Panasonic Lumix DMC-L10 Review

 
Camera Reviews > Panasonic Lumix Cameras i Full Review

Panasonic DMC-L10 Operation


Live View Display

Of course, one of the big features of the Panasonic L10 is its "Live View" viewfinder option, which displays what the camera's sensor is seeing in real time, on the rear-panel LCD display. (Just like a point & shoot digicam.) In Live View mode, you can cycle through several different information displays by pressing the Display button on the camera's back. Options include a normal information display (showing exposure mode, exposure compensation, color mode, battery capacity, image size and compression level, image stabilization setting, flash mode, exposures-remaining, metering mode, and ISO setting), histogram mode (which adds a small histogram display to the above), a guideline overlay that divides the screen into nine sections, a guideline display with single crosshairs (the position of which can be set via a custom menu setting), and no overlay.

In Live View display mode, a manual-focus assist option lets you select a magnified view of the subject to assist in setting focus. The 8x magnification provided lets you set focus pretty accurately, but we'd prefer to see something a little higher (10x?), as we found ourselves uncertain at times whether we'd really nailed the focus or not.

The diagram below illustrates the overlay information available (a live preview of the image would be displayed under this overlay).

1
Recording Mode
19
AF Area
2
Aperture Value
20
Flash Output Adjustment
3
Shutter Speed
21
Program Shift
4
White Balance
22
Drive Mode (Burst, Auto Bracket, Self-timer)
5
ISO Sensitivity
23
White Balance Fine Adjustment
6
AF Mode
24
Custom Setting
7
Metering Mode
25
AF Frame
8
Recording State (flashes red)
26
Histogram
9
Focus Confirmation (green)
27
Self-timer
10
Card Access (lights red)
28
Manual Exposure Assistance
11
Number of Recordable Images
29
2nd Curtain Synchro
12
Flash Setting
30
Extended Optical Zoom
13
Optical Image Stabilizer
31
Current Date and Time
14
Image Quality
32
Age (Baby1, Baby 2 or Pet Scene Mode)
15
Image Size
33
Digital Zoom
16
Battery Indication
34
AE Lock
17
Film Mode
35
AF Lock
18
Auto Power LCD Mode
36
Exposure Compensation

 

Live View Autofocus Options

The Panasonic L10's Live View mode is unusual in the variety of autofocus options it offers. When in Live View mode, it can optionally use contrast-detection autofocusing, the same technology used in point & shoot digicams. This is quite a bit slower than the phase-detect AF used in SLRs, but with the L10's sensor already active during Live View operation, there's no reason not to provide it, and it opens up interesting options. Foremost among these is face detection: The Panasonic L10 can find and focus on people's faces when in Live View mode, a fairly unique capability. (The last frame of the screen shot animation above right shows the L10 finding and focusing on faces in one an old test target of ours.) As noted though, the shutter lag when using contrast-detect focusing in the L10's Live View mode is very long, upwards of 1.7-1.8 seconds in our testing.


Panasonic DMC-L10 Record Mode Displays

The Panasonic L10's rear-panel tilt-swivel 2.5-inch TFT color LCD monitor is for image review, status display, menu display, and (as just noted) Live View viewfinder use. We do have somewhat mixed feelings about using the rear panel LCD for setting readouts. While it provides a much larger area than the more typical small black & white data readouts, it also consumes more power. The Panasonic L10's battery life is a bit below average for an SLR, and would arguably be better if it didn't require the main LCD screen to be lit so much of the time. That said, though, we do really like the amount of camera information that the L10 makes available on its rear screen.

1
Recording Mode
15
Flash Setting
2
Aperture Value
16
White Balance
3
Shutter Speed
17
ISO Sensitivity
4
AF Frame Setting
18
Program Shift
5
Metering Mode
19
Age (Baby1, Baby2, or Pet Scene Mode)
6
Exposure Compensation,
Auto Bracket Compensation Range
20
AF Lock
7
Film Mode
21
AE Lock
8
Custom Set
22
Current Date and Time
9
Number of Recordable Images
23
Manual Exposure Assistance
10
Card Access
24
Optical Image Stabilizer
11
Image Quality
25
Drive Mode (Single, Burst, Auto bracket, Self-timer)
12
Image Size
26
2nd Curtain Synchro
13
Battery Indication
27
White Balance Fine Adjustment
14
Flash Output Adjustment

 

Panasonic L10 Playback Mode Displays

The Playback button on the rear panel accesses Playback mode, where you can review captured images. Pressing the Display button cycles through displays showing basic information about the captured image (aperture, shutter speed, size, JPEG quality, flash use, ISO, and sequence number), a screen showing a small thumbnail and more detailed exposure information (adding exposure compensation, white balance, focus and exposure modes, image stabilization setting, color space, and full file number to the above), a screen with a small thumbnail and RGB + luminance histogram displays, and finally an image with no information overlay at all.

In playback mode, rotating the command dial in the top right corner of the camera's rear panel zooms in or out on the image being viewed. You can zoom in up to 16x, and pan around the full image via the arrow keys.

When you zoom out beyond the full-image display, you can see displays of 9 or 20 thumbnails, or a calendar-based display that organizes images in groups by the date captured.


 

Print the operation page for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L10 digital camera reviewPrint this Page

Note: For details, test results, and analysis of the many tests done with this camera, please click on the tabs at the beginning of the review or below.

Follow Imaging Resource

Purchase memory card for Panasonic Lumix DMC-L10 digital camera
Top 3 photos this month win:

1 $300 Adorama Gift Certificate

2 $200 Adorama Gift Certificate

3 $100 Adorama Gift Certificate