Review: The Leica D-Lux 6/ Panasonic LX7

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There aren’t that many choices for fully-featured, pocketable compacts at the moment; in my ongoing quest to find the ideal take-everywhere companion, I’ve probably tried most of them. Current top of the heap is the Sony RX100; I’ve also used the GR-Digital series, Fuji XF1 and Panasonic LX/ Leica D-Lux series. For whatever reason, I’ve never really bonded with the Canon S-series, so that’s never made it into my pocket; same with any of the Nikon Coolpixes, though I’m really hoping the A will change that. Whilst I loved the RX100 for its fantastic sensor, the lens arguably lets the package down: it may be fast one the wide end, but for it to keep up with the sensor in the corners, you have to stop down a bit (thereby negating this advantage) and the tele end is just plain slow.

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First signs of sakura season

Regular readers will know I’m a firm believer in carrying a camera at all times; the question is, what should that camera-for-when-you-don’t-want-to-carry-a-camera be? Let’s just say the hunt goes on. As part of the quest, I borrowed a D-Lux 6 from Leica Malaysia to put it through its paces on my recent trip to Japan. Thanks to an enormous work backload, I’ve only just had a chance to finish looking through the files in detail.

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People’s park

First off: I’ve had a lot of people asking if the Leica version is any different to the Panasonic version. Physically, they are identical but for the cosmetics – the Leica has a nicer, cleaner (but also slipperier) design and square buttons. The Panasonic has a few more curves, flourishes, chrome bits and a small but welcome front grip. Menu cosmetics are different. Both have identical sensors, lenses, EVF capability, and as far as I can tell, file output. The Leica version is more expensive, but includes Lightroom and an extended warranty; in the end, it washes out price-wise. Buy the Leica if you need processing software or intend to keep the camera a bit longer; the warranty helps and it holds resale value a bit better, too. I reviewed this version because it’s what I happened to have access to.

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Yahoo! Dome and cloud, home of the Fukuoka Seahawks.

The headline spec for both cameras is the lens: a 24-90mm f1.4-2.3 (!) diagonal 35mm equivalent – I’ll explain this in a minute – Leica-designed ‘Vario Summilux’. It’s coupled to a 1/1.7″, 12MP sensor that never outputs more than 10MP; this is because the diagonal angle of view of the lens is always constant, so the image circle is slightly larger than the sensor. This means that the horizontal field of view actually gets wider as your change aspect ratios (on a handy slider on top of the lens barrel) rather than merely cropping – the 16:9 option has the horizontal angle of view roughly equivalent to a 21-22mm in 35mm terms. It is supposedly an updated version of the sensor in the predecessor (LX5, D-Lux 5). I used one of these extensively and loved the optical quality of the lens and its close focus ability throughout the entire zoom range; fortunately neither has changed.

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Shooting with easily-switchable multiple aspect ratios is an interesting experience. I’m used to this normally – my Nikons are 3:2; my Hasselblads are square; my OM-D is 4:3. I regularly compose and crop to 16:9. So in theory, the Swiss Army Knife switch should be perfect for me. In reality, I found it a little disorienting to use, because it distracted me from forcing myself to compose for the aspect ratio. It doesn’t help that if you normally crop down, then either the horizontal or vertical angle of view stays the same – this is obviously not the case with the DL6/LX7. I found my compositions were much stronger if I just picked one aspect ratio and stuck with it – for most of the trip, this happened to be square since I was also shooting with the Hasselblad.

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One of the city’s famous yatai stalls.

Physically, the camera is a little larger than its predecessor; the mode dial is a little stiffer, it’s gained another thumb jog-tab on the back to activate the ND filter or change focus distance; some of the menus are a little different, and the big change is of course the addition of a physical aperture ring. It’s also a bit larger than the RX100. It still takes the same tilting EVF, which is welcome as it improves the overall stability and low-light usability of the camera dramatically. Too bad it also adds considerably to the price and bulk of the package, too. The battery is carried over from the previous version, which is a good thing for those who are upgrading and happen to have spares lying around.

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In thought

I have to be honest: there are three things I really don’t like on the DL6/LX7, and they’re all related to the mechanical operation of the lens. First is the manual lens cap, second is the aperture ring, and third is the glacial slowness of the lens to zoom. The first two are actually related; let me explain. Though I’m used to lens caps with all of my other cameras, not having to deal with one on the RX100 means that it’s possible to do single-handed grabs where you draw, hit power, and shoot all in one action. Having to remove a lens cap first and then slide a switch is akin to remembering your wadding, ramming the ball and rod, then remembering to check your flint before priming the pan. It’s just annoying on a compact. (You also have to remember to hold it out of the way so it doesn’t inadvertently get in the shot.) You’re probably thinking that there isn’t room to put a retracting lens cap in since the front element is so damn enormous, but you’d be wrong: if they didn’t have the aperture ring – which is pointless on a compact because you have zero depth of field control at these kind of focal lengths anyway, regardless of the lens speed – then there’d be room for a sufficiently large retracing lens shutter.

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They managed put a retracting roof on the Yahoo! dome…but not the DL6/LX7’s lens.

That said, I’d be willing to suffer all of this and more, simply because the lens is so darned good. This is quite possibly the best lens ever fitted to a compact, and impressive in the pantheon of greats in its own right: you get sharp corners and very little lateral CA at f1.4 and full wide, which is an impressive performance indeed. Other than those corners, there’s no loss of resolution anywhere due to chromatic aberration; at base ISO, pixel-level results are so crisp that you’re left wondering if the camera has an AA filter. Even more impressively, there’s no visible penalty in closeup performance despite the speed of the lens; the camera focuses very close at all focal lengths, and extremely close – front element nearly touching subject – at full wide. (I can’t actually think when you might use this, as perspective distortion is horrible and proper lighting is nearly impossible, but that doesn’t mean somebody else can’t find a use for it.)

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Meet us at the big yellow bottle

I didn’t see any weak spots in the range, either; the lens is easily the best part of the optical system, and complemented well by a very effective stabiliser. I still think Panasonic does the best optical stabilizers in any compact; they’re easily good for another 2 stops over that fitted to the RX100, for instance. Put it this way: it appears the camera’s designers placed so much emphasis on the resolving power of the lens that there’s a built in 3-stop ND filter to allow use of the lens wide open, the menu has an option to choose whether program mode follows a generic option, an optimal MTF option(!), or tries to keep things at maximum aperture. Speaking of aperture, the aperture ring is only active with A or M modes selected on the dial (why they didn’t make A mode a position on the ring like previous Leica digitals is unknown); in every other position, the ring does nothing. If the selected aperture on the ring is wider than possible at the chosen zoom setting, the camera will just open the lens up fully.

DL6-RX100 noise comparison low iso
DL6-RX100 noise comparison high iso
ISO comparison against the RX100: both shot raw, opened in the latest version of ACR with all settings at default zeroes. No NR or sharpening. RX100 images downsized to match the DL6 in size, with the DL6 set to 3:2 aspect ratio to match the RX100. Exposure for the beginning image was 2s f2.8 ISO 80. Full size 100% crops are available here (low ISO) and here (high ISO).

The real weak spot in the imaging chain is the sensor. Though it’s an updated design (mainly focusing on throughput speed – the DL6/LX7 does 1080p60 and 11fps at full resolution), the base 1/1.7″ unit has been around since 2008 in the LX3. Back then it was an impressive piece of hardware for a compact – offering a good-quality ISO 400 and usable-in-a-pinch ISO 800, with about 11 stops of dynamic range – today, it’s decidedly ordinary, especially in the face of sensors like the 1″ 20MP, 10fps, 14bit unit in the RX100. I don’t honestly think the imaging characteristics have improved much since then: it wasn’t bad, but it’s certainly no longer state of the art, and I think I’ve been spoiled by the Sony.

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Look at that resolving power!

At base ISO – 80 – you get hints of what the lens is capable of; it’s easily outresolving the sensor by some considerable margin. Too bad you can also see traces of an underlying noise pattern, too. There’s one final fly in the ointment: be careful if you’re shooting with the sun directly in the frame; at the wrong angle, there’s the possibility of internal reflections off some part of the optical system, resulting in series of magenta blotches (see below). However, this is extremely rare and I only saw it a couple of times after deliberately pointing the camera into an exposure that was easily 1/4000s f8 ISO 80.

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Radial pattern of magenta blotches.

All that said, the lens and IS system mean that the DL6/LX7 isn’t as bad in low light conditions as you might think; in fact, it’s surprisingly good. I almost never had to go over ISO 400 thanks to the extraordinary light-gathering ability of the lens; with the RX100, I’d probably be at 3200 and wishing for a bit more. There’s no arguing that the sensor is probably three stops or so behind the RX100; however, at the long end, you’ve already lost slightly over two stops on the lens (f2.3 vs f4.9) and you can claw back another stop or more from the IS system. As you can see from the sample crops, things become a bit more complicated still: downsizing the RX100’s files result in crisper images up to a point, but there also seems to be something muddy in there eating up fine detail, too – perhaps it’s the non-cancelable noise reduction, even when shooting raw.

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Night by the river. 1/4s, handheld.

To be honest, I came away from my experience with this camera more perplexed than ever. Some of the files at base ISO blew me away; for an 8MP (or thereabouts, depending on the aspect ratio) file, the detail resolved was incredible. The lens is quite possibly the best ever fitted to a compact, and one of the most impressive zooms I’ve ever shot with (24-90/1.4-2.3 on a DSLR, anybody? M43 even? I didn’t think so). It’s fast and responsive; very nearly as fast as the RX100. It also also has superior close focus ability – handy if you’re using it on a trip to document the various objects you see and eat*. We have some operational niggles like the lens cap and slow zooming, and the disappointment in the files at ISO 800 and beyond. You’ll notice I didn’t say anything about battery life or usability; the former is excellent (I shot up to 400 frames in one day with the EVF, and the 3-segment gauge didn’t move off full) and the latter is relatively transparent – set what you need to set, use the quick menu or programmable function keys for everything else. Or just run it in RAW, program mode, and spot meter like I did.

*I used a D-Lux 5 with a couple of creatively-deployed LED panels to photograph food with great success; you can see some examples here.

As usual, the final verdict on this camera boils down to a question of tradeoffs. Do you want flexibility in the lens, or does ultimate technical image quality (sensor) matter more? I have to say that if you have no intention of printing over 13×19″, then this makes a fantastic travel companion that will do excellent macro work at a push. The RX100 will go much larger – I’ve done 20×30″ – but suffers from terrible close up performance (both distance and clearly non-optimized optics) and a slow telephoto end due to the physical size requirements of a longer focal length to cover a larger sensor at a given angle of view. I’d love to see the DL6/LX7’s lens paired with a better sensor; this combination has the potential to do some amazing things. Until then, it’s worth taking price into consideration: whilst the Sony is still over $600, the Panasonic version has now fallen to below $300 – and that makes it a heck of a lot of camera for the money. MT

The Leica D Lux 6 is available here from B&H or Amazon
The Panasonic LX7 is available here from B&H or Amazon.

Thanks to Leica Malaysia for the loan camera.


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Images and content copyright Ming Thein | 2012 onwards. All rights reserved

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Cubist hotel

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Inside the Fukuoka tower

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The tedium of travel

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Sole remaining vestiges of nature

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Email girlfriend. Seriously.

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  1. Hi Ming thank you for another great review.
    Regarding Jeffreys comment:-
    Jeffrey says:
    July 15, 2013 at 3:14 PM
    I agree and would add
    You produce the highest quality of output regardless of what camera your using. The post process look of the images online would have us guessing as to what device they came from.

    I own the LX7 with EVF, I purchased it to replace the Oly XZ-1 which suffered somewhat muddied IQ. Whilst I feel the LX7 is a quality instrument it has failed to make it into my bag on days out. To put this into context the following get aired regularly.
    Olympus OM-D EM-1 12-40 f2.8 Proper photog sessions with or without tripod
    Sigma DP2M Hiking Landscape work
    Sigma DP3M Hiking Landscape work plus Macro

    Olympus XA for shutter therapy and street shooting
    Olympus 35RC Again for shutter therapy and street shooting but a bit large tipping the IQ/Weight trade off against it coming out, although the lens is very good and contrasty.

    So this leaves the LX7, where does it fit in?
    It feels weighty although in reality the weight is fine, handling is non involving and I find the touch pad a bit fiddly
    Plus the negatives you pointed out in your review.
    I take it abroad with me on vacation, but as an enthusiasts compact my enthusiasm just doesn’t exist.

    Having said that I need a kick up the butt, sort my PP out, use the LX7 more, as one of my favourite images was made with this camera.

  2. Marina MacDonald says:

    On my LX7 frustratingly won’t shoot RAW when on the automatic picture mode. Do you know the Leica D-Lux6 allows the shooting of RAW files when in Autpmatic?

    • Probably not, it’s the same camera. People shooting auto generally wouldn’t know what to do with a raw file anyway…

      • Marina MacDonald says:

        That’s a real shame as the D-Lux 3 allowed this. You might be surprised at the amount of photographers who use auto mode to shoot RAW files.

        • Probably. It just doesn’t make sense to me since you’re giving up all control at the time of capture…then hoping to make it up in post? Surely it’d be easier to work the other way around.

  3. Hello, Ming – Do you anticipate reviewing the new Lumix LX100/Leica D-Lux with m4/3 sensor?

  4. I recently rented a Leica D-Lux 6 and occasionally and randomly the camera had these two issues – either a bright spot on the upper left corner, or dark spot on the lower right corner. I couldn’t figure out the what’s causing these two issues. The workaround is to switch the camera off and switch it back on; most of the time this fixed the issue but sometimes I had to do it twice. Very annoying as it happened randomly.

  5. Michael Buchmeier says:

    I have both the Panasonic LX7 and the Leica D Lux 6, and have noticed a real difference in the processing of the jpg files between the two. When I save both jpg and raw files with the panasonic I see a very evident color shift between the two file formats with the panasonic but not so with the Leica. The jpg files also differ in color rendition between the two cameras with the Leica files warmer than the Panasonic. I find the warmer jpg files more pleasing than the cooler Panasonic equivalent. Both cameras are capable of remarkable good images and depending where I am going I always have one of the two close at hand.

  6. David Figueroa says:

    Hi Ming. Thank you for sharing your comments and impressions, alongside such beautiful pics. I’d like to ask you if all of them were taken with the help of a tripod, etc., or if some were taken handheld. What’s your opinion on the LX7 stabilization capabilities? Thanks and best regards.

    • Handheld for this set. Not much point in combining a very small camera with a largish tripod, that defeats the point. Stabilizer is pretty good – 2-3 stops, I think.

  7. Kevin Firkins says:

    I think the shots Ming has taken with the Leica are stunning, where does the credit lie? With Ming or with the camera? I have just purchased the D-Lux 6 in the hope that I can take photographs half as good.

    • Thanks – how about looking at images from the other cameras and deciding for yourself? Consider also that this is really a Panasonic with a Leica badge on it…

    • Of course the credit lies with the photographer. Or the musician. Or the painter. Cameras, musical instruments, brushes and colors, are mere tools. There can be bad, mediocre, good, even to-die-for tools… but only the person handling the tool creates the art.Cameras don’t take photos. People do.

      I too, am greatly impressived with your talent, M. Ming. And you style of vision is just what I like in photography. I really enjoy visiting your site and look at all these spellbounding images!

  8. Have just read that the LX7’s 1/4000 shutter speed isn’t available at apertures f/4.0 or greater (or maybe it begins at f/4 and smaller?)?! Just when one WANTS the extra speed, to use a big aperture, it’s not there? Is that right?

  9. Congrats for this beautiful blog! Should I buy the LX7, the RX-100 II or to wait for the LX9? As you imagine, I prefer a top image over a top compact but I cannot afford the price of a Leica. Regards !

  10. Thanks for the great review. I’m a big fan of Panasonic LX series. I used to have LX1 and LX3. I’ve been thinking about getting a new compact, tried the Sony RX100 but didn’t like it. Maybe I should get the LX7 after all, especially when the price is so low.

    Would you mind telling me a bit about how you process the images in this post?

  11. I have tried the LX-7 on hands, albeit without the ability to view the raw image on a proper monitor. The review image behind the screen was terrible, especially after zooming in. The raw image on a monitor will be as bad as the screen, right?

  12. Keith Walker says:

    Hi Ming. Another excellent and helpful review. On a point of fact, do you know for sure the lens design is by Leica, as I have read somewhere Leica has no input whatsoever to design or manufacture of any aspect, it is all pure Panasonic. I ask as a owner, who thinks these issues are anyway irrelevant and the camera should be judged on its merits with the badging a subjective and value (to you) decision.
    Keith (UK)

    • I can only repeat what they claim – it’s designed by Leica, made by Panasonic. Neither party is particularly transparent about what actually goes on…

  13. My hunt and search for a high end compact ended with the D Lux 6.
    I went from X10 to X20 to RX100M2 but ended up the keeper was the D Lux 6.

    Even though there r many naysayers saying why pay for a rebadged Lx7 , I realized that the OOC Jpegs for the DL6 is much more beautiful that the LX7. Shooting raw does produce the same results.

    The inclusion of a ND filter was also another plus over the other models.

    Why not the RX when it’s well known for its huge sensor ? Usability. Subjective , yes but somehow the DL6 with its design, placement of controls and software works for me while I had difficulty handling the RX. The much slower aperture on the telephoto end also frustrated me at times compared to the f1.4-2.3 on the DL6.
    Many users only focused on sensor size , forgetting it’s the whole package that matters. Having a much brighter lens on the DL6 made it not much weaker than the RX M2. Good fast glass compensated for the smaller sensor size I’d say.
    Of course my aim was for a high end P n S; which the DL6 performs excellently.

  14. So…LX7 equal to D-Lux 6…diffrent only its prices… that rite?

  15. Many people who read reviews of cameras on the internet naturally compare the Japanese made Leica’s with the “sister” “doppelganger” Panasonic model and fail to understand why the Leica’s cost a lot more, there are many reasons, here are the main and most important ones.
    (a) The lenses take 40 minutes for each element to be individually ground, polished and tested, made on German imported machines to Leica tolerances and use Leica lens coatings. (The Panasonic Lumix ones are mass produced on their own machines to a basic Leica spec. and use their own “Nano” coatings).
    (b) The CCD’s are individually tested to Leica manufacturing tolerances and are made by Kodak, Sony etc. (Panasonic Lumix ones are not).
    (c) The Panasonic made Leica’s are ALL sent in to Leica AG, Solms, to be inspected by hand/eye then wired to a computer to have the firmware (digital only) customised so each image gives the “Leica look” and European skintones and other colour rendition and LCD menu changes, then tested again.
    (d) Boxed and packaged in Germany.
    (e) Appropriate Adobe® /Photoshop®/ Lightroom® / Premiere®/ Elements® software added
    (f) 2 year unconditional guarantee and Leica Passport (covers accidental damage) instructions and other documents added.
    (g) The distinctive “Red Dot” Leica logo is added.
    (h) Many models have different outer bodies often made of aluminium or even titanium and different switches/dials and buttons.
    (i) Higher resale values, for example a mint Leica DIGILUX 3 sells on Ebay for £799, the Panasonic equivalent DMC-L1 £224!
    (j) Leica Passport, A Leica passport protects your treasured Leica against all accidental damage for the first year from purchase date. During the period of cover, if you drop and break or water damage, any camera protected by the passport, Leica will either repair or replace the item with a new one free of charge

    • Jay, the main reason they cost more is because Leica has to buy the base cameras off Panasonic at a slight discount to retail, add their own custom/ small volume touches, and then make their own internal hurdle rate of 28+% margin.
      a) No. Does not apply to compacts.
      b) Again, no – look at the M8/ M9/ S2 CCD debacle: they might have been tested to Leica standards, but frankly that instills little confidence as I haven’t heard of any other manufacturer’s cameras suffering from cracked CCDs with anywhere near the same frequency.
      c) No again. The menus are identical, as are the RAW files.
      d) Quite possibly, it isn’t specified anywhere.
      e) Yes, but it’s a download code on a license fee nominally paid to Adobe.
      f) j) Yes, the extended guarantee is definitely worth something. But the passport doesn’t apply in all countries.
      g) Cosmetic badging is not a good reason to charge substantially more.
      h) The ‘titanium’ cameras are titanium coated not solid titanium. Confirmed by Leica themselves.
      i) Yes, that’s true. But there is absolutely nothing about the underlying difference in image quality to justify it. The fact that most of these rumours perpetuate is a testament to the Leica marketing machine…

      • I couldn’t agree more Ming. I think the fact that we see so many reviews where people talk about the camera under consideration creating photos that are “Leica-like,” or the camera having a “Leica-feel,” is further proof of what you rightfully calls the ” Leica marketing machine.” Why can’t a well-taken photograph or a well-designed camera stand on its own merits without comparison to Leica? You recent series of articles, “Shooting With the Legends,” shows there have been many outstanding cameras that weren’t Leica. And as you mentioned, quality issues of late are a problem, and leaves one wondering if Leica is even the “gold-standard” anymore.

        • Actually, it’s more fundamental than that – strip away the EXIF, and I bet most people won’t be able to tell what camera/ lens combo was used 99% of the time.

          • I think that the Leica-mystique aspect deserves one further jab : that, in order to get a better **operating** device, one must pay additional for a grip!! (As though the original, gripless, Red-Dot’d device is some sort of work of art, to be admired on a shelf!)
            And “higher resale value” needs to be equated with overall transaction : pay $800 to resell at $500, say; vs. $350 to resell at $250 (not claiming to know actual prices –just illustrating the point).

            • True; ergonomics leave something to be desired, but that’s what wrist straps and a little square of gaffer tape on the front are for. Good poing re. resale value…

              • Still adding stuff to the Red Dot to get it to work (while having the privilege of being –quoting Adam– “part of that history”)! (-;
                Adam’s troubles of malfunctioning DLux-4 beg the question Why …? My LX3 has been dropped twice (onto hardness), and was on me when run over (it looked better than I) which added a ding and broke whatever locks the battery in place –thus, I now use a shim of 4-ply paper against the door. And it does have some, um, new *features* (the ol’ buggy software euphemism), which recently included not seeing the card and losing a pic into built-in memory (just found, copied to computer and then to card (I’m still learning)).
                So, YMMV? I don’t recommend the knocks (esp. being run over), but it’s still clicking (orig. battery up to 21k+ pics, and fading).

                I get a kick out of all the discontent about a lens cap, though. I *solved* that issue by somehow losing mine a few years back, and since have ported it either bare (actually using a shirt pocket, at times) or in a soft case. And for me, I LIKE the GREAT DoF, so hardly care that the world doesn’t go out of focus to match M9’s with a Noctilux attached. (Too many photos seem to result from “because it can ” rather than that being a Good Thing in the circumstances. IMHO!)

                I’ve been on the fence over replacing LX3 with good-condition one, or … LX7. There’s not a lot of Net chatter to compare, but I think that the LX7 is gonig to be the better course –with good respect to the LX3 : it’s not nothing, no matter current cameras!
                Thanks for the reviews & edification!

  16. adam monaghan says:

    Really interested to read this. I’ve loved my Leica D Lux 5 but it’s broken in 4 different ways in 18 months (flash, zoom, selector wheel and some electronic thing that means the menu pops up and rotates constantly when shooting in manual). This time they’re refusing to repair it under warantee, despite it being one of the same faults. (The rear roller selector broken). A 200 euro repair bill that is not going to get paid.
    I originally bought a Leica because I wanted to be a part of that history, even though the Panasonic version was 200 euros cheaper. So this time around Leica can go jump and i’ll get a Panasonic. (I’m well aware that it won’t hurt their coffers at all since they’re still making money from me). So the LX7 looks a good option…

  17. > nearly touching subject – at full wide. (I can’t actually think when you might use this, as perspective distortion is horrible and proper lighting is nearly impossible, but that doesn’t mean somebody else can’t find a use for it.)

    Ha, just did so, w/my battered (hit-by-truck-while-on-bike (ME! &…)) LX3 :: a fairly small, spitting spider, up close & personal, so to speak. You can’t get nearly such macro shot at longer focal lengths w/LX3 because of increased distance req’d. (used man. focus) Can’t say that I notice distortion, but then even at this nearly touching (1cm) distance, the spider is quite small.
    No, this isn’t my pic, just my variety :

    • I suppose the lens also acts as quite an effective shield from anything potentially toxic at that distance. With organic subjects, you won’t really notice the distortion anyway.

    • I had the dlux 4 and sold it, wish I still had it, It’s image look was unique and it seems that subsequent models lost that look, which, for most is considered an improvement. A multi-perspective approach to image quality doesn’t of necessity require the HD look trending with current models, and I , for one, appreciate the “tri-x” tinge as an example of a pejorative appearance held in esteem. Others might appreciate the Holga look. The point is, that as image quality improves in the conventional sense, departures from that look might regain a favorable cache as departures from orthodoxy require those alterations.

  18. Hi Ming,

    thanks for the great review. I was teleported here from preview while i was looking in a thread about DLUX6 vs EPL5 from Olympus. Which one do you think gets better pics? I am planning on purchasing one from these two guys but i am a little bit confused: go with the classic Leica model which will get great point and shoot results, or go with the great sensor of EPL5 with the ability for change lenses in the future if needed…. :S

    Your words and opinion are hugely appreciated!

  19. Jeffrey says:

    Hi Ming! When one looks at your photos you start to feel it is really irrelevant what camera one uses if it is in the hands of an artist like yourself. Everything you shoot, with every camera, looks great! Of course, I realize when we are comparing cameras we are also considering ease of use and how the images will look if large prints are made, not just on the website. Still, I love your stuff! Just a quick question if that’s OK – I currently own the RX-100. My biggest issue with it isn’t the lens’ slow speed at the tele end, as I love the image quality overall, but lack of an EVF or even an OVF. I still hate framing photos in the LCD on the back. I am tempted to buy the LX7 as well just for the ability to add the EVF, which as you mentioned is now under $200. Is it dumb to be thinking about a second high-end P&S just for the EVF? Don’t really want to dump my RX-100. Thanks!

    • Thanks! I’m flattered, but that could be a consequence of looking at web jpegs 🙂

      I shoot/ process with a view towards final output, which is either large screen or print – web viewing is a byproduct of those.

      As for your problem – sell the RX100, buy the RX100M2 which will take an EVF…

      • Jeffrey says:

        If money isn’t a big issue and having two cameras isn’t an unforgivable indulgence, can you see an value in having both? Thanks!

        • I presume you mean the RX100 and the LX7 – not really. The LX7 will macro better, the RX100 has more resolution at low ISO, but at high ISO both have their limitations.

          • Jeffrey says:

            Thanks again!

          • Ming, I might be holding my breath for a while for the LX7 dip back down to sale price of $298; in the interim I bumped against an comparison of LX7 with Nikon P7700 and that (unknown to me) person was strongly favorable toward the P7700. I found some of your brief comments about P7700 here but it seems you haven’t taken up very much interest in it. Is it a bit too large or simply not outstanding enough in any way to have captured more of your interest?

      • Jeffrey says:

        Hi Ming! I just looked on Amazon, and the EVF for the Sony is $450. Ouch!

        • Ouch indeed – unfortunately ALL of the Sony accessories are horribly overpriced. Have you seen how much other other bits for the RX1 go for? Madness.

          • Which makes me think I’m better off just buying an LX7 with an EVF for when I want a viewfinder camera, as the price of both the camera and the EVF are almost the same as the price of just the EVF for the Sony, and keeping my RX-100, which except for the lack of a viewfinder is a fine camera.

  20. Re-read your reviews again Ming and not too long ago I sold my RX100, my OMD and few Micro 4/3 lenses to raise few more $$$ for my upcoming Europe vacation. Unfortunately I couldn’t get it through BH and Amazon through your links since it was $350 that time, I checked B&H rival Adorama had it that time for $299, so I couldn’t resist picking it up even though it doesn’t match up my OMD and RX100 image quality it gets the job done and the wide angle lens is a big bonus.

  21. Mike Yagu says:

    am a great admirer of your work Ming, superb indeed. I agree with your comments on the D Lux 6 vis a vis the Lx7. Can you tell me please how to clean the sensor on the D Lux 5? have a very irritating speck on all my pics. Don’t really want to send it to Singapore. Cheers, Mike

    • Thanks. The whole optical assembly is sealed – no way to clean the sensor without dismantling the camera. Even if you send it to Singapore, chances are it’ll probably have to go to Japan.

  22. Hi: congrats for the review. Some dealers are arguing that Leica took the LX7 case and put a better software in it: that could explain the extra cost in addition of the brand ‘s one. And also the differences you noticed in JPEG results. Is Leica giving a hint there to justify the price tag? Thanks

  23. Ieuan Davies says:

    Thank you for the great review on this and the RX100. Trying to decide which to buy as my first digital camera purchase, but I want to get back into landscape photography and I was used to 35mm film cameras with stop numbers of 16 and 22 in years past. I believe the Panasonic goes down to 8 and the Sony to 11. Would this cramp my style in my need for greater depth of field where I want to keep a foreground subject in focus also? Or should I be looking elsewhere – Fuji Finepix x100 for example?

    • Small sensors don’t require you to stop down that much. At f5.6 everything is in focus with the Sony and Panasonic, and beyond that you’re going to lose resolution because of diffraction.

  24. Thanks for all the work you put into this project. Sorry to bother you with a mundane equipment question: I’m having trouble figuring out which would be a better carry-with-me-all-the-time camera/set-up: the LX7 or the 14-42 pancake on my soon to arrive E-PM2. The sensor is so much larger on the E-PM2, but the LX7 lens is so much faster. I was impressed that you never had to go over 400 ISO with it. I think my main concerns are IQ and being able to get decent low-light shots inside and at night. I’m not counting on getting any shallow dof with either, but I would like to have the ability to get a decent amount of subject separation (via dof). I don’t see myself printing larger than 13×19. The price of each is essentially the same tonight here in the US: $335 for the lens and $348 for the LX7 (though last night the LX7 was only $298). Thanks again for this great site.

    • This is not a simple question at all. Personally I prefer the M4/3 combo because I can always pack a faster pancake or small prime to augment it. I don’t have that flexibility with the LX, nor does it focus or shoot as fast.

      • I appreciate your response. I’ve immensely enjoyed and benefited from your intro Photoshop video. After I watch it a few more times, I’ll be looking forward to enjoying more of your videos. Thanks again.

        • No problem. Thanks for the support!

          • Wong YM says:

            I am a Canon DSLR user and is looking at something I can carry with me conveniently. This camera seems good for that purpose. Just wonder whether I willbe disappointed by the photo quality, being used to a dslr output.

            • You probably will be. It’s a compact. There’s no way you can expect a 1/1.7″ sensor to even come close to APS-C, let alone full frame.

  25. Hi there,

    I noticed that all the photos in this review were taken by the Leica DLUX 6- you don’t seem to show any from the LX 7. You say they are the SAME. Well, I own a LX7 (and have a LX3 model). I find with the LX7 and change in sensor that the LX7 is quite poor in low light. It’s very noisy and with chroma pixelation and have read others have found this with the LX7 and mentioned this in their reviews.

    Photos taken with the Lecia Dlux 6 seem to appear to be superior in low light and also in the reviews.

    Noticed when you refer back to compare photos with the 2 cameras you mention your LX5, which also I believe is very good in low light… the sensor CHANGED in the LX7.

    I would like to know more and would like to confirm if the LX7 and the Leica Dlux 6 have the SAME sensor or not. Otherwise it must be something else letting the LX7 down in it’s operation.

    Julie White
    Semi Pro Photographer

    • I’ve used both; I shot a controlled bench comparison afterwards to validate my observations (but didn’t shoot properly with the LX7) In JPEG, the results are different. In raw, they’re the same. That may be the cause of the difference you see, or perhaps it’s the illusion of the red dot having to be better because it costs more…

      The sensors from the last generation to this generation are different only I’m video capability. They still have the same resolution, dynamic range and high ISO performance. I had one of those, too.

  26. I guess the equivalent of Leica evf 3 from Panasonic is this baby? Thanks

  27. Hakan K says:

    If you are buying this in Australia, I wouldn’t go for the Leica model. Mine stopped working after 3 months. I sent it for repairs under warranty. First I had to wait for Leica to send the camera repair manual to the repairer. Now I’m waiting for parts to arrive from Germany. It’s over a month now since they had it. I asked for a replacement unit instead of making me wait but Leica Australia declined. I get better customer care for a $20 toast machine. I canceled my order for M240. I haven’t got time for this kind of people.

  28. How would you compare the D-Lux 6 to the X2? Is the X2 worth the money?

    • They’re completely different cameras. Not comparable…but given the abundance of choices, I’d say there are better value alternatives out there for both.

  29. AndrewDB says:

    Thank you for your detailed, informative and perfectly illustrated review of the D-lux 6 / LX-7. I bought an LX-3 in 2009 and still have it, I enjoyed its marvelous Leica lens at the wide end (24mm) but had exactly the same reservations about the camera as you do: the sensor! And even though Panasonic improved over the LX-3 with the LX-5 and LX-7 in many other ways, I was never really convinced to upgrade from the LX-3 because there was no marked improvement sensor-wise. In other words, I would have been perfectly happy with a camera with a similar lens to that of the LX-3, but with a 1″ or 4/3 sensor. Regarding the rather annoying lens cap, I almost immediately fitted my LX-3 with a Ricoh-style petal lens cap.
    If/when Panasonic finally releases an LX-9 or LX-11 with a larger sensor, I’ll immediately jump back on the LX bandwagon!

    • Agreed: I don’t see much of a sensor improvement between the LX3 I also had and the LX7. You gain a stop or more from the lens and a little bit again on the IS, which I suppose translates to a slightly wider shooting envelope, but in reality – how is it possible that we have no new top end 1/1.7″ sensor for four years now? The RX100’s sensor shows that at a similar pixel pitch, it’s possible to gain two stops in noise and a similar amount of dynamic range.

  30. With my new D-LUX 6 in the camera bag, I hardly used my M9-P with Elmarit-M 24 asph and Summilux 50 asph anymore while on holiday. This camera is a little gem. Shooting in A mode wide open ISO 80 in raw gave great results.

  31. Ming, love your site. can the d-lux 6 specifically allow for an adapter and 37mm clear filter? Would a b+w clear filter effectively angel out the quality of the leica lens?

    • I have to be honest, no idea – why would you want to put a clear filter on it though?

      • I just worry about the lens over time, especially given the nano coating and the poor cap design. I generally like to have some protection as the first line of defense over the lens but never really determined if the clear filters cancel out the quality of the lens. A ritual of mine is to immediately put a high quality b+w clear filter over all my lenses straight out of the factory wrapping and keep hermetically sealed from dust. I figure its easier to clean the protective glass than the lens itself. Is that a no-no in general in the professional world?

        • They do – a lot of the time the clear filters will at best reduce contrast, at worst they can reduce resolution, too. I never use filters (except where I have no choice – NDs, CPOLs, etc) – I generally don’t use lens caps except for storage, and have never had an issue.

  32. Quick question. For someone who doesn’t really want to deal with overly complex settings, it’s been said many times that that Leica offers simple and straightforward controls. I’ve never been able to figure out if the Panasonic is equally easy to use. Can you please elaborate? I would get the Panasonic if it were, because of the price. But I might plonk for the Leica if this isn’t the case. Apart from that, can I get the Panasonic EVF for the Leica?

  33. Charlie Z says:

    Ming: Here’s a question for you that may highlight the differences that you see between camera IQ vs their DXO marks. I have an Canon S100 and was surprised to see that it ‘scores’ the same #s as the LX7 in all respects — so much so they could have the same sensor. I expected a Great Leap Forward. Is this a good example of where quant falls down?

    (PS: Don’t bother with discussion beyond image quality. Compact camera operations concern degrees of nausea, rather than measurement of ease-of-use, anyway.)


  34. Did you find that the lens is softer at 90mm? I picked one up in January and the long end of the lens seems too be pretty soft across all apertures. Maybe I got a bad copy.

  35. Thanks for an excellent review, Ming…as usual. The accompanying images are fantastic.

    I have the LX5, which is my personal “always on me” camera. When i find myself in situations where i don’t have my d600, the LX5 almost never disappoints. But I admit to being somewhat under-whelmed by the LX7; I wish they had beefed up the sensor, personally, and made the upgrade worth considering. I’m sure the LX7 is a step up from the LX5, just not enough of one to justify the expense.

    Now if the next LX (9?) has a beefed up, larger sensor with better low-light capability, it will be one amazing camera.

  36. I actually find the aperture ring useful. It’s true that narrow DOF is a fantasy with a small sensor camera like this, but zone focus is anything but, and there’s still a big difference between f1.4 when you’re shooting in low light and f4 when you’re street shooting in good light. And having the aperture, manual focus, and exposure comp on three separate physical controls is a huge improvement for me over the LX5, where all three were handled by the click wheel, and it was easy to make the wrong adjustment. I also like the multi-aspect switch. 3:2 for general horizontal shooting – I just seem to see better at 3:2, 4:3 for street shooting because I often end up cropping down to square (and there’s a larger square for 4:3 – the 1:1 is just cropped down from the 4:3 anyway), 4:3 for vertical shots, and 16:9 for the occasional ultra wide shot – at 24mm it’s as wide as a 21mm lens at 3:2. A very useful small camera for me. And OK in low light, but I have other full size cameras for doing any heavy lifting in low light.

    • I think ‘better than you’d expect’ in low light is a good way to put it – between the really fast lens and the excellent OIS, it doesn’t have as many limitations as one would think.

      • I’m still using my old D-LUX 4 titanium as my ‘carry anywhere and with me all the time’ camera. Its been a versatile grab and snap camera, but have been wondering lately if a newer larger sensor camera would be a worthwhile upgrade. Nice to see what the D-LUX 6 has to offer here, thanks.

        So are you shooting RAW files? or what ‘film settings’ are you using with JPEGs?

  37. Earl Yetman says:

    Fantastic review! I bought the Leica D-LUX 6 in February and absolutely love it! I think the additional Leica hand grip is essential for a firm, solid grip. Ming, you are on the money with the quality of the lens, it is truly amazing, it is the best that I have ever used in a small camera. I know the Panny LX-7 costs less but I needed the Lightroom software and liked the Leica look and excellent re-sale value. Besides, I have had at least twenty people compliment and ask me about the camera.

  38. I shoot a LX7 with the EVF and think it great P&S though I had thoughts og moving to the Sony but don’t have the bucks..
    Thanks for a great review and you put my experiences in words, better than I could.

  39. Ming thein, what are the pros and cons from ordering from Amazon in terms of warranty,is it worldwide? And will my camera be taxed when I order from Amazon?

    • Depends on where you live. They may not ship some things outside certain regions. I have no idea about import tax, that again depends on where you live.

  40. My reaction to this camera is entirely superficial and illogical. To me, it’s beautiful. It’s just a little black rectangle, but it just looks . . . . beautiful. I’d love to buy it and put it on a shelf in my living room.

    The funny thing is that I’m not like that at all. Weird.

  41. Hi Ming- So… I want either the LX7 or RX100 to complement the RX1 I own. Love the RX1 for image quality (DR, file size, detail, low-light etc) want the 2nd camera for the other focal lengths as well as faster focusing than the RX1 has. Which would you recommend in this case?

    • Neither one is going to give you anywhere near the same IQ. The LX7 will probably give you more FL flexibility – it goes both longer and wider (and faster) than the RX100, though the ultimate image quality level isn’t quite as high. That said, the corners are better thanks to the lens.

  42. Cyril Catt says:

    A thought provoking detailed review with remarkable illustrations. For me, the LX5 did not improve sufficiently on the LX3, but the LX7 certainly does; and all three have the advantage of optional fast 18mm-equivalent accessory lenses for large interiors, architecture, or landscapes

  43. Carlo Santin says:

    Reading your review reminds me very much of my Nikon Coolpix P7100. It too is a terrific little camera with a fabulous lens, not quite as fast as the Panny/Leica but it has 200mm of reach. Terrific up to ISO 400 and then things start to fall apart. Sometimes the images I get with it blow me away and give me results that rival my DSLR gear, and other times the images remind me that it is indeed a camera with a tiny sensor. I took it with me on a recent trip to Montreal, no other camera with me, and it performed very well and gave me wonderful images. It was very liberating to walk with only a small camera in my coat and I don’t think I could have done a whole lot better with my DSLR. There are lots of compromises that one has to make with these small cameras though. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with my P7100 as there are times I am simply unhappy with either the image quality or camera performance.

  44. John Siward says:

    Small typo: doens’t -> doesn’t

  45. scribbleed says:

    Heh, I use to remember that you can put the Ricoh lens cap on the LX3. Won’t work on this I guess. Anyway, now I’m wondering if you would be reviewing the Panasonic PZ200, same sensor I presume, but with a Leica lens f2.8 throughout the zoom range (25-600mm)!

  46. Larry Burt says:

    Thanks for the useful detailed review. I’m accustomed to one-hand grab and go, so the lens cap bothered me also. So I set my LX-7 up with the Panasonic filter adapter (very difficult to get the trim ring off to install it) and a Hoya HD2 protection filter, then removed the lens cap entirely. Also obtained the Hoya HD2 polarizer, which vignettes slightly at widest angles when used together with the protection filter, so I use one or the other.

  47. Ming,
    Thank you for sharing some fIne images and a thoughtful review. I jumped at the LX-7 as my carry around when the price dropped and keep the EVF on all the time as I am mostly an eye-level shooter. When it comes to cameras, so many compromises, so little time. My Canon 5 and 7D kit and various L lenses takes so much energy and premeditation to tote and are conspicuous in use. But having grown up with Nikon Fs and F2s and bags of lenses, Tri-X, Ekta and Kodachrome, the tiny LX-7 produces images that compare favorably to film I shot.

  48. Great write-up as always, Ming. And your sample photos are excellent. Regarding your final sentence:

    “Until then, it’s worth taking price into consideration: whilst the Sony is still over $600, the Panasonic version has now fallen to below $300 – and that makes it a heck of a lot of camera for the money.”

    …shouldn’t you mean the Leica is over $600?

    • No – to me, the Leica version was tossed out of the running because of price unless you need Lightroom. The contenders for pocket camera are the Panasonic (identical to the Leica) and the RX100.

  49. I have the LX 5 to toss to the non-photographers in my group when we’re on vacation and when I saw you post earlier about the price drop at B&H on the LX7, I clicked the link and added the EVF…now I have TWO P&S to toss at the minions while on vacation 🙂

    btw…love your site

  50. Jorge Balarin says:

    Very nice review, and yes, with a better sensor it would be perfect. Greetings.

  51. Got the D-Lux 6 recently and am quite happy with it. Like you, I’m amazed by the lens and image stabilization, but I don’t understand the lens cap anxiety. The funny thing about lens caps is they only protect a lens when the camera is not in use. Also, I’ve learned that the surest way to get dust/lint on a non-interchangeable lens camera sensor, is putting the camera in a pocket.

    Great pictures.

    • There should be some sort of felt baffle just inside the collapsible bit of the lens – don’t know if the LX has one, but I’ve never had problems with dust inside my other cameras.

  52. LX model good for mountain climbing
    mine explored many adventures
    but avoid beach at all cost

  53. ISHRATH RAJAB says:

    – handy if you’re using it on a trip to document the various objects you see and eat*. Ha ha Ming ……does this refer to me ?
    In my defence the meal had to be photographed because to me it was totally new and unique . I still dont know what I eat. Great review , but if I keep on with GAS my wife will definitely throw me into the dogbox . Have to stick with the Rx 100 for now although LX7/Dlux 6 looks great for an travel /food camera Cheers

  54. Once again a great review! As a LX3 owner (great lens, not so nice white balance and color rendition) I’m thinking of upgrading to either a LX7 or Fuji X20. Looking forward to your opinion on the X20 too. On the X20 (vs the LX7) I’d miss the 24mm 16:9 format though. Thanks a lot for all the useful info, and great pictures, on your site.

    • My X20 got sent to Kuala Lumpur 😦 so that will have to wait for a few weeks until I get back. I’d say the lens alone on the LX7 is probably worth the upgrade for you…

  55. Thanks Ming, another one of your succinct photographer-orientated reviews ! I guess we’ll have to see if the LX9 gets a better sensor and the RX200 gets a better lens … the manufacturers are no doubt playing a game and dribbling out the improvements one bit at a time.
    One other thought: are you using CS6/ACR 7 with the “2012 process” … would that give a boost in image quality over the previous process?

    • They’re making us buy them all! I’m content to wait, no point in paying to be a beta tester.

      I used DNG converter 7 for the review, but didn’t see much difference in raw image quality between this and its predecessor.

  56. Also request your thoughts on Electronic View Finder, which additionally cost $ 400 – which is phenomenal by any standard

    • It’s much cheaper on Amazon, about $170 I think if you get the Panasonic version. Worthwhile at that price for the added flexibility/ stability it brings. The EVF is pretty good as these things go – I’d say comparable to the OM-D’s built in unit.

    • In the Panasonic EVF’s reviews on Amazon, a reviewer had successfully used the Panasonic EVF on her Leica DL6 – best of both worlds! (:

  57. Finally the Review I was eagerly waiting for .. Thanks.. Nevertheless in the end unable to decide between both trade off /

  58. I have the D Lux 4 as a fun cam. When it first arrived I got out with a friend and we put it head to head with the counterpart Panasonic LX3. The Leica won, but only by a very small hair. There was a certain “richness” with the Leica model we didn’t quite see with the Panny.

    I also have (it’s still around here somewhere) the old Panasonic LX-2. The camera is just pure badness. For it’s time, it was usable with reservations. Now I consider it just a bad noisebox. The improvement of the old LX2 to the LX3 was phenomenal.

    Not enough swayed me to make me go out and buy the Leica D Lux 5. Too many cameras here anyway. Thanks for the thoughts and the beautiful images.

    • Are you comparing JPEGs or RAW files? I’ve shot with both Leica and Panasonic versions of the LX5, and the raw files were identical. I don’t shoot JPEG, so it’s academic. Agree on LX2 to LX3 – the idea was great, but not usable until the LX3 came along. Hope you managed to use my referral link!

      • MIng, we did the tests shooting jpeg because of the talk of the slight differences in camera processing everyone was going on and on about on the forums. We rigged the cameras withing an inch of each other shooting various subjects. While the differences were very slight and really only made a difference on a higher end monitor, they were there. On a crappy laptop judged by a consumer, no apparent difference. When I got the D Lux 4, it was really the first camera ever where I trusted myself to shoot jpegs. Except when forced by a point & shoot, I’m a raw shooter.

  59. Mr. Ichiro Sony says:

    Best lens in a compact? Apparently you’ve never shot the Sigma DP2M. 🙂 While not a competitor to the LX7, the lens on this small camera simply staggers you when you see the output from it. Sharp corner to corner with detail that simply must be experienced.

    • Not yet, no. But it wouldn’t be fair to compare a moderate aperture prime with a rather ambitious fast (faster!) aperture zoom – the design challenge is completely different.

  60. Have you tried the X20?

  61. I’m not sure, but DXOMark seems to suggest that there’s been steady improvement from LX3 through LX5 to the LX7. So it might not be quite the same sensor. The LX5 apparently used a CCD part, while the LX3 and 7 are both CMOS.

    But there’s no doubt that the Sony 1″ sensor does a better job, albeit with an optic that is a bit too stretched for the sensor size.

  62. I’ve tried to like the RX-100 and these types of compacts but still keep going back to the Sigma DP-2 as the files are just so much better and the size of the cameras is pretty close especially the Panny. Plus the Sigma is not that much more than the Leica version here in Australia.

    The workflow of course is terrible with no support in LR or Aperture but damn it takes such a good photo – it really is MF quality in a compact. It has many quirks but in the end, it has the best compact camera image quality by a very long way IMHO.

    • From the files I’ve seen, I’m inclined to agree except for a couple of things – size (not really pocketable), general operation speed and limited shooting envelope – the smaller sensors may not be any better at high ISO, but they have IS.

      • It’s actually smaller than I thought it would be but yes nowhere near the RX100 – although I found the Sony a little too small in my hand.

        The DP2M has some serious quirks but boy that sensor and lens combo is absolutely unbelievable in terms of sharpness and the “look”. Operational speed I have had no issue with – AF is fast enough, the menu system is very easy to use and the whole system is a pleasure.

        If you can borrow one for a few days I think you’d love it. It addresses your sensor and lens issues but probably at the expense of high ISO and perhaps pocketabilty.

        Forgot to say thanks for a great review too – as always very informative.

        • Thanks – I keep meaning to try the DP series, but can’t find anybody to lend me one here…

        • Mr. Ichiro Sony says:

          I totally agree with your DP2M thoughts. The only downer is high ISO. This camera demands use at ISO400 or more so ISO200 or lower. If they can ever get that worked out, Sigma would OWN the world with the Foveon sensor. Absolutely amazing resolution.

          • But that’s not so different to film in a way, is it? I hardly shoot above ISO 100 with the ‘blad, and sometimes as low as effective 25 once you factor in the filters.

  63. Ben Hopkins says:

    Great review as always. In your opinion is it worth the upgrade from the LX-5? It looks like I can buy an LX-7 for $298 and sell the LX-5 for around $200 so I am only looking at $100 net. Also for what it’s worth I bought one of the third party Auto Lens Caps and it is working great for me. I just stored the lens cap in the box the day I bought the camera and haven’t had to worry about it.

    • If you’re happy with the file quality of the LX5, then yes, it’s worthwhile – the lens buys you a stop, and seems to be slightly better in resolving power, too.

    • @ Ben:
      Ben, The LX5 is a kick butt camera! The macro is magnificent, the optics are amazing. I have the flower petal cap so no need to constantly take the cap on and off. I also find the camera pocketable in my jeans. Not a problem. Here is my flickr stream as I have a LX5 set:
      I’m sure there is a benefit to it. I was going to sell my LX5 when I bought my Fuji X-E1 but decided to keep my LX5 for the macro.

  64. The link to the Panasonic on Amazon presently comes up at $449 USD from a vendor selling through Amazon rather than Amazon itself; it takes a little clicking to get the one sold by Amazon itself into the shopping cart to finally view the undisclosed, lower Amazon price. Amazon is also reporting as out of stock at this moment. I wonder if your review has already stimulated depletion of the inventory!

    • No idea why that might be the case. I think the lower price was a special they were running for a few days. I’m not seeing any referral sales as yet, but who knows?

      • Hmmm…. looks like the $298 deal just vaporized. I checked this morning and Amazon’s price bumped to $448 — a $150 bump up overnight. Anyone else see the same? Seems a shame as the LX7 seemed very attractive indeed offered at the lower price.

        • You’re right, it appears B&H has put the price back up too – perhaps worth waiting for, I’m sure it’ll come back down again…

  65. Great Review Ming! Buyers will know what they are getting. Thanks for the time and energy placed into the review.

  66. Rain Santiago says:

    Great review Ming, if I hadn’t gotten a good hook up for the RX100, I would’ve bought the LX in a heartbeat again it’s one of those camera that I’m baffled why Panasonic doesn’t even have this on display at big box brick and mortar stores like Best Buy.

  67. Thoughtful review as always, Ming; thank you. Assuming I can’t see the files in their native glory over the web, how do you like the color palette indoors and out vs. the RX100? And extreme highlight detail compared to the OM-D (the flower looks good)? I wasn’t totally sold on the OM-D I borrowed, and for the money the LX-7 has been tempting despite the trade-offs. Your review makes the case that the LX-7 will hold its own in low light as long as long as you can live with image quality circa 2008. I just might for the money…

    • Thanks Lorenzo. The files don’t have the same tonal subtlety as the RX100 – I put this down to 12bit (as far as I’ve been able to determine) vs 14bit. Not even close to the OM-D, which I still think is a cut above the RX100.

  68. Michael Buchmeier says:

    There is a filter adapter available for the LX7 and polarizing and other filters available. Fits on LX7 and D-Lux 6.


  1. […] was followed by some pretty extensive research and I finally happened upon an article by Ming Thein. While it’s about the original Leica that Panasonic re-skinned into the LX-7, it still […]

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  3. […] Nikon…never mind. But Panasonic has the LX series, and the accompanying Leica D Lux redesign; I reviewed its predecessor, the LX7/ D Lux 6 some time back, and owned an LX3 back when it was pretty much the only choice for a serious compact […]

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  5. […] is history … I finished off my trip with a D-Lux 6. I’ll leave the camera review to Ming Thein and Eric Kim, two professional photographers experienced in reviewing cameras to give you a […]

  6. […] on the Panasonic Lumix LX7, 10.1 megapixel, f/1.4 3.8x optical zoom lens. – Reviews: ePHOTOzine, MingThein, RedDotForum. Leica V-Lux 4 – ultra-zoom based on the Panasonic Lumix FZ200, f/2.8 24x […]

  7. […] Leicasonic action now with a new photographer priority review of the Leica D-Lux 6 (“inspired” by the Panasonic LX7) by Ming Thein. […]

  8. […] these last few years. Great problem to have [deciding between these fine cameras]. Ming Thein did an excellent comparison of the LX7 and DLUX6. I'll miss having filter threads on these though. Hard to imagine doing landscape travel […]

  9. […] Dlux6 vs LX7 Don't laugh Review: The Leica D-Lux 6/ Panasonic LX7 – Ming Thein | Photographer First off: I’ve had a lot of people asking if the Leica version is any different to the […]

  10. […] veel wikken en wegen heb ik besloten om te kiezen voor een compactcamera. Ik kwam uit bij een Panasonic LX7: voor mij de beste balans tussen prijs en mogelijkheden (het binnenwerk van de LX7 is hetzelfde als […]

  11. […] of the more interesting compacts I reviewed recently – the Panasonic LX7 – is now on sale to $299 again. You can find it […]

  12. […] Panasonic LX7/ Leica D-Lux 6 Pros: Standout lens – 24-90/1.4-2.3 that delivers excellent performance at all apertures; true multi-aspect ratio sensor; EVF port; buffered RAW shooting; excellent near-focus limits and optical performance; very effective image stabilization Cons: The sensor could be better, and in some aspect ratios is limited to just 7MP; high ISO performance is so-so; lens very slow to zoom; aperture dial on lens is pointless and just adds to the bulk of the camera; a bit too thick to be pocketable; review images look terrible on LCD; focusing is slow enough to be frustrating at times […]

  13. […] Go here to see the original: Review: The Leica D-Lux 6/ Panasonic LX7 – Ming Thein … […]

  14. […] Source: […]

  15. […] Ming Thien's review of the D-Lux 6 Review of the D-Lux 6 by Ming Thien. Great independent review. Review: The Leica D-Lux 6/ Panasonic LX7 – Ming Thein | Photographer […]

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