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Panasonic Lumix LX100 Mark II review: High-end highs and lows

Panasonic Lumix LX100 Mark II review: High-end highs and lows

The Panasonic Lumix LX100 Mark II is a tale of two halves: it’s a soft update to what is ultimately a belting high-end compact camera. By which we mean we love it, but its improvements are fairly subtle – especially considering the four year turnaround period since the original model.
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For

  • The 24-75mm f/1.7-2.8 equivalent lens opens the door to creative images thanks to its size
  • Adds touchscreen controls
  • Classic controls and layout
  • Multi-aspect ratio sensor (with aspect ratio physical dial for sselecton)
  • 4K Photo modes are fun
  • Autofocus options surpass many compact cameras
  • Decent close-up focus
Against

  • No tilt/vari-angle screen is restrictive
  • Slow zoom control
  • Lacks dial locks
  • Some controls feel cramped
  • Minimum shutter absent (for use when shutter dial set to Auto “A” position)
  • A little bulky in today’s smartphone dominated world
  • USB charging only (no cradle in the box)

That’s right: Panasonic has, for the first time in its history, named one of its Lumix cameras a “Mark II” model. Therefore you’re not looking at the LX200, or some other obscure number of naming mechanism, rather the LX100 M2.

The sequel to 2014’s high-end compact, the LX100 Mark 2 takes the original model’s form, adds a grip, a touchscreen, some additional modes and controls (such as 4K Photo/video) and, well, that’s about it.

Of course, being the LX model, the Mark II features a Micro Four Thirds sensor, which is massive by almost any compact camera sensor’s standards. And as this sensor is the very same as found in the Lumix GX9 and paired with the fixed 24-75mm f/1.7-2.8 lens, it’s quality is utmost.

Is it the high-end compact to beat all others or just a subtle update to a classic?

So what’s new?

  • New: USB charging
  • New: Chunkier front grip
  • New: Touchscreen control
  • New: Bluetooth & Wi-Fi connectivity
  • New: Effects, Monochrome, 4K Photo/Video
  • New: Starlight autofocus, up to 30mins exposure

Any LX100 owner will take one look at the LX100 Mark 2 and struggle to see much difference. The footprint is the same, as is the lens and general layout, with only the front grip being a prominent new addition from a visual standpoint.