The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10 (LX15 in some markets) is a 20MP large-sensor compact with a bright (F1.4-2.8), 24-72mm equivalent zoom lens. Which is to say, it's a very capable pocket camera. And, being a Panasonic, it has video specs and clever video-based features to back up its stills capabilities.

Panasonic's LX cameras have always had the enthusiast in mind, built around larger-than-average sensors with short but bright lenses and as many direct controls as can sensibly be fitted onto a pocketable camera body. They helped reinvigorate the enthusiast compact sector and prompted a series of imitators before the much larger sensor of Sony's RX100 rendered them irrelevant.

Key specifications

  • 20MP 1"-type CMOS sensor
  • 24-72mm equivalent F1.4-2.8 zoom
  • 7 fps continuous shooting with autofocus
  • 4K video at up to 30p
  • 5-axis, digital and optical stabilization in 1080 video
  • 4K Photo mode
  • Post Focus and Focus Stacking modes

The LX10 is Panasonic's first direct response to the big-sensored Sonys. The company has already built an excellent series of compacts that address every other niche you can think of: the long zoom stills/video FZ1000 and FZ2500, a large sensor ZS100 version of their well respected travel zoom series, and a larger sensor photographer's camera, the LX100. But the LX10 is a head-to-head competitor for Sony's pocket wonders.

The approach is a little different: unlike the RX100 III and IV, the LX10 doesn't have a viewfinder. Instead, it offers a touchscreen interface and a screen that can be tilted upwards. In many respects, the LX10 is a logical post-1" successor to the last of the smaller sensor models: the LX7.

The camera also offers Panasonic's 4K Photo mode, which offers a series of ways of specifying when the camera should capture a video clip from which stills can then be extracted. It also has Panasonic's Post Focus mode that captures a video clip of the camera racking focus, so you can choose to grab the frame with optimal focus, after the fact.

Compared with its peers

The LX10 means there are now three brands building small cameras with 1"-type sensors and short, bright zooms (and Nikon promising a comparable 'DL' model at some point). We've also included the LX10's big brother, the LX100 in this comparison, just to show what you get if you have room to carry its additional size.

  Panasonic
LX10
Sony
DSC-RX100 IV
Canon G7X
Mark II
Panasonic
LX100
MSRP $699 $999 $699 $899
Sensor area 116 mm2 116 mm2 116 mm2 180 mm2
Lens range (equiv) 24-72mm 24-70mm 24-100mm 24-75mm
Aperture range F1.4-2.8 F1.8-2.8 F1.8-2.8 F1.7-2.8
Control dials Aperture ring
Command dial
Lens ring (stepless)
Lens ring (stepless)
Four-way/dial

Lens ring
(stepped/
stepless)
Exposure Comp
Four-way/dial

Aperture ring
Shutter dial
Exposure Comp
Lens ring (stepless)
Four-way/dial
Viewfinder No  2.36M-dot No 2.76M-dot
equiv.*
Rear screen Tilt up
Touchscreen
Tilt up/down Tilt up/down
Touchscreen
Fixed
Video capability 4K/30p
1080/120p**
4K/30p
1080/120p
1080/60p 4K/30p
1080/60p
Built-in ND Filter No Yes
(Auto for stills)
Yes
(Auto for stills)
No
Flash Built-in pop-up (bounceable) Built-in pop-up
(bounceable)
Built-in pop-up
(bounceable)
Clip-on hotshoe flash
Battery life (CIPA) 260 280
(230 with EVF)
265 300
(270 with EVF)
Dimensions
mm (in)
105 x 61 x 42
(4.1 x 2.4 x 1.7)
102 x 58 x 41
(4.0 x 2.3 x 1.6)
106 x 61 x 42
(4.2 x 2.4 x 1.7)
115 x 66 x 55
(4.5 x 2.6 x 2.2)

*The LX100 uses a field-sequential display that updates red, green and blue information in sequence and, as such, does not require three dots to make up each three-color 'pixel.'
**1080/120p is a dedicated high speed video mode, with limited control.

Equivalent apertures

The chart below breaks down the equivalent aperture for each camera, as you work your way through the zoom range. Our article here explains the concept of equivalence, but at a high level all you need to know is that the lower the line is on the graph below, the blurrier the backgrounds you'll be able to get and, typically, the better the overall low-light performance.

Just as the specs suggest, the LX10's lens is broadly similar to that of the Sony RX100 III and IV. It's 2/3EV brighter at first but by 30mm equivalent they're both already down to F2.8 (F7.6 equiv). So although it should offer a similar performance to its big brother, the LX100, at wide angle, the bigger camera maintains an advantage across the rest of its zoom range.