November 6, 2014

Panasonic's Pocket-Sized 4K MFT Camera, the LX100, Just Hit Stores

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100
It's like having a GH4 that fits inside your pocket.

Earlier last month, Panasonic introduced two of their new compact 4K cameras, the LX100 and the CM1, and though the CM1 is still testing in Europe, the LX100 is now available and ready to purchase for $899.

Though this camera will probably not be the one you use to shoot your feature film, it's one very exciting little shooter thanks to its incredible image quality. It has a large micro 4/3 sensor, Leica DC Vario-Summilux f/1.7-2.8 Lens (35mm-equivalent focal length range of 24-75mm), and 4K video at 30 and 24 fps -- essentially making it, yes, for all intents and purposes, a pocket-sized GH4. It'd make a great travel camera, especially if you want better image control and image quality than, say, your smartphone can provide, but don't want to carry a heavy and expensive DSLR around your neck all day.

Here are a few videos to get you acquainted with the LX100:

Here's what it's like to get hands on with the LX100 out in the field:

And some test footage:

Technical Specifications

  • 16.8MP 4/3" Multi-Aspect MOS Sensor
  • Leica DC Vario-Summilux 10.9-34 mm (35 mm equivalent: 24-75 mm) f/1.7-2.8 Lens
  • 3840 x 2160: 30 fps, 24 fps
  • 1920 x 1080: 60 fps, 30 fps
  • 1280 x 720: 30 fps
  • 640 x 480: 30 fps
  • 24-75mm (35mm Equivalent)
  • 2,764k-Dot EVF
  • 3.0" 921k-Dot Rear LCD Screen
  • 200-25600 (Extended Mode: 100-25600)
  • Manual Control Rings and Dials
  • Built-in Wi-Fi Connectivity with NFC
  • External Flash Included

The LX100 is now available for $899. To learn more about its features and specs, head on over to Panasonic's website.      

Your Comment

32 Comments

What is a 'large micro 4/3 sensor'? ;)

November 6, 2014 at 4:28PM

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Flávio Sganzerla
Photographer/Filmmaker
92

I chuckled.

November 6, 2014 at 10:18PM

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Terma Louis
Photographer / Cinematographer / Editor
1353

I think they meant large for a point and shoot camera.

November 7, 2014 at 1:00PM

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Kyle Sanders
Editor
293

It's not a new type of sensor or anything like that, it's just the the term large is relative. It's the normal micro 4/3 size. When comparing it to a full frame would dwarf it, but when comparing it to the tiny sensors crammed into most point and shoot cameras, it is very large.

November 8, 2014 at 12:02PM

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Beau Wright
Filmmaker
388

I can't ever see myself with a camera like this. The only time I wouldn't take out a GH4 to shoot would be if I was worried about heavy weather or fear of it breaking/lost (Like at a festival). Thus I would just use my Phone. Basically anytime I would use this, I would just use a GH4/a7s. Wonder how well it will sell.

November 6, 2014 at 4:39PM

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Alex Smith
Documentary/Cinematographer
1401

The LX100 should be a great low cost B-camera. There is nothing else close to the $900 price that can shoot good quality 4K.

Just buying a 12-35mm f/2.8 Panasonic lens by itself costs more than this camera and lens combo.

November 6, 2014 at 5:59PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30587

I'm thinking the same thing. For the cost, this is a great deal. Much smaller and much cheaper B cam but with all the quality of the GH4.

November 6, 2014 at 6:24PM, Edited November 6, 6:24PM

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Chris Uy
151

It might be nice either for UAV/drone work (to save on the costs of needing a heavier-duty copter), as a crash or car camera for tight spaces, or simply as a lower cost B-camera for those on a tight budget.

November 7, 2014 at 12:07AM

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I thought so too, but it does not have live hdmi out. As such the Sony RX100 iii is the better choice.

November 7, 2014 at 11:44AM, Edited November 7, 11:44AM

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Tom Holton
UAS Specialist
267

I can find a lot of uses as this as a B-cam or even my main one if the location and environment calls for something small where I won't have to worry about lenses.

November 7, 2014 at 12:46AM

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Miguel Sotto
Cinematographer
267

This isn't targeted at a GH4 user who spends three times as much, $1700 GH4 + $1000 12-35mm/2.8 = $2700 = 3x $900 LX100. iPhone works in a very controlled environment with no long shots.

November 7, 2014 at 3:42PM

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Charlie K
1382

I agree. This is definitely not the camera for me either. I think where this will do well is more for weddings and video shoots where you want a good, small B cam or for the consumer who wants good quality without the size a DSLR brings or the hassle of changing lenses that a DSLR could mean. However, the Panasonic fZ1000 is almost the same price and I think it would be a better choice for most people considering this camera. I have it and it feels like a GH4 stripped of a lot of codec options and with a really good Built in lens. I've really liked it. So I have found it strange how much hype this camera has gotten over the fz1000. I guess only time will tell how well this camera will do, but from the hype, I think it will sell pretty well.

November 8, 2014 at 12:14PM

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Beau Wright
Filmmaker
388

With a C300/FS7 as primary camera, this would be a good B/C camera for documentaries or weddings etc. As far as I can see, the 4K image quality is stunning. Combined with the fast Leica lens (f/1.7-2.8), manual controls and the small form factor, this camera is pretty good for it's price. It definitely is more low-profile than a C300/FS7, making it ideal for intimate settings.

November 6, 2014 at 5:29PM, Edited November 6, 5:29PM

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Stacey de Graaff
Cinematographer | Editor
21

Can anyone offer insight into how the specs stack up against the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera?

November 6, 2014 at 6:24PM

7
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First off, if you need to monitor your audio and add a mic, forget it. This doesn't have a mic in or headphone jack. It does have HDMI out, but not sure if it's clean or not. Should be. That might allow you to hook up a Ninja to it. I sort of see it as more of a great still camera with some solid video capture, but not a competitor to BMPCC if video is your primary goal.

November 6, 2014 at 11:51PM

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use the camera audio as a scratch track for your HN4 Zoom or whatever audio recording device you will be using.

fiddling with small connectors, will probably result in frustration. it is a good thing, such connections fail on this camera : )

November 7, 2014 at 2:42AM

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I've been using an EOS-M extensively lately, on a road trip through France. It was similar to this camera, but with a much better sensor (for stills, but not 4K video). I'd be very interested in this for a travel camera, as having a viewfinder is really nice. This would be something to use to shoot pro level work that a smart phone camera chokes on. But this Panny doesn't have a mic in port, which really puts a crimp on using an external mic. So there are some tradeoffs with the EOS-M. Also, the M can use any Canon lens with an adapter. But bravo to Panny for putting out a great looking small travel camera.

November 6, 2014 at 11:44PM, Edited November 6, 11:44PM

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What a koinkidink. I think Canon's redheaded stepchild gets no respect. I own lots of cameras of vary sensor sizes, and despite the lack of viewfinder, I find this to be a QUITE capable little camera. I just dusted mine off today (actually have two, one converted to full spectrum) and it appears to be THE smallest APS-C ILC camera on the market. (Please feel free to correct me, if I'm wrong. I know it's smaller than the Sony A6000. Not sure about the A5100 though.) That said, surely, someone can produce a similar form factor/size with 4K (even if it requires an EVF!).

November 13, 2014 at 7:34PM

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I just got mine today. Haven't had a chance to try it out much yet, but from the few shots i took i can say the image quality is quite stunning. Nice detail, colors are better than i expected, so is low light and IS. Sure, no mic jack or tilt screen, and handling is a bit fiddly (it feels like it would be better with a small cage), but for the price, it's definitely one of the better deals nowadays. I almost bought the 12-35mm 2.8 instead of this (to go with my GH2 and G6, but I'm glad I bought the LX 100 instead. It's quite a leap in image quality. It will be Very nice for commercial work and weddings, and I'm sure you can get a more filmic look out of it as well, as the 4k files should grade relatively well in post.

November 7, 2014 at 12:25AM, Edited November 7, 12:25AM

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Benjamin Chan
Filmmaker / Video Productions
222

hey man i heard it only shoots 4K Video for like 15 minutes , that wouldn't be good for weddings , hows the codec on it also?

November 9, 2014 at 1:51AM

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sonu2c
96

Yes, 15min rec limit so you have to press record again. But for me, it's rare that I have shots that pass the 15min mark. Might or might not be an issue for some during the wedding ceremony or certain interviews; it is not an issue for me, as I use it on top of my main camera, to cover wide angle simultaneously to my CU shot (plus you can crop the 4K image so it can also provide an additional MED shot option). Have to do more testing to better judge the codec, but i don't do heavy grading and i find (from my limited time with the camera) that detail, colors and noise are very good for my expectations and needs.

November 9, 2014 at 11:19AM

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Benjamin Chan
Filmmaker / Video Productions
222

thanks bud i just wanted to use it on drones and leave it running as a 3rd camera on weddings , but i guess I'll just get the GpPro4

November 9, 2014 at 12:44PM

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sonu2c
96

Get it....just for fun.

November 7, 2014 at 1:06AM, Edited November 7, 1:06AM

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Jonathon Sendall
Stories
1851

Why are we calling this camera "MFT" if it doesn't have a lens mount?

November 7, 2014 at 11:09AM

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David James
hobbyist inventor
82

Bro, micro 4/3 is th sensor size, not just the lens mount type.

November 7, 2014 at 1:03PM

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Kyle Sanders
Editor
293

I believe that four thirds is the sensor size, not micro four thirds. MFT is a spec for a system that includes a lens mount with a shortened flange distance which is made possible by the mirrorless design.

Are there ANY m4/3 cameras without interchangable lenses?

November 9, 2014 at 1:47AM

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David James
hobbyist inventor
82

MFT is refering to the sensor size.

November 7, 2014 at 2:15PM

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Justin Miller
Director/DP/Editor
336

It is really not a micro four thirds camera and we shouldn't be calling it by that name. It uses a four thirds inch sized sensor but it is not even a four thirds system camera. After years of being told that my GH2 was an "evil" (electronic viewfinder interchangable lens) camera and hearing "you know that's not really an SLR..." by Canon shooters I feel a bit justified in defending MFT's good name.

This camera can not use any MFT lenses or adapters and there is just nothing MFT about it. Since Panny is not likely to list the fact that the lens is non-removable in big letters anywhere, I'd rather not confuse people by implying that it is.

Panny will never call this camera MFT or m43 as that would be unbelievably deceptive (and wrong) and we shouldn't either.

November 22, 2014 at 9:14AM

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David James
hobbyist inventor
82

With the *exception* of the 4k video and obvious lens situation… what is the difference between this and the GX1? I have a GX1 and GH4, but 99% of what clients get/need is not 4k. Yes, I know there's tons of cool things about 4K (thus the GH4). But for a second cam where I don't need 4K (and I have a bunch of MFT glass)… what are compelling reasons to get this new animal? Frame rates? Codec? Color science?

November 11, 2014 at 6:05PM

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Erik Stenbakken
Videographer & Photographer
397

I just got back from a week-long trip to Iceland where I used my LX100 for about 90% of my photo/video shooting. The camera is quite nice. Here's are the results: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkvoptWnkxQ&spfreload=10

November 12, 2014 at 3:27PM

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Erik Hecht
Director of Photography
96

Awesome work! I'm going to be visiting Iceland for my first time in exactly 4 weeks and I was thinking about picking this camera up for the trip. What you using a slider for some of the shots?

November 12, 2014 at 4:47PM

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Jeremy Pommier
Writer/Director/Editor/Photographer
164

Thanks for the compliment! It was all shot handheld, but most of it was run through some warp stabilization in Premiere. Enjoy Iceland! It's beautiful.

November 13, 2014 at 1:18AM

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Erik Hecht
Director of Photography
96