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Panasonic LX7 versus Canon 400D

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 and the Canon EOS 400D (labelled Canon XTi in some countries) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in July 2012 and August 2006. The LX7 is a fixed lens compact, while the 400D is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/1.7-inch (LX7) and an APS-C (400D) sensor. The Panasonic has a resolution of 10 megapixel, whereas the Canon provides 10.1 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Panasonic LX7 vs Canon 400D

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Panasonic LX7 and the Canon 400D. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the LX7 – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Panasonic LX7 vs Canon 400D
Compare LX7 versus 400D top
Compare LX7 and 400D rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon 400D is notably larger (41 percent) than the Panasonic LX7. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the LX7 nor the 400D are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the LX7 has a lens build in, whereas the 400D is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can find an overview of optics for the 400D and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the LX7 gets 330 shots out of its DMW-BCJ13 battery, while the 400D can take 370 images on a single charge of its NB-2LH power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Panasonic LX7» 111 mm 68 mm 46 mm 298 g 330 n Jul 2012 499- i Panasonic LX7
Canon 400D« 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799- i Canon 400D
Canon 750D« » 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749- i Canon 750D
Canon 760D« » 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 849- i Canon 760D
Canon G16« » 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549 i i Canon G16
Canon G15« » 107 mm 76 mm 40 mm 352 g 350 n Sep 2012 499- i Canon G15
Canon SX50« » 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 n Sep 2012 429- i Canon SX50
Canon 450D« » 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799- i Canon 450D
Canon 40D« » 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 750 n Aug 2007 1,299- i Canon 40D
Canon 350D« » 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899- i Canon 350D
Fujifilm X20« » 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 353 g 270 n Jan 2013 599- i Fujifilm X20
Fujifilm X10« » 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 350 g 270 n Sep 2011 599- i Fujifilm X10
Panasonic FZ200« » 125 mm 87 mm 110 mm 588 g 540 n Jul 2012 599- i Panasonic FZ200
Panasonic GF5« » 108 mm 67 mm 37 mm 267 g 360 n Apr 2012 499- i Panasonic GF5
Panasonic G3« » 115 mm 84 mm 47 mm 336 g 270 n May 2011 599- i Panasonic G3
Panasonic GF3« » 108 mm 67 mm 32 mm 264 g 300 n Jun 2011 549- i Panasonic GF3
Panasonic LX5« » 110 mm 65 mm 43 mm 271 g 400 n Jul 2010 499- i Panasonic LX5

The camera’s price is obviously a critical decision-making factor. 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 launched at a lower price than the 400D, despite having a lens build 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Panasonic LX7 vs Canon 400D

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Panasonic LX7 features a 1/1.7-inch sensor and the Canon 400D an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the 400D is 683 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 4.65 and 1.6. The sensor in the LX7 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the 400D offers a 3:2 aspect. The LX7 has the particularity of featuring a switch that allows to toggle between different aspect ratios, while maintaining the same field of view and full image resolution.

Panasonic LX7 and Canon 400D sensor measures

With 10.1MP, the 400D offers a higher resolution than the LX7 (10MP), but the 400D nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.71μm versus 2.05μm for the LX7) due to its larger sensor. However, the LX7 is a much more recent model (by 5 years and 10 months) than the 400D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

LX7 versus 400D MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 consideration, the 400D offers substantially better image quality than the LX7 (overall score 12 points higher). The advantage is based on 1.4 bits higher color depth, 0.7 EV of lower dynamic range, and 2.2 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.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
Panasonic LX7» 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p20.711.714750Panasonic LX7
Canon 400D« APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-22.111.066462Canon 400D
Canon 750D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p22.712.091971Canon 750D
Canon 760D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570Canon 760D
Canon G16« » 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054Canon G16
Canon G15« » 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.911.516546Canon G15
Canon SX50« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947Canon SX50
Canon 450D« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848-21.910.869261Canon 450D
Canon 40D« » APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-22.111.370364Canon 40D
Canon 350D« » APS-C 8.0 3456 2304-21.810.863760Canon 350D
Fujifilm X20« » 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p----Fujifilm X20
Fujifilm X10« » 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.511.324550Fujifilm X10
Panasonic FZ200« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.110.811437Panasonic FZ200
Panasonic GF5« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i21.411.661861Panasonic GF5
Panasonic G3« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i21.010.666756Panasonic G3
Panasonic GF3« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i20.610.045849Panasonic GF3
Panasonic LX5« » 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/60p19.610.813241Panasonic LX5

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The LX7 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the 400D does not. The highest resolution format that the LX7 can use is 1080/60p.

 

Feature comparison: Panasonic LX7 vs Canon 400D

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the 400D 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Panasonic LX7, the Canon 400D, and comparable cameras. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Panasonic LX7»- n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 11.0 Y Y Panasonic LX7
Canon 400D«optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon 400D
Canon 750D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon 750D
Canon 760D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon 760D
Canon G16« »optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 4000 2.2 Y Y Canon G16
Canon G15« »optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 4000 2.1 Y Y Canon G15
Canon SX50« »202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 2000 2.2 Y Y Canon SX50
Canon 450D« »optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 3.5 Y n Canon 450D
Canon 40D« »optical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 8000 6.5 Y n Canon 40D
Canon 350D« »optical n 1.8 115 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon 350D
Fujifilm X20« »optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 4000 12.0 Y Y Fujifilm X20
Fujifilm X10« »optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 4000 10.0 Y Y Fujifilm X10
Panasonic FZ200« »1312 n 3.0 460 swivel n 4000 12.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ200
Panasonic GF5« »- n 3.0 920 fixed Y 4000 4.0 Y n Panasonic GF5
Panasonic G3« »1440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 4000 4.0 Y n Panasonic G3
Panasonic GF3« »- n 3.0 460 fixed Y 4000 3.2 Y n Panasonic GF3
Panasonic LX5« »- n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 2.5 Y Y Panasonic LX5

The LX7 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the 400D uses Compact Flash cards.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
Panasonic LX7»Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic LX7
Canon 400D«Y-----2.0---Canon 400D
Canon 750D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon 750D
Canon 760D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon 760D
Canon G16« »Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--Canon G16
Canon G15« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon G15
Canon SX50« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon SX50
Canon 450D« »Y----mini2.0---Canon 450D
Canon 40D« »Y-----2.0---Canon 40D
Canon 350D« »Y-----2.0---Canon 350D
Fujifilm X20« »Ystereomono--micro2.0---Fujifilm X20
Fujifilm X10« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Fujifilm X10
Panasonic FZ200« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Panasonic FZ200
Panasonic GF5« »-stereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic GF5
Panasonic G3« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic G3
Panasonic GF3« »-stereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic GF3
Panasonic LX5« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Panasonic LX5

Both the LX7 and the 400D have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 400D was replaced by the Canon 450D, while the LX7 was followed by the Panasonic LX10.

Review summary: Panasonic LX7 vs Canon 400D

So how do things add up? Is the Panasonic LX7 better than the Canon 400D or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7:

  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (0.7 EV of extra DR).
  • Flexible image proportions: Has a multi-aspect sensor that allows for alternative image shapes.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/60p movies.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 230k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (11 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with a build-in lens, while the 400D requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (111x68mm vs 127x84mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a build-in lens (unlike the 400D).
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization build-in.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a build-in lens.
  • More modern: Reflects 5 years and 10 months of technical progress since the 400D launch.

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Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS 400D:

  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (12 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.4 bits more color depth).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (2.2 stops ISO advantage).
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (370 versus 330) out of a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in August 2006).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the LX7 is the clear winner of the match-up (12 : 7 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera.

LX7 12:07 400D

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the LX7 and the 400D in practical situations. 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 following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Panasonic LX7»HiRec75/1004/55/54.5/5 Jul 2012 499- i Panasonic LX7
Canon 400D«HiRecHiRecrev4.5/54/5 Aug 2006 799- i Canon 400D
Canon 750D« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749- i Canon 750D
Canon 760D« »Rec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 849- i Canon 760D
Canon G16« »Rec-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i i Canon G16
Canon G15« »Rec76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499- i Canon G15
Canon SX50« »HiRec72/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Sep 2012 429- i Canon SX50
Canon 450D« »HiRecHiRec4/55/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799- i Canon 450D
Canon 40D« »HiRecHiRec4.5/5rev4.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299- i Canon 40D
Canon 350D« »80/100HiRecrevrev- Feb 2005 899- i Canon 350D
Fujifilm X20« »HiRec77/1004.5/5-5/5 Jan 2013 599- i Fujifilm X20
Fujifilm X10« »-76/1004/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2011 599- i Fujifilm X10
Panasonic FZ200« »HiRec80/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jul 2012 599- i Panasonic FZ200
Panasonic GF5« »--4.5/54/54.5/5 Apr 2012 499- i Panasonic GF5
Panasonic G3« »HiRec75/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2011 599- i Panasonic G3
Panasonic GF3« »82/10071/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Jun 2011 549- i Panasonic GF3
Panasonic LX5« »Rec73/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jul 2010 499- i Panasonic LX5

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting. If the camera you are interested in is not available, please send me an email, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.

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