Body and Handling

The LX10 is a small and comfortable camera to hold and use. In common with the older LX-series models, it has a lightweight metal case though sadly it now lacks any rubber or grip material on the right hand side of the camera, making it more slippery than necessary.

There are ten buttons ranged across the rear right-hand-side of the camera, which means each of them is pretty small. It does mean you can set the camera up to access a broad range of features, beyond those assigned by default.

In the hand

The LX10 feels well built and sits in the hand fairly well (though the narrow grip is likely to mean holding the camera two-handed if you wish to operate the shoulder dial).

Auto ISO

Auto ISO on the LX10, like all Panasonics, is implemented very poorly: it doesn't let you specify a minimum shutter speed (or relationship to focal length) at which the camera will increase the ISO setting, and the shutter speed it often chooses tends to be too low in low light because the camera is extremely reticent to use ISOs higher than 1600. And while you can set an upper ISO limit for Auto ISO (up to 12,800), the camera often appears to ignore it, choosing to use longer shutter speeds instead of increasing ISO.  

To make matters worse, while Auto ISO is available in manual exposure mode, the camera won't let you use exposure comp to specify how bright the image should be. Auto ISO is only available for video when shooting in P, A or S modes (so there's no way of setting your shutter speed and aperture, then getting the camera to maintain brightness).

The LX10 also offers 'Intelligent ISO', which tries to detect movement in the scene and increase the ISO to ensure a suitable shutter speed is used. In practice, though, it doesn't use speeds faster than 1/125s, so is of limited utility.

Battery Life

The LX10 only manages a rather disappointing 260 shots per charge from its 4.9Wh DMW-BLH7 battery. As always, CIPA battery numbers don't necessarily tell you exactly how many shots you'll get on each charge, but they're comparable between cameras. In general we find that fewer than 300 means having to think quite often about charging the camera if you're specifically out shooting. An evening out or intermittently grabbed shots won't be a problem but a day spent shooting will probably need a second battery or time spent charging.

The LX10 charges over USB so is easy to top up while traveling but there's no external charger supplied, so keeping a second battery fresh is a bit more difficult.