The Story Behind LUMIX LX100 Development
Relaying the passion of the people behind the LUMIX LX100 development.
Large-Scale Sensor. Greater Shooting Enjoyment.
Please describe your experience in developing the new model.
The LX Series, which was developed in 2005, has maximized the potential of our lens and digital technologies. The LX7 is a compact camera with an F1.4 large-diameter lens, that was highly praised by our customers. From there, addressing the need for a large-scale sensor was our first challenge.
Another task was how to add to the fun that users have when shooting. We got the first hint of this from the LC1 that we released in 2004. This camera, which had an aperture ring and shutter speed dial, is still in use by some of our customers. We began developing the new model by inheriting the DNA of the LC1.
As the LX100 model number suggests, it's the highest model of the LX Series. It's a completely new type of camera that also incorporates the best features of the LC1. Kind of a dual concept.
What type of customer do you see using it?
In addition to people who like photography as a hobby, we've come to recognize a segment that really appreciates the mechanics of a quality camera. The camera offers this user both visual and tactile excitement. So, one of our goals was to create a sort of "tool" that goes beyond the ordinary camera form.
The Best Choice for the Highest Image Quality.
Why did you choose a 4/3-inch sensor instead of the 1.0-inch used in the FZ1000?
We wanted to pack the highest possible image quality into a compact camera. We had used the 4/3-inch sensor for our DSLM camera, and we thought it was best to take advantage of the technology we had accumulated. We also placed heavy emphasis on the image processing engine and used the same one as we did on the GH4 for the best combination.
In order to offer multi aspect ratios with high image quality, which brought rave reviews to the LX Series, we had to use a larger sensor. This may have been unexpected by our customers, but we think they'll find it to be a pleasant surprise.
Creating the Ultimate Tool with Analog-Like Operation.
Why did you decided on analog-like operation?
The allure of the LX100 is how it renders images with the 4/3-inch sensor and F1.7 large-diameter lens. In order to create a tool that maximized this attraction, we went with analog-like operation.
To create highly original images, we think it's better to control the camera manually instead of using automatic functions. It brings more personal enjoyment to the shooting experience itself.
The aperture and shutter speed are the most basic parameters for setting the exposure.
The LC1 gave users free control of these factors, which was highly acclaimed.
In the LX100, we concentrated on the exposure and focus by adding features like an aperture ring, shutter speed dial, exposure correction dial, control ring for MF operation, and viewfinder. We returned to the photographic basics to create a truly enjoyable camera.
Adding a mode dial simplifies the access to scene modes and custom settings, which makes it more functional. But we think the feeling of being able to operate the camera yourself is what makes the LX100 so much fun to use.
This is an extreme example, but there's something enjoyable about physically turning rings and dials. Is it fun to hold? Is it fun to operate? The mechanical perspective is important. So we repeatedly asked user opinions and built these features into the LX100. It's something we hope people will experience for themselves with the LX100.
The Built-in Viewfinder Is There When You Want It.
Why did you decide on a built-in viewfinder?
When you consider the fun of shooting, it's better to have a built-in finder that you can look through at any time than an external type that's not as easy to use quickly. From the viewpoint of performance, we used the same high-resolution viewfinder as the one on the GX7. Initially, we worried about how it would affect the camera's size, but we couldn't compromise on it.
Using the viewfinder has certain advantages, such as suppressing hand-shake and providing good visibility in bright sunlight. The best point, though, is the way it lets you immerse yourself in the shot. It's the same concept as whether it's easier to immerse yourself in a dark movie theatre or a bright living room. For a lot of people, looking through the viewfinder really puts them in the mood for shooting.
A Camera "Tool" with a Traditional Flair.
Once you completed the LX100, what kind of reaction did you get?
Once it was finished, we were flooded with feedback from not only seasoned camera users, but also younger users who wanted to take up photography using analog-like operation. There's nothing that makes us happier as developers than to hear that people are becoming camera and photo fans because of the LX100.
In the future, what kind of camera do you want to make?
Cameras are tools with a tradition of more than 100 years. I want to make cameras that people will take care of and use for a long time. Whenever I see someone with a well-worn LUMIX camera, my heart skips a beat. Nothing makes me happier than seeing a satisfied customer.
• The product in some images is under development and may be changed without notice.