Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10 Review
The DMC-G10 introduced by Panasonic in 2010 is pretty similar to the G2, lacking a few features that the G2 has. It's based around the micro four-thirds technology... which is NOT the same as four thirds.
Micro four thirds, for those unfamiliar with it doesn't provide any space for a mirror, which enables smaller body designs. In essence, it offers a compact design akin to point and shoots, but also allows interchangeable lenses like DSLRs. A hybrid, if you insist. These type of cameras are targeted towards newbies since they're small, compact, inexpensive, and offers newbie-friendly usability.
Overall, we like the G10's design and layout. The controls are pretty easy to learn. If you've ever used an advanced point and shoot, you'll have no problems adjusting to this camera. If you use the G1(the first to use micro four thirds), or G2, the button layout is pretty much identical. The design is solid, and the grip is comfortable. As with all micro four thirds camera, the G10 is very light, weighing 19 ounces when you attach the 14-42mm kit lens.
Panasonic has a habit of having many direct access buttons in their cameras, and the DMC-G10 is no exception. There is a dedicated button for focus mode options on the top left, drive modes are controlled by a switch in the top right. The mode dial contains your common settings.
In the back of the camera is a small thumb rest. On top is the jog dial and an AE/AF lock button. Under the thumb rest lays the Quick Menu Button. If you press it, it shows the interactive display, where you can change common settings like image stabilization, shutter speed, metering, ISO level, white balance etc.
One button that is missing here that was on the G2 was a dedicated movie recording button. Other than that, we like how Panasonic laid it all out. It never feels crowded. Another minor gripe we have with the menu system is that the G10 doesn't let you create your own custom menu with commonly accessed options. It just lists the most recent options. But it's not a deal breaker.
The LCD screen here is 3 inches, which is common among both P&S and DSLRs. It features 460,000 dots with 100 field of view. The electronic viewfinder though is nowhere as good as the G1's viewfinder. It just has 202,000 dots, and the G1 has over 1.4 million dots. But then again the G10 is cheaper.
Live view is also incorporated in the G10, and we actually think shooting with live view offers a more comfortable experience than using the viewfinder. The viewfinder is a bit slow, and you have to use the LVF/LCD button if you want to switch between using the LCD and viewfinder, which gets annoying when you need to review photos on the LCD screen afterwards.
In terms of performance, well we'll keep it simple: The Panasonic DMC-G10 is best in class. Yep. From start to shoot takes a quick .7 seconds. Focus to shoot takes .5 seconds under good lighting, and .6 seconds in dim lighting. Only the Sony NEX-5 camera takes a shorter time for focus to shoot (.4 seconds). Shot to shot is .7 seconds - it doesn't matter if you use JPEG or RAW. Using flash however increases it to 1 second. Continuous shooting mode is fairly average at 3 frames per second.
You can choose to buy the G10 with their kit lens - the 14-42mm lens, which is similar to the older 14-45mm lens. It utilizes an internal focus, which makes it quieter than standard systems. This comes in quite handy when you decide to shoot video.
We shot many photos using the 14-42mm kit lens, and the photo quality met our expectations. We admit this lens does contain some distortion at the widest, but not a whole lot. It's sharp and only has fringing in a few situations.
The image quality of our shots all displayed accurate colors, and solid exposures. We did notice some color shifts, but they were not glaring. Overall, the G10 delivers outstanding bright, saturated and accurate colors.
The noise level does make us concerned though. We think their noise reduction algorithm is a bit too harsh. When we shot several photos using a very low ISO of 200, we notice a loss in detail in several spots. In ISO 100, it looks normal though. If you stick with ISO 100, and compare the results with similar cameras, the G10 does produce sharper images with no noise. In any case, you probably will need to do some image editing afterwards to get the images to look exactly as you want them to.
Video mode is pretty good, but definitely not top of its class. It features 1280 X 720 HD video capture, which is certainly enough for most people's needs.
- 12.1 megapixels
- Supports ISO 100 - 6400
- 3 inch LCD screen with 460,000 pixels
- LCD viewfinder
- Contains popup flash
- 3 X optical zoom
- Hot shoe
- Face detection support
- SD memory card
- Fast performance, best in class
- Good build
- Intelligently designed
- Electronic viewfinder is not good
- Missing dedicated record button
- Too much noise in JPEG
Whether or not you should buy the DMC-G10 depends on your needs. If you're looking for speedy fast performance, there's no better camera in this price range than the Panasonic DMC-G10. It offers a compact design that makes it akin to holding a point and shoot. On the other hand, if image quality is your first priority, you're better off looking for another camera, and maybe go with an entry level DSLR.
If you want the fast performance, but want a better electronic viewfinder and better quality video, you can always upgrade to the G2 as well, which costs around $200 more.
Rating: 4.4 out of 5
Where to Buy It:
Lowest Price: Amazon for $520.12.
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|Amazon||$520.12 (Cheapest Price)|
Prices last updated on: Wed, 28 Jun 2017 00:15:00 PDT