Panasonic Lumix LX100 II review: A camera for photography enthusiasts
If you are looking for a cut-price alternative to your smartphone, this isn’t it
Panasonic’s Lumix LX100 II has a 17 megapixel compact camera that will deal with most photography scenarios and deliver some decent photographs
Product name: Panasonic Lumix LX100 II
Where to buy: connscameras.ie
The case for compact cameras is being eroded as smartphone cameras become increasingly advanced. Along with sat navs, address books and payphones, smartphones have gradually replaced your point and shoot camera.
A lot of that is down to convenience. The best camera, after all, is the one you have with you, and it’s hard to argue against smartphones taking that role when you see the quality of the photos coming from the latest crop of camera phones - the Huawei P30 Pro, for example, has an excellent night mode and some serious zoom capabilities.
So the camera makers have had to up their game. Panasonic’s Lumix LX100 II is one for the enthusiasts, a 17 megapixel compact camera that will deal with most photography scenarios and deliver some decent photographs.
Panasonic has gone with the micro four thirds sensor, a 20 megapixel sensor that is also seen in the GX9. Why the discrepancy in the resolution though? That’s down to the multi aspect ration abilities of the camera. The largest resolution possible without narrowing the field of view is 17 megapixels, which is an improvement on the 12 megapixels of the LX100, its predecessor.
What’s three megapixels between friends though? Very little when you take into account the quality of the footage shot by the LX100 II. While it’s not impossible to take a bad photo with the camera, there are some intelligent features that make it less likely.
If you are enthusiastic but a total beginner, fully automatic mode will take over the settings for you. You can simply turn the dial to A and snap away. But if you want a little more control over the end result, you can mess about with the settings. On the top you have a dial for the shutter speed, and a second dial for exposure compensation. Aperture is controlled by a ring on the non-removable 24-75mm zoom lens, while the aspect ratio is controlled with a slider on the base of the lens. Autofocus can be switched between autofocus, macro and manual focus at the side of the lens. Plus there’s an intelligent auto mode that can be activated or deactivated with a single press. Basically, there’s a lot going on here; even with smaller hands, controls can be a little fiddly.
There are a few extra features that come in handy. For example, you can change the focus of a photograph after you take it. That is useful for those moments that you realise you missed a better shot by focusing on the wrong thing, or if you just want a new perspective on your work.
On the video front, the Lumix supports 4K shooting, but there is also full HD available if you don’t feel the need to go for the top, memory card stuffing resolution.
The LX100 II has a touch screen LCD on the rear of the camera, but it’s not articulated, unlike other devices. That makes it more difficult to get challenging shots, but it’s not a deal breaker. Others may feel differently, however.
The other option is an electronic viewfinder, with a cushioned eyepiece that makes it comfortable to use.
The camera itself is reasonably slim. It won’t exactly slip into your pocket with barely a bump but it is small enough to carry without too much effort, yet still study enough when you are handling it. One of the biggest benefits? You don’t need to carry a separate battery charger. The Lumix LX100 II charges over USB, so all you need is a cable – micro USB, which means you should have a spare or two lying around.
The photographs from the Lumix LX100 II stand up to the best in this category. The camera performed well in bright sunlight and low light, although the zoom was a little slow to react at times.
The not so good
If you are looking for a cut-price alternative to your smartphone, this isn’t it. In fact, it would set you back almost as much as your smartphone. It’s the price that pushes this into enthusiast territory.
The touch screen is useful, although the articulated screen would have been better. The 4K footage works better if you go for a tripod.
A slim camera that should tick all the right boxes for photography enthusiasts.