Panasonic Lumix DMC-L10 Review

November 5, 2007 | Mark Goldstein | PhotographyBLOG | 1 Comment | |

Panasonic Lumix DMC-L10The Panasonic Lumix DMC-L10 is a 10 megapixel DSLR camera with a difference - it’s currently the only DSLR to offer a free-angle, swivelling LCD screen, Live View mode complete with focusing, metering and white balance adjustments, and Face Detection system. Looking like a Panasonic DMC-FZ50 ultra-zoom compact on the outside, Panasonic have abandoned the retro look and feel of their first DSLR, the L1, and opted for a much more conventional design for the DMC-L10. Based upon the Four Thirds standard, other significant features include the new Leica D Vario-Elmar 14-50mm F3.8-5.6 kit lens, Supersonic Wave Filter system to remove dust from the sensor, and full range of scene and more creative shooting modes. As with the L1, Panasonic have introduced a DSLR camera that is radically different to what’s on offer from the other manufacturers - but should you choose the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L10 instead of a DSLR from the likes of Canon, Nikon or Olympus? Mark Goldstein reviewed the Panasonic L10 to find out.

Website: Panasonic Lumix DMC-L10 Review

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#1 Infoborder

Here you can see my review:

The L-10 is worth looking at by anyone desperate for a) a vari-angle / live view LCD on an SLR camera and/or b) multiple aspect ratios found in some P&S models. For all others, I recommend looking at the competition (Incidentally, a vari-anlge LCD with preview is now available on the Olympus E-3 as well). I would place the camera in the entry-level SLR market, but for that it is way too expensive (the Olympus E-510 currently sells for half the price with two lenses and a much larger range of accessories / lenses behind it).

First of all, I find the L-10 too large, bulky and heavy. When accepting the distinct disadvantages of a sensor 2/3 the size of an APS sensor (= less dynamic range and more noise), there should be a real advantage in size and weight. Unlike the E-510, the L-10 does NOT provide this advantage and is not that much lighter / smaller than the D80 (which is very solid quality and has 3 times the zoom range).

Quality of build is disappointing. All plastic and zero protection against the elements! On the positive side, the handling, grip, ergonomics, balance etc. are among the best I have seen, making it very easy to use. This is what I like best about the camera.

Built in obsolescence is a major beef I have with Panasonic. The only fully compatible lens provided is bulky, slow and has a limited zoom range. To get a better zoom range, you need the 14-150mm (not yet available), which will likely cost more than the initial camera/lens kit. You will end up with two lenses which have a 100% overlap in the zoom range – an idiotic waste. Unfortunately, you cannot really substitute with the superb Zuiko lenses, as they do not have built-in image stabilisation (why Panansonic decided to go the other way even though they share so many components, beats me). It is not possible to use bracketing on self-timer, so you have to buy another cable release at an astronomical sum. The built in flash is pathetic and you will need an extra flash, so budget for that extra flash gun, bulk and weight right from the start.

But you can see this features on Panasonic DMC-L10 video review

In the end, the camera is neither fish nor fowl: too complicated for the beginner; not enough quality / features for the advanced amateur. I do not recommend it for action photography (small buffer, slow writing to card, slow consecutive shooting). It has limitations for the serious nature photographer (limited range of lenses and lack of weather proofing). It is not much good for architecture (no decent wide-angle coverage and noticeable distortion on the kit lens). It will perform ok as a fair weather camera for amateurs with average experience who do not aspire to professional image quality.

So far, no technical problems encountered other than the fact that EXIF data are incorrectly recorded (e.g. 1.6 sec exposure shows as 1/1600 sec...)

12:35 pm - Monday, December 17, 2007