The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10 is an inexpensive compact/DSLR hybrid camera. We put it through its paces.

Despite its double-digit model number, the Panasonic Lumix G10 is more like a pared-down version of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2. Costing £130 less than the G2, this model’s more modest price tag is echoed by its slightly lesser hardware credentials. There’s no quick access movie button while the LCD monitor, as on most digital SLRs, is fixed and lacks the viewing flexibility of the G2’s. We also noticed the lower screen resolution of the EVF – it’s just 202k.

There’s also plenty to like about this Micro FourThirds model, however. High-definition video comes in the more conventional Mpeg format and, despite the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10's screen being fixed, the image it relays remains life-like thanks to the same higher than average 460k-dot resolution. Low light provision is good with both a built-in flash and an impressive top ISO rating of 6400.

At 558g the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10 is marginally lighter than the G2 with the same 14-42mm, 28-84mm equivalent lens attached, despite the overall dimensions being identical. We noticed some barrel distortion when shooting at maximum wide angle, but edge-to-edge sharpness is well maintained and does not soften towards the corners. The resulting images are crisp and rich in colour, particularly using the likable ‘Expressive’ colour mode.

Another plus is how easy it is to start using the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10: it has a timesaving Q.Menu (denoting Quick Menu) button – a welcome import from Panasonic’s well-received compacts. Press this and the operational icons displayed across the top of the screen become active. Tabbing through them with the camera’s cross key buttons, changes can be made without having to scroll through the comprehensive menu folders.

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10: Specs

  • 12.2Mp, 17.3x13mm Live MOS
  • Jpeg, RAW
  • simultaneous RAW+Jpeg
  • 28-84mm equivalent
  • video recording: 1280x720 Mpeg
  • 3in LCD (460K dot)
  • ISO100-6400
  • 124x84x74mm
  • 558g
  • 12.2Mp, 17.3x13mm Live MOS
  • Jpeg, RAW
  • simultaneous RAW+Jpeg
  • 28-84mm equivalent
  • video recording: 1280x720 Mpeg
  • 3in LCD (460K dot)
  • ISO100-6400
  • 124x84x74mm
  • 558g

OUR VERDICT

The Panasonic Lumix G10 lacks some of the convenient features of the G2, but also costs a fair chunk less than its marginally heavier sibling. In fact, the G10 a very capable compact/dSLR hybrid in its own right, producing sharp, colourful photos without fuss. What’s more, it’s currently the cheapest Micro FourThirds camera with a kit lens on the market.

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