Man, I'm wondering if you guys got some sort of pre-production sample or something. I have an RX100, which I though set the standard for compact zoom AF at the time. And now I have a G7X which is a bit faster than the RX100 if anything. Most folks I've read who've shot with both the G7X and RX100 III find them very similar in terms of AF speed and accuracy. You folks and the Camera Store guys seem to be the exceptions. Cameralabs found AF a clear win for the G7X over the RX100 III. I find the AF on the G7X more than good enough and would never consider it a factor in deciding on this vs any of the RX100 models.
beckmarc: I have been a canon shooter for a number of years and they make great cameras but they have lagged behind in dynamic range in the last few years. Any news on the dynamic range of G7X?
Assuming this is using the same Sony sensor as the RX100 cameras, which DPR and others seem to be assuming, it'll be very good. Extremely good for the size of the sensor, somewhere in the 12.5 ev neighborhood, which is on par for m43 sensors and some APS. Only the low light capability is notably low and only in comparison to the best of todays larger sensors - it's really pretty amazing for it's size. The only question with this camera is gonna be the quality of the lens...
Ray Sachs: Looks excellent. Best compact I've seen in a long time. The RX100 was just as groundbreaking but I hated it after I used it. I loved the LX5 and LX7 and, seeing the controls on this, will love shooting with it too.
One question - a pet peeve of mine:
Does the auto-ISO make ANY sort of provision for minimum shutter speed? These sensors are good enough that it ought to, but so far Nikon, Samsung, and Fuji seem to be the only companies that have figured this out...
Yeah, just totally unengaging. Too small for my taste, lacks some controls I want, makes others too much of a pain to get to, just never got intuitive with it or enjoyed it. My wife loves it though - she never uses anything other than the zoom rocker and the shutter button with the camera on auto. I like to take control over the camera and just didn't enjoy doing that on this camera at all. Same reaction to the S90 a few years ago - went with LX5 instead for the same reasons. It's not just size, though - I have a Nikon A and have had a Ricoh GRD3, which are both very small and both awesome handling cameras - both fixed focal length too...
Baba Ganoush: The naming of this camera is bizarre from a marketing POV. Every time I see DMC-LX100, I think of DSC-RX100. What was Panasonic thinking to give their product a copycat name that's so similar to the name of an already existing Sony camera they will be competing against?
What was Sony thinking naming the RX100 when Fuji already had an X100. What was Fuji thinking with the X100 name when Leica already had an X1 very similar to the X100? Everyone has a camera with an X and a 1 in the name. Why does Canon come out with a G1X when Panasonic already had a GX1 and now they come out with a G7X when Panasonic has a GX7? Don't think about this stuff - it'll just hurt your head...
jkoch2: The LX7 has time lapse, built-in ND filter, 120fps 720p video, and currently sells for $260 at Amazon. The sensor is only 1/1.7, but the lens is a fast f/1.4 at wide and f/2.8 at long. It fits in a large pants pocket or any coat pocket.
Is it really worth another $600 to get a m4/3 sensor and 4k? Hard to think up a good lie that will persuade SWMBO.
That mechanical lens cover looks a bit vulnerable in the open mode, as if it could be circumcised accidentally.
Yes, absolutely. The difference between a 1/1.7" and 4/3 sensor is HUGE. Barely useable ISO 800 vs better than barely usable 6400. The video isn't a huge deal to me, but the EVF, the controls, the new Pany AF technology, yeah, way WAY worth it.
Looks excellent. Best compact I've seen in a long time. The RX100 was just as groundbreaking but I hated it after I used it. I loved the LX5 and LX7 and, seeing the controls on this, will love shooting with it too.
I was in that same freshman high school photo class that Joel was in roughly 40 years ago now. I guess we learned in the same darkroom. To say he took it a LOT farther than I did would be the understatement of the millenium!
I've seen a lot of his earlier work, from before we had all of the digital tools he uses so effectively. You can like his current approach or not, but he's an incredible photographer with a great eye going way back. Check out his book on the Navajo people - you can still probably find it used on Amazon. The guy's an artist and as with all art, anyone can criticize it for whatever reasons. But some of the dismissive comments here are a joke.
I think anyone of us here would love to have 1% of the body of work Joel has put together over the past 30+ years.
Jorgen K H Knudsen: I certainly miss Panasonic GH3 as option
Wasn't the GH3 available in 2012?
MGJA: This is silver, but Canon 70D is gold. Heh.
Really, I am ever more convinced that dpr just hands those out in order to maximize page reloads as irate fangurls battle it out in the comments. Fine, whatever puts food on their tables is a-ok with me.
I liked the GX7 a LOT, despite mostly being an Oly user since I got into m43 a few years ago (I really liked the GF1, didn't much like the GH2 or G3, and haven't spent much time with a Pany since until the GX7). But the stabilized viewfinder is a pretty big deal with longer lenses. When I first used the EM5 with the 100-300, this was a revelation. The whole view calms down and lets you much more easily pick out a focus point and lock focus on it. Before this, working at extremely long focal lengths was often more bother than it was worth unless you were using a tripod and a relatively stationary subject. I never got how great BIF shooters did what they did. The EM5, EP5, and EM1 all have this feature and it's an awesome feature. And when I had a GX7 for a month, the lack of EVF stabilization was the one negative I immediately noticed and was bothered by. This is a pretty big deal with long lenses...
Any idea how auto-ISO works? Can you set a minimum shutter speed in aperture priority mode? If so, how high can you set it? Does exposure comp work with auto-ISO in manual mode?
Auto-ISO implementation has become one of the key things I look for with sensors getting better and better and it becoming a more and more useful tool, but it's often a tough thing to really get a handle on without using the camera yourself.
"Auto ISO is available when using manual exposure, but disappointingly it doesn't respect the exposure compensation setting in this mode, which reduces its usefulness...........(Pentax Ricoh is the only company to explicitly offer such a Shutter + Aperture priority mode)"
This may be strictly true but the reality is that other manufacturers offer the same functionality in manual mode - they don't give it a separate mode with its own place on the mode dial, but you can do the very same thing. I have an RX1 and a Nikon Coolpix A that both have that functionality incorporated into the M mode (the Nikon has the most overall useful auto-ISO setup I've ever used).
But the basic point is right that Fuji falls down (hard!) by omitting this function. And a top minimum shutter speed of 1/125 is better than not being able to set it, but just barely. Ricoh's 1/250 and Nikon's 1/1000 are both far more useful...
Wow. I just saw this announcement. Live and let live, for sure, as long as its not hurting anyone else. But I gotta admit an inability to get why anyone would spend $1300 for this when the EXACT same camera is $300 in an LX7. But, its their money - mine sure wouldn't go in that direction.
Cailean Gallimore: I'll buy the Ricoh, but the Nikon doesn't seem to have any special appeal... It's a decent camera, but nothing special. The Ricoh is driven by incredibly photographer friendly software, and in that lies it's special appeal.
Marike6 - I'm also a long time Ricoh user who's had a chance to shoot pretty extensively with both of these. And I personally find plenty to like about the Nikon, some things more than the Ricoh. I, too, really like the focus ring, I like the auto-ISO implementation better, and blasphemous as it might be, I even prefer the less complex but still flexible interface. But I really don't know where you get "far better high ISO ability"? DXO shows a marginal difference of about a third of a stop IIRC, and I could never see a difference in actual low light shooting. They're both excellent, and as equally so as my eye could determine. Measurably better, maybe. But far better? I don't think so.
winkalman: Does this have snap focus like the previous GRs? Being able to set a fixed focus distance could make this a street shooter's dream!
sadwitch: Really hope DPreview will have sigma DP merrills images to compare.
Comparing something like this or the Coolpix A with the DP Merrill is the clearest case of apples and oranges I can imagine given the similar focal length. The Sigma will have the best image quality of the class and it won't even be close. But that's only for shooting in good light at base ISO when you're in absolutely NO hurry to get the shot. The Ricoh and Nikon will not have nearly as good IQ at base ISO, but they can both shoot quickly and do back to back to back shots and can also shoot very effectively at high ISO. They're just for totally different kinds of photography and have very clear tradeoffs. If you're a daytime landscape shooter or architectural shooter, you'd almost certainly want the Merrill. If you're a street shooter or someone who really enjoys low light photography (without using a tripod), you'd probably steer completely clear of the Merrill and go with the Ricoh or Nikon.
The Merrill is a different category of camera...
Ray Sachs: So, Richard, the question everyone is dying to know the answer to - or at least half a dozen of us: how do you change snap focus distance? Is it the quick and easy way like the GRD3 and GXR where you hold down one button and turn the front dial? Or is it the horrible way they switched to with the GRD4 where you have to change it in the menus? This is actually pretty critical for those of us who use snap focus a lot. The GRD4 was a total fail in this regard while the previous models were great.
I suppose making the snap distance one of the adjustments accessible via the "ADJ" rocker switch would be better than nothing. I still don't know why they changed from the GRD3 and GXR method, which couldn't have been quicker or easier.
The question isn't how to GET TO snap focus, but how to change the snap distance. On the GRD3 and GXR, you held down one rear button and turned the front dial and it would scroll through the snap distances. On the GRD4, you actually had to go into the menus to change the snap distance. The only workaround was using the "MY" custom settings on the mode dial for different distances. HUGE difference if you use snap focus a lot. I use it almost exclusively, just occasionally using auto-focus...
tkbslc: I wonder if this wouldn't have been better as a GXR module. The body is nearly the same.
Its actually a lot smaller than the GXR-28.
So, Richard, the question everyone is dying to know the answer to - or at least half a dozen of us: how do you change snap focus distance? Is it the quick and easy way like the GRD3 and GXR where you hold down one button and turn the front dial? Or is it the horrible way they switched to with the GRD4 where you have to change it in the menus? This is actually pretty critical for those of us who use snap focus a lot. The GRD4 was a total fail in this regard while the previous models were great.
marike6: Same exact size as the RX100, but should have significantly better IQ/high ISO ability and $1100 USD sounds expensive, but it's really only $450 more expensive than the Sony, and well over half the price of the RX1.
28mm is the classical street photography focal length, IMHO. Think Ricoh GRD. There's a reason Ricoh chose 28mm for the legendary GRD, the prototypical street shooter. Many say 35mm is, but shooting in close quarters, Manhattan, Paris or Athens for example, you quickly realize that 35mm and 50mm are not nearly wide enough, especially in the small streets of Europe.
Should be of interest to landscape and architectural photographers because of the high IQ, and lack of AA filter. f2 like the X100 would have been better, but f2.8 on a wide is in no way a deal breaker for me. This camera is significantly smaller than the X100 and smaller than the DP2 Merrill as well.
It's not perfect, but has the potential to be great, and with the VF it sure it pretty.
You mean well UNDER half the price of the RX1?
I agree with you on this camera, BTW. F 2.0 would have been nice, but not with the likely size tradeoff. And if the sensor will handle ISO 6400 and beyond, it'll still do fine in low light...
Looks like better image quality than the Ricoh GXR-28mm module in a package as small as the GRD. And yeah, 28mm is perfect for some of us - 35 is a compromise I can live with but 28 is my sweet spot...