Best Panasonic LX100 Black Friday Deals 2020
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 ($899.99) can be an extremely ambitious camera, and a radical update to the LX models just like the LX7 ($499.99 at Amazon) that came before it. The LX100 ups the sensor size to complement those in Micro Four Thirds mirrorless cameras, and its own wide-aperture provides more control over depth of field than you’d expect from a concise camera. It’s a good performer, however, not without some drawbacks. In the event that you put an focus on video its 4K capture mode is appealing, but we still recommend our Editors’ Choice Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III ($748.00 at Amazon) to photographers searching for a high-quality, pocketable compact camera.
Design and Features
We’re classifying the LX100 ($597.99 at Amazon) as a concise camera, although it can be a little too big to comfortably match some pockets. At 2.6 by 4.5 by 2.2 inches (HWD) the LX100’s body is somewhat larger all around compared to the RX100 III (2.3 by 4 by 1.6 inches, 10.2 ounces), and it’s really heavier at 13.9 ounces. The cameras involve some similarities-both cover roughly the same zoom range at a broad aperture, both feature a EVF, and both have larger images sensors than you will discover generally in most compacts. The LX100 includes a hot shoe and includes a tiny external flash, but doesn’t include one in the torso; the RX100 III omits the hot shoe, nonetheless it does include a built-in flash.
Note: Leica sells its version of the LX100. The D-Lux (Typ 109) has some minor cosmetic and firmware differences. We tested both cameras in the PC Labs to verify that from an imaging perspective they are identical. Some of the sample images in this review were shot with the D-Lux.
It’s in the image sensors that both cameras notably diverge. The LX100 runs on the 16-megapixel Four Thirds (17.3 by 13mm) image sensor, while Sony packs more pixels into its 20-megapixel 1-inch (13.2 by 8.8mm) sensor. Despite having the bigger pixel density, the Sony camera stands up at high ISO, and includes a noticeable advantage in image resolution at low sensitivities. The actual fact that the LX100 includes a true multi-aspect ratio design limits the file output to 12 megapixels, which widens the gap between your two cameras in term of pixel count. The LX100 can shoot at a 3:2, 16:9, 1:1, or 4:3 ratio, and each use as a lot of the sensor as possible, but none use everything.
Despite the fact that the lens collapses in to the body when the camera is switched off, it still juts out noticeably. It is the major element in limiting the pocket-friendliness of the LX100, as it could catch on a pocket both along the way in and way to avoid it. However, that Panasonic could design a 24-75mm f/1.7-2.8 zoom that covers the Four Thirds sensor is a feat of engineering. It offers a physical aperture ring with a computerized position in addition to third-stop detents from f/1.7 right down to f/16, a manual focus ring, and a switch to toggle between standard autofocus, macro autofocus, and manual focus. Panasonic omits an in-camera neutral density filter, but there can be an electronic shutter mode that may fire as quickly as 1/16,000-second, so it is possible to shoot at a broad aperture in bright lighting. The lens also offers a good macro capability, focusing to at least one 1.2 inches at its widest angle and 11.8 inches when zoomed completely in.
The most notable plate houses the hot shoe, a shutter speed dial, the On/Off switch, the shutter release with integrated zoom rocker, the iAuto button, another button to activate in-camera art filters, and a physical EV compensation dial with settings from -3 to +3 in third-stop increments. The normal mode dial is omitted; instead Panasonic has managed to get easy for novices to change to fully automated procedure with a push of a button, and both aperture ring and shutter speed dial could be set to A(utomatic) procedure to engage the same as Program mode.
The EVF sits at the very top left rear of the LX100’s body, with Fn3 (which toggles the EVF function by default) and Fn2 (another programmable button that activates Wi-Fi by default) next to it. With their right sit the Record button and another button to lock focus and exposure. There’s a modest thumb rest on the trunk that complements the tiny handgrip on the faceplate and another band of buttons below it. Included in these are Q.Menu, Fn1, and playback and delete controls.
A rear control dial with center Menu/Set button and four directional controls sits in the heart of all of this. By default it enables you to set the focus point, change the ISO, modify the white balance, and set the drive mode, nevertheless, you can set it to directly adapt the active focus point via the menu. I took that route when shooting, as I favor a 1-Area flexible focus point, but there are a variety of focus modes open to pick from if your focus preferences differ. There’s Pinpoint AF, which is similar to 1-Area but a lot more precise; Custom Multi enables you to set a custom pattern; 49-Area automatically selects a spot or points; Tracking locks to a moving target and attempts to keep it in focus; and Face/Eye Detection selects a focus point automatically, with important put on human faces.
The Q.Menu is where you’ll head to adapt many settings while shooting. Its default layout includes the video quality, image size and format, focus mode, focus area, metering pattern, ISO, and white balance. But you can also customize the menu to add the functions you utilize the most.
The LX100 has two options for framing images-an EVF and a rear LCD. The EVF is a high-resolution (2,764k dots) LCD, the same that you will find in the Lumix DMC-GX7 . It is rather sharp and shows a whole lot of contrast. Its 16:9 aspect ratio matches the widest images that the LX100 can capture, and works quite nicely for capturing images at 3:2 aswell. But if you are shooting at 1:1 or 4:3 you might find it to be a lttle bit smaller than desired. Sony carries a smaller, pop-up OLED EVF with the RX100 III, even though the GX7 is larger to my eye, I’m uncertain it’s worth the trunk protrusion that is included with its fixed design.
The rear LCD can be fixed, and it lacks the touch input capability that lots of Panasonic cameras offer. At 3 inches and 921k dots, it’s big and sharp enough, but I really do wish that it tilted a lttle bit for waist-level shooting. the LX100 has already been somewhat bulky, and the added depth a hinged design would bring with it wouldn’t be considered a dealbreaker for shooters enthusiastic about this camera. I was also surprised to see that it found a few noticeable scratches during testing. The camera spent some occasional amount of time in a jacket pocket, but was mainly kept in a padded bag when on trips, or hanging from my wrist with a strap. The LX100’s fraternal twin, the Leica D-Lux (Typ 109) ($1,348.99 at Amazon) , found similar light scratches in normal, careful use. The LCD cover looks to be a concern here, so it’s not really a bad idea to purchase an excellent Schott Glass screen protector to keep the LCD looking its best. I take advantage of an Giottos Aegis screen protector on my own camera, and also have been quite pleased with the protection it adds.
There’s built-in Wi-Fi, in order to copy JPG images to your smartphone or tablet when on the run, upload images to the net using Panasonic’s Lumix Club service when on your own home Wi-Fi, or control the camera remotely. You can adapt the focal length, tap to pick a focus point, modify white balance, ISO, and other settings, and fire the shutter when controlling the LX100 remotely via the free Panasonic Image App for iOS and Android. Aperture, shutter speed, and exposure compensation control aren’t available, however, as a result of physical nature of the LX100’s control scheme.
Performance and Conclusions
Performance and Conclusions
There are no faults in the LX100 regarding speed. It starts and grabs an in-focus image in about 1.4 seconds, focuses in under 0.1-second in ample light, and will do the same in very dim conditions in 0.7-second with the aid of its focus assist beam. It’s faster compared to the Sony RX100 III-Sony’s top-end compact requires 2.2 seconds to get started on and shoot, even though it matches the LX100’s focus speed in bright light, it’s a lttle bit slower to lock on (1.3 seconds) in very dim conditions.
The LX100 is quick when shooting in bursts too. It rattles off shots at 11.3fps with fixed focus, and may continue that pace for 22 Raw+JPG, 24 Raw, or 96 JPG captures. Enabling continuous AF slows things right down to about 5.4fps when shooting at maximum aperture, and it slows somewhat more to 4fps if the lens is stopped down. We’re uncertain why the burst rate AF-C slows at narrower apertures, nonetheless it happened constantly in testing with both LX100 and its own twin, the Leica D-Lux (Typ 109). Despite having that slowdown, the LX100 keeps pace with another big-sensor compact, the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II, in burst shooting; the Canon manages 5fps when shooting JPGs, nonetheless it slows to about 1.4fps when shooting Raw+JPG or Raw images.
I used Imatest to check on the sharpness of images captured by the LX100. We prefer to see center-weighted scores of just one 1,800 lines per picture height, and the LX100 dances for this number throughout its zoom range when the lens is defined at its maximum aperture. At 24mm f/1.7 the lens is on the soft side, scoring just 1,528 lines per picture height on our center-weighted test. Center sharpness isn’t bad (1,763 lines), however the middle third of the frame (1,507 lines) is somewhat soft, and the edges show just 1,087 lines. Edge to edge crispness isn’t something you find in lots of compacts; the 20-megapixel Canon PowerShot G7 X, a model with a 1-inch image sensor, manages 2,508 lines at its widest angle and aperture, even though its edge performance isn’t as weak as the LX100, at 1,593 lines it isn’t tack sharp.