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Andrew Reid

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

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Yeah, you guys are right, in addition to not fitting in your jeans, it also isn't a video camera. Just look at it, it just oozes 'modern retro photo camera'. Just everything about it screams 'take photos with me!'. Except for the fact that it dóes take video. And does that very well so and in 4K. What other camera does that? None. The RX100 doesn't take 4K video. Yeah, maybe your smartphone shoots 4K... but it does so with its tiny sensor, crappy optics/range and shitty bitrate. Great degree of manual control? Forget it! So in fact the LX100 is definitly NOT like every other camera out there.

 

So it doesn't have an audio interface. Well, record externally or if you're just shooting some scenic footage, put some music under there.

So you need to manually select shutterspeed by turning a dial and if you don't want 1/60th but 1/50th of a second, turn two dials. That takes you maybe one whole second, wow, yeah, that's aweful guys, don't buy this, it takes you a second to change shutterspeed. Can you just imagine?

It's not flat enough, I need my flat cinematic profiles. Well, just dial everything back, the colors will stay nice, but yeah, gradeability is slightly effected because it isn't thát flat and doesn't let you push it as far as let's say a BMPCC. Well, you should've gotten that one instead then. Except, unlike the LX100, it doesn't take any stills and 4K video for example. There's compromises lurking around every corner!

 

Nobody's telling you to ditch your current gear and buy the LX100 as your exclusive camera for video! Nobody's telling you the LX100 is ideally designed for video shooting... but again, at the end of the day it does enable you to take very nice 4K video. And what other camera can say the same for 799 EUR? I already have the GH4, if I know I'm gonna shoot video, I will make sure to use that one. If I'm out and about and I'm not planning on shooting any stills or video, but when there's a moment I wish I did, it's nice that I don't have to settle for my smartphone's quality, I can take out the LX100 and shoot awesome stuff! When shooting video with the GH4, the LX100 becomes one hell of a B-camera! Like Andrew said, if you need another angle, the LX100 will help you out greatly! It also intercuts nicely with other footage. At the end of the day... isn't it all about getting the results you're after... or even the ones you before never dreamed of?

 

Is the aperture ring running smoothly or it clicks into stops?

It's not designed with the main feature being video. So they went with the clickety type (although a declick button would've been a nice feature). Just gotta use a variable ND-filter to gradually control exposure instead.

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While it's true the LX is less practical than the Gh4, several things surprised me.
First, the stabilizer ! Better on the LX than the 12-35, a real pleasure (but apparently less good when recording while moving) !
Then, for video image quality, the LX is not very sharp at f1.7, stopped down to f2.8 with 400 ISO give better result but with a bit more noise.
In fact the LX at f2.8 is sharper than the 12-35 at same aperture, quite a feat !
Otherwise, there are equal, maybe a bit sharper on the LX !
However, the frame rate is limited to 25fps on the LX in my country :( and CINEV is missing (CineD too but i dislike it).
I hesitate to sell my 12-35 now !

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While it's true the LX is less practical than the Gh4, several things surprised me.
First, the stabilizer ! Better on the LX than the 12-35, a real pleasure (but apparently less good when recording while moving) !
Then, for video image quality, the LX is not very sharp at f1.7, stopped down to f2.8 with 400 ISO give better result but with a bit more noise.
In fact the LX at f2.8 is sharper than the 12-35 at same aperture, quite a feat !
Otherwise, there are equal, maybe a bit sharper on the LX !
However, the frame rate is limited to 25fps on the LX in my country :( and CINEV is missing (CineD too but i dislike it).
I hesitate to sell my 12-35 now !

Are you sure? I'm pretty sure it should just do 24p (assuming 'ita' refers to 'Italia', being Europe), atleast it does here (in Austria, your northern neighbour). Unless you're in 4K Photo mode; then it only does 25p. Yeah, that's especially a bit of a shame with the GH4 when you want to shoot 4K in another aspect ratio and equip the camera with a taking and an anamorphic lens, but chances are we're going to see a FW update for that.

 

Low-ISO performance is really great on the LX100 and the lens is gorgeous. But again, if you're only using it for video and you do not have need for a second camera or the requirement that you need something small to shoot with and you are just looking at it solely for the range... I would still go with the GH4 and 12-35mm f/2.8. Although I don't have one myself, I can't really imagine the 12-35mm f/2.8 offering insufficient quality. And I think purely for video you'd have a lot of benefits anyways shooting with the GH4. But of course, if you're convinced you need it... you're the one that needs to judge and execute.

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I wasn't aware there are multiple settings on the LX100, but the discussions I have seen on other forums, from people owning the RX100 and/or the GH4, is that the between the LX100 and RX100, the RX100 has more effective stabilization, but does not maintain the quality level (sharpness, detail), due to active mode doing electronic stabilization on top of optical.

 

A couple of people owning the GH4 as well as the LX100, say that when moving around it is better controlled with GH4 + 12-35 2.8 OIS, but standing still, the LX100 OIS is better. 

 

On a sidenote, as Andrew noted as well, others state moire does not seem to be quantifiable worse than on the GH4, and probably better than GH3.

 

I should get my LX100 on Friday, so looking forward to testing it out.

I got my LX100 yesterday. Don't know how it is compared to the GH4 + 12-35 combo, but the IS seems quite efficient from the tests that I did. The main thing I wanted to confirm is that the IS effectively deminished micro-jitters (which it does quite well, even while holding the camera in your hands only). And the image quality is quite stunning in 4K. I was also pleasantly surprised with image and noise performance in low light/higher ISOs. Up to now, I'm really happy I ordered one! Please report back for your thoughts once you'll have received and tested it!

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I got my LX100 yesterday. Don't know how it is compared to the GH4 + 12-35 combo, but the IS seems quite efficient from the tests that I did. The main thing I wanted to confirm is that the IS effectively deminished micro-jitters (which it does quite well, even while holding the camera in your hands only). And the image quality is quite stunning in 4K. I was also pleasantly surprised with image and noise performance in low light/higher ISOs. Up to now, I'm really happy I ordered one! Please report back for your thoughts once you'll have received and tested it!

 

I'm glad to hear it deals with micro jitters - that is the most annoying thing for me (and I see that with the 35-100 2.8 lens)

 

I will report back as well :)

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an whats about this HDMI or Video out.... any update? Is there any ext. device to trigger the cam when mounted on a drone?

 

Hopefully, unless there are physical limitations, Panasonic can at some point be convinced to open it up, but not holding my breath. Don't know of any devices to trigger, but you may want to jump over to '?do=embed' frameborder='0' data-embedContent>>

 

Not sure how feasible it is to a) adjust it to work with lx100, and b) since I think it is windows, get it to work on one of those tiny computers you can get these days. c)it would use wireless, not sure how safe that would be whether you are able to use it either mounted to the drone or on the ground, due to interference?

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I see no hw limitation in getting out a HD feed from HDMI, since the hw is the same as on the gh4... I could understand if the vidoe out is not 4K 12bit, but that the hdmi out is completely off is a really shame... this is sw limitation that make no sense... there would be a lot of LX100 already flying it if they would not hat locked this... how do you know what your camera is filming, if you are completely blind... Im really really angry... pana is now making same stuff like Canon.

 

I would be fine with infrared trigger, gut at moment panasonic is not supported at all...

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I see no hw limitation in getting out a HD feed from HDMI, since the hw is the same as on the gh4... I could understand if the vidoe out is not 4K 12bit, but that the hdmi out is completely off is a really shame... this is sw limitation that make no sense... there would be a lot of LX100 already flying it if they would not hat locked this... how do you know what your camera is filming, if you are completely blind... Im really really angry... pana is now making same stuff like Canon.

 

I would be fine with infrared trigger, gut at moment panasonic is not supported at all...

 

I agree it is bad they do not have live HDMI out, and I can see that in your situation it is especially frustrating, but they are a FAR cry from Canon!

 

Worst case, you can start the recording before you take off, and mount a tiny camera w/transmitter on the quad copter - I have heard others are planning on doing this. Yes, it's a pain, but at least you can get the shot. Try to get 4K out of anything portable and affordable from Canon :)

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I just rented the lx100. Very impressive camera. If you want to use a filter it is 43mm but you also need to get a 43mm extension or coupler. The reason is that the lens retracts deeper into the lens body so it will jam up. I have the step up ring and had to use some tape to increase the clearace - so tape works too. I'm using the hoya prond set that I have from my bmpcc pocket camera. Not using the hoya ircut. I wanted to try out some anamorphic shots with my zeiss ikon but I'm having trouble with the step up rings. But you will need to zoom the lens, so not sure it will work. The 4k photo mode is slick. It seems this mode is better then shooting in video mode. It does save mp4. I have yet to pull stills from it.

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gj91,

I didn't have a problem with my 43mm filter jamming. Threads are on the inside after all!

 

So far I tend to agree that you might as well use 4K photo mode all the time for video even when not intending to extract pictures, keeping in mind the bias it has towards high shutter speeds when in auto modes.

 

For normal video shooting if it's a run-and-gun situation where I don't want to use manual exposure, I prefer auto shutter speed over auto aperture even though that means the shutter speed varies somewhat, because as long as that shutter speed is in the ballpark of 1/60th from what I set the aperture at before starting the shot, the motion blur looks natural enough to me, but with the aperture varying to adjust exposure I see flicker. (Another reason why not having auto ISO with manual shutter and aperture sucks!) I leave the ISO on auto as well, since the bias is towards low ISOs.

 

But with 4K photo mode since the bias is towards high shutter speeds, better to use manual ISO. You also have to remember to keep the aspect ratio at 16:9, since it doesn't go to that automatically as it does in standard 4K mode. Still it seems to be worth it so you can use the big shutter button and have somewhat faster AF. 

 

I sure wish they had found a way to put the tripod hole farther away from the battery compartment. Have to remove the quick-release tripod mount every time I change the battery or card! Also, would be very nice to be able to switch from auto to manual focus with a button instead of using the ring, which is just about impossible to move during a handheld shot without jiggling the camera unacceptably. That means if I'm not on a tripod I have to stay on AF even after my subject has stopped moving, risking focus hunting, and even on a tripod it takes a delicate touch to not move the camera a bit. (This is also an issue to a lesser degree with the GH3 and 4.) It's a serious drawback for what is otherwise a great stealth and run-and-gun camera. Why make locking and unlocking focus during a shot so hard?

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my question is:

 

As i have a GH4 and i want a smaller/faster portable B camera, should I choose

 

Sony RX100M3

or

Panasonic LX100?

 

i´m a big lumix  fan but the video quality of the rx100 and colors are great

 

I know i know about 4K, I know are not similar cameras, 

 

 

but what do you think?

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aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarg again Panasonic did something wrong. I did rent it tooo, and this shit tripod hole is totally close to the battery case... what di panasonic think when doing this stupid stuff... everytime completely taking down all tripod mounts or quick reles plates....

 

the only thing you can do is completely remove the battery plate

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aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarg again Panasonic did something wrong. I did rent it tooo, and this shit tripod hole is totally close to the battery case... what di panasonic think when doing this stupid stuff... everytime completely taking down all tripod mounts or quick reles plates....

 

the only thing you can do is completely remove the battery plate

 

It sounds like the LX100 is going to be really popular, so I am hoping someone comes up with a nice cage for it. Then hopefully you should be able to mount a plate on that, that doesn't block the battery compartment.

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It sounds like the LX100 is going to be really popular, so I am hoping someone comes up with a nice cage for it. Then hopefully you should be able to mount a plate on that, that doesn't block the battery compartment.

Well, with the smallest system I know, the Velbon QRA-3, you'd be looking at something like this, so forget using any Q/R systems:

hIyWFgT.jpg

And mind you, that's mounted sideways even.

 

If you put a thumbscrew through a hole next to a cage cutout you're looking at something like this:

kLjI8XF.jpg

You can just barely get the SD in and out. If you'd use it like this, you'll be needing a screw that doesn't block the cutout, but it could work.

But then you're stuck with the camera on the cage more or less, because you haven't got a Q/R system and the screw would probably require a tool to remove.

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