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Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £439
inc VAT

The Lumix DMC-G10 is very fast and takes great photos, but it has the familiar traits of a camera built to a cost. If video isn’t important, the DMC-G1 is a better buy.


17.3x13mm 12.1-megapixel sensor, 3.0x zoom (28-84mm equivalent), 558g

So-called hybrid cameras are the talk of the town at the moment as they’re designed to give users the best of both worlds. They promise the image quality and flexibility of a DSLR with similar controls and handling, but in a much more compact body.

Panasonic was the first company to release such a camera, the Lumix DMC-G1, after working with Olympus to develop the Micro Four Thirds lens mount. Thus far, they’ve been quite expensive with the Olympus E-PL1 and Samsung NX10 the most keenly priced at around £500 for a standard kit. The Lumix DMC-G10 is £50 cheaper, but still competes head on with these and a raft of very good low-cost DSLRs.

Like its predecessors, the G10 resembles a DSLR at first glance, but it’s quite a bit smaller – and thinner – because there’s no mirror mechanism between lens and sensor. The body is well sculpted and is covered in a subtly rubberised matte coating which looks and feels nice.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10 (front)

To add to that pleasure, the hand grip fits comfortably with almost all controls within reach for one-handed operation. The buttons feel positive and precise, but there are a couple of changes we’d make to the layout. The LVF/LCD switch, which is on the left hand side above the 3in 460,000-dot LCD and switches between the rear screen and live electronic viewfinder, could be better-positioned. However, we weren’t that impressed with the electronic viewfinder’s meagre 202,000-dot resolution and found ourselves relying on the LCD screen in all but the brightest shooting conditions, making button placement less of an issue. The playback button is also in a slightly strange position, but it’s easy enough to get used to.

The G10 has a 12.1-megapixel Live MOS Four Thirds sensor and is combined with an upgraded Venus Engine HD II processor. The combination gives an expanded sensitivity of ISO 100 to 6400 and support for 720p HD video recording, which was missing from the original Lumix G1.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10 (top)

It records HD video at 1,280×720 at 30fps in the Motion JPEG format, which isn’t particularly efficient, but the quality is good and the available My Colour digital effect filters are useful if you want to be more creative. Image quality in still photographs was also pleasing, with generally good exposure control, vibrant colours and good centre sharpness.

It’s also a very quick camera, almost as quick as an SLR, despite using a contrast-detect auto-focus system. The weaknesses of this type of AF system do become apparent in poorly-lit environments, where it starts to search a bit, but it behaved well in all other scenarios.

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Basic Specifications

Rating ***
CCD effective megapixels 12.1 megapixels
CCD size 17.3x13mm
Viewfinder Electronic (202,000 pixels)
Viewfinder magnification, coverage 100%
LCD screen size 3.0in
LCD screen resolution 460,000 pixels
Articulated screen No
Live view Yes
Optical zoom 3.0x
Zoom 35mm equivalent 28-84mm
Image stabilisation optical, lens based
Maximum image resolution 4,000×3,000
Maximum movie resolution 1280×720
Movie frame rate at max quality 30fps
File formats JPEG, RAW, QuickTime (motion JPEG)


Memory slot SDXC
Mermory supplied none
Battery type 7.2V 1,250mAh Li-ion
Battery Life (tested) 380 shots
Connectivity USB, miniHDMI
HDMI output resolution 1080i
Body material Plastic
Lens mount Micro Four Thirds
Focal length multiplier 2.0x
Kit lens model name Lumix G Vario 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Mega O.I.S.
Accessories USB cable, shoulder strap, battery charger, body cap, AV cable
Weight 558g
Size 84x124x74mm

Buying Information

Warranty 1 year parts and labour
Price £439

Camera Controls

Exposure modes program, shutter priority, aperture priority, manual, scene mode, intelligent Auto
Shutter speed 60 to 1/4,000 seconds
Aperture range f/3.5 to f/22 (wide), f/5.6 to f/22 (tele)
ISO range (at full resolution) 100 to 6400
Exposure compensation +/-3 EV
White balance auto, 6 presets, manual (blue/amber bias, magenta/green bias)
Additional image controls contrast, sharpness, saturation, noise reduction, colour space, dynamic range
Manual focus Yes
Closest macro focus 30cm
Auto-focus modes multi, centre, spot, tracking, face detect
Metering modes multi, centre-weighted, centre, face detect
Flash auto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, rear curtain, red-eye reduction
Drive modes single, continuous, self-timer, AE bracket, WB bracket

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Reviews | DSLRs