LX10 Impressions

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Shiny Object Contributing Member • Posts: 614
LX10 Impressions

I've had the LX10 since just before the start of COVID times. I used it a bit, stopped using it for a long while, then starting using it more recently.

Body: I like the looks of this little camera. I don't like the slipperiness but the included wrist strap works perfectly. The aperture dial is fun to turn. It has zero weather resistance and it does suck in dirt through the zoom, as well as through the front of the lens. I don't know how a person would avoid getting dirt inside the lens. I always carry the camera in a small Ziploc bag and it still has some dirt inside, though it's not visible in my images (yet).

Autofocus: Great for still subjects. Mostly solid for semi-macro work. Continuous autofocus does okay (not great) for moving subjects. Face/eye detect is good for people looking directly at the camera, not so good if they are not looking at the camera. Easy to set a focus point with the responsive touchscreen.

Image Quality: Mixed bag.

The good: Surprisingly good bokeh if you have some space between your subject and the background. If there’s not a sufficient degree of background blur, Luminar AI can add more blur - works reasonably well most of the time in the few images I’ve used it for. Good image quality in the center. Nice color rendition in RAW files.

The bad: At widest angle, the image quality is smeary toward image edges - and one actually doesn't need to get far outside of the center to see some image degradation. If you're a landscape shooter, beware. I'm not a real pixel peeper, but I don't like smeary images. And there is some smear at wide angle. Toward the middle of the zoom range, things get better but are never sharp in the corners, but at least the midframe is mostly good. Seems like the image is a little softer at full zoom, but still plenty usable in the center. I’ve not shot many landscapes stopped down at the long end of the zoom, so I can’t say much about the corners/edges at the long end.

When shooting very closeup, the image is a bit hazy, especially at wide apertures.

For comparison, the Sony RX10m3 and m4 are substantially sharper midframe to the corners. The RX10 isn't great in the corners but it's not a smeary mess either.

I don’t shoot jpeg much, so all I can say is that the advice in this forum to turn noise reduction way down and increase sharpness for jpegs is good. But I find the RAW files with a little work come out better than the jpegs.

Closeup: The 3cm minimum focusing distance (MFD) at wide angle is a marvelous feature. Offers a fun closeup perspective, with smooth bokeh.

4K Photo/Post Focus: Very useful features.

Operational Annoyances: Slow to zoom. The buffer takes a long time to clear. On my Sony gear, I’m accustomed to using auto ISO when shooting in manual (I set aperture and shutter speed, and let the camera set ISO). That doesn’t work on the LX10, which is annoying. Because the camera won’t set ISO in manual mode, that also means one can’t use exposure compensation in manual mode. So it’s full manual – aperture, shutter, and ISO. If you’re in the “Real Photographers Only Shoot Full Manual” club, then I guess what I am describing here is a feature, not a bug. But it annoys me.

Also, there is no way of setting minimum shutter speed in aperture priority mode, so the camera will sometimes select shutter speeds that lead to motion blur.

Operational Joys: Responsive touchscreen, easy to understand menus – and the touchscreen works in the menus (hint, hint, Sony). The tilting touchscreen is great for low-angle shots. I can see the histogram and electronic level on the screen at the same time (hint, hint, Sony). Having the front of the lens serve as a control dial is nice; works nicely in aperture or shutter mode (I use it for exposure comp, but this doesn’t work in manual mode – see above).

Image stabilization: Works very well. Excellent way to keep ISO down.

Video: I don’t use it much for video. Seems to work reasonably well for video – output is certainly better than video recorded on my phone. I’ve only used HD video, not 4K.

Flash: Flash works great for fill flash outside and it can be bounced (but at a partially-forward angle, not vertically) to illuminate subject and keep ISO down indoors. And with DXO Deep Prime noise reduction, high ISO images (3200, sometimes 6400) are usable if subject is illuminated properly. Big prints at high ISO... no, but small prints and on screen, sure.

Overall: I am mostly a happy customer. The portability is fantastic. For casual family shooting, the autofocus, focal range flexibility and image quality are reasonably good. I love shooting closeups and this camera delivers excellent closeups. I would be disappointed by this camera if I were primarily using it for landscapes, especially at wide angle. Perhaps most importantly, I find it fun to use and I am generally pleased with the image quality for my purposes.

Sample images below…

You can see softness throughout much of the frame.

 Shiny Object's gear list:Shiny Object's gear list
Ricoh GR Sony RX10 III Sony a6000 Sony E 16mm F2.8 Pancake Sony E 30mm F3.5 Macro +6 more
Panasonic LX10
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