Around the World in 4K – Panasonic LX100

Here's another set of video clips uploaded in 4K resolution. Still the same setup with the cheap ND filter, but this time I changed the Shadow/Highlight curve to Shadows +2 and Highlights -5. In this setting I was able to retain more information in the sky and capture some clouds while grabbing much of the information in the shaded areas.

Sorry if the 'stylistic' colors don't appeal to you, I threw a generic color grade over everything. Besides having to carry an ND Filter, I never felt like I was missing something or even felt like I needed an additional lens. With the F/1.7 lens I was able to capture footage at night or indoors, but can only imagine how much more I can do if I carried a small LED light. The zoom is decent for a pocketable camera, but if your final video output is 1080p, you can always crop a bit further into the 4K video.

As small as it is, a fully charged battery will run you several hours. A 64GB SDXC card can capture about 1.5 hours of 4K Video. The image stabilization worked very well hand held, but of course will be more stable if you had some type of pistol grip or small monopod. It's extremely discreet so nobody really cared what I was doing. I have only used the camera for a few days, but of all the compact cameras I have used, this is by far the best 'travel compact camera' for both photos and videos I have ever used.

I'm definitely going to sell all of my Sony RX100 cameras (I have three). There's just no way I could go back to the RX100 after using this camera. The photos may not be as good as what comes from my Fuji X100s, but it's good enough that I am considering selling that off as well. I highly recommend this camera for anyone looking to get a sweet all-in-one travel compact system.

find-price-button Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 - via Adorama

find-price-button Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 - via B&HPhoto

find-price-button Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 - via Amazon

15 thoughts on “Around the World in 4K – Panasonic LX100

  1. Fellton

    Recently, for my gh4, i spent 1000$+ for the 12-35 which is less good optically and only f2.8.
    Gh4 + 12-35mm +20mm = 3000$
    Lx100 = 900$

    I'm just bummed.

  2. Emm

    Post author

    @Carson WA - I didn't look for an official one, instead I used an iPhone screen protector and just it to size. You can make a template with paper first and then cut it.

  3. Carson WA

    @Emm - Any thoughts on an LCD screen protector for the lx100? if I'm going to take it everywhere maybe a protective glass would be a good idea?

  4. Emm

    Post author

    @Dave - I don't know about that. I think I was just zooming all the way in and hand holding it. I should have brought a monopod.

  5. Dave

    The shots seem to suffer from the OIS stabilization micro-shakes that plague the Panasonic 35-100mm lens. That's a deal killer for me, as it can't be fixed in post (nor should it be necessary to do it in the first place).

  6. Hi Emm, thanks for the footage. I got an Lx100 last week and I have been testing it. Great little camera. I only have one small concern and I was wondering if anybody who owns an Lx100 could confirm it. Does your lens make a constant faint rattling sound even when it is inactive (i.e. image stabilization off). It really is very faint and you will probably not notice it until you put your ear close to the camera body in a quiet place (or when you look through the viewfinder for that matter). Thanks.

  7. Tom

    @Emm, excellent summary. One has to be realistic about what you get for $899. It may be pricey for people thinking of it like a regular compact, but it is really a steal when you consider 4K (which also can be downconverted to fantastic 1080p), and the fact that it has a really nice and fast lens built in.

  8. Emm

    Post author

    @Johnny - Ha, well it's a compact camera of course not really targeted for pro video. it lacks many of the video features found in the GH4 and less bit rate.

    As far as the blown highlights, yes there are some, but that could be my style of shooting (to the right), the color grade preset, and also compression from YouTube. Also the entire time i'm using a cheap ND filter which picked up a crap load of glare. This causes haze and low contrast, so I need to figure out a better solution with a lens hood. What you see is not as bad as you may think.

    Consider this a travel compact camera that has a crap load of features. If you look at what Panasonic has achieved, it's really an amazing system for the price.

    The auto focus is fast, very very fast. You get 4K Video right to the SDXC Card and not too shabby for $899. Let's not forget the 10.9-34 mm (35 mm equivalent: 24-75 mm) + f/1.7 (W) - 2.8 (T) Lens. BTW that lens is crazy sharp even when wide open!

    I wished they offered a lens like this for the GH4! The best I can get is a 12-35mm F/2.8 which alone already costs $1,000 dollars, and when you add in a $1600 GH4 body, you're spending $2600 dollars. If you want better DR and the best low light camera, well it would cost you $4,000 to get 4K from a Sony A7s (and that's without a lens).

    When you compare it to cameras that are three times the price, then you see it's downfalls. When you compare it to every other compact camera with the same price, then you'll see all of it's strengths and how no other little compact camera system even comes close.

  9. Emm

    Post author

    @Torkura - The OMD EM5 is an awesome camera and you have a great set of lenses. The only reason you would consider the LX100 is for the 4K video, and I don't know how important that is.

  10. Emm

    Post author

    @Joseph - My ISO was all over the place. I'm not sure what type of low light test you're looking for, but the camera has an F/1.7 lens which allows for lots of light and decent up to 1600 ISO when shooting in 4K and especially when down converting to 1080p. In my last two videos there were shots that were indoors in a theater, also many at night in a carnival setting. It looked like a lot of light, but it was fairly dark.

    It's not going to compete against the Sony A7s in low light, but here's a few clips with HIGH ISO 800, 1600, 3200, 6400 settings. (keep in mind you can use 1/3 iso stops in between).

    First video is 4K resolution uploaded.

    Now they say when you down convert 4K to 1080p it will mask most of that noise. Here's the same 4K video clips dropped into a 1080p timeline from FCPX.

  11. Joseph

    Emm - 1st, TY for a great video test on this camera. I watched this clip in 1080 and the sharpness is GREAT, exactly like looking at GH4 footage.

    What I was concerned was the very deep DOF, giving the footage a "news videocamera" look, BUT, the colors and exposures were generally right on, save for some white blowouts, which, I have seen the GH4 do as well.

    What was your ISO on this shoot?

    Now... How about a really good LOW LIGHT test?

    You have me thinking about this camera for a low budget shoot!

  12. Torkura

    I have an omd em5 with the 12-40mm, Voight 17.5, tele, and ultra wide (7.5 roki) . Should I seriously consider selling everything for this?

  13. Tom

    Emm - I saw in your comment on the other LX100 article you were thinking about trying to make a gimbal for it. After seeing handheld (one handed operation) gimbals for gopro, and now cellphones, Even though I see some people trying (I know some company called "Gazer" is working on one called the MD-1.), I'm stunned small dslr gimbals haven't been made already that are similar to the stuff for gopro.

    I've never built one, but I assume the noticeable weight difference means a much stronger motor needed? I'm guessing there are 1000 problems I'm not taking into consideration.

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