After years of waiting, the LX100 has finally been updated and gets the moniker of LX100 II. On the face of it, this is a yawn upgrade. But a closer look shows that Panasonic has built on success. The fast Leica zoom lens is unchanged — and that’s a good thing because it is one of the best lenses on any compact camera.
Appearance is almost identical, but the internals have been brought up to date with a sensor taken from the new GX9 and improved processing, including newly tweaked jpeg output. However, as with the first LX100, the sensor is cropped by about 10 per cent, resulting in a usable area of 17MP and a crop factor of 2.2 compared with the usual micro four-thirds 2. In reality, the sensor crop performs a very useful purpose in permitting the aspect ratio to be changed on the fly — the lens incorporates a physical control for set the ratio. It’s one of the features people love on the LX100.
An improved screen, with Panasonic’s excellent touch system, an updated viewfinder and easier manual operation are among the new features.
This is an initial heads up on the new LX100 II and I will be writing more. In the meantime, I recommend this overview on DPReview which tells you all you need to know about the camera.
Leica fans will be waiting to see if the D-Lux (which is based on the original LX100) will be updated soon. I imagine it will be and, with luck, we could see an announcement during Photokina next month. That’s just speculation because I have no information to support it.
Interestingly, Panasonic is now talking about the sensor in the LX100 M2 as being “micro four-thirds” rather than four-thirds. In the past, Leica has been at great pains to point out that the D-Lux is four-thirds, not micro four-thirds.