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Image parameters

The DMC-L10 features a total of six pre-programmed color and three black and white modes (described as 'Film mode' on the camera menu), and these now get their own button on the top plate. These modes define the baseline color mapping, tonal appearance and sharpening of the image (for examples see Color in our Photographic tests). In addition you can also adjust contrast, saturation, sharpness and noise reduction, there are five steps of adjustment for each parameter (seven would have been ideal). There are also two customizable 'film' modes. One disappointment (as seems to be the case with a few DSLR's these days) was that the color space selection was buried away on a sub-menu rather than being in the same place as other image parameter settings. As the examples below show, the differences between most modes are subtle, to say the least.

Image parameter adjustments

  • Color modes: Standard, Dynamic, Nature, Vibrant, Nostalgic*, Smooth
  • B&W modes: Standard B&W, Dynamic B&W, Smooth B&W
  • Color space: sRGB, Adobe RGB
  • Image parameter adjustments
    • Contrast: -2 to +2
    • Saturation: -2 to +2
    • Sharpness: -2 to +2
    • Noise reduction: -2 to +2

*Rather unusually 'Nostalgic' mode also changes exposure, producing results around a stop brighter

Film Mode image parameter presets

Below are samples of our test scene taken in each of the Film Mode presets, we've also included a 100% crop from each image so you can see the sharpness level of each preset.

  Thumbnail 100% crop
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Contrast adjustment

Adjusting the tone alters the shape of the 'S curve' used to map the linear image data captured by the sensor into the correct gamma. A lower contrast setting maintains more of the original data's dynamic range but leads to a flatter looking image. A higher contrast setting stretches the grayscale (dark to light) of the image and could lead to clipping of both shadow detail and highlights. While there is a noticeable difference between -2 and +2 it's still relatively subtle and doesn't provide a huge amount of creative options for the photographer, a wider latitude of adjustment would have been better (with more steps).

  Thumbnail Luminosity histogram
-2
0
+2
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