Panasonic have just announced the Lumix LX100 II, a compact digital camera with a 4/3 inch 17 MP sensor and a wide angle zoom Leica lens. The original LX100 was lauded as a premium compact geared at the camera enthusiast – so what does the mark II have to offer?
The LX100 falls into the category of ‘premium compact’ – small enough to fit into your jacket pocket, with a lens (and sensor) that allows high-end images to be captured. It’s aimed at pleasing the camera enthusiasts out there – hence the manual controls and Leica lens. A 4/3 inch sensor squeezes into the compact and robust body, with a fast f/ 1.7-2.8 24-70mm lens adding to its credentials.
It’s discreet enough for street/documentary style shooting, and as it shoots in RAW, it will be considered as an alternative for those looking for DSLR/ mirrorless system quality, but without the bulk.
It also makes for a great second camera for those already owning a DSLR, who want something small they can take on holiday and can chuck into their bag, without compromising on image quality.
On the outside the camera appears to be identical to the original (bar the 'II' on the name). The original was applauded for its ergonomic design (even in later reviews when it had been on the market for 4 years), so Panasonic are understandably sticking with their winning formula here.
We love the manual controls – the aperture ring on the lens is incredibly useful, and the exposure and shutter control dials are all within easy reach. All have a reassuring weight and make a thoroughly satisfying click - it feels robust.
For a full overview of the product please watch the video from Gareth below – where you can also see some of the video footage shot with the Lumix. It can shoot 4K at 30FPS, HD at 60FPS, so the quality is there – a lack of microphone socket indicates that the camera is more geared towards the stills enthusiast though.
Here are our highlights from the time we spent with the camera.
We love the aperture ring on the front of the lens, and shooting on Aperture Mode is instinctive, and our go-to option. A simple change of the shutter speed dial to your desired speed and you are working in manual mode before you know it – ditto switch both dials to ‘A’ and you are in automatic (or equivalent to ‘P’) mode.
Shooting in manual, it is friendly and allows for that creative freedom that the camera is geared towards. Adjusting exposure is a breeze, whether you are in A, S or M mode. We did find that it was quite easy to accidentally switch onto ‘iA’ (Intelligent Auto) mode, which overrides your manual settings – watch out for this (the button is near the on/off switch).
There is an additional pop up flash that can be used. It’s an extra that comes in the box, and it works nicely as a fill flash, as seen on the picture of Misty the greyhound. We did experience some lag on the recycle time when using it, but it is a nice extra.
Post Focus is a clever feature exclusive to Panasonic. The camera takes a series of images at various focal points – recording a history of different focus depths. You can then select your desired focus point afterwards in playback mode, and save it as a jpg.
Read our ‘Post Focus Explained’ blog to find out more.
The 4K photo feature is immensely satisfying to play about with –the sound of the shutter firing at a cool 30fps is a fantastic way to eat through your memory card! Although, we should point out the resolution on 4K photos is approximately 8MP, so actually not too bad on storage space!
To use the sequential composition you shoot a mini 4K video and then select the frames you want to merge. We found that you need the camera to remain static (we used a Manfrotto Pixi), and you don’t want your subject overlapping - as with HDR photography, this is to avoid ghosting.
Coffee breaks will never be the same again, thanks to the LX100’s ability to edit RAW files in-camera! It may not rival Photoshop for heavy editing – but it offers the usual features you’d expect – exposure, shadows, highlights, white balance etc.
Combine this with great connectivity (Bluetooth and WiFi allow instant connection to your phone, as well as features such as recording geolocation), and before you know it you’ve posted the image to social media. A quick turnaround indeed.
Watch our video for an in-depth review:
Read the full camera spec and check the latest prices here
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By Park Cameras on 22/08/2018
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