Panasonic Lumix LX100
The Panasonic Lumix LX100 has been one of my go-to compact camera recommendations for what seems like forever, although it’s really been four years. Panasonic has now finally updated it, replacing the 12.8-megapixel Four Thirds sensor with a 17-megapixel version that doesn’t have a blurring optical low-pass filter and incorporating Panasonic’s latest features. (Actually, it’s a 21.8MP sensor, but but because the camera supports multiple aspect ratios the effective resolution is lower).
Panasonic expects to ship the LX100 II in October for $1,000 (directly converted, £775 and AU$1,360). But if that’s too pricey for you, the original will be staying around, and currently goes for $600 or so (around £500 and AU$750)
Most of the upgrades copy the GX9; it incorporates the same sensor and Venus Engine image processor, as well the addition of Panasonic’s 4K Photo burst mode, post focus and focus stacking with a new Light Composition mode (which merges burst shots to improve the tonal range of the final photograph).
Other updates include:
Touchpad AF (the ability to use the LCD for touch focus while looking through the viewfinder)
New monochrome profiles
Bluetooth for connecting and remote shutter
New grip material
Increase to 10 programmable function buttons
Time mode increase from 2 minutes to 30
The Four Thirds sensor (17.3 x 13mm) in the LX100 models definitely provides a step up in photo quality from the 1-inch sensor (13.2 x 8.8mm) popular in most advanced compacts these days, but by the same token Fujifilm’s new XF10 offers a bigger APS-C sensor (23.5 x 15.8mm) for a lot less money — $500. But the XF10 also has a fixed focal-length lens compared to the 24-75mm f1.7-2.8 on the LX100 and LX100 II, which makes it less practical as a general-purpose camera.