First look – Panasonic LX100 review and footage

0J8K9949Please note: This review is only concerning the video capability of the Panasonic LX100

Edit: You can now download the 4K file from Vimeo

If you are a matured woman, you might have heard in the past the sentence “it’s not you, it’s me”. If you are a grown up man, you might have heard something like “So close, yet so far away”. Well, if I have to define the Panasonic LX100 in two sentences, those are the ones I would have chosen to use but this time, it’s not me it’s her (the camera) and yes, so close yet so FAR away….

With 4K internal recording, a relatively large sensor (4/3”) and other professional features like Zebra, peaking and a fast lens (f1.7-2.8), you might have mistaken the Panasonic LX100 to be a serious working tool especially when considering its price tag ($899). Well, it is and it’s not….True, the overall picture quality is nice, but when starting to look at it carefully, that’s when the disappointment is starting to build up. Moiré can be very ugly and the “rolling shutter effect” is unavoidable.

Moiré on Panasonic LX100 4K footage 
moire Synced Sequence Replaced.00_32_39_11.Still001









But before talking about the picture quality, here is something about “usability”. Unless I got a “lemon”, every time after switching the camera “off” and then turning it “on” again, it made a reset to its “default mode” and if this is not enough, here is a list of its shortcomings:

-Region camera, not a world one
-15 min. recording limit time when shooting in 4K
-No tilt LCD screen
-When shooting in 4K the picture in the LCD looks strange, as if there is some kind of picture enhancer running at the background.
-The camera has a “manual audio level control” but no audio inputs. Go figure why there is a need for level control for the on board mic
-No headphone input
-No USB connector (Very useful when you forget your charger and have the possibility to charge it via your computer)
-Tripod plate must be taken off if you need to change a battery or SD card
-The lens is 24-75mm (35mm Equivalent). Not wide or tele enough for my taste
-Auto focus is very slow when shooting in 4K especially in open aperture like f4.0 and below
-In 4K mode, when pressing “REC”, the picture will “jump in”. Apparently some “cropping” is happening (edit: this can be eliminated by changing the following in the menu: Custom\Rec Area. Change from “Picture” to ”Video”. Thank you Benjamin for the tip).
-After some seconds, some of the LCD display “disappears”. It is so confusing to the point I was not sure if I’m recording or not
-For professionals who are looking for a better dynamic range or match this camera easily to the GH4, there is no LOG picture profile
-Last but not least, The focus ring and the aperture ring are placed wrongly….Aperture ring at the front and focus ring close to the camera body. Extremely confusing for anyone who is used to working with any other camera
-When tripod plate is attached to the camera, manual focusing is very difficult as the ring touches the tripod plate





On the positive side:


-4K video recording in your pocket
-Manual video controls
-Battery life is absolutely great (like with most of Panasonic’s cameras)
-Good EVF
-Video quality to satisfy the many who are looking for a portable 4K video solution (I can imagine this camera doing well on drones)
-Low light capability is good (in the above video I used ISO 400-1600)

A small tip if you have the camera and can not see aperture changes in “realtime”- Go to “Custom”- “Constant preview” and set it “on”





Cameras settings used in this video:

-Motion pic: (4K), MP4 2160, 24p
-“Photo style”: Natural

Most of this video was shot with the shops lights. In two of the interviews additional light was added. Audio recorded externally on a Tascam D60D

NO colour correction or sharpening was added in post. In some shots I’ve “tuned” the brightness.

Music:  The Like Of Us – Jingle Bells (short version) – Instrumental

Thank you:

Watch it on Vimeo

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V.Roger Rubin Reply
V.Roger Rubin November 21, 2014

This is a tiny camera for what it produces- unfortunately \”nit picking\” does no one any good- particularly those of us that used the camera not for video but almost wholly for stills. VRR

Vlad Box Rojas Reply
Vlad Box Rojas November 21, 2014

Looks great overall, but moire is ever present in fine lines. Also I notice (and bothers me in all sub 2K / 4K cameras) is the over sharpening of any fine line that happens to be in focus. Maybe for static interviews, I can see this camera working. However 98% of my clients would neither understand nor care for moire or extra sharpening. They would however complain about the size of the camera. Your vignettes as usual, are very entertaining, almost to the point, where I can care less about the equipment being reviewed. Great stuff. Thanks

Johnnie Behiri November 24, 2014

Hi Vald Box Rojas.
As always, thank you for taking the time watching the videos and commenting. Appreciated!.

As I wrote somewhere before, I’m lucky enough not to be “bothered” by my clients (be it for broadcast or not), regarding the camera I’m using….
Your argument about “camera size” is very much valid! Who would like to pay good money for a job when he/she expect you to come with a “professional looking tool” (aka “big and expensive camera”), to justify the money spent hiring you?…..The VDSLR revolution was an amazing step in the right direction as more people in our field acknowledged the fact that camera size is not the only sign of “professionalism”.
Lets hope, the revolution will continue…


Review Everything Reply
Review Everything November 21, 2014

I purchased this camera and have been using it for a couple of weeks. Whilst it\’s never going to be a GH4 the quality is incredible for something that (almost) fits in your pocket. It also packs features that a lot of other cameras don\’t have – Zebra\’s, Focus peaking etc.. I think this article barely focus\’s on the actual pro\’s. At this size it would be difficult to fit mic input\’s and headphone outputs.

Johnnie Behiri November 22, 2014

Hi Review Everything

First and for most, I’m happy to hear the camera is serving you well. There is nothing like “field report” from a user who is actually using the camera (and hopefully to make money with it)….

Thanks for sharing!


Caleb Rasak Reply
Caleb Rasak November 21, 2014

I am more interested in this camera for stills. Something I can keep in my truck and bag at all times. Bringing my 5D with me every where is nerve wracking and bulky. I would love this little lady!

eltname Reply
eltname November 21, 2014

\”…a matured woman…\” Not sure whether sexist, ageist or trying to describe a cheese. Either way, not a fan.

Johnnie Behiri November 21, 2014

Matured woman, from the dictionary: “relatively advanced physically, mentally, emotionally, etc.; grown-up”

Lets move on and talk cameras please.



Julian Gibbs Reply
Julian Gibbs November 21, 2014

This is a sub $1000 camera – to me that means it was never designed as professional tool, it simply works like a professional tool. I\’m not sure we should have the same expectations we have for cameras that may cost 3 or more times as much.

Johnnie Behiri November 22, 2014

Hi Julian.

You are partly right. I don’t expect this camera to be a “complete professional tool, neither act like those who cost 3 times more”.

What I don’t want is those cameras (actually manufacturers) to “pretend” as if those are professional working tools by including features that the “average Joe” never heard of or doesn’t know how to use (let alone 4K video capability). Manual control is great, but lets take peaking or zebra for example. Are those necessary? For you and I, yes!. By including those features, I think the manufacturer is trying to capture my “professional attention” which is fine!. Then, when I see there is no headphone jack/mic input (as an example), I ask myself, who is their target group?. (BTW, for me a professional camera is the one you can make money with, nothing to do with spec size or price). And back to our topic. The Panasonic LX 100 is a nice camera that with a bit more “manufacturer attention” could be a much better camera to work with.



Glenn December 12, 2014

This camera is perfect for me. I’m a professional director/videographer/editor who creates marketing, industrial, educational and fundraising videos for a large academic institution. We have excellent equipment to use at work, but I want something to use in my personal life that won’t break the bank and will have all of the pro features I’m accustomed to. I currently own a Canon DSLR and a Zoom for personal (aka for fun) projects, so the Zoom will work great for second source audio for the LX100. Plus, unlike the DSLR, the small size means I’ll actually have it on me all of the time. These positive vibes are all hypothetical now… my LX100 is sitting in a wrapped box in the closet for two more weeks, but I’m hopeful :)

Johnnie Behiri December 15, 2014

Hi Glenn.

Please share with us after experiencing working with the camera. I’m very much curious to know how you like it!



Mike Silverman Reply
Mike Silverman November 21, 2014

This looks like a setup that might work in some situations. However, I know that some clients would be very “unimpressed” if they hired a professional videographer who showed up with this. It may not be fair because lots of very small cameras can shoot extremely nice video, but many clients would think that this is nothing more than a point and shoot camera. So there is something to be said about a camera that looks like a “professional” camera because people still expect that.

Johnnie Behiri November 22, 2014

Hi Mike.

Thank god I don’t have to impress anybody….!

Unless a production comes up with a certain request/demand to use a specific working tool, I have the complete freedom to choose what I think will serve best based on the subject I’m about to film and the budget there is.

The days of “bigger is better” are long gone…



Richard Sisk Reply
Richard Sisk November 21, 2014

I would say that he Cinema5D team does the best video reviews on new cameras. I learn more about cinematography each time I see one of the short films Johnnie shoots. I will share this on my site. Thanks guys.

Johnnie Behiri November 22, 2014

Hi Richard.

Thank you. Comments like your are encouraging us to do even more!!!

Take care.


Benjamin Chan Reply
Benjamin Chan November 22, 2014

A few of the cons listed above are not actually cons on my LX100, like when you mention that the camera\’s settings always come back to default mode when turning the camera off and then on. My LX100 maintains the last settings it had before being turned off. It even has a handy \”Zoom resume\” function. Also, auto focus in 4K video mode is quite fast for me, even when using fast apertures. And as for your issue about the framing cropping in when you hit record in 4K video mode, you only need to change a simple setting to solve this. In the \”Wrench C\” menu, you simply need to change the \”Rec Area\” from \”Picture\” to \”Video\” and the framing in live view will remain the same between standby and recording.

Johnnie Behiri November 22, 2014

Hi Benjamin.
Thank you for contributing. That’s what I needed. A user who can come up with answers/solutions to some of the “cons” I found.

Will update the original article accordingly.

Thank you again!


Benjamin Chan Reply
Benjamin Chan November 24, 2014

My pleasure Johnnie! I have been enjoying (and benefitting) from your reviews and videos for quite some time now, so thank you for all your work!

Johnnie Behiri November 24, 2014

Thank you again Benjamin!!!

 Gregory David Reply
Gregory David November 23, 2014

It’s not surprising, because almost everyone involved with the progression of digital video is a perfectionist in some way. So it happens that a camera, which pretty much fits in your pocket, that has much more right with it than wrong with it, runs up against everyone increasing expectations. Going by the well proven adage, the best camera is the one you have with you, and knowing that most of my personal pictures are taken with my iPhone now, perhaps you guys are being a tad harsh. Just saying…

Johnnie Behiri November 24, 2014

Hi Gregory.

Agree with your statement “The best camera is the one you have with you”….



Dennis Belogorsky Reply
Dennis Belogorsky November 24, 2014

Had a similar issue with losing settings after turning off the camera. Called Panasonic today and they provided a solution. Basically they recommended storing and saving settings within the Custom Set folder inside the Custom folder in the main menu. I used one set for video settings (fixed 16:9 ratio, video-centric custom buttons and picture settings, etc.), and another for stills. Everything seems to be working well so far.

Johnnie Behiri November 24, 2014

Thank you Dennis!

Will try that method and if successful, will update the above article.

Thanks again!


Steffen Hacker Reply
Steffen Hacker November 25, 2014

How useful is that lens hood for you on the picture compared to the internal EVF? Didn\’t think of getting one for this can, did it make sense?

Johnnie Behiri November 26, 2014

Hi Steffen.

For me personally in my old age it does….

Maybe not with this particular camera as the LCD screen gets an “ugly picture” when pressing the REC button when shooting in 4K mode, but focusing certainly becomes easier. One thing to note, it does become harder to access the REC button itself when the loop is attached.

Thank you!


Ken Yee Reply
Ken Yee November 26, 2014

I noticed you reviewed the GH4 already…do some of the cons not appear there as well? e.g., AF in video mode is meant to be a little slower than when in stills mode so you don\’t get an abrupt jump to the focus point. 4K video mode is cropped tighter than 1080p mode. These are the same as my GH4 AFAIK, though I haven\’t tried the LX100 yet. Moire should be there in 1080 because it does line skipping but less so in 4K if you downsample to 1080p. In 4K, they both have moire AFAIK…

Johnnie Behiri November 27, 2014

Hi Ken.

I was not compering the LX100 to the GH4.
The LX100 cons are based on my short working experience with this camera.

Regarding moire- All footage was shot in 4K. Nothing was “down-sampled” to 1080.
Regarding cropped picture n 4K mode. I’ve updated the article with a solution suggested by Benjamin.



Ruhayat November 27, 2014

Glad I read this review. I was going to buy two of these to use for food & travel docu, but now I think I won’t bother. Will have to save up for that Sony A7s, then. Sorry, Panasonic, you almost had me.

Johnnie Behiri November 27, 2014

Hi Ruhayat.

As a Sony A7s (and the Canon1DC) owner, my advice is to try ordering the Panasonic LX100 and see if it works for you as there was a valid reason to “why you considered this camera for your production in the first place”. Make sure you order it from a place that it can be returned in case you don’t like it. (and on a side note, A7s all the way….You won’t be limited audio wise and with a carefully selected lens(s) you can deliver astonishing results and still be very compact.

Thanks Johnnie

Ruhayat X November 28, 2014

Hi Johnnie,

thanks for the response. I was really keen on selecting it mainly for the following reasons:
1. Size (physical and sensor) & weight
2. Built-in Leica standard zoom lens
3. Wide aperture
4. 4K, which would allow a bit “sloppy” composition as you can’t always get it right while on the go
5. 25fps, with 60fps slo-mo
6. Budget: I am limited to either a) 2 x LX100s, b) 2 x A6000 or c) 1 x A7s. The A7s looks awesome, but on the road, I’d rather have a backup.


Bill December 15, 2014

Thanks for the spot on review of this camera. After seeing your short I decided your caveats about the camera were not that bad, after all, the images looked great.
So I purchased one. Image quality is very nice at 4K, but handling the camera is a real pain. The silly video record button is almost impossible to use, the focus and aperture controls are in a reversed position on the lens, all things you mentioned in your review that I ignored.
If you turn back the sharpness levels to minus 5, and use the highlight tone controls the results are quite nice. I am torn, I don’t see hand holding this thing but as a B or C camera it might OK.
Mostly, thanks for your very warm and unassuming story on the bike shop. I really enjoyed it

Johnnie Behiri January 8, 2015

Hi Bill, sorry for my late response.

Most important, I hope you are still having the camera and able to be creative!

Take care


FilmKit Reply
FilmKit January 5, 2015

Thanks for the review Johnnie! I really appreciate you take the time to make a small doc with each camera you review, as it is much better to judge a camera based on challenging real-world situations than from beauty-shots by the sea at sunset ;) And it’s a lot harder to do as well, so really appreciated!

As far as the LX-100 vs A7s is concerned, I’ve used both and I must say: the A7s is in another league compared to the LX-100. Though the LX-100 features some great technology in such a small body, its handling can get quite confusing (e.g. having to switch to 4K photo mode in order to shoot video). I also found the LX-100’s image quite clinical/harsh. The A7s on the other hand has been amazing so far. It just makes me want to go out and shoot, every day. Beautiful image detail, colors and great handling. I wrote a review of both the LX-100 and the A7s on

You mentioned in your review that the LCD screen of the LX-100 sometimes disappears. I had that happen a few times as well, but in my case this was because my hand got too close to the EVFs proximity sensor. Maybe this was also the case during your shoot? Especially when using a loupe maybe.

Anyway, thanks for the great work, I really appreciate it!

Johnnie Behiri January 8, 2015

Hi FilmKit.

Thanks for acknowledging the time and effort put into those short review. Appreciated!.
It is not always possible to conduct those type of reviews but indeed, I am trying to avoid the “sun/sea option when ever possible…:)

BTW, useful information in your site. Keep up the good job!!

Thank you.


Alex O'Shea December 25, 2015

Lovely camera! I’ve shot with it a lot :D
Here’s a short film I made with the Panasonic LX-100:

Johnnie Behiri December 27, 2015

Hi Alex.

Thanks for sharing!

J Dashford April 5, 2016

It unfair to try and judge this camera as a professional tool, that is not it’s intended use. It’s a sub £1k, small, light, 4K shooter for enthusiasts (or professionals when they are not at work). I’d never turn up to a client facing job with this camera. For professional work i’d cost in the hire of the recommended equipment for the job. Then when the job is done it gets boxed up and shipped back to the hire company (phew). Having said that I did shoot a mini broadcast pilot on this thing. When cash lands from the broadcasters we’ll roll a few AMIRAs to get the job done. Funnily enough they didn’t mention the Morie in the commissioning meetings…

Johnnie Behiri April 10, 2016

Hi J Dashford

Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

As for me, a (working) tool is a tool and I always try and test any of the new cameras in a simulated documentary working style. Fair/unfair?, I guess it is for readers like you to judge. Mind you that many of the manufacturers are adding pro features to their new small cameras and at times are even claiming “broadcast video quality” with those. The only way for me to “confront” their publications, is to work with the camera and see how it preforms in the field.

I’m sure most people will take those reviews in the right perspective and if not, I guess I have to change something in the way I review those cameras or write my articles.

I must admit that I was never confronted by a client or questioned the working tool I brought to work (and i don’t shoot commercials)…as there is an understanding and trust that I will use the appropriate camera for the project depending on budget/filming location/story and such.

Thank you!


J Dashford April 10, 2016

Hi Johnnie. I said it was an unfair review as you called this camera out for its short comings as a professional tool. Just because certain features from the professional world (like zebras and focus peaking) have made their way into the consumer world, it doesn’t mean this should be viewed as a professional camera. Panasonic do not market this as a professional camera and I applaud them for cramming as many features as they can and making these features available at such a low price point. This is why brands like canon are loosing the consumer market to brands like Sony and Panasonic. Just my thoughts.