Like Sony and Samsung, Panasonic is a relative newcomer to DSLRs. It’s produced the DMC-L10 in conjunction with Olympus. Unlike its earlier models, the L10’s styling is conventional, and a moderately large body and chunky hand grip make it easy to handle.
The L10 has a live-view mode. This isn’t unusual in this company, but it’s enhanced by a fully articulated screen that swings out from the body and swivels round, so you can shoot subjects from overhead, underneath or to the side.
It will stow away facing the body, too, to keep it protected.
Main specifications are reasonable, but not stellar considering the price. Ten megapixels is plenty, but you only get three autofocus points to play with. Burst speed is a reasonable 3fps, but a RAW buffer of three shots is disappointing.
The kit lens is more impressive: a Leica-branded model, with optical image stabilisation. It’s the best-quality kit lens in this group, with excellent sharpness and little distortion. The only downside is the inevitable weight and bulk that a high-quality lens brings with it; the whole camera with lens attached is only a few grams shy of 1kg.
The L10 shares several features with the E-420. It’s built around the Four Thirds standard and will take any Four Thirds lens. The system also means the sensor is smaller than standard APS-C cameras. As with the Olympus E-420, we’re surprised at the resolving power from such a small sensor, although high ISO noise isn’t as well controlled as others here, becoming too intrusive over ISO 400. It isn’t in the same league as Nikon or Canon, but for shooting at lower sensitivities it’s no disgrace.
The problem that ultimately seals the L10’s fate is simply the price. The Leica lens clearly doesn’t help this, but it’s too high even taking that into account. Given the fair quality and relatively tame specification, it’s impossible to recommend the L10 over the more keenly priced competition.
This Review appeared in the December, 2008 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine
Source: Copyright © PC Pro, Dennis Publishing