Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX1 Review
Operation and controls
There are many compact cameras that claim to be real photographic tools, but few that offer anything like the level - or speed - of control that serious photographers demand and SLR users take for granted. It's no good having manual exposure if you have to use menus and multiple key presses to change basic settings. This is where the LX1 succeeds in its aim to be a true 'manual' compact camera; the comprehensive feature set is matched by a well thought out control system that puts virtually all the most commonly accessed functions at your fingertips. Of course if you have particularly large hands you may find the diminutive controls a little hard to get used to, but I had no problems at all, and found the ability to quickly experiment with exposures, ISO, white balance and so on positively encouraged more creative photography.
Rear of camera
From the rear the LX1 bears a close resemblance to the 'FX' series of cameras, and has a similar control layout to the later 'FZ' super zoom models. The large 2.5-inch screen dominates the rear plate, meaning the controls are slightly crowded over on the right hand side. That said, it's a tribute to Panasonic's designers that such a small camera maintains such a usable level of control, and the slightly larger size means the LX1 suffers less from the 'accidental button pressing' problem of the FX series.
Top of camera
Display and menus
No significant changes here - the display and menu system is almost identical to the other cameras in Panasonic's lineup, and - unsurprisingly - sits roughly between the FZ and FX series in feature terms. Menus are clean, clear and well-designed, though to be honest you'll not be visiting them that often - most everyday controls can be directly accessed using dedicated buttons on the body.
|The most basic preview screen in record mode is completely free of any overlays or icons. You can also, by pressing the Display button, get a simple grid to aid framing (as shown here)||Of course you can turn on the information if you want by pressing the DISPLAY button. In Auto mode pressing the 'up' key increases exposure to compensate for backlighting.|
|Another press of the display button gives you a live histogram - something still far from standard on this type of camera.||Half-press the shutter release and the camera will calculate exposure (AE) and focus (AF) indicating the AF area used and the aperture/shutter speed chosen. You'll also get a warning if camera shake is a danger. In Program mode you can alter the chosen values using Program shift.|
|The LX1's screen has a 4:3 aspect ratio, so if you change to 3:2 or 16:9 you get a 'letterbox' preview, with black borders top and bottom. The on-screen information stays in place.||Manual focus is surprisingly usable, thanks to the (optional) magnified focus aid and fairly fine control via the joystick.|
|As is now standard on Lumix models, pressing the 'up' arrow (in any mode other than full Auto) cycles through exposure compensation, AE bracketing and white balance fine tuning.||Manual exposure - with both aperture and shutter speed controlled by the joystick. The meter shows how far you are from the 'ideal' exposure, and the on-screen preview brightens or darkens to give you an idea what to expect.|
Lens manufacturer Voigtlander has introduced a 65mm F2 macro lens for Sony E-mount that it says "rates as one of the finest in the history of Voigtländer."
The UK released a preview of their upcoming drone safety regulations, and it looks like drone pilots will have to both register their device and pass safety awareness tests.
National Geographic photographer Bob Holmes talks about light, and why you need to learn how to 'see' and not just 'look' at your subject.
Photographer Alessandro Barteletti shares the story behind his National Geographic Italia cover, shot with a 10-year-old DSLR and an iPhone flashlight.
Fashion catalog photographers in China have some next-level models to work with. In this video, you see one model hitting 30 poses in 15 seconds as the photographer snaps away.
Photographer Paul Adshead breaks down 11 photography-related smartphone apps he couldn't live without—from a pocket light meter to a lighting diagram app.
Fast-growing Chinese flash brand Godox is teasing a brand new flash trigger... for smartphones. The Godox A1 is a 'phone flash system' that can act as both flash and 2.4GHz trigger.
On July 12, Canon opened its newest Technology and Support Center, designed to serve the motion picture industry, in Burbank, CA. DPReview got a sneak peak and takes you behind the scenes.
The Sigma 14mm F1.8 Art is truly one-of-a-kind. It offers the fastest aperture of any lens that shares its focal length, produces beautiful sunstars and is incredibly sharp to boot. If you're in the market for a fast ultrawide prime, this looks to be the one to get.
In this article, expert macro photographer Thomas Shahan shares advice for successful closeup photography of bugs, insects and small animals.
DJI's new firmware makes it difficult to fly in restricted airspace, even when you have proper clearance. Is DJI placing themselves between professionals and the FAA?
Go behind the scenes with National Geographic photographer Renan Ozturk and see what it takes to capture a dangerous, harrowing, stunning Nat Geo photo essay.
Erez Marom tells the story behind this ominous photo of the sand 'reaching up' towards the mountains at Skagsanden beach in Norway. He calls this photo 'Torment.'
DPReview staffer Carey Rose has taken the Panasonic Leica DG 15mm F1.7 along for everything from a city-side boat ride to a bachelor party across the mountains. Find out how the little Leica fared.
Canon just unveiled the largest 12-ink printer on the market. The new imagePROGRAF PRO-6000 printer can make prints from 17 all the way up to 60 inches wide.
"Standing in one of the holiest places on earth, I felt uneasy," writes Wired's Jason Parham. "Most of my fellow visitors, I realized with a brief bloom of nausea, were taking selfies."
Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk has been receiving great reviews, but it's a challenge to see it in its full glory. This handy infographic reveals the aspect ratio chaos that is wrought as the industry retreats from film.
Anti-bullying organization Ditch the Label's Annual Bullying Survey 2017 reveals yet again that Instagram, more so than any other social network, has the worst effect on youth mental health.
It's been a crazy day for innovative patent news. Apparently Sony is thinking of developing a medium format curved sensor camera.
An update to the Silkypix Raw converter fixes some bugs and adds support for several popular new cameras.
This crazy custom-built underwater camera shoots 8x10 large format film. It's supposedly "the first successful underwater 8x10 ever made," and it can be yours for $5,800... plus shipping.
Blackmagic just reveled a new accessory for their Cintel Film Scanner. The Cintel Audio and KeyKode Reader can capture KeyKode data and high-quality audio from film in real-time as it is being scanned.
A new Nikon patent shows a lens designed for a curved full-frame sensor. Could this be the high-end Nikon mirrorless camera people are hoping for?
The ability to shoot images at 1,000 fps first appeared in a Sony smartphone sensor. Now the Japanese manufacturer is using the same feature for industrial applications.
Astronomy expert and photographer Dr. Tyler Nordgren thinks you should "see your first eclipse, photograph your second." But if you do plan on taking photos this August, here are a few tips from someone who's been there.
How confident are you that you can spot a manipulated photo? A recent study at the University of Warwick shows that many people are pretty bad at it.
If you purchased a Leica TL2, do NOT attach Leica's Visoflex electronic viewfinder. Leica is working on a fix, but for now, it's possible the viewfinder will break your camera.
Google just released Motion Stills for Android. Unlike the iOS version, the Android app uses a redesigned video processing pipeline that processes each frame of a video as it is being recorded, creating instant results.
A huge copyright lawsuit between photography firm VHT and Zillow Group is heating up again, as both sides appeal a court ruling that granted VHT $4 million in damages.
European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet spent 6 months on board the International Space Station where he worked with Google capturing spheric panorama images that are now available in Street View.