Useful trick the LX100 can do

Discussion in 'Panasonic' started by Jock Elliott, Apr 5, 2016.

  1. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    The sheer complexity of today's cameras can induce panic in a guy like me. I live in fear of inducing some combination of commands that will render my camera as eccentric as an ancient bachelor uncle and that I cannot figure out how to undo. This isn't just a theoretical fear; I had to do a full reset on a camera that exhibited high strangeness after I handled it with my winter gloves.

    So when I get a camera, I tend to leave it the heck alone. Instead of customizing the camera to my preferences, I customize myself to work with its default settings. That was one of the attractions of the LX100 -- it had readily accessible controls that I remember from the good ol' days: aperture, shutter speed. I didn't use them much, but it was very comforting to know they were there.

    The LX100 has a trick autofocus system (dfd?) that works really fast and really well, but it doesn't always focus on the thing that I wanted to focus on. Fortunately, if you throw a switch on the side of the lens barrel, you can select manual focus, turn a ring on the lens barrel (this same ring controls the step zoom by default) and focus on the desired subject. A magnified section pops up in middle of the viewfinder, and blue sparklies appear on the thing that is in focus. To get back to autofocus, you have to move the switch back to its original position.

    Today, however, I discovered something that really made me grin. I was cruising the menus, looking for some other function, when I noticed, on page 3 of the Custom settings menu, a thing called "AF + MF." Activate it, and autofocus works as usual.

    The image below shows a shot taken through the window at my neighbor's house. The autofocus locked onto the window.

    LX100 focus trick (5).JPG
    But what I really wanted was the neighbor's house. With AF + MF activated, while pressing the shutter button halfway down (which activates autofocus) I just rotate the focus ring, the camera instantly switches to manual focus, pops up the magnified view, and lets me focus on the house:

    LX100 focus trick (6).JPG

    This also works if you use the AF/AE lock button for back focus. When you let off the shutter button, the focus ring around the camera barrel goes back to its original function. This is really slick, really easy, and as far as I can tell, has no downside.

    Cheers, Jock
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  2. bartjeej

    bartjeej Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 12, 2010
    Sounds good! I used my dad's LX3 and FZ1000, and I think Panasonic have, for the most part, really sensible user interfaces. Not as all-out retro as Fujifilm, but very direct nonetheless.
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  3. Les Klein

    Les Klein Regular

    Dec 10, 2015
    Hi Jock,
    If you haven’t done so yet, also activate focus peaking (in the custom settings menu), which enhances manual focus precision. I learned a while ago that AF usually focuses on the closest object, sometimes even if the object is not in the focus frame. By using MF, or AF + MF, and focus peaking this problem is eliminated.
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  4. drd1135

    drd1135 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Lexington, Virginia
    So you've figured out a more fool-proof way to spy on your neighbors?o_O
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  5. theoldsmithy

    theoldsmithy All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 7, 2013
    Herefordshire, England
    Martin Connolly
    Another neat trick is the constant DOF preview. Very handy.
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  6. DHart

    DHart Regular

    Feb 28, 2011
    Nice. I love the LX100. Awesome camera.
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