Features

4K Photo Mode

As well as letting you grab stills from its 4K footage, the LX100 also offeres Panasonic's 4K Photo mode that aims to shoot footage specifically with the aim of recovering still images from it.

4K Photo mode allows you to shoot 4K footage in non-video aspect ratios. It tries to shoot at much faster shutter speeds than you'd tend to use for movie shooting (since the aim is to freeze motion for individual pictures, rather than create blur to smooth the difference between frames). 4K Photo mode will also allow the autofocus to shoot at full speed, rather than slowing it, as it does during movie recording, to create smoother transitions.

We looking at this feature (also offered on the GH4 and FZ1000), in more detail in this separate article. As an example, though, this is a still taken from the standard 4K video (with iDynamic High):

Wi-Fi

The LX100 uses essentially the same WI-Fi system that Panasonic has used on its cameras for a while now. It includes NFC for faster connection to compatible smartphones. As with previous models it offers the option to connect the camera directly to other devices or via an existing Wi-Fi network. It offers a whole host of options, including automatic download of photos back to a computer or transfer to social networks, but getting these working can be difficult, (something we've found with the majority of Wi-Fi enabled cameras).

Panasonic's Image App allows remote control of the camera, as well as image transfer. Sadly the app cannot distribute images to social networks - that relies on your smart device.
The remote control function gives a good degree of control, access to parts of the Q.Menu as well as exposure settings, focus and zoom.

The camera is arguably at its best when connected directly to a smart device so that it can be remotely controlled and its images transferred across. This passes the responsibility for Internet uploading to the smart device, rather than having to establish a connection to Panasonic's Lumix Club, and set up all your onward connections from there.

It's easy enough to create that initial connection, using either NFC, a QR Code that your smart device can scan or by manually typing in the login details of the network created by the camera. With the app installed, it only takes a few minutes to get going and the camera can store presets of previous connections to make re-connecting faster.

Autofocus

The LX100's autofocus is among the fastest of any compact on the market. It uses the 'Depth by Defocus' system that Panasonic first introduced with the DMC-GH4. This uses a profile of the lens' rendering of out-of-focus regions to assess subject distance.

We've had very few mis-focused shots from the LX100 and it remains pretty successful at focusing in low light with the Illuminator turned off, so long as you try to focus on an area with a good amount of contrast.

There's good news about focus tracking, too: in our testing and usage the LX100 seems much more successful at locking onto a subject than the GH4 was. This is a particular benefit for movie shooting, where the camera can be locked-onto a subject with a pretty good degree of confidence that it will then continue to follow that subject. The focus can't always keep up with fast-moving subjects, but does a good job of tracking where they are (in this video, for instance, the camera kept track of where the puck was but the focus only catches up at the end of the clip). The biggest downside is that the camera will tend to flutter its focus occasionally when fixed on a static object, as it re-confirms that it is still in focus.