What suggestions for improvements to LX100?

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by ChrisNewman, Feb 13, 2016.

  1. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman New to Mu-43

    7
    Feb 13, 2016
    Chris Newman
    I have an LX100, although it doesn’t get as much use as it deserves, as I mainly use a Nikon D800, and take the LX00 when it isn’t convenient to carry my rucksack-type camera bag with the D800, or I’m not expecting any photo opportunities, but want to bring a camera in case.

    I’m delighted with my LX100, but no camera’s perfect, and I guess Panasonic might be thinking about a MkII or whatever they choose to call it. So I thought this might be a good time to suggest improvements, and I’ve joined this forum hoping that Panasonic might look at it sometimes to see what customers think of their products.

    There are only two things I actively dislike about my LX100. One is the powered zoom; I far prefer the rapid, precise manual zoom of my DSLR lenses and the Fujifilm X10 my LX100 replaced. But the Fuji X30, with the same lens as my X10, is slightly larger than the LX100 despite a sensor only ⅓ of its size. So I think I need to put up with the powered zoom to have a decent-sized sensor and fast zoom lens in a compact camera.

    My other dislike is the absence of a built-in flash unit. Panasonic, please try to squeeze one into its successor if possible!

    Excellent sensor: an LX100 replacement deserves the best sensor Panasonic has available. That from the GX8 would boost the LX100’s rather meagre pixel count.

    Excellent viewfinder: I found the LX100’s EVF inferior to the X30’s, and I read that better ones have been introduced subsequently. I think an LX100 replacement deserves an excellent viewfinder.

    Largest possible 1:1 format: I assume that Panasonic decided using the full area of a four thirds sensor would make the LX100 too big, and it was more economical to use part of a four thirds sensor than to design a smaller one for the LX100. They then made a virtue of necessity by offering various formats, and setting the 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9 formats to each use the full image circle of the lens. Yet the 1:1 format is only a crop of 4:3, instead of using the full height of the sensor. (Assuming the LX100 sensor has the same 3448 pixel height as the GX7’s, this would increase the 1:1 pixel count from 9.5MPx to 11.9MPx).

    Improve the Auto ISO programme: the LX100’s programme seems weird. With Auto ISO, my LX100 keeps the shutter value well above the equivalent focal length while increasing the ISO sensitivity to 1600. Then the ISO sensitivity is held at 1600 whilst the shutter value is slowed by four shutter stops before the ISO sensitivity is increased again. I think the preferred ISO sensitivity could be held until the shutter speeds falls to more or less the focal length, given the camera’s image stabilization, but I see no justification for the hiatus at ISO 1600 which forces you well into camera shake territory before the ISO sensitivity is increased again. A programme that allowed the photographer to choose the ratio of focal length to minimum shutter speed, like my D800, would be better still.

    Display the ISO sensitivity that Intelligent ISO will use: I usually have the ISO on automatic as a backstop for grabbed shots, but to plan to change the ISO manually if, when I focus, the camera shows it will use ISO 1600 at 1/80th sec at close to its widest angle, for example. I would prefer to set Intelligent ISO, which should be better for covering moving subjects or shooting from a moving position, but if I did, the camera wouldn’t warn what ISO sensitivity it might use.

    Allow longer Auto Review times: I usually take a set of 3 bracketed exposures, and find the maximum 5sec setting for auto-review rather short to assess whether I have the best capture I can expect, or should re-shoot. (My D800 offers up to 10 minutes, although that is far longer than I am likely to set, whilst an image displayed through playback shows until the LX100 goes to sleep.)

    Make a wrist strap and close-fitting pouch available: I bought my LX100 to carry in my pocket for preference (yes, it needs good-sized pockets!) But the neck strap and ever-ready case are far to bulky for my pocket, so I wanted a wrist strap in case I drop the camera in use (I think it would have been a regular occurrence with the RX100 MkIII, but it’s only a precaution with the LX100), and a soft pouch to protect the camera from dust and accidental switching in my pocket. Fortunately I can use the wrist strap from my retired Olympus 35RC, and I happen to have a suitable pouch, although I fear it will wear out soon. I think Panasonic should offer a wrist strap and pouch tailored to the camera.

    Offer an alternative version of the DMW-LFAC1 Auto Lens Cap that can accommodate a typical 4mm protective or UV filter, or an extension ring of that thickness, so it’s possible to protect the lens and retain the usual compact camera convenience of not needing to remove and look after a lens cap.

    I look forward to seeing suggestions from others.



    Chris
     
  2. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    Manual zoom ring would be my number one request.
    A touch and/or tilt screen might be nice but not required.

    My other requests would be for all Panasonic bodies.
    • Olympus has the option to select which screens are displayed when the info/disp button is pressed. On Panasonic bodies you have 6 screens to go through, I only used 2. Being able to just use 2 and adding touch (on the LX100) would be great. You could use the monitor recording information screen like the User control panel on Olympus bodies.
    • Q-Menu change. On the default Q-Menu you get buttons on the top and bottom of the screen. But in custom mode they're only on the bottom? If you could have buttons on the top and bottom in the custom mode all the custom functions could be on one screen.
    I'm sure I could think of others, but these are the big ones for me with the LX100 and Panasonic bodies in general.
     
  3. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    Touch screen! Even before getting the GX8, which has a touch screen and very similar menu/Q menu system, it was obvious that it would be much faster to make many changes using a touch screen. It would also make controlling the AF sensor position faster and more direct.
     
  4. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman New to Mu-43

    7
    Feb 13, 2016
    Chris Newman
    Good point. My D800 also allows me to select screens in playback; that camera starts with a limited default, but I’ve set all to display. I can cycle between them in either direction, so having all set isn’t an inconvenience.
    I’ve never used a camera with touch or tilt screen. I doubt whether I’d make much use of a touch function on a compact, as I rarely have reading glasses with me when I use it, and rely mainly on the viewfinder. But having that option would only enhance the camera.

    Personally, I’d prefer my compact to remain without articulation. It would add bulk, and make it less robust, and I’d hardly ever use it. But I’d welcome a tilt screen on my D800, where the extra bulk would make little difference, and I’d find it useful particularly for low level macro shots from a tripod.

    Thanks for your suggestions, Chris
     
  5. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    Having used DSLRs for years, I knew that you never used a touch screen, and that the advantages might not be obvious. It's like the difference between using keyboard key combinations and using a a mouse: it can be much faster and efficient. While I need reading glasses for some things, the text on screens is large enough to not need them. I agree about not wanting an articulated screen.
     
  6. BLT

    BLT Mu-43 Regular

    187
    Jan 13, 2013
    London
    James
    I would like the lens to be faster :eek:
    1.8 all the way. Even if the range of the zoom reduced little.

    I realise this won't happen so instead I think a better VF, new sensor and tilting touchscreen are more realistic and necessary upgrades.
     
  7. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    With the new 20MP sensor giving 16MP @ LX100 crop, a touchscreen, and Exposure Compensation with Auto ISO in M mode, it would go a long way to make it more appealing to me.
     
  8. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman New to Mu-43

    7
    Feb 13, 2016
    Chris Newman
    Do you control the AF sensor position with your thumb whilst looking through the viewfinder? I suppose that could be very slick once you get used to it. I can read menus OK on the LCD, but don’t spend much time in it, so I’m content to navigate that with familiar D-pad buttons. I have a cheap pair of very strong reading glasses in my DSLR bag for reviewing important shots, to check they are sharp. But with an EVF I don’t need them, because I can see a sharp image in the viewfinder, thanks to the dioptre adjustment, although it’s difficult to get out of the habit of looking at the LCD.

    Chris
     
  9. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    With Panasonic cameras for the last ~3.5 years and the two newest Olympus bodies (E-M10 II and PEN-F) you can indeed control the AF point while looking through the viewfinder, and yes, it's slick and awesome. As long as its not a frigid winter day, it's the single fastest, easiest way to move the AF point on any camera on the market.
     
  10. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    I think I only have 2 screens visible on my D800 and D750.

    Tilt and touch are useful for low or high angles and AF point selection.

    Funny I'd rather the other direction. I'd trade a little speed above 50mm for a more reach, 24-100/120 is my preferred range.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman New to Mu-43

    7
    Feb 13, 2016
    Chris Newman
    Thanks for the explanation. And the warning about cold weather; it doesn’t need to get far below UK average for me to need gloves!

    Chris
     
  12. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman New to Mu-43

    7
    Feb 13, 2016
    Chris Newman
    I appreciate that a tilt screen is useful for shooting from high or low positions. I’ve occasionally used my D800 in live view for shooting over a wall or crowd, and realized that a tilting screen would help. I just don’t do it much except for low-level macro, where I would like to have a tripod as well. Offhand I can only remember using my LX100 very low once, for photos of a moth on the bottom of a bush. I had to use the LCD as I couldn’t get my eye down there. I used the camera in portrait mode, so would have needed full articulation to help much. But I missed a tripod and my spectacles far more than screen articulation. For me, having the LX100 fairly flat to fit into a pocket as well as possible is far more valuable than having any screen articulation would be.

    Chris
     
  13. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    It can be done, but how well it works will depend on the size of your hand. The body is thick in the grip area and rather wide. I have to shift my grip quite a bit to be able to reach the entire screen. (I have a comfortable one octave span on a piano.) I configured the 4-way controller for Direct AF, and assigned the dedicated functions to Fn buttons. This doesn't work well with the LX100, because the Fn button doesn't give full functionality. For instance, if WB is set to a Fn than all that can be chosen is one of the WB settings, such as Custom 2, but you can't take a reading to adjust Custom 2.

    I find Touch AF to be most useful with the camera on a tripod and I can tap the screen with a finger tip.
     
  14. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman New to Mu-43

    7
    Feb 13, 2016
    Chris Newman
    Thanks for that alternative opinion on using a touch screen for electing the AF point.

    I normally leave my camera on auto white balance, assuming that in unbalanced lighting it will give a fairly similar view to the human eye, as a reminder of how I saw the scene, whilst the RAW file records the true colours, and can be edited to give the image the appearance I choose. So I’ve set Drive Mode, Focus mode (AFS/AFF/AFC) and AF Mode on the function buttons, and ISO on the lens ring. With only occasional use of my LX100, my problem is remembering what function is on which button!

    Chris
     
  15. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    I also prefer having the 4 way controller set to control AF point, Like my Nikon bodies.

    If you could select just one screen + the recording information screen and add the touch you'd have pretty much all the settings you would need to change. Which is why I really like the Olympus control panel. And it's one of the things that bugs me about Panasonic bodies.

    "Did assign that function to button? An on screen function button? Or the Q-Menu?"
     
  16. V95

    V95 New to Mu-43

    2
    Mar 3, 2016
    I don't own a LX100 but would like to see a bit more range on the lens, min at 100mm although preferably 120mm.
    A little off topic I like what Nikon is doing with their DL compacts and I have always wondered why camera makers didn't do this ages ago. Surely it would maximise ROI with variant versions. Sometimes for travel, the extra wide angle is good.

    Also if Panasonic can weather seal the LX, it would make the camera close to perfect.
     
  17. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    Yes Nikon should add a 35~60 to 120~150 model that would pair with either the 18-50 or 24-85. Shared batteries, EVF, etc. Panasonic could do the same with a next LX100, say an LX200-W and LX200-T. The "W" could be say 18-60 with the "T" 50-150.
     
  18. lomomentum

    lomomentum Mu-43 Regular

    Tilt screen. Touch or not. But not articulated.