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Panasonic LX100 II versus Pentax K-1 II

The Panasonic Lumix DC-LX100 II and the Pentax K-1 II are two enthusiast cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2018 and February 2018. The LX100 II is a fixed lens compact, while the K-1 II is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a Four Thirds (LX100 II) and a full frame (K-1 II) sensor. The Panasonic has a resolution of 16.8 megapixel, whereas the Pentax provides 36.2 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Panasonic LX100 II vs Pentax K-1 II

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Panasonic LX100 II and the Pentax K-1 II. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the LX100 II – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Panasonic LX100 II vs Pentax K-1 II
Compare LX100 II versus K-1 II top
Compare LX100 II and K-1 II rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Pentax K-1 II is considerably larger (99 percent) than the Panasonic LX100 II. It is noteworthy in this context that the K-1 II is splash and dust-proof, while the LX100 II does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the LX100 II has a lens build in, whereas the K-1 II is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.

Concerning battery life, the LX100 II gets 300 shots out of its DMW-BLG10 battery, while the K-1 II can take 670 images on a single charge of its D-LI90 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Panasonic LX100 II» 115 mm 66 mm 65 mm 392 g 300 n Aug 2018 999 i i Panasonic LX100 II
Pentax K-1 II« 137 mm 110 mm 86 mm 1010 g 670 Y Feb 2018 1,999 i i Pentax K-1 II
Canon G9 X Mark II« » 98 mm 58 mm 31 mm 206 g 235 n Jan 2017 529 i i Canon G9 X Mark II
Leica C-LUX« » 113 mm 67 mm 46 mm 340 g 370 n Jun 2018 1,049 i i Leica C-LUX
Nikon P1000« » 146 mm 119 mm 181 mm 1415 g 250 n Jul 2018 999 i i Nikon P1000
Olympus E-5« » 142 mm 117 mm 75 mm 873 g 750 Y Sep 2010 1,699- i Olympus E-5
Panasonic GX9« » 124 mm 72 mm 47 mm 407 g 260 n Feb 2018 849 i i Panasonic GX9
Panasonic TZ200« » 111 mm 65 mm 45 mm 340 g 370 n Feb 2018 799 i i Panasonic TZ200
Panasonic GH5« » 139 mm 98 mm 87 mm 725 g 410 Y Jan 2017 1,999 i i Panasonic GH5
Panasonic TZ90« » 112 mm 67 mm 41 mm 322 g 380 n Apr 2017 449 i i Panasonic TZ90
Panasonic FZ2000« » 138 mm 102 mm 135 mm 915 g 350 n Sep 2016 1,199 i i Panasonic FZ2000
Panasonic FZ1000« » 137 mm 99 mm 131 mm 831 g 360 n Jun 2014 899- i Panasonic FZ1000
Panasonic LX100« » 115 mm 66 mm 55 mm 393 g 300 n Sep 2014 899 i i Panasonic LX100
Pentax K-1« » 137 mm 110 mm 86 mm 1010 g 760 Y Feb 2016 1,799- i Pentax K-1
Sony RX100 VI« » 102 mm 58 mm 43 mm 301 g 240 n Jun 2018 1,199 i i Sony RX100 VI
Sony RX10 IV« » 133 mm 94 mm 145 mm 1095 g 400 Y Sep 2017 1,699 i i Sony RX10 IV
Sony A99 II« » 143 mm 104 mm 76 mm 849 g 490 Y Sep 2016 3,199 i i Sony A99 II

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The LX100 II was launched at a lower price than the K-1 II, despite having a lens build in. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.

 

Sensor comparison: Panasonic LX100 II vs Pentax K-1 II

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Panasonic LX100 II features a Four Thirds sensor and the Pentax K-1 II a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the K-1 II is 283 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.0 and 1.0. The sensor in the LX100 II has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the K-1 II offers a 3:2 aspect. The LX100 II has the particularity of featuring a switch that allows to toggle between different aspect ratios, while maintaining the same field of view and full image resolution.

In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.

Panasonic LX100 II and Pentax K-1 II sensor measures

With 36.2MP, the K-1 II offers a higher resolution than the LX100 II (16.8MP), but the K-1 II nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.88μm versus 3.66μm for the LX100 II) due to its larger sensor. However, the LX100 II is a somewhat more recent model (by 5 months) than the K-1 II, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.

Unlike the LX100 II, the K-1 II has the capacity to capture high quality composite images by combining multiple shots after shifting its sensor by miniscule distances. This multi-shot, pixel-shift mode is most suitable for photography of stationary objects (landscapes, studio scenes).

LX100 II versus K-1 II MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
Panasonic LX100 II» Four Thirds 16.8 4736 35524K/30p----Panasonic LX100 II
Pentax K-1 II« Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/60i----Pentax K-1 II
Canon G9 X Mark II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.912.552265Canon G9 X Mark II
Leica C-LUX« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----Leica C-LUX
Nikon P1000« » 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p----Nikon P1000
Olympus E-5« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.610.551956Olympus E-5
Panasonic GX9« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p----Panasonic GX9
Panasonic TZ200« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----Panasonic TZ200
Panasonic GH5« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/60p23.913.080777Panasonic GH5
Panasonic TZ90« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p19.110.610636Panasonic TZ90
Panasonic FZ2000« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----Panasonic FZ2000
Panasonic FZ1000« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764Panasonic FZ1000
Panasonic LX100« » Four Thirds 12.7 4112 30884K/30p22.312.555367Panasonic LX100
Pentax K-1« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/60i25.414.6328096Pentax K-1
Sony RX100 VI« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----Sony RX100 VI
Sony RX10 IV« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----Sony RX10 IV
Sony A99 II« » Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p25.413.4231792Sony A99 II

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the LX100 II provides a higher video resolution than the K-1 II. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Pentax is limited to 1080/60i.

 

Feature comparison: Panasonic LX100 II vs Pentax K-1 II

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the LX100 II has an electronic viewfinder (2764k dots), while the K-1 II has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Panasonic LX100 II and Pentax K-1 II in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Panasonic LX100 II»2764 n 3.0 1240 fixed n 4000 11.0 n Y Panasonic LX100 II
Pentax K-1 II«optical Y 3.2 1037 full-flex n 8000 4.4 n Y Pentax K-1 II
Canon G9 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 8.2 Y Y Canon G9 X Mark II
Leica C-LUX« »2330 n 3.0 1240 fixed Y 2000 10.0 Y Y Leica C-LUX
Nikon P1000« »2359 n 3.2 921 swivel n 4000 7.0 Y Y Nikon P1000
Olympus E-5« »optical Y 3.0 920 swivel n 8000 5.0 Y Y Olympus E-5
Panasonic GX9« »2760 n 3.0 1240 tilting Y 4000 9.0 Y Y Panasonic GX9
Panasonic TZ200« »2330 n 3.0 1240 fixed Y 2000 10.0 Y Y Panasonic TZ200
Panasonic GH5« »3680 n 3.2 1620 swivel Y 8000 12.0 n Y Panasonic GH5
Panasonic TZ90« »1166 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 10.0 Y Y Panasonic TZ90
Panasonic FZ2000« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 12.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ2000
Panasonic FZ1000« »2359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 4000 12.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ1000
Panasonic LX100« »2764 n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 11.0 n Y Panasonic LX100
Pentax K-1« »optical Y 3.2 1037 full-flex n 8000 4.4 n Y Pentax K-1
Sony RX100 VI« »2359 n 3.0 1229 tilting Y 2000 24.0 Y Y Sony RX100 VI
Sony RX10 IV« »2359 Y 3.0 1440 tilting Y 2000 24.0 Y Y Sony RX10 IV
Sony A99 II« »2400 Y 3.0 1229 full-flex n 8000 12.0 n Y Sony A99 II

One feature that is present on the K-1 II, but is missing on the LX100 II is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.

The reported shutter speed and shutter burst refer to the use of the mechanical shutter. In addition, the LX100 II features an electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (flickering).

Both the LX100 II and the K-1 II write their imaging data to SDXC cards. The K-1 II features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the LX100 II only has one slot.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
Panasonic LX100 II»Ystereomono--micro2.0Y-YPanasonic LX100 II
Pentax K-1 II«YstereomonoYYmicro2.0Y--Pentax K-1 II
Canon G9 X Mark II« »-stereomono--micro2.0YYYCanon G9 X Mark II
Leica C-LUX« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Leica C-LUX
Nikon P1000« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-YNikon P1000
Olympus E-5« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Olympus E-5
Panasonic GX9« »Ystereomono--micro2.0Y-YPanasonic GX9
Panasonic TZ200« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic TZ200
Panasonic GH5« »YstereomonoYYfull3.1Y-YPanasonic GH5
Panasonic TZ90« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic TZ90
Panasonic FZ2000« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0Y--Panasonic FZ2000
Panasonic FZ1000« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-Panasonic FZ1000
Panasonic LX100« »Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-Panasonic LX100
Pentax K-1« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0Y--Pentax K-1
Sony RX100 VI« »-stereomono--micro2.0YYYSony RX100 VI
Sony RX10 IV« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony RX10 IV
Sony A99 II« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YYYSony A99 II

Both the LX100 II and the K-1 II are recent models that feature in their makers' current product line-up. The K-1 II replaced the earlier Pentax K-1, while the LX100 II followed on from the Panasonic LX100.

Review summary: Panasonic LX100 II vs Pentax K-1 II

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Panasonic LX100 II better than the Pentax K-1 II or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DC-LX100 II:

  • Flexible image proportions: Has a multi-aspect sensor that allows for alternative image shapes.
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60i).
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1240k vs 1037k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (11 vs 4.4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with a build-in lens, while the K-1 II requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (115x66mm vs 137x110mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a build-in lens (unlike the K-1 II).
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a build-in lens.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 5 months after the K-1 II).

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Advantages of the Pentax K-1 II:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (36.2 vs 16.8MP), which boosts linear resolution by 49%.
  • High quality composites: Can combine several shots after pixel-shifting its sensor.
  • Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
  • Richer colors: Larger pixels generate images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Capable of capturing a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can be used in poorly lit environments and still produce good images.
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More flexible LCD: Has full-flex screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (670 versus 300) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2018).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the K-1 II is the clear winner of the contest (18 : 12 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision.

LX100 II 12:18 K-1 II

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the LX100 II or the K-1 II. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Panasonic LX100 II»--4.5/5-4.5/5 Aug 2018 999 i i Panasonic LX100 II
Pentax K-1 II«-79/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Feb 2018 1,999 i i Pentax K-1 II
Canon G9 X Mark II« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2017 529 i i Canon G9 X Mark II
Leica C-LUX« »--4.5/5-4/5 Jun 2018 1,049 i i Leica C-LUX
Nikon P1000« »Rec73/1003.5/5-3.5/5 Jul 2018 999 i i Nikon P1000
Olympus E-5« »-75/1004/5-4.5/5 Sep 2010 1,699- i Olympus E-5
Panasonic GX9« »Rec84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2018 849 i i Panasonic GX9
Panasonic TZ200« »HiRec81/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Feb 2018 799 i i Panasonic TZ200
Panasonic GH5« »HiRec85/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2017 1,999 i i Panasonic GH5
Panasonic TZ90« »HiRec-4/5-4/5 Apr 2017 449 i i Panasonic TZ90
Panasonic FZ2000« »Rec82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Sep 2016 1,199 i i Panasonic FZ2000
Panasonic FZ1000« »HiRec82/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899- i Panasonic FZ1000
Panasonic LX100« »HiRec85/1005/54/55/5 Sep 2014 899 i i Panasonic LX100
Pentax K-1« »-84/1005/54.5/55/5 Feb 2016 1,799- i Pentax K-1
Sony RX100 VI« »HiRec83/1004/5-4.5/5 Jun 2018 1,199 i i Sony RX100 VI
Sony RX10 IV« »Rec84/1004.5/5-5/5 Sep 2017 1,699 i i Sony RX10 IV
Sony A99 II« »-85/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 3,199 i i Sony A99 II

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool. If you do not see the camera that you are looking for, please send me an email, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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