It may look like a relatively minor update over its predecessor, but Panasonic’s latest enthusiast-focused compact is still an excellent camera
Panasonic Lumix LX100 II: Image quality
With its Four Thirds sensor and fast zoom lens, the LX100 II gives excellent image quality for a fixed-zoom compact. Its 17MP resolution is easily sufficient to make detailed A3 prints, and when shooting at low ISOs, there’s plenty of latitude in the raw files to pull extra detail of the shadows.
Its high ISO performance is also very good, with files holding up very well at ISO 1600 and still being quite usable – if visibly noisy – at ISO 6400. Take into account the large-aperture lens, and there’s a case to be made that this camera will offer consistently high quality across a wider range of conditions than any of its peers.
Lumix LX100 II: Resolution
At its lowest setting of ISO 100 and in the 4:3 aspect ratio, the LX100 II resolves close to 3500 lines per picture height, which is essentially as much as it could theoretically achieve. Some aliasing is visible at higher frequencies due to the lack of an optical low-pass filter. Resolution reduces gradually as the sensitivity is raised and noise increasingly impacts the image, with around 3200l/ph measured at ISO 800. However images are still reasonably clean at ISO 6400, which offers 2700l/ph. At the top setting of ISO 25,600 resolution falls to around 2400l/ph. In the crops below, multiplying the numbers below the lines by 200 gives the resolution in lines per picture height.
Lumix LX100 II: ISO and noise
At low sensitivity settings from ISO 100 to ISO 400 the LX100 II delivers impressive image quality, with no visible noise and crisply-defined fine detail. It’s only really at ISO 1600 that noise starts to have a clearly detrimental impact, obscuring fine low-contrast detail. By ISO 6400 colour saturation is starting to suffer and detail I the darker tones has all-but-disappeared, but images are still perfectly usable at smaller viewing sizes. However quality at ISO 12,800 is distinctly marginal, with lots of noise and poor colour. I’d avoid using ISO 25,600 completely.