If you are looking for Leica D-Lux 7 street photography you are in the right place. This is probably one of the best cameras for street, period. Let’s look at 15 things you need to know with image samples.
Leica D-lux 7 street photography review
1. The weight
When it comes to cameras it is all about tradeoff. While the immediate impulse would be to chose a full frame sensor camera, these babies also add a LOT of bulk both in terms of camera size and lens size.
Leicas are the exception but you can only go so small with a full frame. The strength of the micro 43 sensor system is the fact that these are some of the smallest cameras you can get, that can rival larger sensor DSLRs.
The Leica D-lux 7 is a very portable package for street photography at only 0.88 lb / 403 g. That means you can use it for the whole day and not worry about weight. A small bag will do and no one would know the little powerhouse you are packing.
It doesn’t look big at all and resembles a compact camera rather than anything , so you won’t get heads turning too much if you want to stay stealthy.
2. Zoom range
Street photography is primarily done in 28mm. The D-lux 7 is equipped with a 24mm lens that can go all the way to 75mm. This is a very impressive zoom range considering the size of this camera. With that varied zoom you are not stuck with shooting wide angles only, if you see a shot from afar, you can shoot it with the 75mm end of things.
This is a very desirable zoom to have, not only zooms like this are monsters on a DSLR, even Panasonic’s own offerings on their micro 4/3 cameras weights much more then the D-Lux 7 itself.
3. Fast lens
Both on the wide and telephoto end, the camera has fast lens speeds. On the 24mm end you have a f1.7 aperture and on the long end, f2.8. Yes, everyone would like for it to be a consistent f1.7, but to have f2.8 and even f1.7 on such a long range of focal length is nothing short of a marvel of engineering.
This not hyperbole. Panasonic’s own lens (that has a maximum of f2.8) weights 305 grams on it’s own. With a body the total weight is around 800 grams or about 1.77 lb. The D-lux 7 is 0.88 lb / 403 g.
With that speed this makes it a great camera to have around even in difficult lighting situations or at night.
4. Leica D-Lux 7 street photography Maximum ISO
One of the benefits of a larger sensor is usually better ISO handling. Since Panasonic is focused on one sensor size, they make the most out of it and their technology is quite impressive. The image quality from ISO 100 up to ISO 1600 is nothing short of clean.
You can start seeing some grain at ISO 3200, and only got to ISO 6400 if need be. So it can handle it’s own like a normal APSC DSLR, without the bulk, of course.
5. The fast shooter
While a lot of street photographers prefer their cameras on manual, Autofocus Leica D-Lux 7 street photography is awesome for street because of how fast it is. It focuses extremely fast so you can be walking down the streets and take a shot while moving yourself.
The camera is not only fast, it is also stealthy. Not only because of the smaller stature of the camera, but mainly because it is silent. There’s a definite “CLUNK!” you hear with DSLRs when they fire that you do not hear in this camera. Focusing, shooting is silent and won’t give you away when trying to get that stealthy shot.
7. How low can you go?
Normally the average photographer can hold their camera steady up to 1/30s. The D-lux 7 has Panasonic’s incredible image stabilization. While those who love videos will have silky smooth videos, for photographers that means you can shoot even lower then 1/10s and still have a clean image.
Perfect for when there is low light and you do not want to push the ISO too high, or get that blurry effect.
8. Leica D-Lux 7 street photography portraits
Being a large 4/3 sensor this camera can make beautiful Bokeh, especially at the long telephoto end. So you really can do it all with this camera, from traditional street photography to street portraits. Just zoom all the way in and put your camera at f2.8 and the Bokeh is impressive. Plus it’s a great focal length for flattering portraits.
9. Depth of field
If you want your images with the largest amount of depth of field to have a lot in focus, the advantage of a smaller than APSC sensor shines again here. When it comes to Leica D-Lux 7 street photography with sufficient distance f2.8 has a lot in focus, so you don’t need all of that aperture and can have way more in focus for a lot faster shutter speed.
10. Do the twist
Since this is a compact camera, you can hold it like one. And that means you can twist and turn and do all sorts of hand gymnastics in order to get that odd angle you are after. If it was a DSLR or a mu4/3 camera with an equivalent zoom, you wouldn’t be able too as you would not have a grip.
11. Great dynamic ranges
If you shoot black and white, Leica D-Lux 7 street photography is a treat. You can see in some of the images in this article that the sun was out and the dynamic range both in the highlights and shadows keep it together.
12. Post Processing
If you like your images cooked, the RAW files coming out of the D-lux 7 are impressive. If you mess up your exposure, there’s always some recovery in the raw files that you can do and they can withstand a LOT of post processing.
You can set up your camera to set the screen in black and white and shoot raw, and the out of camera JPGs are usable on the spot.
13. Get the shot
Nothing is worse than missing your shot in the streets. You’d be hard pressed to miss with the Leica D-lux 7 as this tiny monster has a 11 fps maximum. That means for every second you can shoot 11 images, so this makes it great for street photography where there’s always a lot happening.
Sometimes you shoot and immediately regret it because you see the split second after would have made a better image. Just keep pressing with the D-Lux, you’ll get the shot.
14. No flash
If you shoot night street photography the combination of high ISO power and fast lens and stabilization has you well covered. But if you want to use flash, there is non built-in but the camera comes with a small one that you attach on the hotshoe.
No big deal if you don’t do flash street photography, and not a bother because the hotshoe is only for the flash, since this has an electronic viewfinder built-in you don’t need to chose between EVF and flash.
15. Rangefinder experience
The D-Lux is simply a joy to use. Yes you can use the screen but why do so when you have a beautiful, bright viewfinder integrated? The whole experience shooting the camera is rangefinder-like. It’s not a rangefinder per se, but the experience is quite on the rangefinder side of things as you hold your camera to your eye as you would one. This allows for your other eye to be open in order to scan for your next shot.
That’s not all. There is a top shutter speed dial and the aperture is also set right on the lens. So the rangefinder feel is not only in the viewfinder but in the overall experience, especially if you decide to shoot manually.
I hope you enjoyed this article about Leica D-Lux 7 street photography. The amount of camera you get in terms of zoom, weight and price is nothing short of a steal. If you are looking to get one for street, it’s wonderful. And unlike a lot of cameras designed for street photography, this one happens to excel in every other area from travel to portraits. Click here to launch price checker.