Panasonic Lumix LX7 Digital Camera Review$499.99
Color accuracy is essential to the rendition of convincing, lifelike images, and Panasonic has been pleasantly surprising us in this test for a couple years now. The LX7 is one of the most accurate compact cameras on the market, returning an error value as low as 2.27 in our test, which is on par with the finest SLRs. Saturation levels were practically perfect, off by only 0.21%. More on how we test color.
NOTE: Because of the way computer monitors reproduce colors, the images above do not exactly match the originals found on the chart or in the captured images. The chart should be used to judge the relative color shift, not the absolute captured colors.
Just like we saw in the sharpness test, significant improvements have been made since the LX5. However the entire market segment struggles here, resulting in a very tightly packed comparison group...except for the LX7, which races far ahead of the pack.
For you to take advantage of this camera's excellent color performance, you'll need to use the most accurate color mode. The "Natural" mode earns this distinction by far. A small selection of alternate modes are available, and while they may sometimes be appropriate for artistic reasons, Natural is the most realistic.
Of course color is nothing without white balance, unless you're shooting RAW, and nailing down the perfect white balance can be a little tricky with the LX7. Under daylight and fluorescents the automatic white balance system should be sufficient. Most errors we recorded under such conditions were off by less than 210 degrees Kelvin, and will only require minor post-processing, if any.
Under incandescent tungsten light, auto white balance struggles, with an average error rate of 617 K. Those shots will be pretty ugly, so under illumination like this you should really stick to custom white balance. That will bring down the average error rate to a manageable—but still far from perfect—379 K.
White Balance Options
If auto and custom aren't your thing, five presets are available in-camera, including one for use with the flash. Storage for two custom settings is a convenient addition, and the LX7 also supports direct Kelvin entry if you already know the color temperature of your lights.