Micro 4/3 Cameralabs detailed review of LX100

Ray Sachs

Legend
Location
Not too far from Philly
Real Name
you should be able to figure it out...
That Canon is so ignored it's not funny. The LX100 costs more, with a somewhat even tradeoff of features and capabilities vs the G1XMKII. But the Panasonic has been hailed as the second coming, while the Canon is treated like just another Canon.

I think the thing about THAT particular Canon is that it uses a sensor that really is out of date. It's not a bad sensor at all, but if they'd have sourced a modern Sony sensor up to the same standards as the one in the G7X but at the G1X mkII size of 1.5", it would be a lot better both in DR and in low light (although it's already pretty good in low light). DR doesn't matter to everyone (just look at some of the great images Nic has done with the original G1X), but I find I like having as much as I can get when I'm processing files and the files from that camera would frustrate the hell out of me - I pulled some raw files down from some website and played around with them and it really makes a difference. If the G1X mkIII updates the sensor and maintains or improves on the spec of the current camera, I could imagine using a camera like that to the exclusion of much of my other gear for a lot of shooting. Of course, that's what I said about a camera like the G7X when I first used that sensor a couple of years ago and now I have a G7X and like it a lot, but no way I'll choose it over my better gear when I'm going out primarily to shoot photographs. So it seems like every time there's a big jump in the quality of compacts, there's a commensurate jump in the quality of larger sensor cameras and the gap between the two will probably always be pretty real.

-Ray
 

Armanius

Bring Jack back!
Location
Houston, Texas
Real Name
Jack
Looking forward to your initial impressions.

Here are my first impressions. I haven't taken any photos with it, because I don't have a SD card with me.

- Build quality is excellent. The camera is solid. Dials are the correct stiffness (not too hard, not too soft). The camera has some heft.
- Built in grip helps a lot. A bigger grip would have been better, but would have made the camera uglier. I still think Olympus' interchangeable grips with the EPL5 and the EP3 are genius.
- Overall the camera is just big enough to make it impossible to carry on any pants pocket (unless it's a big cargo pants pocket), while small enough to make it slightly difficult to handle. The button locations are ... ok. Some of the buttons could be a little bit bigger.
- The power zoom is too slow for my taste. I wish that Panasonic had a manual zoom like the Fuji X1/2/5.
- AFS speed in good light is just like the latest generation m4/3 cameras. Can't complain at all. We've come a long way since the EP1.
 

serhan

Hall of Famer
Location
NYC
I posted in mu-43: I like the camera a lot, but it is going back due to right edge softness, eg nothing in focus at 75mm f5.6 right edge..

It is not pant pocketable but definitely good for coats:) I wish it had a 100mm reach, tiltable and touch lcd but it is what it is.

Most of my shots are from my lunch break on Friday which was a cloudy and windy day eg lots of movement with foliage/flowers. The weather wasn't very cooperating this weekend also so I ended up with some indoor testing. Cat shots were wide open and the lens is sharp in the center wide open, not like the Canon g7x that I had for a week which has to be stopped down for close shots and backfocused with smaller subjects etc. I haven't done much landscape shots but corners looks soft wide open with LX100. There is lots of buttons, eg when I was opening the camera, I hit a few time IA which resets everything to auto. Now I changed that to push and wait option. It is a useless button for me, filter one is another one. Aperture and zoom is too close eg you can change one when you are changing the other and I wish they should have been in the reverse order. Af is fast and the pin af comes with the zoomed window (full or pip) which is very useful for macro's. AF slows down a little with macro selection. Also the af box can go smaller like the m43. The zoom is step zoom when aperture was selected and then a mf zoom when half shutter button is pushed. It is very useful again for close shots eg dof is very thin. I haven't used the evf much and lcd looks good. Macro is 3" at wide end and nearly I touch the flowers with that so it is not good for moving subjects. Canon G7X was similar. At 75mm it is 1 feet /30 cm which is sometimes too long for macros eg gives missed focused warning...

My only gripe at this moment is the auto iso is limited to ISO 1600 and it doesn't push above that until it drops 1/10sec which is too low esp at 75mm. During daytime under ISO 1600, it uses 1/shutter speed but night time is the problem where you need to push above iso 1600. No reviews mentions this except a post in dpreview. I tried the intelligent iso last night and it picked up from 1/6 to 1/60 sec shots w/ shooting the same subject, eg no movement. I tried Sun morning eg first shots have always higher shutter, then lowers it since there is no movement. I have to try with moving subjects, but I agree with a post that says it has its own mind. Only remedy for now is using the manual mode and pick the shutter, then auto iso picks the right iso... That was my problem with Sony RX100 which has 1/30sec min shutter and Canon G7X is the only one that has an option to choose slower/faster min shutter. I think mostly m43/nex/A7's use 1/60-1/80 sec shutter speed with kit lenses, even with the m43 primes...

Some of the shots:

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Ray Sachs

Legend
Location
Not too far from Philly
Real Name
you should be able to figure it out...
My only gripe at this moment is the auto iso is limited to ISO 1600 and it doesn't push above that until it drops 1/10sec which is too low esp at 75mm. During daytime under ISO 1600, it uses 1/shutter speed but night time is the problem where you need to push above iso 1600. No reviews mentions this except a post in dpreview. I tried the intelligent iso last night and it picked up from 1/6 to 1/60 sec shots w/ shooting the same subject, eg no movement. I tried Sun morning eg first shots have always higher shutter, then lowers it since there is no movement. I have to try with moving subjects, but I agree with a post that says it has its own mind. Only remedy for now is using the manual mode and pick the shutter, then auto iso picks the right iso... That was my problem with Sony RX100 which has 1/30sec min shutter and Canon G7X is the only one that has an option to choose slower/faster min shutter. I think mostly m43/nex/A7's use 1/60-1/80 sec shutter speed with kit lenses, even with the m43 primes...

Thanks for all of this information. I saw a complaint about the auto-ISO on DPR as well, with no provision for minimum shutter speed and, evidently, no ability to use exposure comp when using auto-ISO in manual mode? Is this last part true? I know that the RX100 doesn't allow for exposure comp in manual mode with auto-ISO - I heard from someone that the RX100 III might have it, but it didn't sound particularly reliable - do you happen to know. This is one of the things that makes the G7X particularly useful for me - it doesn't have the best minimum shutter speed provisions in auto-ISO by a long shot (Samsung, Fuji, and Nikon all beat it badly), but it does have SOME provision for it and I can make it work for what I do, if not optimally. Such a drag that none of the other compacts seem to have it. And exposure comp with auto-ISO in manual mode is another thing the G7X has that I'm not sure if any of the other compacts have. I had thought that the primary reason I didn't buy an LX100 was the lack of zoom beyond 75mm, and it still is, but the lack of shutter speed provisions in it's auto-ISO setup would now be another deal breaker for me. I used to put up with it in the LX5 and LX7, but that was before anyone had these features in a compact, and before the sensors were really good enough to benefit from it. But we're there now - the sensors in all of these cameras are good enough to justify it, but most still don't do it at all and Canon, who does, does a relatively half assed version of it... The Coolpix A is the only real compact camera that really get's this right, IMHO - it's a damn shame IHMO...

-Ray
 

serhan

Hall of Famer
Location
NYC
I have not used the manual mode much, since I was more trying the auto and i-iso. So I cannot say anything about exposure comp in manual mode. Camera is packed for shipping. Also I have not used RX100 III.. I have RX100, but the lens is not extracting any more, maybe I should send it to be fixed instead...

There is no min shutter speed selection with LX100. I think m43 should put that eg normally they have manual lens entry for min shutter but not for af lenses... I think they could have done this a perfect camera but then that might kill m43 sales as well... Now this is in the middle... As some suggested maybe they should have used a smaller 1" sensor and make it same size camera with a longer range esp the 1" sensor is nearly as good as m43 in dynamic range, color, etc. It is still a very good camera to use, esp for street, macro, family photos and 4K video with excellent m43 af and thin dof that is similar to FF kit lenses...

Thanks for all of this information. I saw a complaint about the auto-ISO on DPR as well, with no provision for minimum shutter speed and, evidently, no ability to use exposure comp when using auto-ISO in manual mode? Is this last part true? I know that the RX100 doesn't allow for exposure comp in manual mode with auto-ISO - I heard from someone that the RX100 III might have it, but it didn't sound particularly reliable - do you happen to know. This is one of the things that makes the G7X particularly useful for me - it doesn't have the best minimum shutter speed provisions in auto-ISO by a long shot (Samsung, Fuji, and Nikon all beat it badly), but it does have SOME provision for it and I can make it work for what I do, if not optimally. Such a drag that none of the other compacts seem to have it. And exposure comp with auto-ISO in manual mode is another thing the G7X has that I'm not sure if any of the other compacts have. I had thought that the primary reason I didn't buy an LX100 was the lack of zoom beyond 75mm, and it still is, but the lack of shutter speed provisions in it's auto-ISO setup would now be another deal breaker for me. I used to put up with it in the LX5 and LX7, but that was before anyone had these features in a compact, and before the sensors were really good enough to benefit from it. But we're there now - the sensors in all of these cameras are good enough to justify it, but most still don't do it at all and Canon, who does, does a relatively half assed version of it... The Coolpix A is the only real compact camera that really get's this right, IMHO - it's a damn shame IHMO...

-Ray

One from yesterday, raw conversion eg you can see 4 corners which is normally cut in jpgs (most of my other posted shots were directly from jpg):

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serhan

Hall of Famer
Location
NYC
I knew the corners have issues at 24mm due to digital corrections due to distortion eg camera is cropping and upressing the image, but at least it should have a decent image at 75mm 5.6 per focus-numerique review. I was OK with 24mm, but mine had soft right corner starting at 28mm and got worse at 70-75mm range on the right side eg at f5.6 when the lens needs to be at its best aperture. I was using in 3:2 mode and it is not severe eg if you crop the image but then it looks like the lens best behaves at 4K. Sizewise it is competing with m43, but the lens is similar to other kit lenses like the Sony nex pancake, etc. It is a fun camera to use esp for people/macro photos with thin dof and center resolution is good but it comes with some lens/resolution limitation for other things + auto-iso issue...

@ 24mm
lx100-24-mm-imatest.jpg


@ 75mm
lx100-75-mm-imatest.jpg


in comparison PanaLeica 15mm
IMATEST-LABO-PANASONIC-LEICA-15MM-F17-1(1).png
 

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