Panasonic Lumix LX100 II – a look at the new features

Panasonic Lumix LX100 II

 

This is a four page article

  • Page 1: What’s New, Multi-Aspect Sensor Explained
  • Page 2: The New Features In-Depth
  • Page 3: What’s The Same, What’s It Good For, Conclusion
  • Page 4: Image Sample Gallery

Panasonic’s press release is here.

New Features:

  • New High Resolution Sensor
  • High Resolution Touch Screen
  • +/-5EV Exposure Compensation
  • L.Monochrome D + Grain
  • New Menu System
  • 10 Function Buttons
  • More 4K Photo Functions
  • Bracket Menu
  • USB Charging
  • Bluetooth for Auto Tethering

It is lenses that get my attention and attract me to a camera system more than the cameras themselves. How the cameras of any system work is obviously important, but when anyone looks at your images it is the characteristics of the lens you used that they see not the button layout of the body the lens was attached to. The sensor, and how the company processes the information it produces, is also a critical factor in the quality of that final image, but still the way that lens squeezes, shapes and influences the light as it passes through the glass is the single most important element in the way that picture looks. And that is why the Panasonic Lumix LX100 got so much attention when it was launched at the Photokina camera show in 2014.

Panasonic Lumix LX100 II

What caught everyone’s eye, and what continues to do so, about the LX100 was its lens. It offers the equivalent of a 24-75mm focal range with maximum apertures of f/1.7-2.8 which, combined with the Micro Four Thirds sensor in the camera, produced some of the best images ever seen from a zoom compact at the time. While the LX100 still performs at the top of the premium compact camera charts, times have moved on and it is time for an update.

What’s new?

Panasonic Lumix LX100 II

It isn’t like Panasonic to have Mk II versions of its cameras in Europe but it is easy to see why this particular model is being presented as a ‘version’ rather than as a LX200 might have been. The LX100 II is clearly an update of the LX100, bringing the feature-set of the four-year-old compact into line with that of the company’s current G series cameras. At first, second and third glance, the new model is very much like the original in look and feel as almost all the changes have happened inside not outside the body.

The multi-aspect sensor

Panasonic Lumix LX100 II

While the Leica DC Vario-Summilux 10.9-34mm f/1.7-2.8 ASPH lens remains unchanged we now have a new 20MP Micro Four Thirds sensor behind it. To achieve the best resolution in a number of aspect ratios the 4:3 native image dimensions don’t use the full width of the sensor so we never get a 20MP image as we would with a GX9, but while the LX100 produced 13-million-pixel images from a 17-million-pixel sensor the LX100 II turns out 17MP images from a 21.7MP sensor in the 4:3 setting.

Panasonic Lumix LX100 II multi aspect ratio sensor

Shot in 16:9 format

As the sensor is wider than is required for 17MP 4:3 ratio images we retain high pixel-counts when switching aspect ratios instead of suffering resolution drops as we would if the camera simply cropped the view. Images shot in the native 4:3 ratio contain 17MP, while using the 3:2 ratio only drops it to 16MP and shooting in 16:9 drops only to 15MP. This is the case because when these wider ratios are selected the camera expands the width of the sensor area in use rather just than cropping down the height of the image. This is the same concept as is used with the multi-aspect ratio sensor of the Lumix DC-GH5s.

Panasonic Lumix LX100 II multi aspect ratio sensor

The same scene as above, but recorded in the square 1:1 format

On the aspect ratio switch on the barrel of the lens there is also a 1:1 ratio that uses the full height of the sensor, but which doesn’t create a higher resolution image than we’d get by cropping square in post-production.

You can see from the table below how this use of the sensor allows image resolution to be maintained. The GX9 gives more resolution in most cases, but the idea is that the LX100 II is a much smaller package.

Panasonic Lumix LX100 II multi aspect ratio sensor comparison table

As with the LX100, the sensor of the new version has no low pass filter to allow images to contain as much detail as possible. You should expect JPEG files to use between 5-10MB on your card, while raw files will be just under 20MB.

Panasonic Lumix LX100 II sample image by Damien Demolder

The lack of low pass filter ensures that images are absolutely packed with detail

 

This is a four page article

  • Page 1: What’s New, Multi-Aspect Sensor Explained
  • Page 2: The New Features In-Depth
  • Page 3: What’s The Same, What’s It Good For, Conclusion
  • Page 4: Image Sample Gallery

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