Even though I turn over 1080p footage for the vast majority of the work that I do, I’ve started to shoot 4k whenever available. It’s not that I really “need” to shoot 4k, but the data penalty and workflow aren’t really that bad and I’ve kind of falling into the philosophy “If you have it you may as well use it.”

In the past i’ve used my Hero 4 black edition as the camera for tight shots, but that wide angle isn’t always very attractive and even with protune, grading footage can be a little tricky. For that reason I’ve been searching for a Hero 4 replacement that fits into roughly the same form factor but allows for a little more flexibility in terms of controls and focal range.

It’s actually the reason I got in on the E1 M43 Camera kickstarter 4 or 5 months back. While the E1 looks good, development of a kickstarter project can take some time so I recently started glancing around on craigslist for something like the Sony RX100 IV or Panasonic LX100. Both of these cameras are slim, have full manual controls, a decent focal range, and relatively good lenses.

Panasonic LX100-1

After glancing around at the specs, I was leaning towards the LX100 which ended up popping up on craigslist for $475. At that price it’s actually a bit cheaper than a Hero 4 and a lot more flexible as a video and photography tool.

The LX100 is a nice looking camera and the 24-75mm f1.7 to f2.8 lens is very impressive for a point and shoot. The (almost) 4/3 sensor used in the LX100 is also very good in low light, I’d put this in the same class as the original Canon 7d.

To get this thing to work as a video tool there are a lot of adjustments that need to be made in the menu system. Once you’ve set it up, you have to make the same changes to convert back to stills. A custom user setup will probably be pretty important.

I haven’t done something as in depth as a camera review for quite awhile so i’m gathering up ideas.

Currently on the list are the normal suspects:

  • High ISO
  • AF system
  • Built in mic
  • HDMI output
  • GH4, LX100 comparison samples
  • Best video settings

Feel free to leave a comment with anything else you’d like to see added. More on the Panasonic LX100 to follow.

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