Basic Specifications
Full model name: Panasonic Lumix DC-LX100 II
Resolution: 17.00 Megapixels
Sensor size: 4/3
(17.3mm x 13.0mm)
Lens: 3.13x zoom
(24-75mm eq.)
Viewfinder: EVF / LCD
Native ISO: 200 - 25,600
Extended ISO: 100 - 25,600
Shutter: 1/16000 - 60 sec
Max Aperture: 1.7
Dimensions: 4.5 x 2.6 x 2.5 in.
(115 x 66 x 64 mm)
Weight: 13.8 oz (392 g)
includes batteries
Availability: 10/2018
Manufacturer: Panasonic
Full specs: Panasonic LX100 II specifications
17.00
Megapixels
3.13x zoom 4/3
size sensor
image of Panasonic Lumix DC-LX100 II
Front side of Panasonic LX100 II digital camera Front side of Panasonic LX100 II digital camera Front side of Panasonic LX100 II digital camera Front side of Panasonic LX100 II digital camera Front side of Panasonic LX100 II digital camera

Panasonic LX100 II Review -- Now Shooting!

Preview posted: 08/22/2018
Updated: 06/03/2019

Updates:
10/29/2018: First Shots posted
10/31/2018: Performance posted

06/03/2019: Field Test posted

For those looking for our Overview of the camera's features and specs, please click here.

 

Panasonic LX100 II Field Test

A top-notch compact camera with strong features and performance

by Jeremy Gray | Posted 06/03/2019

10.9mm (24mm equiv.), f/7.1, 1s, ISO 160.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the raw file.

The original Panasonic Lumix LX100 was released in late 2014. About four years later, its successor finally arrived in the form of the aptly-named LX100 Mark II. While a lot has changed in the photo industry since 2014, the LX100 II doesn't reinvent the wheel. Nor does it need to. It is similar to its predecessor in that it offers a relatively large sensor in a sleek, compact camera body with a fast built-in zoom lens. The LX100 II's Micro Four Thirds sensor has higher resolution and the camera itself is richer in features, but the spirit of the original LX100 remains.

The LX100 Mark II is a compact camera for enthusiasts, and its design, features and performance showcase this well. Let's take a closer look at how the LX100 II performs out in the field.

34mm (75mm equiv.), f/5.6, 1/100s, ISO 200.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the raw file.

Key Features and Specs

  • Fixed-lens Micro Four Thirds camera
  • 17-megapixel MOS image sensor
  • Native ISO range of 200-25,600
  • Built-in 24-75mm equivalent lens with f/1.7-2.8 aperture range
  • Up to 11 frames per second continuous shooting
  • 4K UHD video and 4K Photo shooting modes
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Around $1,000 USD list price

Camera Body and Design

The LX100 II is a compact and stylish camera, much like its predecessor. The lens sticks out a bit, preventing it from being a true pocket camera, although you could carry it in a baggy coat or jacket pocket. Regardless, it's small and light. Accordingly, there's a pretty small front grip, but the camera is light enough that it works well.

From the front, the LX100 II looks very similar to its predecessor, although its front grip has been revised slightly.

I really like the physical controls on the LX100 II. On the top deck, there are dedicated shutter speed and exposure compensation dials. On the built-in lens itself, there's an aperture ring which is labelled f/1.7, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11 and f/16 plus an automatic aperture setting. The aperture ring has a pair of raised gripped sections which make rotating it quite easy, although it's a stubborn transition from "A" to f/1.7. The transitions between aperture values are otherwise smooth. The lens also includes a focus ring and a switch to change the crop mode.

Moving on to the buttons, the LX100 II includes quite a few on its compact body. Considering the space the designers have to work with, it is no surprise that the buttons are small. However, some of them are raised to make them a bit easier to press, while others are nearly flush with the camera body, such as the Fn2 (Q Menu) and playback buttons to the right of the touchscreen. Speaking of the touchscreen, it's a three-inch display with a resolution of 1,240K-dots, which is a slightly higher-res than the three-inch touchscreen found on the original LX100. In both cases, the display is fixed on the camera and thus cannot be tilted. There are four directional buttons/function buttons on the rear of the camera. When shooting, these control sensitivity, white balance, drive mode and focus area. There are also five dedicated function buttons on the camera, which can be customized.

The camera may be compact, but the LX100 II fits a lot of buttons on its rear panel.

The electronic viewfinder is a 2,760K-dot OLED finder with 100-percent coverage. It offers a good amount of magnification: 0.7x in 35mm-equivalent terms. The display is sharp and bright, although the frame rate does suffer a bit when shooting in low or changing light. Overall, it's a fine EVF.

There are many aspects of the LX100's design that I like. Despite being small and lightweight, it features ample physical controls, many of which are intelligently-placed. I would prefer more of the buttons be raised from the camera body to make them easier to locate and press while shooting, but overall, the controls are impressive. The camera is stylish too, which is important to some.

With the lens extended, the lens remains quite compact and balances nicely in the hand.

Image Quality

The original LX100 had a 12.8-megapixel Micro Four Thirds MOS sensor, which performed quite well. However, it's an outdated sensor so it was time for an improvement. The LX100 II has a 17-megapixel Micro Four Thirds MOS sensor, which is more in line with modern standards, although it is still a little behind Panasonic's highest-resolution Micro Four Thirds sensors. It has a native sensitivity range of ISO 200-25,600 and it delivers strong image quality overall.

18.6mm (41mm equiv.), f/5.0, 1/125s, ISO 200.
Click for the full-size image. Click here for the raw file.

When dealing with a camera with a built-in lens, sensor and lens performance go hand-in-hand. Nonetheless, I found that the LX100 II captures images with a good amount of detail. The in-camera processing does a generally good job, although by processing raw files, you can bring out some additional detail. The camera does a good job with colors as well, and they have a nice, realistic appearance in many cases, particularly if you use the "Natural" picture style.

Not only do raw files allow for a bit more resolution, they also have a nice amount of flexibility. It's easy to pull back quite a bit of highlight detail from raw files and bring up the shadows without significantly degrading image quality.

16.3mm (36mm equiv.), f/6.3, 1.6s, ISO 200.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the raw file.
 
16.3mm (36mm equiv.), f/6.3, 1.6s, ISO 200.
Original JPEG image. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the raw file.

Regarding high ISO performance, the LX100 II does quite well. Let's take a look at some crops from JPEG images, which were shot using the wide macro AF mode, and right near the camera's minimum focus distance.

10.9mm (24mm equiv.), f/4, 1/3s, ISO 200.
ISO test scene shot at near minimum focus. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the raw file.

10.9mm (24mm equiv.), f/4, 1/3s, ISO 200.
100 percent crop from JPEG image. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the raw file.
 
10.9mm (24mm equiv.), f/4, 1/13s, ISO 800.
100 percent crop from JPEG image. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the raw file. At ISO 800, we see only a slight decrease in overall image quality as the camera acts to suppress some visible noise.
 
10.9mm (24mm equiv.), f/4, 1/25s, ISO 1600.
100 percent crop from JPEG image. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the raw file. We see a bit more of the impact of noise at ISO 1600, but the camera continues to do a nice job of suppressing noise while retaining fine detail.
 
10.9mm (24mm equiv.), f/4, 1/50s, ISO 3200.
100 percent crop from JPEG image. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the raw file.
 
10.9mm (24mm equiv.), f/4, 1/100s, ISO 6400.
100 percent crop from JPEG image. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the raw file. Here we see that quite a bit of fine detail has been removed through the noise reduction process. Nonetheless, I'm very impressed with the performance of the 17-megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor in the LX100 II.
 
10.9mm (24mm equiv.), f/4, 1/200s, ISO 12,800.
100 percent crop from JPEG image. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the raw file.
 
10.9mm (24mm equiv.), f/4, 1/400s, ISO 25,600.
100 percent crop from JPEG image. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the raw file.

Lens Quality

While the image sensor in the LX100 II is new, the built-in lens features the same specs as the one found in its predecessor. The 3.1x zoom is 10.9-35mm in actual focal length, and due to the Micro Four Thirds crop factor, is equivalent to a 24-75mm lens on a 35mm-format camera. The aperture range is f/1.7-f/2.8, so it's a bright zoom lens.

19.1mm (42mm equiv.), f/8, 1/500s, ISO 200.
Click for the full-size image. Click here for the raw file.

The Leica DC Vario-Summilux lens features 11 elements in eight groups, including five aspherical and two ED elements. It can focus as close as 19.7 inches (50cm) in its normal focusing mode but can focus as close as 1.2 inches (3cm) when using the Wide Macro autofocus mode.

When shooting the LX100 II at its 24mm-equivalent focal length and wide open f/1.7 aperture, there is a slight softness to the image, even in the center of the frame. With that said, the image is still fairly detailed. By stopping down to f/2.8, the sharpness improves dramatically, resulting in images with good detail and contrast.

10.9mm (24mm equiv.), f/2.8, 1/6400s, ISO 200.
Click for the full-size image. Click here for the raw file.
 
10.9mm (24mm equiv.), f/1.7, 1/16,000s, ISO 200.
100 percent center crop. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the raw file.

10.9mm (24mm equiv.), f/1.7, 1/16,000s, ISO 200.
100 percent bottom right corner crop. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the raw file.
 
10.9mm (24mm equiv.), f/2.8, 1/6400s, ISO 200.
100 percent center crop. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the raw file.

10.9mm (24mm equiv.), f/2.8, 1/6400s, ISO 200.
100 percent bottom right corner crop. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the raw file.

At 45mm, wide-open performance is much improved and is similar to the results when you stop down at 24mm. Sharpness is improved in the corners as well when compared to the 24mm focal length. The lens is really impressive here.

20.4mm (45mm equiv.), f/2.6, 1/6400s, ISO 200.
Click for the full-size image. Click here for the raw file.
 
20.4mm (45mm equiv.), f/2.6, 1/6400s, ISO 200.
100 percent center crop. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the raw file.

20.4mm (45mm equiv.), f/2.6, 1/6400s, ISO 200.
100 percent bottom right corner crop. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the raw file.
 
20.4mm (45mm equiv.), f/4, 1/2500s, ISO 200.
100 percent center crop. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the raw file.

20.4mm (45mm equiv.), f/4, 1/2500s, ISO 200.
100 percent bottom right corner crop. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the raw file.

At 75mm, the lens has a little bit less sharpness than it does at 45mm across the frame, but remains pretty good.

34mm (70mm equiv.), f/2.8, 1/5000s, ISO 200.
Click for the full-size image. Click here for the raw file.
 
34mm (70mm equiv.), f/2.8, 1/5000s, ISO 200.
100 percent center crop. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the raw file.

34mm (70mm equiv.), f/2.8, 1/5000s, ISO 200.
100 percent bottom right corner crop. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the raw file.
 
34mm (70mm equiv.), f/4, 1/2000s, ISO 200.
100 percent center crop. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the raw file.

34mm (70mm equiv.), f/4, 1/2000s, ISO 200.
100 percent bottom right corner crop. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the raw file.

Overall, lens performance is impressive. For maximum sharpness, you will want to avoid the extreme ends of the lens, but the performance at 24mm and 75mm is still pretty good and certainly good enough to produce really nice, detailed photos.

Regarding maximum aperture as you zoom in, the lens goes from f/1.7 to f/1.8 immediately, at its 25mm (equivalent) focal length. The lens then goes to f/1.9 at 26mm and f/2.0 at 27mm. Aperture goes up in 0.1 increments as you zoom until the lens reaches its slowest maximum aperture (f/2.8) at 52mm. The primary takeaway here is that if you want f/1.7, you must shoot at the absolute widest focal length.

33.9mm (75mm equiv.), f/5, 1/50s, ISO 200.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the raw file.

Shooting Experience

The LX100 II is an enjoyable camera to use. It's designed well, both in terms of its physical design and how it operates. The menus are easy to navigate, settings are quickly accessed, and the camera's performance lends itself to fast-paced and easy shooting. Simply put, the camera works well and delivers a positive user experience.

Autofocus and Performance

Autofocus performance on the LX100 II is quite good. The camera focuses quickly throughout its focal length range and the touchscreen allows for useful Touchpad AF when shooting through the viewfinder. In fact, the touchscreen is by far the easiest way to move the autofocus area with the LX100 II, as there is no simple, direct button access. To move the point using physical controls, you must first press left on the directional pad to access the autofocus area settings, then you press down to access the AF area option, and then finally you move the point around using all four directions, which is pretty slow. You can adjust the size of the autofocus area while doing this by rotating the dial surrounding the directional pad. The camera definitely works best when utilizing the touchscreen.

12.5mm (28mm equiv.), f/6.3, 1/640s, ISO 200.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the raw file.

Autofocus modes include a face/eye detect setting, subject tracking, 49-area autofocus, custom multi-area AF, 1-area AF and pinpoint AF. You can focus basically anywhere across the image area, which is very useful.

Continuous autofocus performance is generally good for shooting stills, as the subject tracking does a nice job of maintaining focus on a subject so long as it remains in the frame. If the subject exits the frame then all bets are off. For video, continuous autofocus performance is less impressive, as the contrast-detect autofocus system displays quite a bit of wobble, which can be distracting.

11.6mm (26mm equiv.), f/6.3, 0.8s, ISO 200.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the raw file.

When continuously shooting, the LX100 II can capture full-resolution images at up to 11 frames per second, which is pretty snappy. If you want to shoot even faster, you can capture 8-megapixel 4K images at up to 30 fps, which is plenty fast enough to capture just about any action you will encounter. 4K Photo modes have become a staple on Panasonic's Lumix cameras and the LX100 II is no different in this regard.

Overall, the LX100 II delivers impressive autofocus modes and performance, and it can capture images quickly thanks to its strong overall shooting performance. It's a nimble little camera.

10.9mm (24mm equiv.), f/6.3, 1/15s, ISO 200.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the raw file.

Shooting modes

Although not new to the Mark II, an interesting feature of the camera, which continues to remain a distinct offering, is its easy access to multiple aspect ratios while shooting. On the top of the lens, right next the camera body itself, is a switch that allows you to toggle between different aspect ratios, including the default 4:3, 1:1, 16:9 and 3:2. It's a nice inclusion, especially for photographers who want to instantly share images without going through an editing and cropping process on an external device.

10.9mm (24mm equiv.), f/6.3, 1/400s, ISO 200.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the raw file.

Like other Panasonic cameras, the LX100 II includes numerous 4K Photo modes. For the unfamiliar, basically 4K Photo is when the camera captures eight-megapixel (4K) images at fast shooting speeds, in this case, at up to 30 frames per second. There are three burst modes and a Post Focus mode. The latter mode captures a series of images at different focus distances and then allows you to either stack them or choose the desired image from the series after the fact.

Video

The LX100 II captures 4K ultra-high definition (3,840 x 2,160) video at up to 30 frames per second, and Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) video at up to 60 fps. The video quality is quite impressive as well, especially at lower sensitivity settings. The 4K footage in particular shows a good amount of dynamic range and detail for an all-in-one camera.

Panasonic LX100 II 4K Video 3840 x 2160 video at 29.97 frames per second. f/6.3, 1/200s, 34mm actual focal length, ISO 200.
Download Original (202 MB .MP4 File)

As far as shooting video is concerned, there is no dedicated video mode. Rather, you put the camera in the shooting mode of your choice and then press the dedicated record button on the back of the camera. While most cameras opt for a record button on the top of the camera, I prefer the rear button location. The camera also includes a dedicated movie settings menu section, which is nice. This allows you to independently select certain settings for stills and video, including the photo style, intelligent image quality adjustments and ISO Auto behavior.

Panasonic LX100 II 4K Video 3840 x 2160 video at 29.97 frames per second. f/6.3, 1/60s, 32mm actual focal length, ISO 200.
Download Original (195 MB .MP4 File)

Speaking of sensitivity, the camera does a pretty good job in low light with respect to quality. On the other hand, video autofocus performance, even in good light, leaves a bit to be desired. The contrast-detect autofocus system does a considerable amount of hunting and makes regular minor adjustments, even when the subject hasn't moved within the frame.

Panasonic LX100 II 4K Video 3840 x 2160 video at 29.97 frames per second. f/2.8, 1/60s, ISO 3200.
Download Original (253 MB .MP4 File)

Overall, there are some nice video features with the LX100 II and performance is generally good. The lens does not zoom particularly smoothly, so that is a bit limiting while recording, but the video quality itself is good. Autofocus performance, as mentioned, is not great, but it's sufficient in most cases.

Panasonic LX100 II 4K Video 3840 x 2160 video at 29.97 frames per second. f/2.8, 1/100s, 11mm actual focal length, ISO 200.
Download Original (176 MB .MP4 File)
 
Panasonic LX100 II 4K Video 3840 x 2160 video at 29.97 frames per second. f/5.0, 1/60s, 21mm actual focal length, ISO 200.
Download Original (155 MB .MP4 File)

Panasonic LX100 II Field Test Summary

An enjoyable compact camera with impressive performance and features

What I liked:

  • Sleek and compact body
  • A lot of physical controls on the body and lens
  • Good image quality
  • Many nice features
  • Good 4K video quality
13.9mm (31mm equiv.), f/6.3, 1/15s, ISO 200.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the raw file.

What I didn't like:

  • The lens' aperture changes quickly as you zoom in
  • Somewhat disappointing autofocus performance when recording video
10.9mm (24mm equiv.), f/7.1, 1/250s, ISO 200.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the raw file.

The Panasonic LX100 II does a lot of things very well. The camera is intelligently-designed, the user experience is good and the image quality is impressive. The LX100 II offers many features and delivers strong all-around performance. For photographers seeking a compact camera which delivers great image quality, the LX100 II is a very good choice.

10.9mm (24mm equiv.), f/5.6, 1.3s, ISO 200.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the raw file.

 

• • •

 

Panasonic LX100 II Review -- Overview

by Mike Tomkins
Preview posted: 08/22/2018

Almost four years ago, Panasonic made its debut in the large-sensor, compact camera market with the LX100, a coat pocket-friendly beauty that paired very good image quality with great performance. We came away from our LX100 review thoroughly impressed by what the company had achieved with its first entry in a brand-new category. Although we felt it could perhaps have been a little smaller and was left a little wanting in the resolution department, the LX100 had excellent ergonomics. It also boasted a great lens and viewfinder, and some really unusual features such as a true multi-aspect ratio design and support not just for 4K video capture, but also for extracting high-res stills in-camera. (4K capture capability is now commonplace in the market, but Panasonic's cameras are still just about unique in their philosophy as regards aspect ratio. We'll come back to that in a moment, though.)

Fast-forward to the current day, though, and while it has remained on sale for an extremely long time -- and still at an impressive 2/3 of its original list price, at that -- the LX100 is nevertheless starting to look a little long in the tooth in some respects. It was clearly about time for a replacement, and Panasonic has come through with a successor in the form of the LX100 II. While the two cameras are near-indistinguishable when placed side by side, the LX100 Mark II builds upon its predecessor's design with improvements in several key areas.

LX100 II (left) vs. LX100

What's new in the LX100 II?

Externally, the most obvious difference between the two cameras (which are nearly identical in size and weight) is to be found in their handgrips. Where that on the LX100 was beveled towards the camera body at its top, that on the LX100 II now ends more abruptly with a sharp right-angle. And while the textured inlay on the handgrip is still faux-leather rather than the real thing, it now has a larger grain pattern that makes it look more natural.

And that's about it for the visual differences, other than changes to the model number, silk-screening for a couple of buttons, and the absence of the 'L' (for Lumix) badge which used to sit tucked beneath the left side of the lens (when looking from the rear). The button labeling changes, meanwhile, repurposing the previous Filter and Wi-Fi buttons on the LX100 with two additional customizable Function buttons on the newer camera.

Our call for more resolution has been answered!

It's on the inside where you'll find the really important changes. First of all, there's a brand-new, higher-resolution 4/3 image sensor, answering one of our few quibbles with the earlier camera. The new chip has a total pixel count of 21.77 megapixels, although the corners of the image sensor extend beyond the image circle of the lens, and so the actual image dimensions vary on both axes, depending upon the aspect ratio chosen. The highest resolution is around 16.8 megapixels in the 4:3 aspect ratio, and even the 1:1 aspect ratio mode offers up to 12.6 megapixel resolution. Native 3:2 and 16:9 aspect ratios are also available.

Output from the new image sensor is handled by Panasonic's latest Venus Engine image processor which should yield improved JPEG image quality, and despite the significant increase in resolution from the 12.7-megapixel maximum image size of the earlier camera, the LX100 II nevertheless offers up the same ISO 200-25,600 sensitivity range as did its predecessor. And just as in the earlier camera, there's an extended sensitivity of ISO 100 available at the bottom end.

And together, the new image sensor and processor still allow burst capture at the same maximum rate of 11 frames per second, again despite the significant increase in pixel count. Enable continuous autofocus and that rate will fall to 5.5 frames per second, again just as in the earlier camera. However, a significant increase in buffer capacity means that despite the unchanged capture rates and higher resolution, you'll now be able to capture over 50% more raw frames before the camera slows. (The LX100 was limited to about 20 raw frames in a burst, versus 33 frames for the LX100 II.)

The same lens we know and love

There's one element of the imaging pipeline which remains unchanged, however, and that's good news because it was a point which drew praise in our review of the earlier camera. The Panasonic LX100 II still offers up a Leica DC Vario-Summilux branded 24-75mm equivalent zoom lens on its front deck. As we saw in the LX100, this lens has a very fast f/1.7-2.8 maximum aperture across the zoom range, a 9-blade circular diaphragm, and can focus as close as 3cm (1.2 inches) at wide angle.

And given that it's the same lens, we can expect the same good optical performance and swift depth-from-defocus autofocus technology that we saw in the earlier camera, too. For those of you not up on your jargon, Panasonic's depth-from-defocus tech is an alternative to the more common phase detection, contrast detection or hybrid phase/contrast detection-based autofocus systems.

Like phase detection, it can quickly determine the distance and direction in which to focus, avoiding focus hunting that can be an issue with contrast-based systems. (Although these days, good CDAF systems can compete surprisingly well against alternatives.) The depth-from-defocus system uses detailed information about the bokeh characteristics of the LX100 II's fixed lens to determine that focus info without the need to either have a separate focusing sensor or on-chip focus pixels in place of imaging pixels on some parts of the main image sensor.

The LX100's DFD autofocus was very swift and confident indeed, and we're expecting the same to be true of its successor.

All the latest mod cons

As well as the overhauled imaging pipeline, the Panasonic LX100 II also brings with it some modern conveniences which are now relatively commonplace, but weren't so when the previous model launched four years ago. These include support for USB charging, a slightly higher-resolution 1,240k-dot 3.0-inch LCD panel that now has a touch-screen overlay, and an additional Bluetooth radio alongside the existing Wi-Fi module for quicker and easier pairing and sharing with smartphones as well as allowing for automatic GPS geotagging. NFC connectivity has however been dropped.

The LX100 II now allows much longer exposure times of up to 30 minutes, where the LX100 was limited to just two minutes. There's also a wider exposure compensation range of +/-5 EV, although everything beyond the previous +/-3 EV range must be accessed from the menu system, rather than the physical exposure compensation dial on the camera's top deck.

Plenty of firmware tweaks, as well

Other changes are predominantly to be found in firmware. Panasonic has also added five virtual function buttons which can be displayed as on-screen soft keys, allowing you to customize the camera to your tastes even more than ever before. There are also two new black and white photo styles with adjustable grain effect, dubbed L. Monochrome and L.Monochrome D.

Panasonic has further added post focus and focus stacking functions as seen in other recent Lumix models, and made it possible to bracket both focus distance and aperture values. There's also a new Live View Boost function which uses a slower frame rate for a brighter live view display in low light conditions, and a 20 times manual focus assist function which is self-explanatory.

And as if that wasn't already plenty, there are also several new functions to make the Panasonic LX100 II's 4K Photo mode easier and more powerful, including auto marking, sequence composition and bulk saving tools.

The same viewfinder we already know

Another thing that's not changed from the original LX100 is its electronic viewfinder. The Panasonic LX100M2 uses the same very high-resolution 1,280 x 720 pixel, 0.38-inch field-sequential panel as used previously in cameras including not just the LX100, but also the GX7 system camera. In plain English, every single pixel in a field-sequential display provides all three colors -- but only one color is actually shown at any given time. By cycling through the colors repeatedly, your eye gets the impression of a sharp, full-color image. The downside with field-sequential finders is that they can sometimes show rainbow "sparkle" effects on edges of subjects in motion, or when you move your eye quickly or blink.

Lining the right side of the viewfinder is a proximity sensor used to enable or disable the viewfinder and LCD automatically as you raise the camera to your eye, or vice versa. This can also be accomplished manually using the adjacent LVF button. The LX100's viewfinder yields a generously-sized image for its class thanks to a 1.39x magnification (0.7x 35mm equivalent), and field of view is manufacturer-rated at 100%.

Much the same creative options as before, too

With the exception of the aforementioned longer maximum exposure time of 30 minutes and the new photo styles, creative options are largely unchanged. Shutter speeds under automatic control range from 60 seconds to 1/4,000 second with a mechanical shutter, or 1 to 1/16,000 second with an electronic shutter.

Exposures are metered with a 1,728-zone intelligent multiple metering system with center-weighted and spot modes on offer, and a top deck flash hot shoe caters to external strobes. There's no built-in flash, but a tiny bundled external strobe has a guide number of 23 feet (7m) at ISO 100, which equates to 33 feet (10m) at the camera's actual base sensitivity of ISO 200.

Storage, power and ports

Images are stored on SD, SDHC or SDXC cards, with support for UHS-I types for better performance.

Power comes courtesy of the same proprietary, rechargeable 7.2V, 1025mAh DMW-BLG10 lithium-ion battery pack used by the LX100. In the LX100 II, it's rated for 340 shots when using the LCD monitor and 270 shots with the EVF, or 300 shots with the monitor and 240 shots with the EVF when using the bundled flash, tested to CIPA standards. An eco mode which reduces refresh rate increases battery life with the EVF to about 320 and 280 shots respectively.

The Panasonic LX100M2 is equipped with a Micro-B USB 2.0 port instead of the LX100's combined AV/USB 2.0 port, and thus composite AV output is no longer supported. As mentioned previously, the USB port now supports convenient in-camera battery charging. An AC adapter and USB cable are included in the bundle, instead of a dedicated battery charger which can be purchased separately. Like the LX100, a Micro-HDMI (Type D) port is also provided, however we don't know yet if it supports clean HDMI out for external recording (the LX100's didn't). Like its predecessor, the LX100 II does not offer external microphone or headphone jacks.

Panasonic LX100 II price and availability

The Panasonic LX100 II is slated to go on sale from mid-October at a suggested retail price of US$999.99, which is about a $100 premium over the LX100 at its launch.

 

Buy the Panasonic LX100 II

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$875.00

12.8 MP (33% less)

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