Simple elegant design. Pocket-friendly dimensions. Panasonic has a way with small cameras, doesn’t it?
You’re not wrong there. The company’s LX series of high-end point-and-shoots has long been one of the best choices for photographers looking for a little camera with a lot of power. So meet the newest member of that range: the Lumix LX15.
Ooh, a brand new one! What are its big killer features?
Panasonic loves 4K video, so you probably won’t be too surprised to hear that the LX15 records footage in that lovely resolution: 3840 x 2160 at up to 30fps, to be precise. You can also shoot in 120fps buttery-smooth slow motion playback. There’s the 4K Photo shooting mode, which (among other things), allowing you to extract individual frames from 4K videos and use them as 8MP stills.
Speaking of stills, there’s the opportunity to shoot them in RAW for maximum editability. In fact, there are a number of enthusiast-friendly features in that vein, including high-speed full resolution shooting at up to 10fps and a maximum ISO of 12800, which promises to aid low-light photography and video.
Another thing that’ll help you out when the sun starts to dip below the horizon? Proper 5-axis optical image stabilisation – anti-shake tech which is usually found in high-end interchangeable lens cameras.
There’s no viewfinder though. Sony has one over on Panasonic there.
True – the similarly-sized Sony RX100 IV has a very useful pop-up OLED viewfinder, whereas with the LX15 you’ll have to use the 3in rear touchscreen to frame your photos and videos. That said, Panasonic’s LX100 offers a viewfinder, so perhaps the company thinks it’s already catered for the viewfinder-wanters with that one.
And what’s the lens’ story?
It’s a 24-72mm equivalent zoom with a maximum aperture that, depending on your current zoom setting, offers a maximum aperture of between f/1.4 and f/2.8 – that’s nice and bright by compact standards. The lens also features a manual focus ring and a clickable aperture ring – two physical traits that’ll improve handling – and has the ability to focus on subjects as close as 3cm from the front, which should appeal to macro fans.
Anything else I need to know?
There’s Wi-Fi on board, which is pretty much standard these days. And a £600 price tag…
Yeah, that’s a hefty wedge – but then again this is compact camera that promises to be among the very best point-and-shoots out there. Look out for our full review soon, and we’ll find out for sure if it’s worth the outlay.