Panasonic Lumix DMC-L10 Review

Review Date: November 2nd 2007
Author: Mark Goldstein

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Page 1
Introduction / Ease of Use
Page 2
Image Quality
Page 3
Sample Images
Page 4
Design
Page 5
Specifications
Page 6
Conclusion

Conclusion


Ratings (out of 5)
Design
4.5
Features
4.5
Ease-of-Use
4
Image Quality
4.5
Value for Money
3.5

Trying to decide what award the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L10 should receive has proven to be a difficult task, principally because the overall package that's currently available doesn't make too much sense. Panasonic have gone to great lengths to make the L10 the perfect beginner's DSLR, suitable for all those people who are considering stepping-up from a compact camera. The innovative free-angle LCD screen and advanced Live View mode mean that you can use the L10 like any compact, plus features like Face Detection and Intelligent ISO all contribute to a DSLR that operates and handles just like your favourite ultra-zoom, even down to the similarly light-weight body. At the same time, Panasonic have used their partnership with Leica to provide a fantastic kit lens that kicks the direct competition into touch. But therein lies the problem with the Panasonic L10 package - pairing a camera so obviously tailored to beginners with a lens that individually costs 600, much more than any entry-level DSLR kit, simply takes the L10 out of the financial reach of even the most well-heeled beginner. That expensive lens ensures that image quality is excellent, with very few signs of chromatic aberrations with little distortion at either end of the focal range. The L10 also offers a relatively noise-free ISO range of 100-800, which coupled with Panasonic's usual effective anti-shake system ensures that the camera can handle most lighting situations. But will beginners appreciate the difference between the Leica lens and one costing hundreds of pounds less? I think not. Or will more experienced photographers ignore the likes of the Canon EOS 40D, Nikon D200 and Sony A700 with their pro features, better low-noise performance and build-quality, and plump for the L10? Again, probably not. Which ultimately leaves the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L10 caught between two camps in its current kit format, too expensive for beginners, and possibly too beginner-like for prosumers. The final complication is that the Leica kit lens is currently the only lens that supports the L10's contrast detection auto-focus system in Live View mode - to get the most out of the L10, you have to use this lens. The L10 is a great camera in its own right, with some fantastic innovations that are perfectly suited to its target market, but as it stands it's simply too expensive for that market. Let's hope that Panasonic make the L10 available as body-only or with a cheaper lens that supports Live View AF soon. Highly-recommended if you can make the significant financial jump from 200 / $350 compact to 900 / $1300 DSLR, with the bonus of that quality lens, but only Recommended for the rest of us less well-off mortals...

Page 1
Introduction / Ease of Use
Page 2
Image Quality
Page 3
Sample Images
Page 4
Design
Page 5
Specifications
Page 6
Conclusion

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