In the world of photography, Cologne Germany is where it’s all happening this week. That’s where Photokina, the world’s largest show for photographic and imaging equipment, is taking place this week. So, naturally, Panasonic was there was a new lineup, and the promise of a shiny new flagship model.
Let’s start small with the new compact: the Panasonic DMC-LX10. Priced at $999, it comes with an unusually advanced lens for a pocketable (106 x 60 x 42mm and 310 grams). The Leica DC-Vario Summilux lens offers an extraordinarily wide aperture of f/1.4 to f/2.8 across its 3x optical zoom range, from 24mm to 72mm (35mm equivalent). It has a 9 blade aperture and 11 optical elements in 9 groups. Macro shooting down to 30mm is supported.
There’s five axis optical image stabilisation, and a one inch MOS sensor with 20.1 megapixels of resolution (up to 5472 by 3648 pixels). RAW (unprocessed, uncompressed) photography is supported. Auto-everything, including focus (49 areas, tracking and face and eye detection) is available. A one megapixel 75mm tiltable LCD screen is used for framing. WiFi is built in. The camera even includes Panasonic’s recently (that is, last year) released “Post Focus” function, which takes a bunch of pictures focused at different points within the frame and allows you to choose particular ones.
The other stand-out feature is full Ultra High Definition video recording (ie. 3840 by 2160, not 4096 by 2160 pixels) at frame rates of 24, 25 and 30 frames per second, with bitrates up to 100 megabits per second.
With all that, it makes you wonder how the more expensive models could improve things. Which brings us to the DMC-FZ2500 ($1699). This also uses the 20.1 megapixel MOS sensor and a non-interchangeable lens, but with upgraded features. The Leica DC Vario-Elmarit lens features 20x optical zoom, from 24 to a super telephoto 480mm (35mm equivalent) with a respectable f/2.8 to f/4.5 aperture. It adds a Cinema 4K mode (that’s 4096 by 2160 pixels at 24 frames per second) to the UHD modes.
It has the “Post Focus” function and a 4K Pre-Burst mode that captures frames before and after shutter release. An OLED view finder (around 2.3 megapixels) allows traditional photography while the rear monitor tilts.