Panasonic DMC-LX10: My Impression

LX10 in action. Shot with my Leica M-P.
As my wife has been constantly complaining that the Fujifilm X30 is too bulky and heavy for her to carry around for trip, I ended up selling off the X30 and grabbed a Panasonic LX10 for her instead. I’m not the one who will be using this camera most of the time, but I had spent some time understanding the camera and setting it up for her use, and here are some of my thoughts about the LX10.

Fringing can be a problem under high contrast area. Easy to fix if you shoot raw, but in camera jpeg doesn’t get rid of them that well.
First off, I feel “overwhelmed” by the abundance of features and modes in the small little camera. I have been using camera with bare minimal functions for quite awhile, hence I do get a little lost when I dive through the functions and menus. Anyway, after fiddling it for awhile, I start to grasp what this camera can do. The nifty features are those surrounding the “4K Photos”, such as pre-burst, photo burst and post focus. A little gimmicky, but it will get the job done when you need it.

Focusing speed was reasonably quick and reliable
The camera body was a little too small to my liking. Yes, it’s a compact camera and it should be small. It’s just my problem and the fact that I’m too used to holding larger camera bodies. My thumb keep pushing on the “4K Photo” button accidentally throughout my time using it, perhaps things will get better after getting familiar with its size. The body is a little slippery, but with a wrist strap attached, it has never bother me much that it might drop accidentally.

Dynamic range is not bad for 1 inch sensor, but don’t expect too much from it either
The touch screen is pretty responsive and very useful in various situations, from selecting focus point to quickly selecting some parameters, shortcuts or functions on screen. This is perhaps the best feature it has which separates it from the closes rival of Sony RX100 series. The screen is usable under the sun, though you would expect it to be harder to see when the sun is bright. Nevertheless, I don’t have much problem using it. It also flips up for selfie, and the camera will engage in selfie mode with some dedicated settings such at timer shutter release automatically.

There are a few scene mode and picture profile mode in the camera, and I particularly like the one which gives me high contrast monochrome output.
Control wise, you are getting aperture ring, a control ring at the front around the lens and a control dial on the far right of the top plate. It surely satisfies control freak like me who prefer to have dials and ring for direct setting change. You can customize what each dial / ring do, but at times the choices are limited as I did bumped into issue where I simply can’t set it to work the way I want. Nevertheless, there’s workaround and it’s still a joy to use the camera.

Shot with macro mode
As for the image quality, I would say it’s really not bad. The 1 inch sensor performs very well and delivers punchy but not over saturated colours. Couple with the Leica branded lens covering 24-72mm at f1.4 to f2.8, this camera can shoot almost everything that you throw at it. You can get very close too as it can focus down to 3cm in macro mode. Pretty amazing I would say.

At 24-72mm, this is a very useful range for all purpose shooting
Other features such as video recording (up to 4K at 30p), wifi capability, built in flash and etc. were not tested extensively, so I will not be commenting on it. All in all, this is a pretty decent camera, especially for those casual user who used to take pictures with their smartphones. The learning curve is not as steep compared to, say the Sony RX100 series, as user can just tap away to setup the camera and shoot.

Rather pleasant out of focus area
I would certainly recommend people to consider this camera. In the same price range, you can probably take a look at the Canon G7X Mk II and also Sony RX100 Mk III if the LX10 doesn’t click with you. They are all capable cameras with pros and cons of their own, either way you won’t go wrong with any of these cameras. That’s all for now, I’ll share more thoughts in future post, if any. Till then, happy shooting!

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