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colonel

First impressions D-Lux 7

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Posted (edited)

I'll do a more in-depth analysis later (just help to steam up this sub-forum a bit :) ) but just penning some initial thoughts here

Plus:

  • Switch on zoom has improved the speed
  • Well made, lovely package
  • Lens doesn't wobble when extended
  • D-Lux 7 has new dust resistant lens system (over 109)
  • Despite crowing about EVF, pretty good generally if not up to Sony standards
  • Lens unexpectedly sharp wide open (f1/7)  in centre and pretty much on zoom (f2.8). (24-27mm f1.7 / 28mm-f2.0 / 29-31mm f2.1 / 32-39mm f2.2-2.4 / 40-51mm f2.5-2.8 / 51mm~  f2.8
  • Lens zoom can be set step zoom mode for familiar zoom positions
  • Front control ring cool - can be used for step zoom
  • Panasonic has speeded up focus
  • JPG engine much improved, both colours and dealing with noise reduction on higher ISOs. One can almost think of using them now :)
  • ISO 1600 perfectly usable at picture level, e.g. Handheld building nightscapes at 1600 look good
  • High ISO noise control not bad, grain is more filmlike and NR better then before under JPG. Avoids the "digital" type noise I used to get from the Olympus system
  • All functions benefit from faster processor, e.g. face recognition
  • Not a fan of touch screens (except on TL) but touch focus is quite useful

Needs development:

  • In camera zoom still slow (for street shooting you have to use switch on zoom, no time to change FL)
  • Lens returns to 24mm on off/on (doesn't remember zoom position - is there a setting for this ?)
  • Still don't like plastic switch gear. On/off switch and others should be metal not plastic
  • Why does Leica rename raw files to RWL !!!
  • Adobe Lightroom 6.14 doesn't recognise raw files - have to pay Adobe subscription now :(
  • Aperture dial wobbles slightly. I would prefer stiff and tight

In conclusion a terrific camera. Yes not the quality of my A7Rii or M240 but in good light its 90% there and no one will notice, and in low light its 60% there and good enough for whole pictures if not at the pixel level. Some improvements in next version to controls and EVF and its pretty much as good as it gets for a pocket zoom.

On the subject of ISO my other camera is an M7. Used to ISO 400 max and the noise it generates, I can honestly say that this pocket zoom camera eclipses film by some. Not an important criteria to many but when you train yourself to use wide open and max ISO 400 its a real breeze to use this thing (after many years of protest I now almost exclusively use Auto-ISO).

Other rivals for pocket ? Not much really. Main one is RX100VA. A great camera but because of size more suitable for point and shoot, D-Lux 7 puts the fun and manual control on tap. All the other options, like 5100, GX9, Pen-F, X-E3, add significant size and bulk even if pancake prime used

Good enough for main camera ? sure. Significantly better then latest phone cameras ? surprisingly not that much for close product photos or kids videos - not many flies on my XR. But for optical zoom, DOF control (yes, surprisingly a large amount to play with), sharpness and distance and creative control, still no comparison.

Finally I still like the design more over the Panasonic, which is why I bought it really. Looking at the previous generation, 70% of the difference in price is maintained second hand if that's important to you ....

Edited by colonel

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There no doubt is a menu setting (as there are on the D-L 109 and the V-L 114) that doubles the long end of the zoom, using an algorithm which seems to have minimal impact on the quality of the image.  Try it out, if it's in the menu.

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4 minutes ago, stuny said:

There no doubt is a menu setting (as there are on the D-L 109 and the V-L 114) that doubles the long end of the zoom, using an algorithm which seems to have minimal impact on the quality of the image.  Try it out, if it's in the menu.

Sounds cool

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, colonel said:

Adobe Lightroom 6.14 doesn't recognise raw files - have to pay Adobe subscription now [...]

LR6 recognizes RWL files converted for free to DNG by Adobe Raw Converter.

Edited by lct

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On 1/9/2019 at 2:37 PM, lct said:

LR6 recognizes RWL files converted for free to DNG by Adobe Raw Converter.

But the resulting DNG files are converted in black and white when importing them in LR6 for some reason.
To avoid this, LR6 owners can use LR Classic CC for free with limited functionalities, even after the trial period. Just click on Dismiss when you are prompted to pay. Allows for opening RWL (DL7) and RW2 (LX100m2) raw files w/o having to convert them to DNG. Development features are limited but converted files can be exported under various formats including TIF, JPG and DNG. The resulting TIF files, for instance, can be imported for processing in LR6 or orther raw processors with no problem apparently.

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This is an excellent camera for people who take pictures for fun.  Using it on a tripod, with LRcc and PScc, it can really do magical pictures.  Too bad the file size limit here means we have to size it down to share and that won't do justice to the amazing photos this little baby can do.  HDR focus stacking in your pocket?  I love it.

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Posted (edited)

Just moved to this from the original LX100.  Not enough time to say much.  The RAW format distinction looks like a PITA.  Why not use the common Panasonic one?  DxO PhotoLab is “planning to add it” at some indefinite time in the future- said exactly the same 5 months ago.

I don’t think I can be bothered doing this, but you should be able to change the Camera Model in exifchanger to the Panasonic one (IIRC, RW2) and it “should” work.

Edited by Ranger Rick

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Recently ordered D7 as a replacement for my several years old D Lux 5. I routinely use Nikon D750 with several superb lenses, but I wanted something smaller and handy for travels, as these days airlines restrictions are getting worse... D5 was good and served its role well, but reading about D7 prompted me to give a try.

Accordingly, I placed the order, and the camera has arrived. The first impression: D Lux 7 is a handsome piece of hardware and feels good in my hand. Black and silver colours combination is so much prettier than my old D5. Did I mention that D7 is simply beautiful?

As always, first I went through supplied manual, which being bare minimum, is suboptimal. Fortunately, there is a terrific helper by Alexander White “Photographer’s Guide for Leica D Lux (Typ 109), available on Amazon in Kindle format (readable on iPad through the Kindle app), 244 pages, easily searchable. There are, of course, some differences between T109 and D7, but this is a minor nuisance.

Two days after receiving D7 (before reading Mr. White’s guide), we departed for a short vacation to Belize. While not utilizing all available options, I was able to take quite few decent photographs. 

Probably my favourite feature, provided by Leica engineers, is an instant assessment of adjustment (exposure compensation, filter effect, B/W, etc.), that is visible through the viewfinder, prior to taking the photograph. In addition, the camera will record two images, one with adjustments and one without (original). This allows to utilize the original photo for further processing, if adjustments have not met ones expectations. Brilliant.

I also found electronic horizontal and vertical level assist extremely useful.

After reading mentioned above book, and playing/learning D7, I am seriously falling in love with this little fella.

It is an engineering marvel with superb glass. 

I love to be able to switch on the soft focus effect (adjustable) on a fly, and to switch between programs pressing just one button.

Most importantly, the photographs exceeded  my expectations. I never thought that this little fella could compete with FX sensor DSLR.

Actually, I am considering purchasing a larger Leica (don’t know which yet) to replace my Nikon lot.

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There is an "Advanced Manual" available on the Leica website, which has a lot more information (290 pages) than what comes with the camera. I had checked with Leica, and there is not a printed version.

Panasonic also has on their LX100  MK 2 an "Advanced Manual" which pretty much correlates to the D-Lux 7.

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On 3/14/2019 at 4:43 PM, Ranger Rick said:

There is an "Advanced Manual" available on the Leica website, which has a lot more information (290 pages) than what comes with the camera. I had checked with Leica, and there is not a printed version.

Panasonic also has on their LX100  MK 2 an "Advanced Manual" which pretty much correlates to the D-Lux 7.

Downloaded.

Thank you ever so much, Rick.

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