Friday, September 19, 2014

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100

Digital Photography Review reports: [edited]

For those of us who desire a compact camera that delivers non-compact camera photo quality, the only choices have been the Sony RX100 trio or the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark I and II. I've been very impressed with the RX100 III's image quality and excellent video features but, like some of my colleagues, I don't find it very pleasant to use. While I like the photo quality and controls on the PowerShot G1 X Mark II, it's just to big for everyday use.

The LX100 fits in-between these models, with more of a lean toward the G1 X II. It's not pocketable like the Sony but it's not quite as bulky as the Canon.

It's nicely built, as you'd expect from a $900 camera. The physical dials for aperture, shutter speed, and exposure compensation allow for quick changes. I'm less enthused about the electronic viewfinder, which uses a 'field sequential system' that causes a sort of rainbow effect and drives my eyes crazy. Some coworkers thought that it wasn't as bad as on the GX7, which Panasonic said may be due to an increased refresh rate.

If you want shallow DOF on a compact camera, this is the camera you want to buy. The lens isn't as long as I'd like, but that's the trade-off that was made to keep the LX100 as compact as possible. The camera lacks an ND filter as well, though you can screw one on to the front of the lens.

Some other features I'm excited about are the DFD autofocus system which was so impressive on the FZ1000, the multi-aspect modes that Panasonic has made very accessible, and the ability to record 4K video.

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