At Photokina this morning, Panasonic launched the Lumix DMC-LX100. Rumors were running wild about this compact camera but as it turned out, most of them were true. This camera is as close as it gets to perfection.

The LX100 has a large micro 4/3 sensor. It's the same sensor as the Lumix GX7 but it is a multi-aspect sensor that you can set to shoot in 3:2, 4:3, 16:9 or 1:1 ratios. The effective resolution will be between 10 and 12,5MP depending on the ratio you use. For shooting with the GX7 for over a year now, I can tell you that this sensor is great. ISO ranges from 200 to 25600 (extended ISO 100).

This little thing can shoot 4k video at 100 Mbps in 30p and 24p and it does full HD at 24, 30 and 60 fps with the same quality as the GX7. You can see a sample video produced for Panasonic by Benjamin Todd.

A cinematographer Benjaminn Todd captured the city of Berlin in 4K with the new LUMIX LX100. LUMIX DMC-LX100 SPECIAL GALLERY

The LX100 has a Leica Summilux lens with a field of view equivalent to 24-75mm on full frame cameras and with a variable aperture of f/1.7 to f/2.8. The feat was to keep it very small. We will have to wait to see how good is that lens but it's a very nice focal range.

It has a magnesium alloy body with all the controls a pro photographer wants: aperture dial on the lens, shutter speed dial on top of the camera, exposure compensation dial, AF/MF switch, AE/AF Lock and a lot of customizable buttons. I did not try it so I can't talk about the ergonomics but there is a small grip and a thumb rest. It weights under 1 pound (393g) and use the same battery as the GX7 (BLG10). They also have the same viewfinder. There is a hot shoe and the flash sync speed is 1/2000s thanks to the leaf shutter.

As for the other specs: It can shoot at 1/4000s with the mechanical shutter and up to 1/16000s with the electronic shutter. It has a completely silent mode, WiFi with NFC, the new DFD technology for faster AF, 11 frames per second burst speed, Power O.I.S. (stabilization) and in-camera RAW processing. Most of this is possible because they used the same Venus processor found in the Lumix GH4.

You can find a preview of the LX100 from B&H Photo and Panasonic USA here:

Since it can't have everything, it doesn't have a microphone or headphone port. It does have a micro HDMI port though. It is not weather-sealed either but that would have been a big surprise. Some says the BLG10 battery doesn't last long (around 350 photos) but it is very small and unfortunately, physics still has something to say about that.

The list price for this camera is 899$US and it comes with a small external flash. There is an optional automatic lens cap that seems a nice addition (like the one on the Panasonic 12-32 lens). It should be available in November, just in time for Christmas. 

At a glance

  • Multi-aspect 4/3 sensor
  • Leica Summilux 24-75mm equivalent f/1.7-2.8
  • 1/16000s shutter speed
  • Very Fast AF with DFD
  • 4k video in 24p and 30p
  • Full HD video in 24p, 30p and 60p
  • Focus Peaking
  • 11 fps, 6.5fps in continuous AF
  • Manual controls rings and dials
  • 2,764k-Dot EVF
  • 3.0" 921k-Dot Rear LCD Screen (not tiltable)
  • WiFi with NFC
  • Leaf shutter
  • Hotshoe with 1/2000s sync speed
  • No mic or headphones connectors

You can pre-order the LX100 here.

Here is Panasonic Intro video for the Lumix LX100.

Edited on 2014/09/17: There is a leaf shutter that allows flash sync speed up to 1/2000s.