- Very well-built and easy to operate camera
- Versatile lens with wide-angle range and fast maximum aperture
- High quality 4/3 sized sensor with multi-aspect ratio capability
- Excellent dynamic range
- Noise is well controlled for a compact and on-par with Micro 4/3 mirrorless cameras
- Good lens quality with high central sharpness, good color and contrast and even decent bokeh
- Image stabilization is effective to around 3 stops
- Excellent controls with dedicated aperture, shutter speed and exposure compensation dials
- Very good EVF with extremely high resolution, low noise and low lag
- Wi-Fi capabilities are well implemented and include remote control
- High quality 4K video recording
- Very fast and accurate autofocus
- Virtually silent leaf shutter and electronic shutter up to 1/16,000 second
- Rear screen lacks touch capability
- Some softness on edges and corners even stopped down
- A bit larger than some of the competition
- 12 Megapixel resolution a bit lower than competitors
- No exposure adjustment while remote shooting
- Included Clip-On flash is a bit weak
- Can’t use TTL with some external flashguns
- No microphone input
- Lens zooms slowly
- Lens barrel controls a bit too tight to the body
- Exposure preview in the EVF can sometimes be brighter than the image recorded
The Panasonic LX100 is entering what is a very crowded enthusiast compact market, where competitors like the super small Sony RX100 III and the very capable Canon G1X, both come in at more than $100 less than the LX100. Despite the high price tag, the LX100 is a camera that is definitely worth a long hard look for anyone looking for a single lens high quality compact.
It’s not the smallest camera in this category, but it is certainly one of the most capable, and I personally prefer the size of the LX100 to something like the RX100 due to the better ease of operation. The fast zoom lens, the excellent ergonomics and controls, the high quality EVF and the large 4/3 sized sensor help to make the LX100 a camera that can produce images that are in many cases on-par with interchangeable lens cameras. Toss in native capability for 4K video, and it’s something that is quite unique at this point in time.
While there are several things that aren’t perfect with the camera, the only thing that I really wished for was a touch panel on the rear screen, which would help immensely with quick selection of focus points. It’d be nice if the zoom operated more quickly or if it had a little higher resolution, but none of these are dealbreakers.
I really enjoyed shooting with the LX100 this past week, and while I do think it might be priced just a tad too high, it’s definitely a camera I would highly recommend.
Purchasing your camera gear through the B&H links helps support Admiring Light at no extra cost to you.
Click on an image to enlarge
18 thoughts on “Review: Panasonic Lumix LX100”
Great review. I’ve been wanting this camera ever since its announcement and your review continues to feed my lust. Can you compare the AF speed, AF tracking, and image quality to the Sony a6000? That is what I have right now and have been considering selling it for the LX100…
Is it a production unit or pre-prod Jordan? On mine (production unit), when I’m reviewing the photos and the lens is retracted, if I turn the camera off, it just shut up. the lens don’t go out and back in.
It’s a production camera. Odd. Wonder if it’s a setting to change.
I thought it could be the Zoom Resume setting but it does not make a difference. On a side note, by pure luck, I found out that when you are in the menus, if you use the zoom lever, it jumps one page ahead 🙂
My LX100 operates like this as well. The camera just shuts down with no lens movement.
Overall, good review. I am in the market for one of these to replace an OMD EM5.
But I do wish people would give credit where it is due. 1) Panasonic came out with retro designs long before the X series was a glint in Fuji’s eyes. In fact, this LX100 is not a copy of Fuji, it’s a copy of the Panasonic LX5/Leica Digilux 2, an excellent fixed-lens camera which I still own. 2) The Fuji “playbook” was actually a copy of other manual rangefinder cameras that had come before it, so it’s hardly “Fuji’s playbook”.
I get the feeling that now that the Sony A7-II sports 5-axis stabilisation, in 5 years’ time everyone will say the new X and Y is copying from “Sony’s playbook”. But it’s not the first time Olympus innovations have been stolen and then ret-conned as the other manufacturer’s “innovation”.
The LX5 doesn’t have controls anything like this camera. And if course Fuji borrowed from old cameras. It’s great that they did, but aside from Leica, who has been doing it non stop, no one else really used this control scheme in the past 15 years. Now it’s becoming more common, and that’s a good thing. I love that Panasonic went this route for the LX100.
Nice review Jordan! I am currently trying out this camera for the week, and I’ve had an awful time with auto white balance in the JPEG images. I noticed in your review you recommend shooting RAW, which I do, but when I shoot my Fuji X camera or Sony RX100M2 I’ll only keep the RAW if the JPEG didn’t come out the way I’d hoped.
Today I shot pictures of my kids playing outside and noticed in all the JPEGs my kids all had blue lips? I was again using AWB, which is flawless on my Fuji, and somewhat problematic on the RX100, but seems completely unreliable on the LX100. Any suggestions?
I had a similar problem shooting indoor photos under tungsten or mixed fluorescent lighting. People’s noses and cheeks had an alcoholic red glow, where the skin was not pasty white, and even male lips were bright magenta.
After lengthy research, I discovered that Panasonic regards the visible spectrum as extending from 380nm to 780nm. The MFT sensor used in the LX100 and all G series cameras has extended red sensitivity and no IR filter. Like Leica M8 owners, one must use a UV/IR filter (available from B+W in 43mm) to get normal skin tones.
Or one can use the LX100 or a Lumix G camera to replace the expensive Nikon D810A to record hydrogen-alpha emissions at 696nm. With deep red filter (B+W 091) and the camera set to monochrome, one can also get white leaves in the high infrared. Enjoy!
Mike, can you post some pics using that filter?
Soft corners, evf like a dim small tunnel, ISO 1600 at best indoors, fuzzy pictures. Didn’t like it, returned it. Give me a gm1 or gm5 with a 20mm 1.7 prime that is sharp as nails
Hi Jordan, just a question. I am now using the 2nd. battery because I thought the 1st. one was defect. But this one I must charge every week even if I haven’t made any pictures. What is your average time (number of pictures) with 1 charge? I enjoy the lx100 since November but the charging is very unpleasant.
Similar to your experience with the Metz 50 AF-1, I noticed the camera doesn’t work well with my smaller Metz 24 AF-1. It looks like it uses the flash at full power at all times.
Try the Metz- 26AF-1 Digital. It has a version for the LX100.
When I updated the firmware for my Metz 50 AF-1 to the latest one on the Metz site, the flashed worked fine. The only problem is that the new update program doesn’t work with the new firmware and had to use an older program from a couple of years ago.
It’s actually a cool and helpful piece of information. I’m happy that you
just shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us informed like this.
Thank you for sharing.