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Panasonic LX7 vs Sony RX100 vs Nikon P7700

Discussion in 'What Camera Should I Buy?' started by wanderintraveler, Jul 10, 2013.

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  1. wanderintraveler

    wanderintraveler Active Member

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    I was originally on the topic Panasonic Fz200 vs Olympus OM-D E-M5 as they where what I was considering before. Through the patience of Andy Stanton and Kelly Cook in explaning about these cameras, have come to the conclusion that they are not the cameras for me so I’ve decided to continue my search in compact cams with larger sensors. I had these on my list: Panasonic LX7, Panasonic LF1, Canon G15, Nikon P7700, Sony RX100. As if it’s not any more difficult, Andy even added these Canon S110, Nikon P330 and the Samsung EX2f on the list. Andy I hope you’d still be able to still follow me here. I thought it was probably better to change the title to keep the topic up to date.

    I have tried to narrow these down. I’m not even sure if I got it right. I got a head ache from looking into each specs and a lot of it I don’t understand. Anyway, I’ve narrowed it to 3 and these are the Panasonic LX3, Sony RX100 (although now I see that there is a new RX100 II), and Nikon P7700.

    It’s so hard for to pick. If only the LX7 has a higher zoom, then it’s a sure winner for me because I have the LX3 and it has been reliable so far. In spite of it’s sensor size compared to the RX100 it would seem that it’s a handsdown winner for the RX100, but it seems to be not totally the case. A review also mentioned that it doesn’t mean that a higher pixel count would be an outright winner and that sometimes it contributes to poorer image quality. I have not been able to comprehend this still. I used to think the higher the pixel, the better it would be. As I try to read some reviews, there is always an in depth comparison of ISO. The reason why I’m not able to fully appreciate this is maybe because I never used ISO settings and have no idea how to adjust this. Is this a major component in comparing cameras? It seems to be always mentioned. The LX7 seems to have a faster lens so does it mean that it’s better in low light and could be better than the RX100? But it also says that the RX100 wins hands down in the high ISO test. When is this high ISO used?

    If say I’m 40 ft away from the stage, how much can I get from it using the LX7? Will the subject be too small to take?

    If it were not for the zoom, I probably would take out Nikon P7700 on the list. Is the aperture of f2.0 a big difference from the f1.4 of LX7 or f1.8 of RX100? From comparisons, it gives me the impression that because it has a smaller aperture, then it’s image quality is poorer than the other 2?

    I don’t know if I’m comparing and analyzing these cams the right way. Hope you can still help me out again here.

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2013
  2. Andy Stanton

    Andy Stanton Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    When shooting in low light your objective is to have a bright, sharp picture at the lowest possible ISO. That's because increasing the ISO means increasing the amount of electricity running through the sensor. This will provide various degrees of interference with the image - graininess, softness, smearing, color distortion etc. One way to get a brighter image in low light so you don't have to increase the ISO as much is to have a wider aperture. That's why a camera with a fast lens like the LX7 with a wide angle aperture of F/1.4 is so useful. However, even with a camera with a fast lens, you might still have to raise the ISO. If you do, cameras with larger sensors will not be affected as much by the high ISO image issues. Cameras with smaller sensors and high megapixels will be affected more than the same sensor size and fewer megapixels.
    The LX7 has a faster lens than the RX100, which means less of a need to increase the ISO in low light. But if the light is low enough so that you do need to increase the ISO, the RX100 will give you better image quality at the higher ISO levels because of its larger sensor.
    That's where you're likely to be disappointed with the LX7 and RX100, which have less than a 4x optical zoom. Even at full zoom, the image at 40 feet is going to be small. If you want a nice closeup you'll need at least a 7x optical zoom.
    The wide angle aperture rating of the P7700 of f/2.0 is fairly fast. I reviewed the P7700 for this website and I thought it did very well in low light. For your needs I think the 7x optical zoom is a more important factor than the f/2.0 maximum aperture.
     
  3. KCook

    KCook Well-Known Member

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    40 feet away sounds like you are in the audience, not at a rehearsal? At a rehearsal I would expect to get much closer than 40'. If I'm stuck in an audience then I would want a viewfinder. Which would mean Canon G15, Fuji X20, Panny LF1 (I think, these cameras are not my natural habitat).

    Very sorry,
    Kelly
     
  4. wanderintraveler

    wanderintraveler Active Member

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    I hate to give up on the LX7, but from the looks it may be a choice between RX100 or NikonP7700. It seems there is a big difference in cost of the RX100 as against the LX7 and P7700. Anyway, with the focal range of P7700, how much could it cover from the stage? Yes, I'm talking from the point of view of an audience?
    I'm thinking that if it's not going to be passable anyway, then I may just have to live with using the SX240 and probably learn something about manual setting that may hopefully improve the quality of the picture.

    I was told that using the flash of the SX240 under that condition isn't necessary. Also that it may be causing the lag. What manual setting would you suggest if there is anything I can improve?
     
  5. KCook

    KCook Well-Known Member

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    We don't know the width of the field that you want for this stage shot. If it is just a single person, then you need lots of zoom, and stick with the SX240. If taking in most of the stage is Ok, then any camera should work, including the Panny LX3 or LX7. Whether a bigger sensor will make any difference depends on the strength of the lighting for the stage. If bright spotlights are in use, then the SX240 has a fighting chance, though manual mode would still help there. The P7700 or RX100 or Fuji X20 should be able to pull this off in Auto mode.

    Kelly
     
  6. Andy Stanton

    Andy Stanton Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    That may be your best bet. You should be able to get a nice looking image if you remember a few things. First, don't use more than 10x optical zoom as the more zoom you use the smaller the aperture. Second, if smart auto isn't working for you try setting the aperture, shutter speed and ISO manually. For the aperture, set it at the lowest F number possible considering the zoom you'll be using (the lower the f number, the wider the aperture). For shutter speed set it at the slowest speed possible to get a sharp image. Start with about 1/60 second and gradually get faster if the image isn't sharp. For ISO start with a low ISO (100) and go higher if the image isn't bright enough. The SX240 should give you a good looking shot as high as 800 ISO. Keep adjusting these factors until you have the balance you want.
    The flash won't do any good unless you're less than 10 feet away and it's probably distracting to the people on stage. It's best to not use it.
     
  7. wanderintraveler

    wanderintraveler Active Member

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    I have to find how how to adjust the settings you mentioned. Problem with cameras these days is that it seems they don't give out manuals. Not that I like reading them, but sometimes there's just a need. I don't remember seeing it.

    So if I don't think about the zoom anymore then it's left to LX7 and RX100. I have now to figure out if the more expensive RX100 is worth taking as against the cheaper LX7. Can you say that even with LX7's brighter and faster lens, RX100 can match that and more because of the bigger sensor and as you mentioned adjusted the ISO settings? Just trying to figure out if all that cost is justifiable. By the way, is the RX100 II really even better than the RX100? Is it a handsdown winner as against the LX7?
     
  8. Andy Stanton

    Andy Stanton Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    I didn't recommend not using zoom. I just said no more than 10x zoom.
     
  9. wanderintraveler

    wanderintraveler Active Member

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    Sorry, what I meant by 'not thinking about the zoom' I meant the zoom capability of the P7700 and not about not using zoom for the other cams. Because I grouped the LX7 and RX100 together and on the other side the P7700 the one with more zoom capability. I don't know if I'm explaning it right or if it makes sense. :)

    Thanks again.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2013
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