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Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10

Posted: 03/07/2010

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10 is closely related to the company's DMC-G2 alongside which it was announced, and shares the same Micro Four-Thirds interchangeable lens mount, as well as the same 12.1 effectieve megapixel sensor resolution. The Panasonic G10's 17.3 x 13.0mm, 4:3 aspect ratio LiveMOS image sensor has an RGB color filter array, and yields a maximum resolution of 4,000 x 3,000 pixels. Alternate aspect ratios on offer include 3:2 (4,000 x 2,672 pixels max.), 16:9 (4,000 x 2,248 pixels max.), and 1:1 (2,992 x 2,992 pixels max.)

As compared to its predecessor, the Panasonic DMC-G10 uses a newer generation of the company's image processor, dubbed Venus Engine HD II. Burst shooting is possible at up to 3.2 frames per second, with a maximum burst depth of seven Raw frames, or unlimited JPEG images. ISO sensitivity ranges from 100 to 6,400 equivalents, and there's also an Intelligent ISO function. The company's Supersonic Wave Filter dust reduction system is retained from the previous camera.

The Lumix G10 offers two choices for framing and reviewing images. There's an electronic viewfinder with a resolution of 220,000 dots (480,000 pixels), offering a 100% field of view and 1.04x magnification. The DMC-G10's viewfinder has a +/-4.0 diopter adjustment range, and a 17.5mm eye point. Alternatively, there's a 3.0", 3:2 aspect LCD display panel with 460,000 dot resolution, also offering 100% coverage. The LCD display provides 7-step adjustment for both brightness and color. Both display choices can offer a real-time histogram function, and three choices of framing guideline.

Like all Micro Four Thirds digital cameras, the Panasonic Lumic G10 uses a contrast detection autofocusing system. A choice of either 23-point or single point focusing is available, and the G10 includes both face detection and AF tracking functions. An AF assist lamp is included to help with low-light focusing on nearby subjects.

The G10 has a 144-zone metering system, with three metering types on offer - intelligent multiple, center-weighted, or spot. Exposure mode choices include Program, Aperture- and Shutter-priority, plus a fully Manual mode. There are also a whopping 26 scene modes that help amateurs get the results they're looking for without the need to understand shutter speeds, apertures and the like. Shutter speeds of 60 to 1/4000 second are possible, as well as a bulb mode limited to a maximum of four minutes. +/-3.0EV of exposure compensation is available in 1/3EV steps. The G10 also includes an exposure bracketing function which can capture three, five or seven frames with exposure varying by 1/3 or 2/3EV steps.

Nine white balance modes are available, including auto, manual and seven presets. It's also possible to fine-tune white balance, or to directly set it within a range of 2,500 to 10,000 kelvin in steps of 100 kelvin. There's also a three exposure white balance bracketing function. The Panasonic G10 includes a built-in popup flash, with a guide number of 11 meters at ISO 100. X-sync is at 1/160 second, and +/-2.0EV of exposure compensation is available in 1/3EV steps. There's also a hot shoe that is compatible with the FL220, FL360, and FL500 strobes for TTL auto shooting.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10 includes a standard / high definition movie mode, able to shoot at resolutions up to 720p (1,280 x 720 pixels). The only compression type on offer is QuickTime Motion JPEG. Several lower-resolution options are also available, including WVGA, VGA, and QVGA resolutions, and videos are always recorded at 30fps. The G10 offers only a built-in mono microphone for audio capture, as unlike its sibling the G2, the G10's remote jack cannot double as a stereo microphone input.

The G10 offers both sRGB and Adobe RGB color spaces, and can shoot still images in either compressed JPEG or Raw file formats, as well as shooting both Raw + JPEG at the same time if desired. Data is stored on Secure Digital cards, including the newer SDHC and SDXC types. Connectivity includes USB 2.0 High Speed data, high-definition miniHDMI type C video output with monaural audio, or standard definition NTSC / PAL video output with monaural audio (NTSC only for North America). Power comes courtesy of a proprietary 7.2V 1,250mAh battery pack, which includes Panasonic's ID Security function to prevent use of counterfeit or third-party battery packs. With the bundled 14-42mm lens, up to 380 shots can be captured on a charge using the LCD display, or 410 shots with the electronic viewfinder.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10 includes a LUMIX G VARIO 14-42mm/F3.5-5.6 ASPH/MEGA O.I.S. kit lens and PHOTOfunStudio 5.0 sofware in the product bundle. The Panasonic G10 ships from late May 2010, with a suggested retail price of US$599.95 including the kit lens.