LX100 Thoughts? (almost) One year later

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by Estrellas321, Jul 23, 2015.

  1. Estrellas321

    Estrellas321 Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 19, 2015
    Vancouver, BC
    Just wanted to gather some thoughts from users that have owned the LX100 since or near launch. Still in love with the camera?

    Wanting to downgrade from the GH4 for a smaller camera, I waited a long time for the GX7 successor, and now that the GX8 is announced, I'm a bit disappointed with a few things, namely no pop-up tilt flash, 2.5mm mic input, no IBIS in video, and more importantly, the bigger size. A couple months ago, I couldn't wait so on a whim I bought the Olympus E-M10 and a bunch of m43 lenses.

    But now, the camera bag with 6 lenses often sits at home, being a burden to carry around and switch lenses when different situations arise.

    I feel like an all-in-one solution like the LX100 will fit the bill, and make me want to take my camera out more. Initially I was put off by the lack of tilt screen, pop-up flash and touch screen, but I may be able to do without them if I like the camera enough for its strengths (especially 4K video/photo - boy do I miss that from the GH4). I mean, my cell phone (which I've been using more often than the E-M10 lately) doesn't have any of those features anyway right? (except touch screen of course)

    Any rumours of an LX200 or LX100 mk2 in the works?

    Used LX100's can be found under $600 these days, but not sure if I should wait or jump ship!
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  2. OceanView

    OceanView New to Mu-43

    Aug 7, 2010
    Tough call. I have similar feelings about the GX8 and also wanted a simple solution and was initially interested in the LX100 but the smaller 12mp turned me off. Also some people claim the images are not as good as a regular M43 camera.
    I'm hoping the second version can improve on the original with a tilt screen, flash and higher resolution camera.
    In the meantime, I went with a GX7 and a new Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 lens.
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  3. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    I sold my LX100 after maybe three months. A great camera, and very versatile, but I couldn't get over not having a couple of fast primes to shoot with. My logic was that the LX100 needed to be my primary camera, and it just wasn't quite there for me. And while it is worlds better than something like my Fuji X10, I really didn't want a $700 camera as my "take anywhere for snapshots" option.

    The lack of flip screen and touch to focus also bugged me, as did no integrated flash. Those would be must-haves for me to consider the LX200.

    I will be watching this segment closely. I do imagine the lines representing capabilities of a cam like the LX100 and my disaffection for changing lenses will soon intersect.

    edit: Estrellas, another option to consider is a couple of fast primes with your E-M10 and then something like the FZ1000. I know you don't want a body that big, but presumably it would be your secondary option. That gives you a no compromise solution on every day focal lengths (I'm assuming) and a very versatile larger body with good zoom, 4K photo, etc.
  4. fransglans

    fransglans Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 12, 2012
    maybe you should think of an sony rx100? mark3...
  5. Estrellas321

    Estrellas321 Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 19, 2015
    Vancouver, BC
    The RX100 IV is definitely something to consider...I should check out reviews for it.
  6. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    Logically speaking, how can a kit of 6 lenses compare to a short 24-70 zoom range on the LX100? Why does it have to be a bag with 6 lenses or nothing? Take the E-m10 out with the 1-2 lenses you need for the day and have fun.
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  7. Carbonman

    Carbonman Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jul 10, 2014
    Vancouver BC
    What about the Olympus Stylus 1s ? It generates ORF files, 12MP and has a long zoom range. The sensor is tiny; 1/1.7", but you can do substantial PP from RAW and it ticks a lot of other boxes missed by the LX100.
  8. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    The Bassman
    RX100 m3 or m4 - tilt lcd, built in flash, 20mp, easy to carry.
  9. sgreszcz

    sgreszcz Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 7, 2012
    Not my web site, but you can see the excellent images and work Eric did with his LX-100: http://www.mirrorlessjourney.com/blog/2015/5/six-months-with-the-panasonic-lx100

    I find the LX-100 a bit noisier and the images not as good as I got from the GX7 or my E-M5 I, but then again I was mostly shooting with the P25/1.4, O12-40/2.8, or even the O17/1.8 which are better in lower light and/or sharper. The JPEGs are quite weak on the LX-100 (in my opinion) but the RAW files are quite robust in post-processing.

    The manual controls and the practicality of the LX-100 are excellent. I got a cheap JJC plastic automatic lens cap which is handy for one-handed shooting, and the quiet mechanical leaf shutter is great to be stealthy and to avoid the electronic shutter distortion. There is significant edge distortion in the LX-100 lens at 24mm, especially if you put people's heads near the edge of frame.

    I just find it a bit easier to pocket the LX-100 than the two mu-43 bodies that I was using to cover a similar range with the O17/1.8 and O45/1.8 lenses, or the one body with the O12-40/2.8. The LX-100 is always with me and I travel with it and a ND filter in a Mirrorless Mover 5 bag, or stuffed in the side pocket of my backpack, or in a jacket pocket.

    The camera is stellar at video.

    Here are my recent thoughts that I posted on a video-oriented website:

    I have the LX-100 and love it. It has decent image stability, a nice lens that covers a useful range (24-75mm), great manual controls, and records a nice 4k picture which looks fantastic in 1080p. I also like the grip and ergonomics of the camera - it feels good in the hand. I also owned the GX7, which I used with my Panasonic 35-100/2.8 lens, but sold it for a few reasons:

    1) I missed some of the features that the LX-100 has - auto ISO in manual mode, being able to switch the display to monochrome to allow the peaking colour to stand out, quieter mechanical leaf shutter for stills (the GX7 was loud and electronic shutter gave me distorted pictures), full manual controls of shutter, aperture, exposure compensation.

    2) The P35-100/2.8 was giving me a lot of jitter when using the OIS. I had been thinking of trying another copy of the lens, but in the end I just decided to sell the GX7 and buy an OMD E-M5II for any longer focal length video work (and for stills with P25/1.4, O75/1.8 lenses).

    The LX-100 is a great all-round video and stills camera. I have a step-up filter ring to 58mm which I use with a set of standard ND (3/6/10 stop) and xume magnetic filter adaptors. I leave a 3x or 6x on depending on light conditions and use them like a lens cap. When I went on holiday I fit the LX-100 + a variable ND in a tiny Thinktank Mirrorless Mover 5 case.

    I have the LX-100 set up quite comfortably (for me) right now. Custom C1 is for stills. C2 is set up for 4k video, and C3 for 1080p/50fps. Fn1 for switching between custom modes, Fn2 for switching between monochrome/colour EVF, Fn3 for locking the control buttons. AF/AE is set for autofocus (which I wish worked during recording when in manual mode!). To switch to video I just select my C2 setting, switch the shutter dial to 60, the back dial to adjust the shutter to 50, and then Fn3 to lock the settings. Outdoors I generally leave the aperture dial to A and modify exposure with ND. Indoors I use Auto-ISO and/or vary the manual aperture dial for proper exposure.

    I'm using picture profile "Natural", -3 Contrast, -5 Sharpening, -2 Noise Reduction, 0 Saturation which seems to be OK to me (I need to do more colour testing though which is hard for me as I'm colour-blind).

    I wish the LX-100 had a tilt EVF/screen as I do miss that on the Gx7 as most of the stuff I shoot is of my kids and it is easier to get low shots. Regardless, even the small LX-100 EVF is handy for seeing in bright outside light.

    It would be great if they could extend the video recording time on the LX-100, as well as allow you set the minimum shutter speed for iAuto-ISO (for stills). I'm also not sure why there is no ETC mode for 1080p settings. Panasonic, in general, should allow AF-S during recording when in manual focus mode. I used this a lot with my Olympus if I needed to quickly regain or ensure focus. I prefer a bit of focus hunting (which I can edit out if needed) than out of focus shots. I also find that sometimes the focus peaking on my LX-100 "disappears" - I still haven't figured out why. It would be nice if Panasonic offered a way to "fix" the shutter speed (say to 1/50 for 25fps or 1/100 for 50fps) and ignore the manual shutter dial to save an adjustment step with the back dial. It would also be useful to allow us to use the shutter button to stop/start video as I sometimes "miss" the small back record button.
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  10. Estrellas321

    Estrellas321 Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 19, 2015
    Vancouver, BC
    You're totally right and that's why I invested so much in the m43 system. But I guess it's my mentality of "what lens do I need to take with me today?" and later on "should I change lenses? I might miss this shot" or later regret that I didn't take a particular lens with me, that I don't want to deal with so much anymore. Perhaps with the LX100 or other fixed lens camera, I can eliminate that. And if I feel like I need something wider or longer, I can shrug it off knowing there's nothing I could have done about it (aside from spending thousands in lenses to cover every situation) :p

    I'm a casual photographer and my #1 subject is my 18-month old daughter, who is usually within proximity of a 24-70mm range. I'll probably want a telephoto solution a few years later when she does sports or has recitals...and maybe by then, the GX9 will have what I hoped the GX8 would have :)
  11. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    I get that. There is also the irrational tendency to want to buy every possible lens for a system camera, just because you can! And then, like you said, the dillemma of what to bring for each outing can detract from the simple enjoyment.

    LX100 might work, but I'm not convinced by the samples I've examined.
    RX10 (II) looks really nice, but a little larger
    Any of the X100 models are nice if you can convince yourself you don't need zoom.
    RX100 models are great, especially the newer ones with f1.8-2.8 zooms.
  12. RAH

    RAH Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Dec 1, 2013
    New Hampshire
    Yes, I am wondering about your 6-lens bag myself. I mean, take your E-M10 plus a kit lens, plus a WCON-P01, and you have the focal lengths that the LX100 has. If you are a pixel-peeping prime lens person, you won't be happy with this, but then you absolutely wouldn't be happy with an LX100.

    I guess the LX100 is a good camera and all, but it CROPS down the image from the 16mp sensor, so it isn't really a true m43 sensor camera, IMHO. When early reviewers were mentioning this and complaining about it, I figured it wouldn't matter and they wer wrong. But then test results came in comparing it vs the RX100 and finding the LX100 usually no better than the RX100 and often not as good, it seems like there is a lot of truth to it. That "aspect ratio" of the LX100 isn't a feature, its really kind of cheating. That's how they can get such a small lens on the camera - by limiting what the sensor receives.

    From what I understand, that is.

    My point is that the E-M10 should deliver better images because it is a true m43 camera.
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  13. gr6825

    gr6825 Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 10, 2012
    Is the sensor size really an issue on LX100?
  14. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    For me it's the faster lens in the smaller than body + 12-35 f/2.8 lens that has me interested. 12mp is more than enough for the things I use these for, but I can't say I wouldn't love to hear a rumor of an LX100 mII / LX200 with that new 20mp sensor inside. Both because that would be about 15mp for it and maybe a nice drop in prices for used LX100s. :wink:
  15. RAH

    RAH Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Dec 1, 2013
    New Hampshire
    Well, it is if you are comparing it to regular m43 cameras, like the E-M10 and all the other regular m43 cameras. As I said, it really doesn't use the entire sensor, so it isn't really comparable to a m43 camera. The is a very thorough review here:


    Towards the bottom it discusses the sensor and how it is used in the LX100, with a diagram. But to just quote the most important text:

    "The Lumix LX100 is equipped with a Four Thirds sensor, indeed the exact same sensor employed by the Lumix GX7, albeit coupled with a newer image processor to support things like 4K video. This sensor measures 17.3x13mm and is therefore comfortably larger than the 1in sensors (13.2x8.8mm) used in the Sony RX100 III and Canon G7X, not to mention Panasonic's own FZ1000.

    But it's important to note the Lumix LX100 does not use its whole sensor. Due to the lens design, the imaging circle does not extend to the corners of the sensor, forcing Panasonic to crop the effective image area from 16 to 12 Megapixels. If the lens could have delivered an image to the entire sensor, then it would have been much larger, heavier and more expensive, so Panasonic took the decision to use a smaller lens and crop the sensor instead."

    Again, I am not saying that it is not a good camera - it is very nice, and they like it a lot in that review, but if someone like the OP is thinking about whether to use an m43 camera or the LX100, it is something to consider. It isn't really much different from the RX100 from the reviews I have seen - both very nice, but just large-sensor point-and-shoots, not up to m43 or APS-C standards.

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  16. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    I've had the LX100, RX100 and RX100m3. All are very good. The LX100 to me was the best though. I'm talking generic image quality. No, I never tested them head-to-head, just my general impressions from using them all for casual shots of people mostly.

    I think the LX100 is as good, at least, as what you get from non-pro or kit zooms on m4/3s bodies. But even the cheaper prime lenses provide a noticeable step up from the LX100. From an m4/3s body perspective I am talking E-M5/E-P5/GX7.
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  17. Estrellas321

    Estrellas321 Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 19, 2015
    Vancouver, BC
    The sensor thing is definitely something to consider, but I don't think it's a dealbreaker. I'll rarely print large photos, maybe 8x10 size at most.

    But if comparing the LX100 with the RX100's, the slightly larger sensor in the LX100 will still be better in low light and shallower DOF, right?
  18. RAH

    RAH Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Dec 1, 2013
    New Hampshire
    I suppose, but DOF is already kind of poor in regular m43 cameras (vs full-frame and even APS-C), so neither is going to be all that good. I think that the LX100 might be somewhat better in low-light conditions as far as digital noise. There are quite a few reviews online and even on YouTube. I'd take a look at them before you make any decisions.

    I'm kind of interested in this thread and adding my thoughts to it because about a year ago I was really hot to trot about getting the LX100 and was just waiting for it to come down in price. Then I started reading reviews, etc. and kind of decided against it (and got a Canon SL1 - a small APS-C DSLR - I already am in the Canon camp as far as larger cameras). Later, about a month ago, I sprung for the E-M10 when it went on sale. I have a lot of old 4/3 lenses from my days with the Olympus DSLRs (E-520).

    So, I've been there and done that with the LX100. Again, not saying it isn't a very desirable camera. Had I gotten it, I probably would have really liked it. I mean, I like my old LX5 (a real point-and-shoot), for use as a p&s.

    So much equipment, so little time! ;)
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2015
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  19. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    This is the S/N ratio graph of the LX100, Canon G7X (1" sensor) and Olympus E-M5II. As can be seen, the S/N ratio of the LX100 and Canon are identical. The Sony sensor in the Canon is a newer design and even though it's smaller and has more MP the noise is the same.
  20. RAH

    RAH Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Dec 1, 2013
    New Hampshire
    To me, that calls into question the E-M5II. I mean, you'd think it could beat out those P&Ss, even if they have somewhat large sensors. So, if that is true, then I guess I stand corrected, but hmmm....
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