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Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ10 review

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Our Score:

7

Despite coming into the market relatively late (launching its first camera in 2001), Panasonic has proved to be one of the most versatile digital camera manufacturers, with a range of models covering pretty much every type from cheap pocket compacts to high-spec digital SLRs. Sitting about as close to the middle of this wide and varied range as it is possible to get is this, the 10.1-megapixel Lumix DMC-LZ10, and its 8.1-megapixel sibling the LZ8.

Priced at an affordable £160, the LZ10 is a half-metal, half-plastic medium-sized compact camera powered by two AA batteries. Nevertheless it has enough features to stand out from other similar compacts. With a Leica-branded 5x zoom lens equivalent to 30-150mm, a 2.5-inch 230k monitor, Mega OIS optical image stabilisation and optional manual exposure, its closest match is probably the Canon PowerShot A590 IS (£150), although that camera is physically larger and only 8MP, criticisms which also apply to a comparison with Nikon's CoolPix P50 (£150). There really isn't another camera on the market that closely matches the LZ10's specification.

The initial impression of the LZ10 is a good one. The front of the camera body is aluminium, while the back is plastic, but the build quality is up to Panasonic's usual high standard. The battery hatch las a locking latch, and there is a separate hatch on the side for the memory card, handy if you are using the camera on a tripod. The overall shape is much more square and functional than many of Panasonic's other more stylish compacts. It is a fairly large camera by pocket compact standards, measuring 97.5 x 62 x 33.3mm, but it is quite light, weighing only 141g minus batteries. Of course using two AA alkaline batteries for power means that the loaded weight goes up to around 190g, but using Lithium batteries can shave about 25g off that figure.

The batteries live inside a prominent handgrip on the right of the body, complete with a textured pad. A small raised lip on the back of the camera provides a thumbgrip, and overall the LZ10 is very comfortable and secure to hold. The control layout is sensible and unsurprising, with a rotary bezel zoom control, a standard D-pad and a few other buttons. The on/off and record/playback controls are small slider switches, so you're very unlikely to move them accidentally. Some of the other buttons and the D-pad are a bit small, but not annoyingly so, and they are at least very clearly labelled.

Sarah Joyce 1

August 22, 2008, 5:12 am

I happen to own the Panasonic LZ-8, and as a professional digital camera instructor, I think that it offer a lot of bang for its low price. Just as does the Kodak Z-712 which is selling in the USA at $(US) 169.00.

Tom MacFarlane 1

August 27, 2008, 2:07 am

I recently bought the LZ10 and it is certainly a flawed camera.


I found it to be at its best at the widest setting, and also for macro work.


At it's default setting I found it to be lacking in sharpness.


The ezoom settings - unlike Canon's - are a waste of time.


The movie mode is poor.

Kitcat

December 10, 2008, 9:37 pm

I am a professional photographer, but don't carry my pro equipment 24-7. I need a little point-and-shoot to carry all the time.





I have a Panasonic DMC-LZ5 and it is the best-point-and-shoot camera I own! Several reasons:





1) It uses AA batteries - I buy rechargable AA's but if you travel and cannot recharge you can buy new AA batteries anywhere! I found that out the hard way while on a trip and no access to plug in dead batteries. A quick stop at a local convenience store is now my backup battery plan.





2) The 6X optical zoom exceeds MOST pocket cameras in the price range. The New LZ10 is 5X zoom and again for a pocket camera it's OK - better than most!





3) It uses SD media cards which are the most universal.





I dropped the LZ5 and need to replace my favorite pocket camera now. I'm researching the series since the LZ5 to make the right choice, but I won't get anything other than a Panasonic DMC-LZ( )filling in the blank.





I recommend it for anyone needing an easy low cost pocket camera. Most people not shooting professionally will find that this economical camera will do a fine job.



drumdrum

January 16, 2009, 8:47 am

Panasonic's new 10 mega pixel Touch Screen - FX520 - uses similiar internals ( with a wider lens )and it retails for $750...photoreview.com.au


YOU DO THE MATH !!!


They both have a great lens coupled with a undersized sensor - but the implementation and resulting features make for a pretty fine camera !

grumpydoc

February 4, 2010, 12:00 am

My wife bought an LZ10 and her main complaint is that it eats batteries. Your review said that you only got 40 pictures from a set of new alkaline batteries, but implied that they might have been old. No they weren't! Don't use ordinary AA batteries and expect to recharge others frequently.

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