This is a follow up to the hugely popular and successful Panasonic LX100 and it looks like Panasonic have another winner on their hands.
One of the main selling points with this camera is its full manual controls, including an exposure compensation dial, and the number of programmable buttons. This provides the user with artistic control to get the most interesting images. You can even shoot for up to 30 minutes in bulb mode, there aren’t many compact cameras that will allow you to do that!
Panasonic haven’t found any need to change the excellent F/1.7 – F/2.8 24mm-75mm (full frame equivalent) lens from the original LX100. It’s able to close down to F/16 so this camera is great for anything from shallow depth of field portraits to crystal sharp wide landscapes. The LX100 Mark ii also shoots Ultra High Definition 4K video at up to 30 frames per second and is really well stabilised, so the video does its best to stay rock steady. You can even extract individual images from the 4K video. One of the problems with using stills from video footage has always been the poor image quality of the resulting photo. Well that’s a thing of the past, 4k images are the equivalent of 8MP photos. They display perfectly on 4K tv screens but can also produce good A3 and excellent A4 printed photos. That’s as much as most of us ever want.
The sensor has a total of 21.77 million pixels, but Panasonic have added a feature that allows you to instantly change the aspect ratio between 16:9, 3:2 and 4:3 via a physical switch. Cleverly, and probably uniquely, they do this by using 17MP of the sensor for each image. That way, you can easily change between aspect ratios without any detrimental effects on the image quality and without changing the apparent focal length of the image. The sensor doesn’t have any anti-alias filter, so the images are really detailed.
The LX100 Mark II can shoot pre-focused stills at up to 11 frames per second and in tracking mode it can still shoot at an impressive 5.5 frames per second.
Other nice features
The camera offers another few gems. It will perform in-camera focus stacking which allows you to get shots with much more depth of field than you would get with a single shot. This is a great feature considering the LX100 Mark II will allow you to focus as closely as 3cm from your subject. The same technology allows you to post-focus, that means you can take a shot and after you’ve taken it you can use the touch screen to select which part of the image you’d like to be in focus. That really offers you complete artistic control over the image.
The LX100 Mark II now includes both Wi-fi and Bluetooth 4.2 so it can easily communicate with smartphones.