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Panasonic Lumix LX100 II Review

The successor to Panasonic’s superb high-end compact camera, the Lumix LX100, is now the long-awaited Lumix LX100 II. If your interest is in travel and street photography, you need a more complex balance of qualities, and the Panasonic Lumix LX100 II appears to provide pretty much everything.

With some cameras, you’re looking for a single killer feature, such as resolution for commercial photographers or speed for sports shooters. There is no question that this is one of the most excellent small cameras now available.

Panasonic Lumix LX100 II Features

Most premium compact cameras, such as the Sony RX100 VI and Panasonic’s Lumix ZS200 / TZ200, utilize a 1-inch sensor. In contrast, the Lumix LX100 II uses a bigger Micro Four Thirds sensor, approximately 1.6 times larger than the 1-inch kind. Despite this, there are tiny cameras on the market with APS-C sensors that are even bigger than those found in the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III and the Fujifilm X100F.

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The G1 X Mark III and the X100F have resolutions of 24 megapixels. However, the Lumix LX100 II has a sensor carried over from the Lumix GX9 and has a resolution of 20 megapixels.

On the other hand, the multi-aspect ratio architecture implies that only up to 85% of the picture area of the sensor is utilized, which results in a maximum achievable resolution of 17 megapixels. This is done to prevent the field of vision from being too constrained (up from 12MP on the original LX100). A simple flip of a switch allows users to pick their preferred aspect ratio from the following options: 4:3, 3:2, 16:9, and 1:1.

Panasonic Lumix LX100 II Build Quality

On the surface, the Lumix LX100 II appears to be quite similar to the original Lumix LX100. However, the handgrip on the Lumix LX100 II has been modified slightly so that it is easier to grasp securely. The Lumix LX100 II is also tiny enough to almost fit in a jacket pocket, but you will need to turn the camera off first since the lens expands a little distance when the camera is turned on. If you manage to put the camera in the pocket, you will need to ensure it is turned off.

The dial for the shutter speed and the ring that controls the aperture have solid and accurate movement. Since the focus mode ring, the aspect ratio ring, and the aperture ring on the lens are all relatively near to one another; you will need a particular bit of dexterity to change the setting for the aspect ratio.

Panasonic Lumix LX100 II Autofocus

The focusing speed advertised for the LX100 II is slightly slower than the focusing speed announced for the GX9, coming in at 0.1 seconds as opposed to 0.07 seconds. This may be because the LX100 II has optics that are built in. In any case, the speed of the focusing is breakneck, which is precisely what you would want in a camera suited for travel and street photography.

Even though the LX100 II does not have a more advanced hybrid focusing system, the contrast-detect AF with Depth From Defocus (DFD) technology is quick and responsive. This technology evaluates two images with different sharpness levels to determine the correct subject distance. This allows you to point and shoot in a single action without worrying whether the camera has had time to focus.

Panasonic Lumix LX100 II Performance

Even though it’s not intended to be used as an action camera, the Lumix LX100 II can shoot up to 11 frames per second (when in AF-S mode). However, this number lowers to 5.5 frames per second when continuous focusing is enabled. If this is insufficient, you may use the Lumix LX100 II’s several 4K Photo modes, allowing you to snap photos at a rate of up to 30 frames per second and pick an 8MP JPEG file from the sequence.

During our time with the camera, the exposure metering system of the Lumix LX100 II proved reliable. The exposure compensation dial was required only a few times and in circumstances where you would expect to have to take control, such as when photographing a portrait subject in bright light against a dark background.

It is important to note that the Lumix LX100 II can now dial in up to 5 of exposure compensation when this function is assigned to the control ring (as opposed to using the dedicated dial, which only goes up to 3). This is something that should be taken into consideration. In typical outside daylight, the auto white balance function of the Lumix LX100 II demonstrated the same level of dependability as before.

Panasonic Lumix LX100 II Image Quality

The increase in resolution from 12 megapixels on the LX100 to 17 megapixels on the LX100 II is undoubtedly something to be thankful for, and the quality of the lens that bears the Leica mark was quite amazing to us.

You’ll have a hard time telling the difference between the results from the LX100 II’s Micro Four Thirds sensor and those from larger APS-C cameras because the sensor on the LX100 II does not have an optical low-pass filter. This makes it possible to capture excellent levels of detail in the images you take with the camera.

Image noise is also handled pretty well, with images captured at low sensitivities appearing nice and clean and only a hint of luminance (grain-like) noise visible at mid-range sensitivities if you inspect files closely. Images captured at high sensitivities have much more luminance (grain-like) noise than low-range photos.

At ISO1600 and ISO3200, luminance noise becomes a more significant problem, and chroma noise, or colour noise, also begins appearing in the images. Noise is discernible at ISO 64,00, but raw files maintain a good level of clarity despite this; we should avoid shooting at higher than ISOs.

Panasonic Lumix LX100 II Specs

Body typeLarge sensor compact
Body materialMagnesium alloy
Sensor
Max resolution4736 x 3552
Other resolutions4928 x 3288 (3:2), 5152 x 2904 (16:9), 3552 x 3552 (1:1)
Image ratio w:h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels17 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors22 megapixels
Sensor sizeFour Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorVenus Engine
Color spacesRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
Image
ISOAuto, 200-25600 (expands down to 100)
Boosted ISO (minimum)100
White balance presets5
Custom white balanceYes (4 slots)
Image stabilizationOptical
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsFine, standard
File formatJPEG (Exif v.2.31)Raw (Panasonic RW2)
Optics & Focus
Focal length (equiv.)24–75 mm
Optical zoom3.1×
Maximum apertureF1.7–2.8
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Multi-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View
Autofocus assist lampYes
Digital zoomYes (4.3x – 6.2x)
Manual focusYes
Normal focus range50 cm (19.69″)
Macro focus range3 cm (1.18″)
Number of focus points49
Focal length multiplier
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3″
Screen dots1,240,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification1.39× (0.7× 35mm equiv.)
Viewfinder resolution2,760,000
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed1800 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/4000 sec
Maximum shutter speed (electronic)1/16000 sec
Exposure modesProgramAperture priorityShutter priorityManual
Built-in flashNo
External flashYes
Flash X sync speed1/4000 sec
Drive modesSingleContinuous (H/M/L)Self-timer
Continuous drive11.0 fps
Self-timerYes
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedSpot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±3 (3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes
Videography features
FormatMPEG-4, AVCHD, H.264
Modes3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 100 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC3840 x 2160 @ 24p / 100 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 28 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 28 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital1920 x 1080 @ 60i / 17 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 20 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 24 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital1280 x 720 @ 30p / 10 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 24p / 24 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-I supported)
Connectivity
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
USB chargingYes
HDMIYes (micro HDMI)
Microphone portNo
Headphone portNo
WirelessBuilt-In
Wireless notes802.11b/g/n + Bluetooth 4.2 LE
Remote controlYes (via smartphone)
Physical
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionDMW-BLE9 lithium-ion battery & USB charger
Battery Life (CIPA)340
Weight (inc. batteries)392 g (0.86 lb / 13.83 oz)
Dimensions115 x 66 x 64 mm (4.53 x 2.6 x 2.52″)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
GPSNone

Panasonic Lumix LX100 II Verdict

Even though it is more complicated and demanding in many places, the attractiveness of the original Lumix LX100 has not been diminished in any way by Panasonic’s second iteration of this camera. Panasonic achieved something of a sweet spot with the initial edition of this camera. A great little camera that’s perfect for amateur photographers.

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