Panasonic has launched the next in its highly esteemed Lumix LX line of compact cameras - the Panasonic Lumix LX7. It brings a host of improvements, including greater manual control and an improved lens.
We're big fans of the Panasonic Lumix LX series. When the Lumix LX3 was launched in 2008 we found it to be nigh-on perfect, awarding it the Best Compact Camera of the year. Two years later, the Lumix LX5 took the LX3's impressive image quality and added a few welcome tweaks, such as a longer zoom range.
Now the Panasonic Lumia LX7 has been announced, and it's looking better than ever. We're looking at a similar 10.1-megapixel high-sensitivity MOS Sensor and an ISO range of between 80 - 12,800, but considerable progress appears to have been made elsewhere.
Among the list of improvements this time is a speedy f/1.4 lens, which is up from the f/2.0 unit found on the LX5. Expect some stunning depth of field shots. Also new is the LX7's Full HD 1080p video capabilities - its predecessor could only manage 720p.
One aspect we're really looking forward to getting our hands on - quite literally - is the Lumix LX7's new and improved manual controls. The presence of elements such as a physical aperture adjustment ring around the lens promise to allow for almost DSLR-level fine-tuning.
The Panasonic Lumix LX7 will also feature the new Venus Engine VII FHD for sharp image processing.
All in all we could be looking at another compact contender for Panasonic when it comes to end of year awards time.