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
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 Review – Verdict
The 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.