Leica D-lux (Type 109) and Panasonic LX100 – Features most people missed.

After just a day with my Leica D-Lux (Type 109), I’ve found¬†features most of the online reviews missed, and discovered things I thought would be there which aren’t.

I’m sure you know about the 4/3 sensor, 4K video, dial controls…

No remote flash support
Look, I doubt I’d have used it much, but if the Type 109 supports remote flash, I can’t work it out. Mind you, the included strobe is so gutless it probably won’t actually add to the exposure much if you use it to trigger slave units though.

A lens shutter
There’s effectively a pair of shutters in the LX100/109 – a mechanical leaf or lens shutter, and an electronic shutter. This means flash sync up to 1/4000th of a second, which is really cool when doing fill flash outdoors. It works to 60 seconds.
The electronic shutter will take the exposure to as short as 1/16,000th of a second, which I want to try Real Soon Now – that’s studio flash duration style stuff, and will result is some stunning images. By people better at this stuff than me.


Leica D-Lux (Type 109) and Panasonic LX100 misinformation

I bought the first one of these cameras I actually saw in the metal, and in the 24 hours since I’ve been trying to get my head around what I’m sure is a technological marvel. But I’m shocked at the reviews, opinion and comments which are quite wrong.
So here are the things I’m finding, good and bad.
Here will be notes about why I chose the D-Lux and samples, but more than anything I’m wanting to refute some of the mistakes out there, and put an alternate position as to why some things were done.

Most of all, I’m doing this to learn about the camera and if you get something from all that, great!

Note: I’ve been playing with this thing for a day, and it’s my first Panasonic/Leica digital camera. If I get it wrong I’m happy to post corrections.

Myth 1: It’s too easy to bump the auto button and switch to idiot mode.
There’s an iAuto button quite close to the lever which switches the camera on, but there’s a selection in the custom menu which lets you set it to press-and-hold to activate.

Myth 2: it should have a Mic input.
Seriously? Have you really listened to the pre-amps on a Canon 5D MKIII? No small camera has a decent audio system built in, so the best you’re going to do is record some background audio – if you’re even a tiny bit serious about audio (and you should be), record separately. A Zoom H1 is about $100US, or add a Rode Smart Lav to your iPhone. Sync in Final Cut, it’s easy.

Myth 3: No tilt screen.
I love the tilt screen on my Olympus EM-1, Canon XA20 and yes, life would be more convenient if the Leica had one too. but it would also be bulkier, heavier and more fragile.

Myth 4: No weather sealing
See my answer to Myth 3.

Myth 5: you can’t set shutter speeds between stops
You can, actually. If you spin the dial on the back it changes the shutter speed to the standard 1/3-stop increments. so 1/50th is available to Pal video shooters like me.

Myth 5: The resolution’s not high enough.
For what? One of my favorite cameras of all time is the Canon 1D MkII, and that was 8MP. Yes, there will be times when 13MP won’t be enough, I accept that, but the times will be few and far between.