It may look like a relatively minor update over its predecessor, but Panasonic’s latest enthusiast-focused compact is still an excellent camera

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Panasonic Lumix DC-LX100 II

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

Pros:

  • + Relatively large Four Thirds sensor gives excellent image quality
  • + Large-aperture lens is great for selective focus and low-light shooting
  • + Aspect-ratio switch encourages compositional creativity
  • + Manual control dials make for an engaging shooting experience

Cons:

  • - 16:9 field-sequential viewfinder isn’t great
  • - Lack of screen articulation hinders shooting at unusual angles
  • - Large body won’t suit those looking for a pocket camera
  • - Lens is very prone to flare when shooting into the sun

Product:

Panasonic Lumix LX100 II review

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£849.00

Panasonic Lumix LX100 II: Autofocus

As with other current Lumix cameras, the LX100 II uses the firm’s Depth from Defocus (DFD) technology for autofocus. This works by taking two measurements at slightly different focus distances, then using a knowledge of the lens’s out-of-focus characteristics be determine how to bring the image into sharp focus. This is considerably quicker than simple contrast detection AF, without needing the added cost and complexity of on-chip phase detection pixels.

AF works well in extremely low light  Lumix LX100 II, 24mm equiv, 1/50sec at f/1.7, ISO 1600

A plethora of focus area modes is available. The camera can be left to select the focus point itself, using either a 49-area grid that covers almost the entire image area, or a user-defined subset of those points. But I suspect most users will prefer the 1-Area mode, which allows the focus point to be placed freely anywhere in the frame and resized in 15 steps. If this isn’t enough, there’s pinpoint AF for selectively focusing on a really small area, complete with an onscreen focus-check ‘loupe’. Subject-tracking and face detection options are also available, with the latter including eye detection. The latter works pretty well for shooting portraits, although it’s perhaps not quite as bulletproof as Sony’s version.

I found the LX100 II’s AF performance to be excellent, with the camera locking onto the specified focus point rapidly, decisively and completely silently. Autofocus also continues to work reliably in remarkably low light, for example in dimly-lit restaurants or bars. In a month or so working with the LX100 II, I only got a few images that were out of focus, and that was usually attributable to shooting subjects closer than 50cm with the lens set to the standard AF position. After a while I ended up leaving the camera in its AF macro setting, which maintains access to the full focus range.

Lumix LX100 II

A switch on the side of the barrel select between manual focus and autofocus, including a full-range ‘macro’ setting

One the very rare occasions that the AF system struggles, you can flick the switch on the side of the lens of MF. Rotating the manual focus ring then brings up a magnified display in the viewfinder or on the LCD, allowing precise focusing.

  1. 1. Panasonic Lumix LX100 II review
  2. 2. Lumix LX100 II: Features
  3. 3. Panasonic Lumix LX100 II: Body and Design
  4. 4. Lumix LX100 II: Viewfinder and screen
  5. 5. Panasonic Lumix LX100 II: Autofocus
  6. 6. Panasonic LX100 II: Performance
  7. 7. Panasonic Lumix LX100 II: Image quality
  8. 8. Panasonic Lumix LX100 II: Verdict
  9. 9. Panasonic Lumix LX100 II: Specifications
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