Amateur Photographer - - Testbench -

TEST­ING the Lu­mix LX100 II left me with some­what mixed feel­ings. On the one hand, it re­minded me of just how great the LX100 de­sign is; the chunky body feels re­ally good in your hand, and the ana­log di­als en­cour­age you to take more cre­ative con­trol over your pho­tog­ra­phy. This is aided by the fast zoom lens, which pro­vides greater scope for se­lec­tive fo­cus and back­ground blur than those on its main ri­vals, the Sony RX100 V and Canon G1 X Mark III. In com­bi­na­tion with the ef­fec­tive image sta­bil­i­sa­tion, it also al­lows hand­held shoot­ing in very low light. The unique multi-as­pect-ra­tio sen­sor adds fur­ther to the ap­peal.

How­ever, I was also per­pet­u­ally re­minded of the de­sign’s fail­ings. As a ha­bit­ual viewfinder user, I find the field-se­quen­tial EVF rather less pleas­ant to use than those on its di­rect com­peti­tors, and the view be­comes de­cid­edly small when shoot­ing 4:3 ra­tio im­ages. Just as im­por­tantly, when­ever a low- or high-an­gle shoot­ing op­por­tu­nity pre­sented it­self, the fixed screen hin­dered my ef­forts to take ad­van­tage. It’s re­ally dis­ap­point­ing not to have an ar­tic­u­lated screen on a cam­era this large.

On a more pos­i­tive note, the var­i­ous up­dates cer­tainly add to a bet­ter shoot­ing ex­pe­ri­ence com­pared to the orig­i­nal LX100. The ex­tra res­o­lu­tion is very wel­come, while the touchscreen and ex­tra cus­tomi­sa­tion op­tions im­prove the us­abil­ity no end. Fi­nally, the ad­di­tion of Blue­tooth brings con­nec­tiv­ity right up to date. So while there’s not nec­es­sar­ily one killer fea­ture to jus­tify the sub­stan­tial pre­mium that the II com­mands over the orig­i­nal, the cu­mu­la­tive up­dates mean that it makes a de­cent case for it­self.

As a re­sult, the LX100 II should still ap­peal strongly to en­thu­si­ast pho­tog­ra­phers look­ing for a small cam­era that isn’t merely a point and shoot. It’s just a shame Pana­sonic didn’t try that lit­tle bit harder to make it the stand­out leader in its class.

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