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Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10 - Performance and Results

By Cliff Smith



Our Score:


One thing that hasn't been cut down is the camera's exceptional performance. It can start up and take a picture in a little over one second, and in single shot mode it can maintain a consistent speed of one shot every 0.7 seconds, which is very good by any standard, although some full-size DSLRs are faster. In continuous shooting mode it can maintain approximately three frames a second, although the number of shots it can shoot in a row depends on the speed of the memory card being used. With a fast class 10 card it can manage 18 shots before slowing down to empty the buffer.

Like other mirrorless system cameras the G10 has a contrast detection autofocus system which uses the imaging sensor, rather than the faster phase detection systems used in conventional DSLRs. Nonetheless focusing is exceptionally fast and reliable in all lighting conditions, and doesn't slow down noticeably in low light. The G10 has a bright AF assist lamp with a useful range of about three metres. The pop-up flash is also very good, with a guide number of 11 at 100 ISO, and is easily capable of filling a large room with good frame coverage even at wide angle.

In terms of overall image quality the G10 is virtually indistinguishable from the G2. Exposure metering is extremely accurate and reliable, colour depth and saturation are superb, and dynamic range is also very good. The new 14-42mm standard kit lens is significantly better than the old one, with excellent edge to edge sharpness and no visible chromatic aberration at any focal length or aperture setting.

Noise control is very good at lower ISO settings, but like most Four-Thirds sensor cameras there are some problems at higher sensitivities. There is visible noise and colour mottling at 400 ISO, and this gets progressively worse as speed increases, until the 6400 ISO setting is virtually unusable. Hopefully Panasonic and Olympus will adapt the new back-illuminated sensor technology to the Four-Thirds system and reap some of the benefits of reduced noise. Until then however the larger APS-C sensors employed by its rivals will continue to have an advantage in image quality.


Although it is lacking a few amenities, the Panasonic Lumix G10 doesn't lose out too badly to its more expensive stablemate the G2. The viewfinder is a bit disappointing, but the performance and image quality more than compensate. Build quality, handling and usability are all first rate, and the camera has the feel of a quality product. The only question is whether it can compete with its new rivals at its current price.


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 = :)


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...


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...


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?


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


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


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.


June 30, 2010, 11:17 pm

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


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.


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.


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...


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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