Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2 Review
It would be a brave manufacturer these days that produced even a budget model without a basic movie mode, and movie capability is becoming an ever more important part of the buying decision with this type of camera. As is now the norm the LX2 offers VGA (640 x 480 pixel) movies at 30fps, and if you switch to 16:9 mode you get the option to shoot unique 848 x 480 pixel widescreen movies (perfect for filling your plasma screen!), again at 10 or 30 fps. If you really want to go big you can shoot 'HD resolution' 1280x720 pixel movies, but as these are restricted to 15 frames per second they look jerky.
Overall quality is okay, though not fantastic (there are visible compression artifacts), and is helped a great deal by the steadying effect of the MEGA optical image stabilization. The M-JPEG files (Quicktime .MOV format) aren't immense - about 1.3 MB/sec for VGA and 1.6 MB/sec for widescreen (at 30fps), but you'll still need a big, fast card if you want to shoot extended movie sequences.
You cannot use the optical or digital zoom during filming.
|On-screen information when recording movies is fairly basic - elapsed time and low battery warning. You can use AE compensation and white balance tuning (before you start shooting), but as mentioned above you can't zoom.|
|Pressing the menu button in movie mode brings up a cut-down version of the stills record menu, with the usual options for metering, focus, picture adjustments and movie size / frame rate. There are two or three options (frame rate, size) per aspect ratio.|
|In playback mode a thumbnail of the first frame of the movie appears when scrolling through saved images. Press the down arrow to play movies.|
|When viewing movies a set of controls appears in the bottom left corner of the frame allowing you to play, fast-forward and rewind and pause the movie.|
848x480 pixels @ 30fps
Shot at wide angle (28mm equiv.)
Click on the thumbnail to view the movie (caution: large file!)
The MEGA O.I.S image stabilization system used on the LX2 (and all other Panasonic models) works, and within reason it works well (I think the smaller body means it's less effective than the FZ models simply because there's more shake to deal with). There are two modes: Mode 1 (IS on all the time) and Mode 2 (IS is activated at the moment the exposure is made). Mode 1 makes framing easier - the IS system steadies the preview image, but is less than 100% effective when it comes to actually taking the pictures. Mode 2, which minimizes the amount of movement needed by waiting until the actual moment you press the shutter is supposed to be more effective.
In our extensive testing of the LX2 we found that - like the LX2- the difference between the two modes is less pronounced and less predictable.
Overall Mode 2 is still the most effective, allowing handheld shots at the wide end of the zoom down to around 1/15th of a second (if you're fairly steady-handed). But there were times when Mode 1 seemed to work better (specifically with extreme shake; long exposures or when using 112mm the long end of the zoom). In either case the IS has demonstrable benefits even in such a small camera and even at the wide end of the zoom, but there are limits to what it can do. Our advice when the shutter speeds falls below about 1/15 sec would be to take a few shots - at least one of them will be sharp enough to be a 'keeper'.
|IS off||IS mode 1||IS mode 2|
|1/15 sec, 136mm equiv.|
|IS off||IS mode 1||IS mode 2|
|1/20 sec, 136mm equiv.|
|Sophisticated construction by the nature by Orchideon|
|After the Rain by Flor Tempra|
from Macro - Something Pink
|Asilah by Limburg|
from Cozy Corners
Via its strategic partnership with Huawei Leica is already involved in the development of smartphone cameras but chairman Andreas Kaufmann can imagine the German manufacturer taking things one step further.
In a blog post the imaging engineers behind the dual-camera in Andy Rubin's Essential Phone explain how the imaging components were developed and calibrated for best performance.
Tamron calls it an 'ultra-telephoto,' and for good reason: this lens offers a massive 27-600mm equivalent zoom range. But is it sharp?
It started with a great idea and a slick promotional video, and ended with the company headquarters being raided by the San Francisco District Attorney’s office. Wired reports on Lily, the selfie-drone maker that never got off the ground.
With card readers disappearing from MacBooks, USB-C card readers are now a necessity. Macworld's helpful guide compares five models and decodes the current mess of card speeds and certifications.
A Sony a7S II mounted on the outside of the ISS' Japanese Experiment Module (KIBO) for the last seven months has sent back some impressive 4K video and stills.
A Federal judge has refused to throw out a copyright case against controversial artist Richard Prince, who used an image by photographer Donald Graham in an exhibition.
Sony has teased its customers with news of an upcoming announcement: it will soon take the wraps off a new CineAlta motion picture camera, one sporting a 36x24mm sensor.
QuikStories is integrated into the latest version of the GoPro app and automatically creates 'stories' using the video clips you've shot during a day.
Journalists photographing a protest in the US Capitol building claim they were told by Capitol Police to delete photos and videos of arrests.
The Meizu Pro 7 Plus secondary display can be used for music playback, date and weather-related information, or as viewfinder when taking selfies with the rear cameras.
Nikon is marking its 100th anniversary in many ways, including the creation of a new scholarship program for 'future visual creators' in the USA and Canada.
Take one Digital ELPH (or IXUS), rotate it vertically, add a fully articulating LCD and a lens with a camcorder-like focal length, and what do you get? Why, the Canon PowerShot TX1, of course. In this week's Throwback Thursday we revisit Canon's one-of-a-kind hybrid stills/video camera.
Just in case there was any doubt in your mind, here's the definitive video proof that yes, a $50,000 cinema camera beats the pants off a $50 camcorder in a side-by-side test.
Photographers who fly frequently in the US may want to finally invest in that TSA Pre-check status: in standard security lines, cameras and all other electronics larger than a smartphone will need to be placed in a separate bin for screening.
Images have appeared which claim to show Nikon's forthcoming D850 DSLR, the development of which was announced this week. If genuine, the pictures indicate that the D850 will offer illuminated controls and a tilting LCD screen, but no built-in flash.
To celebrate the Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64 lens' successful Kickstarter campaign, Lomography has announced a chrome-plated version of the lens in Nikon and Canon DSLR mounts.
Nikon just released four new firmware updates, adding features and fixing bugs in the D600, D610, D750 and the KeyMission 80.
It probably hasn't made your landscape photography bucket list just yet, but there's a good reason to visit Idaho. Here are 9 must-visit locations in this beautiful state.
Oops... Adobe accidentally leaked their unfinished Lightroom-powered cloud-based photo editor 'Project Nimbus' to some Creative Cloud users yesterday.
Storm chaser and award-winning photographer Mike Oblinski just released his latest time-lapse, and it is absolutely stunning.
Looking to level up your video capture capabilities without buying a whole new camera? Blackmagic's Video Assist 4K is well worth considering, despite a few flaws and its lack of 4K/60p support.
We're big fans of Fujifilm's fast-growing GFX system, and the GF 110mm F2 lens is no exception. Positioned as the system's classic portrait lens, its optics are just as impressive with non-human subjects as well.
Nikon turns 100 years old today, and the company is celebrating with a wacky music video, some tributes to its history, and a new vision presented by president Kazuo Ushida.
Phottix just released the Premio Parabolic Umbrellas series, replacing their Para-Pro line with a stronger, deeper and better made set of parabolic umbrellas.
The Moto Z2 is Motorola's first dual-camera smartphone and, compared to its predecessor, comes with a number of improvements and new camera features.
Researchers at Stanford have revealed a new '4D camera system' built for robots. The system is based on the same light field tech that allowed Lytro cameras to refocus images after they were taken.
If you want 'beautiful rendition' from your lenses, follow this simple rule: only buy classic low-element prime lenses with lead glass elements—everything else is junk.
In an interview with CNBC, Leica Chairman Andreas Kaufmann said he dreams of a 'true Leica phone,' and hinted at what's next for the Leica and Huawei partnership.
Wildlife and nature photographer Peter Mather tells the story behind this exceptional shot of a mama grizzly and her cub searching for salmon in Yukon, Canada.