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

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Panasonic LX100 II (Black)
LX100 II Deals
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

LX100 II Summary

It might look a lot like its predecessor, but the Panasonic LX100 II offers a significant upgrade in image quality and generous performance in a take-anywhere body that'll slip easily into your coat pocket. It's perhaps not the best choice for video shooters, but still imaging fans will find lots to love, whether they prefer shooting raw or JPEG. And despite a compact body, there are generous controls and plenty of customization options to tune it to your tastes. Read on and find out if it's for you in our in-depth Panasonic LX100 II review.

Pros

Compact coat-pocket friendly body with plenty of dedicated controls; Great electronic viewfinder; Impressive image quality for its class; Generous performance; Decent battery life.

Cons

Too big for a pants pocket; No articulation for LCD; Relatively short zoom range compared to some rivals; Can't use full sensor area at any aspect ratio; Not the best choice for video.

Price and availability

The Panasonic LX100 II went on sale from October 2018 at a suggested retail price of US$999.99, which is about a $100 premium over the LX100 at its launch.

Imaging Resource rating

4.5 out of 5.0

Panasonic LX100 II Review

by Jeremy Gray, Mike Tomkins, William Brawley and Zig Weidelich

Preview posted: 08/22/2018
Last updated: 12/03/2019

 

Panasonic LX100 II Conclusion

Better image quality and plenty of performance

by Mike Tomkins |

In 2014, Panasonic stepped into the large-sensor, compact camera marketplace with the LX100, a Dave's Pick-winning camera which we lauded for its image quality, performance and ergonomics, even if it wasn't quite as compact as some of its nearest rivals. The Panasonic LX100 II hones the design still further with an overhauled imaging pipeline, a touch-screen, Bluetooth connectivity, in-camera charging support and more, while retaining much the same body design as before.

In many respects, the LX100 II is a fairly modest update, and indeed at first glance it's quite similar to its predecessor on the outside. Its lens and viewfinder are unchanged, and the biggest visual cue to indicate that this is a new model is the reprofiled handgrip on the front deck. But on the inside, the new 17.0-megapixel, Four Thirds image sensor and Venus Engine image processor work together to provide a significant step forwards from its predecessor's already-good image quality.

 

Panasonic LX100 II Review -- Overview

by Mike Tomkins | 08/22/2018

In late 2014, 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 yields 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 22 raw frames in a burst, versus 34 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 nine-bladed, circular aperture diaphragm, and can focus as close as 3cm (1.2 inches) at wide angle.

And given that it's the same lens, it offers 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, helping to avoid focus hunting that can be an issue with contrast-based systems. 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.

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, but functions only for playback and so can't be used to record externally. Nor does the LX100 II offer external microphone or headphone jacks.

 

Panasonic LX100 II Field Test

A top-notch compact camera with strong features and performance

by Jeremy Gray |

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 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.

Panasonic LX100 II Image Quality Comparison

See how the LX100 II's IQ stacks up against its predecessor and rivals

by Mike Tomkins |

Here we present 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...

 

In the Box

The Panasonic LX100 II retail bundle contains the following items:

  • Panasonic Lumix DC-LX100M2 camera
  • DMW-BLG10 Lithium-ion battery (7.2V, 1025mAh)
  • VEK0V37Z1 External flash
  • Flash storage bag
  • AC/USB adapter
  • USB cable
  • Lens cap
  • Lens cap string
  • Hot shoe cover
  • Shoulder strap

 

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