Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10
ESTIMATED STREET PRICE: $599 (with 14-42mm zoom)
Panasonic’s “economy” mirrorless model, the G10 has much in common with the G2 (which was introduced at the same time), including the 12.1-megapixel Live MOS sensor, Venus Engine HD II processing and built-in pop-up flash unit. The main differences are that the G10’s 3.0-inch, 460,000-dot LCD monitor doesn’t swivel or provide touch-screen features, its built-in eye-level EVF is a lower-resolution unit, and it lacks the G2’s top video format. But it sells for $200 less, and is a very good alternative for those whose budgets don’t cover a G2.
The G10 can shoot 1280x720p HD video in QuickTime Motion JPEG format (a more computer-friendly format than AVCHD), along with 848x480 WVGA, 640x480 VGA and 320x240 QVGA video, all at 30 fps. Sound is mono only, via a built-in microphone. Like the G2, the H10 can autofocus during video shooting, and the optional 14-140mm HD zoom minimizes AF noise so the built-in mic won’t pick it up. Like the G2, the G10 can use the new fast, very high-capacity SDXC memory cards (as well as SD and SDHC), a boon to video enthusiasts.
Like the G2, the G10 features a host of automated shooting features and built-in help for newcomers, plus full manual control when you want it. With Face Detection, the camera automatically detects and optimizes exposure and focus for human faces in a scene. You can register up to six people (with up to three different expressions per person) by name, and the camera will automatically recognize and optimize AF and AE for the selected person’s face when it appears in the frame. Panasonic’s Intelligent Resolution Technology performs signal processing pixel by pixel to optimize three areas: outlines, areas with detailed texture and areas with soft gradation. The results are sharper, more detailed images across the board, at all ISO settings.
STANDOUT FEATURE: Many G2 features, for a lot less.
1. The G10’s 3.0-inch, 460,000-dot LCD monitor provides full-time live view, but doesn’t tilt and swivel like the G2’s.
2. TThe built-in EVF provides eye-level viewing, albeit at lower resolution than with the G2.
3. The G10 does share the G2’s handy handy control dials.