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Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10 review

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10
  • Lumix DMC-G10 Black Digital Camera Kit w/ 14-42mm & 45-200mm Lens (12.1 MP, 4x Opt, SD Card Slot)

Summary

Our Score:

8

User Score:

Pros

  • Excellent build quality
  • Good picture quality
  • Exceptional performance

Cons

  • Disappointing viewfinder
  • Poor noise control at high ISO settings
  • Cut-down video mode

Key Features

  • 4-42mm standard kit lens
  • 12.1 megapixels
  • 3x optical zoom
  • 17.3x13mm
  • 558g
  • Manufacturer: Panasonic
  • Review Price: £549.99

There's no doubt now that mirrorless system cameras are here to stay, with Samsung, Olympus and Sony all now heading down the trail that Panasonic blazed with its revolutionary G-Micro system, and more sure to follow. The original Lumix G1, the first camera of the G-Micro system, is now over 18 months old (where does the time go?), but Panasonic has not been resting on its laurels. It recently launched two new models as the second generation of G-Micro cameras, the Lumix G2 which I reviewed last month, and the camera that I'm looking at today, the new Lumix G10.

The G10 is the new entry-level model of the range. Its stablemate the G2, featuring a high-res field sequential viewfinder, articulated monitor and HD video is currently selling for around £550, while of the first generation models the 1080p HD video equipped GH1 is selling for around £900 and the compact GF1 is around £650. The G10 is currently priced at around £450 as a kit with the new 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 standard zoom lens, which seems very reasonable until you discover that the original G1 is still available with a kit 14-45mm lens for around £440. However price isn't the main selling point of the G-Micro series; in fact you can get a good APS-C digital SLR for around £100 less than the price of the G10.

More worrying for Panasonic is the growing competition from other brands, particularly the extremely impressive Samsung NX10, selling for around £470 but equipped with a full-sized 14.6MP APS-C CMOS sensor and 7.5cm AMOLED monitor. Sony has also just launched the NEX-3, which also has an APS-sized sensor of 14.2MP and is crucially much smaller and lighter than even the GF1, for £450 with a 16mm lens. Panasonic's developments partners Olympus have the stylish Pen E-P1 available for around £380. Faced with this growing competition is Panasonic's new starter model priced just a little too high?

joose

June 29, 2010, 12:24 am

As a owner of the original G1 (sold today) I'd say that some of the better features of the camera was the flexible screen and the excellent viewfinder. Both of which this update remove. I'd advise potential customers to move up to the G2 unless they really can't afford it as it really does make all the difference to the user experience.





BTW I've sold mine so that I can get a Olympus E-P1. Found an excellent deal which comes with the view finder and pancake lens. Which at some point I will upgrade to the Panasonic 20mm. Olympus jpeg engine + body stablizer + fast lens = :)

Noodles

June 29, 2010, 1:35 am

"The high quality Leica-branded 14-50mm f/2.8-3.5 Mega OIS standard zoom is around £770" Whoa Cliff, have you just accidentally slipped out details of a new lens, or are you referring to the regular Four Thirds lens from the L1 DSLR? :)

Jawad Mateen

June 29, 2010, 2:04 am

@ Cliff Smith


Long time reader, first time commenter... love the reviews


Recently someone else did a couple of camera reviews and I was asking the question whether you've left... Glad to have you back


My question is not related to this review but I was waiting to ask you this so here it goes... I need a compact camera for myself and Fujifilm FinePix F200 EXR fits the bill for me (A friend of mine got one after reading your review and is really happy with it's technology that helps taking great night-time photos) but it came out last year and I was wondering if there is an update coming? Like a direct successor?


And if so how long before I can buy it...


Appreciate your help as always...

StefZ

June 29, 2010, 4:30 am

I, on the other hand, have just bought a G1. They currently can be had new for as low as £360 and Panasonic are giving £50 cashback on G1s bought before the end of this month. That's £310 net for a new G1. The cheapest I can find a G10 for is currently £439. Hmmm...

Joneb1999

June 29, 2010, 4:37 am

Im a bit confused about how Trusted Reviews ranks image quality since readimg recent reviews including this one. The reason is this camera gets 8 out of 10 for image quality and its one of the new mirrorless G system breed supposedly better than automatics. The thing is if a camera in this league which the reviewer says says is comparable to the G2 and very good only gets 8 out of 10 for image how does this really compare with the likes of the panasonic TMZ8 whic gets 9 out of 10 for image quality, an automatic at half the price. Am I to understand the TZ8 really has better image quality than the DMC-G10.

Cliff Smith

June 29, 2010, 1:00 pm

joneb1999 - Image quality (and indeed any other review score category) is rated subjectively comparing, as far as possible, like with like. Obviously a camera with a Four-Thirds sensor is going to have better image quality than a compact camera with a 1/2.3" sensor, so it wouldn't be fair to compare the two. A score of 8 means "very good" in comparison to similar or at least similarly-priced products, which in the case of the G10 means other recent mirrorless system cameras or mid-range DSLRs.





This again illustrates why, in my opinion, review scores in general are a bad idea. You don't usually get marks out of ten on book, theatre or restaurant reviews, and they're unusual on film reviews, so what is it about technology reviews that makes us want it all boiled down to a few easily digested numbers? Short attention spans?

joose

June 29, 2010, 1:15 pm

@Jawad - My advice would be to buy the current version. If Fuji update like they did with the F70 to F80 they will add more megapixels which will make the photos slightly worse for night time shots as well as dynamic range.





I bought the F70 based on Cliff's and others reviews and am very happy with it.





@StefZ - Excellent move :) The G1 is really good, just in the end not for me. But I did come from a Ricoh GRDigital so zoom's and the size needed to do zoom's are something I realise I could do without.





@Cliff - Doesn't matter how many times you write that, you know next month you will be asked the same question! lol It's a shame you can't remove the scores but keep the trusted review stamp to show standout products when they come around.

Jawad Mateen

June 29, 2010, 10:09 pm

@Joose


Thanks... I understand what you're saying...

Joneb1999

June 30, 2010, 8:43 pm

@ Cliff Smith - I think you'll find a lot of movie reviews give ratings and though I cant say as much for books I would incline to believe the same. I dont think theres any need to start giving examples as Im confident they are not hard too find. There is absolutely no clarification on how a person is to understand how the reviews compare to each other on this site reading from the home page as far as I can see and I have very good experience of not taking aything for granted. Also I feel like you are being a little patronising in your response. I find it insulting and at this time it has only served to near turn me off visiting this website or using it as a reference. If you have no choice but to use the ratimg system perhaps you can clarify it. As for reading what can be a 4 page review of something I have only a little interest in, I have more to do with my time, so I glance over and I use the ratings and the verdict and whatever info I gleam from in between as my reference and Im sure Im not the only person who does this.

Xamph

June 30, 2010, 11:17 pm

@Joneb1999 - Get over yourself, there's a good lad.

Joneb1999

July 2, 2010, 1:28 am

Xamph your personal sarcastic remarks are more suited to the more juvenile forums on the web. It would be a shame if this website were to be brought down to that level.

John Shewsbury

July 2, 2010, 7:51 pm

Again, another simple but still a good review, at least in my opinion. This is the reason why I like Trusted Review. If I want a full detailed 10 pages review I will go to other websites, I knew quite a number of them, but if I come to Trusted Review that is because I just want to read a simple and yet still informative review.





I guess some reader might get confuse with the Point or Rating system but at the end most (if not all) of the other review website did the same anyway - they do provide that complicated (if not confusing) point/rating system.





As always, different reader may have different way of understanding the Point or Rating system but then it's never easy to standardize it, we just have to leave with it.





By the way, Mr. Cliff Smith, it seems that the superzoom bridge market segment is quite active recently with several models from several manufacturers appear in the market.





I just wonder when will you have the chance to review the Fujifilm HS10.





I'm a big fan of Panasonic, but at the moment, the current price of Micro 4/3 or any other mirror less system is quite though for me to swallow. I rather get the cheap entry level DSLR like Canon EOS 1000D.

Xamph

July 3, 2010, 12:37 am

@Joneb1999 - I apologise, you're right, I was being way too sarky. Sorry - the pints are on me if we ever meet!





As for the review marks out of ten - sure I look at them, and good ones may even entice me into reading the entire review, but if I'm in a hurry reading the generally short conclusion is *much* more important. Comparing the absolute rating numbers in technology reviews is generally pretty pointless - what was "worth" 9 out of 10 last year is very unlikely indeed to be worth 9 out of 10 this year, or even a couple of months later. Book and/or movie reviews may or may not devalue over time, but if they do, it is generally at nowhere near the pace of technology reviews.

ThatOne

July 3, 2010, 1:14 am

First few times I read Cliff's reviews there was already a pretty strong and politely expressed debate going on about the way the different points stacked up. I hope my humble contributions, er, well, contributed, but I have little credit here.





Now I notice that the overall score is pretty much the average of the four specific scores, and I reckon that's an ideal outcome for the people who started the debate, for Cliff and other reviewers, and for people who need more guidance than others when reading a review. So far the "overall" numbers have stopped being better than the IQ number, which, seeing as we are looking at image-making machines, is totally justified and necessary.





Are these now guidelines which will "shape" all reviews, or am I just reading too much into things just because I like them?





Now for the difficulties of giving fair and comparable scores across a range of items under review that goes from high-Pro to beginner. It's not easy! Suppose a review of a high-end unit gives a 10 for IQ. The next beginner unit that comes along is going to fight to do better than 3 for IQ, if measured on exactly the same scale as the high-end unit. But that's not fair on the reader who is looking for a beginner's unit. Surely reviews should be established according to the market they target, no? I do not expect my compact to match my DSLR on IQ, and it would not confuse me if they both got a 9 for IQ in their own contexts. I would still know that my DSLR is going to better my compact by a point or two if I compare them on a like-for-like scale.





I would like to read exchanges about that, just so long as we can all be polite with one another, and that we can all make an effort with our speling and them grammar problems...

Joneb1999

July 3, 2010, 7:57 pm

Cool Xamph you get the pints and ill get the crisps. :) I guess its the matter of personal perception. Plus I often have an alternative thought process, have concentration problems and I think now its affecting my reasoning. :( It does make sense when I put my mind to it that Trusted reviews has been using the system as Cliff explained.

Chris 14

July 4, 2010, 3:47 pm

>>>


This again illustrates why, in my opinion, review scores in general are a bad idea. You don't usually get marks out of ten on book, theatre or restaurant reviews, and they're unusual on film reviews





Perhaps you're in the wrong business Cliff. Marks out of 10, or 5, or 100 (you know, like in all film, theatre or restaurant reviews!!!) are one of the main aims of a review. Otherwise all you're doing is listing features, and we can download the manual to do that.

Mike B

October 10, 2010, 4:02 pm

Given this is available currently for £335 with 14-42mm lens and given this pair comes in at a weight of 500g is this not an ideal "family" camera?





Some are going for the Sony NEX-3 or Olympus E-P1as they are on offer for a similar price but both weigh about the same with standard kit lens! You can't really fit any of them into a pocket so will be using some form of case so why compromise with no viewfinder 9or flash) with others?





Some may opt for a bridge camera but unless you need the long zoom (and most don't for 85% of family and holiday shots) why not have better ISO performance and improved IQ a larger sensor brings?





Although there are some conventional D-SLRs close to this price most have no HD movie mode and weigh considerable more. I know I get tired carrying my Nikon D90 around all day when on holiday so something with less weight but that will not compromise handling or IQ too much is no bad thing. I had though of getting the new Nikon P7000 as a second camera but the weight is only slightly better (170g) so it is a tough call.

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