Panasonic has announced the DC-LX100M2, an update to its popular premium compact camera offering improvements in several key areas.

Panasonic’s new DC-LX100M2 premium compact camera, shown with the bundled flash attached. (Source: Panasonic.)

While retaining a similar body size, weight and design to the original LX100, the new camera features a new, 17.3 x 13.0 mm (M4/3) image sensor with 21.7 million photosites that delivers an effective resolution of 17 megapixels and no low pass filter. The sensor support multiple aspect ratios, achieved through cropping and selected via a dedicated switch on the lens barrel. The Leica DC Vario-Summilux lens is unchanged and covers the equivalent of 24-75mm in 35mm format with maximum apertures of f/1.7-f/2.8. Macro shooting is possible to within 3 cm of subjects at 24mm or 30 cm at 75mm. Depth-from-defocus technology ensures fast autofocusing and similar bokeh characteristics to the earlier camera. The sensor supports the same ISO range of 200-25600 as the previous model with an extension to ISO 100 available. Panasonic’s latest Venus Engine image processor promises improved JPEG image quality as well as continuous shooting up to 11 frames/second (fps), with 5.5 fps maximum when continuous AF is engaged. The buffer capacity for raw files has increased from around 20 frames to 33 frames in the new camera.

New features introduced in the LX100M2 include a large 0.38inch EVF with 2,760,000 dots and a magnification of 0.7x. The 3-inch rear monitor has a resolution of 1,240,000 dots and includes touch controls covering focusing, shutter activation and playback functions. It operates in a similar way to smartphone touch screens. The touch menu enables users to assign functions to five on-screen buttons, while the camera body include five programmable function buttons, bringing the total to 10 customisable controls. The LX100M2 adds two new monochrome modes – L. Monochrome and L. Monochrome D – to its Photo Style menu to take B&W shooting to a higher level. These modes can be combined with Grain Effect at Low, Standard or High level for additional textural control. Panasonic’s 4K Photo modes are also available, along with the ability to record 4K video clips at 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution with 25 fps frame rate at 100Mbps. Up to 70 minutes of continuous recording is available.

The bundled flash has a GN of 10 at the base ISO 200 setting and includes first- and second-curtain synchronisation.  Low energy Bluetooth 4.2 combine with Wi-Fi to provide comprehensive remote control for the camera. The battery can be recharged by either AC or USB. It is CIPA-rated for approximately 340 frames when the monitor is used for shot composition or 270 frames with the EVF. The LX100M2 measures 115.0 x 66.2 x 64.2 mm and weighs approximately 392 grams with battery and SD card. It is listed on Panasonic’s Australian website at AU$1399 (RRP) and will be available from photographic specialists and consumer electronics retailers from October 2018.