Panasonic Lumix G10 review
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.
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.
|Camera megapixel rating||12.1mp|
|Camera screen size||3.0in|
|Camera optical zoom range||3x|
|Camera maximum resolution||4000 x 3000|
Weight and dimensions
|Dimensions||124 x 56 x 84mm (WDH)|
|Battery type included||lithium-ion|
|Battery life (CIPA standard)||380 shots|
|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|
|Secondary LCD display?||no|
|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|