Panasonic announced their new breakthrough product, the advanced point and shoot Panasonic LX100, which can record 4K on a 16.8MP 4/3rds sensor with an optically image established fast zoom lens designed by Leica and includes a 2.7K EVF. It's even designed with lines mimicking classic cameras so it looks good too. All this and it can still fit in your jacket pocket.
The 4K Video Point & Shooter
The Panasonic LX100 can shoot 4K Ultra HD video at 24fps and 30fps for up to 15 minutes and requires a UHS-I Speed Class 3 SD Card. It can do full 1080p at 60fps in MP4 or AVCHD for up to 29 minutes and 59 seconds. Built in to the camera is the ability to extract 8MP stills from your 4K footage without the need for any additional software.
Fully Manual Controls
From the front of the camera you have the ability to manually control zoom, focus, aperture, and a multi-aspect ratio selector. On top of the camera you have another zoom controller, shutter speed and exposure comp all at the touch of your finger tips.
24-75mm Leica DC Vario-Summilux f/1.7-2.8 Lens With Leaf Shutter & DFD Autofocus
The lens that's built-in to the LX100 is a Leica designed fast zoom lens that starts at a 35mm-equivalent 24mm f/1.7 and reaches to a 75mm f/2.8. There are nine aperture blades to help keep those bokeh balls round. The leaf shutter will allow a fast sync speed for flash photography. Using the same Light Speed Auto Focus, a contrast-detection auto focus system, borrowed from the GH4, the LX100 uses the Depth from Defocus (DFD) technology to get much faster focus times. It basically quickly calculates the distance to the subject by looking at two distinct images at different sharpeness levels. The camera and lens can acheive auto focus in as quick as 0.14 seconds.
Four Thirds MOS Sensor
Featuring the same sensor found in the Panasonic GX7, it's a Micro Four Thirds sized 16.8MP sensor that enables you to use more height or width of the sensor in which ever aspect ratio you select on the lens barrel. When shooting in 4:3 mode, you're using 12.8MP of the sensor to get an improved S/N ratio for a more cleaner image all the way up to ISO 25600.
Focus Peaking, 2.7K EVF, 921K 3" Rear Screen, Wi-Fi, NFC, External Flash
You now have focus peaking when using the manual focus control ring when setting up a shot. The built-in EVF has a high density 2,764k-dot viewfinder delivering approximately 100% of the Adobe RGB color space. The 3" rear screen comes in at 921K. Panasonic's class leading iOS and Android app, the Panasonic Image App, is here again. You can use it to set focus, shoot photos or video, instantly upload to social media sites, and tag your photos with the GPS log from your smartphone or tablet. NFC support is built-in to allow for an instant sync by touching those smartphone devices to the camera. An external flash with a guide number rating of 23' (7 m) at 100 is included.
But Wait, There's More!
An advanced point and shoot is expected to be a swiss army knife and the Pansonic LX100 doesn't disappoint. For $899, you get raw processing in camera, 11 fps burst shooting, time lapse, stop motion animation, highlight and shadow gamma curve control, exposure bracketing and different aspect ratios, creative control with 22 filters, and a digital level guage. Toaster not included.
As the owner of the previous version of this camera, the Panasonic LX7, the improvements made to this model are substantial and brilliant. I can't wait to get my hands on one.
The Pansonic LX100 is availble for pre-order at B&H. Expect it to ship in early November 2014.