Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10 (LX15)

20MP 1"-type CMOS sensor | 24-72mm equiv. F1.4-2.8 lens | 4K video capture

What we like:

  • Depth-from-Defocus AF system is fast and accurate
  • Stabilized 4K video capture
  • Dials and touchscreen allow for fast operation

What we don't:

  • Heavy-handed noise reduction in JPEGs
  • Limited battery life
  • Poor Auto ISO implementation
The LX10 (LX15 outside North America) is the first of Panasonic's LX-series of enthusiast cameras to include a 1"-type sensor. It also features a short-but-fast zoom lens to make the most of that big sensor. While the LX10 has a flip-up touchscreen, it lacks an electronic viewfinder.
The LX10 has a dedicated aperture dial, along with two assignable control dials. These dials aren’t always fully utilized by default (though you can work around this by using Custom modes) but, along with the camera’s touchscreen, make it one of the quicker and easier enthusiast compacts to operate.
Its price point, broad stills and video capability, and likable handling probably make the LX10 a well-balanced camera
The LX10's autofocus is really impressive, doggedly tracking subjects around the scene and generally doing a good job of keeping its lens in focus, even with moving subjects. It will occasionally give misfocused shots if it takes a photo while driving the lens, but the overall success rate - even at its 6 fps top burst rate with AF - is very good for a pocket enthusiast compact. Its buffer can be limiting if you're shooting Raw, though.
The LX10's image quality is very good, particularly in terms of Raw performance. Like most compacts with fast lenses, there's likely to be significant copy-to-copy variation but the lens we tested was pretty good. Sensor performance is much like that of its 1"-type peers, giving great Raw files but the JPEG engine doesn't always make the best of this output. Its color response isn't our favorite but the slightly heavy-handed noise reduction, which is a bigger concern, can be dialed down somewhat.
The LX10’s video specifications are pretty impressive and it includes tools such as focus peaking for those who prefer to manually focus instead of experiencing considerable 'wobble' that can come from using its AF system. The lens stabilization is enough to allow handheld static 4K shooting but the lack of digital correction, even in 1080p mode, means it can't stabilize moving footage as well its immediate Canon/Sony peers. A host of 4K-derived features like 4K photo, Post Focus, and focus stacking make for some creative photo tools.
The LX10 is a welcome addition to the compact enthusiast sector, bringing 4K video, impressive AF and a touchscreen at a competitive price. The control dials aren’t used to great effect, so it’s not the clear winner for hands-on shooters that it might appear. However, considering its price point and broad stills and video capability, as well as its generally likable handling, it's one of the most balanced camera in this buying guide.

Studio Test Scene | Specifications Compared

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