix GX8, Lumix G85, Lumix GX7, and various lenses.
    Gallery: http://photos.photo-matix.com.au
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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: Real Life Testing - LX7 and RX100

    Phil,

    many thanks for this review from a practical user perspective!

    When I first saw the RX100 I wanted one, could not get one at this time and then started thinking what it would really improve over my XZ1 and my Dlux4. I could not come up wit real benefits for me, so I finally did not buy, although I could see all these great shots and reports in some of the threads here.

    I think what made me really stay away was the ergonomics - I had handled an RX100 for an hour or so in a shop and found it was kind of strange to me from handling and menus - yes Sony :-(

    I handled an LX7 a few days ago and felt immediately at home. Especially the aperture ring makes great sense to me as I most times shoot aperture priority. Plus the 1.4/24 which still is fast at tele.

    Might wait for the Leica version - Dlux6? - yes I know I am a snob, but prefer the Leica. Which interestingly even after some years of use can be sold for a reasonable price which cannot be said about any Panasonic LX cams.

    Thanks again

    Peter

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    Re: Real Life Testing - LX7 and RX100

    Wow, Phil, that was a real fast reply!!! Many thanks for these lower light shots. I can see the benefits of having a faster aperture lens already here, the LX7 is choosing ISO 800, over 1000 for the RX100. It does seem as though the LX7 is getting a brighter exposure. I can see what you mean, the LX7 is really not that bad. Even though the sensor has gotten smaller, the clever processor has managed to control noise real well. Compared to my LX3, it is quite amazing. The RX100 does have the lower chroma noise even though the ISO is higher, but hey, for normal everyday shooting, LX7 definitely is a contender.

    You have opened my eyes Phil, literally, hehe

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    Super Duper
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    Re: Real Life Testing - LX7 and RX100

    I can tell about the LX7 but I have a RX100 and my wife a LX 5.

    Besides IQ I find it quite a difference in size - the rx100 being small and thinner and also having included the lens cover.
    So I find it is also about smaller size vs better grip of the LX cameras.

    IQ wise I like the RX100 a lot.

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    Subscriber Member kit laughlin's Avatar
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    Re: Real Life Testing - LX7 and RX100

    Joining in just to keep an eye on the thread

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    Re: Real Life Testing - LX7 and RX100

    yes rx100 definately has the IQ advantage, prob more noticeable if processed RAW. But guess for everyday shooting, casual shots, lx7 is a capable contender.

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    Super Duper
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    Re: Real Life Testing - LX7 and RX100

    Any further experiences with the LX7?
    Has anyone compared color between the LX7 and the RX100?

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    Member Matix's Avatar
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    Re: Real Life Testing - LX7 and RX100

    Quote Originally Posted by Paratom View Post
    Any further experiences with the LX7?
    Has anyone compared color between the LX7 and the RX100?
    Well it has been a few weeks since the RX100 was sold in favour of the LX7, no regrets.. for me, the LX7 does all I need in the pocket camera area. Always with me, now with the CP filter and the built in ND, need no more.

    The colour? I have an A77, sold my Nikon kit in favour of that for many reasons but mainly the Reds... Nikon loses the plot there, the Sony Red is so much better with DR and definition. Once again, IMO and for what I use the camera for.

    Colour between the RX100 and the LX7, yes the RX100 was better OOC in JPG and Red, but the LX7 image steps up to the mark with a little PP. A good trade off for me as it is a much easier to use camera in comparison.

    Phil
    Photo-Matix Imagery - Capturing Life with a camera
    Panasonic Lumix GX8, Lumix G85, Lumix GX7, and various lenses.
    Gallery: http://photos.photo-matix.com.au

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    LFPhoto
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    Re: Real Life Testing - LX7 and RX100

    do see a bit of difference in the comparison shot of the building - mainly the reflection of clouds in the windows taken with the rx 100, and none with the lx7. however rx100 shot was stopped down a little more than the lx7. cheers

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    Member Matix's Avatar
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    Re: Real Life Testing - LX7 and RX100

    Quote Originally Posted by LFPhoto View Post
    do see a bit of difference in the comparison shot of the building - mainly the reflection of clouds in the windows taken with the rx 100, and none with the lx7. however rx100 shot was stopped down a little more than the lx7. cheers
    Yes, difference was due to the fact they were shot a week apart, so not exactly a fair comparison. Thanks for commenting.

    Phil
    Photo-Matix Imagery - Capturing Life with a camera
    Panasonic Lumix GX8, Lumix G85, Lumix GX7, and various lenses.
    Gallery: http://photos.photo-matix.com.au

  18. #18
    LowellH
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    Re: Real Life Testing - LX7 and RX100

    To Matix

    Your information and photos have been very helpful to me, especially the photos of the room at night. I just recently had a chance to do some back-to-back testing with an LX7 and a RX100, in an indoor dark bar/club (low light) venue, I liked the looks of the LX7 photos better than the RX100 photos. I like the exposure better on the LX7, the exposure in the center of the RX100 seemed fine, but fell off too much toward the edges (got too dark I thought). The LX7 picked up more detail in the room than the RX100. I tried to keep things consistent between the two cameras, like multi metering on both. I shot in both the P-mode (slower shutter speeds) and the Shutter priority mode (higher shutter speeds), and the results were the same (LX7 looked better to me). And I'm referring to both the wide angle shots, and the telephoto shots.

    I'm new on this site, if I can post two example photos I will; but if not and if anyone is interested, I could post something at my Picasa Web Album.

    The conditions for each shot are as follows:
    First Photo: LX7: LX7: Shutter Priority (Auto ISO): Wide Angle @ 24mm
    f/1.4 1/30 second ISO 1600
    Second Photo: RX100: Shutter Priority: Wide Angle @ 28mm
    f/1.8 1/30 second ISO 3200

    The photos seemed to upload, they look small in the review but hopefully they will show up larger (1200 pixels wide) in the actual post.

    In summary, I think both are excellent cameras, but for me the LX7 does better in low-light conditions, at least so far.

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    Super Duper
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    Re: Real Life Testing - LX7 and RX100

    As you can probably tell by the dedicated LX7 images thread, I'm kind of enamored of my LX7.

    I'm especially impressed by how well its RAW files convert to B&W. It's a big winner and that's coming from someone who had a D-Lux 3 and swapped it for a Fuji X10 and is now back, happily in Lumix territory.

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    Member pjphoto59's Avatar
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    Re: Real Life Testing - LX7 and RX100

    Matix,

    Thank you very much for a most interesting and informative thread.

    I have been considering purchase of an RX100 for some time but was concerned about the UI, in particular no provision for EVF, no step zoom and no hot shoe. I really wanted it to work like my Ricoh GX100 used to.

    Your hands on test showed conclusively that it does not. The macro focusing was the final straw.

    You have saved me money and a lot of grief.
    Peter J

    OM-D E-M5 GX7, Various Oly and Panasonic lenses Sony RX100. SonyRX10

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