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PANASONIC LUMIX LX100 4K Point and Shoot Camera, 3.1X LEICA DC Vario-SUMMILUX F1.7-2.8 Lens with Power O.I.S., 12.8 Megapixel, DMC-LX100S (USA SILVER)
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- Legendary LUMIX LX Series with manual controls -- Designed to Inspire Creativity. Lens: null/LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMILUX/11 elements in 8 groups/(5 Aspherical Lenses/8 Aspherical Surfaces/2 Dual-sided Aspherical Surface ED Lenses).
- Superior light capture with large, multi-aspect micro four thirds sensor
- 24-75mm Leica DC lens (F1.7-2.8) for a desirable Bokeh defocus effect
- Clear and stable framing thanks to eye-level EVF (2,764k-dot)
- Full hybrid photo experience with 30p 4K Ultra HD video and 4K photo mode
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From the manufacturer
Panasonic DMC-LX100S LUMIX LX100 Integrated Leica DC Lens Zoom Camera
Legendary LUMIX LX Series with manual controls -- Designed to Inspire Creativity.
Superior light capture with large, multi-aspect micro four thirds sensor.
24-75 millimeter Leica DC lens (F1.7-2.8) for a desirable Bokeh defocus effect.
Clear and stable framing thanks to eye-level EVF (2,764k-dot).
Full hybrid photo experience with 30p 4K Ultra HD video and 4K photo mode.
External flash included.
Controls Designed to Inspire Creativity
Designed to inspire and expand the creative potential of every camera enthusiast, the LX 100 comes complete with an exciting range of advanced imaging features. It encourages direct, intuitive control with dedicated lens rings and dials, including aperture and control rings for precise zooming and focusing, as well as speed and exposure compensation dials.
Approaching New Expressive Horizons – Micro Four Thirds High Sensitivity MOS Sensor
It's now more rewarding than ever to render smooth, seamless gradations and rich, fuller textures in all their natural beauty. To help capture subtle details and nuances the LX100 incorporates a large 4/3-inch High Sensitivity MOS Sensor with multi-aspect ratios. By maintaining resolution at 12.8-MP* (in 4:3 setting), the volume of light is controlled to improve the S/N ratio, making it possible to create clear, detailed images with minimum noise. Even when shooting at ISO25600.
*Sensor total pixel is 16.8 MP.
Multiple Aspect Ratios
With a simple switch on the lens barrel, it's easy to select and set three aspect ratios. This quick, convenient function makes it possible to confidently record images in the 4:3, 3:2 or 16:9 aspect ratio with the same angle of view.
Great Lens, Compact Body – F/1.7-2.8 LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMLUX Lens
With F1.7-2.8 brightness, high speed and crisp detail corner to corner, this sophisticated LEICA lens system is the perfect complement to the camera's compact body, and the key to innovative imaging. This precision lens unit consists of 11 elements in eight groups with five aspherical lenses — including two ED lenses.
These lenses, together with a space-saving drive range, work seamlessly with Panasonic's original centering technology to enhance alignment sharpness.
Smooth, Beautiful Defocus Effects: When combined with the large, high-sensitivity MOS Sensor, this lens configuration gives images a shallow depth of field with an impressive defocus effect featuring invisible edge lines and onion rings. And a newly adopted nine-aperture diaphragm helps produce breathtaking bokeh effects with smooth, circular shapes.
Light Speed AF with DFD Technology
With the LX100, new Depth From Defocus technology slashes focus time. It instantaneously calculates distance to subject by evaluating two separate image with different sharpness levels. The result is ultra-high speed AF in approximately 0.14 seconds.
2,764-dot Equivalent High Resolution LFV
An integrated Live View Finder with 2,764-dot equivalent high resolution delivers approximately 100 percent color reproduction* to assure stable framing and superb visibility when shooting under strong sunlight. And to prevent missing any shooting opportunity, the Eye Sensor AF initiates auto focusing the instant you look into it. A 3.0-inch 921k-dot rear monitor is also available.
*Based on the Adobe RGB color space. Panasonic in-house comparison based on the CIE 1931 x, y color space.
A New Form of Photo Expression - Print High-Resolution Photos from 4K Video
In addition to 4K Ultra HD video recording,* the LX100 also has the ability to grab 3840 x 2160 MP equivalent stills from 4K video footage to enlarge and print high-definition photos. Once 4K Photo mode is selected, the luminance level is adjusted to 0-255, suitable for photos. At the same time, you can also select 4:3 or 3:3 in addition to 16:9 with the aspect ratio switch.
*4K video can be recorded for up to 15 minutes. When recording in 4K, use a SD card rated UHS Speed Class 3.
4K Video and 1920 x 1080p Full-HD Video: The LX100 not only has the advantage of shooting QFHD 3849 x 2160, 30fps /24 fps in MP4, it also has the ability to use 4K video as high-speed burst shots, and extract spontaneous moments with 8-MP resolution. Plus record Full-HD 1920 x 1080 60p video in AVCHD Progressive or MP4 format.
4K video can be recorded for up to 15 minutes. When recording in 4K, use a SD card rated UHS Speed Class 3.
Motion pictures in AVCHD can be recorder for up to 29 minutes, 59 seconds.
Motions pictures in MP4 (FHD/HD/VGA) can be recorded for up to 29 minutes, 59 seconds, or up to 4GB.
External Flash Included
A highly practical, color coordinated, easy-mount external flash unit (GN10 ISO200 m/GN7 OISO100) is included.
The Aspect Bracket enables the LX100 to simultaneously create an image 4:3, 3:2, 16:9 and 1:1.
WB Bracket - A White Balance bracket is available to record three images with different WB parameters at a single shutter release.
Monochrome in Photo Style - The Monochrome Filter (Ye/Or/R/G) in the Photo Style function easily creates rich, smooth expression from the limited hues of monochrome images.
Multi Exposure - This versatile function enables the camera to shoot four exposures in a single frame, and to layer subjects that wouldn't ordinarily appear in the same frame.
Fast Shutter Speed.
Highlight/ Shadow Control.
11 fps Burst Shooting.
RAW Data Development in Camera.
Time Lapse Shot.
Focus Peaking with Control Ring.
Stop Motion Animation.
Creative Control with 22 Filter Effects
Expressive, Retro, Old Days, High Key, Low Key, Sepia, Monochrome, Dynamic Monochrome, Rough Monochrome, Silky Monochrome, Impressive Art, High Dynamic, Cross Process, Toy Effect, Toy Pop, Bleach Bypass, Miniature Effect, Soft Focus, Fantasy, Star Filter, One Point Color, Sunshine
*Note: Available effects vary depending on shooting mode.
DP Review - Best High-end Compact Camera of 2014: - LX100
"The Panasonic LX lineage is a strong one, and the LX100 truly brings the series to the next level. Panasonic engineers saw the impressively sized sensors other manufacturers have been fitting into compacts and raised the stakes with a cropped 13MP Four Thirds sensor. This bigger imager coupled with a very fast 24-75mm f/1.7-2.8 equivalent lens, good controls and strong image quality, lead us to declare the LX100 as one of the best compact cameras to date - clearly you agree!"
- DPReview Readers Choice Award for Best High-end Compact Camera of 2014
|Auto Focus Technology|
|Battery Average Life||300 Photos|
|Battery Type||Lithium Ion|
|Continuous Shooting Speed||11 fps|
|Display Fixture Type||Fixed|
|Display Resolution Maximum||921000|
|Display Size||3 inches|
|Effective Still Resolution||12.8 MP|
|Expanded ISO Maximum||25,600|
|Expanded ISO Minimum||100|
|Exposure Control Type|
|External Memory Included||No|
|File Format||JPEG (DCF/EXIF v2.3), Raw (RW2)|
|Flash Memory Type||SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-I)|
|Flash Type||via hot shoe|
|Focus Description||Contrast detection|
|Focus Type||Includes Manual Focus|
|Form Factor||Large sensor compact|
|ISO Range||Auto, 200-25600 (expands to 100-25600)|
|Image Aspect Ratio||1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9|
|Item Dimensions||2.6 x 2.17 x 4.53 inches|
|Item Weight||0.87 pounds|
|Lithium Battery Energy Content||1,025 Milliamp Hours|
|Lithium Battery Voltage||1 Volt|
|Lithium Battery Weight||40 grams|
|Macro Focus Range||3 cm|
|Maximum Aperture Range||F1.7 - F2.8|
|Maximum Focal Length||75 mm|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/16000 of a second|
|Maximum horizontal resolution||4,112|
|Metering||Multi, Center-weighted, Spot|
|Minimum Focal Length||24 mm|
|Minimum Shutter Speed||60 seconds|
|Optical Sensor Resolution||12.8 MP|
|Optical Sensor Technology||CMOS|
|Photo Sensor Technology||CMOS|
|Processor Description||Venus Engine|
|Shipping Weight||1.7 pounds|
|Supported Battery Types||Panasonic DMW-BLG10|
|Video Capture Format||MPEG-4, AVCHD|
|Video Capture Resolution||3840 x 2160 (30p, 24p), 1920 x 1080 (60p, 60i, 30p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (30p), 640 x 480|
|Viewfinder Description||2764000 dots|
|Water Resistance Level||Not Water Resistant|
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This item PANASONIC LUMIX LX100 4K Point and Shoot Camera, 3.1X LEICA DC Vario-SUMMILUX F1.7-2.8 Lens with Power O.I.S., 12.8 Megapixel, DMC-LX100S (USA SILVER)
|Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Sold By||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||DigitalandMore||Amazon.com||A+ Accessories||Amazon.com|
|Screen Size||3 in||3 in||3 in||3 in||3 in||3 in|
|Item Dimensions||2.17 x 4.53 x 2.6 in||4.15 x 1.65 x 2.36 in||4.52 x 2.17 x 2.61 in||4.4 x 1.7 x 2.5 in||2.41 x 4.64 x 2.61 in||4.4 x 1.62 x 2.64 in|
|Item Weight||0.87 lb||0.68 lb||0.77 lb||0.69 lb||0.89 lb||0.71 lb|
|Optical Sensor Resolution||12.8 megapixels||20.1 megapixels||12.8 megapixels||20 megapixels||12.8 megapixels||20.3 megapixels|
|Video Capture Resolution||3840 x 2160 (30p, 24p), 1920 x 1080 (60p, 60i, 30p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (30p), 640 x 480||3840 x 2160||4k||4k||4k||4k|
|Viewfinder||LCD||flexible LCD||electronic viewfinder||electronic viewfinder||electronic viewfinder||electronic viewfinder|
LUMIX LX100 Integrated Leica DC Lens Zoom Camera with Advanced Controls: DMC-LX100. For any further queries please contact Panasonic Customer service contact number @ 1-800-211-PANA (7262)
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After looking at the Fuji X100T, Sony RX100III and IV, Leicas, and even the Sony RX1 Mk2 (in my wildest, most expensive dreams), I found this little camera at the bottom of the price bracket and decided to give it a try.
Here are some thoughts on this camera before discussing image quality:
-It's not as small as the Sony RX100 cameras, and probably won't be comfortable in your pants pocket. But it WILL fit very easily in a purse, backpack, briefcase, or jacket pocket very comfortably. In short, you won't need a camera bag to keep this on you 100% of the time. That's small enough for me, and actually I thought the camera would be larger when I ordered it. One annoying thing is that the lens isn't automatically covered when retracted, so you'll want to keep track of the lens cap, which can be fastened to the camera with an included tether.
-The construction is immaculate. Better, in some ways in fact, than my Nikon D750. It's not weather sealed, but then again neither are it competitors. Very solid clicky buttons and dials that have just the right amount of resistance. The button layout is intuitive and useful.
-The camera is dang comfortable to hold and use for a little camera.
-I like that the manual controls are directly changed rather than chosen in a mode dial. For example, if you wanted aperture priority mode you'd just change the aperture ring to what you want then set ISO and shutter dials to auto. It's the same as Fuji systems basically, and it's a whole lot of fun, though not perhaps as quick as a dual-dial DSLR when shooting in full manual.
-The EVF is small but certainly usable. I thought I'd use it more but I tend to use the screen most of the time. I like that the EVF is on the left of the camera so your nose doesn't have to press into the screen to use it.
-I'll trade a hot-shoe for a built-in flash any day. I never shoot with on-camera flash anyway, and if you really want it the included flash is small and nice enough. I've shot this bad boy with my pocket wizards and off camera flash. But really, whatever. Not having an on-camera flash is one of many tells that this is a camera for photographers not amateurs, as I'll discuss later.
-Not being familiar with Panasonic's menu and language (and hating to read manuals despite my wife's mocking advice) it took me a bit to figure out how to set the camera up as I preferred. This is partially because it's so incredibly customizable, which, again, makes it great for pros/enthusiasts, and not so great for beginners or intermediate photographers. It's a very, very, very customizable shooting experience with 3 custom function buttons that can be assigned a ton of different useful options (WAY more than Nikon lets me assign on my D750). The quick menu is also customizable in a very useful way. But be warned - you'll need to set this camera up before using it, or you're going to get annoyed. For example, the intelligent auto button that so many people complain about being easily hit can be set to need a long-press before activating, thus solving this problem. But you'd have to really set this camera up to know that.
-Speaking of Intelligent Auto, I actually really like it here. It's important that I can just hand this camera to a stranger, set it to auto, and know it'll give me a good picture. It's not as easy to hit as rumored, especially when you choose the long-press option.
-I only have a few beefs with this camera's design/interface/usability, and you've probably already heard them in other reviews. 1) It would be nice if the screen articulated. I like to shoot from interesting angles and I miss the articulating (though incredibly pokey) live view articulating screen of my D750 at times. 2) Choosing a focus point is slower than on my DSLRs. I wish that the wheel/4-way pad could be set to choose the focus point without pressing a button, but even more than the focus points moved more quickly when you're moving them around. It's one downfall of having so many focus points, you have to scroll through all of them to find the one you want. I'd prefer just to be able to choose center or one of the rule-of-thirds points instead. That's just a pet peeve, though, really. 3) The filter button is stupid on this kind of camera and should have been a 4th custom button instead. Really - why? It's kind of a bizarre choice here given the obvious intended market for this camera. 4) I'm sure Panasonic's iA, iDynamic, and multitude of other intelligent modes are great. But there sure are a heck of a lot of them and I kind of wish they were more plainly branded. All in all, these are fairly minor problems.
OKAY! On to image quality.
-It's not a full frame DSLR. There is much more noise and less detail than my D750 gives me, and I sometimes miss those things. But I'd be pretty stupid to expect something else, wouldn't I? Overall, image quality is amazingly good in bright light and quite good in lower light. It's not too far off what I get from my Fujifilm APS-C sensors, which are some of the best APS-C sensors around.
-Depending on your level of perfectionism, ISO is usable up to around 3200. You loose a lot of detail past ISO 1250, but noise is fairly minimal up to 3200. You can push it higher if you don't mind noise and it'll certainly be better than any smartphone. The super-fast aperture and the image stabilization work to make this a very capable camera in low light.
-The low depth of field you can achieve is incredible for something that fits easily in your jacket pocket. And the out-of-focus areas (bokeh) are truly beautiful in many cases. I was surprised by how creamy and smooth it could get. Colors meld together and lights turn into nice circles. It's quite beautiful bokeh, much better than I was expecting. Maybe it's the Leica branding on the lens?
-Holy cow, the macro abilities of this system are better than anything I own. If I need a macro shot for a client, I put down my Nikon and pick up the LX100.
-12 megapixels is plenty unless you want to crop a lot. The variable, no-loss crop factors are nice if that's you're thing.
-The glass, camera, and processor all work together to give you really beautiful contrast and color. It's not Fujifilm-quality strait out of camera, but it's darn good. Very pretty. See my example photos.
-The 4K photo burst mode is really nice for pets and children. Photos look good, not smeared as you'd expect for movie stills.
-VIDEO: I rarely use it, but the 4K is really, really nice. It holds it's own against my D750. And the zebra striping and focus peaking work incredibly well, and are especially nice for smooth video work.
This camera produces some brilliant images in almost any situation, and it delivers the artistic capabilities of a DSLR or ILC Mirrorless camera in an always-with-you sized package. It's a fantastic accomplishment and I am very pleased to own this camera. This is not a camera designed for people who either don't know how to manually balance shutter, aperture, and ISO while choosing a focus point and the correct metering mode all at once. Yes, if you stick the camera in auto it will produce much better images than your smartphone. But it's entirely missing the point of why this camera exists - to give knowledgable and experienced photographers a tool that can accomplish the same shots as their interchangeable lens systems with only minor reductions in image quality. It is the ideal travel or walk around camera for a professional or enthusiast photographer.
The Panasonic LX-100 is an extraordinarily customizable, well-balanced, beautifully built compact camera that will please anyone, but especially those understand photography or are willing to learn.
Not only has Panasonic made a great leap with the LX100, they've designed a compact that is of equal significance to the LX3 when it debuted.
A lot of commenters disagreed with my comparison review of the LX7 vs. the RX100, especially after Panasonic dramatically cut their pricing in the face of the Sony camera's popularity. So here we are two years later, and I'm seeing the matchup as valid as ever (with the most current RX100 III, of course).
The LX100 has crept in size since the original LX3, and even compared to the LX7 (also incrementally larger than the LX3), the new dimensions are worthy of consideration -- if you're at all on the fence. While the RX100 III has also "filled out" a bit compared to its introduction model, it's still comfortably pocketable in a loose pair of pants. Additionally, weight has increased by 100g from the 300g weight of the LX7 -- that's a significant 33%! And that, right there, is my sole reason for considering the Sony RX100 III over the Panasonic LX100 for this go-around -- it's the camera I'd be more likely to have with me on a day-to-day basis. Where the LX3 was marginally "pocketable" in a pair of baggy shorts, the LX100 is too much of a stretch.
With the Sony's advantage of compactness comes the main trade-off (as it did two years ago): usability. But where the LX7 relied on an inferior sensor, the LX100's micro four thirds sensor invalidates that point, and the Sony now only competes in terms of portability.
In hand, the LX100 is imminently a "usable" piece of technology. All of the controls I want to modify are presented, front and center, on mechanical dials and switches. The LX100 even manages to one-up Pana's own FZ1000, with a manual aspect ratio switch (something I use *constantly*), and a "jog dial" (to borrow Sony's trademarked term) around the 4-way controller. The LX100 even gives exposure compensation its own dial -- a function I've always been perfectly happy setting via a thumb dial.
The addition of the lens barrel control rings is the most noteworthy addition. The aperture ring is an easy-to-turn affair with a nice little grip to it. Its light detents provide just enough resistance to avoid unintentional changes, with a heavier detent on the Auto position. The zoom/focus ring is smooth turning but with light resistance. It allows for steady control (or stepped zoom -- a menu default), but is easily nudged out of position from stray finger bumps. Thankfully, it's thin -- proportional to the stowed barrel -- so mainly stays out of the way. On the other hand, the traditional "zoom toggle" around the shutter release is a bit of an unnatural stretch for my large hands (so I'm curious how smaller-handed users perceive it), and although it offers proportional zoom control, pushing to the limit for fastest rate of adjustment seems sluggish compared with my LX7 and FZ1000.
I'm particularly tickled with the absence of a "Program" mode on a conventional selector dial. It has reverted to the natural state of cameras -- as it should be. Want Program mode? Set the aperture ring to "A" and the shutter speed to "A." Deviating from this results in Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, or Manual. It's just that basic. If you find yourself in a bind, or need to give the camera to a friend, there's a convenient iA button next to the shutter release, and pressing it doesn't undo any of the other settings once you're ready to bounce back. There's very little need to delve into the menu for most shooting.
The WiFi control is unnecessarily cumbersome to launch into, but once connected, the live view and control of zoom, manual focus, auto focus override, and shooting is very useful for family portraits and long exposure photography. WiFi range is decent at about 25 feet (still disappointing, but is serves most of my needs), and still tons better than an IR trigger or self timer (which, by the way, is a function that works in conjunction with WiFi mode should you desire it).
All the rumors leading up to this release had me hopeful for an articulating, touch-screen LCD. It's neither. It is a vibrant and decently high resolution display, though not bright enough to see plainly in bright sunlight. It's good at off angles, but again, even on cloudy days brightness is a factor. But Panasonic's Android companion app (and iPhone, too) is a fair trade for composing shots via WiFi, where the phone acts as a remote viewfinder display, and in control of the various shooting functions. The lack of a touch-screen is just puzzling. Maybe in two years?
I've gotten used to no viewfinder (and never did invest in the hot shoe-mounted EVF for my LX7. But the EVF on the LX100 is pretty nice: it's very high resolution, to where the image appears "natural" (still obviously electronic, but super crisp, though it shows a lot of pixel "noise" in low light), and menu settings can be be easily read. The display lags a little when I pan the camera, but this doesn't prevent me from tracking my subject -- I just wouldn't be able to easily manually focus while panning (not that I'd have the need to).
This isn't even worth talking about or attempting to measure with any recent cameras, it seems. Start-up times are hardly measurable, even giving consideration to lens extension. Flick the power switch and the camera is ready to go. Continuous shooting speeds cover a range from about 6 frames per second with continuous auto-focus, up to the mid-40's (electronic shutter activated), or I can shoot 4K video and pull really decent quality 8mp still images (although this is a bit of a memory hog, and requires advancing frame-by-frame through 30 FPS video to do so in-camera). Shutdown takes a moment longer to complete, and for some reason is delayed by an extra second or two when shutting down from WiFi mode.
I don't know whether the LX100's auto focus is exactly the same as the contrast detection used on its big brother FZ1000, but it is comparably quick and accurate, and is most definitely a step up from the previous LX cameras. There's no need to half-press the shutter to pre-focus, unless you're simply interested in checking the composition.
An on the subject of focus, even manual focus is very quick and efficient. The camera automatically displays an adequately magnified view of the subject, and the "focus peaking" very quickly indicates what areas are in focus. The front ring switches to focus mode for this, and adjustments can be made quickly and precisely. Previous compact cameras' attempts at manual focus using toggles and small LCDs always drove me bonkers; the LX100 addresses all my prior complaints.
As mentioned, the camera is ready to go pretty much when switched On -- just over a second to get the lens extended. Video mode is always a button press away.
Composition is a strong point. In addition to the normal grid lines and two-axis auto-leveling guide lines (menu selected), the aspect ratio switch makes it extremely convenient to re-frame shots based on subject. If you've ever been shooting in 16:9 mode and suddenly want to shoot portrait, you'll know what I mean -- rather than having to break away to go menu surfing, a sure flick of the index finger instantly pops the camera into a portrait-friendly 4:3. Like its predecessors, the LX100 uses different areas of the sensor based on aspect ratio selected. This isn't just a simple crop, and your output will always have a consistent diagonal (corner to opposite corner) measurement.
While I'm slightly disappointed the zoom range is limited to 75mm, it's actually not much of a compromise based on how I've utilized the LX-series in generations past. The reality is that with this sensor and lens, with the quality of the resulting images, post-crops and even digital zoom (gasp! -- available up to 300mm) can make some of that up. But the reality is this camera isn't intended as a super zoom, and is best not used that way.
Shooting modes are selected in the drive mode menu, directly accessed from the 4-way controller. Burst shooting, bracketing, and even panorama mode are selected from this menu.
White balance is also accessed via a direct press of the 4-way. I don't normally shoot RAW (perhaps I should), so for indoor, low-light, flash-free shooting, manual white balance adjustment is extremely important for me, and I appreciate this direct access versus having to hunt through the menu.
Aperture, exposure compensation, and shutter are all set via hardware dials. ISO, on the other hand (if not set to auto), is a menu selection, and selected via the jog dial that encircles the 4-way.
I'm realizing some wonderful depth of field effects that weren't possible with the smaller sensors of the previous LX cameras. The LX100 is quite capable of nice Bokeh, and the lens ring aperture control makes this very easy to experiment with, since there's no menu selection obscuring the image on the LCD.
I've read some criticism that the LX100 doesn't make use of the full 16MP sensor (which is correct). For my needs, that's secondary to the overall image quaility, and unlike the LX7 (which I noted as sometimes "soft" focus), I have zero complaints. The images are sharp in all four corners, at both ends of the zoom range. Output looks clean up to 6400 ISO,at which point some loss of detail begins to become noticeable.
I'm usually a fan of Panasonic's colors, as they tend to be true without exaggeration, though some may think of them as flat or dull. The last thing I want to do is a bunch of post processing, and I'm liking the jpeg output this camera is giving me in terms of exposure and color.
For me, one big attraction to the LX series all along as been the ability to take flash-free, wide angle shots indoors, and the LX100 improves remarkably on that. Previously, I could count on a handful of usable shots out of a dozen if my subjects (aka the family) were relatively static, but right off the bat with this camera I've noticed that I have quite a bit more latitude in higher shutter speeds and higher ISOs to capture, for instance, the kids playing indoors, without encountering smearing or noise.
This is as good a place as any to mention that there is no built-in flash -- again, something I rarely used on my previous LXs. Instead, the camera has a hot shoe, and comes packaged with a very small carry-along flash. It's no substitute for the old Metz 36 AF-4O I use with my Panasonics, but it certainly is small, meaning I'll be likely to carry it with me. Because it is powered from the camera's battery, it'll always be at the ready, but the flip side of this convenience is that the cycle times are slow, and at the expense of the camera's main power source. Additionally, although it's small, it's nonetheless chubby and oddly shaped, making it tricky to easily tuck away in the pockets provided on most small camera cases.
I'm woefully under-equipped to do much of anything with 4K video, other than shoot it. If you're in the same boat, you'll be pleased to know that the output is beautiful, and the camera will downsample (or even crop) to 1080p. The manual zoom ring is an excellent tool for smooth changes without the "stepped" look that the zoom toggle can create.
Unlike my FZ1000, there is no input jack for an external microphone. While I've seen what a difference in quality an external mic can have compared to the camera's internal mic, I'm not lamenting that -- the built in mic does a good job of capturing relatively clean audio, provided I'm not clicking any of the camera's buttons or knobs.
4K video is limited to 15 minute clips (thanks Michael's Dad!), and otherwise carries a 30 minute recording limit, a carry-over from European models that wasn't previously a factor on Panasonic's US-market cameras. Thirty minute limits never bothered me, but although I've yet to hit it, 15 minutes feels like a real barrier. To partially allay this, Panasonic provides the "loop" option to continuously record 4K, while discarding any video older than 15 minutes, saving only the last 15 minutes to the final file.
As I've already mentioned, this camera requires very little menu interaction for normal shooting tasks. But if you're familiar with previous Panasonic cameras, this menu will feel very familiar to you. There are multiple pages for camera, video, and settings. It can feel like a lot, but pages are quickly flipped through using the zoom toggle, and the 4-way controller navigates each page. A responsive touch screen would be welcome here, but it's actually quite manageable once all the various functions are learned.
Pros and Cons:
In summary, the LX100 is a bit of a breakthrough from the old LX series, and steps up to Sony's RX100 while at the same time stepping away from it.
If you value pocketability or automatic modes, perhaps the Sony is the better choice.
But if you love the accessability of hardware manual controls, but desire the compactness of something other than a DSLR or even an MFT, this camera strikes a desirable balance.
The cons as I see it:
- limited zoom range (75mm vs. 90mm on the LX7)
- increasing girth (bigger than previous LX series, and Sony RX -- but still smaller than a comparable MFT with lens)
- no touch-screen
- artificial video limits (EU imposed carryover, I believe -- not technical hurdles)
I'm sure some of you would value an articulated display, a mic input, longer battery life, USB charging, built-in flash, etc.
In a nutshell, with the LX100 , we finally have the camera that the original LX3 has strived to become.
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