A Review of a Panasonic Lumix LX100’s 4K Photo Mode

October 29, 2014 - photo frame


One of a many sparkling things about capturing high fortitude video with a Panasonic LX100 is a ability to remove high fortitude still photos from it. Video grabbing is not a new thing, yet in customary clarification we were looking during stills measuring a third of a Megapixel, and even in Full HD you’d usually suffer 2 Megapixels. But with 4k video we can make 8 Megapixel grabs that is many some-more useful.

The pivotal advantage to video grabbing regardless of a fortitude is a support rate, typically 24-30fps, that is many faster than even veteran sports cameras work at. Since a LX100 can record 4k during 24-30fps, it’s effectively capturing 8 Megapixel stills during 24-30fps. After capturing a video we simply go by it a support during a time until we see a ideal moment, afterwards remove a still picture from it.

Previously to remove stills from video you’d use a actor like VLC to play a video, postponement it tighten to a preferred point, afterwards trifle behind and onward before afterwards saving a wilful impulse as a snapshot. Panasonic believes there’s an easier approach so now offers video grabbing in-camera. This supposed 4K Photo mode was introduced on a LX100 and combined to a GH4 and FZ1000 around a firmware update.


Enabling 4K Photo mode sets a film peculiarity to 4K during a top support rate upheld by a camera – on a LX100 that’s 25fps for PAL models and 30fps for NTSC models. In my tests if a camera is set to Program mode for exposures, a 4K Photo mode also generally comparison faster shiver speeds than when sharpened ‘normal’ video; this creates clarity as ideal shiver speeds for video are sincerely delayed and not ideal for holding grabs from. So prolonged as your shiver speeds are faster than 1/100 we should be excellent for grabbing portraits, and for action, aim for faster than 1/500.

Interestingly a 4K Photo mode also inherits a comparison aspect ratio, so it’s not tied to filming and grabbing in a normal 16:9 widescreen video shape. Set a LX100 to 16:9, 3:2, 4:3 or 1:1 and it’ll constraint video during 3840×2160, 3504×2336, 3328×2496 or 2880×2880 respectively; note a 1:1 figure might have some-more pixels plumb than a 4:3 shape, yet like a still photos on a LX100 it shares a same straight margin of view. Also note all of a 4K Photo modes engage a amiable stand compared to normal still photos, so a lens coverage is somewhat less.

When we play a videos behind in-camera, we can use a ride controls to postponement and convey behind and onward one support during a time, afterwards press a OK symbol to remove a still JPEG picture during a same figure and fortitude as a video. Interestingly we can also do this with video filmed in a normal 4k film modes (without 4K Photo enabled), yet they’ll always be in 16:9 and if we were sharpened in Auto or Program, a shiver speeds might be slower than you’d like for still capture.

I tested a 4K Photo mode with a accumulation of subjects: sincerely static, relocating solemnly and relocating quickly. Starting with sincerely static, we filmed a mural event and extracted a following still from it.

4K Photo Grab: 1/640, f/2.8, 200 ISO, 10.9-34mm during 34mm

4K Photo Grab: 1/640, f/2.8, 200 ISO, 10.9-34mm during 34mm

Now a 4K Photo mode might be capturing an 8 Megapixel picture with a little scaling applied, yet in terms of peculiarity it’s indeed not too far-off a local 12 Megapixel picture shot routinely with a camera. The good thing about filming video for portraits is we notice unequivocally pointed differences as we shuttle-through a frames, and we also constantly constraint a accumulation of acted and vehement poses. The LX100’s continual AF needs a second or so to catch-up if we or a theme moves much, yet in ubiquitous it’s a unequivocally unsentimental approach to squeeze some unequivocally serviceable images while also carrying a ‘behind-the-scenes’ video to go with it. It’s generally good for kids whose expressions change a lot.

Shooting during 25-30fps and extracting a wilful impulse is also apparently of seductiveness to wildlife, sports and transformation photographers, and we was meddlesome to see how good a camera could hoop such subjects. In short, a tying factors are a continual AF on a camera, joined with a medium telephoto strech of a lens. If a theme is unequivocally tighten and relocating quickly, it’ll constantly be out of concentration on many frames. If a theme is comparatively apart yet and not so perfectionist on focus, afterwards you’ll suffer some-more success, nonetheless apparently with usually a 75mm strech a theme might not be sincerely little on a frame. Here’s one of a kite surfer practising – unfortunately he looked little coming face-on during 75mm.

4K Photo grab: 1/3200, f/2.8, 200 ISO, 10.9-34mm during 32mm

4K Photo grab: 1/3200, f/2.8, 200 ISO, 10.9-34mm during 32mm

I enjoyed some-more success with subjects that might pierce quickly, yet not always towards or divided from we – such as a bird taking-off. We have copiousness of seagulls around my home city of Brighton, so we suspicion I’d get them to indication for me in remuneration for all a presents they’ve left on my car. Here’s a support squeeze from a 4K Photo video, followed by 16 uninterrupted frames we grabbed from a video to illustrate a transformation when sharpened during 25fps.

4K Photo grab: 1/4000, f/2.8, 200 ISO, 10.9-34mm during 32mm

4K Photo grab: 1/4000, f/2.8, 200 ISO, 10.9-34mm during 32mm

Panasonic Lumix LX100 4K Photo video grabs - any is one support apart

Panasonic Lumix LX100 4K Photo video grabs – any is one support apart

Personally vocalization I’m unequivocally vehement about capturing stills from high fortitude video, and it’s another plume in a top of a LX100. But we also hear a lot of insurgency from some photographers over this technique like it’s intrigue during best, or during worst, a genocide of photography. That’s extensive nonsense. Traditional still constraint isn’t going divided – this is only another apparatus in a photographer’s box to constraint a picture they desire. But equally it got me meditative about a definition of photography with complicated gear.

Is grabbing stills from pre-recorded video so opposite from capturing stills from live video? After all, that’s effectively what live perspective mirrorless cameras do. Who cares if a video is live or pre-recorded? Sure there’s some fun in being propitious adequate to constraint a wilful impulse with a singular shot, yet trust me sports, wildlife and mural photographers don’t take any chances, and frequently clap off hundreds of frames before afterwards picking by them after for a best moment. Is sharpened stills during 10fps somehow some-more ‘worthy’ than sharpened video during 30fps? Is it a word video that people have a problem with?

It’s also critical to indicate out that while video grabbers might lay behind and cherry-pick a best frames from their footage, a tangible video footage itself still compulsory a grade of ability to capture. You still need to find it, harmonise it, light it, approach a theme or wait for a best conditions. The tough work of constraint is finished on-site, withdrawal we after reap a rewards when extracting your still image.

In this way, it’s unequivocally not distinct sharpened RAW or bracketed exposures, where we constraint all a information we enterprise on-site in a believe you’ll emanate your ideal still from it later.

Maybe you’re on-side, or maybe still to be convinced. For me, I’m a believer. Of march I’m not of march going to barter all of my still photography for video grabbing, yet we can positively see many situations when it would be an intensely profitable tool.

As for a LX100’s implementation, we consider Panasonic has finished a good pursuit of creation it as easy as possible, nonetheless we consternation if capturing footage during 4k is an capricious extent or bumping opposite a tangible bandwidth of a processor. If a LX100 can constraint 4k video during opposite aspect ratios, afterwards is there in fact sufficient estimate flesh to record a whole frame? we know it’d be a nonstandard video distance and shape, yet if it’s only for grabbing stills, afterwards because not? Imagine capturing 12 Megapixel images during 25-30fps yet a field-crop or any scaling? we see RED doing it during 6k now and Panasonic deliberating 8k in a future, so my doubt is either we in fact already have a collection to do improved than 4K for photos on a stream Lumix lineup? It’s an intriguing thought, yet in a meantime I’m tender with 4K Photo constraint on a LX100 (and a pricier siblings) — it’s a pivotal advantage over a foe during any finish of a market.

Editor’s Note: This is only one territory of Gordon’s extensive LX100 review. Click here to review it in full.

About a author: Gordon Laing is a photographer, foodie, traveller and Editor of Cameralabs, where he publishes some of a many in-depth reviews of rigging you’ll find anywhere. He’s been into photography given childhood and created about imaging over a 22 year career in journalism. He’s now formed in Brighton, England, yet takes any event to transport and share his adventures on amicable media.

You can follow all of his photography, news and reviews on Cameralabs, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or Instagram!

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