Steve's Conclusion

Steve's SnapShot

  • 1-inch, 20.1-Megapixel High Sensitivity MOS Imaging Sensor
  • Venus Processor
  • 3.0-Inch, 1.04-Million Dot LCD Screen
  • 24-72mm F/1.4-2.8
  • 5-Axis HYBRID O.I.S.
  • Dedicated Video Record Button
  • iAuto mode
  • Full 1080p HD and 4K video recording
  • 4K Burst image capture
  • Post Focus
  • Creative Filters
  • Manual Aperture Control
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card compatible
  • Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery
  • iAuto and Program shooting modes are accurate and easy in all situations
  • Dedicated Video Capture Button is always ready to record
  • LX10 offers full manual control that is fast and easy to operate
  • Excellent image quality
  • Lightning Fast AF
  • 5-Axis image stabilization adds a lot to low-light capture and capturing while moving
  • High-Res 3.0-inch Touch LCD is great for shooting and viewing images and videos
  • Excellent shooting performance
  • Full manual and Automatic Video capture allows for total control
  • 4K video gives you the highest resolution possible
  • HDMI output
  • Competitively priced (for its class)
  • Flash is very weak
  • Higher ISO levels produce unusable levels of noise
  • Weak Battery
  • No Included external battery charger
Timing Test Results
  • Power up to first image captured = 1.5 seconds
  • Shutter lag when prefocused = less than 1/10 of a second
  • Shutter lag with autofocus = approx. 1/10 to 3/10 of a second
  • Shot to shot delay wo/flash = 0.52 seconds
  • Shot to shot delay w/flash = 1.10 seconds
  • High Speed Burst = 9fps No Live View
  • Medium Speed Burst = 7.4fps Live View
  • High Speed Burst Cont. AF = 4.1fps
  • All of our tests were completed using a Panasonic UHS-3 16GB SDHC memory card, Program mode, ISO 6400, Flash off and all other settings at the factory defaults unless noted otherwise.
Bottom Line
Great for travel or everyday photography, the Panasonic Lumix LX10 sports the performance and image quality for anyone that is not willing to settle for average. It is also fantastic for anyone who likes to capture video on a regular basis.
Pick This Up If...
You are looking for a compact hybrid camera that is easy to carry anywhere, while still providing the quality and performance when the situation calls for better than an average digicam.
Compact and portable, the Panasonic Lumix LX10 is a fantastic ultra-compact camera for anyone looking for outstanding quality in a truly small package. Sporting a 20.1-Megapixel high sensitivity MOS imaging sensor, low-light Leica DC lens, Venus engine, and 4K video recording capabilities; Panasonic has really packed the power into this pocket-sized camera.

The camera features full Auto and Full manual controls with everything in between. Specialized scene and creative modes put a ton of creativity at your fingertips. Even advanced features like Post Focus and Image Stacking are available for more advanced photography needs.

Taking the performance of an ultra-compact to a new level, the LX10 features 30fps 4K video capture. With this, they have also included their awesome 4K burst capture modes, giving the camera the ability to capture 8-Megapixel images at 30fps. The camera does this by capturing a 4K video with specific settings in order for you to save a sharp, quality image from any frame in the video. Without the 4K burst mode, Panasonic claims that the camera is still capable of 10fps with the mechanical shutter at the full 20.1-Megapxiels; which is still very impressive.

Handling the Lumix LX10 is easy and fun. A small grip on the right side makes it pretty easy to hang on to, although some texture would give a better grip and feel. The on-camera controls could be a little daunting to a novice, but they are pretty simple once you know them. The command dial, aperture ring, and control ring add some much needed control when shooting manually and having burst and bracketing options at your fingertips is a big plus. Even selfies are easy with the LCD flipping a full 180, letting you accurately compose your image instead of just hoping for the best as you hold the camera at arms length.

Composing your images, selfies or otherwise, is accomplished with the camera's Tilting 3.0-inch, 1.04-million dot Touch LCD screen. The high res screen is bright and shows a lot of fine detail, helping you to compose your images. The touch LCD adds some ease to the camera settings by adding several programmable Fn buttons, along with Touch AF and Touch to Capture capabilities. Your captured images and videos can be viewed via the LCD screen as well. Videos play with standard controls and audio via a small, built-in speaker.

Performance from the Lumix LX10 is very good for an ultra-compact. It is able to capture its first image 1.5 seconds after turning on the camera. Its AF system is lightning fast, ranging between 1/10 and 3/10 of second in most shooting situations and the shutter lag is almost non-existent. The shot-to-shot delay is approx. ½ second without the flash, but jumps to just over a second when allowing the flash to charge and fire with each shot. Burst shooting is just as impressive, featuring the 4K burst shooting mode. On top of that, the camera can capture images at 9fps in at the full image resolution in High Speed Burst mode. This mode does not allow for Live View while shooting, but the Medium Burst mode does and captures images at 7.4fps. Switching to Continuous AF and High Speed Burst produces a respectable 4.1fps. All of our tests were completed using a Panasonic UHS-3 16GB SDHC memory card, Program mode, ISO 6400, Flash off and all other settings at the factory defaults unless noted otherwise.

Our outdoor image samples were taken in both iAuto and Program shooting modes. Both shooting modes produced excellent exposure and color results. Program mode produced an excellent overall image, with very realistic color; while the iAuto images produced a slightly more vivid, more potent image thanks to the camera choosing a scene mode to go along with the shooting mode. This comes to a matter of taste for each of us. Keep in mind, program mode gives you the power to make some adjustments to your own tastes. Setting the composition for your images is the camera's 3x optical Leica zoom lens. With a 35mm equivalent of 24-72mm, it is great for wide and mid-range shots. It does lack a little on the telephoto end which can be made up for by getting closer.

Looking closely at our indoor sample images, we were pleasantly surprised at how clear and noise-free most of the images were. Noise doesn't even start to become noticeable in these shots until ISO 1600. Even at this point, the noise levels are incredibly low with a high amount of fine detail. ISO 3200 and 6400 both make big jumps then, adding noise and losing detail quickly. Anything after 6400 should be avoided if possible. The camera's maximum aperture of f/1.4-2.8 is large, allowing more light for faster exposures. Combining this with the Optical Image Stabilization and compact pop-up flash unit is a great way to help with your low-light images. This flash is not very powerful, but can be useful in close situations while using a higher ISO setting.

Great for families and children, the LX10 has fantastic face detection software that makes it snap to capture portrait images. The camera not only will detect and follow faces within the frame; it can track the eyes of the main subject as well. This allows the camera to fine tune the focus to the eye specifically, really making the faces pop. The camera also constantly adjusts the exposure and other settings as the camera tracks the face through the frame. It works quickly and does well with groups, as seen in our sample image.

The Lumix LX10 features a ton of great shooting modes; including Scene and Creative filters, automatic panorama, 4K burst and post focus modes. All of these use the camera's Venus engine to power the modes, whether it's applying the filters or blasting through the burst shooting. While capturing 30fps at 8-Megapixels, you will never miss an action shot. It also allows the camera to capture images at multiple AF points very quickly, so you can stop and choose your focus point after the image has been captured. The drawback is that these modes require more light, making them a bit difficult in low-light situations. Our samples show much higher ISO settings that we would like to see, as the lighting was not too bad, but the ability to capture at 30fps can be more than worth it.

Recording video with the LX10 is awesome. This compact camera comes loaded with manual controls, making this a powerful video tool in a very small package. It has the ability to record 4K video at 30fps and Full 1080p HD video at 60fps in both MP4 and AVCHD video formats. The control ranges from full manual to fully automatic, including a dedicated video recording button that is ready to record all the time, no matter what shooting mode you are in. Our samples show sharp, smooth video that plays back well on all sources. The camera offers sound via a small built-in speaker for viewing anywhere. With an optional HDMI cable, you're Full HD and 4K videos can be shown on any appropriate HDTV/4KTV.

Powering the Lumix LX10 is a 7.2V, 680mAh rechargeable Li-Ion battery. Lasting throughout our testing, a single charge of the battery is able to capture up to 260 images on a single charge. We captured a few more than this when you consider our burst image testing, but this actual battery life is a bit low. You will need to recharge after a full day of shooting, and a spare battery is a great idea. The battery charges inside the camera so you will never have to take it out. On the other hand, it does make it a little more difficult to keep more than one battery charged and ready to go.

Bottom Line - The Panasonic Lumix LX10 joins the ranks of the powerful ultra-compact market that delivers control and image quality far above standard point-n-shoot cameras. Sporting a 1-inch, 20.1-Megapixel imaging sensor and powerful processor offer all of the control and performance that is demanded by hobbyists and professionals alike. The very bright Leica lens adds great low-light performance and some excellent bokeh. Add to this the 4K video capabilities and you have an outstanding travel and everyday camera. Coming in with a MSRP of US $699.99, it has a hefty price tag for an ultra-compact, but is towards the bottom for a camera in this class.

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