Panasonic Lumix G10 review

£458
Price when reviewed

Look at picture of the Lumix G10 might give you a sense of déjà vu, and it has to be said the package as a whole isn’t especially novel. It’s similar in basic design and features to every other Micro Four Thirds camera before it, from both Panasonic and its rivals. The kit lens is the now-standard 14-42mm (28 – 84mm equivalent) f/3.5 – 5.6 zoom and the body is roughly the same size as all previous Micro Four Thirds models; which is to say, larger than a digital compact but significantly smaller and lighter than the average digital SLR. Features are similar too, although it does bring a few extra tricks to the circus.

All Micro Four Thirds cameras lack an optical viewfinder because of the lack of space between lens and sensor; the G10 attempts to compensate for that with an electronic viewfinder (EVF) to supplement the 3in TFT screen. It’s only a partial success. With it, you can frame a shot in bright sunlight, but its colour rendition is poor, resolution is low at 202kpixels and it presents a very small image to the eye.

Panasonic Lumix G10

In fact, ours tended to start hurting after about a minute of squinting at it. The camera also needs to be switched on to use it, whereas with the optical viewfinder of a DSLR you can spend all afternoon framing your shot if you want, and not waste any battery life at all.

The lens doesn’t feel like a professional piece of kit, with matte-plastic construction and a plastic mount. Its low weight does contribute to an all-up weight for camera, lens and battery of just 552g, but that’s heavier than the Olympus PEN E-PL1’s overall 478g with its 14-44mm lens. The lens itself is less compact too, at about 62mm deep to the PEN’s 43mm. And there’s little arguing the Olympus has a lot more going for it in the looks department.

There are other differences between the G10 and its rivals though. The control layout is refreshing; you get a dedicated switch to select between single-shot, burst and bracketing modes, which for the many amateurs dabbling in HDR photography these days, will save a lot of time. Bracketing is flexible too, allowing up to seven shots in a sequence.

Details

Image quality 5

Basic specifications

Camera megapixel rating 12.1mp
Camera screen size 3.0in
Camera optical zoom range 3x
Camera maximum resolution 4000 x 3000

Weight and dimensions

Weight 550g
Dimensions 124 x 56 x 84mm (WDH)

Battery

Battery type included lithium-ion
Battery life (CIPA standard) 380 shots
Charger included? yes

Other specifications

Built-in flash? yes
Aperture range f3.5 - f5.6
Camera minimum focus distance 0.30m
Shortest focal length (35mm equivalent) 28
Longest focal length (35mm equivalent) 84
Minimum (fastest) shutter speed 1/4,000
Maximum (slowest) shutter speed 1 mins
Bulb exposure mode? yes
RAW recording mode? yes
Exposure compensation range +/- 3EV
ISO range 100 - 6400
Selectable white balance settings? yes
Manual/user preset white balane? yes
Progam auto mode? yes
Shutter priority mode? yes
Aperture priority mode? yes
Fully auto mode? yes
Burst frame rate 3.0fps
Exposure bracketing? yes
White-balance bracketing? no
Memory-card type SDXC
Viewfinder coverage 100%
LCD resolution 460k
Secondary LCD display? no
Video/TV output? yes
Body construction Plastic
Tripod mounting thread? yes
Data connector type Proprietary USB

Manual, software and accessories

Full printed manual? yes
Software supplied PHOTOfunStudio 5.0, SILKYPIX Developer Studio 5.1
Accessories supplied Lens hood

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