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Micro 4/3 Talk me out of the LX 100 ii (or D-Lux 7)

muzee

Veteran
Apr 30, 2013
103
Hi folks. I haven't commented much recently, but now need some feedback.

I'm about to pull the trigger on the LX100ii, but I'm really hesitant as it's a good chunk of money and a reasonable investment for me. (Ok - I'm also looking at the D-Lux 7 for the longer warranty and yes, the *vanity* factor :) ... hey I'm spending the money, might as well show for it.)

I take photos mainly of my kids and their activities, and at family gatherings where I share the *better than cellphone quality* photos afterwards. My Pentax K0-1 (paired with the 20-40 limited has serves well for a while now - I'm really satisfied with the images it produces. However, it's showing its age (compared to newer cameras): autofocus is not the fastest - especially with impatient kids, and I have to walk with a big external flash to take any indoor/night shots (not the greatest high ISO).
So I'm hoping the LX100ii can be an improvement in these areas. As well, I'm taking the family on vacation soon, and would prefer the altogether smaller package, and not having to change lens.
Also, i can't afford multiple cameras - so this is an investment for at least the next 5-6 years.

So the point of my post:

Is there a better mu43 combination, with similar or better specs, for the same price (or cheaper)? The LX100 ii is ~ 1200 CAD now.

I really prefer the slab/rangefinder style bodies, so I'm leaning towards the GX9 or Pen-F. I see the GX9 with the 14-140 lens selling for around the same price. Longer lens, but slower (also available with the 20-60 lens for same price).

The things I like about the LX100ii are:
- updated 20 mp sensor (yes I know it's not all used)
- fast lens
- 3x zoom
- 4k photo mode
- fast AF
- no AA filter
- EVF
- wireless connectivity
- multi aspect shooting

Things I'm wary about:
- the sensor*dust* issue. I know this is unavoidable. Another reason I'd consider the Leica with its longer warranty.
- I'm not satisfied with the IQ having used the K-01 for so many years. I'm not getting rid of that old tank :)
- Panasonic releases a significant upgrade soon (as some would say, the true Mkii), and I'm stuck with the half-baked upgrade.

So what are your suggestions? I'm thinking I'd need 2-3 primes to cover the same range as the LX100ii lens, but then the cost balloons. At this point I'm convinced the pros outweigh the cons and that the LX100ii/D-lux 7 is a good solution for me.

Now, tell me otherwise :)
 
I'm not sure you'd be happy with the AF performance of any of those cameras you've listed if you need to track anything. Maybe the GX9, if it has sufficient DFD capability. But the PEN-F never sees AF-C mode, basically worthless.

Beyond that you'll most likely be looking at a GH line in Panasonic land or an Olympus EM1 line. Even a used EM1 AF-C is capable for most things and used they are not very expensive anymore.

If you like Pentax, then perhaps getting a newer one of those might be the better way?
 
Nov 11, 2011
214
Milwaukee, WI USA
Have you considered just getting a newer Pentax body since you already have the lenses? No dust issues. And there are LOADS of great used ones that would be a significant upgrade over the old K-01.

I'd also wonder if the mark II is $500 better than the plain old LX100.

Both of those statements are merely my 2 cents. I don't want to be a wet blanket.
 
Have you considered just getting a newer Pentax body since you already have the lenses? No dust issues. And there are LOADS of great used ones that would be a significant upgrade over the old K-01.

I'd also wonder if the mark II is $500 better than the plain old LX100.

Both of those statements are merely my 2 cents. I don't want to be a wet blanket.
Funny how we had similar thoughts. :D
 
Nov 11, 2011
214
Milwaukee, WI USA
I was typing as you posted, and I nearly mentioned the E-M1.....those are all over the used market and coming down in price all the time. It is still my main camera....and has become so devalued (relating price to performance) that I will never sell mine. For my uses, an E-M1 mk.ii is just not $600 better.

So that would be other suggestion if the OP is considering an ILC m43 body.
 

bartjeej

Hall of Famer
Nov 12, 2010
124
I'd personally get a Sony RX10 mk ii before the LX100. Sensor size is not that much smaller, lens is a bit slower at the wide end but not at the long end, 200mm equivalent zoom opens up all kinds of new possibilities, and it's dust sealed. It is a larger camera, ofcourse, but it is super versatile.
 
Dec 29, 2013
124
Switzerland
If you want a camera for action stuff (as kids can be), I'd really recommend a camera that's quicker to deploy than the LX100 II - which, in that regard, is no better than the original. The GX9 with the 12-32mm is almost a small and quite a bit faster in use (manual zoom - and quicker to start up). That said, the lenses have different use cases for sure. If size isn't that much of an issue, why not consider either the PanaLeica 12-60mm or Olympus 12-40mm? Both are way better than the LX100's lens, and the GX9 handles quite well with the 12-40mm - so, by extension, even better with the PL 12-60mm (Dual I.S.!).

But a K70 or KP might fit the bill just as well and let you keep your lenses; the 20-40mm almost made me buy into Pentax a couple of times ...

M.
 

serhan

All-Pro
May 7, 2011
124
NYC
I tried 3 of them, one used camera came with a dust in it... AF is not that fast eg not able to af a walking cat in the living room light... The corners needs at least f5.6 to get sharp. Wide end has a big auto distortion correction (12%) which has an impact on the corner sharpness. Mid range is the best. Long end also needs to be stopped for corners. This kills it for the multi aspect use for me, eg you are using the worst part of the lens esp at 16:9...

I like it for portraits esp the size and short mfd, but it makes it a specialty camera and the value is questionable compared to Panasonic gx85 with current sales... You can get a gx85 kit plus a couple primes for the same price. A used EM1 is a great choice also.

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2 reviews:
Panasonic Lumix LX100 II
Panasonic LX100 II : Test complet - Appareil Photo Numérique - Les Numériques
 
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muzee

Veteran
Apr 30, 2013
103
Thanks for the feedback all.

I really did consider/still considering the other Pentax. I heard there was a sale on the KP recently which I totally missed. Something to still keep on the lookout for.

However, I was hoping to go smaller.

So i can get the gx9 new with 12-60 (not PL, just kit version) + 25mm 1.7 lens for ~1280 + tax. Might be what I'm looking for (sale ends at mid-night :|) I'll have to look at the EM1s as well.

I was hoping to decide and make the jump before January, but I might just wait a bit longer.

FWIW, here is a very useful *first impression* write up on the LX100 ii which showed it ticked all the right boxes for me ... but now I'm not so sure, thanks ya'll :)
Panasonic LX100ii Field Review First Impressions
 

davidzvi

Top Veteran
Apr 18, 2014
69
Boston Burbs
Impatient kids and vacations? Action or just quick group grabs? There's a world of difference between the two. New m4/3 bodies AND P&S cameras in your price range are going to have a problem with tracking action with one exception. The Sony RX100 V is small with a fast lens and on sensor phase AF. I'm not a fan of the RX100s, but it's in your range. If you're talking typical quick grabs? All m4/3s bodies will handle this pretty easily, so would Fujis.

I've owned the LX100 (twice) and just looked at the LX100 II. I didn't get it. Why? Start up and shut off delays. I'm one of those that regularly turns off my camera to save power since the batteries are so small and those delays are real. If you think you can live with that single point AF is pretty quick, pretty close to Panasonic m4/3 cameras.

Other options?

You could get either a GX85 or GX9 and a few lenses to make a really nice little kit. The GX85 comes with the 12-32. Add the little 35-100 f/4.-5.6 and a couple of small primes. With the GX9 you get the 12-60 f/3.5-5.6, again add a fast prime or two. I can tell you the 4k photo modes are real handy, take a short video and pull a still right from the back of the camera.

Another option might be the Fuji X-E3 kit with the 18-55 f/2.8-4.0. I just got the kit with the 23mm prime, might have gotten the zoom kit if I had another $100 in my pocket at the time.

There are of course also a lot of used options too.
 

nippa

Top Veteran
Aug 7, 2010
104
Cheshire UK
I've been looking at the MK2 for myself with its new sensor having almost ruled out the Canon G1X Mk 3 for its soft lens.
Looking at the sample images on the web , the new sensor seems to be no better than other m4/3 sensors. For me that means .. Noisy and lacklustre colour.
(sorry m4/3 fans although I have 3 m4/3 cameras and 8 lenses to fit but the sensors impress me less than Sony's 1 inch offerings)

I do like the 4K video though. There's an excellent 4K sample video on YouTube showing Tokyo from the front of a Subway Train which convinces me to look again when I can get my hands on a Dlux7 to see if they've tweaked the colour.
 

Les Klein

Veteran
Dec 10, 2015
104
Montreal area
Reading about your dilemma is interesting to me because your concerns are the same as mine. But my perspective is that of current LX100 user. What would I buy if my LX100 died? It would be an exercise of entwined constraints:
1. budget,
2. portability,
3. susceptibility to Lens Envy (a special case of GAS). LE, which can only be present with a system camera, is characterized as the expectation that the lens I don’t have is better than the one I own and buying it will noticeably improve my photography, and
4. the knowledge that no camera is perfect.

I think my solution would still be a relatively small camera with a fixed lens (with decent aperture and some zoom), with well laid-out direct controls. If I had to replace my camera today, I would probably get the LX100 II.
 

jyc860923

Regular
Aug 29, 2018
69
Shenyang, China
The LX100 II should be a nice camera, but don't buy it before knowing other choices, one of which is Canon G1X III, it's good for a few reasons.

The Pentax K-01 uses a 16MP APS-C sensor, and is CDAF only, added with the bulk, are the main reasons you'd like an upgrade.

If the LX100 II is like many other Panny cameras, then you're going to get lightning fast SAF, but not very good tracking focus, certainly not in the Canon dual-pixel AF tracking territory.

The image quality, I wouldn't expect any real benefit going from a 16MP APS-C Sony sensor to a cropped 20MP 4/3 sensor, you'll get a tiny tiny little higher resolution but that's it.

The Canon G1X III does better with AF and image quality, the lens isn't that fast in term of aperture but I believe it's a nice compromise.

The Canon flash system is much smarter than Panny, it can make a lot of differences if ever your work depends on external flash.

I know Canon is well hated all over the internet for not having the shiniest specs and costing much, but they do work well.
 

muzee

Veteran
Apr 30, 2013
103
Thanks for the feedback everyone.

I had a chance to handle the LX100ii yesterday. My nearby camera store didn't have it, but they brought it in from one of their other locations. It felt good in hand - albeit a bit smaller than I'm accustomed to. The start-up and shutdown times weren't too problematic, but I was reaching on the lens to zoom manually :)

I managed to get a few shots in store, but forgot to set the camera to Jpeg+RAW, so only have the jpegs to review. Yes, they are not as *good* as the APS-C images (but that was expected). Actually they all looked terrible:) .. and that was on me more than on the camera (not being familiar with the camera to set it up in a hurry, and not taking the time to compose properly).

Straight unprocessed Jpegs samples;
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


What i'm accustomed to:

Sunrise (K-01 with 20-40):

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Now - to throw another thing in the mix. Amazon has the GR ii for 649 CAD. That's the lowest I've seen it. Given I'm more familiar with the Pentax/Ricoh way, I'm so tempted (at least to try it and see how its autofocus (or snap focus) works for me), and they might nit last long. I'd lose the zoom, (cropped) 4K video and eye level viewfinder, but portability and IQ would be much better.

I also looked at the EM1 mk1 and EM5 mkii, but the (fake) DSLR style doesn't sit well with me. And oh, I have a long standing bias against Sony - so not even looking there ... maybe to my own detriment.
 
Thanks for the feedback everyone.

I had a chance to handle the LX100ii yesterday. My nearby camera store didn't have it, but they brought it in from one of their other locations. It felt good in hand - albeit a bit smaller than I'm accustomed to. The start-up and shutdown times weren't too problematic, but I was reaching on the lens to zoom manually :)

I managed to get a few shots in store, but forgot to set the camera to Jpeg+RAW, so only have the jpegs to review. Yes, they are not as *good* as the APS-C images (but that was expected). Actually they all looked terrible:) .. and that was on me more than on the camera (not being familiar with the camera to set it up in a hurry, and not taking the time to compose properly).

Straight unprocessed Jpegs samples;
View attachment 191709 View attachment 191710

What i'm accustomed to:

Sunrise (K-01 with 20-40):

View attachment 191711 View attachment 191712

Now - to throw another thing in the mix. Amazon has the GR ii for 649 CAD. That's the lowest I've seen it. Given I'm more familiar with the Pentax/Ricoh way, I'm so tempted (at least to try it and see how its autofocus (or snap focus) works for me), and they might nit last long. I'd lose the zoom, (cropped) 4K video and eye level viewfinder, but portability and IQ would be much better.

I also looked at the EM1 mk1 and EM5 mkii, but the (fake) DSLR style doesn't sit well with me. And oh, I have a long standing bias against Sony - so not even looking there ... maybe to my own detriment.
I'm not a Sony fan either, but I did opt for the Nikon Z 6. No regrets and it is quickly becoming the camera that doesn't leave my hand. It has basically been the go to camera since I got it November 17th.

Most modern cameras are going to provide acceptable IQ, so the trick is finding the one that resonates with you on a usage level. I've always thought that Nikon felt/handled the best for me. Started out with an N90s and went digital with the D50/D300. Nikon really hit it with the IQ since the D3.
 

davidzvi

Top Veteran
Apr 18, 2014
69
Boston Burbs
Thanks for the feedback everyone.

I had a chance to handle the LX100ii yesterday. My nearby camera store didn't have it, but they brought it in from one of their other locations. It felt good in hand - albeit a bit smaller than I'm accustomed to. The start-up and shutdown times weren't too problematic, but I was reaching on the lens to zoom manually :)
.....
I also looked at the EM1 mk1 and EM5 mkii, but the (fake) DSLR style doesn't sit well with me. And oh, I have a long standing bias against Sony - so not even looking there ... maybe to my own detriment.
Two things, you can set the ring on the LX100 I & II to act as a zoom ring. On my LX100 I had the ring set to variable zoom and the lever set to step zoom (24 / 35 / 50 / 75). Pretty much all center EVF mirrorless cameras are "fake" SLR style. That includes ILC and fixed lens cameras, the only reason for the hump now is to allow for larger LCDs.
 

muzee

Veteran
Apr 30, 2013
103
Whoops. This happened.



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First impression: this thing is really small.
I'm still learning to use it - and the fixed focal length. One thing I noticed right away was that the higher ISOs (when compared to the K-01) look much cleaner.
 
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