Video

The LX10's video capabilities and its operation are immediately familiar from other Panasonic models. It can shoot in 4K (UHD) at 30p or 24p, with the LX15 model gaining PAL-friendly 25p as well. There's also the option to shoot 1080 at up to 60p or a 'High Speed Video' mode. This shoots at 120p by gives you very little control (and both stabilization and AF are disabled) and which slows the output back down to either 24p or 30p.

Both 1080 and 4K video are take from crops of the sensor, which increases the effective range of the lens to 36-108mm equiv in 4K mode, meaning you have no significant wide angle capabilities. It's a less pronounced crop in 1080 mode but still gives you a 30-90mm equiv range. As well as making the lens range less useful, this decision to use a crop of the sensor will hurt low light performance relative to full-sensor readout offered by RX100 peers, since you're essentially using a smaller sensor camera when you shoot video.

The camera includes focus peaking and zebras to aid manual focus and exposure. However, it lacks the Cinelike D and Cinelike V color profiles, so you're limited to the tone and color responses designed for stills shooting.

Perhaps most frustratingly, it doesn't allow Auto ISO in manual mode, so you have to give the camera control over either aperture or shutter speed if you want it to automatically maintain brightness in changing conditions. Thankfully, the camera's depth-of-field is usually sufficient to let you leave the camera in shutter priority, where you can set exposure compensation and Auto ISO, and just worry about shooting, knowing that the aperture changing won't make too much difference.

The camera offers optical stabilization, which is sufficient to allow static hand-held shooting but, unlike its peers that also offer digital correction for 1080 shooting, it can't provide enough correction for walking and shooting.

Video Quality

The LX10 shoots 4K footage with a roughly 1.42 compared with the full sensor width (1.5x compared to the full diagonal of the sensor), which suggests it's using the 3840 x 2160 pixel region of the sensor. Sure enough the footage isn't as detailed the RX100 V, which is sampling the full width of the sensor, demosaicing, then downscaling. It's not that far off, though, so it's mainly the crop that's the drawback, both in terms of lens range and expected low light performance.

Of course, its nearest competitors don't offer 4K at all. And, thanks to some fairly aggressive sharpening, even the LX10's 1080 footage looks more detailed than the RX100 Mark III's, with both of them beating the Canon G7 X II hands down.


Video Autofocus

Autofocus in video is incredibly simple to use. All AF modes available in stills are available in video. You can have the camera automatically pick your subject and focus on it (even prioritize faces), or you can use subject tracking to tap on your subject and have the camera follow it around the frame, continuously focusing on it. In single point mode, just tap on whatever you want in focus and the camera will rack focus appropriately. It couldn't get any simpler (something we wish we could say about its Sony peers).

Unfortunately though, we can't recommend you use AF in video, because the 'flutter' or hunting introduced by the DFD algorithms is incredibly distracting and makes footage often appear soft. It's less objectionable in 4K because the hunt is slowed down, but refocusing performance isn't as controlled and smooth as some of its peers (including, surprisingly, some contrast-detection-based cameras).

Video derived features:

4K Photo

The LX10 also gains Panasonic's 4K Photo feature that shoots clips of video with the intention of grabbing stills from them. This includes a mode that constantly record video then only saves the second before and after you hit the shutter, meaning that you get 60 frames to choose from.

Capturing the right moment in an eighteen person group shot isn't easy. 4K Photo mode makes it a lot easier, though, with nine children involved, it can't perform miracles. Taken with the Panasonic G7. Photo by Wenmei Hill

The different options for when the camera records the clip and the ability to shoot in more conventional photographic aspect ratios set this apart from simple frame grabs from 4K offered on other cameras. The interface for selecting frames is also quite polished. However, the need to use faster shutter speeds than you'd usually choose for video still applies.

Post Focus and Focus Stacking

The other tricks the LX10 manages to conjure up from its 4K capabilities are Post Focus and Focus Stacking. Both work by recording video while the camera racks through its focus range.

In Post Focus mode, it's possible to specify what point you the scene you wish to be in focus and the camera will grab the appropriate still from the video. In Focus Stacking mode, it combines the frames so that the final image is made up from the in-focus regions of the separately captured frames.

Since the camera has to scan through its focus range for both of these features, they only really work well when shot from a tripod with the camera looking at a static subject.