Panasonic LX100 – our favorite 4K travel camera

The Panasonic Lumix LX100 is a point-and-shoot camera that can record 4K video at 25 and 24 frames per second as well as maximum 60 frames per second in Full HD. The camera is currently priced at $600-$650 and can be bought HERE. The camera has been around for two years so it’s not even a new camera but when testing it I quickly realized that it’s almost up to date with its competitors.

You can watch our 7-minute video review in 4K below:

The footage captured with the LX100 has the same kind of look as GH4 footage which makes the LX100 a good second camera. The bitrate of 100Mbit/s is totally fine considering the camera’s lack of a flat picture profile, meaning that the color correction wouldn’t be too extreme anyway.

We used the LX100 on a couple of commercial productions so far, mainly to capture B-roll. We shot a travel video in Indonesia earlier this year and a tourism promo in Turkey and used the A7S II as our main camera and the LX100 as our B camera. Of course, this small camera will never replace a proper a camera like the Sony A7 or Panasonic GH4 but it’s definitely a good b camera.

You can watch the tourism promo video “Experience Cappadocia” below:

The camera has internal image noise reduction which works well. The low light performance is good as long as you don’t shoot above ISO 1600.

We recently shot a few autumn scenes in Frankfurt’s old town using the LX100. Shot of course in Ultra HD (2160p) with 25 frames per second and cropped to fit a 2.35:1 aspect ratio which equals a resolution of 3840×1632.

Two years ago, continuous auto focus in video mode was not that big of a deal but today a lot of cameras have that feature. While recording video the continuous AF doesn’t perform very well. In fact, it bumps around which rather ruins a shot instead of improving it so I recommend to focus manually when recording video.

A very useful feature is the timelapse mode. The internal timelapse mode works well and the captured sequences can be saved as videos and as singles frames. The only downside is that the timelapse video sequences look more like 1080p footage than 4K even when saving them in UHD resolution (3840×2160). But that’s not necessarily a big deal for us because we prefer editing the raw photo sequences in post anyway.

When filming in Indonesia and Turkey for weeks the camera didn’t fail once, it always worked, even though the temperature was between 0 degrees Celsius and 35 degrees with high humidity. This might look like a weak little piece of gear but it can actually handle most weather conditions very well.

The rolling shutter, the lack of a mic input, zebra and focus peaking, the 15-minute recording limit in 4K, are all good reasons to stay away from this camera but considering the fact that it’s a small point-and-shoot camera these are all acceptable flaws.

You can buy the Panasonic Lumix LX100 at B&H.