Our hands-on review with Panasonic’s Lumix LX100 II
Buzz.ie recently reviewed the Lumix GX9, a mirrorless compact system camera that is compatible with Panasonic’s large range of interchangeable lenses.
The firm’s Lumix LX100 II is essentially the GX9 with a fixed lens system — and that lens is top quality, has optical image stabilisation and is manufactured by Leica.
That optic is the DC Vario-Summilux 24-75mm (equivalent) with a fast f/1.7 to f/2.8 aperture and 3.1x optical zoom.
From the GX9 comes Panasonic’s latest 20MP Four Thirds sensor and the latest Venus image processing engine.
The large multi-aspect sensor, which actually has 21.77 million pixels, is designed to shoot with different aspect ratio.
You can choose between 4:3, 3:2, 1:1 and 16:9 aspect ratios using a switch on the lens.
When you switch between them, the resolution remains high — 17 million pixels in 4:3 mode — and the focal length stays the same.
The sensor has no optical low pass filter, and this should result in slightly sharper and more detailed shots.
The LX100 II is a delightful camera to use with lots of controls within easy reach.
You get mirrorless / DSLR image quality in a compact metal body that can easily fit into jacket.
There is a great blend of creative features, traditional exposure controls, bright lens an excellent viewfinder and a robust build.
Those creative modes include Time Lapse, Stop Motion and Multi Exposure. And there is a full suite of Panasonic’s image-processing filters.
The L.Monochrome and L.Monochrome D modes give attractive black and white images direct from the camera.
While in-camera raw development means you can tweak raw images after shooting.
You can shoot at up 11 fps (frames per second) — 5.5 fps in continuous autofocus mode — and the autofocus is fast and accurate.
There is lovely bokeh in portraits and a handy Macro mode too. 4K video recording produces excellent video at 30fps and a bit-rate of 100 Mbps but with a heavy 1.25x crop.
Full HD video recording does use the full sensor, however, and can be captured at up to 60fps.
The Japanese company has included its 4K Photo mode that effectively records 8MP stills at 30fps.
While 4K Post Focus racks though a series of focus positions and allows you to refocus an image after shooting. Both of these features have a 1.25x crop.
Sound for video comes from built-in stereo microphones, but with no option to add an external mic which is a downside.
My other gripes are that the 3in touchscreen is not tilting and there is no built-in flash. But it is bundled with a separate flash unit.
The LX100 II has built-in WiFi and Bluetooth.
The always-on Bluetooth LE connection enables you to browse through your images using your phone.
You can copy across shots even when the camera is switched off.
Battery life is rated at 340 shots per charge using the LCD, or 270 with the EVF. You re-charge using micro-USB port that can also be used for transferring images to a computer.
There’s a micro-HDMI port too, for connection to a TV.
This handy and slim camera (which fits in jacket pockets and bags) is for enthusiasts but if you are a beginner you will find it easy to navigate. And you won’t be disappointed by the DSLR-standard images captured using its intelligent auto mode.
Panasonic Lumix LX100 II costs €999 from Conns Cameras.
What are the key features of Lumix LX100 II?
- Multi-aspect ratio 17MP Four Thirds Sensor (21.7MP total pixels), 1.33in
- 24-75mm equivalent f/1.7-2.8 Leica lens with 9 aperture blades
- Power Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS)
- 3in touch-screen with 1240K dot resolution
- EVF with 0.73x magnification, eye-detection and 2760K dot resolution
- Aperture / Shutter control dials
- Exposure compensation dial (+/-3)
- Manual Focus Assist / Focus Peaking
- 4K video, 4K photo
- Wi-Fi / Bluetooth
- 11fps continuous shooting
- USB charging