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2014.09.16

Panasonic LX premium cameras have long been known to photography enthusiasts for their bright lenses and powerful photographic controls in compact designs. Now, the new Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 takes the concept to the next level to challenge Sony and Canon‘s flagship premium compacts which offer a significant advantage in image-quality over the LX7 reviewed here.

While the LX7 uses a 1/1.7″ sensor, the just-launched LX100 offers a Four-Thirds sensor. Like a handful of earlier models, it does not use the entire surface-area in order to maintain a constant angle-of-view at different aspect-ratios. This gives it a 2.2X crop-factor to expose 12 megapixels of its 16 MP Four-Thirds CMOS sensor. Its lens offers a 24-75mm focal-range in 35mm terms with a bright F/1.7-2.8 maximum aperture. The ultra-wide angle-of-view is maintained in 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9 aspect-ratios which makes the LX100 highly versatile.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100

This premium compact offers plenty of manual controls, including dedicated aperture and focus rings, plus both an exposure-compensation and a traditional mode-dial. Other advanced features include 7-shot AEB, WB Fine-Tuning, Spot metering and, obviously, Manual Focus. There is a standard hot-shoe but not built-in flash.

The high-speed 16 megapixels CMOS sensor of the LX100 can shoot continuously at 11 FPS and capture 4K Ultra-HD video. It offers a fast 49-area Contrast-Detect AF system. Using an electronic-shutter, the LX100 can shoot at 1/16,000s. For low-light, it can perform exposures of up to 60 seconds.

Impressively, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 includes a large ultra-high-resolution EVF with 2.8 megapixels and 100% coverage. The EVF features an essential Eye-Start sensor too. This camera also offers a 3″ touchscreen LCD with 920K pixels.

The LX100 slots itself right between its closest competitors, the smaller Sony RX100 III with its 1″ sensor and the larger Canon G1 X Mark II with its large 1.5″ sensor, while offering a comparable lens. Like the RX100 III, the built-in EVF makes framing with the LX100 easier, particularly in bright light. The G1 X Mark II supports an optional EVF which makes it more awkward. It does offer a longer telephoto reach of 120mm, albeit at F/3.9.

Panasonic’s new premium compact is expected before the end of this year at a suggested price of $899 USD. B&H Photo and Adorama are already accepting pre-orders, just follow these respective links to secure one quickly.

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