I'm just starting to catch up on recent product introductions. (My life hasn't settled down at all—my days still range from full to insanely busy, and I'm not entirely managing to keep that "overwhelmed" feeling at bay all the time.) I'm just now catching up to this.
Three things make the new Panasonic LX100 grab me:
- My style of photography—I'm a generalist, walk-around-and-take-notes kind of photographer; small, easy-to-carry but capable cameras naturally appeal.
- The current Renaissance of cameras designed and well-suited to this style of photography—truly an embarrassment of riches and a cornucopia of choice. If you like really cool, really beautiful small cameras, this is one heck of a fantastic time to be an enthusiast. My problem in the last couple of years has not so much been "which one is good enough" as it is "I'll take 'em all!"
- A touch of Panasonic fanboyism—only because I've owned three of Panasonic's small cameras in recent years (GF1, GX1 and GX7) and have liked and approved of each of them, although only the 2009 GF1 was my main go-to camera while I owned it.
The new LX100 seems to get everything right on paper. A very useful focal length range, a new-to-the-LX-lineage 4/3-size sensor (used in slightly cropped mode to allow a choice of aspect ratios), great lens speed, what looks to be a well-balanced size and shape, and control configurations that look like they'd be satisfying to manipulate.
Really, the one problem this camera will have is the same problem the new Nikon D750 will have...which is that the customer base is probably limited only to people who are ready to make an upgrade. In the LX100's case it's because most people will already be set with a Sony, a Fuji, an Olympus, or another Panasonic mirrorless camera they already own and like. As, I have to admit, I am.
As with a number of the current crop of small mirrorless cameras, though, this certainly looks like one I could not only live with, but live with very happily—seems like it might push all my buttons just right. Another strong contenter in a very strong field. I'll be looking forward to learning more about this one.
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Featured Comments from:
Fer (partial comment): "This camera needs to be carried in a bag, so it's not what I was expecting from an LX camera."
Paulo Bizarro (partial comment): "It's funny, when Canon (the company that is supposed to be boring and not innovative) introduced the G1X two years ago (the really first fixed zoom large sensor compact camera), it was bashed from head to toe...."
Mike replies: Just speculating, but I would guess that that's because what the Canon faithful wanted and were waiting for was an interchangeable-lens mirrorless camera system and the G1X disappointed that expectation...and then when the M arrived six months later it was too underwhelming compared to the competition. It's not the camera in isolation that pertains, it's the camera relative to both the product line and to fans' expectations.