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Panasonic LX100 first impressions review and 4K footage


Andrew Reid

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If you're willing to go a little smaller, the RX10 has built-in ND.

 

 

The Sony rx 100 has built in Nd

 

Thanks, yes, they both have smaller sensors, which would make inclusion of ND filter a bit easier, but I agree, if it would be possible to squeeze in a ND filter in a LX100 successor at some point, that would be great.

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I don't need to download any 4K files to know that this thing is going to start floating around on quite a few 3-axis gimbals and multi-rotor copters ;-)

Great stuff! With stabillisation, fast speed, small size and 4K. SOLD!   I know there's no log mode unfortunately, but is there a contrast curve?

That footage is really quite impressive.

What do you mean by same pixel count but larger pixels? If it's the same size of sensor that's simply impossible because the size of each pixels is directly related to the total pixel count.

 

It might come with the built-in ND and tiltable screen, but constant f/2? I would like that but I doubt it, for me this camera having a f/1.7-2.8 is already an optical miracle for its size.

 

I think this is the most versatile compact for all sorts of applications - for me it will be an everyday travel companion and a gh4 back up.
But we can't have it all at once, panny Wants to sell us more cameras as the 4/3 marked is growing.
Assuming that Panasonic has a much faster product cycle we will see a Lx 100 mk II in about 1 - 1.5 years if not earlyer - which will feature:

Tilting back (and selfie capable) touch screen
Built in nd
Same pixel count sensor with larger pixels
2.0 constant aperture same focal length lens

You can quote me on that :)
What do you guys think - I mean seriously

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What do you mean by same pixel count but larger pixels? If it's the same size of sensor that's simply impossible because the size of each pixels is directly related to the total pixel count.

 

That's incorrect. The gaps between pixels vary. Thus one manufacturing technique or technology does not make the same pixel size as another.

 

For example on the Blackmagic Production Camera with an 8MP APS-C sized sensor, the pixels are tiny due to large amounts of space on the front-side surface of the chip taken up by global shutter wiring.

 

And subsequent refining of 24MP APS-C sensors from Sony, et al have produced larger pixels by reducing the gap between pixels and improving the design of the micro lenses which channel light into each pixel.

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Even if with the brightest sun it would need an ND, having a built-in ND would help in a lot of situations, it would never hurt.

 

I think that the LX100 successor would take more than a year to come, unless Panasonic has a new sensor tech or if Sony pushes really hard but if only depended on the camera itself I think it would have a longer life cycle.

 

But once I buy it and I already buy the whole ND filter kit, it won't be just a tiltable screen that would make me upgrade like that, I was talking just about the frustration feeling. I think I would only upgrade if there were some major break through like a new sensor, longer focal length, new feats, etc. or if somehow there was someone wanting to buy my "old model".

 

I'm not from US so, if the camera is good I might be able to sell it for the same price that I actually paid if I bought in the US. So my plan is to buy or ask someone to buy it in the US or Europe and when the time comes I sell it here without losing much money. The only issue is that Panasonic is not as hot name as Sony or Canikon, so we'll see - it took a while but I was able to sell a GH3.

 

I also thought about the Leica option but I've to see how much does it actually change from the LX100, video feats, firmware updates. I don't know but I imagine that Panasonic is the one that takes care and then they pass to Leica so they can make changes based on Panasonic's firmware, so it should match. If that's how things happen I also need to see how much people are actually willing to go for the Leica version here and how much I can charge for that.

 

I hear that Subversive, I was just offering my thoughts about the camera traditionally having been a photographic tool first and foremost rather than a video machine.  That is obviously changing now with the addition of the larger sensor and glorious 4K.  Keep in mind that a 3 stop ND filter is not particularly useful for strong daylight video shooting with a fast lens.  You would typically need a 6 to 8 stop filter to get shutter speeds down around 1/50 or 1/60 (with wide apertures).  That being the case, you would still need to stack on a vari-ND or additional 3-4 stop ND to achieve a proper video shutter angle.

 

I believe it is 100% likely that new features will be added to this camera in the next iteration, that has always been the case with most compact and mirrorless products.  You should consider the Leica D-Lux, as it will probably hold more resale value if you decide to upgrade to a new model with a flip/touch screen (I highly doubt the 3 stop ND filter will ever return).

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That's incorrect. The gaps between pixels vary. Thus one manufacturing technique or technology does not make the same pixel size as another.

 

For example on the Blackmagic Production Camera with an 8MP APS-C sized sensor, the pixels are tiny due to large amounts of space on the front-side surface of the chip taken up by global shutter wiring.

 

And subsequent refining of 24MP APS-C sensors from Sony, et al have produced larger pixels by reducing the gap between pixels and improving the design of the micro lenses which channel light into each pixel.

 

Oh, forgot about that possibility, thanks. Following that, I wanted to see Panasonic's micro color splitter tech working, they said at the time that it didn't depend on new sensor tech, that they could do so with any sensor. Will that come first, will it be organic sensor first or will they be able to apply both in their next sensor?

 

But in the end it's not simply about the pixel size as it's about the light gathering capability and efficiency, right? Because bigger pixel size will always help that but there are also other ways to get better sensitivity without that, anyway, I guess he was talking about getting a new sensor with more DR, ISO, etc. without getting more pixels. But I don't think it would necessarily need to have bigger pixels for that.

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Pixel size is still important, it's just that there are things other than just megapixel count and sensor size that influence pixel size

 

Also the readout is important because noise can be introduced to the signal coming off the sensor by the electronics.

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I love the way Olympus not only enables the use of Art Filters in their cameras, but these are also available in their PC software and can be applied to their raw files on your PC while post processing. My experience is that shooting this way is faster, as the camera only has to save one file to memory, and I'm still able to enjoy the creative uses of the Art Filters on my PC while previewing them on my large monitor.

 

With relation to the LX100 my interest would be different.

 

Grabbing 8Mb stills from selected progressive frames in a standard 4K captured video file is of course not camera specific, but the ability of the LX100 to switch on Photo Mode and capture 4:3 (among other resolutions) video thereby increasing the vertical resolution beyond 2160 horizontal lines is extremely attractive as Andrew already has covered.  I've read that the camera will capture the last 5 clips each up to 2mins each in this mode, and I don't quite follow the usefulness of implementing this feature this way.

 

I understand the photographer can review these "Photo Mode" clips in camera and press the set button to write a Jpeg still complete with Exif data however I would prefer to do this in post.

 

But I'm really wondering if the 4:3 video capture in "Photo Mode" will be limited to 5 clips of 2mins each as I think I would want to use this capture setting all the time or most of the time.

 

 

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Use your right eye to view the EVF. Viewfinder positions generally favour right-eye dominant shooters...

 

If he's left eye dominant then he wont be able to do this, if he is right then he is already,  so this is a redundant sugestion.  I'm left eye dominant and can literaly not se with my right eye through a veiwfinder unless i completely close my left eye.  Which I dont do because my vision is blured for about 5 mins after I open it again.

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As for the 4K crop it's 26 - 81mm.

 

What is your source for this?

 

If it is native 3840 by 2160, then it has a 2.49 crop factor and gives a 27.1 - 84.6mm equivalent field of view.

Source:  Dpreview specs on GX7 sensor and mathematics.

 

If it downscales the 16 by 9 stills crop of  4480 * 2520 (source: dpreview first impresions review of LX100) then it will have a crop factor of 2.13

and give a 23.24 - 72.52mm equivalent field of view.

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The camera actually doesn't use the entire 4/3 sensor at any given time like a GH4 in photo mode can. The sensor is set up with a multi-aspect mode, so depending on the aspect ratio a different chunk of the sensor is being used. Its 4k mode uses the same area as the GH4 - resulting in a 2.2x crop from full frame 35mm. But the lens isn't 12-37.5mm, it's 10.9-34mm. So the 4k crop is actually very close to 24-75mm equivalent.

Rolling shutter is the same as the GH4.

No Cinelike profiles at the moment, but picture styles have the same adjustments that they do on Panasonic's other m4/3 cameras.

Haven't tested the sound yet. I'm expecting GX7 quality (great for built-in mic), but that's just a guess. 

 

Thanks,  but I know all that Shit.

 

If it downscales from the 16 by 9 crop used for stills (4480 * 2520) then you are correct although it actualy workes out to 2.13 crop giving 23.24 - 72.52mm equivalent.

 

My coment asked whether it used a NATIVE crop of 3840 by 2160 for 4K (which the GH4 does and this will probably too). This will give a 2.49 crop giving 27.1 - 84.6mm equivalent.

 

Thanks for the picture styles info though. I actually didn't know that.

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I am assuming Panasonic is not going to give us the LX-100 as a "world" camera and will have PAL and NTSC flavours?  This sucks if I want to buy the camera in the US or Canada, or if I buy the PAL version (live in the UK) and shoot video when visiting family in North America I will struggle with the 25 fps under artificial lights?

 

Is this also true for the GH4?

 

Overall, I'm not too sure that this is a problem as when I adjust my shutter speed between 1/50 or 1/60 (depending on country) on my Olympus cameras (which only give 30 fps) I don't get noticeable flicker.

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If he's left eye dominant then he wont be able to do this, if he is right then he is already,  so this is a redundant sugestion.  I'm left eye dominant and can literaly not se with my right eye through a veiwfinder unless i completely close my left eye.  Which I dont do because my vision is blured for about 5 mins after I open it again.

I'm left eye dominant as well but use my right eye. The disadvantage comes in not being able to keep both eyes open. Very useful when keeping tabs on whatever that's outside of the frame!

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I'm left eye dominant as well but use my right eye. The disadvantage comes in not being able to keep both eyes open. Very useful when keeping tabs on whatever that's outside of the frame!

Ah, sorry about the tone of my reply, It's just it sounded like a righty saying "just use your right eye" and not getting it.   Yeah, I prefer to keep both eyes open for the peripheral awareness it gives, even though the right eye is usualy blocked by the camera.  But mostly because when I open the closed eye, the vision in that eye for some reason is blurred for several minutes, which is kind of distracting to the work prosess hoping that it comes back.

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Thanks,  but I know all that Shit.

 

If it downscales from the 16 by 9 crop used for stills (4480 * 2520) then you are correct although it actualy workes out to 2.13 crop giving 23.24 - 72.52mm equivalent.

 

My coment asked whether it used a NATIVE crop of 3840 by 2160 for 4K (which the GH4 does and this will probably too). This will give a 2.49 crop giving 27.1 - 84.6mm equivalent.

 

Thanks for the picture styles info though. I actually didn't know that.

 

Yes it's a native 4k crop recording pixels 1:1. The size of the sensor area used is the same as the GH4. The "max resolution" of the LX100 sensor is cropped from the true full sensor size, making all the equivalence numbers a little less straightforward. You're close though. Panasonic lists it as 26-81mm in 4k 16:9 crop. Truth be told, the difference between the two in use is very subtle, but attention to detail is important so I appreciate the specificity of your questions.

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That's on Panasonic's website specs sheet, they seem to be a reliable source about this matter.

 

What is your source for this?

 

If it is native 3840 by 2160, then it has a 2.49 crop factor and gives a 27.1 - 84.6mm equivalent field of view.

Source:  Dpreview specs on GX7 sensor and mathematics.

 

If it downscales the 16 by 9 stills crop of  4480 * 2520 (source: dpreview first impresions review of LX100) then it will have a crop factor of 2.13

and give a 23.24 - 72.52mm equivalent field of view.

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