Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-LX100 combines a fast zoom lens and a four thirds sensor, in a stylish body with enthusiast-friendly controls and a built-in viewfinder. Andy Westlake finds out whether it lives up to its considerable promise

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100

Features:
Build/Handling:
Metering:
Autofocus:
AWB Colour:
Dynamic Range:
LCD viewfinder:

Pros:

  • - Excellent image quality from Four Thirds sensor
  • - Intuitive dial-based controls
  • - Fast lens is useful for low light shooting
  • - Built-in electronic viewfinder

Cons:

  • - Fixed LCD screen that isn’t touch-sensitive
  • - EVF color rendition can be misleading
  • - Limited telephoto range

Product:

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 Review

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£699.99

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Verdict

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 Review – Verdict

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 is one of the most exciting new cameras to appear this year, and I’ve found that in real-world use it more than lives up to its considerable promise. Indeed, it has perpetually surprised me by just how well it works in almost every aspect of its operation. The sturdy body and intuitive control layout mean that it just begs to be picked up and used, and the electronic viewfinder is useful when shooting in bright sunlight. Most importantly, image quality is very impressive, especially in low light, aided by that ultra-fast zoom lens.

Perfection is hard to come by, of course, but finding fault with the LX100 rather feels like nitpicking in the face of its very considerable strengths. The electronic viewfinder isn’t the best, and its exaggerated colour and contrast can sometimes discourage you from taking a perfectly good shot. The lens range is a little short, too, making the LX100 a less-good choice for portraits than cameras like the Canon PowerShot G7 X.

Some might be put off by the LX100’s relatively low resolution compared to its 20-million-pixel competitors, most notably the G7 X and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III. However I rarely felt short-changed by its 13-million-pixel output, which personally I find quite sufficient for most purposes.

Perhaps the LX100’s biggest disadvantage is that it’s rather larger than genuinely pocketable alternatives like the G7 X and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III. If you’re looking for a camera to slip into a shirt pocket, the LX100 isn’t it. However, it’s arguably a more engaging – and more complete – camera than either of these more portable models.

Overall, the LX100 is a camera I’ve thoroughly enjoyed using, and I’ve been pleased with its output too. It’s difficult to ask for more.

 

  1. 1. Features
  2. 2. Build and handling
  3. 3. Performance
  4. 4. Image Quality
  5. 5. Verdict
  6. 6. First Look
  7. 7. Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 Review – Specification
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  • Douglas Kerr

    It does! Look in the menu settings, select extended and there you go 24-90!

  • Seven_Spades

    I like this camera but I wish its lens went from 24-90 and I which the chrome version was chrome and black not brown. Whoever though that brown was a cool colour?

  • kaptink

    I bought one yesterday and love it already. Need to get some thinner gloves as operation with the current pair leads to pressing the wrong button. Part of the price to pay for it being so small. And living in the UK.

    I bought my LX100 to replace an ageing Canon S95. Of course, it’s not in the same league.Yesterday evening I replicated a night shot I took with the Canon last week in Covent Garden. The LX at ISO 1600 IQ easily outperforms the Canon at 800. The large aperture and rapid AF is great for street snapshots (a large part of why I bought it as the Canon S95 was constantly frustrating me with its limited aperture and slow AF) and, as I’ve found in a couple of short photowalks to and from the office, enables me to get shots that just wouldn’t have been possible with the S95. Using the LX reminds me of the ad campaign that Nikon ran in the lead up to the release of the Df.

    The choice of aspect ratio is also a surprising boon. This is also available on the Canon but you have to go through menus so I never took an interest. The easy availability of four choices right there on the lens does add another creative dimension to consider every time you see something to shoot. In fact this is one of the great things about it that sets it apart; everything you need is to hand using buttons or dials. And it has many features that are found on serious dSLRs; like focus or release priority, for example.

    And also AF-ON! This is what clinched it for me. I have a D700 and D300s and only ever shoot using the back button. It’s great that the LX can be configured to do this.

    This is going to be the ideal companion for a forthcoming weekend trip to NYC.

    (I didn’t have to sell the cat either (we don’t have a tortoise) or any of the kids. I haven’t told the wife. I tend to acquire equipment quietly and if she even notices she doesn’t say – though it was rather obvious when I got the D700 that I now had two large, pro bodies where there used to be only one; but she didn’t seem to mind…)

  • Thanks for the Review! I’d like to ask you if the iq of the LX100 is as good as the one of the X100s. I’m really interested in the Panasonic Lumix LX100 because of the zoom but i love my fuji x100s and the IQ is simply amazing there. So id change only if the IQ is equal. What would you say?

    Thanks for your reply

    Greetings

    Nils

  • Moose Borrowdale

    I have a Panasonic LX3 and it has been one of my favourite cameras. It was my first taste of a digital camera with manual controls. However, although the picture quality was brilliant for a compact, pushing up the ISO led to lots of noise that wasn’t particularly attractive. As the LX5 and LX7 arrived, I was tempted to upgrade but could never really justify it on a very limited budget at the time. However, in my quest for quality, manual control and love of street photography, I took the plunge with an inheritance and bought a Fuji X100s as there was nothing to touch it in my view in terms of quality, looks and ease of manual control. Until this one arrived.
    I loved my LX3 so much (and still do), I would seriously consider buying one of these beauties as a major upgrade. The zoom would be a bonus. It sounds like a great camera to carry round in your pocket and I can’t wait to try it out. However, I hope it’s rubbish so I don’t feel tempted to sell my tortoise to fund the purchase, even though I don’t need it. But I hear it talking to me in my dreams – fast lens, zoom, big sensor, small form, 4K.
    As a maths student and after some initial calculations I have come up with a formula which seems to work for me:
    LX100 + (want x 2) – tortoise + difficult explanation to wife = click Buy Now button