Canon 40D vs Panasonic LX7
The Canon EOS 40D and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2007 and July 2012. The 40D is a DSLR, while the LX7 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (40D) and a 1/1.7-inch (LX7) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 10.1 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 10 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 40D and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 40D and the Panasonic LX7 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The LX7 can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the 40D is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic LX7 is considerably smaller (52 percent) than the Canon 40D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 40D nor the LX7 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the LX7 has a lens built in, whereas the 40D is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the 40D and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.
|1.||Canon 40D||146 mm||108 mm||74 mm||822 g||750||n||Aug 2007||1,299|
|2.||Panasonic LX7||111 mm||68 mm||46 mm||298 g||330||n||Jul 2012||499|
|3.||Canon G16||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
|4.||Canon T3||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||495 g||700||n||Feb 2011||449|
|5.||Canon 60D||145 mm||106 mm||79 mm||755 g||1100||Y||Aug 2010||1,399|
|6.||Canon 50D||146 mm||108 mm||74 mm||822 g||800||Y||Aug 2008||1,299|
|7.||Canon XS||126 mm||98 mm||65 mm||502 g||500||n||Jun 2008||449|
|8.||Canon XSi||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||524 g||500||n||Jan 2008||799|
|9.||Canon 30D||144 mm||106 mm||74 mm||785 g||750||n||Feb 2006||1,399|
|10.||Canon XTi||127 mm||84 mm||65 mm||556 g||370||n||Aug 2006||799|
|11.||Canon 20D||144 mm||106 mm||72 mm||770 g||700||n||Aug 2004||1,499|
|12.||Canon 10D||150 mm||107 mm||75 mm||850 g||500||n||Feb 2003||1,999|
|13.||Fujifilm X10||117 mm||70 mm||57 mm||350 g||270||n||Sep 2011||599|
|14.||Nikon D90||132 mm||103 mm||77 mm||703 g||850||n||Aug 2008||1,299|
|15.||Panasonic GF5||108 mm||67 mm||37 mm||267 g||360||n||Apr 2012||499|
|16.||Panasonic GF3||108 mm||67 mm||32 mm||264 g||300||n||Jun 2011||549|
|17.||Panasonic LX5||110 mm||65 mm||43 mm||271 g||400||n||Jul 2010||499|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The LX7 was launched at a lower price than the 40D, despite having a lens built in. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 40D features an APS-C sensor and the Panasonic LX7 a 1/1.7-inch sensor. The sensor area in the LX7 is 87 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 4.65. The sensor in the 40D has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the LX7 offers a 4:3 aspect. The LX7 has the particularity of featuring a switch that allows to toggle between multiple aspect ratios, while maintaining the same field of view and full image resolution.
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.
With 10.1MP, the 40D offers a slightly higher resolution than the LX7 (10MP), but the 40D nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.73μm versus 2.05μm for the LX7) due to its larger sensor. However, the LX7 is a much more recent model (by 4 years and 10 months) than the 40D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.
The Canon EOS 40D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 100-3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 are ISO 80 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-12800.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). Of the two cameras under review, the 40D provides substantially higher image quality than the LX7, with an overall score that is 14 points higher. This advantage is based on 1.4 bits higher color depth, 0.4 EV of lower dynamic range, and 2.3 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
| DXO |
|15.||Panasonic GF5||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60i||21.4||11.6||618||61|
|16.||Panasonic GF3||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60i||20.6||10.0||458||49|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The LX7 indeed provides for movie recording, while the 40D does not. The highest resolution format that the LX7 can use is 1080/60p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the 40D has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the LX7 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the LX7 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the DMW-LVF2. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 40D and Panasonic LX7 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
One feature that is present on the 40D, but is missing on the LX7 is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.
The Panasonic LX7 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
The 40D writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the LX7 uses SDXC cards.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS 40D and Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon 40D (unlike the LX7) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the 40D and the LX7 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 40D was replaced by the Canon 50D, while the LX7 was followed by the Panasonic LX10. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Panasonic websites.
So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 40D or the Panasonic LX7 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Advantages of the Canon EOS 40D:
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (14 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.4 bits more color depth).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (2.3 stops ISO advantage).
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (750 versus 330) on a single battery charge.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2007).
Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7:
- Flexible image proportions: Has a multi-aspect sensor that allows for alternative image shapes.
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/60p video.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 230k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (11 vs 6.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the 40D requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (111x68mm vs 146x108mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the 40D).
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 4 years and 10 months of technical progress since the 40D launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the LX7 comes out slightly ahead of the 40D (11 : 10 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 40D and the Panasonic LX7 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Travel-Zoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 40D or the LX7 perform in practice. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Canon 40D||..||+ +||+ +||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,299|
|2.||Panasonic LX7||3/5||+ +||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||499|
|3.||Canon G16||4/5||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549|
|4.||Canon T3||..||80/100||69/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||449|
|5.||Canon 60D||5/5||+||79/100||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2010||1,399|
|6.||Canon 50D||..||+ +||+ +||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2008||1,299|
|7.||Canon XS||..||82/100||+ +||3.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2008||449|
|8.||Canon XSi||..||+ +||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2008||799|
|9.||Canon 30D||..||+ +||+ +||o||..||Feb 2006||1,399|
|10.||Canon XTi||..||+ +||+ +||o||4/5||Aug 2006||799|
|11.||Canon 20D||..||..||+ +||..||..||Aug 2004||1,499|
|12.||Canon 10D||..||..||+ +||..||..||Feb 2003||1,999|
|13.||Fujifilm X10||..||..||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2011||599|
|14.||Nikon D90||..||+ +||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2008||1,299|
|15.||Panasonic GF5||3/5||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2012||499|
|16.||Panasonic GF3||3/5||82/100||71/100||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2011||549|
|17.||Panasonic LX5||4/5||+||73/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2010||499|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
Specifications: Canon 40D vs Panasonic LX7
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Canon 40D||Panasonic LX7|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||24-90mm f/1.4-2.3|
|Launch Date||August 2007||July 2012|
|Launch Price||USD 1,299||USD 499|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 40D||Panasonic LX7|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||1/1.7" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.3 x 14.9 mm||7.44 x 5.58 mm|
|Sensor Area||332.27 mm2||41.5152 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||26.8 mm||9.3 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||10.1 Megapixels||10 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3888 x 2592 pixels||3648 x 2736 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||5.73 μm||2.05 μm|
|Pixel Density||3.03 MP/cm2||24.04 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 1,600 ISO||80 - 6,400 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 3,200 ISO||80 - 12,800 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 3||Venus|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||64||50|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.1||20.7|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.3||11.7|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||703||147|
|Screen Specs||Canon 40D||Panasonic LX7|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||no Top Display|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||230k dots||920k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 40D||Panasonic LX7|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||6.5 shutter flaps/s||11 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon 40D||Panasonic LX7|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||no PC Sync|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Canon 40D||Panasonic LX7|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||750 shots per charge||330 shots per charge|
146 x 108 x 74 mm
(5.7 x 4.3 x 2.9 in)
111 x 68 x 46 mm
(4.4 x 2.7 x 1.8 in)
|Camera Weight||822 g (29.0 oz)||298 g (10.5 oz)|
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