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Nikon P7800 vs Panasonic LX7

The Nikon Coolpix P7800 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2013 and July 2012. Both the P7800 and the LX7 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/1.7-inch sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 12 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.

Headline Specifications
Nikon P7800
versus
Panasonic LX7
Nikon P7800   Panasonic LX7
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
28-200mm f/2.0-4.0 24-90mm f/1.4-2.3
12 MP – 1/1.7" sensor 10 MP – 1/1.7" sensor
1080/30p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 80-3,200 (80 - 6,400) ISO 80-6,400 (80 - 12,800)
Electronic viewfinder (921k dots) Viewfinder optional
3.0" LCD – 921k dots 3.0" LCD – 920k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
8 shutter flaps per second 11 shutter flaps per second
350 shots per battery charge330 shots per battery charge
119 x 78 x 50 mm, 399 g 111 x 68 x 46 mm, 298 g
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Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon Coolpix P7800 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.

Body comparison

The physical size and weight of the Nikon P7800 and the Panasonic LX7 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The LX7 can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the P7800 is only available in black.

Size Nikon P7800 vs Panasonic LX7
Compare P7800 versus LX7 top
Comparison P7800 or LX7 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic LX7 is notably smaller (19 percent) than the Nikon P7800. Moreover, the LX7 is markedly lighter (25 percent) than the P7800. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the P7800 nor the LX7 are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the P7800 gets 350 shots out of its EN-EL14 battery, while the LX7 can take 330 images on a single charge of its DMW-BCJ13 power pack.

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.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Nikon P7800 119 mm 78 mm 50 mm 399 g 350 n Sep 2013 549ebay.com
2.
 
Panasonic LX7 111 mm 68 mm 46 mm 298 g 330 n Jul 2012 499ebay.com
3.
 
Canon G16 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549ebay.com
4.
 
Canon G15 107 mm 76 mm 40 mm 352 g 350 n Sep 2012 499ebay.com
5.
 
Canon G12 112 mm 76 mm 48 mm 401 g 370 n Sep 2010 499ebay.com
6.
 
Fujifilm X30 119 mm 72 mm 60 mm 423 g 470 n Aug 2014 599ebay.com
7.
 
Fujifilm X20 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 353 g 270 n Jan 2013 599ebay.com
8.
 
Fujifilm X10 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 350 g 270 n Sep 2011 599ebay.com
9.
 
Olympus Stylus 1 116 mm 87 mm 57 mm 402 g 410 n Oct 2013 699ebay.com
10.
 
Panasonic LF1 103 mm 62 mm 28 mm 192 g 250 n Apr 2013 499ebay.com
11.
 
Panasonic GF5 108 mm 67 mm 37 mm 267 g 360 n Apr 2012 499ebay.com
12.
 
Panasonic GF3 108 mm 67 mm 32 mm 264 g 300 n Jun 2011 549ebay.com
13.
 
Panasonic LX5 110 mm 65 mm 43 mm 271 g 400 n Jul 2010 499ebay.com
14.
 
Pentax MX-1 122 mm 61 mm 51 mm 391 g 290 n Jan 2013 499ebay.com
Note: 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 retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The LX7 was somewhat cheaper (by 9 percent) than the P7800 at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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.

Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature a 1/1.7-inch sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the LX7 is 2 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 4.5 (P7800) and 4.65. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3. 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.

Nikon P7800 and Panasonic LX7 sensor measures

With 12MP, the P7800 offers a higher resolution than the LX7 (10MP), but the P7800 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 1.89μm versus 2.05μm for the LX7). However, the P7800 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 1 month) than the LX7, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

The resolution advantage of the Nikon P7800 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the P7800 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm. The corresponding values for the Panasonic LX7 are 18.2 x 13.7 inches or 46.3 x 34.7 cm for good quality, 14.6 x 10.9 inches or 37.1 x 27.8 cm for very good quality, and 12.2 x 9.1 inches or 30.9 x 23.2 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Nikon Coolpix P7800 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 3200, which can be extended to ISO 80-6400. 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.

In terms of underlying technology, the P7800 is build around a BSI-CMOS sensor, while the LX7 uses a CMOS imager. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.

P7800 versus LX7 MP

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 P7800 has a notably higher overall DXO score than the LX7 (overall score 4 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.5 bits higher color depth, and 0.4 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Nikon P7800 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/30p21.211.720054
2.
 
Panasonic LX7 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p20.711.714750
3.
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
4.
 
Canon G15 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.911.516546
5.
 
Canon G12 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/24p20.411.216147
6.
 
Fujifilm X30 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p20.411.2-31249
7.
 
Fujifilm X20 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p20.110.9-46246
8.
 
Fujifilm X10 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.511.324550
9.
 
Olympus Stylus 1 1/1.7 11.8 3968 29761080/30p20.711.617951
10.
 
Panasonic LF1 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60i20.811.621152
11.
 
Panasonic GF5 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i21.411.661861
12.
 
Panasonic GF3 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i20.610.045849
13.
 
Panasonic LX5 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/60p19.610.813241
14.
 
Pentax MX-1 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.411.320849
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the LX7 provides a faster frame rate than the P7800. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Nikon is limited to 1080/30p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the P7800 has an electronic viewfinder (921k dots), which can be very helpful 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 Nikon P7800 and Panasonic LX7 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Nikon P7800921 n3.0 / 921 swivel n 1/4000s 8.0/s Y Y
2.
 
Panasonic LX7optional n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0/s Y Y
3.
 
Canon G16optical n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2/s Y Y
4.
 
Canon G15optical n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.1/s Y Y
5.
 
Canon G12optical n2.8 / 461 swivel n 1/4000s 1.1/s Y Y
6.
 
Fujifilm X302360 n3.0 / 920 tilting n 1/4000s 12.0/s Y Y
7.
 
Fujifilm X20optical n2.8 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 12.0/s Y Y
8.
 
Fujifilm X10optical n2.8 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 10.0/s Y Y
9.
 
Olympus Stylus 11440 n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 7.0/s Y Y
10.
 
Panasonic LF1200 n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 10.0/s Y Y
11.
 
Panasonic GF5none n3.0 / 920 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.0/s Y n
12.
 
Panasonic GF3none n3.0 / 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 3.2/s Y n
13.
 
Panasonic LX5optional n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y Y
14.
 
Pentax MX-1none n3.0 / 920 tilting n 1/8000s 1.0/s Y Y
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.
The P7800 has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the LX7 does not have a selfie-screen.

The Nikon P7800 and the Panasonic LX7 both have 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.

Both the P7800 and the LX7 have zoom lenses built in. The P7800 has a 28-200mm f/2.0-4.0 optic and the LX7 offers a 24-90mm f/1.4-2.3 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Panasonic provides a wider angle of view at the short end than the Nikon, but less tele-photo reach at the long end. The LX7 offers the faster maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the P7800 and the LX7 write their files to SDXC cards.

Connectivity comparison

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 Nikon Coolpix P7800 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Nikon P7800Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0---
2.
 
Panasonic LX7Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon G16Ystereo / mono--mini2.0Y--
4.
 
Canon G15Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
5.
 
Canon G12Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
6.
 
Fujifilm X30Ystereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
7.
 
Fujifilm X20Ystereo / mono--micro2.0---
8.
 
Fujifilm X10Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Olympus Stylus 1Ystereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
10.
 
Panasonic LF1-stereo / mono--mini2.0YY-
11.
 
Panasonic GF5-stereo / mono--mini2.0---
12.
 
Panasonic GF3-stereo / mono--mini2.0---
13.
 
Panasonic LX5Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
14.
 
Pentax MX-1-stereo / mono--mini2.0---

It is notable that the P7800 has a microphone port, which is missing on the LX7. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.

Both the P7800 and the LX7 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The LX7 was replaced by the Panasonic LX10, while the P7800 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon and Panasonic websites.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Nikon P7800 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.

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Advantages of the Nikon Coolpix P7800:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (12 vs 10MP) with a 10% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (4 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.4 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 1 month after the LX7).

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Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7:

  • Flexible image proportions: Has a multi-aspect sensor that allows for alternative image shapes.
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (11 vs 8 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/1.4 vs f/2.0).
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • More compact: Is smaller (111x68mm vs 119x78mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 101g or 25 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in July 2012).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the P7800 comes out slightly ahead of the LX7 (9 : 8 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.

P7800 09:08 LX7

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon P7800 and the Panasonic LX7 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera listing 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the P7800 and the LX7 in practical situations. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews

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], digitalcameraworld [DCW], 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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Nikon P78003/5......4/54.5/5 Sep 2013 549ebay.com
2.
 
Panasonic LX73/5+ +..75/1004/54.5/5 Jul 2012 499ebay.com
3.
 
Canon G164/5+....4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549ebay.com
4.
 
Canon G154/5+..76/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499ebay.com
5.
 
Canon G124/5+..73/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2010 499ebay.com
6.
 
Fujifilm X304/5....76/1004.5/54.5/5 Aug 2014 599ebay.com
7.
 
Fujifilm X204/5+ +..77/1004.5/55/5 Jan 2013 599ebay.com
8.
 
Fujifilm X10......76/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2011 599ebay.com
9.
 
Olympus Stylus 1..+ +....4.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 699ebay.com
10.
 
Panasonic LF13/5+....4/54.5/5 Apr 2013 499ebay.com
11.
 
Panasonic GF53/5......4.5/54.5/5 Apr 2012 499ebay.com
12.
 
Panasonic GF33/582/100..71/1004.5/54/5 Jun 2011 549ebay.com
13.
 
Panasonic LX54/5+..73/1004.5/54.5/5 Jul 2010 499ebay.com
14.
 
Pentax MX-13/5....74/1004/54/5 Jan 2013 499ebay.com
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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, 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.

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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.

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    Specifications: Nikon P7800 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 Specifications
    Camera Model Nikon P7800 Panasonic LX7
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 28-200mm f/2.0-4.0 24-90mm f/1.4-2.3
    Launch Date September 2013 July 2012
    Launch Price USD 549 USD 499
    Sensor Specs Nikon P7800 Panasonic LX7
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/1.7" Sensor 1/1.7" Sensor
    Sensor Size 7.6 x 5.7 mm 7.44 x 5.58 mm
    Sensor Area 43.32 mm2 41.5152 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 9.5 mm 9.3 mm
    Crop Factor 4.5x 4.65x
    Sensor Resolution 12 Megapixels 10 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4000 x 3000 pixels 3648 x 2736 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.89 μm 2.05 μm
    Pixel Density 27.70 MP/cm2 24.04 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 3,200 ISO 80 - 6,400 ISO
    ISO Boost 80 - 6,400 ISO 80 - 12,800 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 54 50
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.2 20.7
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.7 11.7
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 200 147
    Screen Specs Nikon P7800 Panasonic LX7
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Resolution 921k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 921k dots 920k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Nikon P7800 Panasonic LX7
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 8 shutter flaps/s 11 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inIntervalometer built-in
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Nikon P7800 Panasonic LX7
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port no MIC socket
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Nikon P7800 Panasonic LX7
    Battery Type EN-EL14 DMW-BCJ13
    Battery Life (CIPA)350 shots per charge330 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 119 x 78 x 50 mm
    (4.7 x 3.1 x 2.0 in)
    111 x 68 x 46 mm
    (4.4 x 2.7 x 1.8 in)
    Camera Weight 399 g (14.1 oz) 298 g (10.5 oz)
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