My Panasonic LX100 Thoughts…

My Panasonic LX100 Thoughts…

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Hey guys, hope you are all 100% fantastic! Many have been asking me “Steve! Where is your Panasonic LX100 review”!!!

Well, to make a log story short..I had the camera for a few weeks and have mixed emotions on it. After using it with the Fuji X100T and even a Sony RX100 (Hasselblad Stellar) I came to the conclusion that I liked the LX100 the least of the three. Yes, for me (key words..for me) the early version 1 Sony RX100 beat it out due to a few reasons. Even with that said, the LX100 is a compact camera with serious innards and a handsome and rugged build. Leica has their version of this camera which is made in Japan, has Leica styling, and better software and warranty. It is called the D-Lux Typ 109 and many love this camera due to what it offers. I have not had a chance to hold the Leica version so this short and sweet “review” or “non review” will only go over my thoughts of the LX100 from Panasonic. I do have friends who have the D-Lux 109 and they did not have the same issues I had with the LX100. So there ya go.

Most compacts these days use 1″ sensors or smaller. There have been a couple with large APS-C sensors but they were usually with wider angle fixed lenses of 28mm.

The LX100 is a smallish compact, short and squat with a beefy feel and it houses a semi large Micro 4/3 sensor, the same size and type as the wonderful Olympus E-M1, which even today is a world-class camera. The same size as Panasonic’s own GX7, which I really enjoyed. 

It sounds like a dream right? A small good-looking and feeling camera with a highly capable sensor and the big name of Panasonic behind it for under $1000. Well, in some ways it is and in others it is not.

After shooting with it for a while I decided I would not review it (as I was not a huge fan) but there has been a surge of emails asking me about it so I decided to put up this short post with my thoughts on the LX100.

click any image for larger version – EXIF is embedded for all photos

mike

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It’s a fact, yes, the image quality of the LX100 can be fantastic and really close to APS-C offerings. Most cameras today are good in the IQ dept. as long as you stay away from $49 specials. What I look for when I use a camera is a list of things..and for me to like it, this check list is required..

  • Usability. Is the camera easy to use? Is it responsive with well laid out controls?
  • Auto Focus. Does the camera have speedy AND accurate AF?
  • Image Quality: Is the IQ good, fantastic or AMAZING? I like Fantastic to Amazing 🙂
  • AWB, Color, ISO. I also take these things into consideration.

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So let me start with the Usability..

The Lx100 is a great looking camera design. Many will adore its style and ease of use. The menu system is a breeze to go through and configure and due to the external controls, the camera is easily learned and anyone can get great results with it. So it passed the design and usability test with flying colors. 

Auto Focus. This is where I had issues. The AF of the LX100 seemed speedy enough but in MANY cases it would confirm focus and the result would be an out of focus image. I was using center point, so I knew where the camera should be focusing but it was telling me it nailed it and the results said otherwise. I had enough of these misses (more than any other camera I have used) to make me wonder what was going on with it. It started to frustrate me and made me not want to use it.

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Image Quality. The IQ is nice, and just about what I expected but I did expect a little more as I can get better IQ with my E-M1 or the E-P5 or even the GX7. When I shot landscapes at infinity focus with the LX100, the details were mush, even at base ISO. I took several shots and it was always the same. So not sure if I had a defect or if this was a camera issue. Another reason I decided to NOT review it as I was not sure if I had a lemon or this was just how it was. 90% of the time, the IQ was superb. 10% of the time I had issues. But the issues were enough to make me say “wait a minute..something is not right”. I did a comparison here with the LX100, X100T and Sony RX100 V1 (Stellar). Click HERE to see it.

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When the LX100 did nail the shot all was well. As for higher ISO, it failed that test for me as well. I am used to other cameras amazing high ISO capabilities these days and Micro 4/3 is losing the high ISO battle for sure. Even so, it is not horrible and MUCH better  than it was years ago. Still for the price of $899 I feel there are better options. As I said, I prefer the original Sony RX100 (now $399) to the LX100 for speed, usability, IQ, color, etc. It can be had for half the cost of the LX100 and it will even fit in a pocket. So for me, the LX100 was not enough to push me from my RX100.

Also, the LX100 will not fit in a pocket. Its thick and beefy. RX100 will. Now that I thin of it, look at these names..LX100, RX100, X100…seems the companies are trying to use the same names for some reason 🙂

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LENS FLARE

The lens on the LX100 has a tendency to flare badly if you have a light source in the frame. I have seen it with street lamps, sunlight and just about any light source if it is in the view of the lens. Wen I tested this side by side with the Sony RX100, Fuji X100T and my Sony A7s and A7II there were no flare issues. Another nail in the coffin for the LX100..for me but do others have this same issue or did I get a lemon?

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At the end of the day the LX100 did not inspire me enough to want to really get out there and shoot with it. I wish I could have tested the Leica version because while it is the same camera, it is made in a  different factory to higher standards and includes better extras (warranty, accessories, software) while looking nicer. If the flare issue was not so bad it would jump this camera up from NOT recommended to RECOMMENDED. If the AF did not miss on occasion (more than it should) it would go from RECOMMENDED to HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Maybe I will see if I can get a hold of the Leica version to see if it has the same issues I had with this LX100. If I can, expect a full review. This here was not a review, just my thoughts after using it for 3 weeks. I did not like it enough to recommend it so just wanted to explain why in this short post. But if you want a great camera at a superb price, right now you can get the original Sony RX100 for a song. Check out this deal here.  $399 loaded with extras and prime shipping at Amazon. I use the Hasselblad Stellar SE as I nabbed one at the blowout 70% off price over the holidays but it is the same camera.

if you want a step up in IQ try the Fuji X100T, Leica T, or Leica X

If you want an LX100, click here. If you want a Leica D-Lux 109, I suggest Ken Hansen or PopFlash.com .

Tomorrow I will post my Sony 16-35 Lens review 😉 Stay tuned!

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66 thoughts on “My Panasonic LX100 Thoughts…

  1. I bought one for my son’s graduation (for him ;o) )–I have used Panasonics up to GX8, and Leicas before settling with Fuji Xpros among other things because of their lenses and IQ), I have noticed the same disappointing issues as the one you point out with the LX100. Too bad it sounded and looked like a great camera.

  2. I have the Leica version and have found the same problems that you describe here. Most prominent of these is the autofocus not really focusing correctly at times. I take hundred of interior and exterior photographs of home every week and this is a real problem for me. I have been forced to temporarily go back to my D-Lux 6 while I look for a new camera.

  3. Don’t you think that sky on picture above with grocery market building in over saturated in blue?
    I have noticed similar effect on my pictures shooted LX100 and wonder what is wrong

  4. I’ve had my LX100 for almost a year, and thank goodness I got a good £200 cashback deal on it because I’ve been pretty disappointed. No matter how low the ISO the noise is always present, especially on images of blue skys – it just looks rubbish even when using the RAW file version. Low light JPEGs are terrible with smeary noise reduction obliterating details even with settings turned right down. Fortunately RAW versions are substantially better in this respect.

    Images aside I just haven’t developed an affection for this camera. I find myself missing my Fuji X10 which was technically inferior but more fun to use and always produced appealing photographs.

  5. So far, I love mine. After looking for ideal compact sized camera for me and going thru GX1, D-Lux 6, Canon G1X Mk2 and GX7, this is finally compact camera that I really like. It really doesn’t flare so badly, in fact, there is less flare than with D-Lux 6 I had, but wearing B+W filter all the time, it’s coating might be helping it. So far I’ve taken several thousand photos with it. Most of the time, AF is quick and reliable, and you can eventualy turn on MF with AF, to quickly correct focus if AF fails. MF implementation is really great. For me, finally a truly likeable camera and great EDC compact to coexist with my other (bigger) gear.

  6. I hated my LX100. I had the Sony rx100 and upgraded to the LX100. The image quality is the same, 4k video didn’t blow me away. The shutter speed knob is just stupid, so inconvenient it shouldn’t even been existed. I shoot manual and this little shit just gets in the way.

    1. So you hated your lx100. I don’t quite get it from your comment whether you like it or not. Also how does it compare to Sony rx100 and which model of rx?

  7. Hi, got an annoying problem. Have pictures taken that are in the internal memory of the camera, since I forgot to put sd card in. Trying to transfer these pictures on to the sd card- but it doesn’t work . I ve tried everything. Done exactly as I’ve been told, play mode and set and pick “coopy ” to sd card—- the only problem is that “copy” is not an option at all. Not anywhere at all. So frustrating.

      1. Well, this I have tried…. but a drive does NOT pop up on my desktop at all. So I don’t know what else to do now.

  8. I love the ergonomics of this camera, but I can not get any decent results and nothing approaching the images on Flickr or in Steve’s article taken with this camera. Shots of sujects which are close to the camera come out well but you can forget landscape shots as the background is really indistincty and lacking in clarity – mushy sums it up. I am inclined to think that there must be some good copies out there – the photos on Flickr mentioned in an earlier post are really crisp throughout. I had hoped to be able to make A4 prints for competition purposes but I can forget that. I recently used an Olympus 4/3rds camera which ( EM1) which produces superbly detailed images with scope for cropping so what has happened with the Panasonic sensor? (yes I know it is effectively 12MP )
    I am checking with the UK service agent to see whether they will check this camera out for me – otherwise I shall have to PX it and take quite a financial hit in the process!

  9. Thanks for taking your time to share a critical review. It makes me feel better I’m not the only one. I’m quite disappointed with this camera as well (controls, poor build quality and EVF, low light performance, sharpness, dynamic range is not as advertised too). To put it less mildly, I feel like I wasted my money, but since I had no other choice (after selling out all my DSLR gear) and because I wanted to go low-weight before a long journey, I got stuck with this mediocre-quality, overhyped compact for a year. Back to DSLRs now. I came up with the conclusion that having a few extra kilos is worth these rare moments. I’m going to keep LX100 as a pocket (not really) camera to have in emergency. Not to repeat myself, here is the review I wrote once: http://robertpogorzelski.com/2014/11/panasonic-lumix-dmc-lx100-hands-on-review.html

  10. It`s surprising to see so many bad comments on 26 January and lots of them having the same cons as Steve mentioned. I`m going to buy the camera, maybe, and have seen great results esp. in raw. I`m curious whether the earlier cameras were faulty, misenginered or whatever?

  11. I was considering to replace my RX100 III for the LX100 since after spending months with the Sony I can’t get used to its controls. I love my Fuji X-T1 and I’m looking for a pocketable camera with similar controls and good IQ. I can probably remove the LX100 from my wishlist if I read this.

  12. Like many people, I use SLRs a lot of the time (Nikons, for what it’s worth), but really want a ‘travelling camera’. I have a Sony RX100 (first edition) which I was pleased with, but was seduced by the idea of the LX100 (Panasonic version) and in a weak moment, bought one. As an old-school SLR user, the controls are a dream – just completely logical (I found the exposure compensation dial a bit too accidentally-nudgeable, but otherwise …) and while I would have preferred less rather than more from the features/menu screen, they were well put together. This summer, the weather in Ireland was SHITE, so I was using ISO 400 as my default, and had no way of really checking the results (I live in the middle east, as does my computer and decent screen). Now I’m back home going through the images and, while in most ways the results are great, they are, to my mind, far noisier than they should be – certainly noisier than the RX100 images I have. ISO 400 is not, these days, regarded as being problematic anyway. I wonder has anyone else found this? Perhaps it’s just me …

  13. I have bought my LX 100 in November ’14. My feelings are ambivalent.

    You get a good camera for soft portraits, available-light photography and macro.
    Perfect camera for Hamilton-like photography. The appearance of plants or water in the background and foreground of a portrait is astonishing.

    But it is not suitable for:
    -bright light situations (esp. beach scenes, white clouds on blue sky). Dynamics on highlights are insufficient, it goes into saturation quite easily.
    -faces in sunlight (colour tones look unhealthy and can`t be tuned even by RAW-development, especially in comparison to my panasonic TZ1 or my panasonic FZ18 which are 10 resp. 7 years old by now).
    -everything which is further away than 15 ft. Not only will the horizon on landscapes be blurry, but the “borderline” between the slightly blurry landscape and the sky will be abrupt and without differenciation, even when noise reduction is turned down. Looks like a Monet painting when magnified. Don`t try to make astro-shots, it won’t work out sharp. Stars at the corner will convert to something like a rice corn, and the camera doesn´t know where infinity is.
    -long exposure above 8 seconds or so. Although there is a background subtraction when exposure exceeds several seconds, the camera can’t handle it. The long exposure pictures will be all-pink-and-grainy above 8 seconds, as if it fails to calculate a jpeg from the raw alltogether in this situation.
    -architecture. Distortion is horrible and nobody writes about this important issue on reviews. I was in Dessau to take pictures of a Bauhaus building, and had to unpack my old FZ18 for the wide angel perspectives.

    Technical issues:
    The small rectangular plastic lens in the viewfinder distorts in an annoying way; you can either see the middle OR the edges sharp, but never both at the same time. Not a problem for young eyes, but if you are old and the eye doesn´t accomodate fast, it sucks; as the control numbers are overlayed at the top and bottom of the viewfinder, you can´t read them, or you have to turn the dioptry correction, but then the middle of the viewfinder picture is unsharp.
    I sent it in for repair, but got it back twice, panasonic saying that´s not a defect.

  14. Interesting review. But true, the LX100 is not for everyone, and has some flaws like no touchy screen, and no flippy screen and no mic jack. And those are deal breakers for some. But that’s not what this camera’s designed for. It’s more for someone who likes the tactile manual control over the entire creative image capture. And for those who shoot from the hip, and want a compact system that can deliver great IQ and performance without having to lug around a DSLR system. Sure, the LX100 will not fit in a pocket like the RX100s. But once one knows how to set up the camera for optimal performance, the LX100 will deliver. The only way I can see not having clear sharp images is, having the camera in manual focus, and nudging the sensitive focus ring. Also, the JPEGs will not be all color correct if the iDynamic setting is not right. And, even in live view the focus is very fast and snappy. But if you have it in tracking mode or auto, it will be considerably slower with predictive focusing. Nevertheless, this compact feels better in my hand than the smaller ones because of the grip and size. And the LX100 is lifting the bar for high end compact cameras. It truly is ground breaking. A small 4K video camera that takes great images. But, it’s not for everyone. And it takes a lot of time and effort to set up the LX100 for optimal performance due to all the extra options and features. Much like all modern cameras, the LX100 will reward those who can manage it, and punish those who cant.

    1. Exactly, this camera needs to be owned and used extensively for at least a couple of weeks before getting the best of it but I guess that’s too much to ask of people today as they are all looking at ‘the next big thing’ even as they walk away from the store with new camera in bag.

  15. Had two copies of the LX100 and returned them. Both had single point AF issues. Camera would front focus (probably to around 3-5 feet) when focused on distant (200+ feet) maple tree leaves that had bright spots of sky showing through. The tree was noticeably out of focus, even at f4. Switching to pinpoint focus solved this problem, but this mode is slower and pops up a magnified window. Have heard of similar problem when taking photos of bright lights on a dark background.

    Not what I would expect in an $800 camera. The 4K video is great, however. I may get the RX10ii, when it comes out instead.

  16. My wife is looking for a replacement for her six year old Canon G10 (which in its day was one of the best compact cameras) The latest G16 still has that appealing viewfinder, and all the other Canons don’t have a viewfinder at all.This has narrowed the choice down to the Panasonic LX100 and the Sony RX100-III, hence my reading this report (and many others). I have a Canon 70D DSLR, and in my opinion ‘glass’ comes first. Compare the early E-FS kit lenses which were hardly better than the bottom of a beer bottle with the L-lenses. And yet, in comparing the LX 100 with the RX 100,with all the discussions about the merits of the various sensors etc, I find little on the resolution of the respective lenses. Is the resolution of the LX better than the RX, centre definition compared with peripheral definition, what is the optimum aperture? Perhaps someone could enlighten me on this.

  17. I find it a little curious that almost everyone who has posted here, seems to follow your very article and its pattern. They bought the LX100 and returned it, and had precisely the very same issues you had. Every single one of them. These people are either your alter egos, or your followers.

    Also, while the LX100 is not perfect (it has purple lens flare and auto focus can be inaccurate at times), most things about the camera are stellar.

    I would go so far as to say, that your pics from the LX100 are mediocre, at best. If you feel I am being biased, please look up Flickr for pics from the LX100. Here is the url:

    https://www.flickr.com/search/?q=lx100

    I am starting to notice a pattern in this all. Did you have a fallout with Panasonic? Or, you are still stuck in the 1970s, with your vintage glass and your analog cameras?

    1. No, they are people who bought the camera from the hype, realized it was average and not that great, and returned it. No alter egos, just people who realize that the LX100 was not all it was cracked up to be. The LX100 is capable of high quality ages, ANY camera today is. ALL of them besides the $80 specials. But it falls flat when compared to others, even the Sony RX100 V1, V2 or V3. I look at usability, speed, IQ, if there are any issues, handling, ease of use, video, etc. The LX100 fell flat for me and loads of others. I had a falling out with no one, I do not even have one contact at Panasonic, never have. I buy or rent most cameras I review from 85% of companies. I tell it like it is and as always, those who LOVE what I do not seem to have an issue with it. This is MY blog, MY site and MY reviews. That means it is MY opinion. I just tell the truth without Bias to anything or anyone. You do not have to like what I say but know it is always the truth and comes from my experience, that is all. Doesn’t mean you have to agree but come here to start trouble and you will be banned.

  18. I don’t know why people assume that the ‘latest is the greatest’ and give such praise to the lx100 when it is a massive let down. Appart from having a bigger sensor the LX7 is superior in everyway – lens has more reach, is faster, has ND filter, has slow mo, has flash, is smaller, lighter. Why couldn’t panasonic have kept all of these features in the upgrade? If that means sticking in a 1″ sensor instead of 4/3 than so be it – that would have been a better trade off. In an case the LX100 does not have a ‘true’ 4/3 sensor as it does not utilse all of the megapixels. IMO the LX100 could have been ‘perfect’ but Panasonic have not built on the strengths of the LX7 – massive let down. I am thinking of by passing the LX100 and swapping my Sony rx100 for the LX7 (which I previously owned) as the stabilisation in video mode is sooooooo noisy (audio sound) on the rx100 and does not come close to the stabilisation on the LX7 in terms of smoothness and quietness.

  19. Hello Camera enthusiasts!
    taking opportunity of this small camera review to bring some fun of comparative analysis of a few cameras I selected from different classes.

    This idea comes from several arguments I see on some forums including also this one, where some so called experts talk how “hollow” or “empty” or “solid” photo cameras are.
    Those experts insists that some cameras are built like by pro standards like the E-M1 and some fill just hollow (read they are not a pro or even just crap like X-T1)

    I am not any expert in the domain but only a mechanical (yet aviation) engineer I like and need to compare numbers, when technical aspects are discussed, recognizing that it is not always possible and not every time applicable way to compare some aspects of a camera.

    So let me attack the “feels like hollow” argument with some numbers.

    The density represent the “hollow” – the higher the density, the more pro camera it is, at least per some so called experts 🙂

    The cameras are placed with an order based on weigh number (weight numbers is a comparison by itself…I think that a lighter camera is typically an advantage)

    The size numbers come from a “camera meter ” source.

    Camera width height depth volume weight density

    Ricoh GR 117,0 61,0 34,7 247654 245 0,00099

    Panasonic LX100 114,8 66,2 55,0 417987 393 0,00094

    Fuji X-T1 129,0 89,8 46,7 540982 440 0,00081

    Olympus E-M1 130,4 93,5 63,1 769340 497 0,00065

    Sony A7 II 126,9 95,7 59,7 725017 599 0,00083

    Pentax K-5 II 131,0 97,0 72,5 921258 760 0,00082

    Canon EOS 5D III 152,0 116,4 76,4 1351730 950 0,00070

    Canon EOS-1D X 163,6 158,0 82,7 2137696 1210 0,00057

    Nikon D4S 160,0 156,5 90,5 2266120 1350 0,00060

    Wow, poor Nikon and Canon……their commonly recognized pro cameras are ….hollow! 🙂

    Next time will try to discuss the “sturdy” or “build like a tank” 🙂

  20. Man oh Man, so many negative comments on this great camera. I sold my Sony RX100 latest version in favour of this camera. I found IQ top notch . It responds quick and I never miss the shot. On the other hand With the Sony RX100 I seldom got the shot after fumbling around trying to find the flush to the body shutter button.
    My main camera has become the Sony A7r and I consider this my quick and dirty camera. I find I’m using it a lot for B&W, video, my Arty stuff, shooting musician stills and video hand held in bars at night with perfect fast focus! Matter of fact I don’t know if we’re talking here about the same camera. The only thing I don’t like about this camera is lack of real lens shade to help with flare, non articulating back EVF and no wireless shutter release. c’mon folks we’re really getting spoiled with our expectations of what these little cameras are supposed to deliver . But the subjective experience has the final word I guess.

  21. I sold my RX100 I (very early user) for LX100; so far, no regrets at all; IQ is fine for my tastes, and usability not so bad (what was instead my main problem with Sony’s layout)… I also guess that the not-reviewed Steve’s copy was faulty, since I see left edge way less sharp that the right one. Just my 2 cents, of course.

  22. I have the LX100 – and I think it is one heck of a camera – I also have the RX100 and I also have the Fuji X100s – I cannot see how Steve comes up with that a smaller sensor – slower lens and no 4K beats the LX100. Yes I think the RX100 is a fine compact camera although the RX100m3 is out now and superior camera as far as sensor and lens. Yes the RX100 is smaller and therefore more pocketable but in the heat in Arizona folks do not own winter jackets and larger jackets with larger pockets 🙂 The LX100 has the Fuji controls but RX100 hardly has any – But Steve says if he had the Leica version things might have been different – he does like snobbish names – I just think overall Panasonic is considered as your crappy brand – but no matter what Fuji does is hailed a marvel like the X-100 which had the worst AF of any camera I have ever owned – and yes I still have the X100 just collecting dust – but it was hailed as this wonder camera –
    X100s and X100t are big improvements – Some Leica models with slow menu systems and no AF no IS are hailed to be awesome for $6000 – Hasselblad Lunar and Stellar are hailed as marvels and at a top price –
    One pays around $800-$900 for a 24-70mm F2.8 lens – the LX100 is now for $820 and has a 24-75mm F1.8-2.8 lens – 4k video – fast focus and IS in lens with manual controls – smallest 4k camera on the market with internal recording – yet it is considered as junk compared to the almighty RX100 and Fuji X100s/t –
    Sometimes I just do not get the critics – except that I will always hear that whatever Leica comes out with and Fuji and some Sony cameras are just awesome – so I was surprised to see Steve like the Olympus EM1 – I have it as well as the OMD-em5 but I like my GX7 more then the EM5 for sure –
    I have the Sony A7 and A6000 and NEX7 as well and Nikon DSLR gear – so I am not a brand loyalist – but I do clearly see that Panasonic is considered the garbage – no matter what they put out – which I disagree with – Touch LCD is something we all use each day on our cell phones – however the Purists rule that it should never be on a camera – therefore Fuji will never have it and neither on higher end Sony’s either.
    i would have gotten the D-Lux 109 if I really thought it was that much better – but I do not think so after having compared them –
    I find Steves photos to be fantastic with the LX100 for what it is – the LX100 is not the RX1 or a D4s or a $6000 Leica – I just think Steve has a thing for brands and Panasonic just does not fit in that club –
    To me the LX100 is a fun and very practical camera idea for street shooting – not limited to 23mm F2.0 focal length like the Fuji X100/s/t – with 4K video ability – and frame capture from 23 frames per second at 8MP –
    For LX200 I would like to see a tilt LCD – and Touch LCD with Touch To Focus

  23. I wonder if you received a substandard copy of the LX100. A problem I see as university researcher, is that almost all camera or lens reviews are based on one or two samples. No where close to the sample size required to make generalizations to all cameras of that type. The variance is manufacturing is too great to say that they all are the same. I own both the RX100iii and the LX100, and the LX100 focus speed of my copy is noticeably faster in most conditions than my RX100 and it rarely misses focus. In addition, the LX100 takes the best flash pictures I have ever seen in a compact camera (too bad the flash is not built into the camera). When shooting raw, I don’t see any significant difference between the IQ of the two cameras when pixel peeping. The Sony Jpegs do look better to me however. I bought the LX100 primarily because I wanted a handheld 4K shooter for a project, but I kind of like it and plan to keep it around a bit longer.

  24. Hmmm…

    I have the M9P and the EM1+12-40 and now we have the Digilux Type 109 aka LX100.

    First of all none of your issues. We really love it.

    Some plus points:

    – 4K Video in a very small body. Useful for Drones
    – The Aperture ring
    – The Focus-ring which uses fix steps, i.e. 24,28,35,50,70mm. Really useful
    – The Autofocus-Zoom. Use Centre and have an Zoomed -in AF field for perfect accuracy
    – Very Good Macro Mode
    – Sharp Lens
    – Snappy AF (ok no EM1 but still very good)
    – Manual Controls, lots of.
    – Good Image Quality (and a more Leica-like colour scheme, like it better then the EM1)
    – Build-In EVF

    Negative Points:
    – Some Buttons to small
    – The backwheel to fizzy
    – Just 12MP
    – No Audio-In
    – ISO is good but not as good as on m4/3
    – Could use more Software Options
    – Could have more Video Options
    – Zoom only up to 75mm, 90mm should have been minimum
    – No Lenshood, Lens cap to fizzy

    All in all the best compact I have used. The 4K Video is nearly as good as the GH4.

    B

  25. Flawed as it may be, the LX100 is the ultimate in one respect: It’s the smallest lens/camera combo that offers creamy bokeh like that, beyond extreme close-ups. (the 2 GM models would be bulkier with a lens that renders as well.)

    So if bokeh and compact are your top priorities…

    Up in Canada we wear jackets for 8 months of the year, so for us an LX100 is pocketable – _just_.

  26. I had a chance to play with an LX100 early on. I did not record any images on the camera as I too found it to be a somewhat odd concept; I could not see an aspect of the camera where it would excel other, and cheaper, cameras……The GM1, for instance, will stand in for virtually every use of the LX100.

    I would have preferred Panasonic upgrade the LX7 with a larger sensor and a tilt LCD, instead of introducing this camera.

  27. These photos look lovely. I am really enjoying my D-Lux typ 109. Before you all write off these cameras, try the Leica. I had two of the RX100 Sony’s and did not end up keeping either one. I think the typ109 is a keeper.

    1. I absolutely agree with you bvhleica. I’ve tested the Lx100, but I think (don’t know why) my D-Lux 109 has something different and I love it more than my ex RX100.

      1. Yeah, I agree with you too, I had 2 Sony RX 100 and Mk II. and got rid of them both because for video quality of Type 109 and overall picture quality, Steve must have a lemon, mine in comparison to Sony is blazing fast..there are some flaring issue nothing that would get me to send it back. I would like people to try it and compare it to other P&S camera, only thing Sony got on it is the size advantage…

  28. Thanks for this, Steve. I’ve been doing oodles of comparisons and research over the last couple of weeks to see whether this might be a worthy compact successor to my D-lux 4. Am convinced it isn’t, and you hit the nail on the head. For roughly the same size, you can get the Olympus E-PL5 (thinner body + longer lens = overall the same) and it uses all the sensor at native ratio instead of the 12MP compromise the LX100 goes in for. Next to Leica Colour, I’ve always liked Olympus colour, and the E-PL5 does everything I want out of a small camera as well as being available at a breeze of a price now.

  29. I owned both and shot them side by side. Could not discern any difference in IQ when shot with same settings and conditions. The “better software” I hear people quote for the Typ 109 is just not verified by anything Leica has been willing to publicly admit. It you know this for sure Steve, how about you do us all a favor and get us a press release from Leica. This has been camera urban legend for some time…

  30. I have lx100 and returned it after 3 weeks, the biggest problem is flicking EVF, it’s so annoying every time I blink my eyes, I don’t know why Panasonic choose such inferior Field sequential EVF for a new product.
    The second problem is mush corners with the lens, incorporate with low mega pixels, totally lack of details in photos.

  31. You might got a lemon because one thing I like about the LX100 is the AF. I had a lot more problem with the X100T on that one. On mine, the AF is blazingly fast and accurate. Even C-AF keep up with my dog running toward me. The flare is an issue though.

  32. I had one. Silver, it looked much better in real life than online. I loved the shutter and aperture controls. It was a fine looking camera as long as it was not turned on.

    In operation, it nagged me. The lens extended in a descending tube that just stuck out there, looking ungainly and fragile and ugly. The front element seemed almost to protrude beyond the tube, a sure flare magnet (no lens hood included).

    I didn’t like that i had to pay extra for the flowered lens cap. While I didn’t mind the EVF at all, the lacks- integral flash, touch screen, flipping screen- started to irk me more and more at this price point.

    The GX7 which I love can now be had for much less than the LX100, and is much more of a camera.

    The images were ok, but it also irked me that for some reason Panasonic crippled the full sensor format. I don’t believe it was so you could vary the image, I believe it was to reduce the size of the lens.

    It irked me that the lens bled off speed quickly, at “standard” focal lengths it was already at f/2.8.

    In short, the number of irks and annoyances piled up. While the RX100 punches above its weight, the LX100 barely punches at its own weight.

    Not for $900.

  33. Having owned a Panasonic LX2 and LX3 and currently usung a Sony RX100 (original version) I was keen to try the LX100. With a 4/3″ sensor (versus the smaller 1″ 20 MP sensor of the Sony) and a faster lens, I was hoping for better IQ, more dynamic range and less noise. I was loaned an LX100 for a weekend and it disappointed me throughout. Uncertain focus, lens flare, noise and poor DR meant the LX100 fell far short of my expectations.

    That weekend proved it is going to take one helluva camera to beat the Sony RX100 which is not my main camera but I carry it with me all the time. I also use a Nikon D800 and Leica M9, but the Sony RX100 never, ever disappoints.

  34. Thanks for providing an honest and unvarnished assessment/ It’s the most difficult thing for reviewers to do, and you do it so well. I actually have both the X100T and the RX100-III. My wife shoots the RX100-III, and for shooting landscapes and scenery in daylight, I can’t tell her shots from mine (using the X100T), much of the time. When it comes to informal portraits, street shooting or night shooting there’s a world of difference with the X100T being several magnitudes ahead. For food photos, we’ve come to rely on the RX100-III though, because it’s easy to slip into my pants pocket or my wife’s small evening bag.

    I had an LX100 on order when it first was announced, but I cancelled the order because I don’t see the Pany/Olympus sensors (I’ve had the GX7 and the OMD-M1 & M5) being able to match the Fuji X sensors on the X100T and the X-T1) or the RX100’s sensor. Your article confirm’s my decision!

    What i really want is a Fujifilm XPro2 with the Sony or Olympus 5-way OIS built into the body. Now THAT could be a be a dream “almost-pocketable” camera if they would just ship it with an interchangeable 23mm lens, just like the 100T’s lens.

  35. I had two, both went back. With the first one I thought it was a bad sample. Maybe the mft sensor coupled with a Leica Vario Summilux made me expect too much. The handling and manual controls I really liked, but not the IQ. The RX100III will stay my compact, which beats the LX100 for stills with a better performing lens, better resolution and micro contrast. Maybe the next generation of the LX100 will be it as the concept is certainly exciting.

  36. Lack of a touch LCD screen was a major surprise for me. Its such a cool feature for quickly selecting AF points, and Pansonic does it so well. On the GX7 you can even use the screen to move the AF point around while looking through the EVF!

    Not having a touch LCD on a $900 camera doesn’t make sense

    Likewise, the lack of a mechanical zoom control I feel is a little odd at the price point and for the target market. So much direct control, but then one of the most used controls, zoom, you need to do electronically. Again, kind of a surprise on a $900 camera IMO

    Obviously options like the RX100 doesn’t have a manual zoom control either, but of course, that has the trump card of actually fitting into your pocket.

    1. Jeff, you can set the RX100’s main control ring to give manual zoom control. Or manual focus, if you prefer. It is easy to change configuration via the menu. I leave it set to zoom control but occasionally use it for manual focus.

      1. You are correct, and I actually do have mine set to the “step zoom”, so thank you for pointing out that helpful hint. What I meant to say by manual zoom control though was a direct manual zoom ring that directly controls the focal length, instead of an electric control, where you turn a ring and it moves a motor. Basically like a typical DSLR zoom lens, where your physically changing focal length when you turn a ring. Easy concept but a very difficult one to find the words for lol.

        I had the same issue with the Sony RX10, really cool camera, but, really didn’t like turning the zoom ring and having the motor slowly zoom in/out. You needed to sit and turn that thing forever to change the focal range, compared, to something like a 70-200 zoom lens on a DSLR, where you can basically go instantly from wide to tele.

        Electronic zoom control is probably nice for video zoom in/out, but I just miss the ability to instantly turn a ring and go to the focal length of my choice.

        1. I agree, a true manual zoom would be wonderful. But having a zoom ring at all is a real plus point for a camera in the RX100 class.

  37. Wow, this is very similar to my experience. On paper the LX100 was my dream compact-ish camera. But the IQ and overall performance wasn’t there. I also didn’t feel that connection to it. Not sure why. The one thing I loved was the 4K photo mode. Such an awesome feature.

  38. I had one for two weeks and sent it back. I liked the controls and the versatility of the fast lens. But in the end, I felt the durability of the camera was in question with hits motorized lens extension every time you turn it on, and I didn’t like being forced to power zoom. I bought it mostly because of the promise of M43 IQ and 4K video, but I found it cramped and could never get it to zoom to the focal length I wanted on the first time. Also, EVF was inferior to Sony A7 line and Fuji XT1. Once you have a good EVF, you can’t go back.

    1. I was looking to buy the Leica version, but too many bad reports have put me off.
      So (crazily?) I have bought a Leica D-Lux 4 and Leica Digilux 2!

      1. Congratulations on The D-Lux 4 and the Digilux 2. I have both, and they are both a joy to work with. There is something very special about the Dgl 2.

  39. I tried the Leica version and did not like it. The IQ was not what it should be for the price, the interface was not the typical Leica interface and the lens didn’t live up to the price either. While I haven’t tried the GM5, a friend that has is much more impressed with it. He had the LX100 and it went back.

    1. I had the same experience, bought it a while ago, used it for a few weeks and sold it again. Did not like the Leica-109 at all, and cannot understand all the hype in the Leica forums about this gear. Much more satisfied with the RX100 version 1!

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