Panasonic LX100 II Image Quality Comparison

Below are crops from our laboratory Still Life target comparing the Panasonic LX100 II's JPEG image quality to that of its predecessor, the LX100, as well as against its nearest interchangeable-lens sibling, the GX9. We've also compared the LX100 II to several other similarly-sized, viewfinder-equipped large-sensor compact cameras from rivals: the Canon G5X II, the Fujifilm X100F and the Sony RX100 VII.

NOTE: These images are from best quality JPEGs straight out of the camera, at default settings including noise reduction and using the camera's actual base ISO (not extended ISO settings). All interchangeable-lens cameras in this comparison were shot with our very sharp reference lenses. Clicking any crop will take you to a carrier page where you can click once again to access the full resolution image as delivered straight from the camera. For those interested in working with the raw files involved, click these links to visit each camera's respective sample image thumbnail page: Panasonic LX100 II, Panasonic LX100, Panasonic GX9, Canon G5X II, Fujifilm X100F and Sony RX100 VII -- links to the raw files appear beneath those for the JPEG images, wherever we have them. And remember, you can always go to our world-renowned Comparometer to compare the Panasonic LX100 II to any camera we've ever tested!

Panasonic LX100 II vs Panasonic LX100 at Base ISO

Panasonic LX100 II at ISO 200
Panasonic LX100 at ISO 200

Compared to its predecessor, the Panasonic LX100 II has taken a fairly significant step forwards in resolution from 12.8 to 17.0 megapixels, while retaining the same Four Thirds sensor size and base sensitivity of ISO 200-equivalent. You'd therefore expect a noticeable step forwards in terms of its ability to render finer details, and that's definitely true of the crops above. The improvement is quite noticeable in the mosaic crop, but even more so in the fabric swatches. Where the LX100 only really hints at their texture, its successor does a significantly better job. (Although if you compare with a much higher-resolution camera like the medium-format Pentax 645Z or Fuji GFX 50S, you'll see that what at first appears to be the thread pattern in the pink swatch is actually an aliasing pattern, because its orientation doesn't match up with that of the actual thread pattern.) But that's arguably still a better representation than the nearly textureless swatch as shown by the LX100. And for bonus points, the LX100 II's color is significantly more accurate than that of the LX100, especially for the pink swatch.

Panasonic LX100 II vs Panasonic GX9 at Base ISO

Panasonic LX100 II at ISO 200
Panasonic GX9 at ISO 200

Compared to the interchangeable-lens GX9, the Panasonic LX100 II has a slight resolution deficit, with 17.0 megapixels for the fixed-lens camera versus 20.3 megapixels for its mirrorless sibling. (Both cameras share the same Four Thirds sensor size and ISO 200 base sensitivity.) That resolution difference is only very slight compared to the wider gap between the LX100 and LX100 II, though, and it's difficult to spot much of an advantage for the GX9 even at base sensitivity. We'd still give it the edge, but only just. The LX100 II's color rendering is quite close to that of its ILC sibling, though, with both cameras turning in a very pleasing result.

Panasonic LX100 II vs Canon G5X II at Base ISO

Panasonic LX100 II at ISO 200
Canon G5X II at ISO 125

The 20.2-megapixel Canon G5X II also has a slight resolution advantage over the 17.0-megapixel LX100 II on paper, but also a significantly smaller 1-inch sensor as compared to the Four Thirds chip in the Panasonic. In the real world the Panasonic looks just a little crisper at base sensitivity of ISO 125, versus a base of ISO 200 for the LX100 II. That's likely in large part due to stronger sharpening by default, but to our eye the LX100 II also seems to have gathered just a little more actual detail regardless. In terms of color accuracy, both cameras are fairly similar. The LX100 II shows slightly more contrast in the difficult-to-render red swatch, though.

Panasonic LX100 II vs Fujifilm X100F at Base ISO

Panasonic LX100 II at ISO 200
Fujifilm X100F at ISO 200

At 24.3 megapixels from an APS-C sized X-Trans sensor, the Fuji X100F has both the largest and highest-resolution imager in this group, but it's also the oldest model other than the original LX100, having been released in 2017. (The LX100 II and GX9 are both 2018 models, while the Canon and Sony cameras are from 2019.) And despite having a higher sensor resolution than the LX100 II, we'd say that it's actually the Panasonic that delivers a crisper, more satisfying result. Much as for the Canon above, we'd say that's in part due to stronger default sharpening for the LX100 II, however, and a touch of unsharp masking would likely bring the X100F up to par with its Four Thirds-sensored rival. The Fuji X-Trans sensor on the X100F lives up to its reputation for reduced moire, though, as while you can see some false color in the tunic at the center of the mosaic crop in the other cameras' crops, the X100F avoids this unwanted artifact of its Bayer-sensored rivals. And if you look at the pink fabric swatch, while it shows less texture than in the LX100 II, its orientation matches the actual thread pattern, indicating that what you're seeing is not an aliasing artifact as it is in the Panasonic. The LX100 II does better with the red swatch, which has little contrast in the X100F's crop, however, and overall we think it's probably the more visually pleasing out-of-camera result, even if the Fuji would likely be the better of the pair with a bit more sharpening.

Panasonic LX100 II vs Sony RX100 VII at Base ISO

Panasonic LX100 II at ISO 200
Sony RX100 VII at ISO 100

And finally for the base sensitivity comparisons, we come to Sony's RX100 series. We hemmed and hawed a bit here as to which model to compare to, but ultimately settled on the RX100 VII even though its list pricing is a few hundred dollars higher than that of the LX100 II. Partly, we did so because we've heard more requests for this specific comparison, and partly because it felt unfair to compare a significantly older generation of Sony's tech to the latest and greatest available from rivals, simply because it keeps the older models around when other companies discontinue the older generations as soon as a new one arrives. The 20.1-megapixel Sony RX100 VII ties with the 20.2-megapixel Canon G5X II for the smallest sensor in this roundup, and while the Sony is closer to the LX100 II in the strength of its default sharpening, we'd still give a very slight edge to the 17.0-megapixel LX100 II in terms of fine detail, despite its slight raw resolution deficit. The Panasonic also shows just a touch more contrast in the difficult-to-render red swatch. Note that while base sensitivity for the LX100 II is at ISO 200, the RX100 VII has a base sensitivity of ISO 100-equivalent.

Panasonic LX100 II vs Panasonic LX100 at ISO 1600

Panasonic LX100 II at ISO 1600
Panasonic LX100 at ISO 1600

As we bump the sensitivity up to ISO 1600-equivalent, the Panasonic LX100 II again bests its predecessor despite its smaller pixels, showing the difference that a few years of development can make. Darker areas of the mosaic crop are starting to look quite muddy in the LX100's rendering, as noise reduction smears away the finest details, where the LX100 II holds onto quite a bit more of the mosaic pattern. And the newer model once again has more pleasing color, especially in the pink swatch. (Although compared to the base sensitivity shot, most of the detail in the red swatch has now been lost to noise reduction.)

Panasonic LX100 II vs Panasonic GX9 at ISO 1600

Panasonic LX100 II at ISO 1600
Panasonic GX9 at ISO 1600

At ISO 1600, the slightly higher-res Panasonic GX9 performs a little better than does the LX100 II. (Note that both cameras are set to f/5.6 here, so there's no light-gathering advantage for the interchangeable-lens model, which was shot with a Leica Nocticron 42.5mm f/1.2 lens mounted.) The GX9 nevertheless holds onto a bit more detail both in the mosaic crop and fabric swatches, yet doesn't show noticeably more noise despite its slightly smaller pixel size.

Panasonic LX100 II vs Canon G5X II at ISO 1600

Panasonic LX100 II at ISO 1600
Canon G5X II at ISO 1600

The larger Four Thirds sensor size of the LX100 II really starts to show its advantage over the smaller 1-inch chip in the G5X II once you dial the sensitivity up a bit. At ISO 1600, there's a significant amount of noise visible in the bottle crop from the Canon, yet only slight noise from the Panasonic. And despite that, the LX100 II holds onto far more detail in the mosaic crop, which is muddier and lacks clarity in the G5X II's rendering. And as for the red fabric swatches, where the LX100 II at least shows that there's a pattern, even if it lacks the finer details, the G5X II blurs it into a mostly uniform red.

Panasonic LX100 II vs Fujifilm X100F at ISO 1600

Panasonic LX100 II at ISO 1600
Fujifilm X100F at ISO 1600

It's an interesting result for the Fuji X100F once you dial the sensitivity up a bit. There's a little more noise in the bottle crop, but in the mosaic label the LX100 II's perceived advantage has been erased. Instead, we see just slightly more detail from the Fuji, and again it avoids the slight color aliasing from which its Bayer-sensored rivals suffer. And while there's very little contrast in the red fabric swatch, far more of the fine details in the printed fabric are visible, even if they're faint. You can also still see some of the thread pattern in the pink swatch. This one's a win for Fujifilm.

Panasonic LX100 II vs Sony RX100 VII at ISO 1600

Panasonic LX100 II at ISO 1600
Sony RX100 VII at ISO 1600

The Sony RX100 VII might be the most expensive camera in this group by a good $200 margin at current street prices, but that's no guarantee of low-light chops. At ISO 1600, the bottle crop is not only noisy, but the noise reduction algorithms leave a mottled, blotchy, and altogether unfilm-like pattern in its wake. Most of the fine detail is also gone from the mosaic crop, and the fabric swatches are also devoid of fine detail. Overall, we'd choose even the Canon G5X II's result over this one.

Panasonic LX100 II vs Panasonic LX100 at ISO 3200

Panasonic LX100 II at ISO 3200
Panasonic LX100 at ISO 3200

Once again, the LX100 II shows a pretty clear edge over its predecessor. Despite a little mottling, noise levels are lower in the bottle crop, there's a good bit more fine detail in the mosaic crop and color is more pleasing in the fabric swatches.

Panasonic LX100 II vs Panasonic GX9 at ISO 3200

Panasonic LX100 II at ISO 3200
Panasonic GX9 at ISO 3200

At ISO 3200, the GX9 retains a slight edge over the LX100 II, gathering a little more fine detail. It's a fairly close-run thing, however.

Panasonic LX100 II vs Canon G5X II at ISO 3200

Panasonic LX100 II at ISO 3200
Canon G5X II at ISO 3200

The Canon G5X II is simply no contest for the larger-sensored LX100 II at ISO 3200. There's far more noise and far less fine detail as well.

Panasonic LX100 II vs Fujifilm X100F at ISO 3200

Panasonic LX100 II at ISO 3200
Fujifilm X100F at ISO 3200

At ISO 3200, the larger-sensored X100F has increased its lead over the Panasonic LX100 II. There's a little more noise in the bottle crops, but it's still modest and well-controlled. There's clearly more detail in the X100F's mosaic crop, though, and once again it holds onto more of the finer details in the difficult red fabric swatch, even if they're very faint.

Panasonic LX100 II vs Sony RX100 VII at ISO 3200

Panasonic LX100 II at ISO 3200
Sony RX100 VII at ISO 3200

And finally, we come to the Sony RX100 VII at ISO 3200. While its noise levels are lower than those of the similarly-sensored Canon G5X II due to stronger noise reduction, what remains is rather mottled and blotchy, especially by comparison to the much cleaner result from the LX100 II. Much of the fine detail is lost in the mosaic label, and what should be black areas of the label are decidedly muddy. And the same is true of the fabric swatches, with the difficult red swatch being almost entirely devoid of detail. Another easy win for the Panasonic.

Panasonic LX100 II vs. Panasonic LX100, Panasonic GX9, Canon G5X II, Fujifilm X100F, Sony RX100 VII

Panasonic
LX100 II
ISO 100
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Panasonic
LX100
ISO 100
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Panasonic
GX9
ISO 100
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Canon
G5X II
ISO 125
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Fujifilm
X100F
ISO 100
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Sony
RX100 VII
ISO 64
ISO 3200
ISO 6400

Detail comparison. High-contrast detail is also important, pushing the camera in different ways, so we like to look at it separately here. The Panasonic LX100 II performs very well as compared not only to its predecessor, but also to the 1-inch sensored Canon and Sony cameras. The interchangeable-lens GX9 -- shot at the same f/5.6 aperture as the LX100 II, remember -- offers a slightly crisper, higher-contrast result, especially in the ISO 6400 crop, and is probably the most visually pleasing of the group, with the APS-C X-Trans sensored Fuji X100F taking second-place honors, although it does a better job than any of its rivals with the finer red text at the highest sensitivity. Overall, a very convincing result for the Panasonic LX100 II!

Buy the Panasonic LX100 II