When Panasonic launched its first DSLR it was priced at nearly $4000. Reason has now entered the picture as the follow-up model hits the shelves at a little more than half that figure. And a fascinating camera the L10 is too.
Using the 4/3 system the camera can accept lenses made by Leica, Olympus and Sigma. The image sensor is approximately 4/3 of an inch in the diagonal with an actual imaging area of 17.3x13mm.
The big bonus when you buy the L10 camera/lens kit is you get a Japanese-made, Leica-designed Vario-Elmar f3.8-5.6/14-50 mm, 3.6x zoom as your first lens. With Panasonic DSLRs each lens must be optically stabilised, differing from Olympus and Sony who rely on an internal body system to handle the image steadying.
Growing in popularity is a feature that gives you a Live View of your shot on the rear, rotating 6.4cm LCD screen before fi ring the shutter button. I’m quite happy with the optical reflex view finder — it does guarantee accurate focus indication — but many will appreciate the
The camera uses a Live MOS sensor which captures a 10.1 megapixel image, maxing out to a 3648×2736 pixel image — enough to make 31×23 cm prints at 300 dpi.
Exposure options include auto, Program AE, shutter or aperture priority and manual. Metering choices: multizone, centre-weighted and spot.
An unlikely feature for a DSLR with pro ambitions, the L10 has a face detection feature that throws an outline onto the LCD if a face occupies the scene and maximises focus and exposure. Outside this, the L10 offers five other auto focus options: from spot focus to a nine
The inbuilt fl ash can handle snapshot type photography and reach out to 4.4m with an ISO 200 setting; you can also access first and second shutter curtain sync for special lighting effects.
The L10 captures in RAW or JPEG or RAW+JPEG; it has a burst mode of 3fps; ISO sensitivity runs to 1600; 1920×1080 pixel capture option for HD TV viewing; sensor dust reduction is activated each time camera is powered on; SD/SDHC memory cards are used.
Australian Macworld’s buying advice. The L10 delivered some first class images. If you’re ready to make the move from serious hobbyist to semi-pro, it rates a look.