Panasonic Lumix G10 review

£458
Price when reviewed

On the left shoulder of the body there’s another dedicated switch to choose between single-shot, continuous and manual focus; not so useful for everyday snappers but a boon for action photography. And if capturing fast-moving subjects really is your thing, you’ll be pleased to hear Panasonic has gone a long way to mitigating the Micro Four Thirds system’s Achilles heel: autofocus performance.

With decent light the G10’s AF locks on in a fraction of a second with little focus hunting. It’s also extremely quiet – a function of the fact that Panasonic considers the G series to be as much camcorder as camera. Select the video mode and autofocus happily remains active, with no audible focus-motor noise. You also get a camcorder-style wind-cut setting for the mic, but curiously the internal microphone is mono and there’s no input for an external stereo mic.

That drawback aside, the G10 makes a pretty impressive camcorder. It may “only” record at a maximum of 720p resolution but detail rendition is superb, as is colour reproduction. Set the Film Mode to Vibrant and you’d be hard-pressed to tell the difference between the G10 and typical modern broadcast TV footage, skill of the camera person notwithstanding.

Panasonic Lumix G10

Still image quality is as we’ve come to expect of recent Micro Four Thirds models: very good indeed. High-ISO noise is well controlled up to ISO 1600, and just about acceptable at ISO 3200. Chromatic aberrations with the stock lens aren’t entirely absent – tree branches against a bright sky tend towards purple fringing – but are generally few and far between.

Dynamic range isn’t quite at standard DSLR levels; clipping sets in a little earlier but it’s far closer to a DSLR than it is to digital-compact levels of performance. The overall look of shots is natural, open and detailed

It adds up to a competent but very slightly lacklustre package. If the G10 had been released a year or so ago at this price point we’d have been gobsmacked, but things move on. As it is, Panasonic has produced a reasonable addition to the burgeoning ranks of Micro Four Thirds models, at a good price and with some useful features if you need them. It’s not the most exciting camera ever made but it’s a solid choice.

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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