I have been using the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 for one week now and I am still in my honeymoon stage. I don't think it is perfect, but I love it so far. I am still testing it in real life situations so this is not really a review, but more a recap of my first week with that little beast.
I took 1562 photos (yikes, that much already?) and 20 GB of video in different conditions over the last week.
After filming my unboxing video, I started shooting the subjects I had with me: Mya and Roxy, my cat and my dog. I tried the different focal lengths, shooting wide open and was already happy with the sharpness in the center.
I always liked wide angle picture of animals so here is one from Mya at 24mm.
I tried using SilkyPix and Rawtherapee to process my RAW files, but I am too used to Lightroom. Before the end of the day, someone found a way to trick Lightroom (or ACR) to be able to open the LX100's RAW files (see the Unboxing video post).
I tried the flash sync speed (1/4000s) and it worked with either the flash on camera or with an off-camera flash (Olympus FL600-R) controlled by the little flash that comes with the LX100. I will have some fun shooting outside with that. Having a sync speed faster than 1/250s opens a lot of creative possibilities.
I also shot some high ISO. At first, I thought the noise was really bad, but I found out that it was only the JPEG processing in the camera that was rendering everything mushy. That one was processed from the RAW file in Lightroom.
I finished the day with some black and white JPEGs straight from the camera. Last year, I made a "preset" for B&W in my GX7 that I like a lot (contrasty). Since then, I copied the same to the GH4 and now the LX100. It is stored in one of my Custom Presets so it is faster to access.
After spending an hour cleaning the mess that was the kitchen countertop, I tried the 4K Video of the LX100. I planned that short movie a couple of days before receiving my camera. In case you wonder, I only had one camera and I only made one coffee. I just cut and move the camera around a lot. I spent a couple hours after that putting it together and trying to grade it. I still have a LOT to learn on the video side, but I like learning. The video is far from perfect, but it allows me to conclude that the little LX100 can output some very nice footage.
In the afternoon, I just did a quick C-AF test with my dog (Oh! What a surprise!). The C-AF holds focus pretty well. I did not test the tracking feature though. I tested it with the 1-Area Focus mode. It missed the focus on the last one, although I think the guy behind the camera was responsible for not keeping the focus area on the face of the dog.
On day three, after a good lunch, I went to shoot outside. Gah! It was soooo cold. I should have stayed inside with Mya and Roxy. Even with gloves, a camera made of metal can freeze your fingers. But Hey! We are photographers! We are tough! Pffft!
The LX100 is really quiet and low-profile. It was a joy to use in the street of Magog.
Saturday, I woke up early and drove two hours to get to a workshop taught by my friend Chantal. She is a good teacher and she is great with newborns. The first reason for that is she loves them. I told her last summer that I wanted to do a little movie at one of her workshops. The timing was perfect to test the LX100 and how the footage would compare to the GH4. You can read about it here, but I repost the video because the babies are too cute. (I'm sorry, I messed up and put the same song as the last video).
I was tired after the four hours drive and the 7 hours in a really warm studio. I took some photos of Mya and Roxy (once again) while my wife and kids were cooking. Other than that, I ate and I slept... and spent some time in Adobe Premiere Pro.
Monday, Tuesday, Happy days!
Nothing on Monday. Zip! Nada!
Tuesday was the first day we saw the sun since I don't remember when so I went outside. I tested the famous green blob flare that I heard before. I did not find it that bad actually. You have to shoot straight in the sun to produce bad flares. There is some purple flare in the mix too. So I tried my worst on an uninspiring landscape. Here is the ugly flare. It actually gets worse at f/8.
I then shot like I would shoot in real life, with the help of Roxy who was happy to run around everywhere. Here are the ones where the flare is the biggest. A question of taste, but I actually like that flare. Maybe it's the honeymoon.
When it was bedtime for the kids, I tested the high ISO capabilities on my oldest. I tested the LX100 against the GX7 and the GH4, all at 20mm f/2.5. You will be able to see the results in my full review, but I found that they are all about the same. Here is an example at ISO 5000.
And we're back to Wednesday
Back to the rain also but at the end of the afternoon, the sun timidly came out so I went to capture the raindrops in the wood behind my house.
What do I think about the camera? I think it has its pros and cons, but while I'm dressing the list at the end of each day, the pros grow much faster. What surprised me the most is how quiet is the LX100 and how long is the battery lasting if I compare to the GX7. I knew the image quality would be good since it has the same sensor as the GX7. I love the Leica lens. It is not perfect, but it shows some character. It's really sharp in the middle and the bokeh is beautiful. What I miss the most so far is the touch and tilting screen, especially when I do macro shots. You get used so fast to touching the screen to select where you want to focus. The ergonomics of the camera are still good though, and as I use it, I customize the controls to my taste.
To be continued...
You can read the follow up to this post here.