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Andrew Reid

Shooting with a 4K pocket camera - the exceptional Panasonic LX100

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It's always been a FT sensor in these cameras. Only the mounttype is called differently to make a distinction between SLR and mirrorless, the mount these days is a MFT/M43 one, it used to be FT when the cameras where still using mirrors (to allow light being redirected to the optical viewfinder). So it still uses a 4/3" sensor (1.33"), but the mount flange focal distance due to being mirrorless (no mirror, so no optical viewfinder, that's why mirrorless cameras have either no viewfinder or a digital one) is greatly reduced.


As I thought then :-) but as I read the sensor has a 2.2 and 2.4 crop factor ( stills and video) so in effect it is not quite a mFT/FT. If I recall correctly the BMPCC has a 2.7 crop, so they are not that far apart.

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That's why this not a RX100 competitor. RX100 is designed to fit in a pocket. The lens retracts and has built-in cover on the lens. This camera is much larger. Look at the size of the lens. It's not a pocket camera like RX100 series.

Different segment.


More importantly, the RX100 has a tiny sensor.

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More importantly, the RX100 has a tiny sensor.

 

It was the largest sensor ever on a pocket camera. The previous pocket camera with large sensor was Canon S series, a sensor 4 times smaller than RX100. Before that pocket cameras had sensors that were 1/2.3" or smaller Canon S series broke that trend and became the most popular prosumer pocket camera during 2009-2012.   LX100 is not  a pocket camera. 

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More importantly, the RX100 has a tiny sensor.

 

What the eff? Largest sensor ever on a pocket camera (that you could stuff in your jeans) and now it's tiny? Do you know what the word tiny means? If that's tiny then what are regular pocketcam sensors? Invisible?

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...LX100 is not  a pocket camera. 

Exactly the LX100 does not put in the pockets, I might as well make it really professional. It took a no insert an audio jack for microphone, a screen tiltable, a ring of PASM control. A creative movie mode with manual CINE Styles, pedestal, and luminance. A sort of form factor like the Nikon P7800.
Then the camera would dream even if it cost $ 1,000.
So it's not, it's just a toy too compact, and not a device truly pro expecially for limited video versatility.

LX100 is device well balanced only for photos.

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As I thought then :-) but as I read the sensor has a 2.2 and 2.4 crop factor ( stills and video) so in effect it is not quite a mFT/FT. If I recall correctly the BMPCC has a 2.7 crop, so they are not that far apart.

Yeah, the sensor inside still is four thirds. But in order to keep the lens as small as it is, in order to get the sharpest results without vignetting, they decided not to use any of the edge pixels of the sensor, so that leaves you with certain crops different for each of the aspect ratio modes. But you'll never get a full readout of the sensor installed, that's very true indeed.

 

 

It was the largest sensor ever on a pocket camera. The previous pocket camera with large sensor was Canon S series, a sensor 4 times smaller than RX100. Before that pocket cameras had sensors that were 1/2.3" or smaller Canon S series broke that trend and became the most popular prosumer pocket camera during 2009-2012.   LX100 is not  a pocket camera. 

You're right, it's not a pocket camera, it's a premium compact. If it's too big, get the RX100M3. Although personally I still think the RX100M3 isn't much pocketable either (unless wearing really baggy cargo pants putting it in a pocket located around the hips, just above the knee). Anyways. I don't care that it doesn't fit a jeans' pocket. It still fits a coat pocket perfectly fine and you can throw it in a messenger bag/shoulder bag very easily with all of the other stuff you're carrying around on a daily basis, such as a tablet or whatever, without taking up all the space to a point that you'd rather not have it with you unless you know you're going to be using it. Since I already carry a bag around or outside of summer usually will be needing to wear a coat (it's no sunny southern California around here), I will have it on me always! I can't say that a FZ1000 would fit in my coat's pocket or that a GH4 with 20mm f/1.7 wouldn't add any bulk to my bag (besides, just the pancake would be a little limiting). But the LX100 is very compact.

 

As I said in my first post of the thread, to me the essence is that I have a camera that takes considerable quality stills and videos in a small package. That doesn't mean I can fit it in one of my pants' pockets, it means that it is small and light enough to carry around without being a burden. If you carry it in your coat or bag it doesn't take up much space and you'll hardly notice its presence. But it is always there! So that means, that if you normally don't have your camera with you, because you'd have to carry it on a strap around your neck, which could be rather uncomfortable, especially if you're not even sure if you'll need it, or put it in a bag where it weighs you down and takes up quite a bit of space, now you can. Again, to me this is the answer to the use of the cameras on smartphones. Now, they're getting better, sure, but wouldn't you rather shoot something with the LX100? That's to me where the LX100 kicks in, because I would. And I very much prefer the LX100's handling, features and performance over the RX100's. But to each their own of course. It's just a bit silly to keep picking on the LX100 for not being RX100-sized. Yeah, we know... nobody's saying you can't buy a RX100... there's a good reason there are so many different kind of cameras. Everybody's looking for certain qualities in a camera and that all results into different cameras.

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I wonder if some of you have any experiences with wide angle converters. If I purchase the LX100, I would be looking into a wide angle converter in order to get a 15-20ish mm field of view. I did a bit of research and narrowed it down to the following two :

 

Canon WD-H43 43mm 0.7x wide angle converter lens

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/485502-REG/Canon_2072B001_WD_H43_43mm_0_7x_Wide.html

 

OR

 

Raynox HD-6600 43mm 0.66x wide angle converter lens

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/227155-REG/Raynox_HD_6600PRO_43_HD_6600_43mm_0_66x_Pro.html

 

They both have pretty good reviews and seem relatively well built, but I'm wondering about image quality... Do these types of converter lenses decrease image quality to a high degree? (resolution, colors, alter flares, etc...) ? Might I just be better off purchasing a GoPro for wide shots? I didn't want to spend that extra money and I also wanted to maintain all the manual adjustments (which GoPros don't have).

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I wonder if some of you have any experiences with wide angle converters. If I purchase the LX100, I would be looking into a wide angle converter in order to get a 15-20ish mm field of view. I did a bit of research and narrowed it down to the following two :

 

Canon WD-H43 43mm 0.7x wide angle converter lens

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/485502-REG/Canon_2072B001_WD_H43_43mm_0_7x_Wide.html

 

OR

 

Raynox HD-6600 43mm 0.66x wide angle converter lens

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/227155-REG/Raynox_HD_6600PRO_43_HD_6600_43mm_0_66x_Pro.html

 

They both have pretty good reviews and seem relatively well built, but I'm wondering about image quality... Do these types of converter lenses decrease image quality to a high degree? (resolution, colors, alter flares, etc...) ? Might I just be better off purchasing a GoPro for wide shots? I didn't want to spend that extra money and I also wanted to maintain all the manual adjustments (which GoPros don't have).

 

I have good wide angle converters that are bigger (and pretty expensive) and they work well. For video, you will likely be ok (especially if the final result will be 1080p), for photos I would be more concerned.

 

One note though: depending on the weight and how the lx100 is built/works when focusing/zooming, it could be a concern to mount something more substantial than a filter on the front. Someone else can probably give you a better idea of whether the lx100 is ok for this or not in that sense.

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Hi Andrew, i'm so glad you like it because i bought it yesterday, and so it comforts me in my choice ;)
Your preview is great, i'm looking forward to the full review since i'm sure i will learn a few tricks in it, i already love this camera, it's really what i was looking for, and i postponed buying a RX100mIII just before photokina, thinking something cool might be announced, i'm so glad i waited !

 

For now i wanted to ask about the picture profiles. You say to stay in Standart, what about Neutral not dialed down flat ? (i havent had time to look much at the profiles so i'm not even sure you can edit them) ? Have you had time to test the curve ? (maybe a Standard profile with a tiny curve adjustement like Highlights -1 / Shadows +1 could be nice...) I would really like you insight on this, even if i'm pretty sure you'll give us that in the full review ;)

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Dear Andrew

Thank you for your review... Im following you since long time and I was also waiting for the LX100. I was, as GH4 user, quite bevore to purchase the LX100 exactly for aerial filming... but I stopped when I saw there is no HDMI Out... you are mentioning it as a good camera for aerial purpose... also as I thought too.. good sensor, good lens, stabilizer...

 

but you can't get any video feed out and you can't trigger this camera at all... so there is no way, that this camera can be used for aerial stuff, since you can't see what the camera is recording... im working since a few months on new drones... and no one could find a way to get the LX100 working for this... this is really a shame... since it would be the best camera if it just had a video feed out... it's fine if its only 1080p...

Can you please aks panasonic to implement this in the next fw update? thanks

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It has more useful and intuitive fully manual aperture and shutter speed controls. Better than one PASM ring.

 

I agree with you, but it looks like people have very different ways of shooting (and sometimes wanting to switch to take pictures in the middle as well). I guess for some it is a curse, but for me, I really like this setup. I only wish the Exposure compensation dial doubled as a iso-dial when in manual mode.

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I agree with you, but it looks like people have very different ways of shooting (and sometimes wanting to switch to take pictures in the middle as well). I guess for some it is a curse, but for me, I really like this setup. I only wish the Exposure compensation dial doubled as a iso-dial when in manual mode.

For movie manual mode dial and a creative movie mode with separate settings from photo is essential.

In LX100 lack for example a lever to switch by photo mode and video mode

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It was the largest sensor ever on a pocket camera. The previous pocket camera with large sensor was Canon S series, a sensor 4 times smaller than RX100. Before that pocket cameras had sensors that were 1/2.3" or smaller Canon S series broke that trend and became the most popular prosumer pocket camera during 2009-2012. LX100 is not a pocket camera.


It is still a small sensor. A small sensor that fits in trouser pockets :)

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Those close up shots look freaking amazing. I'm a bit disappointed in the overall videoness to it but I guess that's the Panasonic "look". Still very much considering the Leica version for a walk around though.

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I can't get past the fact that "Custom set memory" does not save shutter speed at 1/50. I was wanting this compact for my family to use, but there doesn't seem any way to set it up for someone to toggle between one setting for movies (shutter priority at 1/50) vs another setting for photos as I do with the GH4. I hope they address this in a firmware update.

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I can't get past the fact that "Custom set memory" does not save shutter speed at 1/50. I was wanting this compact for my family to use, but there doesn't seem any way to set it up for someone to toggle between one setting for movies (shutter priority at 1/50) vs another setting for photos as I do with the GH4. I hope they address this in a firmware update.

 

Same here.  Quite bizarre given that this is a hybrid.  I watched a daggy Panasonic marketing video earlier today on the LX100 and had to laugh at the way they pitched the fact that you "simply" rotate multiple dials to alternate between Aperture or Shutter priority.  It would have been even more amusing if they showed that you need to rotate two dials just to choose 1/50s.  

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Really great clip for great music here congrats!

I was wondering what is the use of that HDMI port. Is it just for playing back your recorded videos and pics on TV or is it a video output (like on the RX100 III) so you can plug an Atmos recorder like the Ninja Star or Shogun for 4k and get good Prores files. Plus canceling the time limit...

Thanks for the review it´s the best on the whole wide web.

I think that this camera is also coming for the ass of the Fuji X100 series which is a little biger, better stills quality and colors, same dials way of shooting but over-crappy vide mode!!!

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In conclusion LX100 is a device predominant oriented versus photo with a camera body that copy old layout film cameras.

LX100 isn't a hybrid device it has a limited very limited video mode and lacks some essential video features. LX7 at least had a separate video mode.

 

I don't buy a LX100

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