WhyNot: Having just read the “Shooting Experience” I find this an odd User's Report for a review article – a little more subjective than the usual...
“ … And you know why not? Because the LX100 is a lovely camera. … “
There is no real discussion of comparison or reference, really,with the RX100 which is pocketable or the X-100T or, more recent, X-30 which are also “lovely cameras” that are not pocketable..
I also think that this camera like other high end compacts at this price point are mostly about the lens and those that they might replace --- in this case the 12-35mm f/2.8 mFT lens by Panasonic... I'd like more discussion/comparison here..
The price will always, to a degree, factor into the review.
$900 MSRP makes it one of the most expensive compacts on the market. Its most direct peer is the G1 X II, which was launched $800, as was the RX100 III.
On the basis that the RX100 has been on the market for more than two years, its price will have dropped as it (presumably) reaches the end of its model life. It's not fair to compare a heavily discounted end-of-life price to the MSRP of a new product.
The LX100 is more expensive than its immediate rivals, but it also offers a different feature set than they do. Both will be considered in the review.
Timmbits: At that focal length is the test-scene shot?
Remembering my Fuji X-S1, which was very good with portraits, but fuzzy on the long end, I realise the uselessness of this test scene, if it only shows the lens at one given focal length. Indeed, it may be showing the camera at it's best, at it's worse, or somewhere between, and this would be the case for most, but completely random from one model to another, whether it's showing it at it's best or worse.
@dpr: btw... for a test scene, try and keep the objects in the same position, will you? (I see the bottle has been rotated, and not all items seem to appear in the same spot from camera to camera.
@Timmbits - Sorry I'm a bit late to this but if you click on the 'gear' icon below any camera's test scene images, it should list the lens or focal length used.
RandallS12: The DPreview reviewer published video quality comment for the review of the Canon Powershot G1 X MK II states "Low resolution video with strong moiré" and is in direct contrast to the Consumer Reports test of the same camera. CR test results of this same camera state "Video quality is excellent, better than most models" and also from the same CR test is the comment that the camera "is the first advanced model we've tested that had excellent image quality across the board: photos taken without a flash, flash photos, and video. What makes this significant is not just that it scored so high in all three categories, but that it scored higher overall than all our tested SLRs and mirror less models."
Is it possible something was defective in the camera used for the DPreview test? CR is world renowned for the stringent and demanding quality of it's excellent testing procedures. Wy such an opposite result for the same Canon G1 X MK II camera from two highly reputable organizations?
We've seen nothing to suggest that the unit we tested was faulty (I'd expect Canon to get in touch if the results were less good than expected). In terms of video, at least, it's hard to understand how Consumer Reports would draw those conclusions (We couldn't get the camera to produce the resolution we'd expect from 1080 footage).
I don't know how CR tests image quality, but if they don't look at Raw latitude, then that might explain the discrepancy. The JPEG images tend to be pretty nice, from what I remember, but the Raw files don't offer the degree of processing flexibility we've come to expect from modern sensors.
Ansel Spear: ...but not for us lot in the UK, it would appear, so not quite in the 21st century yet.
Calumet in the UK is a separate company, which didn't go bankrupt.
The UK rental website is here:
Harold66: To paraphrase your first sentence some would argue that the rise of the good quality compact started .. with the Ricoh GRD and GX100.. I think the LX100 is a very good camera ( I would not have got one otherwise) but I have to say I am baffled of some of your comments in this preview.I normally agree about a lot of what you write in different dpr articles but this preview If I may is not of the same caliber.. sorry
I'm sorry you felt that.
I've changed the initial paragraph to say 'zoom compact.' Part of what made the LX3 stand out was its fast zoom (F2-2.8), which gave it an edge over existing models such as the RX100 (F2.5-4.4), but that's why I said it was me putting forward an argument, rather than stating a fact.
The rest of the review will be in the more familiar dpreview voice, but we've always been accused of being too dry and not expressing our feelings about what cameras are like to shoot with, so the Shooting Experience sections will be more opinionated.
There'll be more of that in the conclusion of the review, but I'll bear your comments in mind.
I nearly put something in about the X100 series but it would have made the article unmanageably long, so that'll probably be a separate opinion piece.
disraeli demon: Could anyone tell me if the LX100 has the same step zoom and zoom/focus resume functions as the LX7?
Yes, it has both.
fastprime: Richard:Will the Auto ISO work when aperture and shutter speed are manually set?
If you have a look at the [Auto ISO section](http://www.dpreview.com/previews/panasonic-lumix-dmc-lx100/5#AutoISO), this should be addressed.
Auto ISO (which does tell you which ISO it's using) is available in manual exposure mode. However, exposure compensation *isn't* available, so you can't control image brightness.
i.ISO (which is the one that only tells you the ISO it's chosen after you've taken the shot), isn't available.
Mike FL: It will be nice if DPR can review LX100's Lens in depth.
I'll bear that in mind as I finish the review.
greypixelz: Whoa, ISO200 and look at that grain in the sky! Is this the beta firmware?
Alex Mc - We've been asking Panasonic about this ever since that comment, but we've not heard anything about it yet.
Jurka: 12 mp? Really? Are you sure?
BarnET - I thought Panasonic had made some other claims (but I may be thinking of some emails, rather than public statements).
I agree that the statement that it has a Four Thirds sensor is absolutely true. And if they're saying 50-60% larger than 1"-type, that's absolutely fair, too.
@Bram de Mooij - Good catch. I'd written 'most' at the beginning of the sentence because the 1:1 aspect ratio doesn't offer the same field of view, but then accidentally used the word *all* when talking about maximising pixel usage.
It doesn't really make sense to provide a 1:1 crop with the same angle of view and maximised pixel dimensions (as it would require a **huge** amount of unused sensor to do so). But equally, it's bizarre and annoying that the LX100 doesn't use the full height of its sensor for the 1:1 mode.
As mosc points out, the LX100's lens has been designed to be slightly smaller than it could have been (given the sensor size). And yes, it's baffling that the 1:1 area is so small.
If Panasonic had said that the camera had a ~12MP sensor and whatever stupid inch-type name its diagonal would give, rather than claiming that you're getting a 16MP Four Thirds sensor, I'd have no problem with it.
However, I think Panasonic saying that the camera has a Four Thirds sensor is potentially misleading. Strictly speaking, it's true, but you can only ever use around 80% of the sensor's area, so you never really get the full effect of a Four Thirds sensor.
The other thing that is disappointing is that Panasonic doesn't save the full sensor's data in the Raw files, so you can't choose a different crop after the fact. Admittedly it's likely you'll have composed your shot with one aspect ratio in mind, but like any arbitrary restriction, it's understandable that some people would rather have the choice.
The 'Multi-aspect' design uses [concentric crops of the sensor](http://www.dpreview.com/previews/panasonic-lumix-dmc-lx100/1#multi) so that most of the aspect ratios the camera offers have the same diagonal angle of view, and have the highest pixel-count possible, within the imaging circle of the lens. (Rather than a conventional design, where you're just chopping the edges off the native aspect ratio, so all other crops are significantly lower resolution).
On the LX100 this means you get genuinely 24mm equivalent 16:9 images, which I've found myself using quite a lot.
The downside is that you can't use the full area of the sensor, since the imaging circle of the lens doesn't light that whole area. (This is inherent to the multi-aspect design, so is true of the LX3, 5, 7, GH2 and G1 X II, as well as the LX100).
However, because you're essentially using a smaller area of the sensor, it means the lens (and camera as a whole) can be made smaller.
mosc: Seattle sure does give some pretty rainbows to shoot at. Thanks Mr. Butler for giving us a chunk a little early.
So if my significant other takes this beast from me when I have it in full manual she can hit the "auto" button to ignore all the dials but what about if she hits the video record button? How does it differentiate when it's in auto-everything video mode or manual video mode without a dedicated mode dial?
Suntan - I've not had any significant concerns in this regard (or noticed any less consistency than other brands).
Most of the time I've applied exposure comp is because I've been shooting for Raw: setting Zebra to 100%, then dialling-in negative exposure compensation so that I can protect the highlights in a scene and reveal the shadows in Raw. This reflects my decision to shoot for Raw, rather than JPEG, so doesn't represent a problem with the metering.
munro harrap: Then I must agree with Richard's dislike of the AF points moveability. You should not have to sacrifice the ability to change settings merely to devote the 4way buttons just to moving around your focus point, but having said that, I must disagree with the touch-screen bit as the remedy, because using the viewfinder rules that out completely. Good to have otherwise-agreed, especially if it works for the viewfinder as well! It would be really great to be able to keep the camera to your eye and move the focus point around with your right thumb on the screen. Does any machine do this yet??
To be clear, though - I'm not singling the LX100 out because I know Panasonic has a better system that it could have included.
The AF point positioning system is a little convoluted but the Direct Focus Area option overcomes the worst of that problem (and does so in a way that fixes more than it breaks, for my style of shooting).
Of course this only matters if you like to manually position your AF point. The camera's pretty good at choosing its target.
Swingline: Gordon Laing at Cameralabs said he is getting only a 2-stop advantage from the LX-100's OIS, less than other Panasonics. I would be interested to see if you have the same results.
I'm very surprised by that. I've got some sharp shots at 75mm equiv and 1/4 sec, which I was pretty impressed with. I'll keep that in mind when testing it furthe, though.
Several Panasonic models, including the GH4 do exactly this: they let you move the AF point using the touchscreen while you're using the viewfinder.
There are two modes - one that expects you to press the screen exactly where you want the AF point (so top left of the screen = top left of the viewfinder), the other moves the point relative to its current position (swiping left moves the AF point left, regardless of when on the screen you press).
It's a really clever implementation.
Mike Ronesia: How is the macro mode on this camera? It could be perfect for an underwater housing.
Ah, it must be 0.098 feet, then.
Or 0.098 x roughly 1/6th of the height of a person, as I have to think of it.
You can see why I'd prefer it to say 3cm.