A compact with the soul of a mirrorless . In 2018, where the choice between small interchangeable lens cameras is now very rich, a device like the DC-LX100 Mark II still makes sense to exist? Find out in our review.
The second generation LX100 remains faithful to the line and the philosophy of the first model, ie a concrete machine full of physical commands (this does not mean that the software interface has been neglected). On the objective we already find several checks.
The diaphragm adjustment has a dedicated ring , as well as that of manual focus. Still on the optical apparatus we find a switch that allows you to change on the fly the shape ratio of the image taken (3: 2, 16: 9, 1: 1, 4: 3) and the focus mode (autofocus, autofocus) macro and manual focus).
On the upper plate there are two dials , one for shutter speed and one for exposure compensation, switch to turn on / off the camera, the shutter button surrounded by the lever to manage the zoom, a button with customizable function and one to switch to fully automatic mode .
Behind the 3 ” touch display , the electronic viewfinder with diopter correction, directional pad with ring and eight buttons : 4 programmable function and the rest with the most canonical shortcuts to quickly start recording video or switching to playback.
On the right side there is a small door that conceals the micro USB port and the micro HDMI port . Nothing to report to the opposite, while below there is the screw connection for the tripod and access to the battery compartment and memory card , a classic SD .
In the hand the LX100 II gives an excellent feeling of solidity, thanks also to the rings with an excellent mechanical feel. The front grip helps in the grip, but who has big hands could find the proximity of some commands a bit ‘annoying.
Still about size, this compact will not be pocket-sized in an absolute sense, but fits well in a jacket, a baby carrier or a small camera bag . A real shame was the lack of tropicalization , which on a compact travel like this would have been the real icing on the cake.
Sensor: Four Thirds CMOS 4/3 (17.3 x 13 mm) 22 megapixels (17 effective MPs)
Image processor: Venus Engine
Autofocus: 49 points with contrast detection
Sensitivity: ISO 200-25600 (from 100 ISO expanding)
Shooting times: up to 1/16000 s
Burst: up to 11 fps
Flash: external, supplied, NG7 @ 100 ISO
Display: 3 “1,240,000 points, touch
Viewfinder: 0.7x electronic, 2.760.000 points
Video: up to 4K 30 fps, 100 Mbps bitrate (MPEG-4, AVCHD, H.264)
Battery: autonomy declared up to 340 shots
Dimensions: 115 x 66.2 x 64.2 mm
Weight: 392 grams
The display mounted on the Panasonic is a 3 “diagonal LCD and 1.24 million dots of resolution. Readability is always good, except for extreme light conditions, as well as color reproduction . In this regard, we point out that in the menus there is a way to customize the color rendering.
The touch is very well implemented and does not regret that of the latest generation of smartphones . The proximity sensor is also well calibrated , the one that once activated allows automatic switching between display and viewfinder playback .
Going to the electronic viewfinder, unfortunately we do not find the OLED technology , but a field sequential LCD panel that in the most animated situations can create a certain “rainbow” effect. Once made the habit, it does not create big problems, since however the readability is always good , even in low light conditions .
Unfortunately, neither the screen nor the viewfinder are adjustable , so creating more detailed shots is not always easy. One way to work around is to use remote control from a smartphone , but this is a fair compromise in terms of practicality.
The 24-75 mm f / 1.7-2.8 of this compact is very pleasant to use. The focal lengths are sufficiently versatile for photos ranging from landscape to portrait, through architecture, reportage, street, group photos and more.
Let’s say that the limit of 75 mm is very acceptable considering the size and quality of the optics, but of course they remain cut off certain categories of shooting as a sport or photographic hunting.
Nothing to say about quality, high level and above all constant throughout the excursion and even at the minimum of the opening. A great advantage because this allows us not to make too many problems when the light is scarce, even after the excellent stabilization .
Both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi characterize the connectivity compartment of the LX100 II . Thanks to this provision you can interface the camera with the smartphone for remote control, which makes up for a bit ‘lack of folding display, for the transfer of images or for geotagging by GPS of the phone (watch the battery!).
The battery of the camera in question is a 1.025 mAh accumulator. With a charge you can capture just over 300 shots . A result that is average but can be tight for the longest days. For this you can resort to one or more additional batteries (the packs are quite compact), or take advantage of the micro USB port , perhaps with a power bank just like you would with your smartphone. In the latter case, be aware that the camera can not be used when charging.
On the LX100 II we find the well-established and appreciated interface already seen on the other Panasonic . It is one of the most complete and versatile experiences on the market and it takes some time to become familiar with the many items on the menu. After this rock you can pull out the best of this compact.
There are many customizable buttons to access the most used functions on the fly , but navigating through the menus is also very easy. In this regard, the touch screen is a nice help. As mentioned the rumors are many and these are not always clear. For example, access to curve adjustment is referred to as “Shadow Intensity”.
Present different functions for creative shots, with HDR , panorama , timelapse , multiple exposure and even stop motion (some work only if you do not shoot in RAW). Among the most particular features we find the 4K Photo mode .
Thanks to this you can record bursts at 30 fps at reduced resolution, precisely the 8 megapixels of 4K , from which to extract photos; alternatively there is the so-called “Post Focus” and in this case the burst is made by varying the focusing point which can then be selected later.
Overall, a very complete software that offers a degree of considerable complexity, but well-scaled. It goes therefore from the complete automatisms , up to the minimum control on things like dynamic range , diffraction compensation or custom color profiles .
Autofocus and gusts
The focusing speed of this compact is satisfactory. When the light is acceptable (even indoors), the lack of phase detection is well compensated by the proprietary system Depth from Defocus.
By manually selecting the point or area of focus the results are always accurate and also the detection of faces works very well. A bit ‘worse on tracing (even in video) and especially when the lighting conditions are difficult.
Even if the aurofocus can not be defined exactly sporty, the full resolution LX100 II gusts can reach up to 11 fps, a value that lends itself well to the busiest situations.
The peculiarity of this camera is the fact that the Four Thirds sensor of the latest generation, the same used on the new G9 (and G9X), is not used 100%. The cone of light projected by the lens, for reasons of space and cost containment, only partially covers the sensor’s sensitive area, the one actually used to create the image.
This is why the effective resolution of the LX100 II is 17 megapixels . Precisely for this feature the lower and wider formats of the classic 4: 3, such as the 16: 9 , have wider field. This is because the camera does not resort to a mere clipping, but instead goes to exploit a different area of the sensor using different pixels (pity does not happen the same for the square format 1: 1).
Having said this a bit ‘more technical we can say that the image quality remains that seen on the mirrorless Micro 4/3 of the company, only that the whole is scaled by a few megapixels. The JPEG are high quality with a significant amount of detail and accurate colors (in Standard and Natural mode) but never “boring.”
Who likes the results ready to use can count on several “filters” including black and white really good thanks to the Monochrome functions . Those who prefer to have maximum control can count on both fully customizable color profiles and on beautiful RAW files rich in information.
These leave more freedom where it is important that there is a management of noise reduction and sharpness , delicate parts of this sensor both for its size and for the lack of a low pass filter.
Whoever grips an LX100 II can count on a quality of image well above the average of the compact, both for the fact that the sensor is a (almost) 4/3 , both for the excellent work done by the Venus Engine processor . Following a gallery with some examples of image (slightly adjusted on Lightroom and compressed to be usable by browsers) and a link to the original samples .
The Panasonic LX100 II is designed primarily as a camera. But not for this renounces to shoot videos up to 4K at 30 fps . The quality of the shooting is not really bad, especially in terms of color rendering. They help the maximum aperture at f / 1.7-2.8, perfect to detach the background from the main subjects, as well as stabilization , Zebra pattern and peaking .
Of course there are several different limitations in the video industry. First, when you start shooting, the images are cut to 8 megapixels, so you have a cropping factor of about 1.3x compared to photos taken in 16: 9.
Also missing are the Cinelike image profiles seen on Panasonic mirrorless tops and, in practical terms, fixed viewfinder / display does not help; there is also no entry for external microphones (not bad the integrated digital wind filter).
The Panasonic LX100 II is an almost mirrorless in an almost compact body. Ultimately it is a good compromise for those who do not want to give up the image quality and still want a camera to take with you without too many thoughts. In this regard, the absence of tropicalization is felt but on the other hand the options provided on the software side are many. Too bad for the shortcomings of the video industry, which still arrive at 4K at 30 fps.
The price is around 57,195.41 Philippine pesos as of this posting."Review of the Panasonic LX100 II Price in the Philippines Php57,195.41",